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UFAlien



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:41 pm    Post subject: Favorite Movie Musicals Reply with quote

I would like to know what everyone's favorite movie musicals are. I've taken the liberty of writing out a whole review of mine, but you don't need to if you aren't so inclined. My pick is:

The Apple (aka Star Rock) [1978/1980]


Now, a bit of a preface is required. I go to Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public High School. We have a Film Critique class there, and at the end of the semester, students are invited to write an essay on the film they believe the class should watch, for extra credit.

I'd been planning on writing about a movie that was "deep" and "introspective" and "well-acted". But then... THEN... I saw a film I knew I had to share with as many people as possible. A film so remarkable, so engrossing, so ridiculously, hilariously, and engagingly bad that it became an instant favorite.

That movie was The Apple. It's full of hilarious screwups, nonsensical plot elements, and everything necessary to make a bad - no, HORRIBLE movie. But it is just way too much fun for me to give a hoot.

But what, pray tell, could this be about? Simple. A duo of Canadian folksingers caught in the tangled web of the Devil, in the guise of businessman Mr. Boogalow, who is taking over the world with bad pop music.

As for the film's history, it was made in the late 70s by an Iranian director and largely British cast filming in Germany, but it's set in America in 1994, and yes, the main characters are Canadian.

It was released in 1978 in West Germany as Star Rock. It was then released in the US in 1980, retitled The Apple.

Now that's 5 countries and 3 decades - so things, as you'd assume, are quite jumbled.

At its US premiere, the audience was given free souvenir soundtracks - most of which were thrown at the screen, causing costly damage. Subsequent preview screenings saw the soundtracks handed out at the exit - and immediately thrown into the nearest trash cans.

But lately, it has received a sort of cult status - midnight screenings are occasionally held, Rocky Horror style, and often sell out. Performance troupes in LA cover the songs. And apparently, the movie is one of Eli Roth's personal favorites, as he wrote an introduction to a sing-along screening (although he was unable to read it to the audience in person due to prior engagements).

It's full of spandex, glittery makeup, not-so-subtle Biblical analogies (including an entire hallucinated musical number set in Hell), terrible special effects, weird accents from British people trying to sound American, awful (but catchy) songs, and embarrassing editing issues.

And it all leaps off the screen with such clear devotion, such blind enthusiasm that I'm constantly pulled into a state of awe. This movie LIVES, I swear - the pure, manic, uninhibited energy this movie puts off is almost startling.

It's clear that EVERYONE INVOLVED put time, effort, and (in the case of the producers, at least) a considerable amount of money into making this movie. They were ambitious, they were determined, and they were NOT going to let anyone tell them no.

It's also clear that said people had next to no talent in the areas of screenwriting, songwriting, directing, acting, costume designing, or, really, anything you need to make a good movie except ENERGY!!!! It seems possible the movie was made only because the entire cast and crew was being force-fed ridiculous amounts of Mountain Dew.

Man: "The Apple? So it's a subtle analogy for the temptation and ultimate ruin of shallow fame?"

Director: *Drinks five cases of Mountain Dew* "NO WAY MAN! We're throwing subtle out - like, out the window of a high-rise apartment building. Maybe on a jet ski wearing spandex, that'd be SUPER AWESOME! The metaphor is when they're in Hell! And they meet the antichrist, and Napoleon, and some jaguar-headed dudes, and a vampire, and they all dance with this, like, giant plastic apple prop! DUDE!"

Yes, the dance described above is an actual scene in the movie. Which leads me to believe maybe it was something a bit stronger than Mountain Dew, actually.

Some of the choreography is actually fairly well done, Grace Kennedy has a wonderful singing voice, and the cinematography makes good use of the scope aspect ratio. That's about all that can be said for this film in terms of "actual" redeeming qualities.

As a note for something that did irk me, the movie doesn't QUITE jump right into the really entertaining stuff. The opening number is pointlessly, almost laboriously long, and it's not until song number three that the movie really kicks into high gear. Once it gets there, though, you can bet it doesn't stop. Its ultimate redeeming feature is just that the movie, in the right mindset, is as ridiculously fun to watch as it must have been to make.

Back to the story at hand - I wrote my essay on The Apple instead of a movie that was actually good, and then submitted it.

It turns out it was the only essay anyone in my class that semester bothered to write.

So, lucky us, my entire class (and teacher, who didn't bother watching it before the screening) got to see The Apple. Predictably, some of my classmates hated it. But some of them were swept up in it as I was, and so was the teacher - he danced to the reprise of the title song over the end credits. I've since been told by another classmate that he bought the DVD for himself soon after the school screening.

For the sake of going out on a cheesy overused line - take a bite of The Apple, and see if you like it as much as I did.

4.25/5

________________________________

As a special note: the DVD contains both the anamorphic widescreen and cropped fullscreen versions of the movie. Be SURE to choose the widescreen option - the fullscreen transfer isn't even pan & scan, it simply takes the center of the image and displays it at all times, leading to many shots of arms (apparently attached to bodies offscreen) talking to each other.
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thespaceinvader



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta be Grease Wink

Hairspray (the recent version) was good, and had some very catchy songs in it.

But in general, I prefer to see them on the stage.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old ones, like Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady, Gigi, The Music Man, West Side Story, An American in Paris, Sound of Music... of recent films, my favorites are Phantom of the Opera and Newsies. Although Newsies isn't so recent anymore, is it? Hmm. Well, those are they.

Yeah... I just like musicals. ^____^


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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Into the Woods.
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TheBritishInvasion



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O Brother Where Art Thou and Moulin Rouge are my favourite movie musicals (Hairspray is very good though).

I love to watch O Brother Where Art Thou and inform my non-classicist friends of every reference to the Odyssey.

And Wicked is my favourite stage musical.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera (I guess it's a musical), The Producers, Brigadoon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Lagaan (yay Bollywood!), O Brother Where Art Thou.

Several of these originated on the stage, but I've never seen the original and/or still love the movie version.
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spellingmistax



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Large pointy pencils TheBritishInvasion, you got there before me. My favorite musicales are also O Brother Where Art Thou and Moulin Rouge, (now I look like I copied you, *sulks*) I am never sure which one is better though, my favorite is usually the one I watched most recently
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tin: As awesome as Into the Woods is, UF was asking about movie musicals, not broadway Smile Not that Squee doesn't wish there were a good movie version of it...

Squee's a big fan of some of the classics, especially My Fair Lady which is on Squee's top 10 movies list, but of the more modern ones, Moulin Rouge takes the cake Wink
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Nem



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Across the Universe is okay. Coincidentally the only one I've see which makes it one of my favourites by default anyway. The licensing fees for all the music they used must have been awful.
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there's a very nice filmed version of Into the Woods. It's not technically a movie, since it's a filmed stage production rather than specifically made as a movie. But it's a very elaborate production, and also it's the only way I've ever seen Into the Woods at all. So I have a hard time thinking of it as a stage production, really.
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DarkwingPsycho



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really love The Phantom of the Opera (although I enjoy it on stage more). Do Disney movies count as musicals? Kidding. Wink

I really would love to see a Les Miserables movie done as the musical rather than the book, and I would DIE to see Wicked as a movie.
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thespaceinvader



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see why not. They're movies which tell a story using a mixture of songs and normal dialogue. Seems pretty much to fit the definition of 'movie' to me Wink
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Lithrath



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocky Horror Picture Show tops my list; I've seen it on stage as well and love it dearly in both formats.

This is followed up by The Producers, The Sound of Music and (if it counts, since I saw it as a stage production first) The Nightmare Before Christmas.
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Rolaoi



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have much taste for musicals. A lot of my friends in drama do, however, so I've picked up a lot of songs. My favorites are O Brother Where Art Thou and the Sweeny Todd with Depp and the lady that also played Bellatrix LaStrange in Harry Potter.
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Lani



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My all-time favorite musical is absolutely Singing in the Rain. And frankly, I'm surprised and hurt it hasn't been mentioned yet. lol "Moses Supposes" is one of my favorite songs... I've been dying to play Lina Lamont since the first time I've seen it.

My Fair Lady would probably come in second, with Fiddler on the Roof a close third. 5 years ago I would have added the Sound of Music, but I've seen it one to many times.
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