Musical

Movie Review: La La Land (2016)

With a cut and a kick and an upbeat note, Damien Chazelle sure paints a pretty picture of classic Hollywood musical nostalgia, but La La Land is more plastic pastiche than poignant portrait. It’s a technical marvel that’s dramatically weightless, a boldly bravura effort from writer/director Damien Chazelle and his crew that’s also too cutesy…

Movie Review: Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Florence Foster Jenkins singing voice was flat and off-key, yet her generosity to others, friendship with music greats such as Arturo Toscanini, and love of music brought happiness to many during the dark days of World War II. Labeled by some intemperate critics as “the worst singer in the world,” she is given something of…

Movie Review: Oasis: Supersonic (2016)

There is no doubt that superfans of the hugely popular 90’s British rock band Oasis can confidently claim to knowing the intimate details behind one of the most explosive musical acts to come out of working-class Manchester, England. English filmmaker Mat Whitecross’ (“Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”) revealing and roguish musical documentary Oasis:…

Movie Review: Sing Street (2016)

The lyrical lad of film-making, in the form of Irish writer-director John Carney (who gave us the wonderfully musical drama in 2007’s “Once”), is at it again as he brings the continued inspiration of music and motivation in the engagingly festive coming-of-age musical melodrama Sing Street. Carney, the former member of the Irish rock group…

Movie Review: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Have you ever hailed someone? You know, much more than just greeting, rather saluting in a profound, almost belittling veneration signaling an orderly obedience. Neither have I. I’ve been close, though. I’m too much of a fetishist to resist the temptation every now and then. My kind of people are artists and thinkers, preferably dead…

Movie Review: Into the Woods (2014)

Fairy tale revisionism has run rampant across screens of late, so with the marketplace heavily saturated, there’s no better time to revive Stephen Sondheim’s subversive musical “Into the Woods,” about a convergence of fairy tale characters discovering what lies on either side of happily ever after. Sondheim’s playful lyrics and rich humor ensure that his…

Movie Review: Into the Woods (1991)

“I wish.” These are the first words of Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s timeless 1987 musical production, and the last. Dangerous, familiar words that, in the real world, can strain our relationships with our dreams, our loved ones, and ourselves, and set us up for situations in which we can never truly…

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