Why is it that so many people say they have a problem with musicals. Is it really harder to buy in to than any other genre of cinema?

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  • Comment number 179. Posted by Lito Briano

    on 8 Jul 2013 07:19

    Mark,

    Admittedly, I gained a stronger appreciation for musicals as I intensively studied theatre. Yet as a child I always loved The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. I think you hit on some excellent points of comparison. For me ultimately, if the music is bad and artificial or the film itself just lacks in a variety of ways. I was not a big fan of the new Les Miz adaptation, though I admired the stage show. But, hmm, as for a convention of cinema I find it tough accepting... hmm..

    Well, I do hate it predominantly in action pictures when about 15 minutes through, swarming waves of colorful diarrhea hit the storytelling function of the film (dialogue, character, narrative, acting, directing, editing)-- Michael Bay, take note! and create a nausea-inducing experience. Granted this does happen in real life, but not often in one big, crashing wave. Said ingredients could cause an apocalyptic effect and we would not be having this discussion. I've tried to accept it, but.... ain't happening.

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  • Comment number 178. Posted by anniemouse

    on 10 Jun 2013 21:50

    Never knew that Mark E Smith of the Fall had written a musical (play) called Hey Luciani.

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  • Comment number 177. Posted by youngian

    on 1 Jun 2013 15:14

    I take my hat off to the massive talent that goes into performing musicals but I just hate them. Cabaret aside for reasons Mark outlined along with the fact is has a strong narrative whereas so many musical are just pap to stitch the songs together. And if the stroylines weren't unsubtle enough you have to be hit over the head every so often with a song and dance routine which interrupts whatever storyline existed. Again Cabaret uses the music to move the story along.

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  • Comment number 176. Posted by Naveditor

    on 30 May 2013 20:52

    Sorry, just an observation on the grammatical slip in the opening sentence, quote:

    '....is it harder to buy in to than.....'?

    Surely you intended to employ the preposition 'into'? It is not two words.
    You are not 'a sole trader' in this aspect, other contributors in the 'media' (apologies, I abhor that noun) are using it and it came from across The Pond, I'll wager.

    Damn Yankees, still adapting if not b****rdising The Queens' English. (No, the apostrophe is not misplaced, our beautiful English was approved and modified by many Queens over the centuries, and by Kings, by George! (wordplay)

    Pip! Pip!

    Over and out.

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  • Comment number 175. Posted by hardpunk

    on 29 May 2013 19:10

    People talking one minute and then bursting into song the next unbelievable? That's how I live my life.

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  • Comment number 174. Posted by JonH

    on 28 May 2013 01:21

    I'm not a fan of musicals, but I come from a 'musical/showbiz' family and was brought up with among other great things, the musical, so I get it to a point. The one musical I love is West Side Story, the music was by Sondheim (who according to my brother is the be all and end all of the musical) and it was directed by someone who knew a thing or two about movie making. The other stand out being that some of the cast had already performed these roles in the stage version and I think this is where my problem lies with modern musicals.

    In the past musicals featured performers who came from musical theater, so they understood musicals, nowadays they are full of screen actors who have not grown up singing and dancing, so for me watching Johnny Depp or Russell Crowe attempting to sing just comes across as wooden and flat.

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  • Comment number 173. Posted by Mendo Shutaro

    on 27 May 2013 08:25

    I don't have a problem with musicals, as long as the music is good and the cast can sign. (Russell Crowe alas, can't sing to save his life)

    One point though Mark, why did you say people 'probably can't levitate'. They can't levitate, or be possessed, because levitation breaks the laws of physics, and there's no such thing as demons, devils, gods, or even fairies.

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  • Comment number 172. Posted by Plan9

    on 24 May 2013 16:28

    For me it is nothing to do with realism but instead the problem of two different disciplines clashing. Occasionally it can work but more often than not the songs and acting do not compliment one another, if it was only singing from beginning to end then there'd be no problem (rock operas like 'Tommy' area good example of this) but combining them seldom works, it just disrupts the narrative.

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  • Comment number 171. Posted by Matt Cox

    on 24 May 2013 10:14

    I'd class myself as someone who doesn't like musicals or actively go and see musicals, until I think about it and realise that actually, there are a few musicals that I do like; Rocky Horror, Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas, Mary Poppins. Do Disney animations count?
    I think the issue is that musicals are lumped into one big genre, and the perception is that you either like all musicals or none at all. We don't do it with any other genre (apart from perhaps horror). We never say, "I won't like that, I don't like Drama".
    I haven't seen Les Misérables. The reason for me staying away is because it's advertised by the studio as a musical and nothing more. I can't get an idea from the trailer of whether it's actually a good movie as well, which ultimately is the only thing that matters.

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  • Comment number 170. Posted by davdope

    on 24 May 2013 05:37

    I am certainly a person who is not a fan of musicals. Whilst i admit i do have a problem with people suddenly bursting into song, the core of my reservations about the genre arise because of music taste. Put simply, the vast majority of songs featured in such films are not the type i enjoy listening to.

    I am sure everybody at one time or another when watching a film has come across a song or musical segment that is not to their liking. In standard cinema there is numerous other factors that contribute to the cinematic experience. However, in musicals, if you don't enjoy the music there is no chance you can enjoy the film.

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