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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare and Whedon? Pure gold
I saw this movie in the cinema, and it was more than worth the price of admission. The combination of Shakespeare, in one of his finest comedies, Joss Whedon at his best and his cast of superb actors made it sublime. The ability of Whedon to take you from hilarity (laugh out loud from everyone) to solemn drama in a moment is beautiful, aided by The Bard's words...
Published 18 months ago by Timothy Yarham

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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but flawed
A director of box-office smashes like The Avengers, and sci-fi TV series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns out to be a closet Shakespeare fan. Not only is he a fan, but he decided to "take a vacation" and shoot Much Ado About Nothing. While the film doesn't seem to be showing in a lot of cinemas, I caught it this weekend in London. (According to IMDB, it seems to be a...
Published 15 months ago by Kirk McElhearn


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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare and Whedon? Pure gold, 13 Jun 2013
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I saw this movie in the cinema, and it was more than worth the price of admission. The combination of Shakespeare, in one of his finest comedies, Joss Whedon at his best and his cast of superb actors made it sublime. The ability of Whedon to take you from hilarity (laugh out loud from everyone) to solemn drama in a moment is beautiful, aided by The Bard's words.

It took me all of about three lines of dialogue before I was captivated.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's so good you will actually laugh at a Shakespeare comedy, 19 Jun 2013
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It is so rare that you go to see a film with high expectations only to find that those expectations did not do the true experience justice. Whedon's skill was to simplify the visual (single location, shot in B/W) but to allow the humour and brilliance of the pure Shakespearean script to bubble from the exciting, young and talented cast. Many of the actors I recognised from earlier Whedon works (such as Angel and Buffy). I can't recommend this film highly enough to the lover of razor sharp dialogue, words that 400 years and a modern setting, have not dulled.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Black and White, 4 Sep 2013
By 
Lewis Prime Ronda (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Saw this in the cinema and have been waiting for it to come out on DVD. The choice of black and white was surprising but SO effective! If you have a hard time understanding Shakespeare, you won't here. The actors did a fantastic job respecting the Bard's words while at the same time saying them in a natural manner. Bravo!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful interpretation, 2 July 2013
This is a really thoughtful, well acted, and amusing take on the great play (far, far better than the Branagh version for example). The modern setting is not a distraction but adds weight to the story - the 'constables' as modern day security agents, the warriors are from the world of finance or business not literally army men, the ways of the modern wealthy middle class fit the story perfectly. Benedict is not the brightest person in the group and rather slow but that works well with the script, and Beatrice is a wonderfully feisty counterpart.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a superb adaptation of a beautiful play., 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Joss Whedon is simply a legend and the fact the man that can bring to us vampire slayers, Avengers and so many other wonderfully eclectic creations, can approach this with such class is incredible.
The cast is a who's who of Whedon stars and friends and this is a joy for all fans. If not a fan, you are greeted instead with superb casting.

Amy Acker is ethereal and stunning as a formidable and formidably confused Beatrice. Alexis Denisof offers us a frustratingly smug but inherently loveable Benedict whilst Nathan Fillion is the jester cop full of laughs and light-hearted relief - the Ass!

I could go on (Clark Gregg, nice one sir) but simply, watch it. Just watch it - don't be reserved by the black and white, the Shakespeare play, just don't. If you like a drama full of twists, turns, deceit, love and unexpected but well-placed chuckles, just watch it and, enjoy!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love story made with love, 28 Jun 2013
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Exquisite, no? Compare Branagh's picture-postcard, classic-serial version. Hard to convey just how or why this is so effective, given the crap plot - well, it's a romance, innit? - but we wept. We haven't a clue who Whedon is or any of the cast (we see a movie a year, max, and scarcely watch TV), but these two old fogeys were touched to the core. And of course we laughed. At Benedick, that is. Dogberry we felt for; more tragedy than farce. Whedon doesn't put a foot wrong. The whole thing felt suffused with love

My last 'hot' films? The Social Network. Sideways. 11 Minutes Ago. Memento. Sweet Liberty. Guess that leaves a few gap years..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing collabertation of Wheadon and Shakespeare, 8 Oct 2014
This is a great adpatation of the play Much ado. The Kenneth Brannagh verison is now a little dated still a great film/play but this one has actors i love a director I adore and most of all amazing prose and passion. When Amy Acker utters the line "I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest" you truely believe it.

Please if you're a fan of wheadon, Amy Acker, Alexi Dansiof or Shakespeare please buy this it's well worth the price.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but flawed, 2 Sep 2013
By 
Kirk McElhearn (Near Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A director of box-office smashes like The Avengers, and sci-fi TV series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns out to be a closet Shakespeare fan. Not only is he a fan, but he decided to "take a vacation" and shoot Much Ado About Nothing. While the film doesn't seem to be showing in a lot of cinemas, I caught it this weekend in London. (According to IMDB, it seems to be a failure financially, opening on only 5 screens in the US.) It's a charming film, but flawed.

In many ways, this movie feels like a student film. Shot in twelve days in Whedon's (capacious) home, edited on a laptop, it's nevertheless far more adventurous than the average film-school student's work. While these constraints do give the film a certain sincerity, I found them to prevent it from being as good as it could.

Whedon shot this in his home, with actors from his TV series, allowing him to whip together a cast he was familiar with. But the problem, for me, is that, while some of the actors slip comfortably into Shakespeare's language, others seem just a bit daunted by the text. Amy Acker, as Beatrice, is brilliant. She has presence and spontaneity, and her lines come out nearly perfectly. But Alexis Denisof, as Benedick, comes across flat and clunky. His nasal voice sounds like a parody of a TV anchor (he sounds a lot like Brian Williams), and he seems less comfortable with the language. However, he gets a couple of physical scenes - such as when he's in the "bower" listening to Don Pedro and Claudio discuss Beatrice's apparent love for him. He rolls about, peeks in windows, and shows good comedic sense and timing.

But other actors don't cut it for me. Fran Kranz as Claudio is stiff, Reed Diamond as Don Pedro has an annoying smirk on his face, and many of the minor characters - notably Spencer Treat Clark, as Borachio - just don't have the right tone to pull off the Elizabethan language. Nathan Fillion as Dogberry doesn't work well either, and the whole bit with the police officers comes off poorly.

In spite of these defects, this Much Ado is enjoyable. The sets are simple and effective, the use of black and white is interesting, and there's a good feel to the production. But it seems that the lack of time - being limited to only twelve days - prevented Whedon from doing just a couple more takes of some scenes, and some of the actors needed more time to get it right. I'd like to see him do more Shakespeare, but I'd like him to take a bit more time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I need not have worried as I loved it!, 24 Oct 2014
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just got back into watching anything by William Shakespeare and this modern version of the play I did wonder if it would meet my expectations. I need not have worried as I loved it !! The two leads were excellent but the scene that brought a tear to my eye was with Clark Gregg so good!! the dvd arrived really early so I was really pleased
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THE SHARK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM, 25 Feb 2014
This is the kind of film that I wish I could rate as minus one star, that is, the "utter trash" category.

The director puts the film in a blender and shake it for no good reason. If you don't like films with shaky camera, then don't order this dvd.

I guess the film will please mainly young people who are always looking for novelty just for the sake of the "new", no matter its quality. The film uses original Shakespeare text but the story happens today, played by men in fashionable suits and beautiful women in equally fashionable clothes. The black and white cinematography is beautiful but quite often the film looks too stylised and sometimes the "bright young things" and the visual theme make the film look like a commercial of a luxury product such as an expensive car or watch.

When the actors speak, using the so called original Shakespeare, their voices sound detached from the scenery. Sound and images just don't match, making for a very artificial and unconvincing combination.

The camera doesn't stop shaking in this extremely bad film. Why is that? The "energy" ? Would the use of a tripod make Shakespeare "boring" ?

I prefer films and don't go to the theatre so forgive my question but do they have mobile chairs in theatres today? Will your chair keep moving whilst you are watching a Shakespeare play, for example, so the play will have more "energy" and you won't get "bored" ?

Or maybe the director put the images in a blender just because he has short span of attention and is unable to look at a stable image for more than 30 seconds without having a throbbing headache.

The poor handheld camerawork brings the film down so does its equally bad sound track.

The film has a couple of soft songs with lyrics by Shakespeare. Those songs are nothing like Roberta Flack's songs, for example. They are just dull, middle class, puerile songs that water down Shakespeare's lyrics.

The ridiculous artificiality caused by the difference between text and images, the visual theme borrowed from commercials, the "bright young things" and the gratuitous shaky camerawork remind me of something I read in Bergman's first biography. He mentions watching a theather play where there was a big aquarium in the middle of the stage. The aquarium was there for no good no reason and Bergman described it as a sign of the saturation we reached in arts.

I think that one could trace a paralel between Bergman's idea and something that happened recently, when some Oxford students planned to display a living shark at their summer Ball. The idea was: Let's do a party but let's do something "new", "different", "innovative". Let's put a shark in a tank and place it in the middle of the room.

This film shares the idiocy of that idea of putting a living shark in a tank, in the middle of the room, during a party where spoiled students think they are reinventing the gunpowder by giving it a different, "innovative" name.

"The shark in the middle of the room" would be a much more appropriate title for this film.

The dvd has subtitles in English and there is one extra feature where the director comments about the film.

One last thought: I watched a film, "Cesar Must Die", which is also a spin on Shakespeare. The film was directed by the brothers Taviani.

The actors are inmates of a Rome prison. Most of the film is in black and white and the story is about inmates from a high security wing of the prison rehearsing Shakespeare's play "Julius Cesar" . Its intensity and humanity is unparalleled to any other Shakespeare film I've seen.

If you are not on "camera in a blender" style or films that look like commercials then you might not like this version of "Much Ado About Nothing". Try, instead, "Cesar Must Die" as an "alternative Shakespeare".

PS. There are far too many abusive comments about legitimate one star reviews on Amazon. Those comments are written by narrow minded and intolerant posters who think they are in Facebook or Twitter and corrupt, with their misplaced cheerleading mode, the purpose of Amazon's reviews.

This is no Facebook or Twitter. This is a place for shopping where people gather different opinions about a product that might, or not, help them to make up their mind about the product.

Let the one star reviews be. But If you really insist in write a comment about this review then elaborate it . Internet hoodlums are not welcome.
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Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray]
Much Ado About Nothing [Blu-ray] by Joss Whedon (Blu-ray - 2013)
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