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items tagged with musicals

Into the Weeds: "Into the Woods" and "The Homesman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-29 01:06:33

Emily Blunt and James Corden in Into the WoodsINTO THE WOODS

Do you know what you wish? Are you certain what you wish is what you want?” – lyrics from Into the Woods

 

Like a lot of stage-musical fans, I’ve been wishing – patiently but eagerly for more than 25 years now – for a film version of Stephen Sondheim’s modern classic Into the Woods. Now, thanks to Sondheim, original book and screenplay author James Lapine, director Rob Marshall, and the fairytale-happy folks at Disney, we have one.

So here’s the good news: Barring some minor changes, the movie is incredibly faithful to the show’s stage roots. But here’s the bad news: It’s so faithful that it’s under-imagined and kind of suffocating. And here’s the worst news: It isn’t much fun.


Read More About Into The Weeds: "Into The Woods" And "The Homesman"...


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"...





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