“CATS” movie review

Aside

In 1998, the movie “CATS,” based on the musical, went straight to VHS, and in 2001, it came to DVD. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved musical, based on the book, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Elliot, is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s third musical made movie. In this movie/musical the one song that will melt anyone’s heart is “Memory.”

The movie has many actors and actresses which include famous West End actress and singer Elaine Paige as Grizabella, John Mills as Gus the Theater Cat, Ken Page as Old Deuteronomy, West End actor John Patridge as Rum Tum Tugger and original “CATS” Jellyorum, Susan Jane Tanner reprising her role. The entire cast is made of people who can do expert dancing and singing, the only exception being Grizabella, Old Deuteronomy, Bustopher Jones, and Gus the Theater Cat.

I grew up watching this movie; it was actually the first Andrew Lloyd Webber movie I ever watched. When I was a kid I would dance to it. As I grew older I learned to appreciate the dancing, make-up and costumes for this movie as well as in the musical itself. That being said I love this movie, great cast, great singing, great dancing and an overall great movie for all ages.

I highly agree with this reviewer, because of the positivity that is given for this wonderful, timeless classic.

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Les Miserables (2012 movie) review

            With “Les Miserables,” coming back to the Broadway stage in the spring, let’s look back to when the movie based on the musical came out. On Dec. 25, 2012, the movie “Les Miserables” went to theaters, and in spring 2013, it came out on DVD. This is the first of any of the movie adaptations that was based on the musical with a mixture of the book by Victor Hugo.

           The move cast includes Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Russell Crowe as Javert, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier, Sacha Baron Cohen as Thenadier and Eddie Redmayne as Marius. In addition, West End actress Samantha Barks reprised her role as Eponine.
            The singing for this movie was all done live, no pre-recording, which was, in my opinion, the best decision for this movie. My only problem with the movie was Crowe’s singing. Samantha Barks blew me away with her singing and acting; she really improved since portraying the role since the 25th anniversary DVD. I have to admit, I was really nervous about the choice of Seyfried as Cosette, since the character is a high soprano, but she surprised me and did a great job. In my opinion, Redmayne sounded like a younger Michael Ball (original West End Marius). Carter and Cohen could have done a better job; I had higher expectations for them.
            I agree with this reviewer for his opinion, specifically on Crowe. He did a great job summarizing the plot as well.

Oklahoma (1999 version)

I watched “Oklahoma,” the 1955 version, for the first time when I was in the fourth grade. In 1999, the stage version was revised on screen. This version stars Hugh Jackman as Curly, Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey, and Shuler Hensley as Jud.

This TV movie is where Jackman got his start as an actor, while he may not be Gordon MacRae, he still did a good job singing wise. Having only seen the movie I thought he could have done better with “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” acting wise. In the scene where Curly was fighting Jud, Jackman looked like Wolverine, so I thought that was a bit interesting. Other than that he did a great job overall. Josefina Gabrielle did a great job as Laurey. She had a great voice and did a fantastic job dancing in the dance scene, she was actually the fist actress to portray the role to do her own dancing in this scene and not use a double. Shuler Hensley did a great job as Jud. He had a great voice, great emotion, he nailed the role. The entire cast did a great job, and they all danced very well too.

Sound of Music (2013 version)

On December 2013 “The Sound of Music” was revised into a live version of the play production. This production has country star, Carrie Underwood portraying Maria. I, like many others, grew up with the 1965 version with Julie Andrews.

Carrie Underwood did a good job, there were times in “Do-Re-Mi” where she was out of breath, but she was able to hit the high note at the end of the song. In the song “Lonely Goatheard,” she did get out of breath a bit, but her yodeling was done wonderfully. Her acting was ok at first, but then she really got more comfortable after “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” The thing to keep in mind is that she is not a professional stage or movie actress, and this was done live. Also she is not Julie Andrews (who is?), or even Sierra Boggess, who sounds almost like Julie Andrews. Carrie Underwood did a good job, all singers are different.
Ariane Rinehart and Michael Campayno in the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” were highly impressive, especially their dancing. Former stage Maria, Laura Benanti, portrayed the Baroness and did a great job in the song “How Can Love Survive?.” The entire cast did a good job, but I was not that impressed with Stephen Moyer as Capt. Von Trapp, I just didn’t like his voice at some points. Of course the actress who did a fantastic job in her role was broadway actress, Audra McDonald, as Mother Abbess.