I have a geek confession to make. I'm not really a fan of Joss Whedon. I don't hate him. He's made some enjoyable things. I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer - it's a very fun show with some brilliant episodes but with far too many just decent ones to elevate the entire show into more than just a good category. I've tried to get into Firefly a few times but can never get past about the third episode. The Avengers was a good superhero movie, but nothing more. Etc. I admit that Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was brilliant, but he's never achieved that level of awesome in anything else. I just don't get the nerd love that he gets. I don't understand his legion of fans who think he's the greatest guy around.
I feel guilty about it though. I have so many friends who just adore him. The internet is loaded with his fanboys and girls. These things make me feel like I'm just not getting it, like something is wrong with me for not loving all things Joss. Which makes me want to like him, and so I watch nearly everything he does hoping to finally understand.
Which brings us to Shakespeare. I do like the Bard. A lot. I have an English degree from university and we studied most of Shakespeare's plays a great deal. I used to live in Montgomery, AL where they have a really brilliant Shakespeare festival and I was able to attend quite a few of his plays. Shakespeare really is someone whose work you need to see live in the theatre as opposed to just reading on the page. I've watched many movie adaptations and even caught a version of The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe Theater in London. None of this means anything, of course, but I write it all in order to say I do love me some Shakespeare.
Joss Whedon just off the production of his enormous, expensive, blockbuster of a film The Avengers decided to make a small Shakespearian comedy and shot his version of Much Ado About Nothing in 12 days in his very own house. This gets me very interested. I'm fascinated by what the Head Geek, the comic book nerd, the goofy fantasist can do with high drama, with William Shakespeare himself.
The movie has gotten very decent reviews and the fanboys seem to love it though there is nary a superhero nor spaceship around. Despite my inability to fall in love with all things Joss, I'm very excited about his take on this Shakespearian comedy and that's why Much Ado About Nothing is my Pick of the Week.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
The Purge: Ethan Hawke and Lena Headley star in this film with a fascinating premise. A family lets a stranger into their house who turns out to be the target of a murderous syndicate and they must decide whether to give him safe harbor and risk being killed themselves or to let him go to be murdered. All of this takes place during a period called "The Purge" when the government has legalized all crime. Sounds interesting to me.
In the Flesh: A BBC series about what happens after the zombie apocalypse. The humans win and initially put the zombies in a holding cell. But when science finds something of a cure and can stop the zombies from craving brains, they are released back into society with Partially Deceased Syndrome. In the Flesh is about one such sufferer as he is returned to his village. That's a plot line that has me hooked and Luigi Bastardo's review makes it doubly so.
Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons: Like a lot of Americans of a certain age, Tom Baker was my Doctor. I love that they are releasing so many of the old Doctor Who serials in big special editions. My copy of this is on the way and I'm shaking with excitement.
Monty Python's Meaning of Life - 30th Anniversary Edition: The Python's irreverent, hilarious look at all facets of life gets a new high-definition edition with loads of bonus features. There's a new interview with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin where they discuss the making of the movie. There's a sing-along version of the movie, a 2003 prologue by Idle, deleted scenes, commentary with Jones and Gilliam, promotional material, making of featurettes, and several goofy bits that only the Pythons could think of.
The Exorcist - 40th Anniversary Edition: The classic horror film gets the anniversary treatment. There are two new extras: a feature on William Peter Blatty, the writer of the book on which the film was based, as he visits the house he wrote the book in and various film locations, and an interview with a actual priest who feels that exorcism is real and that he has been involved in one. Other special features that have been released before include commentaries, a 1998 documentary, storyboards, TV/Radio spots, and a few featurettes. I should also mention this set includes both the original film and the extended director's cut.
Chucky: The Complete Collection: I've never seen a Chucky movie. I don't know why, as they are exactly the sort of film I love to watch. This set includes all six movies in Blu-ray format and lots of new special features.
I Married a Witch (Criterion Blu-ray): Two words: Veronica Lake. One more word: Criterion. Put those together and you've got a movie I want to own.
American Horror Story: Asylum: My wife does not share my love of horror stories and so I have to watch those things when she's either not around or asleep. My two-year-old is now old enough to get scared at such things as well which severely limits my ability to watch scary things. Which is to say that American Horror Story continues to stay on my list of things I want to watch but can never find the time to actual do.
Corruption: Peter Cushing stars in this film being billed as the sickest, wildest, sleaziest, swinging-'60s British horror thriller. If that wasn't enough, this special edition contains shocking scenes of gore and nudity previously deemed too strong for American audience. And if that isn't enough, then it also includes a bunch of extras including audio commentary, interviews with the stars, and more.