Imagine if William Shakespeare was taking part in the current writers' strike. If the studio honchos give in to their demands, Shakes could end up in the stratosphere with billions. Or at least he should. I don't know why his descendants haven't figured out some legal loophole to rake in the cash with practically annual cinematic incarnations of his works. Personally, I'd be shouting in the streets"Eminent domain, my ass. Show me the money!" But alas, I'm no Shakespeare. Bill misses out again with writer-director Mike Cahill's interpretation of The Tempest. In King of California, Michael Douglas plays a mental patient trying to convince his daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood, that there is some old Spanish gold buried nearby (thanks to his vast Internet research). His research and questionable mapping has him convinced it's buried under a suburban Costco. Somehow, in perfect film fashion, his emancipated teen daughter, who is making a small life for herself, starts to believe her crazy dad and joins in his quest for gold. If you're looking for Tempest comparisons, just remember the exiled Prospero, a bunch of his books and his totally subordinate daughter Miranda. King of California screens at The Modern, 3200 Darnell St. in Fort Worth, Friday through Sunday. For showtimes and information, visit themodern.org or call 1-866-824-5566.
Dec. 21-23, 2007