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Much Ado About Nothing 2013

PG-13 CC

Joss Whedon's sexy and contemporary spin on Shakespeare's classic comedy about the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick.

Starring:
Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof
Runtime:
1 hour, 49 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Joss Whedon
Starring Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof
Supporting actors Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese, Sean Maher, Spencer Treat Clark, Riki Lindhome, Ashley Johnson, Emma Bates, Tom Lenk, Nick Kocher, Brian McElhaney, Joshua Zar, Paul Meston, Romy Rosemont, Elsa Guillet-Chapuis, Adam Carver
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: DVD
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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