Excerpt: Shot in black and white, the 1.85:1 image has an extremely wide range of luscious grays and great detail in every lacey designer outfit, glamorous furnishing, and sharp, water surface, bringing to mind a perfume or luxury car ad. The grand piano is a deep black, the flame of the candle sitting upon it a bright white, but in other images, when the brightness is reduced, everything is dampened into shades lost somewhere in the middle, lacking depth and detail.
Summary: My wife and I went on one of our first dates together to see the Kenneth Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing , and if memory serves, we may have even exchanged our first kiss goodnight after that evening out, a testament perhaps to that film's romantic allure. While Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet probably caught the zeitgeist of the nineties more appropriately than Branagh's intentionally purist take on Shakespeare did (or frankly was meant to), there's an...
Excerpt: Joss Whedon seems to be a man who does not understand the concept of downtime. Once shooting wrapped on his wildly ambitious The Avengers , the writer-director was contractually obligated to take a week off before diving into the post-production on the sprawling superhero ensemble piece.
Excerpt: Commonplace as it’s become, doing Shakespeare in modern dress is still tricky business. The burden is mainly on the actors, who have to properly deliver the playwright’s archaic, acrobatic wordplay while still sounding like they belong in the here and now. (Sorry, DiCaprio fans, but Leo nailed only half the equation in Romeo + Juliet —and it wasn’t the half that had anything to do with dialogue.
Excerpt: It has been said that the works of William Shakespeare are so excellent and universal they can be recast into any time and setting and still work with the same efficiency and power as they did on the original London stage. I maintain that until someone does a really good porn version that is in dispute, but people are still trying, with varying degrees of success.
Excerpt: More interesting than the frenzy of love-drunk ploys that overwhelm a party of "noble" men and women in Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing is the setting of the film: the writer-director's own sprawling Santa Monica estate. Employing every nook and cranny of the grounds, every room and patch of grass, this low-scale, scrappy production of Shakespeare's famous work is dependent almost entirely on what Whedon co-owns with his wife, producer Kai Cole, and a...
Conclusion: It’s a shame that the lack of special features dragged my overall score down as this is a fun, romantic, and lush movie that all audiences can enjoy, even the ones who claim to not like Shakespeare. Branagh did an excellent job bringing this material into modern age and making it more appealing to mainstream audiences.
Excerpt: Our story concerns two couples facing some complicated challenges on their way to Happily Ever After. A soldier named Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard, House ) is engaged to be married to the beautiful Hero (Kate Beckinsale, Underworld ), but the scheming Don John (Keanu Reeves, The Matrix ) is doing everything in his power to ruin the relationship.
Summary: When you think "1990s" and "Shakespeare adaptation," the first film that probably comes to mind is Baz Luhrmann's flashy, bullet-riddled Romeo + Juliet , which reimagined the Capulets and Montagues as pistol-packing SoCal gangsters warring on Verona Beach and tooling around town in low-riders. The attempt was to bring Shakespeare to the masses, to couch the Bard's complex verse in easy-to-understand modern imagery.