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items tagged with musicals

Razor D’etre: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," "The Great Debaters," and "Charlie Wilson's War"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-01-02 08:26:47

Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetSWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

As the title character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Johnny Depp gives a controlled, admirable one-note performance in a role that calls for many more notes. This isn't a knock - well, not a huge knock - on his singing of this legendary Stephen Sondheim musical; Depp may not have the vocal power or range to do full justice to Sondheim's and book-writer Hugh Wheeler's masterful creation, but he gives it a good shot, and his morose speak-singing fits director Tim Burton's interpretation of the work. It's the interpretation that's the problem.


Read More About Razor D’Etre: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street," "The Great Debaters," And "Charlie Wilson's War"...


The Toxic Avenger: "Michael Clayton" and "Across the Universe"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-10-17 16:16:41

George Clooney and Sydney Pollack in Michael ClaytonMICHAEL CLAYTON

There's a spirit of fatalism and dread that hangs over nearly every scene in Tony Gilroy's legal thriller Michael Clayton, and the miracle of the movie is that its grimness doesn't equal torpor; for a work drenched in both literal and figurative darkness, it's exquisitely, robustly entertaining. Like the films in the Bourne franchise (all of which Gilroy scripted), Michael Clayton is a smart, knotty diversion that keeps your senses, at all times, alert, and happily, the movie's ecologically minded plotline - involving an agricultural chemical company being sued for poisoning communities - doesn't have sanctimonious intent. The movie isn't designed to be Good for Us; it's just designed to be good. And it's very, very good.


Read More About The Toxic Avenger: "Michael Clayton" And "Across The Universe"...


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”...





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