Saturday, November 24, 2007
I have seen two musicals "Hairspray (2007)" and "Across The Universe". Both of these films are very different, the only thing that they have in common are that they are both in fact musicals. Where they differ are the way the films express themselves.
First we have "Across the Universe" which is the Beatles musical about a group of kids in the 60's where many things are changing. Activist on the streets, the drug scene is exploding and the Vietnam war is beginning. The Beatles music which i love is a period piece of this era, it's very significant to the young minds that opened their ears to the music of The Beatles. Everything should fit perfectly but sadly it doesn't. Julie Taymor makes a lovely feast for our eyes to gorge on but she leaves out all the characters. Everyone in the film seems so dead, the actors try so hard to add some life into them and it just comes off as way too cute. The cuteness that is conveyed is very distracting when the film turns into a serious tone when we have a wonderful rendition of strawberry fields forever being set to visuals of Strawberry shaped grenades exploding in glorious bright reds. It's beautiful but after the injecting of life given by The Beatles music we then go back to the lifeless characters. Across The Universe is an amazing disaster of a film.
A musical is a very fragile type of film. One false step and everything can go wrong. Things need to be very leveled to keep the audience believing that in this world people can break out into song and dance then gently slide back into reality, in of course which the film sets out to be. The film "Hairspray", the 2007 version directed by Adam Shankman is a far more superior film in every aspect because he knows the structure of a musical. He fills the screen with Dances that will make you want to get up yourself and join them. The characters are so wonderful you actually feel for them. You smile when they smile, you feel down when they feel down. The film is very well structured and paced. It literally doesn't miss a beat when it has an opportunity to go for broke and just be a well entertaining film and that is exactly what this film is. Pure Entertainment. I loved every second of it. Travolta is just great as Edna, Walken is amazing as always and the rest of the cast give it their all. Hairspray also has a scene that is very quickly becoming a favorite of mine where we have Travolta and Walken's dancing under a starry night. It's just beautiful.
After watching both films i noticed that i never thought this would be the outcome. I honestly thought Across the Universe would be the better film. It just goes to show you that just because you have a director like Julie Taymor who directed "Frida" and "Titus" can drop the ball. It just astonishes me that Adam Shankman who made the critical bashed "The pacifier" and "Bringing down the house" can make such a terrific film.
Across the Universe - Grade C-
Hairspray - Grade A+ (Not the best film of the year but definitely my favorite)
You honestly can't get more fun then this. Everything is in this film. They go 70's style, de palma split screens, awesome music and even a "Warriors" reference. This is hands down the best Action film i have seen in a long long time.
Fun but really doesn't bring anything new.
This is NOT a kung fu film. This is just a really really great film. I absolutely loved it. Sonny Chiba at his best. This man is probably one of the first actors i followed as a teenager even before i got into cinema. Just great.
Fun Solid Thriller...like i said...very brief.
Very Beautiful looking film. Ken Loach and his cinematography do wonders in this piece. Acting is very top notch. The only thing that really hurts this film is that we don't feel the relationship of the brothers in it. When the climax comes we just watch blandly just agreeing with what happens and not really feeling for them. It goes back and forth a bit on whether being a political drama or a story of family. Very good but had the opportunity to be great. In my opinion it shouldn't have won the Palm D'or but still good.
This film is just great, absolutely terrific in every way. The Characters are just amazing and Verhoeven is superb behind the camera. Loved this film. This is exactly the kind of films i wish were made often. You feel every kind of emotion in this epic telling of a women on a mission. Very Dramatic, loving and surprisingly comedic. One of the Best of 2006.
As of late many things have been coming my way. Most all good things that hopefully will take me places in the long run. I've been listening to tons of Radiohead, most notably the new album "In Rainbows" which i can't get enough of. December 3rd can't get here quick enough, it's Christmas for every Radiohead fan that went out and purchased the Discbox. Can't wait for that, need it now.
I Have been watching many films on my hiatus from this blog stuff. Most of the films will turn up around here with a brief summary on what i thought about it, very brief mind you. I want to catch things up and log all this shit. I've been gone for too long and it feels rather good writing these kind of things down. No one necessarily has to read this but it feels comforting knowing you have your memories somewhere.
The following...brief reviews...thing's that I've been doing...more personal...not to any stupid extent. Thank you.