2 posts categorized "Broadway"

March 24, 2022

WEST SIDE STORY

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

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ColeSmithey.comHere is the longest two and a half hours you will spend in your life.

Steven Spielberg's nostalgic populism goes dark.

Very dark.

Forget about, "if you can't improve on the original, don't bother."

Spielberg damns the torpedos with off-base casting choices and a celebration of stomach-churning brute violence, under a tone-deaf sense of musicality.

Shrill.

ColeSmithey.com

Every song is in the wrong key relative to the demands of the narrative.

Fingernails on a chalkboard bad.

Just awful.

ColeSmithey.com

Even its ensemble's solid choreography gets lost beneath crushing waves of poor editing, pacing, and misplaced thematic emphasis.

In our modern violent times, the last thing audiences need is the racist fueled anger, hatred, and resentment this film promulgates. 

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 10.05.55 PM

The definitive 1961 version of "West Side Story" retains its title.

This film only serves to underscore flaws in the source material.

Rated PG-13. 156 mins.

ZERO STARS

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

December 22, 2006

DREAMGIRLS

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

 

ColeSmithey.comSet amidst the R&B heyday of the '60s, "Dreamgirls" is a musical that owes as much of its harmonious heritage to the Memphis Stax records sound as it does to the Motor City where the story takes place.

Director Bill Condon (screenwriter on "Chicago") captures the musical set pieces with vitality as our trio of soul singers The Dreamettes climb the ladder of success before their leader Effie White (Jennifer Hudson) is kicked to the curb by the group's manager Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx).

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 5.52.16 PM

By the time the ever-modulating songs start to expose their monotonous arrangements, it becomes clear that Effie's replacement Deena Jones (Beyonce Knowles) is no match for Jennifer Hudson in the singing or charisma departments.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 5.53.27 PM

Eddie Murphy gives the strongest performance of his career as James "Thunder" Early, an aging James Brown kind of performer unable to adjust to the musical changes occurring around him.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 5.54.12 PM

However, it is newcomer Jennifer Hudson who owns the movie with her magnetic presence and go-tell-it-on-the-mountain voice.         

Rated PG-13. 131 mins.

3 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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