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Entries in Jennifer Hudson (22)

Friday
Jul192019

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Cats" (and personal "Cats" histories)

by Nathaniel R

All longform discussions of the trailer to Cats must be prefaced with one's own history with the Andrew Lloyd Webber megahit. It's the law. This is why no matter how insane the movie may appear, no matter how much it be instantly mocked on the internet, it will have (at least) a gigantic box office opening. The megamusical has been a phenomenon since 1981, grossing literally billions of dollars on stage, winning awards and selling millions of albums (back when people actually bought such things) with the hit song "Memory" being covered by hundreds upon hundreds of musicians thereafter. 

Cats was my first Broadway touring show which I saw in Detroit (presumably at the Fox Theatre?) as a kid. My parents bought me the t-shirt and later for Christmas the Original Cast Recording. On my first ever trip to NYC in 1989 (?) it was then my first Broadway show. I know I know... I was once a typical tourist who saw something he'd already seen *shakes head at self* while in New York when other surely better and newer things were playing. I was so obsessed Cats that I learned "Memory" on the piano and named my next two kittens "Mistoffles" and "Rumpleteaser". How young and foolish and easily manipulated I was by splashy worldwide sensations as a child. And yet from the 1990s onward I've barely thought of it but for whenever discussions of a possible movie version would come up, most notably all the joking in Six Degrees of Separation (1993).

Okay that's my history. You must share yours (it's the law) and since Cats is such an event brand, we must do the Yes No Maybe So™ breakdown after the jump in real time screencaps rather than trifurcating with our yes, no maybe so headings. Ready?

To quote Judi Dench as "Old Deuteronomy"...

We're about to begin

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul172019

"Cats" trailer tease doubles as its first FYC ad

Universal is not fooling around with Cats. There's a (presumably) gargantuan budget on the line but an insanely high level of brand awareness will help it turn a profit and they surely know that Oscar buzz wouldn't hurt toward that goal, either. This promo for the teaser (due Friday), which has no actual footage from the movie, is playing just like an FYC ad for the film's cast and crew...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb272019

Soundtracking: The 2018 Oscar Performances

by Chris Feil

Thank you Lady Gaga, all of the nominated Original Song performances were given a shot to perform on the Oscars! That "Shallow" leverage reportedly kept the ceremony as much of a musical night as possible. Sadly logistics kept us from getting a Kendrick Lamar and SZA performance of Black Panther's "All the Stars", but I found it frustrating that the producers didn't find some way to work the song into the telecast somehow. A montage needle drop, underscoring for the pre-commercial announcements, something?!

Even without Lamar (who also missed the Grammys), the night was a mostly solid salvage of Oscar musical tradition. It certainly fared better than some recent years, and also helped set variety and a pace for the night that otherwise felt a tad too amorphously rushed. A Star is Born's "Shallow" triumphed for the win as expected all season long, but what of the performances themselves? Time for a ranking!...

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Tuesday
Feb262019

13 Times I 'Jennifer Hudsoned' on Oscar Night

by Ginny O'Keefe

Jennifer Hudson [jen-nee-fer hud-son] 
Verb 
Definiton: to nod emphatically in agreement to something while simultaneously mouthing the word “yes”. 

Here are 13 Times I Jennifer Hudsoned on Oscar Night...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan232019

Soundtracking: 2018's Original Song nominees

by Chris Feil

Best Original Song always gets its fair share of side-eye among Oscar snobs and agnostics alike. Granted, some recent nominees have made a decent enough case for their argument - Alone Yet Not Alone, you are lost but not forgotten (or... alone in terms of being a bad nomination). But does this year's crop of tracks continue the category's uptrending in quality? I would argue it does and then some.

While our most expected nominee ("Shallow" obviously) provides the lineup a genuine hit song, we also have idiosyncratic picks as well as musicals and major artists nominated. This leaves the telecast with no rational choice but to allow all numbers to perform on the show, as they have been hesitant to do with lesser known nominees. So in addition to ranking the nominees, I have some suggestions on how to present all of them...

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Wednesday
Dec052018

Soundtracking: FYC 5 Original Song Outliers

by Chris Feil

In lieu of a regular deep dive into the soundtrack of one film, Soundtracking is indulging in some For Your Consideration tracks before the season narrows down to a few contenders. Naturally, all of the talk for original songs this season has been gobbled up by A Star Is Born with some hopes being thrown towards the likes of Mary Poppins Returns, Black Panther, and even Radiohead's Thom Yorke for Suspiria. I'll unpack the field once Oscar reveals its shortlist on December 17 (remember that quiet news item that the Academy will be announcing song and score shortlists all at once along with such categories as visual effects?).

But the outsiders deserve some love too, so allow me to champion a few solid tracks...

Click to read more ...