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Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray] (2012)

Nathan Fillion , Alexis Denisof , Joss Whedon  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (696 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Amy Acker
  • Directors: Joss Whedon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: October 8, 2013
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (696 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00ECR7L0Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,423 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Joss Whedon's sexy and contemporary spin on Shakespeare's classic comedy about the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a sensual, tragic and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
271 of 286 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teacher Review October 9, 2013
By Zach
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I'll make this simple:

I teach 11th Grade Shakespeare.

Upon announcing we were watching this, my kids were fairly excited. We brought in popcorn, soda, etc.--made it a special movie day.

Besides a slew of their gasps, and laughter--they were SILENT the whole time: enthralled, and captivated.

We had such a great time, they were so appreciative of the interpretation, had so many opinions to voice, and finally understood Shakespeare.

Five Stars!!
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253 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical delight from beginning to end. August 10, 2013
Joss Whedon's modern-dress version of "Much Ado About Nothing"--filmed in black and white, in twelve days, in his own Los Angeles house--actually manages to exceed Kenneth Branagh's version of twenty years ago. Branagh's version, to be sure, may have Roger Lanser's glorious color cinematography of a sumptuous Tuscan villa, as well as magnificent performances by Emma Thompson and Branagh as Beatrice and Benedick. But Whedon's version, though slightly claustrophobic, feels more unified than Branagh's, and Whedon's ensemble cast is more consistently excellent than Branagh's.

Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof may not be as golden-throated in speaking the Bard's verse as Thompson and Branagh, but they are just as adept in portraying Beatrice and Benedick's emotions, and they are the superior physical comedians. In fact, Whedon's cast is wonderful straight down the line: Reed Diamond as Don Pedro, Clark Gregg ss Leonato, and especially Nathan Fillion as Dogberry. Fillion's masterful underplaying, taking full advantage of every malaprop, is better than Michael Keaton's heavily Beetlejuiced portrayal in Branagh's film. Also, Sean Maher is incomparably better as the treacherous Don John than Keanu Reeves, who looked perfect but sounded like he was coming out of anesthesia.

The B&W photography in Whedon's film creates its own cool, jazz-tinged magic, an enormous contrast to the occasionally forced hilarity in Branagh's version. Whedon's "Much Ado" is a perfect post-Watergate Shakespearian romp.
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109 of 120 people found the following review helpful
Joss Whedon. Shakespeare. Alexis Denisof. Amy Acker. Clark Gregg. Fran Kranz. Sean Maher. Tom Lenk. Reed Diamond. Nathan Fillion.

How could this film NOT be awesome?

For those that don't know, Whedon is not only the king of all things geeky (BUFFY, ANGEL, FIREFLY, DOLLHOUSE, SERENITY, CABIN IN THE WOODS and a little film called THE AVENGERS), but he's a tremendous Shakespeare buff. Stories have circulated for years about how he would have cast members of his various shows come to his Santa Monica home, sit around, have dinner and drinks and recite some of Shakespeare's plays. Now, he has essentially brought that idea to film in a "micro-budgeted" self-produced digitally-shot black-and-white adaptation of one of Shakespeare's most famous comedies, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Whedon, not one to shy away from working with his friends, made this film with many of his former cast members of his various shows and films, and it's shot entirely in and around that same Santa Monica home.

For those that don't know the play, it is a love story of two couples: there's the love-at-first-sight coupling of Claudio (Kranz, as excellent as he was in both DOLLHOUSE and CABIN IN THE WOODS) and Hero (Jillian Morgese, a talented and beautiful newcomer), and there's the epic battle-of-the-sexes coupling of Benedick (Denisof) and Beatrice (Acker). Much romance and comedy ensues, but the jealous plotting of Don John (Maher) threatens to undo everything. But soon to the rescue comes Dogberry (Fillion), the constable of these parts, who is, as should be noted, an ass.

Kenneth Branagh, who has spent most of his directorial career adapting Shakespeare for the screen (HENRY V, HAMLET), did a film adaptation of this back in the early 1990's with something of an all-star cast.
Read more ›
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101 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful version August 6, 2013
By Lucy
This film was a delightful adaptation of a most entertaining play. Whedon captures the screwball nature of Beatrice and Benedick's romance, as well as the dark thread that is the Hero and Claudio plot. Very approachable for Shakespeare, the dialogue is generally fairly straightforward to follow. Terrific performances. It is astounding that so much could be achieved on the barest minimum budget and in such a tight timescale. It was filmed in 12 days with little longer than that in preparation. One of the leads was only signed on the day before filming began and had to master his lines and performance between shooting. Unbelievably good in those circumstances!
Watch it. You won't regret it.
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable restaging August 16, 2013
Whedon keeps Shakespeare's text intact, but changes the setting entirely. Instead of seventeenth century trappings,this is entirely contemporary - with solemn bodyguards, papparazza-on-staff, and a booziness that brings the Gatsby era to mind.

A few details work in surprising ways. A woman takes the role of Conrad, and completely reworks the character in the process. Fillion's Dogberry approaches the level set by Michael Keaton in Branagh's star-studded version. And, in touchstone moments, the conversations that Benedick and especially Beatrice "overhear" have all the comic quality of any rendering I've seen, and better than many. You simply have to experience for yourself Amy Acker's physical comedy in the Beatrice scenes.

This won't convert anyone put off by the archaic language, but might be a good introduction for someone unfamiliar with Shakespeare and with how contemporary his timeless topics can be.

-- wiredweird
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Get lost in this updated telling of a classic!!!!!!
I really liked this!! If I 'sound' surprised, I am!! I usually don't like Modern Shakespeare and I nearly stopped watching in the first 15 minutes or so but soon found myself... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Cynthia Trammell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really effective Shakespeare!
Published 1 day ago by Paul A. Willis
5.0 out of 5 stars well acted and beautifully shot.
Well done, well acted and beautifully shot...bravo!
Published 2 days ago by Bullshotinbutt
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent updated, understated version of the classic tale.
Published 2 days ago by Lydia P.
1.0 out of 5 stars Much Ado About Nothing has always been my favorite Shakespearean play
Much Ado About Nothing has always been my favorite Shakespearean play, however they have somehow managed to turn a comedy into a tragedy. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Modern dress for Shakespeare is fine, but this production felt cramped
Modern dress for Shakespeare is fine, but this production felt cramped, and the producer was obviously dealing with a very low budget. Read more
Published 4 days ago by gloria johanns
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
The dialogue was a bit odd with the more modern set. I don't know if I'd watch it again but it was entertaining.
Published 5 days ago by 2cannon
5.0 out of 5 stars STILL FUN TO WATCH!
Shakespeare has been done every way possible. And is still a master of the inner workings of the human psyche. Read more
Published 11 days ago by DONNAD
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Kudos to Whedon on another fantastic ouevre!
Published 12 days ago by Lois E. Kent
2.0 out of 5 stars No Nathan Fillion, no go to production.
Huh? Made it three minutes and looked at my wife. She looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and we promptly put in the Branaugh version (on VHS). Read more
Published 12 days ago by grumblestilskin
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Topic From this Discussion
Is Audio Commentary confirmed for this release.
He recorded two commentaries, one alone and one with the cast.
Oct 2, 2013 by Amazon Customer |  See all 3 posts
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