You couldn’t make it up! Joss Whedon’s Shakespeare rocks (and 5 other unexpected movies)

Much Ado About Nothing Whedon poster

Well, OK, then! Joss Whedon (of all people) has adapted Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing – and contrary to most reasonable expectations, the critics say it’s pretty good.

Really? Well, here goes: 

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If that trailer is anything to go by, Amy Acker’s performance alone will make this memorable. No small feat, given that I can’t remember anything about Kenneth Branagh’s version beyond that Keanu was awful in it.

Still, Joss Whedon and Shakespeare are unlikely bedfellows, which makes me think of other “you couldn’t make it up” movies. For instance:

5. Madonna won a Golden Globe

Let’s face it, Madonna couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag that had been left out in the rain for three weeks. Dick Tracy was awful, Body of Evidence was embarrassing, and the less said about Swept Away, the better.

But then Madonna petitioned hard to make Evita … and was rather good in it. This was the turning point following the lowest critical ebb in her career – her previous film (Dangerous Game) went straight to video, her Girlie Show tour was panned, and many critics had considered her career to be over – but this was just the lull before Ray of Light. She was rewarded with a Golden Globe for Best Actress – an achievement that is simultaneously well-deserved and impossible.

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4. Marky Mark is an Oscar nominee

The former petty criminal turned his life around and became … an underwear model. His cheesy rap career might have been short

but even he didn’t never envisaged his Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

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3. Keanu Reeves was the biggest martial arts star in the world

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2. Evil Dead man made Spider-Man

So, Sam Raimi hadn’t only done splattercore comic-horrors before his Spidey trilogy, but it was certainly the first thing to pop in to my mind whenever his name was said.

He went from this:

to this:

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1. Bad Taste director made Lord of the Rings

Before LOTR was the greatest gift to cinema since Casablanca, director Peter Jackson was chiefly famous for this:

I mean, when handing over a $270 million budget, he’d have been my first choice of director, too …

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