Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Hairspray

Now I love the musical, all that singing and prancing around at dramatic moments, like everyone in the thing has become brain damaged in some bizarre accident that refuses to allow them to respond with appropriate emotions, but, instead, forces them to burst into song. I think back to all the great movie musicals. I think of the strangely clone-like bathing beauties diving into a pool filled with Tidy Bowl fluorescent blue water in all the old Busby Berkeley flicks. I think of Dorothy, and her little dog, too, being more concerned about singing than disaster preparedness, leading to horrifying, prescription drug-addled hallucinations. I think of the great Gene Kelly in the all-time classic, singin' and dancin' musical, "Xanadu". I think of Mary Poppins beating the children in her charge in the closet while singing "No Wire Hangers For Me (The Chimney Sweep Song)". I think of Mary Poppins, again, fighting Nazis while swirling around a hillside singing, "The Hills Are Alive (With the Sound of Genocide)". I think of Mary Poppins, again, flashing her breasts in S.O.B. Wait, that wasn't a musical. Oh well, I'm still thinking about it.

But what I don't want to think about is the tendency in Hollywood to take something old and not even try and hide the fact that it's old yet still expect us in the hinterlands to pay for it again. This is a direct result of some unholy alliance at the intersection of Hollywood and Broadway, where movies become musicals then become movies again, with nothing interesting added in the transition outside of boredom. As with most evil, blame this trend on Disney; "Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", "Tarzan", "The Little Mermaid", and even my beloved "Mary Poppins" (probably safe to assume without the Nazis or bare breasts), all plopped like rodent droppings in the Great White Way. Follow this with even less interesting things like "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Legally Blond"- yikes, I didn't even want to see these films at the second run, dollar theater, let alone pay $70 for a stage version. Then, there is word that they are making a "Shrek" musical! The horror! I'd rather be trapped in an endless Ice Capades time warp than have to ever see a farting, belching chorus line of ogres and animals, followed by some 'wink-wink' pop culture references. If this makes any money, can "Hefty Cinch Sack- The Musical" or "Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben- A Love Story" be far behind?

Yet, in an even more inconvenient truth, the recycling comes full circle, with movies being made of the musicals of the movies. Long ago, Plato and John Stuart Mill would have thought this an impossible fallacy, like a snake eating it's own tail. But the snakes of Hollywood are more than happy to eat their tails if there is the possibility of easy money to be made, and, hence, "The Producers", which was a great movie, becomes an ok musical play, becomes a sub-par movie, performing no purpose but to smear feces on our pleasant memories of the previous incarnations. And did the fact that "The Producers", which made less than $20 million samoleons (which, I will point out, if stacked up, would equal the 1994 gross of that instant classic, "Cabin Boy"; see previous post for the mathematically amazing formula) on a $45 million budget deter Hollywood from doing it again? Uh, no. Now, my mind is not that beautiful, and I'm no financial genius (which may explain why I'm typing a blog in the middle of a weekday afternoon) but I can't see where spending $45 million to make $20 million is good business practice. Yet the snake returns to its tail. Maybe they need a tax write-off.

Now it's a sad fact (sad for me, that is) that I have actually seen "The Producers" in all three versions, so I must exempt myself from reviewing that celluloid recycled mess. But, as the Who said, in their album that became a film that became a stage show, "Tommy", I won't get fooled again. Hollywood loves their recycling. So, with no further ado, let us proceed with another 1st here at the Frog Blog (where our motto should be "Always Innovating, Always Irritating"); our first musical post! Now, we're not talking any MP3, 4, 5, 6, or 72 nonsense, no way. No downloads needed, which is just as well, as I expect most of our readers are on dial-up connections at the library. No, here, for the first time on the Internets, is an all-singin', all-dancin' musical Review of the Ignorant. Just follow your bouncing balls and sing along! And now, direct from the Mediocre Slightly-Yellowed Way, "The Frogs and Their King" proudly present....

(drum roll, please!)

A Musical Review

(* sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle")

Third time redo came to town
Riding on Travolta
Fickle viewers shot it down
And called it, 'Crapiola'


"Hairspray", I say, no thank you now
"Hairspray", I say, don't bother
If you must do this film just
Watch the original John Waters

Ricki Lake did not participate
Travolta in a fat suit
Amanda Bynes has ripened on the vine
And the 'tweens think Zac Ephron is cute


"Hairspray", nay, no way, I say
"Hairspray", you all have a choice
Why watch a film made from play
That's missing Fierstein's gravely voice?

Critics know nothing new exists
They say there's no originality
But they fall in line to praise this mess
A movie made from a play made from a movie


"Hairspray", ok, won't go away
"Hairspray", I'm really sick of it
The musical has had it's day...
But the sun has set on this piece of ... garbage.


"Hairspray", today, we're done with that
Just look at it's box office tally
Why hire Travolta and pad him fat
When you could just get Kirstie Alley?

My song is done, I've had my fun.
As the French would say, "Au revoir".
This flick's no fun to see, and with no Connelly
My Rating: "Hairspray"- 0 Stars


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