Posts Tagged ‘musical’

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#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.)

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#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!

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#3: Repo! The Genetic Opera

January 13, 2011

So what’s it about?: In a future world where organ replacement is the next big fad, chaos ensues around the company who produces the organs, the man hired to reposess the organs, and one whiny, useless girl who was thrown into the mix.

The Good: Um… making it gothic was kind of cool.  And casting Paris Hilton as an heiress addicted to surgery was, um, inspired?  And there was a really cool prologue done entirely with comic book frames.

The Bad: This is the biggest mess of a musical I’ve ever seen in my life.  The plot was all over the place.  The music sounded like it was composed by kindergartners trying to play heavy metal songs on pots and pans (scratch that, that probably would have been an improvement).  And note to casting directors, if you are going to cast a musical, it helps if the cast can sing, but at the very least they need to be able to act!  Unfortunately this cast could do neither.

The Verdict: Okay, sure, if you really like gothic, cult films and music with no melody whatsoever, watch this film.  Otherwise, go listen to an elementary school orchestra, because even that would be less painful on the ears than this god awful film.

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#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.

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#66: The Princess and the Frog

December 20, 2009

2004: A little movie called Home on the Range was released and managed to not only flop at the box office but end all traditional 2D animation coming from Disney’s doors… until now!

So what’s it about?: A New Orleans girl is working hard to start her own restaurant when she meets a talking frog.  Cue ensuing chaos!

The Good: Oh Disney, it’s good to have you back!  For years we’ve had to be content with the Meet the Robinsons and Bolts of the past five years, and even went so far as just relying on Pixar for our yearly Disney, but no more!  This film is every bit as charming and smart and fun-filled as the 90s were.  Yeah, okay, it’s no Beauty and the Beast (despite many similarities, especially between Belle and Tiana) or The Lion King, but it’s right up there with Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid.  It’s just an outrageously fun ride that the whole family can go on and hopefully will lead to more films just like it.

The Bad: Okay, there are a couple bothering plot holes in it (though maybe I was just so overjoyed with seeing a classic traditional animated film I missed something).  And the music is more 70s Disney memorable than 90s Disney magical, though undeniably New Orleans.

The Verdict: Go see it.  Please.  So that it may make lots of money and Disney can realize they need to make more movies like this in the future.

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#29: Gypsy

October 19, 2009

gypsyRecently I re-instated my Netflix account, and first movie in my queue was this film adaptation of a wonderful musical.

So what’s it about?: Based on a true story, A crazy stage mom pushes her two daughters into show business, resulting in a lot of chaos ensuing and the creation of the famous stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.

The Good: Well, the story itself is a great one.

The Bad: The movie was a sad, sad adaptation of the stage version.  They made unnecessary changes to the story, added an unnecessary narration, and despite dubbing voices, still had unsatisfactory vocals.  And despite having a strong cast, the acting seemed lacking.

The Verdict: If you’ve never seen this musical ever, then see this movie.  If you had the privilege of seeing Patti LuPone’s Gypsy, stay far, far away from this movie.

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#25: Pete’s Dragon

October 16, 2009

petesdragonSo what’s it about?: An orphan boy runs away from his mean new home with the help of his animated and invisible dragon.  Chaos ensues.

The Good: I love this film for one reason, and that is the amazingness that is “Candle on the Water”.  Hands down the greatest song ever to come out of a Disney film.  In fact, this movie has some great musical numbers in it as a whole.

The Bad: Well, it’s really cheesy at times.  Most Disney films walk the fine line between charming and cheesy, but this one at times has enough cheese to give you a heart attack.  There’s a reason it never really got as much acclaim as it’s animated/live action predecessor Mary Poppins nor is it even as good as Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

The Verdict: Watch for the musical numbers and then go watch your cholesterol.