I'm not certain why filmmakers are determined to turn something that was bred for the stage into something for the screen. The Tempest is one of William Shakespeare's more simpler and delightful plays, although I could see how someone could draw several complexities from its characters and many plot lines. In this adaptation by Julie Taymor, it is visually stunning and beautiful; a truly modern epic take on the rather old story. Having this been my first time ever to be exposed to this Shakespearean play, I do not know how accurate or well performed it was in accordance to the original source material, but it seemed as good of any adaptation as any I have seen of the great writer's plays. The cast was phenomenal! Helen Mirren was Prospera (versus typically Prospero) and boy can that woman perform Shakespeare. She was elegant, forceful, and witty. She was the main reason that I wanted to see the film. A hidden gem was the spirit Ariel, who was played by Ben Whishaw (you'll know him as "Q" from Skyfall). He was fascinating, and played his rather curious character with such brilliance; there is also something quite ethereal about his voice which gave him an extra added dimension to his character. Djimon Hounsou who played Caliban, had a promising beginning as a character, but then I was so disappointed after his first scene with Prospera. Lot's of potential (like the story in general) but didn't go anywhere very interesting. Felicity Jones, David Strathairn, Tom Conti, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Russell Brand, and Alfred Molina were also present making a really amazing cast, but honestly the film's only characters and performances worth seeing were the ones I initially mentioned. Now. I almost fell asleep a numerous amount of times throughout the film. I was also immeasurably bored a good portion of the time as well. I wouldn't say I would watch this film again, but I really want to. The film should have taken the essence of the story Shakespeare wrote and then made something based upon it; not merely an adaptation of the mere words and characters, but something so much more and then the film would have been far better. Instead you got great visuals, good acting, but once again I say such words are for the stage, not the screen. But whatever. Okay. I haven't heard back from the publisher yet on the official word of Book II, but I shall keep all of you posted. Now I must sit down and begin work on Book III and then be finally done with the trilogy! What a fantastic feeling that will be. What's going to be really great is that my writing has improved so much from the beginning to now, that Book III will truly be the culmination of all my experiences and learning that I have thus far accumulated in life. A fitting end to something that has occupied my life since 2001 or thereabouts give or take. It's hard to remember when the beginning was; one of these days I am going to have to go back and really think about it. Enjoy the rest of July everyone. Oh, and Happy Birthday to my incredible brother in-law "Phil"! He's an awesome guy, and he takes such fine care of my sister and nephew. God bless him. Good night and good luck everyone. Pray for the Syrian people as civil war continues to ravage their country, and pray for the Egyptian people as violence and political conflict continue to erupt and destabilize their country.