<i>Much Ado About Nothing</i>: A Joss Whedon Fan’s Early Summer Night’s Dream

As devoted Joss Whedon acolytes know, the Geek God has long had a relationship with the Immortal Bard, staging regular readings of classic Shakespeare plays in his humble home with various cast members from his various TV shows stopping by to speak Shakespeare's speech on their days off from mouthing Whedon's lines. Though these readings were sadly never taped for public consumption, it was a thrill for Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse fans (yes, there really are some of the latter -- I'm one of them) to imagine the possible actor/role match-ups that went on behind the closed doors of the Whedon homestead. How about Eliza Dushku and J. August Richards as Juliet and her Romeo? Or Anthony Stewart Head holding court as Falstaff with Nathan Fillion's Prince Hal sitting at his feet? With Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon finally invites audiences into his living room... literally. This contemporary version of Shakespeare's comedy of (mostly bad) manners was filmed entirely on the grounds of the director's home and features a rash of familiar Whedon faces trading in his pop-culture laced quips for the flowery language of another era. It's a delight for Whedonites, but -- I'm sorry to say -- a rather mediocre production of Shakespeare.

The Five Best Essays in <i>Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion</i>

From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Cabin in the Woods, writer/director Joss Whedon doesn't just create entertainment that can be enjoyed in the moment -- it can also be discussed and analyzed for years after its finished its television or theatrical run. Case in point: Titan Books' newly released Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion, a weighty compendium of short retrospective pieces (every section begins with a "Joss Whedon 101" to the particular work at hand), academic essays and interviews with such collaborators as actor Alexis Denisof and writers Jane Espenson and Tim Minear. Collected by the pop cultural survey site PopMatters, the pieces included in this tome span Whedon's entire career from the small screen to the big screen to the four-color pages of comic books. As with all anthologies, not every entry here is a winner. Some essays cross the line from admiring to flat-out hagiography, while others offer rote summary in place of interesting analysis. But combing through the book, we found five essays that are definitely worth a read. Check out our picks below and click here to order the book for your own personal Whedon library.

James Spader’s Creepiest Performances Before <i>The Avengers: Age of Ultron</i>

When you stop and think about it, Marvel's announcement that James Spader will be playing Joss Whedon's latest Big Bad, the ass-kicking robot Ulton, in 2015's sure-to-be top-grossing movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron... despite what those Jarvis conspiracy theorists would have you believe. No, what's really surprising is that it's taken Spader this long to play a comic-book villain. The dude has been a grade-A onscreen creep since the late '80s, when movies like Less Than Zero pushed him onto a bad boy path that most recently led to his starring role as a Hannibal Lecter-style mentor on NBC's action-packed fall series The Blacklist. Considering his resume, he's the ideal choice to put Iron Man & Co. through their paces. Here are the future Ultron's five creepiest movie roles to date.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

by Ethan Alter September 25, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Captain America and Thor survey the summer box office damage left in the wake of The Avengers.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

by Ethan Alter September 18, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Joss Whedon has a bad case of cabin fever.

Happy Anniversary: Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection

by Ethan Alter June 7, 2012 11:24 am
Happy Anniversary: <i>Alien 3</i> and <i>Alien: Resurrection</i>

Before Prometheus arrives in theaters tomorrow, let's celebrate the anniversaries of the last two films in the original Alien cycle.

More <i>Cabin</i> Fever: <I>The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion</i>

Still piecing your mind back together after having it blown by The Cabin in the Woods this weekend? Keep your obsessions about the film alive by picking up the photo-heavy, information-dense tome The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion, from Titan Books. Here are five good reasons to add this to your bookshelf:

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