In Which We Left Room After Christmas Dinner For a Little Razzmatazzin’

Rogers and Hammerstein’s Monsters

by Tyler Coates

I’m kind of fascinated with movie musicals, even if I don’t like most of them. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only been three truly great movie musicals ever made, and those are Fiddler on the Roof, All That Jazz, and The Muppets Take Manhattan. What can I say? I love the Jews, post-modernism, and Muppets.

You can join my Facebook group: Tevye is the Shit!

There are a few other classic musical films, such as Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, and Little Shop of Horrors. And I’m not going to lie; there are some downright terrible movie musicals that I love. If you want to see something really entertaining, give me a bottle of Pinot Noir and a copy of Dreamgirls and you’re in for a special treat.

Thanks to Moulin Rouge, which I hated, movie musicals have been coming out of the Hollywoodwork in the last couple of years.

We had Chicago, which I hated. We had The Phantom of the Opera, which I hate when I’m sober. We had The Producers, which I hated. And in the last year alone, we had three major movie musicals: Hairspray, Across the Universe, and Sweeney Todd.

Hairspray, like The Producers and the upcoming Nine (helmed by Rob Marshall, the Academy Award-nominated director who choreographed Mrs. Santa Claus and – fine – directed *cough*Chicago*cough*), is a film version of a Broadway version of a popular movie.

While The Producers was pretty atrocious and Nine will have both Fellini and Mastroianni spinning in their graves, Hairspray was surprisingly adorable. Sure, it was dumb and cheesy, but so was the original John Waters film, and the fact that it stayed true to its nature made it so successful.

Granted, it didn’t necessarily any of Waters’s gross-out humor, save a cameo from The Man himself as a flasher in the opening sequence, but it did have Zac Efron, our generation’s answer to Fred Astaire. And Gene Kelly. And pretty much every other musical leading man because, c’mon, who else do we have these days?

Of course, one could argue that the presence of John Travolta could be considered as a gross-out moment that lasted an hour and a half. He was, honestly, the only part of the film that I disliked.

What was with his voice? That’s not how people talk in Baltimore! I know this because I watch The Wire.

Across the Universe, on the other hand, was truly the worst movie I’ve seen all year.

It was one of those movies that I knew I was going to hate the minute I stepped into the theater, but something (margaritas) still compelled me to witness the foul truth of Julie Taymor‘s vision. I’ve seen PTA performances that were subtler than this mess. Choice scene: “She’s So Heavy” was sung by draftees carrying the Statue of Liberty through a jungle. To wit:

This gave me another reason to hate the Vietnam generation as a whole, as if my parents and Easy Rider hadn’t done enough already.

Finally, there was Sweeney Todd, the brilliant Sondheim production that Tim Burton managed to whittle down with a razor blade so that the lowest common denominator of film-goers could find it enjoyable without getting too distracted by all of that singin’ and dancin’.

spielberg, zanuck & burton

Thank you, Mr. Burton, for taking out all of the character development and replacing it with candy apple-red blood spurting from everyone’s necks.

depp and helena bonham

I’m so glad Burton managed to make another Victorian-era film that looked exactly like Sleepy Hollow, his last great film; it was quite a stretch for you to take a detour from your string of disappointing remakes and cheap, feel-good movies to return to the genre you’re used to: pretty, yet overwrought, goth think-pieces. Next time you might want to insert some thought.

And you know what? I don’t like Johnny Depp. The only good movie I liked him in was – ironically – Cry-Baby, the John Waters musical.

Tyler Coates is a contributor to This Recording. He lives in Chicago and has not seen High School Musical.

“The Ballad of Michael Valentine” – The Killers (mp3)

“Bamboo Banga” – M.I.A. (mp3)

“Sink the Seine” – Of Montreal (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

Trying to give Wes Anderson a break.

Metaphors tortured beyond all comprehension.

Molly bowls on Friday.

2 thoughts on “In Which We Left Room After Christmas Dinner For a Little Razzmatazzin’

  1. yes ma…did you ever go to the deli and order some sliced deli meats? Frequently, the deli meat is in a roll that is then sliced for your order. The deli meat is in a “casing”. The casing is sometimes some edible rubbery stuff. Anywayz, one day after eating some fresh deli meats, I had an upset stomach. I went to take a crap and noticed something ticklish in my butthole. I pulled on it with my two fingers. Basically, it was like pulling a ribbon out of my ass. The deli casing was undigested by my gut. It was like a paper string covered with feces. Hope you like this posting!Note – The cheapest option is shaving your head with an actual net saving due to no expense for shampoos, conditioners, combs, brushes, or hair stylist. Of course, with this option you get no hair. Note: My Feet smell like rotting garbage in the summertime. Also, after intercourse, we throw each other’s underwear at each other in reward for a job well done. In college, there was a girl known as the “Shitter”. During anal intercourse, she shat all over the sheets. It was a mix of b.m. and blood. Apparently, during anal penetration she bled. That’s how AIDS gets transmitted, so I’m told. A variety of shit comes out of different assholes. I get boners for men. Waxmen. Waxwings. Earwig. Only For The Weak.

  2. Choice scene: “She’s So Heavy” was sung by draftees carrying the Statue of Liberty through a jungle.

    that is the very moment i turned the dvd off. i watched it thinking it was just a bunch of movie snobs saying how bad it was, and jim sturgess is cute. not cute enought to keep me watching past the statue of liberty carryin’, apparently.

    WHY HAVE YOU NOT SEEN HSM? it’s amazing. look i’ll even provide you a summary as to why http://oherrol.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/high-school-musical-the-ultimate-coming-out-fable/

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