Shimmy, shake, and and try not to snore your way through Steven Antin’s latest musical extravaganza Burlesque. Though this film has a few solid song and dance numbers, unbelievably amazing costumes (no surprise here when you have Christina Aguilera and Cher to dress), Aguilera’s soulful voice and many sexy ladies and men with guy-liner, the film ultimately falls flat do to an unbelievable lead, poor music production. a run-time that’s 30 minutes too long and a story with no real substance.
That being said, it’s great to see Cher back in action and Stanley Tucci is able to add credibility to the entire production and save it from becoming a B-Film with A-Listers…
- Director: Steve Antin
- Writers: Steve Antin
- Actors: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell
- Original Music by: Christophe Beck
- Cinematography by: Bojan Bazelli
It doesn’t get much more straight-forward than this! Burlesque is the story of a small town girl who comes to the big city and is able to find love, success, happiness and killer shoes due to the fact that she can sing like no other — great, unrealistic story of hope for all young girls!
- Stanely Tucci: Tucci is onto something — he seems to be taking roles so that he can intentionally be the best actor on screen. He can take just about any role, any line, any film and shine through it no matter how hard the film works against him. Great work! Now someone cast him in something good!
- Aguilera’s Voice: How does such a tiny woman can make such a big, beautiful, strong noise? When Aguilera starts singing, there’s a reason to listen — when she’s talking, not so much. Sadly the songs aren’t that well produced. She’s good and gives the character a strong attempt, but her voice is the best part about her performance and it’s better on many of her albums.
- Cher: She’s Cher! The woman comes with so much baggage and yet she’s incredibly watchable on screen. She’s given very little to work with and some horrible lines but she shines through and gets the best laughs in the film.
- The Dances: Though the music may let you know there are some great dance numbers in this film that are both fun to watch and extremely well executed and shot.
- The Singing: We know Aguilera can sing, we know she’s going to sing, quit the foreplay and get to the action! This film teases Agulera’s voice and takes WAY too long to get to her singing once she’s in the club. We needed the songs to start 15 minutes not 45 minutes in. Why she doesn’t just belt out a number the first time she’s on stage? Why!? There’s about twenty minutes of film that serves no purpose other than to get in a few extra, pointless dance numbers and somewhat witty lines.
- Female Empowerment: Burlesque itself is all about female empowerment, sadly our lead character is an example is reverse sexism. She treats her male counterpart like crap, whines about things and fights everyone even though she never has any real reason to. She never takes the high road, she’s not nice to those around her, and the second she gets some success it goes to her head. She’s like a petulant teenager. Why should I care about her?
- Seduction: Oh how we love Cam Gigandet in guy-liner — but why do we have to give him such a bad character? You can have an extremely attractive man seducing the lead but when he’s being walked all over and doesn’t behave like an adult it’s hard for us to root for him. And though it’s fun for us that he woes our lead by taking off his clothes (why do I want a Famous Amos cookie right now — oh yeah!! Best product placement ever), there’s not much presented to us other that his bare ass and smouldering “I want you” stares. This is a movie, not a photo shoot — we need more than just looks.
- Not enough big numbers to keep the film rolling: There are two, maybe three big numbers (sorry Cher, for some reason no on wanted to write you anything good!) in the entire film, which causes for huge lags of pointless plot-setups between numbers. We want to see more shimmy-shake less talky-talk!
- The Musical Production: When you listen to the Moulin Rouge, Cabaret or Chicago soundtracks you can hear the quality in it, the layers, the respect given to the music. Most of the tracks in this film are basic and feel like you hit “burlesque” on your 90′s Casio keyboard.
This film is to musicals what Tony Scott’s film are to the action genre — they’re fun when things get moving but once they stop to talk there’s not enough substance to keep anything moving (luckily Tony Scott has learned to NOT stop the action and then he doesn’t have to deal with story). There are some great moments in the film, but this is by no means “the new must-see musical” — it’s too long, too strung out, and needs be tightened like all the girls corsets were in the film.
Burlesque in theaters November 24th!