Review: Muito Barulho por Nada (Much Ado About Nothing) DVD from H2OFilmes.

This is my tentatively brief review of the locally released DVD for Joss Whedon’s modern adaptation from William Shakespeare play “Much Ado About Nothing” – “Muito Barulho por Nada” from distributor H2O Filmes.

If you were living under a rock, this is the movie that Joss Whedon shot at his home in 12 days in October of 2011, during his mandatory break between the end of principal photography for The Avengers and the start of the editing process.  The movie gathers friends and cast members that can be recognized from his previous projects, and its origins go back to the Shakespeare readings with cast & crew at his house when Buffy and Angel were still in production, which can also be credited for helping “Once More, With Feeling” and the creation of Illyria happen . The movie produced by Bellweather a small production company founded by Joss and his wife Kai Cole (who also designed the house),  was originally shown at TIFF 2012, when the US distribution rights  were sold to Lionsgate (that also saved The Cabin in the Woods from the 2009 MGM limbo) and the handling of international distribution went to Kaleidoscope. The movie was finally released more widely to the public this year. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie has already grossed $4,328,849 domestically and $938,796 worldwide from 5 markets that had “wide” releases of the it: the UK, Australia, New Zeland, Mexico and Brasil. I assume grosses from the movie festival circuit do not count.

Our friends from the UK were the first country to receive the home video (DVD and Bluray) release of this title back in October 7th, plagued by reports that even the BD version lacked the full set of extras that were announced for the US release, which would happen only a day later on the 8th. From a email contact to the UK distributor by Whedonesque member feelinglistless, the reasoning behind the lack of extras in the British release was revealed:

Just spoken to the UK distributor via email.

The Joss commentary on the UK discs was commissioned by the UK distributor and they licensed it out to other distributors and Lionsgate took it.

But Lionsgate wouldn’t license out their US extras to the UK, which seems a bit stingy to say the least which is why we don’t have them.

feelinglistless | October 08, 14:33 CET

Ever since a lot was wondered about what would happen to other local releases.

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So here’s my copy of the local Brazilian DVD release for the movie from the distributor that also handled the theatrical release, it just arrived this afternoon. Seems like extra content are really licensed by the distributor, it doesn’t matter that Lionsgate has packed the US release with a lot of interesting features – my copy of US DVD still on its way,  There’s only the DVD release, the distributor opted not to do a BluRay release for the title. The DVD itself is Region Free, but there’s no Extras at all, as you can see on the back cover above.

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DVD Title screen containing only Star the Movie, Language Selection and Scene Selection option. No Extras.

 

 

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Audio and Subtitle selection:

  • Very standard options: Dolby Digital 2.0 or Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: Portuguese Subtitles or No Subtitles.
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Scene Selection, with entire movie separated in 8 segments.

  • All Menu are static, while the wonderful voice of Maurissa Tancheroen is in background with “Sigh no More”.

Considering how bare of extra content the title is, it was too expensive (I think I paid about the same for the US DVD, and that’s including the international shipping charges and the currency exchange rates), and seems like it’s not widely available everywhere. I could only track it down to be bought at 2001 Videos, which is a more specialty store that targets more artsy customers, but you cannot track it at larger chains at all, even bookstores like Livraria Cultura that usually sell independent titles. If you are a fan and was not able to find it theatrically, hopefully it’s not that hard to find it, especially if you must have the Portuguese subs.

I did try to contact H2O Filmes by email last week, but they never got back to me. As one of my major concerns was about the extra content, I think they just decided to ignore me and be done with it. My other question was about the release date, which clearly happened shortly after the US release.

As much as I am bummed out by the lack of extra content from this local DVD release, I am at least content that it happened. Moreover, I am really happy that H2O Filmes was able to make the theatrical release happen despite multiple delays (it was originally slated for July, then moved to early august, then to late august).  It was brief, it probably lasted only 3 weeks in very few cinemas (only 2 weeks in my city), but at least it happened from this small distributor. UIP which handled the local distribution for both Serenity and also The Cabin in the Woods, were  not even able to show them theatrically. I was only able to watch Serenity on the big screen thanks for the movie festival, still annoyed that I never had the big screen experience for The Cabin in the Woods. Suffice to say, I’d like to say a very public thank you to H2O Filmes for the theatrical distribution of the movie here, despite the DVD release still lacking a lot.

To finish-up the post here are some pictures from the Theatrical release period back in August, I did share some of them on Flickr and Instagram back then. Also, a picture of the original line-up of cinemas that had the movie on the first week of release in Brasil (taken from their Facebook page):

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Cinema Line-Up from 1st week of release in Brasil (taken from the movie’s Facebook page).

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Movie Banner on release weekend @ Cinepolis JK Iguatemi

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Also from opening week, at screening room entrance @ Espaço Itaú Frei Caneca Sala 9 – The following week it was moved to Sala 6, same size, but better screening quality and sound.

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My favorite movies of 2010.

Wow, I’m on time this year around.

As usual, since 2003, I’ve been logging every movie I’ve watched. Every previous I’ve attempted to try to be a regular reviewer failed terribly, so I simply compile these lists, which is more a reflection of how I’ve enjoyed them.

Even if I appreciate a lot a movie for it’s script and production, doesn’t always mean I loved it. Sometimes I might even find the most ludicrous written and produced movie amusing, and for that I’d enjoyed it so much to include among my favorites.

I find that despite a very disappointing Summer season of movies overall (with some very very bright stars), 2010 was a more satisfying year for movies in my opinion.

My Favorite Movies I watched in 2010:

(In no particular order, except the order I watched them)

– Sherlock Holmes (can’t believe I’d ever include a Guy Ritchie’s film among my favorites, but this was a great “update” and the cast deserve a lot of credit for my listing it here)

– How to Train Your Dragon (It be so good if this was the new template for Dreamworks animation, sadly if the recent shown Kung Fu Panda 2 trailers is any indication, it will not be the new template. Don’t get me wrong Kung Fu Panda was fun but that was it. How to Train Your Dragon was filled with heart that are usually only found in Pixar movies, not only that was gorgeously produced and very well written).

– Ghost Writer (I still got a few chapters of The Ghost to finish, but Roman Polansky did it again with an impressive cast nonetheless)

– Toy Story 3 (The movie of the year in my opinion. I was “cursing” Pixar for making me cry again, don’t know which was worse, me crying when Andy handed the toys over to Bonnie this year, of last year during the Ellie Badge thing in Up.)

– Inception

– Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

– The Social Network (if Toy Story 3 wasn’t around, I think this would probably be the movie of the year for me).

– Lost Paradise in Tokyo (a Japenase movie about forming a disfunctional family in a disfunctional city)

– Air Doll

– Third Star (I’m a sucker for movies that explore friendships and this was a very well done one.)

– Friendship! (Fun, fun, fun…. I would almost call it AmericaTrip, cause it reminded me of Eurotrip in several moments).

-Exit Through the Gift Shop (I love how midway through you’re almost forced to question whether this is really a documentary or just another one of Banksy works of art).

– Kyoto Uzumasa Monogatari – Kyoto Story (a lovely piece of changes in this town)

– 聽說 – Hear Me (I’m almost disappointed I didn’t bought the DVDs on sight, because they were already available in Taiwan, when I was back there in August)

– R. U. There (a very cool companion piece for some of the subjects explored in The Social Network).

 

Worst Movies I watched in 2010

– Nine (how could this gathered talent turn out something this bad).

– Sex and the City 2 (at least I didn’t have to pay to watch this)

– Brilliantlove (one of rare times I almost left the movie midway through, had to be really strong to get to the end of it, and it wasn’t even a long movie. It had a interesting concept, but director decided he preferred to create a soft-porn movie instead.)

– Ponto.org (Ugh, great concept, dreadful delivery).

 

Honorable Mentions

– Zombieland (it premiered late here, so I only got to watch it in 2010. A precussor for the Zombie fare it would come later in the year)

– Kick-Ass (anyone else remember Chloe Moretz as the little sister from 500 Days of Summer, I do. Already found her impressive back then).

– Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Underrated. It was not meant to be huge at all, it reminded me of some great adventure movies from the 80’s)

– Ponyo, gorgeous movie, I still prefer some of the previous Yamazaki movies though.

– Paranormal Activity 2, don’t  know how long the gimmick will last, but this was very well done.

– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. OK, I think I never put this online. But I’m not the biggest fan of the 3rd film, which seems to be the favorite among a lot of people. I hated some of the direction Cuaron took, and the script did not help, it’s just a fine adaptation, and the book wasn’t even that big. And after how terrible the adaptation for Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince were, It’s very satisfying to get DH Part 1, to be one of the best movies of the series.  I’d place it among 3 of the best from the series so far. In my opinion the other 2 would be Goblet of Fire (Mike Newell brought a level of Britishness that lacked in Cuaron trip here) and The Secret Chamber (despite Columbus making a bit too HomeAlone in some moments, still one of the best adapted books).

– Karate Kid – I still think they should have re-titled this to Kung-Fu Kid. But I’m impressed how good it was. And it’s impressive how more violent it is compared to the original, and the remake featured much younger kids.

– The Town – I love how good a director that Ben Affleck is becoming and what an amazing cast movie this was.

– Never Let me Go – A very good adaptation. The book still carries a much stronger message.

– Buried (it’s haunting, but I bet the average north-american audience hated the ending).

– Black Swan- Gorgeous movie. Will I watch it again? I don’t think so.

– Easy A

Follow-up: Guessing the cover: EW Fall TV Preview 2010.

So as it seems EW might be dropping the main feature on the cover, and going with the multiple feature cover like the b-cover from last year.

So in a few ways, I did guessed right some of the features. Here’s the cover for the new issue released last friday:

Featuring:

Tina Fey (30 Rock – NBC)

Jane Lynch (Glee – FOX)

Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim (Hawai Five-O – CBS) – Who carry combined experiences through Battlestar Galatica, 24, Angel and Lost.

Sofia Vergara (Modern Family – ABC) – I was right about the assets, wasn’t I?

Michael C. Hall (Dexter – Showtime)

Courtney Cox-Arquette and Jennifer Aniston (Cougar Town – ABC) – I completely blanked out about this, when listing my guesses.

Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory – CBS)

Surprised that they featured Michael C. Hall, but included nothing from The CW.

3 of them are repeats from last year mosaic cover: Courtney Cox-Arquete, Michael C. Hall and Tina Fey.

Disappointed that they decided to feature 30 Rock again, instead of featuring something that was a lot more fun last season like Chuck.

Guessing the cover: EW Fall TV Preview 2010.

It’s that time of the year again. How time flies when you’re living it. Even when you could be living it even more.

Anyway, since I already did most of the needed catch up (See the following posts from last year here and here), let’s just do a fast countdown and go directly to this year’s guesses:

– Here’s the Network Tally:

A total of 20 covers so far

ABC: 5 (Twin Peaks, Alias, Lost, Greys Anatomy and Private Practice)

CBS: 0 – a big zero.

FOX: 5 (Married with Children, Melrose Place [2x], Time of Your Life, Fringe)

NBC: 7 (Seinfeld, Friends, Suddenly Susan, Veronica’s Closet, Titans, Miss Match and Joey)

WB: 1 (Dawson’s Creek)

UPN: 1 (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer)

The CW: 1 (Gossip Girl)

THE GUESSES

Just like last year, I’ll list my possible guesses for the cover below, with pros and cons. Won’t add odds, because I suck at that assessment.

1) Hawai Five-O – CBS

Pros: Will this finally be the CBS year. After 20 years, EW have yet to grace the #1 network with a Fall Preview issue Cover. Not only a remake of a really classic show, it’s the network 3rd bet on Alex O’Loughlin, who starred in Moonlight (before it’s time, cancelled right before the most recent vampire boom) and Three Rivers. It must be one of the most buzzed new shows for this season.

Cons: EW front cover rarely features new shows with some rare and not impressive cases, also would be another year featuring a drama on the cover. Considering that last season was the season of the new comedies, maybe they’re going to be the ones featured in this year’s cover.

2) Modern Family – ABC

Pros: Beloved by public and critics, Just received an Emmy for best comedy duking it out with Glee. After such a long time wihtout so much buzz about comedies, last year was finally the year.

Cons: Huge ensemble cast, who to feature? Who gets almost a starring nod besides Sophia Vergara’s very prominent features.  OK, bad joke. Sorry for that. But, come on, it’s hard not to look if you’re a heterosexual male.

3) The Big Bang Theory – CBS

Pros: One of the biggest moves from the new fall programming was CBS, stopped being completely safe, and moving one of their highest rated shows from it’s safe spot on Monday Nights, to the so sought after Thursday Night, facing directly against what used to be the home of “Must See TV” NBC, in an already very busy night. Also Jim Parsons was finally recognized for his amazing work as Sheldon. Who to feature on the cover? Jim Parsons of Course. And it finally break the no EW Fall Preview covers for CBS.

Cons: I don’t really have any cons for this ones. Maybe only for the fact is the last show that I remembered to include in the list, and just got in time to include it in the middle of the list. But if there’s a show in this list that I would place on top of my bet list would be this one.

4) Glee – Fox

Pros: Look, here are the Gleeks again.  19 nominations to the Emmy and were basically duking it out for best comedy with Modern Family.

Cons: Same problem as Modern Family, who to feature in a big enssemble cast, but having Jane Lynch as a standout character in the show, might solve this issue. However, Fox two years in a row?

5) Chuck – NBC

Pros: A really beloved show, that seems to not be seen by enough people. An impressive cast and in my case a central couple I really want as a couple (I am among the few who don’t want Temperance and Seeley as a couple on Bones, neither do I want Rick and Kate as a couple on Castle). Having either Zachary Levi alone on the cover, or him with Yvonne would look amazing.

Cons: NBC did renew it for another season, but it wasn’t for a full fledged 22 episode season, only a 13 episode one, and the show still need to fight it out to get the back 9.  I’m already saving a few coins to get a few Subway meals. Also, almost half of the EW covers featured NBC shows, and almost half of them featuring failures.

6)The Office – NBC

Pros: It’s Steve Carrel’s last season heading the show. That’s all I have.

Cons: The Office, hasn’t been a critical darling for the last 2 seasons or so. Jim and Pam got a bit boring ever since they got married and  Rainn Wilson’s Dwight is now basically a caricature.  Despite the impressive fact thathalf the production and writing staff are part of the cast.

If there was a 7th bet I might’ve put in here is CW’s Vampire Diaries, but as most of this network’s shows will have already premiered by the time this issue is releases, I doubt it’ll feature them. Vampire Diaries is probably one of the 1st major broadcast shows to return, which will happen this Thursday, September, 9th.

As a round-up I’m basically putting my bets that a comedy will be featured on the cover, and maybe this will finally be a year to feature a CBS show.

My favorite movies of 2009.

And finally I reach the point I meant to reach 9 months ago. Not really an accomplishment, more like reach an overdue goal.

INTRO: Ever since 2003, I started to log every movie I watch, as I was starting to average almost a movie per week.

As everyone been doing rundown of movies of the decade thing, I’m going to go through these logs and list my favorite movies of each year.

These are my favorite movies of 2009.

– Australia (underrated, but I really enjoyed it. Also having enjoyed it with my mom, might have helped to put it in this list)

– Changeling

– Slumdog Millionaire

– Watchmen (a better adaptation than I expected)

– Gran Torino (Great year for Clint Eastwood movies, normally I’m not a huge fan of him or his movies)

– I Love You Man

– Star Trek (was never able to enjoy any of the shows, but I enjoyed this take from JJ. Abrams)

– Push

– Okuribito (Departures)

– Veronika Decides to Die

– Up

– 500 Days of Summer

– Paranormal Activity

– The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (it wasn’t in this list originally, but I got to re-watch it on the plane last month, and made me appreciate it in another light)

– Quanto dura o amor ( is an indie Brazilian movie that deserves to be checked out, if you ever get the chance. You know how some movies New York City is almost like a character in the movie itself, this movie happens to be able to do the same with Sao Paulo, and that’s not the only reason to check it out. The movie was really well produced, with well rounded characters).

Least favorite movies of 2009:

– The Day the Earth Stopped (the remake with Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connely and Jayden Smith – a remake that no one asked for)

– Angels & Demons (hated how it was adapted)

– Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (my nostalgia compels me to watch the movie, which is terrible. This sequel happens to be 10 times worse than the 1st Michael Bay trip into this universe).

– The Ice Age 3 (how not to do 3D for the sake of 3D)

– Besouro (A long form movie should not be like a Music Video, it’s not only about the flash stuff, but also about the script and the rest of the movie. Everything cool about this movie is in the trailer, the rest if just forgetable).


Random Thoughts

These random thoughts are more about why certain movies were not included in either one of the lists above.

This was the year with the real explosion of 3D movies, with the biggest name in this being James “I’m the king of the World’ Cameron’s Avatar. I enjoyed Avatar, I did go to the theater multiple times.  But in the end of the day, it was less about the movie, but a lot more about the cinematic experience the movie provided. The movie was finally taking the 3D screening experience to another level.
I think most of the Avatar detractors, which includes anyone who simply pointed how similar the story was to Pocahontas, pointed how silly is the script, without actually experiencing it, were people who see cinema only as a rational stuff. The magic that was Avatar was the combination of a lot of things, it was a the big screen, the stereoscopy, it’s watching it in a packed screening room, with a bowl of popcorn on your lap. It’s a combo. I think that’s a reason I don’t list the movie among my favorites despite multiple watchings. I don’t own the DVD or Blu-Ray Disk of the movie, and don’t plan to get it anytime soon, as I would never be able to replicate the same experience at home.

Two movies that I think some people might have expected me to feature in the least favorite lists are Dragonball: Evolution and GI. Joe. Unfortunately, I actually enjoyed both on them in some level. They were fun. I’m no purists here, in the sense that I was never a HUGE fan of the Dragonball franchise or the GI. Joe franchise. The movies were fun, mindless fun and you can leave them at that.

Two movies that I think deserve some props but are widely detracted from this year are Gamer and the new Fame. Gamer with all star cast, reminded me a lot of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, by exploring at first some exploitation themes, and then delving deeper into subjects of self-identity, choice and will. Fame from Kevin Tancharoen was a fun movie, a way better remake than a lot of stuff that’s out there, and tried to update some concerns from similar templates from the original movie.

Hangover: watched it and despite enjoying the work from cast, still feel it was one of the most overated movies from this year.

My favorite movies of 2008.

As I review this, it might not be clear, I’m only listing the best (favorite) and the worse (least favorite), no listing all the movies I’ve seen that year. Which would take a lot of work to type in. After a brief count I do watch at least 60 movie titles per year, and that number is higher in years I was less busy.

Now, let me head into 2008.

INTRO: Ever since 2003, I started to log every movie I watch, as I was starting to average almost a movie per week.

As everyone been doing rundown of movies of the decade thing, I’m going to go through these logs and list my favorite movies of each year.

These are my favorite movies of 2008.

– Cloverfield

– Definitely Maybe

– Soom (Breath)

– Iron Man

– Red Belt

– Wall-e

– The Dark Knight

– The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

– Apenas o Fim

– Lat Den Ratte Komma In (Let the Right one In)

– Romance

– Die Tranen Meiner Mutter

– 流浪,神,狗。人 (God, Man, Dog)

– Sydney White

My Least favorite movies of 2008.

– Hancock (1st time ever I almost left the movie in the middle, it was that bad. Can’t believe they’re talking about sequels – I think it’s the worse movie in this list, and there’s some bad stuff below).

– The Happening (The movie that made me lose faith on M. Night Shyamalan)

– Max Payne

– In the name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (it’s Uwe Bowe. No other comment is needed)

– Twilight

Random Comments

Yes. This was the year that started the sparkly vampire madness. If only the movies were actually good or passable, it would be a less sad fact.

It was very bad year for movies, but also a very good one with some titles that will probably stand the test of time. The Dark Knight and Iron Man, two comic book hero movies, done very differently, both with different strengths. And then, there’s Wall-e. I still remember a few years ago when Pixar revealed their slate of upcoming movies, and included both Wall-e and Up. I remember a lot of people winking, and the result were some of the best movies in recent years.  I think Wall-e (the character) might be one of my favorite fictional creations in recent years.

This was also a great year, if you enjoy “foreign” (as in non-hollywood) movies from other countries. I watched great movies from Europe, Asia, and local Brazilian movies are also getting more prominent in my favorite lists.  Among 2008 was Lat Den Ratte Komma In, which Hollywood is remaking as Let me in, and will debut sometime in the next few months, despite the great casting for the US version, I doubt it’ll be a moody and creepy as the original movie.

If you haven’t seen it yet and plan to, I’ll leave you with the same advice from a few posts before. Watch the remake first, then  try the original, never go other way around. The next one to survive this next, might be the adaptations for the Millenium Trilogy series, which David Fincher is the man behind this ship, and have a hard task to follow the amazingly well done Swedish adaptations.

My favorite movies of 2007.

Hey at this pace, I might be able to finish this today.

So here we go.

INTRO: Ever since 2003, I started to log every movie I watch, as I was starting to average almost a movie per week.

As everyone been doing rundown of movies of the decade thing, I’m going to go through these logs and list my favorite movies of each year.

These are my favorite movies from 2007, in no particular order:

– 詭絲 (Silk)

– Dreamgirls

– Last Kiss

– Chinjeolhan geumjassi (Lady Vengeance)

– PIrates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

– Zodiac

– Ratatouille

– Paris Je T’aime

– Rogue Assassin

– Cashback

– Gone Baby Gone

– Mon Melleur Ami

– Across the Universe

– Hot Fuzz

– Dororo

– Stardust

These are my Least favorite movies of 2007.

– Tranformers

– Snow White, the Sequel

– Number 23

With the amount of movies that I enjoyed, and number of movies I watched and didn’t like, gotta say that 2007 was a great year for movies, if you knew how to choose.