Top Musicals of All Time
Writer: Anne Jamaludin
Christina Aguilera in "Burlesque" (2011)
Musicals are without a doubt one of the most anticipated genre at the cinemas, especially when a talented line-up is featured in both acting and vocal-wise. Starting from the Golden Age in 1930's to 1950's in the Western world, musical films have grown and evolved. The latest musical film to hit the stands would definitely be "Burlesque", a neon-fest of lights, music and extravagant costumes. But of course, having a legendary songbird like Cher and powerhouse singer Christina Aguilera as the leads managed to put the film as one of the more famous musicals ever graced the silver screen. This time around, we have the Top Musical Picks of All Time for your reading pleasure.
Across The Universe (2007)
Hippies forever. Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess in "Across The Universe"
"Music's the only thing that makes sense anymore, man. Play it loud enough, keep the demons at bay."
A musical romantic drama film starring Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess as a pair of star-crossed lovers in the midst of anti-war protests, rock & roll revolution, and mind-expanding psychedelia of the 1960's. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with one the reviewers calling the movie 'an audacious marriage of cutting-edge visual techniques, heart-warming performances, 1960's to 1970 history and the Beatles songbook. Despite crediting 33 Beatles compositions in its ending credits, some negative reviews criticized a lack of coherence in its plot and an overtly-literal interpretation of The Beatles catalogue of songs. The film did appear on a few notable critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2007.
High School Musical (2006)
"The High School Musical" kids who even have their very own Barbie dolls. Oh goody.
"We need to save our show from people who don't know the difference between a Tony Award and Tony Hawk."
What could a pool of fresh young faces do to pull off a successful musical franchise? Disney. It figures. When Disney started to venture into its very own television channel, it also started to spawn another version of "The Mickey Mouse Club" gang although this time, they are evenly talented yet not as outstanding compared to club alums like Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. (Even Britney Spears make it into headlines more than the number of her albums and one flopped movie). But the (particularly 90's) kids love the face of teeny boppers Zac Efron as a typical basketball jock who secretly sings and later falls in love with a Math geek, Gabriella (played by his real-life ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens). After a trilogy of movies, the High School Musical finally reaches the end of the line and somehow might just lost its fandom to a real high school choir show called "GLEE". Bet Tony Hawk watches the hotter girls and more talented guys in the hit television series than some sophomore movie.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Soccer moms? Meryl Streep leads the pack in "Mamma Mia!"
"We danced on the beach, kissed on the beach and dot, dot, dot."
A movie totally devoted to the wonderful and evergreen ABBA starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried (who knew the ditzy girl from "Mean Girls" can actually sing?) as a sweet, wonderful mother and daughter duo. Nothing can go wrong with an outstanding, super-talented cast that include Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski. And they all sang and dance in the movie to the hip tunes of "Money, Money, Money", "Honey, Honey", "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Man After Midnight", "Voulez-Vous" and who could ever forget the amazing performance by the three lovely ladies that brought the roof down with "Super Trouper"? The amusing plot brings laughter and there are also quite a few tear-inducing scenes that will make any musical fans sob in a good way with great sing-along opportunities while watching the movie. A fun and memorable musical if you could discard the thought that your mother had three boyfriends and one of them is your father who you never knew.
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in "Grease"
"A hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card, when you only care enough to send the very best."
Based on Warren Cassey and Jim Jacob's musical of the same name about a pair of high school sweethearts in 1950's, starring a very young John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Slick dance moves, witty lyrics and flabbergasting moments from the Danny, Sandy and their gang are the memorable points for the evergreen all-time favourite musical. The T-Birds lads and the Pink Ladies are sure to rock your socks off with hit tunes like "Summernights", "Hopelessly Devoted To You" and "Grease". The movie's soundtrack album ended the particular year as the second best-selling album of the year in United States.
Phantom Of The Opera (2004)
Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum in "The Phantom Of The Opera"
"In sleep, he sang to me. In dreams, he came. That voice which calls to me and speaks my name. And do I dream again? For now I find the Phantom of the Opera is there, inside my mind."
A famous Broadway classic brought to screen featuring back-then newcomer Emmy Rossum and hunky actor Gerard Butler. Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical, "Phantom Of The Opera" brings back nostalgic songs like "Angel of Music" and "The Music Of The Night". Butler sings for the first time in the movie, captivating the audience with his critically-acclaimed performance as 'The Phantom'.
Cinema Online, 02 March 2011