Author Topic: Sandy Faces the Music  (Read 20372 times)

smirnoff

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #200 on: June 01, 2017, 07:52:57 PM »
the camera work is distracting, right from the opening song. I don't know how to explain it, except to try and speak the words I hear him saying in his head, "wait for it" and again, "turn, two three four..." and then, "I'm so pleased with myself for capturing that moment!

This kind of thing?

Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #201 on: June 01, 2017, 09:27:40 PM »
 :D

The shoulder tap method! And yes, they were very pleased with themselves.


I need to cleanse my palate after that, so here's a two minute long take of Powell and Astaire. No camera tricks needed when talent can hold its own.

"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

smirnoff

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #202 on: June 01, 2017, 09:34:44 PM »
La La Land was proof that the entertainment industry is no longer creating triple threats with years of training who can build off of the greatness of the past. The closest we will come to this level of skill is on the stage, but most of them don't yet have the movie screen talent of Stone and Gosling. Idina Menzel is a great singer, but can only work as a character actress, like Nathan Lane. Lin-Manuel Miranda is the hot ticket, but Hamilton is about the songs. The dancing is part of the atmosphere and most everyone agrees Miranda is one of the weaker actors in the cast.

There seems to be a number of actors who can sing, but breathtaking dancing ability is elusive. The top of the list is Justin Timberlake, but while he's come along as an actor I still wouldn't put him with Hugh Jackman or Neil Patrick Harris. Everyone is on level with James Corden.

I'm very interested in this point. I can't name the great dancers of cinema's past, but I wonder, was their background generally dancing and they transitioned into acting? Like Jackie Chan was in a school for the Peking Opera for 10 years as a child (which taught him all kinds of acrobatics and martial arts)... does Gene Kelly and others have similar backgrounds?


Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #203 on: June 02, 2017, 02:13:55 AM »
Jackie Chan is the real deal! I like these questions. I'm hoping someone else has more info than I do, but off the top of my head, when he was a kid, Gene Kelly's mom put him in dance class, but he wanted to play baseball. As a teen, he came back to it and later his family opened a dance studio where he taught. There's more, but I'd have to look that up. :)
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

1SO

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #204 on: June 02, 2017, 10:05:23 AM »
From what little I know of Fred Astaire, his background was dancing and the acting came later. Back then vaudeville was the main training ground, where you had to sing, act and dance. The better you were the more time you got and the larger your salary and billing. This is how James Cagney and Ginger Rogers came up in the world, but even then their big break came through dancing first. I haven't been able to find a talent where dancing came later. So you end up with people like Nicole Kidman and Anna Kendrick, who can sing and act but are not known for dancing.

Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #205 on: June 02, 2017, 12:26:14 PM »
Me neither, except for Debbie Reynolds and she went through torture to look good dancing in Singin' in the Rain. My guess is that she knew how to dance before, but Gene Kelly was a perfectionist and demanded it from others too, if it was going to be put on screen.

You mentioned earlier that the talent should probably come from Broadway. I concur! There is sky-high skill demanded there and if there is a movie trend toward musicals, it should start there for casting.

Patina Miller is a perfect example of triple threat and luckily is finding a place in television and film.

"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #206 on: January 20, 2018, 03:02:50 AM »
The Greatest Showman



"Spectacular, spectacular. No words in the vernacular."  -- Moulin Rouge!

A song by song reaction:


"The Greatest Show"

You had me at the syncopated prancing horses entrance, stage right. Actually, you had me at the behind the bleachers silhouette start off point.



But, those horses! All counterpoint and percussion! This is slick, bold and camera choreographed to the hilt. The visuals along with the aural hit full force and though the film may be called The Greatest Showman, this song is The Greatest Salesman as it pulls out all the stops, demanding to be acknowledged, "Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over. It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open..."  Visceral and as smirnoff has penned here on the boards, "Full of good will." Love the reverse of The Phantom of the Opera's opening transformation, but instead of a whole series of organ scales, it's accomplished in the span of a downbeat. The space is suddenly quiet and empty, as Barnum surveys what is and what will be.


"A Million Dreams"

Wee! Child to adult shift through song! I get a chill up my spine when Jackman's voice takes over expressing the dream of his younger self. "Every night I lie in bed, the brightest colors fill my head. A million dreams are keeping me awake." Then Williams joins in... Screeching halt! Williams is beautiful and lovely and sweet, but her character is as interesting as a painting on a wall. More on her later.  Back to the song... So happy with the vocals and the dancing! Real honest to goodness, difficult to execute dancing! :) (Yeah, I'm talking to you la la land.)


"Come Alive"

Nice sister song to "The Greatest Show," and it picks up where "A Million Dreams" leaves off. From "I close my eyes and I can see," to "You're dreaming with your eyes wide open." Putting together the show with people from the fringes becomes the ultimate pep talk. "And we know we can't be go back again to the world that we were living in!"


"The Other Side"

Ugh. Can't abide this song. It's back to High School Musical with it's staccato verses then sweepy chorus rhythms and overly complicated execution coupled with a simplified message. "But I live among the swells, and we don't pick up peanut shells." Really? Okay. Hard Pass.


"Never Enough"

The best and worst an ear worm song can offer. I love it now. I'm going to hate it soon. Oh well, it can't be helped.


"This Is Me"

Overheard from a YouTube clip, "After the election night of 2016, the movie subtly shifted. It stared out as a movie about the power of imagination and will and never give up on your dreams, but it grew into a deeper idea that what makes you different, makes you special. The director Gracie also noted that it's an incredible privilege to make a film about inclusivity and acceptance."



This is the song that evolved from the shift of focus in the film and it's everything a showstopper song with a message should be. "I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, this is me."


"Rewrite The Stars"

Visually wowing, but the song is nothing special and it feels like filler. Wished for more, but it's serviceable, even if it's like Troy is singing again.


Tightrope

I get that using a careful waltz for a song entitled "Tightrope" makes a lot of sense, but man I wish this was a torch song in a big way. Williams' character really needed a "spill your guts" song, but this comes off as a sigh and a weak resignation. Also, the Oxford English Dictionary has 171,476 words in it. Please Benj and Justin, just pick a few of them to fill in the gaps in this song. There is no excuse for lyrics like,

Walking a tightrope
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you


As you can see, I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with the lyricists' choices. These men have flashes of brilliance and will continue to grow and become even more talented. Looking forward to seeing more of what they can do.


"From Now On"

My favorite song from the show. A word here about Hugh Jackman. There's been some discussion on this thread about triple threats and Mr. Jackman fits it to a T. He is the greatest showman right now, as far as I'm concerned. He carried this film and elevated the cast and director with his intense work ethic and enthusiasm. This might be a strong statement, but they would be the first to attest to it. This clip is something else! As moving as anything in the film.



Even though it's a little too slick and Barnum the Musical is probably closer to the real story, this project is a labor of love and I'm going to really enjoy owning it.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 03:05:27 AM by Sandy »
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

smirnoff

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #207 on: January 20, 2018, 03:24:01 PM »
I like your strong opinions here, both for and against certain choices. Your love for and experience with the genre really comes through. :)

So happy with the vocals and the dancing! Real honest to goodness, difficult to execute dancing! :) (Yeah, I'm talking to you la la land.)

My smoke detector just went off.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #208 on: January 20, 2018, 04:55:24 PM »
So happy with the vocals and the dancing! Real honest to goodness, difficult to execute dancing! :) (Yeah, I'm talking to you la la land.)

The flatness and simplicity of the dancing and the lack of pizazz of the songs left me with meh feelings about La La Land.

Quote
Tightrope

I get that using a careful waltz for a song entitled "Tightrope" makes a lot of sense, but man I wish this was a torch song in a big way. Williams' character really needed a "spill your guts" song, but this comes off as a sigh and a weak resignation. Also, the Oxford English Dictionary has 171,476 words in it. Please Benj and Justin, just pick a few of them to fill in the gaps in this song. There is no excuse for lyrics like,

Walking a tightrope
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you, ooh, ooh, ooh
With you


As you can see, I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with the lyricists' choices. These men have flashes of brilliance and will continue to grow and become even more talented. Looking forward to seeing more of what they can do.

Beautifully put.

Sandy

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Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #209 on: January 20, 2018, 07:19:40 PM »
Thank you, smirnoff and Dave. :) I wanted to temper my snark with real appreciation.

The flatness and simplicity of the dancing and the lack of pizazz of the songs left me with meh feelings about La La Land.

In agreement and luckily, none of the dancing in The Greatest Showman is anything like that.


My smoke detector just went off.

:))
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."