With a Twist: Literary Classics Get a Modern Makeover


HAMLET

D: Michael Almereyda; with Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber, Sam Shepard, Julia Stiles.

This modern-day update of the bard's oft-revisited tale of the melancholy Dane is told against the urban jungle of 2000 New York -- a well-appointed stage of cell phones and luxury chariots -- and stars Hawke in the title role. The venerable playwright/actor Sam Shepard rounds out an oddly grouped troupe that includes Murray as the verbose Polonious and up-and-comer Stiles as the troubled Ophelia. The film is scheduled to play during SXSW. (TBA)


CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN SUBURBIA

D: Rob Schmidt; with Monica Keena, Vincent Kartheiser, Ellen Barkin, Jeffrey Wright, James DeBello, Michael Ironside.

Based loosely on Dostoyevsky's masterpiece tale of justice and morality, this dark, romantic story, originally titled Crime and Punishment in High School, favored a name change supposedly to draw on the same audience who embraced American Beauty this past year.


WHATEVER IT TAKES

D: David Raynr; with Shane West, Marla Sokoloff, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, James Franco, Aaron Paul, Colin Hanks.

In this teen romance loosely based on Cyrano de Bergerac, two young high school boys -- one a shy accordion player, the other a ladies' man -- join forces to woo their true loves. She's All That's Jodie Lyn O'Keefe sits in for another round as a teen dream love interest in this comedy that promises more twists than a pretzel stand at your local mall. (Mar. 24)

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