Posts Tagged ‘music’


#6: Meet Me in St. Louis

January 14, 2011

Yeah, okay, I was on a musical kick, and ever since that song has been stuck in my head since watch the first Sex and the City film, I’ve wanted to watch it!  Again, thank goodness for Instant Streaming!

So what’s it about?: A traditional little family lives in good ole St. Louis, where they fall in love, play pranks on the neighbors, and get all excited when the World Fair ensues chaos on their quaint little lives!

The Good: Ah, Judy Garland is always a sweetheart and St. Louis is no exception.  And it kind of makes you want to live in a small mid-western neighborhood in the 1900s… until you realized they didn’t actually do anything and couldn’t go see movies all the time.  But the songs are fun!

The Bad: Yeah… so this musical is kind of not about anything.  There’s a kind of half assed love story in the middle of it and maybe a smidgen of conflict, but really, NOTHING HAPPENS.  It’s like someone found an old diary and decided to write a script from it and add a couple of songs.  Only the diary was from the most mundane family in the world.  I mean, geeze, if you’re going to make a movie based on a diary at least make it from someone interesting… like Anne Frank!

The Verdict: If you’re a fan of classic musicals and movies about nothing, give this film a go.  However, if you like classic musicals with a little more substance, stick with good ole Sound of Music and West Side Story.  (And if you just like movies about nothing, may I introduce you to Sophia Coppola.)


#5: Hairspray

January 13, 2011

This is the musical, not the horrendously boring original John Waters film.

So what’s it about?: It’s 60’s in Baltimore and a girl dreams of being on a TV variety show and hooking up with it’s hot male lead (because what else is there to do in the 60’s?).  Only problem is she’s chubby, he’s taken, and she’s all for integration so naturally some shimmy and shaking chaos ensues!

The Good: Oh, the music!  So much fun and part of what made this show a hit on The Great White Way.  Even the new songs fit right on in with the old and make you want to get up and dance!  And Christopher Walken and Jonathan Travolta managed to turn my least favorite song into a hilarious song.

The Bad: Another sad case of a musical cast with people who can’t actually sing.  I mean, really?  Trying to hear poor Amanda Bynes and Brittney Snow try to match the great Kerry Butler and Laura Belle Bundy?  It’s kind of sad.  Especially when there’s so much good talent out there!  And honestly, this could have gone bigger and campier.  It just seemed so tame!  Sometimes attempting to go mainstream just isn’t the correct route for a movie.

The Verdict: A perfectly acceptable movie-to-musical-to-movie-musical, but definitely nothing to run and tell your friends about!


#4: I’m Still Here

January 13, 2011

A documentary that I sadly missed in theaters, but thanks to the amazingness that is Netflix instant streaming, I was able to watch it on my phone!

So what’s it about?: Joaquin Phoenix decides to retire from acting and become a rap star and Casey Affleck has the brains to pick up a camera and film all the ensuing chaos.

The Good: This is definitely one of the most fascinating documentaries I’ve watched, though Joan Rivers already proved earlier in 2010 that having someone follow around a famous person is actually really interesting.  I’m Still Here was a great inside look at the pressure and alienation a celebrity faces.  And while you may disagree with how he pretty much threw away an entire career in order to “express himself” or whatever, it’s hard not to think about how oneself would be affected by fame if ever thrust under the same limelight.

The Bad: I can see where after a while one could easily get annoyed with Phoenix’s constant “why doesn’t the world understand me?  Why don’t they give me a chance?”  But at the same time, it’s easy to relate to insecurities.   Because who doesn’t have those!  However, this is not a documentary that inspires, which can be somewhat off-putting to some.

The Verdict: If you want to watch an intriguing movie about a man attempting to pursue a dream and dealing with human judgement, than watch this movie!  But not before you watch Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work and Exit Through the Gift Shop, both far superior


#1: Mulan

January 1, 2011

First movie of the year, so why not make it a guaranteed winner?

So what’s it about?: A not so typical Disney princess, who has dishonored her family, grows a pair and goes off to war in place of her father.  With a little help from her animal sidekicks, chaos ensues.

The Good: What’s not to love about Mulan?  You have catchy song numbers, the most badass Disney princess of them all, and the perfectly magical Disney blend of humor, action, romance and universal lessons.

The Bad: Animation wise, it’s definitely not the fairest of them all.  It just doesn’t have the beauty of, well, Beauty, but really, what does?

The Verdict: Hands down a great Disney film.  It’s sad to see that this is not considered part of the elite “Disney Plantinum Series”, but on the bright side, that means it won’t be locked up in the vault!  Yay!


#71: Nine

December 28, 2009

Yep, time for the token movie-turned-musical-turned-movie-musical complete with original “Best Song” contenders and all.

So what’s it about?: An Italian filmmaker has a lack of film ideas and an overabundance of women.  Musical chaos ensues!

The Good: The acting is outstanding.  Even Daniel Day Lewis, who is horribly miscast, is still great as always, and the star studded ensemble of women do wonderful jobs in their not-so-wonderful roles.  And “Cinema Italiano” is a freaking catchy song (and a surefire nominee for Best Song).

The Bad: This movie is a mess.  The story is, well, non-existent.  It’s a diluted version of a musical that is a diluted version of a film, and what’s left is nonsensical dribble.  The insertion of musical numbers seems almost forced at times, and the directing is just atrocious, as if Rob Marshall was sitting in the theater next to you screaming “It’s ARTISTIC!”  And frankly the ending was probably the worst, cheesiest, gag-me-with-a-spoon ending in the history of all endings.  And if I ever hear “Be Italian” again, I’m going to admit myself to a mental institution.

The Verdict: Pick up a copy of Fellini’s 8 1/2 and an original cast recording of Nine and play them simultaneously while running around in skimpy lingerie and smacking a tambourine and it’s just like seeing this movie.  Musical fans can just be grateful they didn’t put in “The Bells of St. Sebastian” and thoroughly butcher it.


#68: Crazy Heart

December 20, 2009

So what’s it about?: A post-famous alcoholic country singer struggles to travel from crappy gig to bar to crappy gig when he meets a journalist and her son and ensues some chaos.

The Good: Naturally a movie about country has an awesome soundtrack.  But this also has a touching story and SUPERB acting.

The Bad: This is basically The Wrestler.  And I don’t mean they’re similar, I mean they are the exact same movie, only Crazy Heart has music and a tangible ending.

The Verdict: Yeah, it’s worth seeing, though yet another film you don’t need to see in theaters.  But sure to get some noms for acting and a guaranteed Best Original Song win.


#59: Pirate Radio

December 20, 2009

or The Movie Formerly Known As The Boat That Rocked

So what’s it about?: 1960s England.  Pirate radio stations broadcast illegal music from off-shore.  Uptight politicians would rather listen to elevator music.  Chaos ensues.

The Good: This movie is HILARIOUS!  Like, really, really funny.  It’s basically Love Actually on a boat in the 60s, and of course it would be seeing as how Richard Curtis wrote and directed both films.  While not as touching as Love Actually, and not nearly as good of a film, it’s still charming and in the end has you rooting for all of its five bajillion characters.  And naturally, for a movie about rock and roll, it has a killer soundtrack.  Plus bonus points for great opening and closing credit sequences.

The Bad: There are a lot of characters, which results in not a lot of development.  Some plot lines just get dropped to the wayside never to return.  And some scenes are just plain filler.

The Verdict: It’s certainly not a classic, award winning, memorable enough to even be talked about come 2010, but hey, it’s a fun movie, and if you ever find yourself looking for something to watch it sure won’t disappoint!