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No Fear: Much Ado About Nothing (Sparknotes No Fear Shakespeare) [Paperback]

John (ed) Crowther
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Book Description

1 Nov 2004 1411401018 978-1411401013
No Fear Shakespeare gives you the complete text of "Much Ado About Nothing" on the left-hand page, side-by-side with an easy-to-understand translation on the right. Each No Fear Shakespeare contains
  • The complete text of the original play
  • A line-by-line translation that puts Shakespeare into everyday language
  • A complete list of characters with descriptions
  • Plenty of helpful commentary

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No Fear: Much Ado About Nothing (Sparknotes No Fear Shakespeare) + Much Ado About Nothing: York Notes Advanced
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sparknotes (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411401018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411401013
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's more popular comedies, with a long history of success on the stage. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars should I buy it? 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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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Superb Film - Rotten DVD 22 July 2008
The Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson version of 'Much Ado About Nothing' is one of the happiest and most charming films I have ever seen (despite the tense bit in the middle and the tedious nature of the bard's original story).
This DVD is let down -so- badly by the rough and ready transfer, which has the following problems:
1) This is 1.4ish:1 and not widescreen as it says on the packaging (the original film -was- widescreen)
2) The colour in the original film was wonderful - alas not the DVD, where unsightly colour aliasing and contours are evident
3) There isn't even a decent Scene Selection capability, just a small number of whole 'acts', so it is very hard to find your place if you don't see it all the way through
4) No Extras whatever, despite the fact that there was a lovely 'making of' featurette made (I watched it on TV).

Please, please, please could we have a widescreen anamorphic reissue (Region 2) with all of the above corrected?

I for one would pay full price.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Kenneth Branagh's adaption of Much Ado About Nothing is a sheer delight to watch. I first saw it six years ago to prepare for a performance of it at school. The whole class fell in love with the film and while it may fall behind Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet in pure greatness, it soars ahead in sheer fun and exuberance.

As with Hamlet from 3 years later, the set is moved forward a few hundred years which just gives a fresh and vibrant touch to the film. Branagh himself plays Benedick and the chemistry between him and his (then) wife Emma Thompson as Beatrice makes you wonder why they could ever have split up. It is the war of words between these two that provide some of the main highlights of the film, especially their initial exchange:

Benedick: 'God keep your lady in that so some man may 'scape a pre-destinate scratched face'.

Beatrice: 'Scratching could not make it worse onto such a face as yours'.

Benedick: 'Well you are a rare parrot teacher'.

Beatrice: 'A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of your tongue'

Benedick: 'I wish my horse had the speed of your tongue'.

Branagh is also not afraid to throw in American actors and their effect ranges from the fish in water (Denzel Washington's Don Pedro), to the aquittable Keanu Reeves to the outstanding thespian but altogether too Yankee Robert Sean Leonard. However the real American star of the film is Michael Keaten with his sidekick Ben Elton who give a Monty Pythonesque twist to Dogsberry and Verges.

Branagh directs the film with style and his choice of music is outstanding. The all-star cast deliver as expected and it all adds up to one of my alltime favourite films.

One little criticism is the actual DVD itself.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I do love this film version of Much Ado About Nothing and I want to point out that the two stars are not for the film at all but for the DVD. Having gone to the trouble (and not inconsiderable expense) of ordering it, I was severely disappointed that it had NOTHING but the film as such. No extra material whatsoever, not even subtitles, and you cannot even switch to the beginning of each scene, just of each act! It would have been far less expensive to buy the videotape, and that would have been equally useful.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fatally Flawed 4 Feb 2004
I reviewed this film when the DVD was first released, but amazon, in their wisdom didn't publish it. so...
Lets not get this wrong. I love this film. I really do.
On the other hand this DVD is a travesty.
The picture quality is the same as the video, that is not as good as the copy i made off the TV! Sound quality is excellent (unlike the video).
No extras. Poor picture. Great sound and acting.
I don't know if the US version is any better, but it can't be any worse.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic scenery
We're going to stay in the castle this was filmed in next March and so got the film to see what it looks like - the film was very good and the scenery was fantastic, can't wait for... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Ms Janet S Hatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
A classic film.
Published 16 days ago by J Lye
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, Emma Thompson is beautiful and super-talented. Bit cheesy,...
Kenneth Branagh = hottie
Published 16 days ago by HB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought for present for daughter who loves Shakespear.
Published 23 days ago by soso
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the more enjoyable interpretations of this play. ...
One of the more enjoyable interpretations of this play. Made me laugh & cry. Branagh's intuitive directing and acting make this film a masterpiece for Shakespeare enthusiasts
Published 23 days ago by Michele Gannon-Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exactly as stated!
Published 25 days ago by Sarah Keppel
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great film; well done Mr Branagh
A really great film; well done Mr Branagh!!! Great acting, great fun. I have seen it 5 times and enjoyed it every time.
Published 1 month ago by D. RIDER
4.0 out of 5 stars as it leads you through some amazing stories.
I have watched Joss Weldon's black and white Much ado about Nothing so many times that I decided to read the full play. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sue
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven, but a lot of fun
Not my favorite Shakespeare play, lacking the rich, playful complexities of some of the Bard's other comedies, I've always felt on a pure plot level this feels more simplistic,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Gordon
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
not suitably for Kindle
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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