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Archive for the ‘Musical’ Category

Gerard Butler’s choice to play the Phantom like Gerard Butler was going out on a Friday night for some stalkage may have been … unwise.

Christine Daae is the orphaned daughter of  a Swedish violinist.   Before he died, he promised her he would send an ‘angel of music’ to watch over her.   Christine is taken in by Madame Giry and her daughter at the famous Opera house in France, where no one actually has a French accent except for Madame Giry.    Christine loves to sing but has been too grief stricken to sing properly; until, that is, she hears a voice behind a mirror helping her.

Now begins the parade of idiocy that runs through this movie.  Most of the general populace, however brain damaged, stupid or downright idiotic would hear a voice behind a mirror and do two things:  1) run or 2) grab something sharp and pointy.   No, Christine believes her angel of music has finally arrived.

Madame Giry knows the truth, since she’s totally BFF with the infamous Phantom of the Opera, who’s really a sideshow freak that she let live in the sewer bottom of the Opera.    Sadly, it does not have a charming view but Gerard Butler’s Phantom seems well stocked on candles.   He seems to have nigh on two million; perhaps he is a candle collector?

The Phantom schemes to get Christine in and Carlotta, the diva who can’t really sing, out of the Opera’s shows.    The whole time he’s trying to seduce Christine, taking her on fun boat rides to his Sewer Palace and wooing her with his dark and mysterious pipe organ.   Uh … yeah.

The problem here is that while Gerard Butler may look hungover, in need of a shave and a shower and possibly not all there sometimes, he is not bad looking.   In fact, I’d wager that it’s hard to ugly up Gerard Butler (although The Ugly Truth did a good job of making him seem vile) and sticking a bit of molded plastic on his face doesn’t make him look like a monster who has to chat up a girl by kidnapping her to his Sewer Palace with his candle collection; it makes him look like a guy with a serious brain malfunction.   Oh yeah, and a creepy, perverted one at that.

Competing for Christine’s affections is Raoul, the Vicomte with a heart of gold and nothing upstairs.    If one were to crack open Raoul’s cranial cavity, it would probably contain bits of cardboard and dryer fluff, with  a few starving moths flying around.    He’s obnoxiously bent on Christine-directed chivalry.

Needless to say the Phantom doesn’t like this.   And he doesn’t like that the new Opera owners won’t pay him his extortion money.   … And he really doesn’t like that Carlotta lady.   Yeah, so some people die.

The main problem with Phantom is the cast.  Emmy Rossum is convincingly dim, but her eyes are so … dead.    Not to be mean, but everything I’ve seen her in she’s got the same look that salmon has at the fish counter.   And Gerard Butler can eke out the Phantom’s songs, he looks like he shops at L’Abercrombie & Fitch in his spare time.    He’s not menacing or scary or even remotely creepy; he’s just Gerard Butler, running around an opera and doing his best sexy-eyes at Christine.   The guy that plays Raoul is no better, and Minnie Driver as the divalicious Carlotta is just exhausting.

The real guilty pleasure in all this is the amount of detail lavished on the sets and costumes.   The Opera is stunning, the costumes magnificent and everything seems to be locked down to the minutiae.   Lloyd-Webber’s music is cool, if you view it through the lens of when it was popular on Broadway (the ’80’s) and very bombastic.

Overall, it’s not … good but it is a guilty pleasure, if only to laugh at the idiocy of the main characters and gaze upon some awesome sets and costumes.   … And to see Gerard Butler attempt to act as a conflicted, disfigured person with lots of emo rage.

I suggest you all run off and read Cleolinda’s Movies In Fifteen Minutes Recap of Phantom of the Opera, which is far more hilarious and much more in depth than I could write — you can find it HERE.

 

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Have mercy!

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I know the High School Musical series is viewed as wonderful for children, but as an adult?

I got tired of “wholesome” entertainment when I was a child.    One of the perks of being an adult is that I can watch movies with sex, drugs, violence or a combination thereof ANY TIME I WANT.

The musical numbers in High School Musical 2 are constructed with the charm and aesthetic stylings of a Doublemint gum commercial, which were adorable in thirty second spots but not in arduous musical numbers.

The acting?   I don’t even know how the actors did.   I was too distracted by Zac Efron’s Tammy Faye Bakker-like application of foundation to notice anything else.    From the first five minutes it’s obvious in the most painful way what’s coming and how it’s going to be resolved.   With a squeaky clean, sanitized version of teen life, it’s unfulfilling…boring…predictable.   The one shining spot could have been the musical numbers but those don’t come close to hitting the mark.

I refuse to see the third one.   I REFUSE.


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High School Musical isn’t actually bad.

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That’s not to say that it’s entirely good, either.

The main problem with High School Musical is that it is so completely bland.  Every character is like a overly simplified stereotype.   The music is instantly forgettable and there’s not a memorable moment in the whole movie.   The only bad part I can think of for High School Musical is having to stare at Zac Efron for an hour plus, who I find pretty much disgusting.

Troy (Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) meet at a ski resort on vacation and sing karaoke together.   Upon returning to school, Troy discovers Vanessa has transferred into his school in New Mexico and he begins to wonder if he can be both the school basketball star and try out for the musical.  Unfortunately for him and math whiz-kid Gabriella, everyone in their school seems stringently devoted to staying in their own little cliques and never “bending the rules” for anyone to break outside said cliques.  Troy and Gabriella must fight for acceptance and fight to win the leads in the school musical.

Honestly, the yawn factor on this one was high.   It wasn’t that it was so bad that I wanted to turn it off; it was just that I had to fight really hard to keep my attention focused on the screen and not get up and go do something else.   I inadvertently bought this movie a long time ago (it’s a long, long story) and I honestly wish I didn’t own it because I’ll never watch it again.

It’s nowhere near the worst, but it’s also nowhere remotely near the best.   It’s not even interesting enough to claim the title of mediocre; it’s like a perfectly slick storm of tween marketing and PR come to life.

Right now?   I’m using it as a coaster.

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I had to check and re-check to make sure I was correct on this; I could’ve sworn that Chicago had not won Best Picture.   It did win back in 2002 but I kept thinking otherwise – surely this was wrong?

As I’m sure everyone and their dog knows, Chicago is based on the popular musical of the same name.   It’s not an awful film.   In fact, when I initially saw it, I really liked it.   A second viewing, however, doesn’t feel very fresh and got stale pretty quickly, but for the musical genre Chicago is pretty good.

The one problem I always had with the movie was that it felt oddly cast.   Catherine Zeta-Jones was a pretty good Velma, but I didn’t like Renee Zellweger much as Roxie, nor did I feel Richard Gere was particularly outstanding in his role.   Even John C. Reilly felt a little out of place and that feels odd to write down.

It certainly wasn’t better the second time around and I found myself marveling that, yes, this movie did win Best Picture.   It’s certainly well handled, especially since I think taking something from the stage to the screen can be more than a little tricky and even trickier when it’s a musical.   To be fair, the musical numbers are done well and the rest of the film is not poor by any standards.

The problem is that when I sat down to really think about what Chicago had achieved, I wasn’t feeling very impressed.   I keep coming back to the fact that the movie was pretty good.   Chicago is not great, not excellent, just a little bit above the rest of the flock.

Who else was nominated in 2002 for Best Picture?

  • Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers
  • Gangs of New York
  • The Hours
  • The Pianist


I’m flummoxed.   I have to be honest – I have little to no idea what Academy members have in their heads when they vote, nor do I intend to start speculating.   If you compare this movie with The Pianist, for example, The Pianist comes out on top easily.   Adrien Brody really did a fantastic job in that movie and it was all-around great, as opposed to being just pretty good.

Why Chicago won, I don’t know.

I do know, however, that Renee Zellweger’s face must un-squint itself, since you can barely see her eyes anymore from all the face-scrunching.    Renee, you gotta stop doing that, because watching your movies nowadays makes my face hurt for you.

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