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Mark Kermode | 16:34 UK time, Thursday, 16 December 2010

In a suspenders and heels summit, Cher and Christina Aguilera face off over the sanitised corpse of burlesque.

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  • Comment number 1.

    That should be fewer feathers.

  • Comment number 2.

    Surely 'fewer' feathers?

  • Comment number 3.

    Bob Fosse must be turning in his grave

  • Comment number 4.

    Oh just watch 'Mermaids' again. Cher may be a terrible mother but at least she's a terrible mother who can move her face.

  • Comment number 5.

    Are you suggesting Woody Allen should have been directed it? His first book was "Without Feathers".

  • Comment number 6.

    The part from 00.44 to 00.51 is brilliant. haha It looks like a fun movie to me, though. :) You can't go wrong with Christina Aguilera dancing around in your movie. ;)

  • Comment number 7.

    Forget Burlesque, I want to see your Fred The Movie review.

  • Comment number 8.

    I saw a trailer for this months ago - it's a much bigger deal than I was expecting it to be.

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree with Stuart, having heard the review on the radio I want to see what happened. Contrary to what Mayo said it was great radio, largely due to his reaction.

    As to Burlesque I had no desire to see it before the review and I have even less now.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well, I thought it was okay, although very very silly and empty. The film that it most reminded me of was Coyote Ugly, or possibly some of Cannon's ropey old musicals from the mid 80s (Lambada, Salsa). But Burlesque still suffers from the Chicago Condition, in that the musical numbers are so overedited that you can't tell one dance step from another.

  • Comment number 11.

    Mark, it seems to me that you don't enjoy 'movies' as much as you'd like to, or used to.
    You seem disappoointed with so many of them.
    Me too, I really don't get as worked up about them as I think I ought, or used to.

    Do we expect too much, I wonder?

  • Comment number 12.

    I remember Terry Gilliam saying the same thing. That movies "constantly disappoint" him nowadays. Which I can understand.

  • Comment number 13.

    haha - so Verhoeven's "Showgirls" is a better movie than this?! Great news!

    The target audience by the way, might be the generation of FoxTV "Glee" fans, who have no knowledge of a) Bob Fosse b) Burlesque Theatre c) Cher.

    But, then again, certain people loved "Mamma Mia"- the movie. *wink* *wink*

  • Comment number 14.

    What an odd experience to see Mark as an obviously conflicted critic.

    He appears to be one of the few men on earth who doesn't get into perving on girlies for its own sake (thank you for that) but then he's not sure whether he should condemn the movie as diminishing women (a la SATC2) or whether he should embrace empowerment of women to be all they want to be - even if they want to be burlesque dancers.

    Yes, it's a thorny issue and I can see that it would make any intelligent and decent man cross their legs in discomfort. These issues exercise feminist theorists - as I'm sure Mark knows.

    What I'd suggest is that he heed his own exhortation - it's only a movie. Tell us - have you seen better performances at your kids school Christmas show? did the editing induce an epileptic fit? was the dialogue written by 7-11 clerks at 5 am hoping that they'd get robbed just to liven the place up? was the costume design done by some guy given charge of a glitter gun without a license?

    I'd call this video a case of rantus-interruptus. It's like Mark wanted to rant but held back, thus leaving us all unsatisfied.

  • Comment number 15.

    Cor, that Pete Burns has let himself go eh?

  • Comment number 16.

    You mean its not good? I heard the folks at the golden globes called it one of the ten best films of this year. Its almost like they dont know what they are talking about, which is completely ridiculous im sure.

  • Comment number 17.

    It's certainly not one of the ten best films of the year, but it's not one of the ten worst either. Even if you discount Danny Dyer's contributions to cinema this year, it's nowhere near the bottom of the list. For what it's worth, some spoilers:

  • Comment number 18.

    Just because some men don't like the contemporary Hollywood portrayal of girlies, that doesn't necessarily make them sexless eunuchs.

    I don't agree with your opinion that Mark's blog is vague. One of his main problems is that the film has little or nothing to do with the original (slightly underground) idea of burlesque, which is all about innocence rather than titillation. With this film the innocence of burlesque is killed off yet again, this time by turning it into a commercial, plastic product by Hollywood, rather than degrading into explicit smut for pervy men as happened in the 1970s. History repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce.

    Burlesque, being a more posh form of female performance, has been championed by (some) feminists. For that reason I don't think that diminishing women is really an issue, also because the film is so sanitised.

  • Comment number 19.

    streetrw: Clearly the note of sarcasm hasn't come through the internettings.

  • Comment number 20.

    I saw the trailer and posters last month in London. The fact that two singers who can't really act are in it, made me less like to see this movie. Far too much like an over-long bump and grind music video for me.

  • Comment number 21.

    #19 Ewen Griffn:

    Well, Dr K was talking about this "ten best movies" in the other blog about the Globes - and it's actually nonsense. There are five comedy/musicals and five dramas, but they're not the ten best. The sixth-to-tenth best films could also be dramas; Burlesque could be the best musical but the forty-third best film overall.

    I still didn't hate the film. Maybe I should have, but I just didn't.

  • Comment number 22.

    Stewart Lee speaking to Esquire magazine sums up my opinion:

    " Music Theatre, the genre which gave us Andrew Lloyd Webber and the tribute show, combines the worst aspects of music with the worst aspects of theatre to create a mutant hybrid that is the worst form of live art that exists. "

  • Comment number 23.

    So it's not fun in the Bonkers way that 'Mamma Mia' is? Someone let me know before I pay to see it...

  • Comment number 24.

    No where else to put this rant to Mark Fairy..Yes Mark you are being a bully with your rants of bad grammer. But people like you will never see or even admit you could be wrong. Up the revolution Mark. We are here as guests on this planet, not here to put people down or pick up on their grammer. Your nearly 50, get over being bullied at school for having an unfortunate surname.

  • Comment number 25.

    12. At 11:38am on 18 Dec 2010, Sapphire77 wrote:
    I remember Terry Gilliam saying the same thing. That movies "constantly disappoint" him nowadays. Which I can understand.

    Jesus, he can talk...

  • Comment number 26.

    Markmoretti, surely you mean "grammar"? ;)

    SteveDave, Terry is terrific! :P The quality of his work does differ somewhat, though, in my opinion. Brazil e.g. is certainly a stand out film in his oeuvre thusfar along with a few others...but I don't think he has ever made a genuinely poor film. Too bad about his Quichote project once again collapsing, by the way. It seems like such a brilliant film! :)

  • Comment number 27.

    Hello Dr Kermode!
    Not about "Burlesque" (I haven't seen it and I don't really intent to)this time. I'm currently reading your latest book "It's only a movie" and, as a fan, I'd like to report some little disfunction. Being yourself a person for whom the correct spelling of titles and names is one of the essentials of a good film criticism, I'm sure you will not mind. At the page 114 of this Opus Magnum you mention the film "Rapid Grannies" and its original French title. Only it is not, like it says in the book "Les Mêmes Cannibales", but "Les Mémés Canibales". "Mêmes" meaning "the same" (in plural)is pronouced /mɛm/, whereas the right one, "mémés" is pronouced /meme/.
    Adamina, Polish listener from Paris enjoying wickedly the reading of the Kermodean prose.

  • Comment number 28.

    Went to see this last night and have to say it wasn't terrible. but the Burlesque elements were pretty unauthentic.And there were some uneasy messages like it's okay to try and split up a couple.

  • Comment number 29.

    There was a horrible joke when I was in grade school that went "Cher has had so many face-lifts, when she smiles, he toes wiggle."
    I feel bad for even typing that, but it's kind of funny.

  • Comment number 30.

    Inauthentic 'Burlesque' for sure, and understood (the real Burlesque is by definition, fake and kinda lame too, as we all know). But can Cher and Christina salvage/convince that this is campy but good fun; this is wink wink but self-consciously so. And the answer is, uhhhrrrahhhhh, kind-off. It tries to straddle the two "oh I know my movie histroy" (ala Chicago, which was way over-rated btw) and "I clearly know this is a B-Movie so clearly it isn't" horses. And that's OK. For the truth is, they both can sing (good lord!) and nobody gives a shite about the "story". In the end, good clean fun!


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