Posts Tagged ‘Humour’

It is my firm belief that any work can be improved if it’s given the Shakespeare treatment. It’s true; rewrite anything in iambic pentameter and it will instaly sound more intelligent.

This is equally true for Battleship, a recent fluff action flick based on, of all things, a Hasbro board game of the same name. It’s official, we’ve run out things to make movies about.

Hey, was that the plot?

Luckily, Yoni Brenner was kind enough to write this Shakespeare-inspired scene for Battleship, which also doubles as a review of the movie.

A Battleship, sailing majestically. Enter a common SAILOR.

Ahoy ye sailors!—friends and noblemen—
Riding ‘twixt glist’ring waves so bright and blue
That one cannot help but stand and marvel
At the resplendence of Neptune’s kingdom
And the miracle of color correction!
A Band of Brothers we are not, but rather,
A jambalaya of studs and starlets,
Drawn from ev’ry creed and ev’ry hair-type,
Selected, as if by algorithm,
To inflame the hearts and body issues
Of the prize’d target demographic.
Anon, we join this ship—this Battleship!—
With spirits high and cheekbones higher still,
Our sextants fix’d upon the one truly
Bankable star aboard this o’erstuffed vessel.
He whose sapphire eyes and manly shoulders,
Doth evoke the simple ethos of the
Heartland; belied only slightly by the
Rich Irish brogue that doth cling to ev’ry
Consonant like so many barnacles.

Liam Neeson enters, dressed as a CAPTAIN.

Hark! He comes! Pray don’t mention what I said
About his accent.

The CAPTAIN addresses the CREW with a barely concealed Irish accent.

Friends! Gaffers! Hang’rs-on!
‘Tis I, thy totally American captain,
Proud son of one of those states in the middle
That definitely hath a name, although
I cannot recall it at the moment.

Forsooth Captain, canst thou at least name the
First letter o’ the state?

The CAPTAIN shakes his head.

Alas, I cannot.

The CREW grumbles in disappointment.

But stay, friends! I come bearing sweet tidings:
For my accountant hath called and confirmeth
Beyond all doubt that mine check hath clear’ed!
And so I am honor-bound to maintain
A straight face for the next ninety minutes,
Even whilst barking generic orders,
Like “Hard to Starboard!” and “Full speed ahead!”
All of which hath been trademarked by Hasbro.
‘Tis indeed an honor to serve amongst
Such distinguish’d mariners as the guy
From True Blood, Riggins from Friday Night Lights,
And th’ pop star Rihanna—all of whom
Seem to be coated in a thin layer
Of Neoprene.

Er, Captain, excuse the interruption,
But art thou going anywhere with this?

Nay, my good man, not really. Just riffing.


How now, Rihanna? What ho, guy from True Blood?
What news dost thou bring from the radar thingie?

Ay me, dear captain! Most grievous fortune!
For we are invaded by space robots!

The CAPTAIN is confused.

Space robots? Art thou sure sweet Rihanna?
For yea, I cannot recall any such
Robots in the original board game.
Only a grid of numbers and letters,
And cheap plastic pegs with which for keeping score.

Thou rememberest correctly O Captain
But the gods at Hasbro hath recognized
Long ago that the Battleship brand
Couldst not survive on grids and pegs alone.
Hence the space robots.

I see thy logic.
What say’st thou Riggins from Friday Night Lights?

Pray let me defer to the True Blood Guy,
For alas, I have forgotten my lines.

The CAPTAIN nods, resolved.

If Riggins concurs then it is settled!
We shall attack the space robots at once!

The CREW cheers.

Hard to starboard! Full speed ahead! Ready
The doubles! For if we are true of heart
And straight of face there is no way this thing
Cannot gross a bajillion dollars!

Exeunt. End of scene.

The Bard would be proud!

Source: Timothy McSweeney’s Only Desire Is For Your Happiness


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I love Halloween! It’s one of the few days of the year when I am not only allowed, but practically required, to wear an insane and awesome costume in public.

If you’re struggling to come up with a theme for your upcoming party, why not go for a Shakespeare themed Halloween? His plays have their fair share of ghosts, murderers, witches and unholy spirits. Here are a few spooky and not-so-spooky costume ideas.


Gustaf Skarsgård as Hamlet

This one is fairly easy. You can, of course, go for a classical look with a decided  Renascence-y feel to it, but you can just wear something black and walk around with a skull. Quoting “to be or not to be” is highly encouraged.

Lady Macbeth 

Brenda Harris as Lady Macbeth. Photo by Tim Fuller

If you don’t own anything Medieval/Renaissance-y/Scottish, don’t worry. Just go for the sleepwalking scene. Think long night gown, messy hair and obsessive rubbing of one’s hands. Don’t forget to keep repeating, “Out damned spot! out, I say!”

Rome and Juliet 

YA novel by Claudia Gabel

If you’re a couple and have a twisted sense of humor, why not go as zombie/ghost/vampire Romeo and Juliet. Make sure that your Romeo looks like he died of poison – some foam around the mouth or an unnatural shade of green, and have your Juliet wear a bloody dagger wound with pride.

Viola/Cesario or Rosalind/Ganymede 

Steampunk Viola/Cesario, Maddox Theater

If you’re a girl, it’s always fun to dress like a boy. If you’re a boy, dressing up as a girl dressed up as a boy is even more fun. Put on some breaches and flirt shamelessly with party-goers of both sexes.

Titania, Oberon or Puck

Oberon, Puck, Titania, Source: Kaoime E. Malloy

Fairies are fun and  easy to do. Glitter, painted faces, a fanciful dress, some gossamer wings and, voilà, your costume is ready.

Ariel and Caliban 

Steampunk Caliban & Ariel, Source: Widgetambolia

Tempest is yet another of Shakespeare’s plays that is perfect source material for a Halloween costume. I would recommend this for a couple. And think outside the box – let the guy dress as Ariel and the girl go as Caliban.

The great bard himself    

A 9-year-old boy as the immortal bard, Source: Boing Boing

If you happen to suffer from megalomania or want to be obnoxiously meta, why not go as the man himself ? A ruffled collar, a doublet and breaches, a bald spot, a quill and some parchment and the character is complete.

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The sassy gay friend is something of a comedy cliche these days. A rom-com heroine just has to have a well-dressed gay friend whose life revolves around making her feel better about herself and giving excellent fashion tips.

Carrie and her ultimate fashion accessory, Stanford. Sex and The City

So that got me thinking, what if Shakespeare lived today and, in the spirit of the times, gave his female leads a sassy gay friend. Not the comedic heroines – there’s already plenty of sass in Will’s comedies – no, I’m talking about the tragic ladies.

It seems that somebody at Second City Network was reading my mind because, lo and behold, here he is, the Sassy Gay Friend, dishing out some sound advice to Shakespeare’s main ladies.

Things could have turned out very differently if only Juliet had had a sassy gay friend.

And poor Ophelia could have been saved if only she took advice from – who else? – A Sassy Gay Friend

What about Desdemona? There would have been no smothering  if she had only listened to her Sassy Gay Friend

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Ah, poor Will. Publishers can be so difficult. Always trying to change that “just one little bit”, “just this one insignificant detail”. So tiresome. Sometimes it feels like they want to rewrite your whole work for you.

Well, at least he left us the gravediggers routine.

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