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Entries in musicals (252)


Posterized: Joe Wright's "Pan" and Peter Pan Movies

Jackman and Wright talk on setYou have to admit that Joe Wright was asking for it. He went and titled his Peter Pan epic, Pan, which is functioning like a command for the nation's critics who have done so mercilessly. It probably didn't help that he uglified one of our most handsome movie stars (no one needs to see Hugh Jackman going the Johnny Depp route). Worse, he truly stepped in it early on by casting the very white Rooney Mara in one of the few iconic roles meant for a Native American actress. (This issue has been discussed at very high volumes in the past few years since moviegoers and the media are sick to death of Hollywood's white-washing. But Hollywood is still wearing ear plugs.)

Will you see his latest despite the reviews?

And how many Peter Pan related movies have you seen? (More on Peter and Joe after the jump)

Click to read more ...


A Spoonful of Annie? Perhaps...

Kieran here. In the age of remakes, re-imaginings and two Spiderman reboots in less than five years, the announcement that Disney is developing a new musical featuring Mary Poppins actually feels kind of refreshing. Revisiting a character from a live-action musical? And a female character at that? I say "kind of refreshing" because it still feels like a very strange project this far out. It's supposedly set twenty years after the events of Mary Poppins, which immediately had me imagining something darker in tone, not unlike Return to Oz. How does the Banks family fare two decades after the wind changed and Mary bid them adieu? This is all speculative of course. No plot details have been released and only a few key crew members have been announced. Rob Marshall is slated to direct and the script is being penned by David Magee (Finding Neverland and Life of Pi).

How do I put this diplomatically...Can we stop giving every live-action musical (unfortunately few and far between at this point) to Rob Marshall? It seems knee-jerk and lazy every time a musical is announced with Marshall at the helm. I liked Chicago quite a bit, but it's been a pretty steep decline since then. He seems to direct screen musicals with the desire to make them palatable for modern audiences rather than leaning into the medium and truly working well within it. Remember that odd "Musical for People who Hate Musicals" campaign during Chicago's Oscar run? Or that first Into the Woods trailer where no one was singing? Or how over half of the musical numbers were cut out of Nine and the rest were sung on a stage for no reason? It's time to give another director a chance. Perhaps someone with a little less internalized musical self-hatred (Yes, I just made that term up). Musicals are a tough medium with a specific audience. They need a director who will embrace their heightened theatrics and overt sentimentality without pandering to 21st century audiences who aren't accustomed.

For the role of Mary herself, no one is officially attached as of yet, though Anne Hathaway's name is certainly being thrown around. A lot. I think she'd be a fine, more than worthy choice. I was relieved, as someone who likes Anne Hathaway and doesn't understand why I'm not supposed to, when it seemed that she wouldn't be doing that Judy Garland biopic that was in development a while back. Should she play Mary, I do worry about the inexplicably pilloried actress having an even larger target on her back by stepping into such an iconic part. Other names being tossed around are pretty much the ones you'd expect. Any young actress who's been in a musical or shown vocal talent. 

Who would you like to see in the role of the magical singing nanny? Discuss in the comments.


Who Should Play Mary Poppins?
Anne Hathaway
Emily Blunt
Anna Kendrick
Amanda Seyfried
Sutton Foster
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Someone Else Entirely!
I Don't Care. I'm Not Watching This!
Quiz Maker



Random List-Mania: 40 Best Original Movie Songs of the 1980s

We did this once for the 1990s and you loved it, so here's round two. 

Young Oscar fanatics might not have tripped over this tidbit yet but in the 1980s they were still giving out an award for "Original Song Score" - an old vestige category of the decades when a dozen plus movie musicals arrived each year. Three of these Oscars were handed out in the 1980s for Victor / Victoria (1982), Yentl (1983) and Purple Rain (1984).  None have been handed out since even though it's technically still a category... just not one that they invoke anymore. Though it's a pity they didn't consider giving one to Moulin Rouge! or Hedwig and the Angry Inch for 2001 as the category can also be awarded to "Adaptation Score"

The presence of this category in the early 80s probably explains why Purple Rain and Victor/Victoria had no "Original Song" nominees in their years (why double dip?) but it does not explain why Yentl had nominations in both categories. Because of these films I only allowed myself 2 songs per movie so as not to let these five films hog this entire list.

Beautiful Song Craft and/or Cheesy Epic Ballads For the Wins
* Oscar nominee | ** Oscar winner 

  1. "Nine to Five"* -Nine to Five (Dolly Parton)
  2. "Le Jazz Hot" - Victor/Victoria (Henry Mancini)
  3. "Purple Rain" - Purple Rain (Prince)
  4. "Into the Groove" - Desperately Seeking Susan (Madonna)
  5. "Xanadu" - Xanadu (Jeff Lynne)
  6. "Fame"** - Fame (Michael Gore & Dean Pitchford)
  7. "When Doves Cry" - Purple Rain (Prince)
    33 more numbers after the jump...

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'The Wiz Live!' Has Its Full Cast

Margaret here with your live TV musical update. NBC has just announced the final principal cast members for its live production of The Wiz: R&B singer Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, Elijah Kelley (aka the showstopping dreamboat from Hairspray) as the Scarecrow, and Common as the Emerald City gatekeeper. 

The full cast, then, is set:

Click to read more ...


Nina Hoss on Searching for the Soul and Identity in 'Phoenix'

Jose here.

In her six films with director Christian Petzold, Nina Hoss has explored the roles women have played in German history during the twentieth century, in Jerichow she played a postmodern femme fatale trying to convince an Afghanistan veteran to kill for her, in Wolfsburg she played a mother being wooed by the man who ran over her son, in Barbara she was a doctor trying to escape East Germany in the 1980s, and in the post-WWII set Phoenix, which might be their greatest collaboration to date, she plays Nelly, a former cabaret singer who survived a Nazi concentration camp, but was left brutally deformed. As she tries to reclaim her past life through a surgery described as a recreation, rather than a reconstruction, she must come to terms with the fact that she is now living in a world that has very little to do with the one she left behind.

Hoss’ layered performance as Nelly is the kind of work that should be garnering awards buzz, as it helps her establish herself as one of the best living actresses, and places her as Petzold’s greatest collaborator, rather than his muse. In 2014, English speaking audiences got their first taste of Hoss’ brilliance as she managed to steal the show in A Most Wanted Man and Homeland (her character is returning for Season 5) and asPhoenix makes its Stateside debut, it’s about time we all start talking about Hoss more frequently. I had a chance to talk to her to discuss her work in Phoenix and how it relates to classic Hollywood films, as well as her preferred acting method and the career path she might take years from now.

Our interview is after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Jane (Don't) Got a Link

Guardian has the Venice film festival lineup 
ICYMI here was Toronto's. They run concurrently so they share a few titles
Empire Nosferatu getting another remake -this time from the director of the Sundance hit The Witch. This is a terrible idea. It's one thing to top a classic. It's another thing to try and live up to memories of TWO classics simultaneously
Salon on "showrunner auteurs" and True Detective Season 2
Slant Magazine has a interesting 'noir' essay on a blu-ray restoration of the great Fabulous Baker Boys
The Wrap Relativity is going bankrupt which means their current most star driven films, Jane Got a Gun (Natalie Portman) and Collide (Felicity Jones & Nicolas Hoult) probably won't be opening as planned
The Wrap It's Chris Pine as Wonder Woman's Steve Trevor in 2017 though not everyone likes this idea

Yahoo Style "Madonna and the Fading Politics of Diva-dom" I normally groan my way through essays that are critical of Madonna in-the-now since they usually instantly show, nay even flaunt, their ageism and disrespect/misunderstanding of her legacy. But this one is smart and really interesting.
Empire Amy Schumer, who recently appropriated Star Wars for a photoshoot, has now done a Madonna-related photoshoot (Truth or Dare era specifically)

Bob the Musical?
Playbill Recent EGOTer Robert Lopez (Frozen) and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez have a new musical called Up Here at the La Jolla Playhouse. Will their lucky streak continue? This one takes place inside the lead character's head. That's going around - hi Inside Out!) They were previously reported to be working on the  long-gestating original film Bob the Musical
THR ... but then who hasn't been reported as working on that? Currently we're looking at Michel Hazanivicius directing, Michael Chabon writing, Bret McKenzie songwriting and Tom Cruise circling to star...
Pajiba doesn't want Tom Cruise to do it and I agree with every word of this. Also: he's just not good at comedy. He's too intense for comedy, particularly musical comedy which requires an effortless-looking lightness.

Showtune to Go from The Wiz
Remember when Margaret (I miss Margaret!) did such a fine job of dream-casting the forthcoming live television production of The Wiz? Well, the actual casting is starting now and sadly they haven't taken any of her suggestions to heart. The first announced members of the cast are Queen Latifah as the Wizard, Mary J Blige as Evilene (AKA the Wicked Witch), and the original Broadway production's Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, as her own Auntie 'Em. 


But who will sing this classic finale "Home"?

P.S. Incredibly and sadly, the legendary long-retired Diana Ross, who is only 71 years old, is the only principle cast member from the 1978 film who is still with us. (And she's too young for this list)


This Week in WTF: "King of Comedy", the Musical

Dancin' Dan popping in for a weekend dose of WTF.

There's no sense in burying the lede: Composer Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and writer Chris D'Arienzo (Rock of Agesare on board to make a musical out of Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy.

My head is spinning. This has to be the weirdest screen-to-stage transfer ever. Even American Psycho made slightly more sense, since music was so important to that film. While it's true that King of Comedy has only proven more and more timely as the years have gone on, it still doesn't scream "MAKE ME A MUSICAL!!!" the way some films do. And the team of Trask and D'Arienzo could not be more mismatched on paper: The man behind the music of Hedwig, one of the most unique musicals ever written, and the man behind the words of one of the weaker jukebox musicals in recent memory (at least book-wise) working on one of the darkest satires of modern culture? Weird. Weirder. Weirdest.

Knowing not what to make of this news, we drift to a future pressing question: WHO WOULD THEY EVEN CAST? I can personally see the great Alan Cumming in either the DeNiro or Lewis roles, but there isn't a single person I can think of who I'd want to see in the Sandra Bernhard role. What other triple threat (you know she's gonna have at least one big dance number) has that acidic, caustic sense of humor? Who would even want to step into those shoes? 

Are you amply confused by this announcement, too? Who would you cast as the leads?