Entering countdown mode / Summer movie reports #2

A week from today and I’ll be in Charlottesville. Lots of packing still to do. Expect light blogging for the next couple of weeks.

In other news, I saw Chicago the other night as part of the outdoor film series, and it’s just as enjoyable on repeat viewings (I’d seen it twice or three times before, but only on the small screen) as it was initially. I thought that maybe my attention would start to drift after a while, since my two favorite songs — "When You’re Good to Mama" and "The Cellblock Tango" — both come within the first half-hour or so. But that wasn’t the case. Nobody sang along, but there was a ripple of applause for Richard Gere at one point, which reminded me that Chicago is one of those movies that made me like an actor or actress I ordinarily don’t like. Usually, Richard Gere bores me, but make him tap-dance in front of a courtroom and I find him much more tolerable. (Other movies in this category: Wonder Boys, where for once in his career we weren’t supposed to think of Michael Douglas as sexy, thank God; The Royal Tenenbaums, in which I actually liked Gwyneth Paltrow; and Magnolia, in which Tom Cruise convinced me that he could act, not just stand around smirking while occasionally dodging explosions.) Though, of course, Chicago really belongs to Mesdames Zeta-Jones, Zellweger, and Latifah.

You know, between Chicago and Moulin Rouge and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, I think I might be entering a movie musical phase. Anyone have any recommendations?

Right. Back to packing. Talk amongst yourselves…

9 Responses to “Entering countdown mode / Summer movie reports #2”

  1. Oo! Movie musicals!
    I confess to living on the Gene Kelly side of the Gene Kelly vs. Fred Astaire deathmatch, so keep that in mind. One can’t go wrong with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, however. Gigi, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain.
    I also dig Cyd Charisse. Brigadoon.
    Howard Keel has the dreamiest voice of any movie-musical actor EVER, plus impressive comic timing. Kismet, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Kiss Me Kate.
    Movie musicals I don’t like: Paint Your Wagon, Cabaret, Sweet Charity.

  2. Michelle says:

    I know what you mean about Richard Gere. I felt the same way about everything he did after An Officer and a Gentleman. But did you ever see him in Breathless? That’s worth a look. In fact, I should watch it again myself. I believe it’s been a good ten years since I saw it.

  3. Clancy says:

    Maybe not your taste, but two musicals I love are Earth Girls Are Easy and Rock’n’Roll High School.

  4. Steve Krause says:

    I’ve had a chance to either show or make reference to Singin’ in the Rain in a number of my classes over the years, and it always surprises. I tell students we’re going to watch it, and they groan. I say “have you ever seen this?” Of course, none of them have, and it never disappoints. So see that one again…

  5. Amanda says:

    Ah, Singin’ in the Rain. When I was an undergraduate, I volunteered as a projectionist for a student film society that showed lots of classic movies, and Singin’ in the Rain was one of the ones I projected. I went around humming “Good Morning” for weeks afterward. And the dancing! Time to watch that one again, and Gigi — I love “The Night They Invented Champagne.” And I’ll check out all of you guys’ other recommendations as well. I’m envisioning a movie-musical weekend sometime when the move is over and my life is less frenzied.

  6. wolfangel says:

    Another vote for “Kiss Me, Kate”. Also “Damn Yankees” (Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse!), “Showboat”, “My Fair Lady” . . . more, I’m sure, I can’t think of offhand.

  7. yami says:

    I can’t defend Paint Your Wagon on its merits – I saw it just after having my wisdom teeth out and so have precious little idea what its merits might or might not be to a sober mind – but it is the manliest musical ever made, and it did for my relationship to Clint Eastwood what Chicago did for you and Richard Gere.

  8. God I hate packing more than anything I can think of right now, except for George Bush. My body seems to have cooperated with me, however. At my (somewhat) youngish age I’ve developed a bad back that prevents me from packing (the repetitive motion) and moving.
    Somehow, it does not stop me from lifting weights in the gym. There is a rational explanation, of course. In the gym, I use, or try to use, exactly the right form, so I don’t get injured.
    More cynical Freudian interpretations could be made, but I resist them with the strength of an Exegetical Hell.
    Best of luck to you, trooper. Better you than me!

  9. Chris says:

    The Singing Detective — the BBC series that was aired on PBS, not the recent Robert Downey movie.