Category Archives: Musical

DUMPLIN’ (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Dumplin' (2018), Jennifer Aniston
Dumplin’ (2018), Jennifer Aniston

Starring Jennifer Aniston, Danielle McDonald and Odeya Rush, I had some fun Watching Dumplin’, the comedy / drama about Willowdean a.k.a  Dumplin,’ the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen.

Directed by Anne Fletcher, the story really gets underway when, to the surprise of many in their small Texas town, Willowdean starts a revolution by signing up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant. 

I wanted to watch Dumplin‘ because of Aniston and the promise of some humour. There is a little humour involved and the messaging about inclusion, representation and love of self are indeed adequately executed. I also  enjoyed witnessing the positive evolution of a strained mother / daughter relationship and seeing a teenage girl find her confidence. 

Though everyone did well in their roles, a part of me does wish that Dumplin’ had been a tad more amusing and fun. A similar movie that I had that little bit more fun watching is Don’t Talk To Irene (2017),which I recommend.

Dolly Parton’s music features quite a lot in Dumplin’ and she’s often mentioned. So… if you’re a fan, you know what to do. Another reason to watch Dumplin’ to see Aniston have fun in her role as a small town Texas woman. The idea alone just makes me smile.

Happy film Loving

G

DUMPLIN’ (2018): New Trailer From Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, Odeya Rush, Dove Cameron, Harold Perrineau…

In new comedy / drama / musical Dumplin‘, the plus-size teenage daughter of a former beauty queen decides to sign up for her mom’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet pageant. Doing so ends up revolutionising the pageant and their small Texas town.

Dumplin is directed by Anne Fletcher and stars Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, Odeya Rush, Harold Perrineau, Dove Cameron…

Reasons to be excited about this one include the promise of humour, the fact that I enjoy Aniston in comedy roles and Harold Perrineau in drag as ‘Rhea Ranged.’

Luke Benward, ex Taylor-Klaus, Sam Pancake and Joshua Allan Eads also star.

Dumplin’ Release Dates: December 7th, 2018 (US)…

Happy Film Loving 

G

A STAR IS BORN (2018): The Things I Liked…

A Star Is Born (2018), Bradley Cooper
A Star Is Born (2018), Bradley Cooper

A Star Is Born stars Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, an ageing, alcoholic musician in a downward spiral; whilst Lady Gaga plays the talented young singer he helps find fame.

I’ll start by saying that I definitely misread the film’s duration of ‘one hundred and thirty six minutes’ as ‘one hour thirty-six minutes.’ Luckily though, in the end the longer than average two hours 16 minutes total length barely proved punishing.

As for why this movie appealed, I had to watch it if just to see how well Cooper faired in the dual leading actor / director role. The good news is, A Star Is Born is a well executed story that’s heartbreaking, funny, layered, well captured and it features some rather memorable music. In fact, my favourite song on the soundtrack is called Shallow and I’ve played it many and I mean MANY times since.

There’s no denying that I absolutely bought Cooper’s tortured character’s emotional journey. I also believed him as a rock star because of the good music in the film and how his character presented physically – including the way he moved – both on and off the stage. I especially enjoyed the first time Shallow is performed on stage; a pretty glorious experience that’s very beautifully shot.

Besides Cooper’s well executed dual roles, other highlights include the deep bass in Cooper and co-star Sam Elliott’s voices. There’s also a memorable perfectly timed funny moment that involves one of the two / three times Frank Sinatra is mentioned.

As for the not quite great things about A Star Is Born, my suspension of disbelief was briefly interrupted by the uncomfortable closeups near the beginning of the movie. Closeups that luckily either eased off as the film went on, or they somehow bothered me less. There were also one or two moments of dialogue that felt quite awkward during Cooper and Gaga’s early interactions. Thankfully though, that awkwardness also eased off as the film continued.

Watch A Star Is Born because it’s good, handles well themes linked to different kinds of relationships, familial, business, healthy, unhealthy, poisonous, etc. Lastly, if you’re not already in love, there’s a reasonable chance that A Star Is Born will make you want to be – and likely with a musician. So good luck with that!

Happy Film Loving

G

VOX LUX (2018): New Trailer From Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Christopher Abbott, Willem Dafoe…

Vox Lux (2018), Natalie Portman
Vox Lux (2018), Natalie Portman

Starring Natalie Portman and written / directed Brady Corbet, Vox Lux is a new drama / musical about the unusual set of circumstances that end up bringing unexpected success to a pop star.

Jude Law, Christopher Abbott, Willem Dafoe and Jennifer Ehle also star.

I’m drawn to what looks like the humour and kookiness of this movie. I also just want to see the talented Portman perform in a role I didn’t exactly expect her to play.

Vox Lux Release Dates: December 7th, 2018 (2018)…

Happy Film Loving

G

A STAR IS BORN (2018): New Trailer From Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle, Sam Elliott…

A Star Is Born (2018), Lady Gaga
A Star Is Born (2018), Lady Gaga

In A Star Is Born, an ageing and alcoholic musician in a downward spiral helps a young singer and actress find fame.

Bradley Cooper (also the director) stars along with Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle, Sam Elliott…

First thoughts as this trailer began to play included ‘Welcome back Mr. Cooper! I sure did notice your absence.’

I’m in for all the different talents involved, including cooper in both actor  and director roles.

Anthony Ramos, Bonnie Somerville, Andrew Dice Clay, D.J. ‘Shangela’ Pierce and Willam Belli also star.

A Star Is Born Release Dates: October 5th, 2018 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MARY POPPINS RETURNS (2018): New Trailer From Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Lin-Manuel Miranda…

Marry Poppins Returns (2018), Emily Blunt
Marry Poppins Returns (2018), Emily Blunt

Director Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns is set in 1930s depression-era London. In the follow-up to the 1964 family movie, both Jane and Michael Banks are grown up and Michael has three children. After the family suffer a terrible loss, Mary Poppins turns up to show them the joy and wonder that’s been missing from their lives.

Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Mortimer star…

For a moment I thought this teaser trailer wasn’t going to show Blunt as Poppins at all. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with the role. Her accent sounds a little unlike what I expected but it’s early days yet.

So far, I’m absolutely loving the coats in this trailer, especially that green beauty at 1:04!

Mary Poppins Returns Release Dates: December 21st, 2018 (UK); December 25th, 2018 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

BEAUTY & THE BEAST (2017): The Thing I Liked…

Beauty & The Beast (2017), Emma Watson
Beauty & The Beast (2017), Emma Watson

The last time Disney had a live action movie made of one of their fairy tales, I was beyond thrilled. Thrilled with the trailer, thrilled with the cast list and absolutely delighted with the end result. The movie I’m talking about is of course, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella (2015).

For me personally, Cinderella was always going to be a hard act to follow. Bill Condon’s Beauty & The Beast is a movie I was also looking forward to. However, to be fair, Beauty & The Beast doesn’t quite have the likes of acting queen Cate Blanchett on the cast list. So you can imagine that my enthusiasm just wasn’t the same. Additionally, the acting and singing weren’t bad but as a non-fan of musicals, all the singing probably didn’t help me appreciate the film more. I really did enjoy the romance towards the end and I think the movie was alright, overall. Without a doubt though, my preference is certainly Cinderella. I imagine that big fans of Beauty & The Beast rather enjoyed this remake of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love. Maybe they even loved it as much as I did Cinderella.

I understand that Aladdin is coming next. I’ll of course eventually watch it even though it is a musical.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (2017): New Trailer From Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendeya, Michelle Williams…

The Greatest Showman (2017), Zac Efron, High Jackman
The Greatest Showman (2017), Zac Efron, High Jackman

The Greatest Showman tells the story of P.T Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to create the mesmerising spectacle known as the circus. Directed by Michael Gracey; Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendeya and Michelle Williams star…

I’m not the biggest fan of musicals but I like the cast too much to ignore this. There’s also the romance of it all, of course.

Paul Sparks, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Diahann Carroll also star.

The Greatest Showman Release Dates: December 25th, 2017 (US); January 1st, 2018 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G