Showing posts with label much ado about nothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label much ado about nothing. Show all posts

6 October 2013

Much Ado About Nothing DVD Review

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Rating:4 stars
DVD/BD Release Date:
7th October 2013 (UK)
Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Joss Whedon
Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz ,Spencer Treat Clark, Reed Diamond, Nathan Fillion,Clark Gregg.
Buy Much Ado About Nothing:
DVD / Blu-ray [Amazon]

When it came to blockbuster spectacle circa 2012, Joss Whedon ruled the waves. His reflective, genre-busting, The Cabin in the Woods had audience and critic alike lauding its equal measures of critique and entertainment. Marvel extravaganza The Avengers knocked it out the part, pulling off an ambitious superhero epic that fulfilled expectations and left us hungry for more. But what did Whedon do next?

Filmed across 12 days at Whedon’s home, this modernisation of the bard’s most humorous work is beautifully realised. His own taste for the comic picks out the silliest physicality and most subtle jokes of the play then relays in his sharp - yet light hearted - way. Much Ado seems to translate Shakespeare’s humour in a way that makes this feature one of the best adaptations to date.

Whedon has always been fairly character driven, The Avengers, for all its action and effects, was essentially driven by the balance of screen time awarded each of its larger-than-life characters. And thus Much Ado is made better time and time again by the band of talent committed to creating this balanced love-play. Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker shine as foe/lovers Beatrice and Benedick, relaying the thin line between love and hate with a vicious kind of tenderness.  Clark Gregg threatens to steal the show as Leonato, his dominating presence and dry humour perhaps fit the script best out of all the cast. When the drama of the lovers perhaps starts to grate, Nathan Fillion professes a comic control second to none as Dogberry.

With this, surely a benchmark for performance has been reached within Whedon’s repertoire, for this is a near-entirely performance based feature. Though, the visual impact of the film is obvious, there are few scenes of genuinely touching image, bar the funeral procession which mixes Gothic imagery with the modern setting, the film can be a bit straight forward. However a tender laid back control of image means his monochrome Shakespeare is impressive and proves the director is just as at home with smaller intimate features as he is with mega-budget fantasy adventures.

A Sleek, sharp, excellently acted, and above all well-orchestrated update, Much Ado About Nothing explores love in all its cruelty and tenderness, whilst keeping intact that staunch element of humour integral to the play. It’s not Luhrmann’s Romeo +Juliet, but it’s definitely Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing


Scott Clark

13 June 2013

Much Ado About Nothing Review

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Firefly creator Joss Whedon takes on Shakespeare in his latest cinematic release; adapting the Bard’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing – which follows two couples in the time leading up to their marriages, while others scheme to thwart their happiness.

As with Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, Whedon’s film makes use of Shakespeare’s original dialect. However unlike that previous work, Much Ado About Nothing  is not so much set in a strictly modern period; instead exuding a timeless that is not representative of one particular era. This is in part due to the film having been shot in black and white – a factor that Whedon notes was due to a limited budget in addition to its aesthetic value.

The cast are assembled mainly from actors whom the director has worked with on previous projects, including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and Nathan Fillion. All are excellent in their roles, and manage the source material very capably; particularly Clark Gregg (The Avenger’s Agent Coulson), performing his comedic turn effortlessly.

Much Ado About Nothing translates to the big screen in such capable hands, with Shakespeare’s humour and Whedon’s wit an appropriate pairing. While this will not appeal to the majority of film audiences, it will undoubtedly please fans of both writers, past and present, and it is good to see that Whedon’s creativity has not floundered following his recent successes. A worthy homage.


Sophie Stephenson

Rating: 12A
Release Date: 14th June 2013 (UK)
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg