Musical

Bells are Ringing (1960)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Bells are Ringing (1960)

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Betty Comden

Adolph Green

Starring:

Judy Holliday

Dean Martin

Fred Clark

Eddie Foy Jr.

Jean Stapleton

Blurb:

A Brooklyn answering service operator becomes involved in the lives of her clients, including a struggling playwright with whom she begins to fall in love.

Thoughts:

This is the first movie on my list that is a comfort watch. Bells are Ringing isn’t as good as any of my previous films. Most people probably haven’t heard of it, and I completely understand if people don’t like it. The songs are good, with Dean Martin singing most songs would sound good. There’s nothing remarkable about the dancing. Judy Holliday is pretty funny. The story is dated but entertaining as long as you turn your brain off.

It’s a nostalgia watch for me. I used to rent a VHS copy of Bells are Ringing from my local video store. They had some random musicals, and this happened to be one of them. I was surprised when it was released on DVD and downright shocked to see that it’s on Blu-ray.

It was nominated for a couple of awards. It won one. It did not come even close to making back its money and took a pretty significant loss. It was a movie adaption of a stage production. Really, the biggest thing of note that I’m aware of is that it was Judy Holliday’s final film before she died of breast cancer a few years later.

I like Bells are Ringing and if you’re looking for a musical recommendation and trust my judgment, by all means, try it out. It’s available to rent on Amazon Prime, or if you feel like paying $2 more, you could even own it.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Directors:

Stanley Donen

Gene Kelly

Writers:

Betty Comden

Adolph Green

Starring:

Gene Kelly

Donald O’Connor

Debbie Reynolds

Jean Hagen

Millard Mitchell

Blurb:

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Thoughts:

I watched this movie last night and didn’t give it the attention it deserves. It’s a great musical with fantastic dance routines and good music. Gene Kelly isn’t as good a singer as some of the others I’ve been watching, but he’s possibly the best dancer. There was a lot of talent in this film.

While Gene Kelly is incredibly talented, he sounds like he was an asshole while working on this movie. He was so mean to Debbie Reynolds that she cried. He later said he was surprised she worked with him afterward, which says a lot. Fred Astaire ended up helping Debbie Reynolds with her dancing, which is so cool.

Easily my favorite part of the movie is the Make Em Laugh number performed by Donald O’Connor. It’s hilarious, and even as a child, I could see the skill it took to execute the moves he did.

Singin’ in The Rain is one of those movies that I can see scene by scene in my mind I’ve watched it so many times. It is easily the best musical I own, even if it isn’t my favorite. Some of the musical numbers last too long for me and don’t have much to do with the parts of the movie I enjoy the most.

It wasn’t a huge hit when it was first released, though it did make a profit. Reviewers seemed to like it, but it wasn’t until later that it reached its current popularity. It is yet another of my movies that has been selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation.

After getting rid of a lot of my older Disney movies, this ended up being the only movie from the 50s that I own.

Next up is Bells are Ringing from 1960.

A Star is Born (2018)

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A Star is Born (2018)

Director:

Bradley Cooper

Starring:

Bradley Cooper

Lady Gaga

Sam Elliot

Plot:

A musician helps a young singer find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

Review:

Yeah…this movie wasn’t for me. I liked the music, for the most part, but just could not get invested in the characters and as soon as I figured out what was going to happen to Bradley Cooper’s character I checked out.

Lady Gaga is a normal person, with a normal job, that happens to sing at a small drag club once a week. Bradley Cooper is a country western star with a hearing problem and a serious alcoholic. Drunk and wanting more Cooper shows up at the bar Lady Gaga performs at and decides she’s got talent.

Next thing you know she’s a star, they’re getting married, and he’s getting worse. Dude needed some serious therapy, eventually gets some but recovers just enough to take his own life.

Definitely not a happy ending and I’m not sure what the message here was either. I think I would have liked it better if it had just focused on one of them, instead of both. Just wasn’t my cup of tea.

2/5

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

Director:

Ol Parker

Starring:

Lily James

Amanda Seyfried

Plot:

Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie prepares for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna as she learns more about her mother’s past.

Review:

I’ve been waiting to rent this for what feels like forever. I would have loved to have seen it in theaters, but oh well. I think all of that excitement ended up working against me. I was hoping for a light hearted, music filled, fun story and that’s only kind of what I got.

Donna, Meryl Streep, is dead and her daughter Sophie, Amanda Seyfried, has built the hotel into what Donna had always planned. The movie was a prequel and sequel, and while I normally hate prequels that part was what I enjoyed the most. Young Donna, Lily James was fun to watch, she was sweet and beautiful and completely optimistic. Her daughter, on the other hand, was in mourning and it was a harsh tonal shift for me. I think I might have enjoyed it more if it was a prequel and that’s a bit crazy to me.

We got to see everyone from the original, but not much has really changed there. In fact none of the side characters seem to have grown in any way since the 70s.

All in all I was a bit disappointed by Mamma Mia Here We Go Again, it lacked a lot of what I loved about the original. I am still kind of hoping for a third, but maybe it can be something much more positive and happy.

3/5

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Pitch Perfect 3

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Director:

Trish Sie

Starring:

Anna Kendrick

Rebel Wilson

Brittany Snow

Plot:

Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

Review:

Pretty sure this movie didn’t need to be made. It lacked a lot of what I enjoyed about the previous movies and was honestly a constant barrage of awkward moments. I like Rebel Wilson and her character but her arc was out there.

I can’t remember a single thing I liked about this movie now that I’m thinking back on it. They used the plot device that I hate where it starts off and then flashes back. The characters were all floundering in life and being very foolish. It was just an unnecessary movie.

2/5