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Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray]

287 customer reviews

Price: £6.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Richard Clifford, Denzel Washington, Gerard Horan, Brian Blessed
  • Directors: Kenneth Branagh
  • Producers: Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Evans, David Parfitt
  • Format: Anamorphic
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Feb. 2014
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GD8MEZM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,977 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Star studded rendition of the classic Shakespeare romantic comedy which sees two princes, Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard) and Benedict (Kenneth Branagh), battling to win the hearts of those they love. The object of Benedict's desire, Beatrice (Emma Thompson), acts as his sharp tongued sparring partner, while Claudio's path to true love is obstructed by the evil meddling of the embittered Don Juan (Keanu Reeves). Love, of course, triumphs eventually in Kenneth Branagh's sunny adaptation, filmed in Tuscany.

From Amazon.co.uk

Kenneth Branagh's 1993 production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is a vigorous and imaginative work, cheerful and accessible for everyone. Largely the story of Benedick (Branagh) and Beatrice (Emma Thompson)--adversaries who come to believe each is trying to woo the other--the film veers from arched wit to ironic romps, and the two leads don't mind looking a little silly at times. But the plot is also layered with darker matters that concern the ease with which men and women fall into mutual distrust. Branagh has rounded up a mixed cast of stage vets and Hollywood stars, among the latter Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton, the latter playing a rather seedy, Beetlejuice-like version of Dogberry, king of malapropisms.--Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Old Flozer on 6 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are plenty of detailed critiques of the performances and production on here which I won't attempt to emulate; this review is rather for the casual browser who is hovering around the 'add to basket' button. So - Yes! I bought this at a price pretty much equivalent to rental - and I would heartily recommend it as great value and good entertainment. It has its weaknesses - the DVD transfer is not particularly high quality (I'd like to see a fully restored, Blu-Ray version) and has no supplementary material. Of the performances, only Keanu Reeeves' is really dubious - he brings to the part of John the Bastard an impressive physique and little else. There's also some of that rather cloying best buddies quality that accompanies Branagh's core troupe. However, overall it trips along with a light touch and is very entertaining - genuinely so on the strength of the play, not just for the interest of the interpretation. The cinematography and scenery are superb (though again, some colour restoration would have helped, and some of the cast had gone very pink in the Italian sun!). I enjoyed Keaton's perfomance as Dogberry, though I struggled to hear everything he said, and it did remind me of Beetlejuice. I'd forgotten how luminously beautiful and engaging the young Kate Beckinsale was before she became Hollywood Barbie (sigh..), and was very impressed by the naturalness of Denzel Washington's delivery, as Branagh's integration of US actors sometimes jars.

You don't have to be a Shakespeare fanatic to enjoy this, but there is equally plenty there to satisfy the enthusiast. Hit that button!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 5 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
By no means a well-known play compared to Shakespeare's tragedies, or even many of his history plays, "Much Ado About Nothing" remains a popular theatrical production, a play which offers dynamic, meaty parts and provides actors with challenging vehicles for the display of their talents. In a sense, it is a play driven by its players, its text bristling with wit and energy, its themes and concepts regularly re-interpreted and re-presented by the great actors and producers of succeeding ages.
"Much Ado" is a play about courtly society and its preoccupation with love and marriage, with 'form', and with the appropriateness of suitors and matches. Love is one thing, but marriage involves power, money, and property rights and succession. It's a play about rules - often unwritten, usually unspoken, but which are learned by social osmosis and which appear in the niceties of etiquette, manners, and social trivia, providing fragile bastions to status and breeding. Despite their apparently ephemeral nature, these are rules which are very real, and not without severe sanction.
But "Much Ado" is also a play about the breaking of rules, about their use and transformation, obeying, instead, the demands and commands of love. Much of the dynamic of the play lies in the contrast between the two couples, Beatrice & Benedick and Claudio and Hero. The former are the liberated archetypes, the latter a more classical pairing.
It's a play which has been repeatedly interpreted and reinterpreted in the light of changing social mores and tastes. Much of the difficulty in studying the play lies in teasing out Shakespeare's intent from the layers of meaning and interpretation with which it has been lacquered.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
In some respects I think it'd be rather presumptuous of me to attempt to review Shakespeare. Someone so well known and influential wouldn't benefit from my opinions on their work, plus there are more scholarly and concise reviews out there. But I can comment on these Arden versions. Of all the Shakespeare I've read I've always found the Arden copies to be well laid out and to have excellent commentary and notes on the text. They really add to your understanding of Shakespeares outstanding plays and introduce you to the depth in his work. They have superb paper quality and are bound well, withstanding repeated readings and intensive study. For your collection of Shakespeare you can't do much better than Arden publications, some are quite hard to get hold of but it's worth the effort.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cymro on 16 May 2010
Format: Paperback
An excellent edition of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. The introduction is long and very detailed helping you to understand the time and context of the piece though I would recommend reading the play first. Similarly, the text comes with copious notes, some of which can seem at times overly detailed but do help the modern reader to decipher some of the more complex passages. Again I would recommend reading the play fully before attempting to read with notes because they are so long that you will lose track of your place within the play if you attempt to read them all while following the story. This is a text which is most appropriate to someone new to Shakespeare or studying the text at school or university due to the large number of notes. The more experienced reader might prefer the RSC edition, for example, who's notes mainly consist of definitions rather than the longer dictionary/encyclopaedic notes of this edition.

As for the play itself, Much Ado About Nothing is in my opinion one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies. It tackles many subjects including love, deception, loyalty and loss and can be both tender, tagic and comic. It is mainly in prose, though there are some passages in verse.

Altogether a great buy.
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