Cinema Dispatch: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical and all the images you see in this review are owned by NBC

Directed by Julia Knowles and Max Webster

Being the world’s number one expert on Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, it was practically my DUTY to watch… whatever this is, as soon as I heard about it!  It seems like the big new thing to try and get people back to watching TV has been these lavish stage productions like Hairspray, Grease, and (checks notes)… A Christmas Story?  They did one based on that movie?  Well in any case, it’s no surprise that they eventually got around to Dr. Seuss and the Green Man himself to maximize not just nostalgia but good ol’ CHRISTMAS nostalgia!  Is there anything to this new version of the story, or is it a shameless cash grab to give us another reason to make 2020 the worst year ever?  Let’s find out!!

Up on Mt Crumpit, all covered in snow, lived a green jerk bag that all of us should know.  He was played by Boris Karloff, then Jim Carrey next.  Then was Benedict Cumberbatch!  Who else will they get?  Some guy named Matthew Morrison who’s from a show called Glee.  A show a lot of people like but I have never seen.   It’s the story we’ve seen but with more musical cues, and lots of choreography from those dancing Whos!  The Grinch wants to stop the holiday, the whole Christmas Season!  Makes sense for 2020 where a President committed treason.  Will he succeed in his plot to rob all those folks?  More important than that, is this a show worthy of boast?  Do they capture the magic of the Seussian tale, or is this a cavalcade of ridiculous fails?  Can Mr. Morrison capture the magic of his role, or will this new version swiftly get old?  Is it better than the one made by Illumination, or is it somehow worse and will receive more condemnation?  Would it be tiresome to read this review all in rhyme?  Well luckily for you I’m not about to try, because I’m already up WAY past my bedtime.

“It’s just like the movie, only cheaper to make!”     “I bet you’d like this more if you got REALLY baked!”
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Cinema Dispatch: Tulip Fever

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Tulip Fever and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Weinstein Company

Directed by Justin Chadwick

Now THESE are the movies I live for!  What makes a good or bad movie even better is if there’s a good story behind it, and this looks like a disaster waiting to happen; what with its troubled production (it’s earliest incarnation was supposed to be filmed in 2004) and the fact that it’s been sitting on Harvey Weinstein’s shelf for almost three years now.  Not only that, the premise itself sounds completely absurd (a steamy period romance AND ALSO the explosion of the Dutch tulip market) and the trailers made it look like a muddled mess; probably due to that whole “sitting around for three years” thing.  Sometimes a film can rise above a nightmarish film shoot with films like Apocalypse now and even The Shining being great examples of that (even if Shelly Duvall’s treatment on set was pretty freaking grotesque), but other times we get stuff like Waterworld, The Super Mario Bros Movie, or even Food Fight.  Does this film manage to come out of all this turmoil as an intact and extremely entertaining film, or should they have never bothered dusting this off in the first place?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Sophia (Alicia Vikander) who’s agreed to marry Cornellis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz) in exchange for her younger sister getting a free trip to American and her getting out of the orphanage.  All she has to do is sire him an heir and live a happy domesticated life; provided the dude who more or less bought her doesn’t get bored and throw her out on the streets.  Still, even if a baby would have kept him from doing such a thing (at least not right away) she seems completely unable to get pregnant which puts a strain on their “relationship” which I guess you can call it.  In walks Jan van Loos (Dane DeHaan) who is painting a portrait for them but manages to fall madly in love with Sophia who eventually reciprocates his feelings.  After more than a few bangings behind Sandvoort’s back, trouble starts to brew when Sophia’s maid Maria (Holiday Grainger) gets married and the father (Jack O’Connell) disappears due to some contrived misunderstanding.  Now her being pregnant and unmarried is a problem while Sophia being NOT pregnant is a problem as well.  I wonder if the two things could somehow come together to come up with a solution!  Oh and there’s a Tulip Market bubble that’s going on in the background that I’m sure means something important.  Will Sophia be able to give Sandvoort what he wants while also finding a way to escape his clutches?  What will happen to their brilliant plan if the REAL father comes back at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME?  Are we SURE that Dane Dehaan isn’t just playing Valerian again and this is one of his Time Travel stories?

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I don’t think this is EXACTLY how Laureline entered the series…

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Tulip Fever”