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Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Producers- The Musical



I haven't had a lot of free time lately to enjoy a film. So it's a nice treat when I actually find a few hours to lay down on my sofa, and catch a flick on the big screen.

That is....unless.... the movie I choose to watch happens to be The Producers.

Then it becomes a horrible nightmare.

Simply put The Producers is one of the worst movies of the decade.

This is the movie version of the huge smash hit Broadway musical stage adaptation of the classic Mel Brooks film. Judging from this film one wonders why people have lined up for hours and paid outrageous amounts of money to catch these performances.

The performances, at least in the film, are so over the top that it becomes hard to believe that anybody besides a five year old would be entertained by such work. Not only is it over the top, but painfully awkward to watch because they obviously BELIEVE they are funny. I swear at some points in the film I could see Matthew Broderick smiling at Nathan Lane's performance.

The movie is that bad.

The movie also suffers by not having a real film director running things. For some bizarre reason the studio let the director of the stage version, Susan Stroman, direct the movie. Checking out her credits on IMDB I find that she directed a t.v. special of another stage production and....that's about it. Apparently her other film credits consists of being choreographer of dance numbers on other t.v. specials.

Seriously.

The results are pretty much what one would suspect, a disaster. Besides not having any kind of vision for the film she's unable to tone down any of the performances. It's almost as if she had a really great video camera and just recorded the stage version....without an audience. Literally nailed the tripod to the floor and let everyone mug at the camera like two year olds. Not even Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell are immune from the over the top antics.

It's not like I'm not familiar with the material either. I think the original film with Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel is hilarious. I'm even familiar with the Broadway soundtrack. I gave my wife a CD of the soundtrack several years ago, and for months she had it playing in her car. Even though I got sick of the music pretty quick, I thought, initially, the music was kind of funny.

That is until I watched the film. I never thought it possible, but the music actually becomes worse when one sees the performances.

The musical numbers are just ridiculous.

At one point Leo Bloom and Max Bialystock sing a ballad to each other.....a love ballad.

I know it's a cliche to call musical theatre..... Gay.....but that's pretty much what I thought about that ballad. The problem is the characters aren't homosexual. Which makes one wonder..... what the hell is going on.

Speaking of Gay there's actually a song called "Keep it Gay" that I thought was amusing when I first heard it on the CD.

Upon watching the musical number, I no longer think it's amusing.....actually I find it offensive and disturbing.....like the rest of the movie.

Needless to say the movie is a mess. It actually makes me sad, and depressed to think that this is the biggest show on Broadway. It makes me mourn for the theatre.

Please don't watch this movie.



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