May. 14th, 2017

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Cineplex plays classic movies once a month. I enjoy these, especially when they actually are classic movies, and not things I've seen as an adult. Though as I approach old age, I suspect that's going to happen more and more often.

This month's feature was
Singin' in the Rain, the classic musical with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor. It was, as expected, a treat to watch on the big screen with a bag full of popcorn. I wasn't sure if I'd actually seen this movie before. My parents liked musicals, so I likely saw pieces of the movie growing up, but being a kid, I wasn't going to sit through it. live and learn. What I did see was a lot of the icon numbers from the movie, namely Kelly singing and dancing in the rain, O'Connor clobbering himself for a laugh in Be a Clown Make 'em Laugh, and our three stars performing the hell out of Good Morning. Comedy wise, I remember a lot of the funny bits with Jean Hagen. Especially when they talk about moving from silent films to talkies, her character declaring that of course they could talk, in a Fran Drescher-like screech. She had comic chops. Seriously, check it out.

A few random thoughts about the movie:

During the opening number, showing Don and Cosmo's early attempts to break into show business, I totally thought of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck singing "We're the boys of the chorus".

It's not quite perfect. The Gotta Dance/Broadway Melody sequence near the end is superfluous, and sorta yanks you out of the picture. But that was the MGM way back then - you need a big production number, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense. Hell, they had them in the middle of Marx Brothers movies. At least Sound of Music was already a musical. I think another song that fit the movie would work better there. Not sure what it would be though.

The practical effects for a lot of the movie were really good. Certainly as good as things I was seeing in movies 20 years younger. The choreography and editing of the musical numbers is easily as good as in any movie I've ever seen. I love me some La La Land - but La La Land wishes it had choreography like Singin' in the Rain.

The movie was laugh-out-loud funny. Again, a lot of this was down to Hagen's Lina Lamont. But also a O'Connor and the supporting players contributed a lot of laughs.

On Lita Lamont. I genuinely felt sorry for her and was imagining a happy ending for her. Up until her dark turn near the end of the movie. Then it was nice to see her hoisted by her own petard.

Gene Kelly is a good looking man. It's rare for me to openly admire male beauty (the vast majority of men simply don't do it for me), but goddamn he had a body to die for. Those arms, shoulders, stomach... and dat ass.  That man must have gotten mad laid.  "I would give that nutcracker butt a workout, if only I could invent a time machine" opined one friend.  For myself, if I had a time machine, I'd go back to when I was six years old and enrol in dance classes. I wish I could do a tenth of what he could do on the dance floor.

I resolve to watch more musicals.  A friend was kind enough to loan me An American in Paris, but I still haven't cracked it open.  That was a mistake I'll be correcting shortly.


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