Monday, October 10, 2011

Movie Monday: GeneCo, 90's Oliver Stone, The Worst Play Ever, and the LA Version of Coyote Ugly

I have been delaying this blog for several weeks now, because of YouTube.

I have been following this recent copyright bill/law that affects how users can add videos to sites like YouTube. Videos that are not their own (like movie clips, music videos, etc.). I had a video on my account of a performance from Lilith Fair last year that Sony had contacted me about, since it was of an artist under their record company. They did not ask me to remove it, but to credit them and to not allow others to share or embed the video. I went ahead and deleted it.

How does this relate to today's blog? Well, this new bill/law has made it more difficult to add movie clips to the movies I review. I have spent random evenings trying to find anything I can use and almost resorted to using the movie trailers instead. It's been frustrating for me. So, if you notice more trailers and less movie clips included in my future Movie Monday blogs, you will understand why.

Now... review time!

Repo the Genetic Opera

In the not too distant future, there was mass hysteria over failed organs. Out of this crisis came GeneCo, a company that helps finance body organs to those in need. However, if you cannot pay for the organs, the Repo Man comes to repossess them. In the midst of this "revolution," a young woman named Shilo (Alexa Vega) discovers the truth behind her family and the rare disorder that's kept her sheltered her entire life.

Yes, this is a musical. A CULT musical... meaning you are either going to love it or hate it. For this girl, I have actually watched it several times now. Some of the musical talents of the actors are not the best, and some of them (Hello, Sarah Brightman) are some of the best in the business. I love how it's dark, gory, and came from Darren Lynn Bousman (who did the Saw movie series). I really liked seeing the mix of comic book animation and colorful live action sequences. My personal favorite number: Zydrate Anatomy (which I have found Rocky Horror pre-show numbers to this song... from many casts). If you can handle a rock opera styled musical with lots of dark and twisted elements, then I suggest giving this movie a try. Rating 4 out of 5 stars

Natural Born Killers

Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory Knox (Juliette Lewis) met one fateful day that forever changed the course of their lives. They fell in love and went on a cross-country murder spree along Route 666, until poisonous snakes led them to law enforcement. As they spent time in prison, media journalist Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.) wants to glorify their "legendary" status to the masses... which leads to an unpredictable series of events.

This is one of those movies I have missed watching over the years. If I had any idea that Quentin Tarantino was the writer, I would have made an effort to watch it sooner than I did. It does feel like one of his films, but it wouldn't have been as good if not for Oliver Stone. The duo created a masterful movie that encompasses a lot of the "feel" of the early to mid-1990's, especially with the use of color. I loved how well Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr. and Tommy Lee Jones did with their characters. I recommend that this movie be put on everyone's Bucket List. Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The Producers

Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) has found himself with another flop on Broadway. As he tries to sort his affairs with his accountant, Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick), an ingenious idea comes to mind. There is a way to create a flop and make more money than investing in what could be a hit. Max and Leo decide to produce the worst play possible... Springtime for Hitler. However, while coming up with a great scheme, unpredictable things happen... all the way to showtime.

I have not seen the original play or 1968 film (or maybe I have but was too young to remember) but Mel Brooks did well. To poke fun of the workings of a stage musical, then to get major success off of The Producers was absolutely brilliant. The musical is funny, has excellent comedic timing, and is extremely entertaining. For Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane to partner up in the remake (onstage and on film) was absolutely perfect. I cannot think of anyone else to play opposite each other than those two. I was also impressed with Will Ferrell and how he stepped out of typecasting to play Franz Liebkind. This is a musical that any theater person, or musical lover, needs to watch. Rating 4 1/2 out of 5 stars


Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a farm town Iowa girl who moves to Los Angeles to live the dream life. She is hired at a burlesque lounge as a waitress. Ali soon falls in love with the art of burlesque and aspires to become one of the dancers. When one of the dancers leaves, Ali gets an audition... and a spot in the show. While Ali adapts to her new position at the lounge, club owner Tess (Cher) is trying to figure out how to keep her business afloat, between a wealthy businessman (Eric Dane) trying to buy the property and foreclosure notices. Tess finds hope in Ali, when she surprises everyone with her standout voice.

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I immediately thought "This is going to be the L.A. version of Coyote Ugly." Turns out I was right. This is one of those movies that is so predictable but you cannot help adding it to you "guilty pleasure" list. I think Christina did very well for her feature film debut... it's showing that she has talent in other things besides singing. I did think it was cheesy for Cher to have musical number in the middle of the movie, but it didn't surprise me. Stanley Tucci, just like in The Devil Wears Prada, does awesome as the gay assistant/buddy... and has some of the best comeback lines.

Now, the title Burlesque is misleading. Those who have been to actual burlesque shows know what I'm talking about. Burlesque is more seductive and has partial nudity. This movie is basically about Cabaret dancing. I still liked it. Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars

Next week's Movie Monday blog (or in 2 weeks... depends on how many movies I watch) will be a themed blog. I have to pay respects to horror movies in October... it just goes hand in hand. Anyway... be prepared for some horror movie goodness!!!

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