Written June 23, 2013
For those of you who don't know what you're walking into, take the text from Much Ado about Nothing, give it to some familiar faces in other Whedon works, film it on a gorgeous private property in B&W, and then... play it straight. The words will be archaic. The delivery will be contemporary. It'll take about 5 minutes for your mind to adjust and you can roll with it all the way through to the end.
The story is classic Shakespeare; love won't feel as sincere as the acting wants it to be. Plans will seem half-assed. Passion and rage will come through loud and clear, and the ending is almost contrived.
But you aren't going to this to see the story are you? Of course not. You're going to see a classic done with a new spin and a healthy heaping of style.
Save for Benedick, and occasionally Claudio, the lines are delivered flawlessly. Beatrice shines brightly, bringing color to monochrome. You'll hate Don John. And Dogberry, as he should, steals every scene he's in.
Written June 30, 2013
Study up on your high school lit notes before you go to get in the mood for Shakespeare dialogues (that frequently break out into monologues). The non-stop philandering remind us that humans have not changed in 500 years. Decide for yourself is this is good or bad, but be prepared to elevate your language skills beyond the modern acceptable low level. This movie is a good test of your brains, spirit, conscience, humor, and morality. But in the end it is our human self: motivated by lust, power and need to be loved. The final analysis is that it is all worthwhile if you can laugh and love. Great stuff!
Written June 19, 2013
This movie is nothing less than brilliant. If you are a Shakespeare fan or a Joss Whedon fan (or even for those who don't) the movie is done with such great taste. The actors hit their marks, the delivery, body language, and gestures, all while skillfully acting out their part, left me replaying the movie over and over all night.
The comedy and humor mixed with such a dramatic performance was simply incredible. I'm really glad I saw it on the big screen because it added so much more to the experience.
Written June 26, 2013
This is, by far, the best adaptation of the Bard that I have ever seen. If you have even a remote like for Shakespeare, you must see this film. Joss and cast have done such a beautiful job. It is easy to follow and you forget about the black and white aspect soon after it starts. Go see it!
Written July 01, 2013
Joss Whedon and Friends have done a superb job of showing us Shakespeare, especially the tender and the burlesque elements of Much Ado. It's fun to watch actors we know from other places work in this ensemble, where they are clearly having fun as well.
There's something appealing about the black-and-white cinematography; I'm not sure what--maybe it just reminds me of "art movies" a long time ago, Bergman and Fellini in the early 60s. Right away you are pointed at the artifice (rather than realism): you are aware of looking at an art form, rather than a "slice of life."
This is a sweet, funny film; it leaves you with a pleasant desire to go for a stroll, get an ice cream, maybe see some more Shakespeare.