Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You Haven't Seen That Yet? - Newsies

Plot: A failed effort to revive the big-budget movie musical, Newsies attempted to create toe-tapping, song and dance excitement out of the true story of an 1899 strike by newspaper boys against publishing magnate Joseph Pulitzer. The "newsies" band together to protest a pay cut by Pulitzer (Robert Duvall), organizing a union to protect their rights and ensure fair wages. They are helped along the way by Medda (Ann-Margret), a local dance-hall performer who befriends the boys. Unable to connect with older or younger viewers, Newsies gained a reputation as a major bomb that cut short an attempt to bring back the live-action musical, though in the intervening years it has gained a small but appreciative cult. (via.)

Nicole's Rating: A-

She Can't Believe He Hasn't Seen This Yet: To be honest, I wasn't surprised he hadn't seen this movie. Newsies fits one major demographic - chicks my age now who were around elementary school age when this came out and who were/are absolutely in love with Christian Bale as Jack Kelly. That being said, and even though Matt is the manliest man I know (...), I know he's got a thing for musicals. Newsies is an historical musical about the 1899 newsboy strike in New York City. It's a very good story about courage and standing up for what is right. The music is pretty darn good as well - 'Carrying the Banner,' and 'King of New York,' being two of my favorites.

Incidentally, Matt took me to see the Broadway version of this musical, which came out not too long ago. I've always felt like this was something that would translate really well to the stage. And it did, for the most part. However, unnecessary changes were made and I left the theater feeling rather 'meh' about the whole thing.

Maybe I just love the movie too much.

Matt's Rating: C+

Matt's Review: The songs get stuck in your head. That's the first thing you realize as you make your way through the movie.  Christian Bale is good and it's humorous to see him sing and dance knowing years later he plays a sociopath who keeps hooker heads in his fridge.

I do have a thing for musicals. I think a good musical can bring out a lot of powerful emotions from of its audience. And while Newsies is a very fun musical (with an interesting plot), that's all it is. The dancing is good, the singing is decent, and the tempo of the movie is just as fast as any classic Disney film.  But ultimately there's nothing deeper to this. They tease at a love story that is never truly explored. There's a wonderful solo in the opening song sung by a mom looking for her lost son, but then we never see or hear from her again. Bill Pullman's story and Jack Kelly's arc are the only things that are given any real depth.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and the music is great but it's missing the extra stuff that good musicals have.  It's directed by the guy that did the High School musical movies, which might explain the lack of true emotion. Plus, I guess I just don't have enough teenage girl in me to truly like this movie.....and by enough I mean none....I was trying to allude to what Nicole said.....I LIKE STEAK AND FOOTBALL!!!

What did you think? Love this movie? Did we inspire you to see it? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 

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