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items tagged with musicals

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: "Annie" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-20 00:50:41

Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Rose Byrne in AnnieANNIE

Sony’s last-remaining grab for the holiday box office, the much-downloaded reboot of Annie, opened this weekend, and it must be said that as a musical – especially as a musically faithful interpretation of the stage show – it kind of sucks. The choreography’s a shambles and the mixing is poor and the original numbers are terrible, while familiar, enjoyable Annie tunes such as “Little Girls” and “Easy Street” are merely sampled, their melodies and lyrics awkwardly woven into new pop and hip-hop arrangements. (Three of the film’s myriad producers are Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, so I guess we should just be grateful that the titular orphan is played by Quvenzhané Wallis and not Willow. Or Jaden.)


Read More About Where There’S A Will, There’S A Way: "Annie" And "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies"...


Stars’ Wars, and the Employee Strikes Back: "Beyond the Lights," "Saving Christmas," "Dumb & Dumber To," and "Citizenfour"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-16 21:44:07

Nate Parker and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the LightsFriday, November 14, 10:45 a.m.-ish: I’m beginning the day with writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights, a romantic melodrama about a troubled, Rihanna-like pop star, and it opens with its central character, as a little girl, getting reprimanded by her awful stage mother for the heinous crime of being first-runner-up in a talent show. Nearly two hours later, with the now-grown chanteuse overcoming her demons and finally scoring her long-awaited personal and professional triumphs, everything the prelude led me to expect from the movie has come to pass, but with one major exception: I’m grinning like mad and wiping away tears. How the hell did that happen?!


Read More About Stars’ Wars, And The Employee Strikes Back: "Beyond The Lights," "Saving Christmas," "Dumb & Dumber To," And "Citizenfour"...


The King, and More Royal Subjects: "The Identical," "Locke," "Only Lovers Left Alive," "The Normal Heart," and "The Spoils of Babylon"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-09-08 14:51:10

Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta in The IdenticalDirector Dustin Marcellino’s The Identical is for anyone who ever wanted to see a fictionalized account of the birth of the Elvis-impersonator movement. Or anyone who’d enjoy Presley’s songs more if their melodies weren’t so complex and their lyrics weren’t so depraved. Or anyone who’s been yearning to see Ray Liotta play a devout evangelist who explains to his congregation why he just lit eight candles on a menorah, when, as we can see, he clearly lit nine.


Read More About The King, And More Royal Subjects: "The Identical," "Locke," "Only Lovers Left Alive," "The Normal Heart," And "The Spoils Of Babylon"...


One for the Funny, Two for the Shows, Three to Get Red-Eyed, and Four – Just Go: "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Get on Up," "Wish I Was Here," and "A Most Wanted Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-03 16:43:39

Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper(ish), Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel(ish), and Dave Bautista in Guardians of the GalaxyFriday, August 1, 9:50 a.m.-ish: Movies based on Marvel comics are routinely, sometimes annoyingly formula-driven. But 10 minutes into Guardians of the Galaxy, I really hope every subsequent Marvel release steals from this one, because all the studio’s films – hell, all films period – should open with Chris Pratt doing a Singin’ in the Rain soft-shoe to Redbone’s “Come & Get Your Love.”


Read More About One For The Funny, Two For The Shows, Three To Get Red-Eyed, And Four – Just Go: "Guardians Of The Galaxy," "Get On Up," "Wish I Was Here," And "A Most Wanted Man"...


Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger by the Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," and "Snowpiercer"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-30 19:29:48

Keira Knightley in Begin AgainLike many reviewers who publish year-end recaps featuring top-10 rankings and such, I keep a running list of every new movie I see during the year, arranged in order of preference. (Wow. Seeing it in writing, that seems really anal-retentive. Maybe only I do that.) And after updating this list over the weekend, I scanned my current 10 favorites and thought, “For July, that’s a pretty great lineup.”

Of course, that lineup is only impressive because five of its titles – Life Itself, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Stranger by the Lake, Nymphomaniac: Volume One, and Snowpiercer – are 2014 films I caught on home video and through streaming services. If I only included movies that played at area cineplexes, my top-10-to-date wouldn't look so hot. I mean, sure, Muppets Most Wanted, 22 Jump Street, and Hercules were a lot of fun, but come on ... . Two sequels, both inferior to their predecessors, and Brett Ratner directing The Rock? (With apologies to Dwayne Johnson, who’s actually awesome.) Hell, the new-to-our-area indie musical Begin Again would almost land in my cineplex top 10, and I didn’t even like it that much.


Read More About Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger By The Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," And "Snowpiercer"...





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