Author Topic: Sandy Faces the Music  (Read 20773 times)

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17601
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #210 on: January 20, 2018, 08:43:42 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.

Yeah, that one line by Sandy alone means I need to see this film.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 29127
  • Marathon Man
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #211 on: January 20, 2018, 09:37:45 PM »
Until that post I had zero interest in The Greatest Showman. Now I know I will see it.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10786
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #212 on: January 20, 2018, 09:46:25 PM »
Yay, oldkid and 1SO! Wish we could go see it all together and then you could tell me what works and what doesn't for you. Hope you'll report back even without us getting to have an after film chat. :)
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10786
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #213 on: March 18, 2018, 02:14:40 AM »
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 29127
  • Marathon Man
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #214 on: April 24, 2018, 01:12:36 AM »
The Greatest Showman

As promised. My Turn.
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.
I liked the horses, but it was the bleachers and the stark lighting that pulled me in immediately. I wasn't a fan of the song, and many of the songs here are extremely vanilla, as if the most important thing was to be radio friendly. However, the slick presentation and the way it transitions into the story is good.


"A Million Dreams"
Is Adult Contemporary still a genre. That's the vibe I get from these songs. It's a step up from La La Land in that this is closer to a true musical, but I'm thinking about Mark Kermode who said there isn't a memorable tune in the bunch and then reversed his position on a 2nd watch. I can see the songs growing on me, but except for two of them I have little interest in letting that happen.

There's an amazing bit of visual magic here when Jackman and Williams are dancing on the roof. He spins her towards the lines of sheets and two of them part like curtains, but ever so subtly, as if the breeze from Williams spinning briefly opened them for her.

"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!"
Jackman's greatest gift to this film isn't his singing or dancing but the way he convincingly captures Barnum's ability to sell people on his dreams. The song is like an updated version of Miami Sound Machine's "Conga", but within the song we see Barnum work his magic on the artists and the audience.


"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.
I didn't hate this as much as you, but they really bet the farm on the staccato lyrics, amped up by the rap-tap-tapping choreography. It's cool to see Zac hasn't turned his back on his musical chops, and it's strange to think he also belongs on the triple threat shortlist, possibly even more well-rounded than Tatum and Timberlake, though a distant 2nd compared to Jackman.

I also like the song ending with the shot of Zendaya literally swinging into Efron's life. The moment slows to a crawl. It deserves to. (I've only seen Zendaya in two movies, but she's got the makings of a triple threat too.)


"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.
I feel like a boy when I say Blech! That said, I like the reprise later on and I like how the lyrics fit Zac and Zendaya's story too.


"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."
The 2nd best song. With such a powerful message, the kind that deserves to be belted to the back of the theater, it'd be hard to screw this up. Still... well done, and there's that extra bit of movie magic where everyone jumps and they slow down while Lettie remains at regular speed. The song gets to take a breath until the group all land at the same moment.


"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.
I like this one more than you. It's poppy, but I like the singers and by this point I was enjoying Z&Z's relationship more than Barnum and his love triangle.


Tightrope
Complete agreement about the song's approach being wrong and the lyrics underserving Williams. My least favorite song.


"From Now On"

My favorite song from the show.
Mine too.

"And we will come back home,
And we will come back home,
Home Again!"


The dancing in the bar is the film at its best, joyous and spirited. I watched it 4 times before starting this post. If the rest of the film was at this level I'd be buying the Blu-Ray.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10786
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #215 on: April 28, 2018, 03:59:19 PM »
The Greatest Showman

As promised. My Turn.
A song by song reaction:

I'm so happy you did this! I wanted a chance to listen to the music again before replying.

Quote
I liked the horses, but it was the bleachers and the stark lighting that pulled me in immediately. I wasn't a fan of the song, and many of the songs here are extremely vanilla, as if the most important thing was to be radio friendly. However, the slick presentation and the way it transitions into the story is good.

yes, powerful opening moment.


Quote
Is Adult Contemporary still a genre. That's the vibe I get from these songs. It's a step up from La La Land in that this is closer to a true musical, but I'm thinking about Mark Kermode who said there isn't a memorable tune in the bunch and then reversed his position on a 2nd watch. I can see the songs growing on me, but except for two of them I have little interest in letting that happen.

There's an amazing bit of visual magic here when Jackman and Williams are dancing on the roof. He spins her towards the lines of sheets and two of them part like curtains, but ever so subtly, as if the breeze from Williams spinning briefly opened them for her.

Great catch. Love details like this. I've only seen the movie once, but have heard the soundtrack a lot. I feel saturated with it all. :) But, there are a few songs which still catch me smiling. "A Million Dreams" is one of them.

Quote
Jackman's greatest gift to this film isn't his singing or dancing but the way he convincingly captures Barnum's ability to sell people on his dreams. The song is like an updated version of Miami Sound Machine's "Conga", but within the song we see Barnum work his magic on the artists and the audience.

"Conga" What a fun comparison! I agree with you on his abilities. Jackman also worked his magic on me and won me over. Now that's meta. :)

Quote
I didn't hate this as much as you, but they really bet the farm on the staccato lyrics, amped up by the rap-tap-tapping choreography. It's cool to see Zac hasn't turned his back on his musical chops, and it's strange to think he also belongs on the triple threat shortlist, possibly even more well-rounded than Tatum and Timberlake, though a distant 2nd compared to Jackman.

Yes, on this too. Zac has plenty going for him. I hope to see him develop these talents more. I did enjoy the bartender in the song. Did I mention that before? :)

Quote
I also like the song ending with the shot of Zendaya literally swinging into Efron's life. The moment slows to a crawl. It deserves to. (I've only seen Zendaya in two movies, but she's got the makings of a triple threat too.)

An ooh, ahh moment. Loved it. Looking forward to her future work too!

Quote
I feel like a boy when I say Blech! That said, I like the reprise later on and I like how the lyrics fit Zac and Zendaya's story too.

Sometimes the boy in you makes a great critic! Don't underestimate him. :)


Quote
The 2nd best song. With such a powerful message, the kind that deserves to be belted to the back of the theater, it'd be hard to screw this up. Still... well done, and there's that extra bit of movie magic where everyone jumps and they slow down while Lettie remains at regular speed. The song gets to take a breath until the group all land at the same moment.

Amazing trick! Those moments deserve shout outs, so I'm glad you're highlighting some of them. Happy this song worked for you.


Quote
I like this one more than you. It's poppy, but I like the singers and by this point I was enjoying Z&Z's relationship more than Barnum and his love triangle.

You're much more forgiving. I'm the child saying blech in this one. :D Maybe when I watch it again, I'll like it more. We'll see.


Quote
Complete agreement about the song's approach being wrong and the lyrics underserving Williams. My least favorite song.

How did this song get past committee? Or the actors themselves? :)

Quote
Mine too.

"And we will come back home,
And we will come back home,
Home Again!"


Yay! Still my favorite too.

Quote
The dancing in the bar is the film at its best, joyous and spirited. I watched it 4 times before starting this post. If the rest of the film was at this level I'd be buying the Blu-Ray.

Now you've got me wanting to see the movie again! Listening to the music and reading your post has got me excited for Musical May! Thanks for doing this reply. Loved it!
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 29127
  • Marathon Man
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #216 on: April 28, 2018, 11:15:35 PM »
Quote
I liked the horses, but it was the bleachers and the stark lighting that pulled me in immediately. I wasn't a fan of the song, and many of the songs here are extremely vanilla, as if the most important thing was to be radio friendly. However, the slick presentation and the way it transitions into the story is good.

yes, powerful opening moment.
It was funny that I watched Hair just a couple of days later, which also uses horses in the opening song. (Plus this week's Filmspotting Podcast Top 5 was Great Horse Scenes.) Makes me wonder what other films do this.

Yes, on this too. Zac has plenty going for him. I hope to see him develop these talents more. I did enjoy the bartender in the song. Did I mention that before? :)
I also liked the bartender. This could've so easily stayed as a bro duet but making the dance a trio is inspired. I'll admit, this is the song and scene that's grown on me most.

Quote
Complete agreement about the song's approach being wrong and the lyrics underserving Williams. My least favorite song.
How did this song get past committee? Or the actors themselves? :)
Hollywood seems to be making a hobby out of under-appreciating Michelle Williams.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10786
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #217 on: April 30, 2018, 11:21:33 PM »
You've talked me into going back and giving "The Other Side" another look. :)

You've also got me thinking about horses in musicals. Maybe in one of Streisand's parade songs, in Funny Girl, or Hello Dolly. I'll have to keep on eye out for such a thing.

As for Williams, what is your favorite performance of hers?
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 29127
  • Marathon Man
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #218 on: April 30, 2018, 11:47:30 PM »
You've also got me thinking about horses in musicals. Maybe in one of Streisand's parade songs, in Funny Girl, or Hello Dolly. I'll have to keep on eye out for such a thing.
I just remembered this scene from a mostly forgettable Astaire film "Belle of New York". Astaire dances with the marvelous Vera-Ellen and at around 3:15 the horse gets involved. The first shot is definitely an effect, but the second is not.


As for Williams, what is your favorite performance of hers?
Wendy and Lucy, no question. I'm honestly not a fan of Williams. Back in the Dawson Creek days I bet Katie Holmes was going to be the breakout star. Boy, did I lose that bet. Williams is great in Manchester by the Sea and Synecdoche, New York and she's uncomfortably raw in Blue Valentine, but her being in a movie doesn't raise my interest in the film one bit.

Sandy

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10786
    • Sandy's Cinematic Musings
Re: Sandy Faces the Music
« Reply #219 on: May 01, 2018, 12:43:06 AM »
I just remembered this scene from a mostly forgettable Astaire film "Belle of New York". Astaire dances with the marvelous Vera-Ellen and at around 3:15 the horse gets involved. The first shot is definitely an effect, but the second is not.

How fun! I haven't seen Vera-Ellen dance with Fred Astaire before and they work well together! She's one of my favorites. Great memory on a horse song!


Wendy and Lucy, no question. I'm honestly not a fan of Williams. Back in the Dawson Creek days I bet Katie Holmes was going to be the breakout star. Boy, did I lose that bet. Williams is great in Manchester by the Sea and Synecdoche, New York and she's uncomfortably raw in Blue Valentine, but her being in a movie doesn't raise my interest in the film one bit.

I remember how beautiful she was in Dawson's Creek. Nobody has the right to be that pretty. ;) Good choice with Wendy and Lucy. I haven't seen much else she's been in.
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."