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Much Ado About Nothing [DVD] 
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DVD Special Features:
Letterbox Ratio 15:9
Dolby Pro Logic
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 the Blu-ray edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
In "Much Ado About Nothing," that formula works to near-perfection. A comedy of errors possibly written in one of the Bard's busiest years (1599) - although as usual, dating is a minor guessing game - "Much Ado" lives primarily from its timeless characters, making it an ideal object for transformation a la Branagh.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this when I saw this at the cinema years ago. I bought this for my teenage daughter and she loved it too.Published 4 days ago by EmmJ
I have loved this film for years, but had it on video - I am so happy to own it now on DVD. Super fast service with Prime.Published 2 months ago by MRS B M C RENARD
Excellent production.Set in 19th C. but not much changed from Shakespeare's day. The American 'star' actors are the weakest link.Published 3 months ago by D.B.