Kenneth Branagh's charming, all-star rendition of Much Ado About Nothing comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Surround, while a Spanish soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono. Subtitles are accessible in all three of those languages as well. Supplemental materials include the original theatrical trailer, and a making-of featurette. This is a fine release from MGM/UA that should please Shakespeare fans as well as romantic comedy enthusiasts.
Making much ado featurette
Origional theatrical trailer
English stereo surround
French stereo surround
English, french, & spanish language subtitles
Robert Sean LeonardClaudio
Keanu ReevesDon John
Denzel WashingtonDon Pedro
Richard BriersSeigneur Leonato, Governor of Messina
Okay, so let me start with my minor critical remarks. I thought Robert Sean Leonard's performance was a bit uneven and, Keanu Reeves was well...Keanu Reeves, which is to say I think they could have made a better casting choice. Their performances convinced me of something I've always believed which is that American actors should steer clear of Shakespeare. Having said that, Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton were great as always, so I guess American actors can do Shakespeare after all. When this movie first came out, I went and saw it in the Theatre every week that summer (and I never see any movie more than once in the Theatre so that should give you some idea of how great it is). I laughed, I cried, and in my opinion, its the best Shakespearean comedy adaptation I've seen. Kenneth Branagh's directing is great as are the performances from most members of the cast including a young Kate Beckinsale in her film debut and Emma Thompson who was amazing. The music is great, the costuming and camera work are as well, I can't say enough good things about this movie. If you like Shakespeare, you'll love this movie and even if you're one of those people who struggle with the language in Shakespeare plays I think you'd still enjoy it because the story is very easy to follow even if you don't understand every word which is spoken.
I have loved this movie ever since it came out. It is a great Shakespearian adaptation with amazing actors. Everyone does a great job with their characters. I wish their were more special features but you can't beat blu-ray for the price. It was a must-own for me.
We watch this time and again for the wonderful wordplay between Beatrice and Benedick, masterfully played by Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh. I also get a big kick out of the ridiculous constable, as interpreted by Michael Keaton. It was finally time to get a copy of our own, so we did. This DVD comes with a small special feature, the "making of."