Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My review of JERSEY BOYS

Broadway musicals are hard to adapt to the screen. They tend to be stylistic on the stage, but don’t translate to the realism of a motion picture. The biggest problem is that people in real life generally do not just break out into song. Rarely is there an orchestra nearby when you need one. To adapt a musical successfully it takes a director with a deft hand or Julie Andrews.

However, I would think that one of the easiest musicals to film would be JERSEY BOYS. The story is set in a real time and place, the structure is solid, the characters are well defined, and the songs they sing are actual songs a group would sing. It’s not Idina Menzel sitting on a subway suddenly belting out “Let It Go” for no reason.

And then there’s the music itself. The songs of the Four Seasons, especially for baby boomers, is as close to bulletproof as you can find.

So it would take a real effort to screw up a movie version of JERSEY BOYS.

Enter Clint Eastwood.

Somehow Clint managed to do to JERSEY BOYS what Dirty Harry did to the Zodiac Killer.

And even though I’ve admired much of his work in the past, I can’t imagine a worse creative choice than Clint Eastwood to direct this movie. Forget that he’s a staunch Republican supporting candidates who are trying to cut funding for arts programs (thanks to Tallulah M. for that observation even though I’m now in for a flood of hate comments), he just has no feel for the genre, the era, the music, or Italians.

What’s next? Eli Roth (of HOSTEL fame) adapting the Carole King musical? Oliver Stone doing BOOK OF MORMON? Michael Bay bringing LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA to the silver screen?

But let’s get to JERSEY BOYS. First, I should say it’s one of the best Broadway musicals I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen it many times. It’s my “WICKED.” I was really looking forward to this.

Visually, the movie is just plain ugly. Washed out color, over exposed, brown – it looks like that old framed photo of your grandparents that has been bleached by the sun for the last sixty years. The music and era is upbeat. Why make it look like Ted Turner colorized an old black-and-white Bowery Boys short?

The tone was all over the place. Sometimes realistic and other times the characters would randomly talk to the screen. Clint almost seemed embarrassed to be directing a musical. I suspect he was permanently traumatized by starring in PAINT YOUR WAGON.

So again? Then why do it? Would you get Sam Peckinpah to direct GIGI?

On the stage, when the Four Seasons finally break through with “Sherry” the musical really takes off. It soars the rest of the way. The movie is endlessly plodding. Now you could say, why blame the Republican? Why not blame the writers if the musical was so much better than the movie? The same writers (Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice) did both. Obviously they weren’t driving the creative train. They didn't cast it.  They didn't determine the look or the pace.   They didn't edit it. 

One bright spot worth mentioning: Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio absolutely steals the movie – and that’s saying something when you have Christopher Walken playing his now familiar court jester of himself. Bergen also played Gaudio on the stage and was so nimble with such charm it was like he was in a different movie.

On the other hand, there’s John Lloyd Young. He originated the role of Frankie Valli and was the toast of Broadway. Tonys and good tables at Sardi’s followed. But acting in a musical, like everything else in a musical is very stylized. Your character might be asked to whisper and you still will have to yell it to the back row. Unless you’re Nathan Lane, real people don’t act that way. And the movie camera is intimate. The acting has to be natural. Tiny facial expressions are sometimes enough to convey entire emotions. And the sad cruel truth is that the camera just seems to love certain people and not love others. It loves Hugh Jackman; it doesn’t love Ryan Reynolds. It loves Anne Hathaway; is real meh about Amanda Seyfried. (And it has no idea what to think about Helena Bonham Carter.) There’s a presence, an X-Factor, just something special required to carry a major motion picture. And John Lloyd Young tries hard but just doesn’t have it. I give Clint props for going with unknowns – that’s how you discover the next Christoph Waltz – but Young belongs on the stage where he thrives.

Yet, he was Brando compared to Vincent Piazzza who played group member, Tommy DeVito. His “dem’s and doe’s” portrayal of a Jersey Italian wiseguy was beyond sketch. Has Clint ever seen a Martin Scorsese movie, because there are ways to play these gunsels without resorting to character assassination. Mel Brooks made Nazis look more credible. Fo-getta-bout-it!

There is, to be fair, one great section of this movie. A terrific street dance production number. Unfortunately, and this is all you need to know about the movie, it’s during the closing credits. So instead of paying to see JERSEY BOYS, wait for a road company stage version to come rolling through your town, and when the flick inevitably goes to HBO and in-flight entertainment (I'm guessing the 4th of July), catch the last five minutes. As a movie it’s a flop; as a music video it’s a pick-to-click.

73 comments:

Tony said...

Ugh. Yes. That movie was kind of a mess. I'm not sure I'd even describe it as a musical.

Bugdun said...

Don't worry, Ken. When the Fox News review comes out even this disaster will be Obama's fault.

Pete Grossman said...

Man, I like Mr. Eastwood, but I did think him an odd choice to direct this picture. Yes, he's musical, but has a jazz background. Plus, a lot of his stuff, while brilliant, can be brooding. Perhaps this is his Magnum Mopeus?

Igor said...

Sam Peckinpah to direct GIGLI?

iain said...

I loved what Eastwood did with "Bird," but had serious doubts about this film from the time it was announced he was going to direct. Ken's is one of the more positive reviews I've read. Yikes.

"Would you get Sam Peckinpah to direct GIGI?

That...that would have been SPECTACULAR!

Curt Alliaume said...

Interesting that Bergen as Bob Gaudio would be nimble - Gaudio took himself out of the Four Seasons stage act in the 1970s because, to paraphrase his own words, "I'm lazy and I don't know anyone worse onstage."

Tudor Queen said...

I'm actually a little surprised to hear from so many sources that Eastwood not only bungled the film, but was a rotten choice to begin with. He may not be a musical theater performer -heck, on the basis of "Paint Your Wagon", I'd say he definitely is not - but music of all kinds is tremendously important to him, and he has scored several of the films he directed. But I do think "Jersey Boys", like most adaptations of stage musicals, requires a certain nimbleness of touch, and for all his many abilities and good qualities, nimbleness is not one of them.

I'm sorry it seems to be such a mess as I wanted to see it. Now... I may wait for cable.

Carol said...

I totally agree that stage acting and movie acting take entirely different acting muscles. You can't stage act in a movie.

I also don't know why they didn't cast Frankie Valli as the mobster guy - I think he played a mobster guy in the Sopranos. And that would have been a fun cameo.

Hamid said...

In fairness to Clint, he's not a staunch Republican in the same way as someone like Chuck Norris, or Victoria Jackson or Pat Boone. Clint may be a fiscal conservative but he's not a social conservative. He got attacked by pro-lifers over the ending to Million Dollar Baby, which they claimed was promoting euthanasia.

You'll never hear Clint arguing that women who become pregnant from rape must have consented because their bodies allowed them to become pregnant, or any of the other insane notions large sections of the Republican party and its supporters are preoccupied with (come the 2016 election year, the next urgent issue of national importance will be a call to outlaw all sex that is intended for pleasure and not procreation).

Everyone's allowed the occasional misfire. Clint's made enough incredible works of cinema that he can be forgiven for sometimes putting out a dud.

tim said...

I fail to see what political bent has to do with the quality of this film. Slamming Eastwood as a conservative have been clever as a throw-away, but it sure wasn't funny or germane enough to warrant a recall.

New York Vinnie said...

The mistake here is that the movie tried to remain true to the play. The opportunity to tell more of the story was here and was bungled. I wasn't expecting a biopic but I would have liked to see elements that were not in the play. This is a great period to tell stories about the music business as there was so much going on. (See Taylor Hackford's "The Idolmaker") It disappoints because it could have delivered so much more and it fell down. I waited many years for the Four Seasons story to come to screen because I thought it was an interesting one and when it did it was bungled. As far as Eastwood's political leanings I've seen many movies done by communists. Why should it bother anyone when a movie is done by a Republican? Now when I want a great tribute to Frankie Valli, I have to go to YouTube and watch Morrissey cover "To Give"

Greg said...

Patty Heaton is a Republican too... you write posts about your love got her, but take needless pot shots at Clint in a review that has nothing to do with his politics. What gives?

It's your blog, you can do what you want. But in my opinion (as a Democrat myself, but not one who automatic hates all Republicans) is that stuff like this just makes you look like a jerk. I'm pretty sure you're not one. Why act like it?

BTW, even though you've already written this off as a hate comment, it's not one. I've read this blog for years and I really enjoy it.

ODJennings said...

Let's not forget John Huston directing "Annie" back in 1982.

The man who gave us The Maltese Falcon , African Queen, The Man Who Would Be King, and The Asphalt Jungle was somehow considered (by someone) to be the logical choice to direct a musical about a little orphan girl and her dog?

Mr. Hollywood said...

This was a doomed project from the start. Sign Rob Marshall to direct the film (after the stunning job he did on CHICAGO) and you have a winner. Love to hear the story of how Eastwood got involved with the project in the first place ... as far as John Huston directing ANNIE ... I worked on the film and Huston didn't do much on the film ... I believe Joe Leyton, with a huge musical background, was brought in to do all of the heavy lifting. The reason for Huston? Ray Stark wanted his name attached so he could score some big financial numbers worldwide and Huston was a legend. It was an easy pre-sell

The Big Guy said...

First time commenter, long time reader. I believe a review by the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips (which agrees with you on many of your points) said that executive producer Frankie Valli wanted Eastwood to direct. Valli and Gaudio were both listed as executive producers.

Canda said...

Agree with much of your review, and think Erich Bergen was very good.

But you are way off base on John Lloyd Young. He has great presence on screen, was excellent when singing, and had the best scene in the movie, in the restaurant with his estranged daughter. Other times he was forced to react to actors "putting on accents", instead of playing real people. He still seemed real in those scenes.

Everyone else in the film was forced and arch, the pace turgid, and the sets - many of which looked like they were on the Warner Brothers lot - were dreadful. The one green screen scene in the car looked laughable.

You're going to take us back to the McCarthy era if you're going to critique people according to their political views. There are lots of bodies of artists on the side of the road, because the culture all agreed that certain people's views were dangerous
and untenable, and they should not be allowed to work because their views might "infect" their work.

Bill Jones said...

Long-time reader, some-time commenter, occasional Friday-question-got-answered-er. Please don't sully your excellent blog with needless political potshots. I know, it's your blog, and you can do what you want with it. But I'm serious when I say that it's one of the last few redoubts that is not politicized in some way like everything else these days (even ESPN's web site now includes politically charged topics). You jeopardize your credibility, readability, and likeability when you stoop to irrelevant political asides. Thanks.

(Does this count as a "hate comment" or just an opinion? Hard to tell these days.)

BigTed said...

In defense of Nathan Lane, he's proved he can deliver a quiet, nuanced performance on "The Good Wife."

Julie Kistler said...

If Rob Marshall did ok with the screen version of CHICAGO (and only ok. Seriously, Richard Gere? Not good), he missed the boat big-time with NINE, where he turned the wife into a hooker and inserted a new character to give Goldie's daughter a gig. Awful. I don't know why Hollywood seems to think he's the only person who can direct a musical. I suppose Susan Stroman didn't really knock anybody's socks off with THE PRODUCERS, either. There has to be somebody out there who can figure it out.

Joe Laredo said...

"Why make it look like Ted Turner colorized an old black-and-white Bowery Boys short?"

The Bowery Boys never appeared in short subjects. You are officially banned from Louie's Sweet Shop for life!

Theodore said...

Jesus, you'd think people were a little smarter who come to a blog like this.

He made a CLEAR statement that Eastwood's Republican bent has him supporting CUTTING FUNDING TO THE ARTS

which is IRONIC because this moving is about a MUSICAL, which rely on things like FUNDING FOR THE ARTS

Jesus.

Igor said...

Here's a problem that pro-arts-funding people never seem much interested in discussing:

If gov't funds a program, it should also be in a position to come in afterwards and see if the group/person/other entity did a good job. Now, of course, Congress and the Exec Branch drop the ball on this all the time, but I think they should do that, and do it well. And certainly be in a position to do it from the start.

Now, let's look at art funding: If the gov't gives money to an artist (or to the NEA which then gives money to an artist, theater group, etc.), what if the gov't thinks the resulting artwork is crap? Do we really want the gov't to call in an artist for a hearing? To be in a position of having the art called "crap" and having to defend it? I think that's a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

Usually I real, really, really like this blog- but not today. Did Roseanne ghost write today's edition?

Clint Eastwood is legendary.

Igor said...

Gov't should assess everything it spends money on - before it writes the check. And afterwards, to see if the recipient did good work.

But I don't want gov't judging artists' work.

(And yes, I know: Just for starters, gov't has done a crappy oversight job on with countless programs at DOD. The answer to that is: They should do a better job with the programs at DOD.)

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

@theodore
I understand your point that Eastwood gives to politicians who don't support giving government money to the Arts. Which supposedly hurts his industry.

I'll play devil's advocate. What about those in Hollywood who give money to politicians who support giving government money for unfettered abortions?

Doesn't the lack of population growth significantly hurt the industry as well?

thomas tucker said...

First, what difference does it make what Eastwood'd politics are when it comes to making a musical? It's past time to get over that perspective.
Second, Jersey Boys on stage is one of the worst things I have ever seen. It is plodding, unoriginal, and entirely predictable, with gratuitous vulgarity added for no apparent reason.
That's my 2 cents.

Rick Ollerman said...

You are breaking my heart. No one is a bigger Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons than I; I grew up on the music and have just about all of it that can be had. I completely agree with you about the musical being your "Wicked"--the show is sublime and that part toward the end where it becomes clear the show is going to end simultaneously seems to come out of the blue and make you want to scream, "Noooo! Not yet!"

Eastwood can make good movies; Eastwood can make really ham-fisted ones. I have yet to be able to predict in advance which will be which. In this case, since the previews seem so true to the musical, I've had hope. On the other hand, Young isn't my favorite Frankie, they need a real Tommy, and I wish the Nick Massi character didn't look so odd.

I think your review is absolutely spot on, and I will finally keep hoping against hope that the movie will catch fire among audiences since it's pretty clear critics have already ruled.

CRL said...

Homer: Something very close, exactly along those lines. A Clint Eastwood-Lee Marvin shoot-'em-up Western!
(Lisa and Marge share an annoyed murmur. Bart puts a tape in the VCR.)
Bart: So prepare yourself for the bloody mayhem and unholy carnage of Joshua Logan's Paint Your Wagon.

Dixon Steele said...

Perhaps because my expectations were lowered, I went yesterday to JB and found myself enjoying Eastwood's take.

Like you, Ken, it's one of my favorite musicals, with one great production number after the next.

It reminded me somewhat of BIRD, which was another downbeat music story. Eastwood was clearly going for a grittier, more realistic take than the "stylized" stage show.

I too didn't care for the de-saturated look (this seem to change later in the story). I also liked Bergen but for me Young scored the best. Right on about the Scorsese comment. The record label guy refusing to put out CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU? OY!

And yes, the OH WHAT A NIGHT finale showed what the film would've/might've/should've been. Loved it.

By the way, did you see Clint on the Tonys when he poked fun of himself with the empty chair bit?

jbryant said...

An artist's politics may be of interest, but it's rarely a predictor of the quality of their work (unless you're the type that can't get past it). Same goes for their sexual preference, race and general temperament. Unless Eastwood's politics color the way he told this particular story, I guess I don't see the point of bringing them up in a review.

I haven't see the movie yet. I am a big fan of Eastwood's films (with exceptions of course), but I admit he didn't sound like the best choice on paper, despite being a musician himself. But I'm hoping to like it anyway, as I've liked some of his other maligned films.

Re Vincent Piazza's performance -- interestingly enough, perhaps his best-known role is Lucky Luciano on BOARDWALK EMPIRE, produced and occasionally directed by...Martin Scorsese.

Igor said...

Oh, Ken, BTW, I though the Eastwood-Republican-arts thing didn't bother me at all. It seemed a bit out of place. But otherwise...? Eh.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Igor, how is it out of place to discuss when reviewing an artist's (Botched) work, to note that he's stabbing the arts in the back; that he's essentially a traitor to the arts?

I'm sorry to read this review (And the several others I've seen that all agree with Ken), as I was looking forward to seeing this movie. I love the music.

D. McEwan said...

Clint was also very much the wrong director for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. What next? Hermann Goering to direct Exodus?

thomas tucker said...

@Tallulah: it's out of place because it's a review of a movie, not a review of the political poistions of the produceers or actors or directors.

Bob Leszczak said...

His direction on this MILLION DOLLAR BABY was a TRUE CRIME and he is UNFORGIVEN.

RCP said...

I long for the days (before people started attending political rallies armed to the teeth) when a simple comment could be made about someone's political persuasion (and as Tallulah and Theodore point out, one that has a relevant point) without it becoming a big deal. And yes, it works both ways.

It's disappointing to hear that Eastwood was not up to the task, but I'm not that surprised that he was chosen for the job. His range as a director can be impressive - but this sounds like a misfire.

Mike McCann said...

Vinnie,
You dropped the name of the guy who should have directed this film -- Hackford. He understands the rock and roll mindset and how to cap it visually. Tom Hanks, also an avid fan as well as skilled director, would have been intriguing.... Clint Eastwood just comes off as the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mike McCann said...

Was anyone else as annoyed as I was by overuse of the actors breaking the 4th wall? If you add the number of times Groucho did it in his movies, it wouldn't add up to the abusive number of times it was done in this one film. Sitting in the screening room, I had to restrain myself from screaming, " STOP THAT! "

MikeN said...

I was surprised to see James Roday in the movie. Psych The Musical was horrible.

Igor said...

@Tallulah Morehead

In reply to your question - As best as I can tell, this movie was funded with private money.

And, other people here objected to the Ken's comment for its substance. I explicitly did not.

I hope that answers your question.

H Johnson said...

I think the film blows. The actor singing Frankie Valli's part was nasal and that's it. Valli had a depth to his voice that maybe can't be imitated. While John Lloyd Young may sound fine in a theater, on screen it was painful. Why not use the original recordings in the film?

By-the-by I agree that the cheap shots at Eastwood are beneath your usual wit.

Lorimartian said...

I found it ironic that Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa is mounting a production of JB just as the movie is coming out, especially in light of the fact that you say seeing it on stage is preferable. Unfortunately, it's too far for me to go, so I'll probably see the film. (I didn't know JB was about The Four Seasons until I watched the Tonys that year.) If I hadn't grown up with their music, I would probably wait for cable, but I'll hope for the best and accept that it's flawed...and I guess I better hurry.

Pat Reeder said...

I add my vote to the "leave politics out of it" side. On every comment board, there are people on both sides who drag their political obsessions into every subject, no matter how inappropriate. I wouldn't blacklist anyone's art unless they were actively supporting al-Qaeda. If I can sit through a George Clooney movie and judge it for what it is, then liberals can watch one from Clint Eastwood without bleating on and on about his irrelevant political views (and yes, they are irrelevant: being a Republican voter doesn't mean you hate art). Clint isn't even a conservative, he's more a Libertarian who just knows an empty chair when he sees one. Incidentally, I love "Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil."

I am in favor of arts funding for organizations that benefit the general public, like museums and festivals, and art and music classes in schools. But I adamantly oppose individual government arts grants, one of the most unfair, anti-artist concepts of all time. Put aside the issue of whether any government bureaucrat should be picking which art is worthy or unworthy. Years ago, Spy magazine ran a piece on how individual NEA grants enrich established artists at the expense of struggling artists. The NEA claims that all submissions are given fair consideration. But Spy analyzed meeting records and calculated that even if the judges spent every last second of the meetings looking at artists' work, they could have seen each submission for only a fraction of a second.

Judges who owned galleries that represented artists up for grants legally had to recuse themselves, but they scratched each others' backs by voting for artists who had deals with the other judges. Result: connected artists won grants, which boosted the prices of their works, thanks to NEA-connected gallery owners who sold those works for more money, thus boosting their own sales commissions. One artist admitted he was already so successful, he used his entire fat NEA grant check to pay his income tax bill.

Meanwhile, artists without government contacts (or with enough integrity to shun the government teat) have to support their art by taking day jobs. To add insult to injury, taxes are deducted from their paychecks to support well-connected, government-approved artists. The same holds for writers who please or displease their government grant masters. But those of us who oppose this boot-licking scam are tarred as "traitors to the arts." Sometimes, issues go deeper than "left good, right bad."

Wayne said...

How ironic if a film by Clint Eastwood plays to empty chairs.

Mike Barer said...

While people in real life don't break out in song, rarely in real life in dramatic music playing during a car chase or violins playing during a love scene.
Still your point is well taken, musicals do not generally work on screen, I saw Dream Girl and some rock musical with Tom Cruise a while back and they were terrible. I think the last musical that worked on screen was Grease and that was decades ago.

Hamid said...

Talking of Eastwood, I just heard that Eli Wallach, who co-starred in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, has sadly passed away. What an incredible actor, and he was still acting in his 90s.

RIP.

Christopher Anton said...

I just want to thank you for providing such a consistently amazing blog. This is honestly the best blog on the internet and I look forward to reading it everyday. I love all the tidbits that you consider so normal. You have given me an insight to the writer's world that I never could have had otherwise and I honestly can't thank you enough (:

gottacook said...

I'm perhaps a bit of an outlier here - the only Four Seasons record I own is a 45 of "C'mon Marianne" from 1967; can anyone here tell me whether the show (or the movie) includes it? I'd guess not... but it's a good record anyway.

BGLawrence said...

It is disturbing that you believe a man's political vision (or lack thereof) may be a cause of its value as a film. Totally absurd and discredits your blog as a whole. However, that said, I went and saw this film since I too, had seen the Broadway production 9 times ( and will see it in Orange County again this July4). The film does move slowly in the first 15 minutes and lacks the energy throughout, that the stage production has. His use of washed out color was to give the impression of the 50s' but I agree, went too far. The most serious mistake I believe you make, along with most others, is comparing it to the stage version. The film will be seen by many who will not or cannot see that production. To compare the two is like comparing Peach ice cream and Peach pie. They are both desserts, both peach, but each unlike the other. They should be judged on their own, rather than by a litmus test that uses perhaps, the best Broadway show and production EVER on stage.

Igor said...

Wayne wrote: "How ironic if a film by Clint Eastwood plays to empty chairs."

Now that's a funny line.

(Despite - or even with - depending on your politics - the allusion to Eastwood's politics.)

And I say that even though I think Eastwood got an unfair rap about the "empty chair" routine he did at the R Convention. Not that it was a great routine, but it wasn't crazy/mentally-unbalanced as some said at the time. Even Rob Reiner made a crack of that sort.

I say "even Rob Reiner" because he should have consulted his dad (or his own memory of comedy routines) to recall Bob Newhart's one-sided phone call bits. What Eastwood did was the same concept; just a different "platform".

So, anyway. Maybe Ken should engage Wayne to do political-comedy punch-ups for the blog. (Just kidding, Ken. Even with your record, it's impossible not to foul one off every year or so.)

Hank Gillette said...

Tommy DeVito is gay? I don’t think the word gunsel means what you think it does.

On the other hand, it’s been misused so often since The Maltese Falcon maybe it does mean what you think it does.

Norm said...

Anybody want to help them make their production budget? It's not looking good.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=daily&id=jerseyboys.htm

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Igor said...
@Tallulah Morehead

In reply to your question - As best as I can tell, this movie was funded with private money."


Irrelevant to the fact that the man is an artist who is stabbing the arts in the back. I'm not boycotting his work (As I do boycott Patricia Heaton's, and you can't get me to sit through anything with John Wayne in it, though his having been a lousy excuse for an actor is part of that), but the fact that Eastwood is a right-wing douchebag is not irrelevant to me.

And I do think their politics have a place in reviews. When buying a ticket to a movie or a play or buying a book it is highly relevant to me to know if some part of the money I'm paying will end up in Republican coffers, helping to fund Evil. I do not care to have money travel from my pocket to the Republicans or the Libertarians or the Teabaggers.

blogward said...

When are they going to do a musical about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter? Clint's a shoo-in for that.

Mike said...

Tallulah, your reasoning is ridiculous. Unless you plan to investigate the political views of every single employee of every organization you give your business to, then you will be giving money to people who have differing political views than you. My suggestion is that you work on being more tolerant rather than generalizing everyone who has opposing political views as "evil". The only person who is coming across as "evil" is you.

As for Clint: I also find it frightening that you and Ken feel that because he doesn't support government-funded art, then that is some sort of crime against the arts. Again: how unbelievably intolerant.

Igor said...

@Tallulah Morehead

Oh, now I understand...

With your disdain for douchebags, Morehead seems the better option.

(With apologies to our host.)

VP81955 said...

If Clint Eastwood winds up with directorial duties for "Wicked," Kristin Chenoweth should run from the production as quickly as her little (but lovely) legs let her.

XJill said...

I love, love LOVE the musical and even the trailers for this had me so bummed. Sigh. Won't be seeing it but will see the show (AGAIN!) next time I'm in Vegas.

Or at the Pantages in October!!
http://hollywoodpantages.com/showinfo.php?id=32

lrobhubbard said...

Hey, Peckinpah did direct a couple of Julien Lennon music videos...

Anonymous said...

I really didn't like the musical and here's why. I have trouble seeing music I really like performed by a bunch of cheesy imitators. It would be like seeing Dreamgirls and they would be singing Supreme's songs. AT least in Dreamgirls the music might have been Supreme-like to a degree, but the songs were original. I prefer the music to be original..anything else is cheap and cheating.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what his legend is? Have you seen the film? It's a total piece of crap--woefully miscast with non film actors who clearly needed direction and didn't get it. It's NOTHING like the play, which is fast paced and full of excitement and fun. This turd looks dark and emphasizes only the negatives. Not once are you rooting for the boys to succeed, rather you're expecting them to blow up or kill each other at any moment. They removed all the laughs and all the joy. A travesty.

Joe Marine said...

GIGI

MikeN said...

Clint Eastwood may be a staunch Republican, but even if all the people he endorses get elected, public funding for the arts would likely increase, since those politicians aren't so staunch. George W Bush increased funding.
Even still, the logic is ridiculous. If I work at a restaurant, should I automatically support government funding for restaurants? Support for politicians who would not support this funding means you won't eat there?

It would be one thing if Republicans were banning the arts. Now, you are objecting to government funding of a small portion.

Meanwhile, Obama has put two people in jail for making videos. One that criticized him personally, and another as a scapegoat for Benghazi so Obama could continue his claim that AlQaeda is dead.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Restaurants are not the arts. And I have the right to choose which artists I support and which I find so abhorrent that I will not support their careers in any way. So, all you Let's-ignore-the-artist's-politics folks, do you support the work of Leni Riefenstahl? Oh wait, she was, to put it mildly, right wing, so of course you do.

And yes, a party that is waging war on women, raping the environment, backwards on civil rights, gung ho to wage war whenever and wherever possible, doing all it can to destroy education (Because the less-educated people are, the more likely they are to fall for the right-wing's lies and vote conservative against their own best interests), demonizing intelligence, tolerating and encouraging racism, bankrupting the economy, demonizing healthcare, and favoring screwing the poor to further enrich the money-hoarders IS Evil.

Ken Fisher said...

Ken, as a former Top 40 Jock, you must have appreciated the "Big Girls Don't Cry" segue.

Mike said...

Bumble Bee, no need to get that convoluted. How about that they are supporting Green policies which increase the cost of housing and electricity and gas, leaving less money to buy arts.

MikeN said...

So it has nothing to do with funding of the arts, but other politics then.

By the way Leni is left-wing. Nazi is short for National Socialist.

Mike said...

>a party that is waging war on women

One party is putting Bill Clinton front and center at its convention. "Better put some ice on that".

I'll grant you that avoiding Roman Polanski movies is legitimate. Indeed, anyone who applauds him is actively supporting evil.

Thomas tucker said...

LOL, that rant by Tallulah could be satire if I didn't know she means it. It's a little early for a fireworks display though.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Filming a musical is harder than it looks. See (if you can find it) the film version of "A Little Night Music." Magic on the stage, slow death on the screen, and both were directed by Hal Prince. Despite this and other disappointments, Sondheim has apparently agreed to let Disney film "Into the Woods." (Bart Simpson shuddering sound)

I'm all for government support of the arts, but it's not really relevant to the Broadway musical, which tends to be privately funded. That's why, when the Tony for best musical is announced, two hundred people fill the stage. Those are the backers, hopeful of getting a return on their investment.

I think Tarantino should direct the Carole King show.

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Anonymous said...

Those wondering about the difficulty of "musicals to film" must not be aware of "South Pacific," "Guys and Dolls," "West Side Story," "The Sound of Music," et cetera.

I agree with Frankie Valli's critique: There needed to be more music, including from the cars' radios! Where was the scene (in my head) of the Boys' hearing "Sherry" on the airwaves for the first time? This was the era of the ubiquitous transistor radios, and not with headphones! The bowling alley jukebox scene...has no music playing! WTH?!

One small irony: Having the cast sing live for the "Bandstand" scene. ALL acts lip-synched on that program!

The "Francine" story line, as portrayed in the movie (I didn't see the stage show) was straight outta Lennie Briscoe's story line in "Law and Order," complete with the daughter's overdose demise.

Anyway, I thought JLY was great and will forever regret not making the short trip to see him on Broadway.

Unknown said...

John Lloyd Young was really great in this movie. The whole cast was good but John was easily able to carry the picture. The only regret is not having John and the guys actually sing more in the movie and in its soundtrack. The costumes were good but the wigs not as much. I would love to see John Lloyd Young in many more projects.