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Thread: Movie Review Thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Movie Review Thread

    This Bear took a day off, Thursday, 10-21-04. Worked on my Amish Sim City (see De Noc thread) and watched some old movies.

    CITY FOR CONQUEST
    This is a wonderful movie that, believe it or not, manages to mix boxing and classical-type music in the same story. It stars James Cagney and Ann Sheridan, along with supporting roles for Arthur Kennedy and Anthony Quinn.

    Cagney is a very strong former Golden Gloves boxer who drives a truck and loves Ann Sheridan. She is a good ballroom dancer who is swept off her feet by visions of seeing her name in lights. Cagney's brother is a piano teacher who also writes symphony music.

    During the course of the movie Cagney goes into professional boxing so he can bankroll his brother's symphony to "New York". In a title match, gangsters arrange for an illegal substance to be placed on Cagney's opponent's boxing gloves and it leads to him losing the bout and losing his eyesight.

    I love this movie. The music is dynamite. The story is fun and a bit of a tear-jerker. Strongly recommend it.

    You young 'uns.....not every movie has to have special effects and color.

    BTW.....Ann Sheridan is stunning in this movie.

    TKO Bear
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  2. #2

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    I recently lucked upon a cheap DVD copy of Chungking Express. An utterly mesmerizing movie, even though it's in Cantonese with subtitles and nothing really "happens" per se. There is something about it that fascinates me.

    Since we are talking classics, I am also looking for a copy of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Eerie, awesome, mesmerizing movie that also throws in some laugh out loud belly laughs. Again, not sure why it enthralls me so.

    I don't only watch subtitled films. I've got the entire early Clint Eastwood "Man With No Name" series, along with my favorite movie, Once Upon a Time in the West Isn't it amazing how Charles Bronson looks the same in 1970? as he does today

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I am not as old as Bear, but I like certain classics as well:

    I like most of Hitchcock's films. I think The Birds may be the only exception but I have never been fond of horror films. Most of his movies are not horror movies. Most of them are about classic internal conflicts, such as "I confess" (I think that is the title), about a priest who is accused of murder and cannot defend himself even though he knows who the murderer is because the murderer confessed to him on the night of the murder. Additionally, he is being slandered over some woman he was in love with before he joined the priesthood and people are trying to say he slept with her -- she is, of course, the wife of the murdered man (or some such) -- and that is supposedly why he killed the guy. His oath as a priest forbids him from revealing the confession by the killer to him. It is a thought provoking movie.

    I also like old Audrey Hepburn films. She did a really gripping film with Hitchcock called, um, "Wait until dark" where she plays a blind woman being harrassed by criminals and when it gets dark, she breaks all the lights, douses the guy with gasoline, and puts him in a situation where his need to see is a handicap and her competence at getting around without her sight is her strength. For me, someone who lives with a medical handicap, this movie is a really powerful demonstration of some of my most cherished values: that no trait is all bad and magic comes from figuring out what the strength is in your own "flaws"/limitations and then learning to use them as strengths, not weaknesses.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    I recently lucked upon a cheap DVD copy of Chungking Express. An utterly mesmerizing movie, even though it's in Cantonese with subtitles and nothing really "happens" per se. There is something about it that fascinates me.
    Isn't it awesome????! I own a copy on DVD, but the translation peters out somewhere in the middle and then comes back after 10 minutes. I bought it from Hong Kong about five years ago before the DVD was made available for region 1 systems. I should update and get the new version now.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    Isn't it awesome????! I own a copy on DVD, but the translation peters out somewhere in the middle and then comes back after 10 minutes. I bought it from Hong Kong about five years ago before the DVD was made available for region 1 systems. I should update and get the new version now.
    Yeah. I need to find some of his other movies! I only paid $10.95, too

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    If it's old movies I'd pick Brazil.... That's got to be one of my favorite "old" (at least for me) movies ever Very recomendable if you liked Blade Runner

  7. #7
    Hmm. I agree with MZ on "Wait until Dark" (brilliant) and "The Birds", and loved Brazil, but I'm also going to throw in "Casablanca" because I just really loved that movie.

    But the all-time greatest movie EVER has to be the Original "Godzilla", and I mean the real version, not the Raymond Burr-ized version. That movie was freakin' powerful as a political statement. Then, well, the series got a little weird. Just a bit.

  8. #8
    I like old movies also, some of my favorites are:

    Casabanca
    African Queen-Humphrey Bogart
    39 Steps

    The Good, Bad & Ugly
    The Outlaw Josie Wales--two great Clint westerns

    Ben Hur
    The Enemy Below- great WW II flick

    Old Star Trek episodes and the first movies with the orignal cast.

    The Last Waltz-probably the best concert movie I've seen, -with the The Band, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and others

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    In the past few days these are some of the movies that I have watched.....

    NORTH BY NORTHWEST
    Maybe the best Hitchcock movie ever. Great scenes with the Hitch trademark of an innocent person being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    CARRIE
    Probably the best film treatment of a Stephen King novel. This is a fun film, heh heh heh.

    RAY
    Very well done. Music throughout the flick is great. Learned a few things about "The Genius".

    THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
    Black and white classic from the 1950's. Of course, the message from deep space was that we earthlings better start getting along.....or else. Special effects were pretty good, considering when this film was made.

    Klatu Barada Nickbear

    DOCTOR STRANGELOVE (Or "How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Bomb" is playing on Turner Class Movies right now. This is a favorite movie of mine. Great scenes, including.....

    Slim Pickens, the pilot of the Strategic Air Command bomber that is going into Russia to drop nuclear weapons, goes through the contents of the "survival kit".

    Slim Pickens fixes the jammed bomb-bay doors on the plane and goes down with the atomic bomb, waving his cowboy hat and yelling.

    Keenan Wynn, refusing to shoot a Coca-Cola machine.

    "Gentlemen.....no fighting in the War Room!"

    Did you know that Peter George, who helped write the screenplay, also wrote FAIL SAFE. That movie is a more serious look at an accidental incident that sends a USA bomber into Russia.

    In FAIL SAFE, actually a quite good flick, Henry Fonda is the President. The interpreter, exchanging conversation between Fonda and the Russian Premier, is played by Larry Hagman (J.R., from the TV show "Dallas"). Hagman does a good job showing the art of interpreting into another language, knowing that if he words something wrong it could lead to the end of the world.

    Bear With 100 Dollars In Rubles
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 30 Nov 2005 at 12:51 PM.
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  10. #10
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I really dig Citizen Kane as classics go. It was a spoiler to know how it ended and what rosebud was the first time I watched it. It has been parodied so many times, how could I not know!

    I liked A Clockwork Orange too.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    My favorite old movie is The Wizard of Oz.
    My favorite 70s movies are:
    Cooley High
    Uptown Saturday Night
    Let's Do It Again

    My favorites 80s movies are just about all of the teeny-bop movies.
    Favorite sci-fi movies
    Star Wars - The entire collection with Empire (Episode V) being the movie by which all other Star Wars movies are judged.
    The Terminator series (T2 being the best IMO)
    Blade Runner
    The Tranformers (Yes, I know it's animated.)

    I'm still working on my favorite comedy movies. The sillier the better. The early Eddie Murphy movies and the Richard Pryor movies with Gene ? are included.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    I really dig Citizen Kane as classics go. It was a spoiler to know how it ended and what rosebud was the first time I watched it. It has been parodied so many times, how could I not know!

    I liked A Clockwork Orange too.
    Both were great movies. Kane usually shows up as the best movie ever on many a list. It was a movie that set all kind of precedents, such as how the camera was held, etc. I just watched it the other day.

    Clockwork Orange may be the best ever example of the mixing of film and music. A very violent movie and way-way-way ahead of it's time. Lot of theaters refused to show it when it came out.

    Bear's 9th
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    flicks

    Cool Hand Luke
    The Graduate
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    2001
    Little Big Man
    Casablanca
    Cape Fear (Original version)
    Wait until dark
    Animal House
    Ghost Busters
    Any Marx Brothers
    Any Laurel & Hardy
    The Goldrush
    THX1138
    WALSTIB

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Does anybody remember the great drowning scene in the movie "Sometimes A Great Notion"? It was a classic.

    One (1) of the brothers in the anti-union logging operation along the Oregon coastline is pinned under a fallen tree, in the water, as the tide is coming in. His brother tries to move the fallen tree, to no avail. He says, "Don't worry, as the tide comes in the tree will start to float and you will get out."

    This doesn't happen, though. The tide comes in, slowly bringing the level of the water over the head of the pinned logger. The other brother keeps taking deep breaths and goes underwater and transfers that breath to the pinned logger. But they start laughing, over the thought of "kissing" each other.....and the pinned brother drowns.

    Henry Fonda, Paul Newman......not a bad flick. If I remember correctly it was also called by another name. I know that the book was written by Ken Kesey. (Can you smell the 1950's dope?")

    This was the last movie I saw in downtown Toledo. Mid-to-late 1960's and all the downtown Toledo theaters were closed or closing.

    The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Bear

    The other day I watched "American Graffiti". Good flick, with a dynamite soundtrack, inspired by the music we cats listened to back in 1962. (I also own the soundtrack.)

    It had been awhile since I watched this movie and I was glued to the screen the whole time.....enjoying the trip back in time.

    Even though I was in junior high school in 1962 I can still relate to some aspects of this film.....especially the lines of cars (junkers, rods, your mama's Buick, etc.) cruising up and down the main streets. I was too young to drive but we young'uns found "friends" who had their wheels and we "hung" with them.

    In Toledo we cruised Sylvania Avenue and The White Hut (restaurant with car hops). In Point Place, a Toledo neighborhood on the water, we cruised Summit Street and The Big Boy. One (1) of the great cars that cruised with us was an old roadster called "The Orange Crate".

    Those were fun times. "American Grafitti" really reminds me of these times.

    Wolfman Bear

    Today I was reading some reviews on the new movie, "Crash". The buzz is that this look at the predjudices that we all carry will be Academy Award material when the next set of awards are announced. Roger Ebert gave it a wonderful review so I archive-searched back to his review on another movie with a similar theme, "Grand Canyon" (from about fifteen years ago).

    Mr. Ebert also liked "Grand Canyon".

    Any student of urban civilization will pick up on these two (2) flicks.They both get into the assumptions we make based on color of skin. "Crash", according to Ebert, lays bare those assumptions. "Grand Canyon" ends on a more positive note, with the world being a better place.

    "Crash" will be the first movie this Bear sees at a theater in a long time.

    (Maybe I'll go to the new Lifestyle Center in the suburb of Perrysburg and watch it.)


    Bear
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 30 Nov 2005 at 12:52 PM.
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  15. #15
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    We rented "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". I'm sorry, but how is that movie deemed funny? I was annoyed through the entire thing. Eric was too, but loved the Lego music video on the 2nd dvd.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    (Maybe I'll go to the new Lifestyle Center in the suburb of Perrysburg and watch it.)


    Bear

    It's sad, isn't it, that if you want to see a movie in Toledo you have to go to the GD mall. (I don't care if they call it a "lifestyle center" its still a friggin mall). I'm sure you read that they closed the last two 1960s style freestanding theaters in Toledo as well as the old Cla-Zel theater in Bowling Green.

    Toledo is 99% controlled by National Amusements and we are paying dearly for it.

    My suggestion would be to see if' it ever plays at those new theaters in Wauseon. At least that prick Sumner Redstone won't be getting any of your money.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    We rented "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". I'm sorry, but how is that movie deemed funny? I was annoyed through the entire thing. Eric was too, but loved the Lego music video on the 2nd dvd.
    "The Holy Grail" is my favourite Python movie; like most things its all a matter of opinion

    "We could build them a badger"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    War & Peace

    Just finished watching WAR & PEACE, the Tolstoy classic novel that was brought to life with Audrey Hepburn (Natasha) and Henry Fonda (Pierre). The movie did not get good marks from reviewers. This version is nearly four (4) hours long and the Russian version (about 1968) is much longer. (The Russian version is also supposed to be very good.....this Bearonov has never seen it.)

    Even with the somewhat stilted acting by some of the players, the depicted battle scenes are very good (and tragic) and the true story of Napoleon's ill-fated march into Russia is remarkable history. He went into Russia with something like 500,000 troops and crawled out with less than 100,000.

    Russia has an incredible history of treating invaders as such and this movie does encourage you to think about it.

    Bear Schmoozing With Natasha
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    It's the fall and a new movie season has started. So far, the selection looks good, especially George Clooney's "Good Night and Good Luck" and "Syriana". Any other recommendations so far?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    Surely it is obvious, the Monty Python films must be rated in the following order.

    3. The Meaning of Life.

    2. The Holy Grail.

    and

    1. Life of Brian. "He's not the Messiah! He's just a Very Naughty Boy."

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    It's the fall and a new movie season has started. So far, the selection looks good, especially George Clooney's "Good Night and Good Luck" and "Syriana". Any other recommendations so far?
    Katie and this Bear are counting the minutes until RENT comes on the big screen. Even though we are in no way "Rentheads", we have seen the musical three (3) times here in Toledo. When it played in Detroit in January I was cooped-up in a hospital bed so we couldn't catch that traveling version.

    A lot of the original Broadway stars are in the movie. The musical is a wonderful experience and I am hoping that the movie will be too.

    Angel Bear

    On Wednesday, this Bear took a much-needed vacation day. After taking care of some chores from the ole' Honey Do List, this Bear popped in the olde movies and worked on the fake city, De Noc.....

    Doctor Zhivago
    This movie is in my all-time Top Ten. I love this movie. Since I am a romantic at heart the love story is great....imagine having to choose between two (2) women?

    The movie uses the Russian Revolution as the backdrop. Many scenes have "classic" written all over them. A dynamite scene involves Lara (played by Julie Christie) being taken-advantage-of by Rod Stieger at the same time that the Czar's soldiers are running down and murdering men, women, and children who are marching for "bread". A horrifying scene.....played-out mostly by a camera that focuses on the eyes of Doctor Zhivago (played by Omar Sharif), rather than focusing on blood and guts.

    Zhivago is a poet.....and a doctor. He marries Tonya (played by Geraldine Chaplin, Charlie's daughter) but is in love with the haunting and beautiful Lara.
    The movie is tough to follow if you watch it the first time.....but you will love it if you watch it a number of times.

    The music, the incredible scenes on the train (crossing Russia in the winter), the politics.....what a great movie.

    When I play Civilization II, my character name is Strelnikov, of the Russians. He was the character in the movie that married Lara but went off to become a Red Guard General who got off on murdering innocent villagers.

    I still use a line or two (2) from the movie.....including....."Your attitude has been noticed, you know. Oh, yes, it has been noticed."

    Pride Of The Yankees
    This wonderful old black and white flick takes you back to an America when baseball was the ONLY game in town. It is the story of Lou Gehrig, "The Iron Man" of the New York Yankees.

    It gets a bit hoakey......but all character study (biographies) of that movie era did that. The movie still captures the heart of a simple man, just wanting to play a game that he exelled at, not wanting fame or fortune (but getting both).

    Classic scene: When his best friend, played by Walter Brennan, is NOT telling Lou's wife the real truth about the doctor's report.....Lou Gehrig was dying. The camera focuses in on Brennan's hands, holding his hat. He is so nervous when he is lying that he keeps bending the rim of his hat.

    Most famous scene: "I am the luck-luck-luck (insert echo machine) eeist man in the whole-whole-whole world....."

    Gary Cooper was really goode in this movie.

    I have mentioned in other threads that I hate the Yankees. Still do. That said, I love this movie.

    Bear Ruth

    This Bear was off again today. A chance to pop-in a couple more olde flicks.....

    Angels With Dirty Faces
    James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart (from "The Bogart Collection" ), and Ann Sheridan. Plus those zany Dead End Kids.

    Cagney and O'Brien are boyhood pals in the tough old neighborhood. O'Brien becomes a priest and Cagney a hoodlum. The Dead End kids idolize "Rocky" (Bogart), much to the dismay of O'Brien.

    Final scene, when Rocky is walking the long walk to "the chair", O'Brien asks him to be obviously scared and afraid, so the kids won't look up to his "tough guy" persona. Cagney says he won't do it.....but he does.

    A fun movie.....includes a saying that I often use....."What'd'ya know? What'd'ya say?"

    Destination Tokyo
    Good submarine movie, made toward the end of World War II. The assignment for the crew of the sub was to sneak into Tokyo Bay, send commandos ashore to gather intelligence, radio that intelligence (via code) to the American fleet, so the bombers that were ready to attack Japan would know where to drop their bombs.

    Cary Grant stars, and (as usual) he is a class act. (He would again play a submarine captain, much later in life, in the classic "Operation Petticoat".)

    The Maltese Falcon
    A classic old flick. Humphrey Bogart is wonderful in this thriller. Great lines, that Bogie tough guy image, Sydney Greenstreet (Big!)....great stuff. Hollywood was all a buzz after this movie was filmed because the lead actress, Mary Astor, was supposedly "taking on" all of the men in the cast (if you know what I mean).
    _____

    Another fun day at the Bear's den.

    Bear
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 30 Nov 2005 at 12:52 PM.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    On Wednesday, this Bear took a much-needed vacation day. After taking care of some chores from the ole' Honey Do List, this Bear popped in the olde movies and worked on the fake city, De Noc.....

    Doctor Zhivago
    This movie is in my all-time Top Ten. I love this movie. Since I am a romantic at heart the love story is great....imagine having to choose between two (2) women?
    I'm not an emotional person at all. But something about Dr. Z just moves me. The whole tone-and that theme song, something about it sends chills down my spine. I need to get a copy.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Interesting article in PLANETIZEN about the olde movie "Wild River". It is the story of a family that is refusing to move from a small river island that they have farmed on for generations.....as the work is starting for the huge Tennessee Valley Authority project. The article points out that the TVA was extremely influential in jump-starting the south, helping to forward that region from a "hillbilly backwater" to an economic powerhouse.

    The article doesn't mention other jumper cables for the south.....little to no union problems, warmer temperatures, the invention and affordability of air conditioning, and a country on the move (perhaps because of the visuals that television provided).

    It has been a few years since this Bear viewed the movie "Wild River", but the article is encouraging me to start looking for it on my fave cable channel with olde flicks.

    Bear

    This afternoon I watched "It Happened To Jane", a late 1950's almost-comedy that starred Doris Day and Jack Lemmon. Both were very goode in this flick. Here's the story line.....

    Doris Day is a widow with a young boy. She sells lobsters from her place on the coast of Maine. Her best friend is also her lawyer.....Jack Lemmon. A load she ships to a country club sits on a railroad track over a weekend, instead of being delivered. The lobbies die and she loses all her contracts.

    The reason the lobsters sat on the train.....a nasty olde business man has purchased the railroad and is eliminating anything he deems "unnecessary" or "unprofitable". He eliminated some weekend clerks and the train didn't move.

    She sues the railroad.....late 1950's television takes hold and she becomes a national celebrity because she is fighting the "established powers".
    _____

    The movie is a treasure for those who like railroads. An old steam loco is the real star of this film.....and you get to watch it in action for a lot of the second half of the movie.

    The bad guy railroad tycoon is played marveously by Ernie Kovacs. This movie is fun to watch.
    _____

    Many critics (and posters on IMDB) believe that this movie has not been released on DVD because of its' very-obvious anti-Republican stance. Another villian in the film is a Republican politician and the movie makes no secret of this guy's placement of business over people (typical Democratic mantra stuff).

    The movie's location in Maine also uses the "town meeting" as a focal point, stressing that the gathering of everybody in town to vote on the issues of the day is a "great lesson in freedom".

    Maybe. (Still a fun movie. I like trains. I had a crush on Doris Day when I was a very young boy. )

    Bear
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 30 Nov 2005 at 12:53 PM.
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  24. #24
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    We watched The Polar Express last night. Worthy of a look.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  25. #25
    Cyburbian statler's avatar
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    Saw Rent this weekend. Never saw the theatrical version. Saw it with a group of people who knew the words by heart. They all seemed to think it was faithful to the stage version. If that's so I have no desire to see it live. It was painful enough in a theater.
    I have a friend who hates musicals. Rent is a prefect example of why. In a story devoted to such heavy subject matter, it's absurd to see people suddenly explode into song and dance. It just doesn't work. The Producers is a perfect send up of the entire concept ('Let's find the least joyous subject matter available and set to song and dance! People will hate it!" Of course, they don't - a sure mockery of musical fans) Les Miz & Miss Saigon suffer from the same problem.
    Of course the movie has other problems beside being a musical. Does anyone think this group are, uh, la boheme? It's obvious Jonathan Larson' spent some time on the streets as a struggling 'artist' and I'm sure he had some truly interesting experiences. Some of that shows through, but he tries to make the story so momentous, part of something larger, that those little moments get lost. This is sad because they would make a far more interesting story. But I still don't think it a very genuine look at life on the streets (for that, see Kids) I would think (and hope) that very few artists living in lofts and basements, struggling day to day would watch this and think, "That's me! That's my life!". Most would presumably scoff and roll their eyes. I thought the cast was far too pretty, too well dressed and too healthy looking. The only thing they looked like were struggling with was getting their hair just right. Normally I don't care so much about that, but in this case it's kind of important to the story. I think it was necessary to make it look like these kids were suffering.
    If you liked the musical, you'll probably like the movie. If you are the least bit cynical (like me) you can probably skip it.
    "So, if a city has a personality, maybe it also has a soul. Maybe it dreams." -Gaiman
    ArchBoston

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