July 10, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

Joss Whedon's Much Ado adaptation is delightful. Whedon makes the most of his self-imposed limitations; only in the police station scenes does the production value let down the quality of the material. The photography is adequate, and the music is a mixed bag of great and underbaked. The performances are great. Alexis Denisof is terrific as Benedick.
NOTE: for the life of me I could not remember where I knew him from. Turns out he's Sandy Weathers, the New York 1 anchorman and former colleague of Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), from nine episodes of How I Met Your Mother! Denisof has worked with Whedon on Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, and the Avengers movie too- that must be how Smulders ended up playing Nick Fury's aide in The Avengers?
Beatrice eavesdrops
on Hero and Margaret
Produced and filmed as a lark with all his buddies, it's kinda uncanny how the casting of Whedon's Much Ado is ranked by number of TV episodes + movies made with Whedon.
The only exception is Clark Gregg, who has a major role in Much Ado, but has only made one movie with Whedon (so far)...
  • Alexis Denisof (Benedick): 114 episodes of Buffy, Angel, and Dollhouse + 1 movie
  • Amy Acker (Beatrice): 84 episodes of Angel and Dollhouse + 1 movie
  • Fran Kranz (Claudio): 27 episodes Dollhouse + 1 movie
  • Nathan Fillion (Dogberry): 19 episodes of Firefly and Buffy + 1 movie
  • Sean Maher (Don John): 14 episodes of Firefly + Serenity
  • Reed Diamond (Don Pedro): 13 episodes of Dollhouse
  • Ashley Johnson (Margaret): 2 episodes of Dollhouse + The Avengers
  • Clark Gregg (Leonato): The Avengers movie only
  • Romy Rosemont (The Sexton): The Avengers movie only
  • Riki Lindhome (Conrade): 1 episode of Buffy
Theater Notes: The crowd at the dreaded West Newton Cinema were plenty quiet enough, although they could have been drowned out by the "hissiest" audio soundtrack of any first-run movie I've ever seen. Also, the film's condition was poorer than any first-run film I've ever seen. I have watched decades-old vintage 35mm prints at the Brattle Theater that were this bad, but this movie only came out in June! And for this I paid $11?