Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Hudson’

A Night at the Egyptian

Cats

Director: Tom Hooper

Cast: Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Francesca Hayward, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Laurie Davidson, Robbie Fairchild, Ray Winstone, Steven McRae, Danny Collins

Based upon Modernist poet T. S. Eliot’s poetry collection, Old Possum’s Books of Practical Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats the musical has been a Broadway and West End hit for decades.

The film version of Cats directed by Les Miserables director Tom Hooper is fascinating, surreal but also quite lacklustre and this is due to the uneven casting of the film.

Cats as a film has superb production design with brilliantly realized costumes and sets, but viewers must be familiar with the Theatre production of Cats which was primarily about movement, dancing and singing.

To turn such a successful theatrical production of Cats into a hit film is a daunting task for any director. Despite Tom Hooper’s success with such films as Les Miserables, The Danish Girl and The King’s Speech, he unfortunately misses a golden opportunity to make the cinematic version of Cats absolutely dazzling and that has a lot to do with the strange casting choices for the roles.

While Oscar winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) adds gravitas as Old Deuteronomy, Idris Elba’s green eyed Macavity is just plain weird and as for Rebel Wilson and James Corden, they should not have been cast at all as their interpretation of Jennyanydots and Bustopher Jones is utterly cringe worthy.

What saves Cats is Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson’s interpretation of Grizabella as her solo numbers are superb and she really anchors the film with a brilliant onscreen performance and fantastic singing.

All the professional singers cast in Cats are really good, including a mesmerizing performance by Taylor Swift as Bombalurina whose onscreen entrance is clearly inspired by Nicole Kidman’s entrance in Baz Luhrmann’s masterpiece Moulin Rouge. Jason Derulo equally holds his own as Rum Tum Tigger and Laurie Davidson’s interpretation of Mr Mistoffelees is spot on and charming.

The narrative arc of Cats goes completely off track but audiences must remember that the musical was loosely based on a collection of lyrical poems, so there was never a strong story to begin with. The middle of Cats is entertaining especially the tap dance scene performed by Steven McRae as Skimbleshanks. Newcomer Francesca Hayward holds her own as the novice feline Victoria.

Unfortunately the beginning and ending are terrible and audiences get a sense that director Tom Hooper was a bit out of his depth with this film production. But perhaps if Baz Luhrmann had directed it, viewers would have gotten an entirely unique interpretation.

Cats as a film is enjoyable but not brilliant, saved by magnificent soloist performances, solid production design and generally speaking the cinematic effort should be applauded and not so universally mocked as it has been on social media.

Despite the dubious casting choices, Cats only gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and is really aimed at ardent fans of the hit musical production.

60th BAFTA Awards

THE  60TH BAFTA AWARDS /

THE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS

Took place on Sunday 11th February 2007 in London

BAFTA WINNERS IN THE FILM CATEGORY:

The Queen

Best Film: The Queen

united_ninety_three

Best Director: Paul Greengrass – United 93

last_king_of_scotland

Best Actor: Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland

Best Actress: Helen Mirren – The Queen

little_miss_sunshine_ver4

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine

dreamgirls

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls

Rising Star Award: Eva Green

Best British Film: The Last King of Scotland

Best Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine

Best Adapted Screenplay: Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock – The Last King of Scotland

untitled

Best Costume Design: Pan’s Labyrinth

Best Foreign Language Film: Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro (Mexico/Spain)

Source: 60th BAFTA Awards

64th Golden Globe Awards

64th Golden Globe Awards

Took place on Sunday 15th January 2007 hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Golden Globe Winners in The Film Categories:

babel

Best Film Drama – Babel

departed

Best Director: Martin Scorsese – The Departed

dreamgirls

Best Film Musical or Comedy: Dreamgirls

last_king_of_scotland

Best Actor Drama: Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland

The Queen

Best Actress Drama: Helen Mirren – The Queen

borat_ver2

Best Actor Musical or Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat

devil_wears_prada

Best Actress Musical or Comedy: Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada

Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls

letters_from_iwo_jima_ver2

Best Foreign Language Film: Letters from Iwo Jima (Japan/USA)

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64th_Golden_Globe_Awards

79th Academy Awards

79th Academy Awards

25th February 2007

Oscar Winners at the 79th Academy Awards

 departed

Best Picture: The Departed

Best Director: Martin Scorsese The Departed

last_king_of_scotland

Best Actor: Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland

The Queen

Best Actress: Helen Mirren – The Queen

little_miss_sunshine_ver4

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine

dreamgirls

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls

Best Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt – Little Miss Sunshine

Best Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan – The Departed

lives_of_others

Best Foreign Language Film: The Lives of Others directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Germany)

Best Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth directed by Davis Guggenheim

babel

Best Original Score: Gustavo Santaolalla – Babel

untitled

Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro – Pan’s Labyrinth

marie_antoinette_ver3

Best Costume Design: Milena Canonero – Marie Antoinette

Best Film Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker – The Departed

pirates_of_the_caribbean_dead_mans_chest_ver2

Best Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/79th_Academy_Awards

 

A Fashionable Cinderella Tale

Carrie and the Big Apple

It was inevitable that the hit HBO television series, Sex and the City, about the adventures of four young and hip New York women based on the book by Candace Bushnell, be turned into a slick and stylish big screen adaptation. The sensational series, which originally aired from 1998 to 2004, was a weekly dose of risqué 30-minute episodes consisting of the sexual and social tribulations of four single New York career girls, which become the benchmark for all that, was chic, stylish and witty.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s fame was secured when she brought to life the lead character of New York columnist, Carrie Bradshaw’s trials and musings on love, life and looking for the eternally elusive Mr. Right. Instead, she found herself with Mr. Big while her friends were also grappling with the feminine challenges of balancing successful careers, hot relationships and a fabulous social life, set in the ever-inspiring backdrop of New York’s affluent Manhattan, that densely populated and exclusive enclave of high-fashion, infidelity and just sheer opulence.

Sex, a basic human right, as essential as food and survival coupled with the City, the phenomenal urbanization of the planet’s economically active cool trendsetters, as symbolized by the deliciously incandescent and scrumptious Big Apple, the city that never sleeps. The series, intelligently written and punctuated with scandalous scenes of outrageous nudity, gorgeous clothes and designer living, was a sure-fire success and defined a generation of style. Secured in this witty and lavish tradition, the film version of Sex and the City is a fashionable fable of the four far from virginal forty-year old women, with the original actresses reprising their roles as Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, who not only take on New York City, but the Mexican Riviera, Malibu and Beverly Hills, as they all in turn battle with the challenges of managing relationships with men, impending marriages, maternity and maintaining a wardrobe from the essential Manolo Blahnik shoes to Prada purses and fabulous outfits by Dior, Vivienne Westwood and Gucci.

With Patricia Field, the costume designer of the equally spectacular The Devil Wears Prada, responsible for the outfits, Sex and the City is a slightly over-long, but nevertheless fashion-frenzied feast of style, femininity and refreshingly raunchy, air-brushed film version of the fabulous four, written and directed with strong literary and filmic references by Michael Patrick King, elevating it above the average barrage of chic-flicks, that have hatched from Hollywood in the past decade.

So, will men enjoy it? Yes, I think the quality of the film coupled with its sophisticated tales of urban relationships set in one of the world’s richest city, will certainly appeal to anyone with a mature sensibility. All I can hope for is a film version of the male equivalent, the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series, Entourage, about a band of thespian brothers attempting to make it make big in Hollywood.

For the price of a movie ticket and a couple of hours, Sex and the City will indulgently transfer you to a world of sophistication, desire and elegance, that most people only aspire to and merely wish for, while whetting your appetite for luscious bodies and the slick designer clothes that cover them.


A Feminist Marvel told from a Minority Perspective…

Sex and the City 2

Besides the hype, the clothes and the glamour, Sex and the City 2 is a Feminist Film about the rights of Minorities all over the world from Connecticut to the Middle East and equally important the right to a freedom of expression…

The Fab Foursome set free in the Desert

As for Sex and the City 2 being a Feminist film… definitely… there is a rather comic scene when the foursome from Manhattan are riding camels in the Arabian desert. This signifies the power of woman owning the screen in an expansive horizon and inverts any traditional stereotypical images of men riding across blazing deserts as seen in Hidalgo and Lawrence of Arabia, there is a pun in the film, discreet but hilarious!!!

Rights of Minorities.

When a film starts off with a gay wedding in Connecticut and ends with the veiled women of Abu Dhabi assisting Carrie and friends, you cannot ignore the director making light of serious issues and more importantly the rights of minorities from gay men and women who are not allowed to marry in 45 states in the US to women under strict religious rule in the 7 emirate states of the UAE. From Liza Minelli doing a number at the gay marriage of the year, swans and all, to Samantha Jones, barelegged and voluptuous being hounded in the Souk by a mob of Angry Arab men… Sex and the City 2, despite its veneer of glamour is making some significant and controversial statements about the rights of minorities and those frequently persecuted, not to mention that the allure of wealth is always as temporary and illusive as that of fame. That moment on the red carpet with Samantha Jones and Miley Cyrus is priceless!!!

Sex and City 2 emphasizes the variety of human relationships and how society should not govern those relationships for all are as unique and complex as the individuals which comprise them. What works for some, does not work for others. Most relationships make up the diversity of 21st century society, so lets respect the individuality of all to enjoy an equal and free society.

In between the telling issues, the jokes and the diluted sex scenes compared to the first film, there are of course the fashions. Patricia Field costume designer outdoes her talents with some great creations particularly Samantha Jones gold and silver creation at the premier and Miranda’s revealing cocktail dress in the opening sequence.

Sex and the City 2 is for the liberated, the free and more importantly the open minded who love to enjoy the essence of being fabulous whether in New York or Abu Dhabi, Omaha or Bloemfontein, Sao Paulo or Barcelona. The winning point on this sequel, though difficult to achieve is the witty dialogue which is to the point, smart and sophisticated. Lets hope Michael Patrick King can get the girls together for a third installment to make up a delicious and fantastic Trilogy set in even more exotic cities like Cape Town, Hong Kong or Paris.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
January 2020
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • Ann Yeardye Asks $19.5 Million for Ultra-Secluded Beverly Hills Villa
    A remarkably private estate tucked into the mountains above Beverly Hills has debuted on the market, packing an aggressive but perhaps not entirely unreasonable $19.5 million pricetag. Long owned by the 1960s Chanel model Ann Davis Yeardye, the house is sited in a celeb-friendly pocket of the Beverly Hills Post Office area and is totally […]
    PMC
  • Italy’s Meduza, Dutch singer Naaz Among Winners at Music Moves Europe Talent Awards
    Italian electronic producers Meduza, Norway’s Girl In Red, and Dutch singer Naaz (pictured) were among the winners at the second annual Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, which took place Friday, Jan. 17 in the Netherlands. The honor, formerly known as the European Border Breakers Award (EBBA), went to eight artists in total, as well as […]
    Shirley Halperin
  • ‘Parasite’ Makes History as First Foreign Language Film to Win Top Prize Ace Eddie Awards
    “Parasite” made history on Friday night when it became the first Foreign Language film to win the top prize at the Ace Eddie Awards. Editor Jinmo Yang was recognized for his work on Bong Joon Ho’s drama. Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy), went to”Jojo Rabbit editor, Tom Eagles won. The Ace Eddie Awards recognizes editors […]
    jazztangcay
  • ‘Parasite,’ ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films
    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a […]
    Dave McNary
  • Ken Tales Gone Wild: David Wild Dishes on 20 Years With Grammy Legend Ken Ehrlich
    A lot will be said in the days and years to come about all the amazing and unforgettable Grammy Moments that Ken Ehrlich has somehow made happen decade after decade live on the Grammy Awards. Likely, a lot of it has already been said by my longtime mentor and lifelong friend Ken himself to Chris Willman […]
    chrislwillman
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90