Saturday, June 22, 2013

7 Reasons You Should Go See "Much Ado About Nothing" ASAP

1. Let's watch that trailer again:

Drooling yet? You should be. If not, check in with the nearest Shakespeare film expert to see if Zombies have eaten your brain.

2. Adapted from the Shakespeare play by Joss Whedon. Directed by Joss Whedon. Produced by Joss Whedon. Music composed by Joss Whedon.

Remember the last film from 2012 that had similar credits? The Avengers.

3. Here's a cast list to drool over:
  • Amy Acker (Angel & Dollhouse) as Beatrice - I didn't think her slight frame could keep up with the part, but I was wrong.
  • Nathan Fillion (Firefly & Serenity, Buffy as a super guest star) as Dogberry - Perfect. The best Dogberry I've ever seen.
  • Clark Gregg (Avengers) as Leonato - I liked his balance between Head of Household and Loving Father.
  • Fran Kranz (Dollhouse & Cabin in the Woods) as Claudio - Best performance I've ever seen of his and I loved him in Dollhouse.
  • Sean Maher  (Firefly & Serenity) as Don John - Terrifying.
  • Reed Diamond (Dollhouse) as Don Pedro - Quite jolly, actually.
  • Alexis Denisof (Buffy, Angel & Dollhouse as a super guest star) as Benedick - Good. I liked David Tennant better. 
  • Riki Lindhome (Buffy guest star) as Conrade - Brilliant change from male to female character.
4. Joss solves many of the common problems of the play, especially since it's been reset to modern Pasadena:

  • Don John is seriously menacing. Not the weak cipher he was in the Tennant version nor the odd, out of step Keanu he was in the Branagh film. Conrade has been transformed to a female and she's used effectively. 
  • Claudio is incredibly sympathetic, which, if you go by the text alone, he just a jerk.
  • Borachio's motivation for setting up Hero's marriage to fail is believable. 
  • Dogberry and Verges are definitely comic relief but in a way that's believable and not quite so over the top as Michael Keaton was in Branagh's film.  
  • Antonio has been excised completely, which was done to save time. Although I like Brian Blessed in Branagh's film, the conversion to Antionia, Hero's mother, in the Tennant production was a lot more interesting. 
  • Margaret is very sympathetic without losing her droll remarks. 
It is the best interpretation of the whole play I've ever seen. Branagh's is good but Don John and Dogberry don't fit. Tennant's is better in some respects (I really like his Don Pedro and the switch from Antonio to Antonia) but Claudio is such a whiner. 

5. The video available of David Tennant's Much Ado is from a stage performance which automatically changes the behavior of the actors, especially with the acknowledgement of the audience. Kenneth Branagh knows he's making a film but he had such a restricted budget that it limited his set and costumes that it sometimes seems like a slightly grander theatre performance. Joss' film is so intimate and the lines slip by so quickly we were in the second act before I'd really adjusted to the difference of perspective. I guess I just need to see it again. 

6. I loved all of the original music. It is used in the background, as would be appropriate at a party or a wake. 

7. The more people who see the film, the more money it will make, which might encourage Joss to make another Shakespeare movie. Measure for Measure is my first choice. It has so many delicious problems to wrestle with. That could be awesome. 

Here's Jen

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