Posts Tagged ‘fame’
Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen
Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Synopsis: Essentially an anthology film of Woody Allen shorts, To Rome with Love tells multiple stand-alone stories that take place in the titular picturesque city. There’s John (Alec Baldwin) who is an architect replaying the great love affair of his youth through Jack (Eisenberg) and the vivacious wannabe-actress Monica (Page), and there’s Leopoldo Pisanello (Benigni) who suddenly becomes a celebrity and soon starts to go crazy with all of the attention. Though each stories’ humor varies, they all offer a glimpse of a different facet of the city.
It’s a question that’s plagued me for a while now: whatever happened to big Hollywood movie musicals? Movie genres typically go through cycles of popularity and I think we’re due for another round of flashy, dance-filled musicals.
Musicals have been a long-enduring genre since the early days of film. In fact, the very first sound film was a musical—1927’s The Jazz Singer. When it became a runaway success, studios rushed to create more musicals, some of which became the beginnings of a series. Warner Brothers’ triumph with The Gold Diggers of Broadway led to The Gold Diggers of 1933, which became one of the most celebrated musicals of all time thanks in large part to Busby Berkeley’s intricate choreography. RKO Radio Pictures first paired dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers—who danced together in nine films—in 1933 in Flying Down to Rio, creating arguably the most famous dancing couple in film history. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released The Broadway Melody in 1929, which not only started a series but also won the Academy Award for Best Picture. As time went on, production companies made more and more musicals until the genre reached its greatest popularity in the 1940’s and ‘50s.
Though many studios made musicals during that time, MGM arguably became the company most associated with producing expensive, opulent and immensely successful musicals. They produced Easter Parade, Summer Stock, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Guys and Dolls, as well as numerous others. Those films were a mixture of song and dance and while they weren’t exactly realistic, they were always entertaining. MGM musicals have always been my favorites and when I think of the kind of musicals I’d love to see now, I imagine huge productions with the same glamour and spectacle as MGM’s greatest musicals. I’m talking musicals with big, expensive set pieces and extended dance sequences with dancers wearing costumes of every conceivable color. I’m talking great songs that not only convey exactly what the character feels, but are also catchy and make the audience want to sing along.
Director: Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
Screenwriters: Nicholas Stoller (Yes Man), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
Cast: Jonah Hill (Superbad), Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Sean “P. Diddy” Combs (Monster’s Ball) Elisabeth Moss (TV’s Mad Men)
Length: 1h 49m
Synopsis: Aaron Green (Hill) is an unassuming employee who works in the think tank of a major record production company that’s looking to cash in on a large scale event that will give the business more staying power. He suggests a comeback concert for fledgling English music artist Aldous Snow (Brand), who used to be as popular and successful as anyone before his last album tanked due to it being horribly offensive, idiotic, and distasteful. The studio green lights Aaron’s idea, and even insists that he himself go to England to pick Snow up and bring him to Los Angeles where he’ll perform his revival concert at the famed Greek Theater. What Aaron finds out is that such a simple task is made exceedingly difficult when the rock star continually fails to cooperate in any way, electing instead to do as he pleases – which includes partying, drugs, and women. Read the rest of this entry »