Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Movie Review: Much Ado About Nothing

Some people were looking forward to Monsters U or World War Z this weekend, but the movie I most wanted to see was Much Ado About Nothing.

Almost immediately after filming was done on The Avengers, before he got into the final production Joss Whedon needed to clear his directoral palette. Joss Whedon took a long weekend, invited a bunch of friends over to his house, and filmed a modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. If you're a frequent visitor to the Whedonverse you'll recognize most of the cast. He pulled people in from Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and The Avengers.

Most importantly, the film manages to make Shakespeare understandable. I'd happily show this to kids to show them that Shakespeare is still relevant or as a supplement to reading the play to help them make the leap from thick, incomprehensible prose to an actual story. Because, yes, the whole thing is still in the original iambic pentameter. Captain Reynolds (Firefly) shows the police force as inept and  bumbling. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce and Fred Burkle play strong bickering romantic leads and provide some relief to Angel fans who watched Whedon put them together only to promptly kill her off and break all our hearts. Dr. Simon Tam (Firefly) shows that he should be the first choice as narrator for the next Twilight Zone reboot. And an uncredited character from The Avengers manages to use that to launch her career as the love interest Hero to Claudio, played by Topher Brink (Dollhouse).

The whole thing is just an example of what happens when the director of the third most profitable movie and a show that changed how TV is written gets together with his friends. And you get to tour his house and yards.

I'll get it on DVD and put it on the shelf next to Hamlet starring Captain Picard and Doctor Who and Coriolanus starring Voldemort and King Leonidas.

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