Posts tagged adaptation
Baz Luhrmann’s bombastic big screen adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” is like drinking cheap booze to excess. It’s unpleasant going down, and even worse coming back up, but when the experience is over, you’ll feel much better.
Speaking of bad alcohol, Luhrmann’s film is a nasty homemade concoction. With his take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, he creates anachronistic moonshine that doesn’t mix effectively with the story’s Prohibition Era setting. His predilection for combining the old and new isn’t surprising, considering previous brazen films “Moulin Rouge” and “Romeo + Juliet.” However those stylistic blends were arguably more fluid.
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Before my review of Tom Hooper’s film “Les Miserables,” I just want to preempt a few nastygrams by saying that I have tremendous respect for this musical. I studied it in school growing up, I’ve watched several performances of it over the years, and I know some of the songs well enough to sing along. Although I’m not exactly a diehard “Les Mis” devotee, I can appreciate the skill with which the story and the music are crafted. Both are woven together in a way that is compelling and enthralling.
That being said, Hooper’s adaptation is a disappointing cinematic regurgitation of the stage show that is downright boring. The only interesting moments come from specific performances and the small deviations the film makes from tradition.
Adam Shankman’s musical “Rock of Ages” is fantastic…for about 20 minutes. His film adaptation of the Broadway musical brilliantly combines powerful 80s rock songs to create an entertaining opening. However once Tom Cruise shows up as rock superstar Stacee Jaxx, the picture takes a serious nose dive.
I know what you’re thinking, and no his voice isn’t the problem; Cruise’s vocals are fine. He and the other actors in the film have Auto-Tune to thank for that. Cruise literally does everything to look, sound, and move like a rock star, except for showing any genuine conviction. It’s like someone programmed a robot to play the character, but left out the emotion chip.