The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance

What can I say, I love this movie and this film is what made me further my love for the original musical πŸ™‚ . I was a child when I first saw this and I am still entertained watching it now as an adult. The adaptation from theatre to screen works wonderfully and the narrative is entertaining throughout πŸ™‚ . It sets up well, has plenty of surprises and twists plus the constant darkness (anyone could be next feeling) works giving a new element to the movie. I enjoyed how the film began and ended plus I especially loved the beginning scene where we go β€œback” in time πŸ˜€ . The cast is great in this Gerald Butler, Emmy Rossum, Miranda Richardson and many more. Each created a believable character that I laughed at or with, cried, felt for and they added to the mystery of the movie πŸ™‚ . The main thing to note is the songs in this and choreography! They are spectacular πŸ˜€ !! The voices were incredible and even those who were not as strong worked for the characters they were playing. My favourites (I loved them all but trying to only pick a few πŸ˜› ) was The Phantom of the Opera (obviously πŸ˜› ), Music of the Night, Masquerade and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. The songs plus dΓ©cor and movement were spell bounding and awesome πŸ˜€ . I loved the movement in Masquerade the most. The set and costumes were really amazingly from the main star to the extra. You can’t help but sit there and admire it πŸ™‚ ! Plus the love story is great but not too overpowering as the element of danger / darkness still slots in well. Overall, a fabulous adaptation that will have you captivated if you love musicals, romance or something that little bit darker πŸ˜› . Enjoy πŸ˜€

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Phantom of Opera
Listen to the Music of the Night

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages (2012)

Β Genre:Β  Comedy, Musical, Drama

This is another musical adaption that has made it to the big screen and I know many have mixed reviews about this one. However, I loved it πŸ˜€ . The story developed well, was captivating, entertaining and had very good songs πŸ™‚ . The mixture of song and story flowed well and it did everything I expected a Musical movie to do. Yes, the story is cheesy but I loved it as it is what you expected and it helped the comedy aspect πŸ™‚ . I did laugh at parts and found the relationship between Dennis and Lonny funny especially during their song β€œI can’t fight this feeling anymore” πŸ˜› . There are some pretty big names in this film such as Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Bryan Cranston and Catherine Zeta-Jones πŸ™‚ . What I loved is that each character was well crafted and each brought something to this story. The choreography in this is epic πŸ˜€ ! Some of the dance sections were clean and professional. My favourite song / dance choreography was β€œAny way you want it” as it was effective and fitted the story while being a β€œmusical moment”. Tom Cruise was amazing as Stacee Jaxx showing off his versatility as an actor. He was funny but not too comical and his relationship with the reporter was my favourite couple (their story in this film) πŸ™‚ . I also liked the character of Patricia Whitmore (Catherina Zeta-Jones) as she was a well crafted character and quite fearless plus I liked her song β€œHit me with your best shot!” πŸ˜› . Overall, this is a great musical movie that hits everything you want and will have you still singing the songs when it’s finished πŸ˜€ . Enjoy πŸ™‚

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Rock of Ages
Nothin’ but a good time.

London Road

London Road (2015)

Genre: Adventure, Musical, Mystery

This is such a strange and unique movie that surprisingly captivates you from the beginning to the end πŸ™‚ . Β Not only is this film a musical based on a real life murder enquiry (and the community around it) it is using β€œreal” words. Literally the words used from the people and interviews at the time πŸ˜€ . It is slightly comical hearing real comments taken apart especially during the (basically) beginning section song with the news reporters πŸ˜› . This is so strange but it had me wanting to watch, enjoy and couldn’t wait to see what song would be created next. The dark tone at the beginning of the movie worked well and the progress of the story changing into a happier tone worked. I loved that the ending and that the sense of darkness has not really disappeared from the community especially with the comment of one of the characters (would like to say who but I would spoil πŸ˜› ). The musical element doesn’t detract from the story and you become engrossed to see who the murderer is and how the community are impacted. There are some worthy and surprisingly big actors in this movie such as Tom Hardy and Olivia Coleman. This may not be the best musical ever made or real life adaptation, but this was an enjoyable watch πŸ™‚ . It was dark and grim but made it entertaining and oddly inspiring with what the community did to improve. A very avant-garde movie that I was glad to have watched once πŸ™‚ . If you’re looking for something different than I think I might recommend this one πŸ˜€ . Enjoy πŸ™‚

I give this film 3.5 Stars out of 5!

Panda London Road
Everybody’s very, very nervous.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Genre: Family Film, Fantasy, Musical, Disney

I have been very excited to see this new real life version of the classic Disney animation from 1991 and I know I was not the only one πŸ™‚ ! The film did not disappoint πŸ˜€ ! The story stays mostly honest to the original story which I truly enjoyed and appreciated the nostalgic feeling you get (if you loved the first film πŸ˜› ). The songs were great, they were pleasant to hear (even if you think the original songs were better πŸ˜› ) and I loved the new additions which I assume are from the musical. My favourite song version in this movie was β€œEvermore” sang by Dan Stevens πŸ™‚ . The costumes and set looked appealing, β€œDisney” and I loved that it has attempted to look traditional 18th century France! I think it did a great job with the period setting, with the dress sense of the all the characters (maybe not Belles πŸ˜› ) and the CGI on the Beast and objects were great. The film began great and ends wonderfully. The cast is epic (Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Josh Gad to name a few) and all performed fabulous in this film πŸ˜€ . What I also loved about this movie was as much I as appreciate the director staying true the original, they still showed new stuff such as more in depth backgrounds. We learnt more about Belle, Beast and what would have happened to the servants at the Beast’s castle. I loved the relationship between Gaston and LeFou plus the development of LeFou was great πŸ™‚ . His line in the mob songs was very cool. Overall, a really good real life animation that any fan of the original will enjoy and it is great for the entire family πŸ™‚ . Enjoy πŸ˜€

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda Beauty and the Beast 1
Be our guest.

La La Land

La La Land (2017)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical , Romance

The musical that has all the awards and recommendations that has taken the world by storm. I can admit this is a fabulous musical that has entertained and surprised me πŸ™‚ . I loved the feeling of this movie πŸ˜€ . The wonderful musical nostalgia filled every scene that allowed moments like the β€œfloating in the observatory” to be accepted. The story line was very entertaining and captivating as you felt for both characters Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling). They both acted very well and their relationship was believable. The dance sections were far and few between but when they appeared, they were good πŸ™‚ . My personal favourites were the opening, the β€œA Lovely Night” sequence and the end dance montage. The songs are also sublime and I loved β€œCity of Stars” and β€œThe fools who dream”. Β I also loved the colour of the set and costumes plus I really enjoyed the first section πŸ™‚ . Unfortunately, near the end I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I was still captivated and still enjoyed it. The ending was perfect, just not my cup of tea πŸ˜› . It kind of suggested you can either have true love or dreams, you can’t have both. I know technically it’s a happy ending but I am true romantic I just wished it ended differently. A great movie that I do recommend and probably deserves it awards… it just depends on what you want from a musical. Enjoy πŸ™‚

I give this film 4.5 Stars out of 5!

P.S. Happy Chinese New Year!

panda-la-la-land
Here’s to the fools who dream.

Grease

Grease (1978)

Genre: Musical, Romance

This is a classic musical that almost everyone knows and has watched (and if not where have you been? πŸ˜› ). It has an easy storyline to follow that all ages can enjoy and is highly entertaining. There are sections that are funny and some (well actually majority) parts are cheesy but in a good way πŸ˜› . I love the costumes and colours of this movie as it had a nostalgic feel to it which affects the overall movie experience πŸ˜› . This film has some great, memorable (and well known) songs such as Grease Lightnin’, You’re the one that I want and Summer Nights πŸ™‚ . The entire cast is fabulous especially the leads John Travolta (Danny Zucko) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandy Olsen)! My favourite character was Rizzo (Stockard Channing) as she has the best songs (Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee & Cry in front of you), she looked great and she was hilarious. Overall this film is funny and I loved the mannerisms of the acting especially the way the T-Birds walked πŸ˜› . I also loved the end sequence after “You’re the one that I want” but that end thing with the car is slight strange and cheesy πŸ˜› . A great feel good movie that a whole family can enjoy (for all ages :P) and can be a great sing a long!! Enjoy πŸ˜€ !

I give this film 4.5 Stars out of 5!

panda-grease
Grease is the word.

Singin’ in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Musical

This is a great musical and movie πŸ™‚ I had never seen this film before (until now πŸ˜› ) but I already knew half the songs in this film πŸ˜› . The songs are fantastic! Such as “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Make Em’ Laugh” and “Good Morning” πŸ˜€ . The story itself is very entertaining and has some amazing characters. The romance between Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Kathy Seldon (Debbie Reynolds) was believable plus I think they may have become one of my favourites in the Musicals genre πŸ˜› . I also loved the character of Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) who was brilliantly funny πŸ™‚ Also the character of Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) was also funny and good in her villain role πŸ˜› . This Musical does fall for the trap of a random ballet routine which happens a lot a Musicals of the 40’s – 50’s πŸ˜› . But it actually works well with the story πŸ™‚ . Plus I loved the ending πŸ™‚ . A great nostalgic feeling that is great for the entire family πŸ™‚ Enjoy πŸ˜€

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Panda singin in the rain
What a Glorious Feeling!

Burlesque

Burlesque (2010)

Genre: Drama, Music, Romance, Musical

This is a pleasant enough musical that you can enjoy with your friends (mostly aimed at girls though πŸ˜› ) . Christina Aguilera was really good as Ali, she command attention on screen and within five minutes all I saw was the character πŸ™‚ . Cher was also very good as Tess and her song “You haven’t seen the last of me” was stunning (the scene too πŸ˜› ) . The narrative itself is simple to follow and is a good chick flick / romance comedy by itself. However, what makes this a good film is the dance sequences and the songs. They are quite good πŸ˜€ ! The costumes, scenery, lights and overall look of the film works well with a modern musical movie (well what you expect) ! I wouldn’t say this is the best film in the world but it is enjoyable πŸ™‚ . EnjoyΒ  πŸ˜€ !

I give this film 4 Stars out of 5!

It takes a LEGEND...to make a STAR!
It takes a LEGEND…to make a STAR!

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Genre: Drama, Horror, Musical

Like Horror? Love Musicals? Then Sweeney Todd is for you πŸ˜› . This is a great movie with stunning songs and a stunning narrative. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are both fantastic as Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett πŸ™‚ . The overall look of the film works and helps create a dark atmosphere (which you need for a film about cannibalism πŸ˜› ) . The songs may not be to everyone’s liking (unless you are a Sondheim fan like myself πŸ˜› ) . My favourite songs in this movie are “Johanna” sung by Jamie Campbell Bower and “Not While I’m Around” by Ed Sanders. Everyone was perfect for the characters they were creating though I was not a big fan of Johanna (Jayne Wisener) as the character was a little weak. Understandable but not a favourite of mine. The blood may look a little off (like paint) but it works for the overall look of the film. Highly enjoyable and is my favourite Sweeney Todd film so far πŸ˜€ . Enjoy πŸ™‚ !

I give this film 5 Stars out of 5!

Sweeney's Waiting.
Sweeney’s Waiting.