1 – Repo the Genetic Opera – The best musical film ever and a cult classic. I don’t know how this film didn’t get the response or praise that it deserved it’s a mater piece. I mean a musical done in a horror comic book fashion set in a post-apocalyptic rock opera about a repo man harvesting organs for an evil corporation. I mean it’s sexy, violent and has great songs and great performances. Comic style panels explain how an epidemic of organ failures devastated the planet in the future. The mega-corporation GeneCo emerged as a saviour. GeneCo provides organ transplants, in addition to cosmetic surgeries. GeneCo is legally able to repossess defaulted organs. Clients who default on payments will be hunted down by Repo men; skilled assassins contracted by GeneCo to recover defaulted property by any means necessary. Its lead is the fabulous and talented Anthony Head aka Giles from Buffy or Uther from Merlin.
Now if you though this wonderful example of British actor was amazing before wait till you hear him sing it’s one of the most sexy experiences and me being a horror fan even more amazing since he sings songs about things like killing his victims. Other cast members include Alexa Vega (spy kids) as his 17 year old ill daughter who doesn’t know about her father’s secret identity, Sarah Brightman of stage and star of musicals such as Phantom of the Opera.
There’s also a wonderful performance by Paris Hilton parodying herself, an idol so obsessed with plastic surgery that she goes to new extremes to get a new face. The film is shot beautifully with amazing costume designs and gorgeous cinematography. It really is a mouth-watering example of cinema with songs that get stuck in your head.
2 – Les Miserable – One of the biggest triumphs in musical history the stage version is amazing but the movie stands apart as a wonderful example of cinema. Not only does it has some of the most amazing cinematography in years it an unbelievable epic of storytelling, set design, performances, costume and music. In 1815, convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released on parole by prison guard Javert (Russell Crowe) after serving a nineteen-year sentence. He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne (Colm Wilkinson), but steals his silver during the night. He is caught by the authorities, but the Bishop informs them that the silver was given as a gift, giving him even more, securing Valjean’s release. Moved by the Bishop’s grace, Valjean breaks his parole vowing to start an honest life helping others under a new identity. Javert swears he will bring the escaped convict to justice.
Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer. Fantine (Anne Hathaway), one of his workers, is discovered to be sending money to her illegitimate daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen), who lives with the unscrupulous Thénardiers (Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen) and their daughter Éponine (Natalya Angel Wallace), and is dismissed by the foreman. In a desperate attempt to support her daughter, Fantine becomes a prostitute. She is arrested by Javert after she attacks an abusive man, but is saved by Valjean, who has her hospitalised. Later, Valjean learns that a man believed to be him has been arrested. Unable to accept that an innocent man is condemned, Valjean reveals his identity to the court before departing for the hospital. There he promises a dying Fantine that he will look after her daughter. After escaping from Javert, Valjean finds Cosette and pays the Thénardiers to allow him to take her, and promises to be like a father to her. I knew Hugh Jackman was going to be good but he blew me away with the strength of his performance as well as Anne Hathaway who broke my heart with her performance. Now the weak link I thought would be Russell Crowe but alas I really like him in this Javert is my favourite character. Russell was great he played the character wonderful he was intense and yet broken, he was a little weak when he sang ‘”stars” but I loved the gravely quality to his voice when he did the confrontation.
What I loved about the movie was how claustrophobic it could feel it never let you escape from the harshness of these characters lives you couldn’t turn away as their plight was there up close for you to witness. This made Hathaway’s “I dreamed a dream” all the more heart breaking cause as you saw her break and fall to despair you had nowhere else to look than into the eyes of a women whose world had betrayed and destroyed her and it stole my breath away and broke my heart.
I love Les Mis it’s a story of hope and human triumph in the face of adversity, I love a tale of overcoming the harsh reality of your life and finding a higher purpose so this film really applied to me plus some amazing songs that will always be classics no matter what.
3 – Singin’ in the Rain – An absolute classic one of the greatest musical and proof you don’t need to be modern and or full of special effects to be a great movie. Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is a popular silent film star with humble roots as a singer, dancer and stunt man. Don barely tolerates his vapid, shallow leading lady, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), though their studio, Monumental Pictures, links them romantically to increase their popularity. Lina herself is convinced they are in love, despite Don’s protestations otherwise. One day, to escape from fans, Don jumps into a passing car driven by Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds). She drops him off, but not before claiming to be a stage actress and sneering at his “undignified” accomplishments. Later, at a party, the head of Don’s studio, R.F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell), shows a short demonstration of a Vitaphone talking picture but his guests are unimpressed. To Don’s amusement and Kathy’s embarrassment, she pops out of a mock cake right in front of him as part of the entertainment; Kathy, it turns out, is a chorus girl. Furious at Don’s teasing, she throws a real cake at him, only to hit Lina right in the face.
Later, after weeks of searching, Don makes up with Kathy after he finds her working in another Monumental Pictures production. She confesses to having been a fan of Don and Lina’s all along and they begin to fall in love. After a rival studio has an enormous hit with its first talking picture, 1927’s The Jazz Singer, R.F. decides he has no choice but to convert the next Lockwood and Lamont film, The Duelling Cavalier, into a talkie. The production is beset with difficulties. By far, the worst problem is Lina’s grating voice. An exasperated diction coach tried to teach her how to speak properly, but to no avail. Cosmo then comes up with the idea to dub Lina’s voice with Kathy’s, and they persuade R.F. to turn The Duelling Cavalier into a musical called The Dancing Cavalier, complete with a modern musical number called “Broadway Melody”.
This is one fun and light musical maybe that’s why I love it so it’s about friendship and having a good time with the people you like the most and it will be a classic. To this day everyone will always know Singing in the Rain and the sight of Gene Kelly splashing through puddles as he sings it. It’s also a very funny movie marking an important change in cinema when sound was brought to motion pictures and the very real problems that lent to silent screen actors. One of the funniest things I’ve seen to this day is Lina trying to act and speak into a microphone with the world’s most annoying voice. I love the songs in this film I regularly like to sing “good morning, good morning” it’s the perfect cheer up song for mornings. This film is and always be a classic film at 60 years old it holds up today.
4 – Chicago – I love this film for some reason it just adore it. It’s great fun with catchy songs and filmed really well. In Chicago, circa 1924, naïve Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) visits a nightclub, where star Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) performs (”All That Jazz”). Roxie is there with Fred Casely (Dominic West); a lover she hopes will get her a vaudeville gig. After the show, Velma is arrested for killing her husband and sister after finding them in bed together. A month passes, and, after Roxie admits she wants the relationship to go on a long-term basis, Fred reveals to Roxie that he lied about his connections in order to sleep with her and abandons her, hitting her when she protests. Roxie, enraged, shoots him three times, killing him. Roxie convinces her ever faithful husband, Amos (John C. Reilly), to take the blame, telling him it was a burglar and that he needn’t worry, he’ll get off. When the detective brings up evidence that Roxie had been sleeping with Fred, Amos abandons his lie and says Casely was dead when he got home (”Funny Honey”). Roxie is sent to Cook County Jail.
Upon her arrival she is sent to Murderess’ Row, under the care of the corrupt Matron “Mama” Morton (Queen Latifah), who takes bribes and supplies her prisoners with cigarettes and contraband (”When You’re Good to Mama”) while awaiting trial. Roxie meets Velma, and learns the backstories of the other women in Murderess’ Row (”Cell Block Tango”). Roxie decides that she wants to engage Velma’s lawyer, the brilliant and amoral Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) (”All I Care About”), and convinces her husband to talk to him. Flynn and Roxie manipulate the press at a press conference, reinventing Roxie’s identity to make Chicago fall in love with her (”We Both Reached for the Gun”). Roxie becomes the new infamous celebrity of the Cook County Jail (”Roxie”), much to Velma’s disgust and Mama’s delight. Velma, desperate to get back into the limelight, tries to talk Roxie into opening a vaudeville act with her once they get out of jail (”I Can’t Do It Alone”). Seeking revenge for an earlier mocking, Roxie haughtily refuses, and Roxie and Velma become locked in a rivalry to outshine each other.
Top 5 Movie Musicals
Now while I’m not a big Renee fan and find her very flat chest rather off putting I adore Catherine Zeta Jones and thinks she beautiful and talented. I just love the power play between them the trying to outshine each other. There is something very sexy about this film just all those perfect bodies dancing and singing, the “Cell Block Tango” is just a wonderfully filmed and choreographed number.
It has catchy songs and that’s what’s important about a musical if you come away singing the songs you know it’s been a good film and performance.
5 – Rocky Horror Picture Show – Another cult classic and timeless film that has one of the best entrances of a character in film history. No one will ever forget Tim Curry appearing from the elevator in his transvestite gear, amazing. A criminologist narrates the tale of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, a newly engaged couple who find themselves lost and with a flat tire on a cold and rainy late November evening. Seeking a phone with which to call for help, Brad and Janet walk to a nearby castle, where they discover a group of strange and outlandish people who are holding an Annual Transylvanian Convention. Brad and Janet watch as the Transylvanians, servants and a tap-dancing groupie dance the film’s signature song, “Time Warp”.
They are soon swept into the world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a self-proclaimed “Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania”. The ensemble of convention attendees also includes servants Riff Raff, his sister Magenta, and a groupie named Columbia.
This film has always a classic to anyone non-mainstream, it’s a representation to all of us that don’t want to live by normal social conventions and celebrate our differences. This film is for all those who consider themselves alternative for the society outsiders who refuse to change themselves to become more “normal” and fit into boring conformism of mainstream society. This such my world, I’m a geek, alternative, have a different sense of aesthetics (which explains why repo was 1 on my list) and pro-gay, transgender, gender non-conformist rights and not conforming so of course this is a film for me. I want to celebrate the bizarre and macabre plus the “Time warp” is a great dance that no party is complete without.
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