Tuesday, December 13, 2011

80's Hair Metal: The Musical

I should not be looking forward to this. It's a jukebox musical (which are rarely any good), its lead actors are from primarily a singing background, and it's directed by Adam Shankman. And yet...

Damn my weakness to musicals and 80's rock!! Please tell me that someone breaks into Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" right after that lame joke 30 seconds in.

Plot looks pretty standard, bohemian rock 'n roll lovers versus straw man religious fundamentalists. Tom Cruise will probably end up being the highlight performance as the aloof, washed-up, eternally wasted rock star. You can tell they have little faith in their two lead actors (both relative unknowns and singers by profession), given how many big names they've filled the supporting cast with. Hell, they're barely even featured in this trailer.

So, people who've seen the play: Is it any good? Is this just another Mama Mia with the story awkwardly built around the songs? What're we looking at here?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Movie Review: Rango

Rango is one of those films that wear's its influences on its sleeve. It's equal parts Sergio Leone and Hunter S. Thompson, a point driven home by two separate cameos featuring the Man with No Name & Raoul Duke. But oddly enough, the thing that sprung to my mind when pondering this film was the Cutie Mark Crusaders from My Little Pony (yes, my curiosity about the "Brony" movement got the better of me), in as much as both are based around the idea of building a character as a complete blank slate in search of an identity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"The Lorax" trailer

An adaption of a Dr. Seuss book with needless story padding & generic kid's movie slapstick? Fourth verse, same as the first.

The thing that continuously disappoints me about the Dr. Seuss movies is that they all have seemingly no interest in actually capturing the tone of a Dr. Seuss book. They just take the basic plot and the aesthetics and drape it over a formula slapstick kids movie. There's no real sense of the surreal or childlike wonder. When I was a little kid my mom used to read me stuff like The Butter Battle Book & The 500 hats of Batholomew Cubbins, and they always felt to me like bizarre fairytales & fables that existed in a world all their own, not some wacky sugar rush. These movies feel more like the cereal commercials I watched in the 90's rather than the bedtime stories that soothed me to sleep.

Once again they seem to be really stretching out & filling in relatively small parts of the book to pad out the running time, in this case giving a name & a backstory to the previously nameless boy to whom the Once-ler narrates his encounters with the titular Lorax too. This strikes me as particularly unnecessary. Unlike The Cat & the Hat, The Lorax was one of the longer of Dr. Seuss's books, it seems to me there's plenty there to work with. Even more baffling, they seem to have reworked things so that he is in fact the star of the film, with the Once-ler & the Lorax as merely side characters whose story inspires him to "speak for the trees!" For the trees have no tongues, you see.

Yes, I do apologize for that joke.

Also, WHY CAN WE SEE THE ONCE-LER's FACE??!! I know that seems like a nitpick, but The once defining visual aspect of the Once-ler was that all you ever saw of him with a pair of long green gloves. These movies have at least been good at replicating Seuss's artwork up until now.