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items tagged with musicals

Baltimore, Merry Land: "Hairspray"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-07-25 08:33:58

John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky in HairsprayHAIRSPRAY

Adam Shankman's Hairspray, adapted from the long-running Broadway musical, is like a sugar high that lasts 105 minutes. Yet it's a high that you don't crash from afterwards; days after seeing it, you may still find yourself in thrall to its infectious exuberance. Not only is the film the happiest surprise of the summer, it's the happiest surprise of the year - a giggly pop fantasia exploding with exhilaration and imagination. Audience members who don't like Hairspray won't be people who don't care for musicals; they'll be people who don't much care for movies.


Read More About Baltimore, Merry Land: "Hairspray"...


"Girls" Power: “Dreamgirls” and “The Good Shepherd”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-01-03 08:19:12

Anika Noni Rose, Beyonce Knowles, and Jennifer Hudson in DreamgirlsDREAMGIRLS

You may have heard that, in the middle of Bill Condon's Dreamgirls, former American Idol belter Jennifer Hudson lets loose with a power ballad that has the audience cheering and applauding at its finish. If the screening I attended is any indication, this rumor is untrue. The audience cheers and applauds the number way before Hudson's finale. And no one in their right mind could blame them.


Read More About "Girls" Power: “Dreamgirls” And “The Good Shepherd”...


The Cotton Flub: “Idlewild” and “Accepted”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-08-30 04:29:53

Andre Benjamin in IdlewildIDLEWILD

It's pretty clear that a musical doesn't know what it's doing when Ben Vereen and Patti LaBelle appear in supporting roles and the movie doesn't let them sing. But writer/director Bryan Barber's Idlewild isn't all that concerned with being a musical. It's concerned with being a music video. This tune-laden, period gangster/show-biz drama - fronted by OutKast's Andre Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton (a.k.a. Andre 3000 and Big Boi) - is all touches and visual motifs, and while it's earnest, it's also devoid of emotional connection; we admire the pretty images but don't necessarily feel anything for it. Idlewild is a fascinating failure. It's a movie you really want to like - especially if you're a fan of musicals - but one that only comes alive in fits and spurts.


Read More About The Cotton Flub: “Idlewild” And “Accepted”...


"Companion" Piece: "A Prairie Home Companion," "Cars," and "The Omen"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-06-14 05:11:08

Garrison Keillor, Meryl Streep, and Lindsay Lohan in A Prairie Home CompanionA PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

One of the many glories of Robert Altman is that he never pretends to know everything there is to know about the characters in his movies, and doesn't expect his audiences to, either. In an Altman film, you may think you have someone all figured out, until a later scene proves that you haven't begun to understand what makes them tick; Altman is fascinated with the dichotomy between characters' public and private faces. (It makes perfect sense that he eventually filmed a murder mystery.) It sometimes seems that there's not much going on in an Altman movie, and audiences could easily assume the same about the director's latest, A Prairie Home Companion. But if you're as enthralled with character as the director is, and with the drama of actors gradually revealing character, his ambling, "plotless" films can be sheer bliss.


Read More About "Companion" Piece: "A Prairie Home Companion," "Cars," And "The Omen"...


Coal in a Critic’s Christmas Stocking: "The Producers," "Fun with Dick & Jane," "Rumor Has It," "The Ringer," and "Memoirs of a Geisha"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-01-04 00:00:00

Matthew Broderick, Will Ferrell, and Nathan Lane in The ProducersTHE PRODUCERS

Devotees of the theatre had plenty of reason to be excited about The Producers, the movie version of Mel Brooks’ stage work based on his 1968 movie. (Got that?) This tale of two Broadway crooks who plan to make a fortune on the worst musical ever conceived has been brought to the screen by the Broadway production’s director/choreographer, Susan Stroman, with all of Brooks’ musical-comedy numbers intact, and the show’s original stars, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, reprise their roles as Bialystock and Bloom. It’s enough to make a theatre fan nearly giddy with anticipation.Yet after more than two hours spent with this theatrical adaptation, I wanted nothing more than to get my ass to a movie.


Read More About Coal In A Critic’S Christmas Stocking: "The Producers," "Fun With Dick & Jane," "Rumor Has It," "The Ringer," And "Memoirs Of A Geisha"...





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