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Entries in musicals (540)

Thursday
Aug292019

Merrily We Roll... and Roll... and Roll... Along

by Nathaniel R

Real life theater friends Ben & Beanie, doing a musical theater movie adaptation together. But they won't be done with it for another 20 years

While The Film Experience was in the pro-Boyhood camp in 2014 we were never among its biggest fans. It was hard to be in that club given the massive stanning for a movie that was winning Best Picture prizes left and right in its year. But today we love it more than we ever have now that it's given the king of longform cinema, Richard Linklater, the funding and confidence to attempt the coolest or most foolish movie musical ever. As you may have heard he's now embarking on an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's most beloved flop Merrily We Roll Along to be filmed over the next 20 (gulp!) years...

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Monday
Aug192019

Tweets: That sounds misérable and other observations

enjoy a curated sample of recent amusing or inspired tweets

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Wednesday
Aug072019

Stage Door: "Moulin Rouge!" on Broadway 

Stage Door is our intermittent theater review column, which might seem odd for a movie site, but we're headquartered in NYC so...

by Nathaniel R

Do you remember the sensation of watching Moulin Rouge! (2001) for the first time? I remember exactly where I was (the much-missed Zeigfeld theater in NYC)  and exactly how it felt as it washed, no, exploded all over me. Twas a dizzying overwhelming sensory experience from the moment the red curtain appeared. Moulin Rouge! (the movie) eventually calms down… or you acclimate to it (I’ve never known definitively which). The moment I gave in fully, convinced it was something emotionally special and not just a flurry of exciting images, was Ewan McGregor’s spontaneous inspirational belting of “The hills are alive… with the sound of music”. The moment the movie belonged to me, and I to it, was the entrance of the Sparkling Diamond herself, Satine (Nicole Kidman) descending on a trapeze to sing “Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend”. 

These moments are dutifully recreated for the new Broadway incarnation. The experience is not quite the same. Some cinematic bliss cannot be easily transferred to a different medium. Nevertheless there’s still green fairy dust sprinkled on this musical. It just takes a bit longer to lift off...

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Thursday
Jul252019

Review: The Lion King (2019)

by Tim Brayton

The refrain echoing through many of the negative reviews of Disney's new remake of The Lion King – and even a few of the not-as-enthusiastic positive reviews – has been that the film is "pointless." Which, yeah, it is: a scene-by-scene, line-by-line, and frequently shot-by-shot remake of the 1994 classic that is weaker on essentially every possible point of comparison. The only reason to watch the new film while the 1994 film exists is because the new one is in theaters and thus is bigger.

So let's not belabor that. Instead, let's try, as much as possible, to take the film on its on terms. Let's pretend, if we possibly can, that this is a brand new story told using cutting-edge technology, and freed from the shackles of memory and nostalgia. Sad to say, even if that might mean that The Lion King isn't pointless, it's still not very good...

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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

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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...

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