You're wrong about the music. It's easy to be jaded 25 years later, and especially easy given the overexposure to the Dreamgirls juggernaut of late. But the Kreiger/Eyen score -- even in its truncated film version -- collects clever pastiches of various Motown styles (Smokey Robinson, Supremes, Aretha, Jackson 5, BB King, etc.) and connects them with a series of musical motifs. It's a massive accomplishment, and the genius of the score continues to unfold on repeated listenings.
That said: Beyonce's new song doesn't feel like it fits in with the rest of the score, and the film's orchestrations are inferior to those on the original cast recording.
I know Dan is a big show queen, so borrow the OCR from him and see if that doesn't change your mind a little bit. (Or better yet, the full-score concert version with Audra McDonald, Lillias White and Heather Headley.)
It might be good "showtune" music, but girl groups made some of the most exciting rock n roll ever, and there's not a hint of that in Dreamgirls.
No one in the industry seems to remember what pre-70's soul/pop was like, no matter how ubiquitous the hits still are to this day. You can't put a bunch of girls in wigs and 60's dresses and let them run through vocal scales for 3 minutes in every song. Total garbage. It'd be nice to see someone get it right for once, sounds like this film isn't the it.
when do we get the Savage's take on this, as resident Stranger showtune queen? he did one for 'Chicago'...
I'd love to read Nipper's review on this as well.
I don't know how Savage will like it, but it will make Nipper want to die and/or kill.
I was at the Ziegfeld in NY--it's been playing there for like the past week or so--and while I think the movie's great, the hands-down best part of going has been the audience. Older folks reminiscing sweetly about Michael Bennet, and the original stage production; it's really wonderful to hear.
If you want true girl group-ness, this ain't the movie for you, but the stage show never promised, or provided, that either.
Agreed somewhat on the music. Otherwise, as another gay man, I must express my disappointment in you, David. I should drive down to The Stranger offices and ask the interns to dose up your staff coffee pot with some phenethylamine and Prozac. That movie was more entertaining than a rabbit licking honey off a jackass and you all are just a syndicate of haters.
At least a typical student of The Stranger movie reviews understands: if most people like a movie, The Stranger hates it. Or as some call it - Contrarian Bitchery. "Dreamgirls" was #2 on Rolling Stones list of best 2006 movies in the event anyone is looking for some counter-intelligence in the movie-reviewing whirled. Saw it again last night in a packed movie theatre in a Dayton, Ohio suburb and the audience cheered.
Oh, I'm not saying it's not entertaining as shit--I'm gonna to go see it again tomorrow--but it's still not a very good movie.
And the music sucks.
To my surprise, I really enjoyed "Dreamgirls." I know very little about the original production, but Bill Condon--"Gods & Monsters," "Kinsey"--hasn't let me down yet. I thought he did a great job. Yeah, Murphy & Hudson are more interesting than Foxx & Knowles, but it didn't bug me the way I thought it would. Found myself humming "What's Goin' On" as I was leaving the theater. I'm not sure why; I guess one of Murphy's songs references it since he morphs into a Marvin Gaye-type character in the third act, what with the striped cap, denim shirt, et al. And damn, if he doesn't get his funk on in the pants-dropping sequence! Maybe he'll get to play the Godfather in Spike Lee's new JB pic.
Hey now, I'm not just some jerk who hates everything for the sake of hating. But I genuinely don't think that Dreamgirls is a good movie. I can see it working as musical theater (except--agreed--for the crappy super-snooze music), but as a film it rings mighty hollow. And if the world is going to cream their jeans over it, and hold it up as an Oscar contender, then I can apply that standard of quality to it too. And it fails. Because it's silly.
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