How is John Carney the only filmmaker who knows how to make a contemporary musical? The “Once” filmmaker recaptures some of that film’s magic in “Begin Again,” a more mainstream approach for a wider American audience. With a team of terrific songwriters and a top-notch cast, “Begin Again” is a welcome reminder of why and […]
Nothing the Coen Brothers ever do is really a change of pace, but “Inside Llewyn Davis” is about as close to one as you’re likely to get from the filmmaking duo that has rolled out nothing but critically acclaimed hits since 2008 Best Picture winner “No Country for Old Men.” Even with a three-year break […]
There are few musicals like “Les Misérables,” an operetta lined with incredible music from start to finish, with a story so grand and tremendous that somehow manages to fit on a Broadway (or West End) stage.
Nothing about the premise of “Pitch Perfect” suggests it should be a funny movie, or anything more than a diversion for “Glee” fans who’ve burnt out on the hit show after three-plus seasons. A cappella groups might be a change of pace for Hollywood, but college humor isn’t, with most college comedies going straight to […]
There’s little rhyme or reason to anything in the “Happy Feet” universe. If it sings, dances, looks cute and enhances ethnic diversity, it flies. Except penguins of course — penguins can’t fly, everyone knows that. But that doesn’t mean they can’t creatively problem solve through self-determination, tap-dancing and passionate arias. Okay, so nothing makes sense […]
Rob Marshall knows how to direct a musical for the big screen. We learned that after his vision for “Chicago” earned a the big prize at the Academy Awards. That set the stakes high for “Nine,” the movie based on a musical based on a movie: “8 1/2″ by Federico Fellini. If that weren’t enough, […]
Terrific, campy movie musicals don’t come around very often. How many films have been able to emulate the success of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show?” How many have even tried? “Reefer Madness” is about the closest any film has come to capturing the bizarre spirit of that cult classic. A film version of the Off-Broadway […]
The fact that “West Side Story” is based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is one of those knowledge tidbits that people seem to pride themselves on, but the truth is that the classic tragedy of star-crossed lovers is most of what makes “West Side Story” strike a note with audiences. Add to that story an […]