Sunday, October 11, 2009
This movie is such complete nonsense. It makes pretty good viewing if you're making fun of it with a friend, but as far as actual quality of movie goes... well, there isn't any. Also, be forewarned: At no point does any conquering actually happen during this movie. I know I, for one, was quite disappointed by that. 0.5 stars.
This is a superbly crafted movie. The boys in this movie seem so familiar. They think and act and react like young boys. The dialogue is natural and familiar and instantly relatable, as are the characters. All these young actors do an excellent job in their roles. I found myself caring deeply for these children... As the credits rolled, I took a moment to just lie back and enjoy what I'd just seen. An excellent coming-of-age movie that's truly heartwarming and charming. 4 stars.
This is far from Sondheim's best musical. His lyrics hadn't really settled into themselves yet, and musically here he suffers from Cole Porter Syndrome, where each of his songs has exactly 1 tune that is repeated 15,000 times, with cleverly-rhymed verses for each one... but it just goes on far too long without any substance. The visual choices for the songs were also very unpleasant - rapid montage sequences that are just very distracting.
The story itself occasionally goes overboard on the slapstick, but I would still infinitely rather watch something like this than any of the period comedies written today which feature pop culture jokes that will be outdated in 2 years. It's not perfect, by any means, but I mostly enjoyed it. Zero Mostel was occasionally over-the-top but always entertaining. 3.5 stars.