Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

DVD - 2012
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Joss Whedon's sexy and contemporary spin on Shakespeare's classic comedy about the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a sensual, tragic and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : Lionsgate, [p2012].
Edition: Widescreen version.
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE COMEDY
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (109 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.

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From Library Staff

Play: Much Ado About Nothing ;
Setting: A modern day dinner party _______________________________________________________
Joss Whedon's word-for-word adaptation of Shakespeare's famous comedy. Much Ado was shot at Whedon's home while he was also making The Avengers.


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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

Here's what I really liked about this film--I forgot I was watching an adaptation of Shakespeare in modern times. Sure, I knew the film itself was new, and I recognized the modern setting in the first scene, but immediately it became irrelevant. The characters, the setting, the language, all took me back to another time. It made the heart of Shakespeare's story much more important than in many, more showy modern adaptations. And that seems to be the focus here: the filmmakers remained true to the original on multiple levels.

1
1aa
Apr 30, 2016

Italian names, American accents, modern American suburban professional middle class scenes, all with Shakespearean language. Its in black and white, but that makes it even more tepid and more fake. And it wasn't funny either.

l
lukasevansherman
Sep 03, 2015

"You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a kind of
merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her."
For every successful Shakespeare film, there are about 3 that don't work. A key problem is that contemporary film actors can't really make his language convincing. Another is that directors too often go for gimmicks (Shakespeare in Miami! Shakespeare in space!) rather than substance. Joss Whedon's adaptation of the comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" doesn't take many liberties, even though it's in modern dress. Whedon and his friends spent about 2 weeks filming this at his house so it has a loose, low-key feel to it and Whedon fans will recognize a lot of the actors from other projects. Comparisons with Kenneth Branagth's 1993 version are inevitable. That wasn't a great film, but it had a better cast and more spirit. This is just kind of boring, with many of the actors coming off as awkward. Really only Clark Gregg, Nathan Fillion, and Amy Acker (as Beatrice) pull it off. Modern audiences will no doubt be a little confounded by the whole virgin/cheating/fake death subplot. It is a fairly accessible version of Shakespeare and would probably work well in a class. "Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more. Men were deceivers ever."

l
Lovemylibrary1
Jul 26, 2015

I didn't think this film would ever be remade because who could top Kenneth Branagh's gorgeous creation? But I was wrong. That is the magic of Shakspeare. For instance, how many more times and how many ways will Romeo and Juliet be reimagined? I love this ultra cool telling. Sooo funny!

n
Nursebob
Jul 03, 2015

Apparently shot over twelve days in and around his Santa Monica estate with a cast of industry friends, Joss Whedon’s tepid take on Shakespeare’s romantic farce looks and feels like an overly ambitious home movie. Presented here in casual B&W with all the flair of a yuppie garden party, Whedon does exhibit some imaginative staging with manly arguments taking place amidst the girly trappings of a child’s bedroom and a pair of bumbling police detectives stealing the show with their Laurel & Hardy schtick. But even though Shakespeare’s razor sharp musings on what motivates the sexes are timeless and Whedon claims to have stayed true to the Bard’s prose (with a little editing due to time and budgetary constraints), this truncated southern California version still seems somehow dummied down. Would have made a great student film.

k
Kagamusha
Jun 29, 2015

Much ado about something. Very good with a natural feeling to it that goes well with that Wonderful House. I wish that I had read this beforehand, but just turn it up and listen carefully as it is easily followed. Gregg Clark & Amy Acker were especially good. It came up as a well improvised big old, just plain party. (look at the list of other players at the end...it was huge). Make sure to watch the extra "Bus ado about nothing", Quite fun.

f
forever_ice17
May 31, 2015

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. It is really funny and well acted.

i
ilovewhippets
Mar 09, 2015

This is a good drama, done in black and white. A modernized version. Lots of creativity in this movie! This is not a high-budget movie; yet, it was good.
Yet, if you have seen the original, high-budget movie, "Much Ado About Nothing," and have same expectations, then you will be probably disappointed.
So, I suggest, you go into this movie with an open mind and no expectations! :) Give it a go, and you just might be pleasantly surprised!

t
ThomasJWhiting
Feb 25, 2015

Enjoyabler, but It was a bit hard for me to follow. I'm glad I had subtitles turned on since the Shakespearean style of English can be somewhat difficult to follow.

s
slaterasa
Feb 19, 2015

One of my favorite filmed Shakespeare adaptations ever! I much prefer this version to the Branagh-directed 1993 movie. This is a Shakespeare play as a b/w screwball comedy from the '30s, sexy and funny, and with all of the language intact and beautifully spoken.

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DanniOcean Jan 13, 2014

When I first heard that Joss Whedon, my favourite director, was filming an adaptation of my favourite play, Much Ado About Nothing, by my all-time-favourite-leave-me-on-a-desert-island-with author William Shakespeare, my inner geek gave a loud squeal of joy. When I heard that most of the cast would be from the Whedon ‘verse (former stars of Buffy, Angel, Firefly and The Avengers), my inner geek did a cartwheel and I started counting the days until I could watch this perfect coalescence of film and theatre geekery. Alas, it was not given wide distribution in cinemas, so it was out of reach until available on DVD.

Although filmed on a shoestring budget in less than a week, this version of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy of wits could fool one into thinking it is a clever indie film shot over a number of months. Although shot in a contemporary time and setting (Whedon’s own home, I believe), Whedon’s distinctive framing and the choice of shooting it in black and white gives this version a very classic feel. Yes, the normally three-hour play has been trimmed to a neat 109 minutes, something at which true Shakespeare aficionados may balk, but it is a small price to pay, in my humble opinion, for watching Amy Acker’s stormy, prat-falling Beatrice, or Nathan Fillion’s improvisational antics as Dogberry (pulling of a pretty credible iambic pentameter to boot) - not bad for a bunch of tv and film actors with little to no rehearsal time.

In the dead of winter with the opening of the Stratford Festival still several months away, those with theatre withdrawal can now enjoy this delightful film – and those fans of Joss Whedon can marvel once more at his mastery of the silver screen.

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