Modern Movie Musicals (by my definition as out on dvd since 2000)
Down With Love– Until I saw this, I didn’t know Renee Zellweger could sing. I was very pleasantly surprised! I love the sweetness and silliness of this 60s era romantic comedy- type musical. This was a very cute musical and one that now inhabits the top of my “favorite musicals” list. 4.5 stars. If you haven’t already seen it, you should!
Phantom of the Opera– Not my favorite. I read the book last year and I expected the Musical to be much darker and more gothic. The bright sound of the brass instruments and rock opera-esque feel of this did nothing for me. Or, perhaps I’m not an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan. The scenery and costuming were wonderful. As a period piece for those things alone, I give this 3 stars out of 5. It would have gotten a lower rating except for that little bit.
Chicago– Apparently, I’m the last person on earth who hadn’t seen Chicago until a couple weeks ago. I really enjoyed it, though some character portrayal didn’t work for me. In the 1920s, “Mama” would not have been a black woman. History shows us that. Otherwise, this was a fantastic movie! I loved the costuming! I loved the slight bawdiness of the show. I thought the actors did a bang up job!
Nine- 2.5 stars, Beautiful set bits and costuming, but the story was disjointed and didn’t necessarily make a lot of sense until the last 20 minutes of the movie. If it wasn’t for the set pieces, I’d have turned this movie off.
Mama Mia- 3.5 out of 5 stars. I think this was a little over-hyped for me, but it was cute and silly. It did leave me wanting to move to a Greek island and buy a run-down B&B.
Sweeney Todd- 3 out of 5 stars. I loved Pirelli’s hair that reminded me of Princess Leia buns! I don’t have a weak stomach, but the spraying gore was a bit much for me. There wasn’t enough story here. More dialog would have helped to get to know the characters better. After watching this, I read a review that filled in the blanks and stated that the movie version of this musical left out a lot of the dark humor, funny lines and character interplay, which for me caused a lower star score. Had that been there, as intended, I’m sure I’d have felt this was a 4 star worthy musical. So, to summarize, the musical lacked story, which they attempted to hide with gore. Not Burton’s best move, in my opinion.