Mamma Mia reviews

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:02 pm

The Official Dancer from the Dance Playlist

"Law of the Land" by The Undisputed Truth
"One Night Affair" by The Cover Girls
"Needing You" by Natalie Cole
"Woman" by Barrabas
"You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester
"Turn the Beat Around (Extended Mix) by Vicki Sue Robinson
"Boogie Night" by Heat Wave
"Dim All the Lights" by Donna Summer




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Postby Eric » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:51 pm

flipp525 wrote:I most definitely have a disco mix on my iPod

Hell, almost 80 percent of the 3,000 songs on my iPod are disco or one of its many many offshoots. (And, of those songs, only one is by ABBA, and only because I have a playlist of the top 100 dance songs we compiled over at Slant.)

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Postby cam » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:55 pm

Eric wrote:I dunno. For me, this box set only really begins to pick up once it gets past the first few years of the decade. (Not that I'd imagine either of you, Damien and Mister Tee, would probably consider that tracklisting as being representative of the '70s, but we're talking strictly pop here, aren't we?)

You're right, Eric; the set gets better as you move along towards the end of the decade. The first two Volumes certainly don't excite me , with such memorable works such as One Tin Soldier, Put Your Hand In The Hand and I Never Promised You a Rose Gar-DEN.

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Postby Cinemanolis » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:33 am

If it's any consolation, 'Fernando' is not in the movie.



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Postby flipp525 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:07 am

I think that there's a tendency for those from my generation (born 1978) to romanticize the '70's through our adulation of certain bands, films and pop culture. Because we were born during this period, we feel a certain kinship to the decade (we were there, but not really there, if you will; similar to how cam might view the Roaring Twenties, perhaps -- just kidding).

I most definitely have a disco mix on my iPod (primarily comprised of songs mentioned in Andrew Holleran's '78 gay masterpiece, Dancer from the Dance -- gimme The Undisputed Truth's "Law of the Land" any day). I'll also admit to having had, at one point, an unhealthy obsession with everything Studio 54, mainly because my parents used to go there all the time back when they lived in New York City in the mid-to-late 70's.

For the older gents on this board, those who have cognizant memories of the 70's, things might not look so rosy.

I still like ABBA, though :p




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Postby Eric » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:51 am

I dunno. For me, this box set only really begins to pick up once it gets past the first few years of the decade. (Not that I'd imagine either of you, Damien and Mister Tee, would probably consider that tracklisting as being representative of the '70s, but we're talking strictly pop here, aren't we?)

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Postby Mister Tee » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:38 am

Damien wrote:Arguably the worst "music" of the '70s (which I realize is a huge statement). Wait, to be fair, Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight," Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died," and Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" were worse. But that's it.

Maybe you had to be there in the '70s to realize how hideous it is.

My friends and I voted Paper Lace the most horrific artists of 1974, because they not only had the dreadful "The Night Chicago Died", they were also the writers behind Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods' "Billy, Don't Be a Hero". (I hope nobody's going to chime in supporting either of those songs; then, we truly have nothing to talk about)

I'd say it was about 1974 that the music on the radio really began to curdle; there was always lousy stuff, but not till that point did the balance of the ecology truly shift toward crud.

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Postby cam » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:43 pm

I was given two tickets to the road show in Vancouver of Mamma Mia on Father's Day. What should I do? I loathed ( and ignored, much to my regret) ABBA, and Fernando, in particlular, although I could go on...
I went into the theatre saying to myself, "How can I say this, politely, 'I hate this music'. But thanks anyway"

But the show was so forties that I loved it--the setting was blue Greek and sandstone, the story was silly and the music was familiar, now in a setting that made sense with the lyric. The cast was buff and cute.

I am a pretty average guy. I can hardly wait to see this, and before, I would have switched the dial. But, I must admit, I still change the dial when Fernando starts playing...




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Postby Damien » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:27 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Well, I'll just say I always found their sound synthetic and dreary -- one of many examples of how the 70s took the glorious pop traditions and turned them into pap.

If for nothing else, for Fernando they should be permanently banned.

I couldn't have said it better. Plastic music.

Arguably the worst "music" of the '70s (which I realize is a huge statement). Wait, to be fair, Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight," Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died," and Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" were worse. But that's it.

Maybe you had to be there in the '70s to realize how hideous it is.




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Postby Eric » Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:40 pm

More grist for the whole ABBA "men vs. women" line of conversation:

Benny And Bjorn: No ABBA Reunion

LONDON (AP) Despite the astonishing success of the stage musical "Mamma Mia!," ABBA has ruled out any reunion tour.

Songwriters Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of the Swedish pop quartet told Britain's Sunday Telegraph that ABBA will never perform together again.

Ulvaeus said "money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were. Young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition."

ABBA was one of the biggest bands of the 1970s, with hits including "Waterloo," "Dancing Queen" and "Money, Money, Money." The group also included singers Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

ABBA split in 1982 but continues to sell nearly 3 million records a year. Last week all four members appeared at the Swedish premiere of "Mamma Mia!," a film based on their hits.




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Postby Cinemanolis » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:33 pm

I just watched Mamma Mia at the cinema.

The movie has paper thin plot, is really silly and kitch but it all works as you know that that's exactly why you are at the cinema. It's a movie full of ABBA songs for Christ's sake, it couldn't be a serious piece of cinema but the summer fun movie it was expacted to be.
Unfortunately for once more, as with 'The Producers: The Musical' hiring the original theatre director to direct the movie wasn't a wise idea. She doesn't bring anything new to the big screen and i personally didn't like the stage version. But half the fun of the movie is watching stars like Meryl Streep and the other cast getting their hands on some poorly written roles. Meryl Streep is absolutely wonderful and believable. Kudos to her for not chosing lots of make up to hide her age. Her performance in 'The Winner Takes It All' is daring and heartbreaking. Julie Walters and Colin Firth are also excellent, but i must say that even if Pierce Brosnan looks like the role he can't sing and giving him 3 songs, even though he doesn't sing them all on his own, isn't helping. Christine Baranski wasn't very good either.
I liked the use of the extras who were at times were used as a greek tragedy chorus.
The big winners of the movie however ,besides Meryl Streep and ABBA who are going to sell even more compilation CDs to younger audiences, are the greek islands of Karpathos, Skiathos and Pilio where the movie was shot. Wonderful locations and card postal images which will surely help the tourism in these islands next summer, as they look like the ideal summer location.
The crowd seemed to love the movie, although everybody was laughing at the intentional kitch elements of it, and there were some teenagers singing and dancing at one point (lol).




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Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:47 pm

A mixed review from Variety

Mamma Mia! The Movie
By JORDAN MINTZER


A Universal (in U.S.)/United Intl. Pictures (in U.K.) release of a Universal Studios, Littlestar, Playtone production. Produced by Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman. Executive producers, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Mark Huffam. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Screenplay, Catherine Johnson, based the original musical book by Johnson, originally conceived by Judy Craymer, based on the songs of Abba.

Donna - Meryl Streep
Sam - Pierce Brosnan
Harry - Colin Firth
Bill - Stellan Skarsgard
Rosie - Julie Walters
Sky - Dominic Cooper
Sophie - Amanda Seyfried
Tanya - Christine Baranski

"Take a Chance on Me" may be one of its most celebrated songs, but little risk is actually involved in "Mamma Mia! The Movie," a predictably glossy screen adaptation of the Abba-scored musical. The pic uses virtually the same creative team behind the stage original -- topped by helmer Phyllida Lloyd, making her film bow -- but subs in bigscreen names like Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan for the leads and adds lush Greek exteriors. But the island-set tale of a young bride-to-be looking for dad offers little else that differs from the stage version and, since its grosses have exceeded $2 billion, why should it? To borrow another song title, Universal should reap reasonable "Money, Money, Money" in all territories.
The tuner shares a basic plot with the lesser-known 1968 Gina Lollobrigida starrer "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell," so offers a variation of the recent screen-to-stage-to-screen-again works as "The Producers" and "Hairspray." Another difference is the highly lucrative addition of a soundtrack featuring several No. 1 hits by one of the most profitable music acts in history. With each song inserted to capture a certain moment or emotion in the script, and with the script itself stretched to encompass enough songs to fit the perfect best-of compilation, the storyline plays out more like an oversized Abba promotional vehicle than a fully dramatic piece.

The opening scenes offer a preview of the over-polished, glitzy texture used throughout, as a series of moonlit postcard images introduce us to the Greek island where Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is set to marry heartthrob Sky (Dominic Cooper).

Having never known the identity of her father, Sophie decides to invite three suspects -- suave architect divorcee Sam (Pierce Brosnan), lonely but loaded investment banker Harry (Colin Firth), and roughshod world traveler Bill (Stellan Skarsgard). But Sophie doesn't give warning to her ex-swinger mother Donna (Meryl Streep), who now runs a bed and breakfast atop the island.

Quid pro quo plays on for much of the pic's first half, as the slightly bitter Donna -- accompanied by zany friends Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) -- attends to wedding preparations while reminiscing about the good old days when her trio, Donna and the Dynamos, rocked the scene. Meanwhile, Sophie plays an unending game of "My Three Dads" as she hops from one protective fatherly embrace to the other, unable to determine who's the real one, and unwilling to confess her hidden agenda to Mom.

A prolonged, dance-heavy centerpiece features simultaneous bachelor and bachelorette parties where the entire cast, and all the subplots (including Donna's re-emerging interest in Sam), converge in the type of chorus-line bonanza usually timed to wrap the first act with a bang. Yet on film, the scenes play more like "MTV Grind" than Busby Berkeley, with a roving camera breaking up the action into fast-cut singles.

The final reels are devoted to the wedding, set atop a dreamy seaside cliff (covered in one too many helicopter shots). After the truth is revealed, in what amounts to the film's lengthiest dialogue sequence, the music kicks in for an extended showstopping finale that runs tirelessly through the stretched-out closing credits.

The singing-and-dancing work for the basic excitement and energy of a live performance, butan additional boost of cinematic prowess is needed to sustain a similar rhythm on film. Scribe-creator Catherine Johnson (also in her first screen outing) and theater-opera vet Lloyd can't seem to find the right tone or style for their globally celebrated material.

Most of the chorus dance numbers -- especially "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" and "Voulez-vous" -- feel over-shot and over-cut, never allowing for the pleasure of a sustained, well-choreographed performance. Other, more intimate songs -- including the beach-set "Lay All Your Love On Me" and the cliff-set "The Winner Takes It All" -- feature a twirling Steadicam that does a better job of depicting the gorgeous coastline than the lip-synching cast.

Thesping is all-around pro, although some stars, especially the bouncy and rejuvenated Streep, seem better suited for musical comedy than others, including Brosnan and Skarsgard.

Despite the obvious time and energy devoted to smooth transitioning between studio and location scenes (both are shot realistically yet theatrically by d.p. Haris Zambarloukos), tech work often feels more rushed than mastered. Poor dubbing in some of the outdoor sequences tends to take away from the filmmakers' insistence that we're actually there.

Camera (Technicolor, Panavision widescreen), Haris Zambarloukos; editor, Lesley Walker; music and lyrics, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, with songs by Stig Anderson; musical director, Martin Lowe; music supervisor, Becky Bentham; production designer, Maria Djurkovic; supervising art director, Nick Palmer; art directors, Dean Clegg, Rebecca Holmes; set decorator, Barbara Herman-Skelding; costume designer, Ann Roth; sound (SDDS/Dolby Digital/DTS), Simon Hayes; supervising sound editor, Nick Adams; re-recording mixers, Michael Barry, Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella; choreographer, Anthony Van Laast; visual effects supervisor, Mark Nelmes ; visual effects, Framestore; assistant director, Chris Newman; casting, Priscilla John, Ellen Lewis. Reviewed at Odeon Leicester Square, London, July 4, 2008. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 108 MIN.




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Postby ITALIANO » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:04 am

Ah right. That's why the plot sounded so familiar. But this is the kind of thing that Gina - never a great actress, let's face it - could still do better than Meryl...

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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:30 pm

Maybe unofficially, but not officially.

Anyway, the original is still fun after all these years. It was officailly musicalized in 1979 as Carmelina with Georgia Brown, which had only a brief run on Broadway although the cast recording with Brown, Josie de Guzman and Paul Sorvino replacing, I believe, Sergio Franchi, is still available. Not great, but decent enough.

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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:04 pm

Big Magilla wrote:The plot of the movie bears a striking resemblence to the late 60s comedy, Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell

Actually, Magilla, I believe it's officially based on the film.

Which only doubles my aversion-factor. A movie I didn't bother seeing in high school, matched to songs that made me turn off the radio.


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