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Feb 22nd
11:43 pm
Forgive my geekiness.  
Musicals may be back, but if this medley proved anything it's that they, like this performance, need 100% more Zac Efron.

After viewing their musical segment again and thinking about jazzbee and glamour_addict's comments, I have some more thoughts. But these are more geeky than just OMG HE'S SO CUTE! Although, I'm not promising they are all well thought out... I'm kind of hungry and tired.

I think the biggest problem with this number (as it stands) is the cinematography. They used way too many long shots and shots of Beyonce and Hugh when they could have or should have featured Zef and Vanessa or Amanda Seyfried and Dom Cooper. Like, hello, I want close ups of Zef and it kills me because you expect it but it never comes. And it isn't even just missing Zac shots... like when the drumline came out I still can't figure out what the hell the dancers were doing. Like was it a Grease handjive? Ughh. I think a lot of thought went into the staging (well sort of) but nothing seemed to go into camera angles and such. Which, when you think about it, is really sort of ironic. I have a feeling the long shots were being used to cover up their ill-preparation, which makes me nervous cause the people in the theater would've seen everything. :/

But there are deeper problems here than just that.

It is funny that I had the same immediate reaction to this piece as I did to my first viewing of (parts of) Moulin Rouge, confusion. They are trying to create a narrative out of different previously extant musical works in the way that Moulin Rogue so beautifully and cleverly succeeded. And although obviously this number is not as well-crafted as Moulin Rouge, it does gel mentally after additional viewings. But the problem is, this is very much a single-viewing format.

Also weakening the success of this number are the song choices and arrangements. I'm torn about some (okay a lot) of these, not just for the story-telling aspect. I'm trying to remember if there were any moments in Moulin Rouge that were as layered musically as this was towards the end. This certainly doesn't help the confusion. And some of the transitions were unbelievably awkward and poorly arranged, like the overlap of "At Last" and "It's Our Last Chance" as well as the weird "You Can't Stop the Beat" segue. The musical arrangement without a doubt misused and underutilized the supporting couples which also undermined its coherence.

Perhaps the biggest question is, were these were really the best representations of years of movie musicals? I honestly don't know and I'd have to think on that one a long time.

Overall, in terms of musical composition as well as cinematically, they could have done more to create unity within the work which would have helped in this single-viewing format, at least for the home viewer.

I'm really curious about the in-house audience reaction, where they wouldn't have to rely on the camera to choose what's interesting to look at. It seemed positive enough, although one blog said it definitely didn't garner the standing ovation the first number did. But even if it were a stellar performance, this late in the show I'm not sure it would've done so anyway, especially since it wasn't a self-referential mockumedley. Plus, let's not kid ourselves, it was medley dedicated to musicals, which never (at least in recent history) seem to get the respect they deserve in Hollywood.

In terms of performance, I think everyone did well enough. Zac and Vanessa's harmonies were weird especially at first, but it settled down (or she stopped singing for a second or they turned her mic down since the harmonies weren't working, idk? I can't figure it out but he seems to be singing the right notes, although he was sharp on 'share'). That's about the only comment I can make on their performance because everything else about their work was lost to the long lenses and ridiculously small amount of singing they did. Although I did hear Zef's voice poking through the crowd occasionally and I loved those brief moments.

Okay, so there is my in depth analysis of it. Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable but this is what I do... dissect musical things.

That said, I feel obligated to fangirl a teensy bit. Oh god, I love his voice. And yes, he is so hot in a top hat, white tie and tails.
Mood: sleepysleepy
4 4 comments Comment
butterflybee260butterflybee260 on February 23rd, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)

It was odd. I felt like Hugh and Beyonce totally overpowered the other two couples.

Also like you said, some of the song choices and the way they were meshed were odd. Especially YCSTB, why didn't they just have Zac sing a part of Ladies'Choices since that was his song and from the movie? That would have been so much better IMO.

The little itty bitty part that Zac did have I thought he sang well, but like you said the harmony seemed just a tad off.

Idk I have mixed feelings overall. I think it was better in theory then in actuality. And like Zac said on the red carpet, it was put together very quickly.

Oh yeah, and I could barely see him. Sigh. Though the top hat falling off was cute. :D
wild at heart: ( ze ) ` zef is waaasted `jukeboxblues on February 23rd, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
I didn't feel, at least musically, that it was all that bad at all. It reminded me a lot of the number in Moulin Rouge when Christian first sees Satine and she's singing Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend, but it morphs into both that nirvana song and the moulin rouge theme. There was a lot going on at once but it all made sense in context. I don't feel they were really trying to tell a story so much as showcase great stories from the past in musical history, and being an incredible lover of musical theater and in my younger years, an active participant... I was seriously impressed. They used songs that people who don't generally love musical theater would recognize (like "You're The One That I Want" and "At Last") and then they used things that a true lover of theater would want to see. I thought the slow-mo "You Can't Stop The Beat" was different, but not entirely odd for Baz, he changes things up in the hopes to make them different and capture attention.

I do agree that the cinematography was less than desirable. I am not a fan of beyonce, at all, and she was showcased like... well, the star. She, to me, is not at all the essence of musical theater. They could have had someone up there that fit the part better. Not to mention her voice is not theater at all, but this is tangent-land calling and I need to hang up on it now. She was my biggest problem with the entire thing, another ploy for ratings on the Oscars part which I can understand, but I don't think she deserved to be up on that stage. She may have been in "Dreamgirls" but that movie was overrated and she was in no way the star of it. She wasn't even that GOOD in it.

The song choices, the choreography, and the overall performance did what I feel it was trying to accomplish. Of course, as a Zac fan, I would have LOVED to see more of him. But, I think it was pretty obvious the Oscars threw them in there for two reasons; 1. their movies have definitely brought back an interest in musical theater to a new, young audience and 2. the ratings. Let's face it, I don't ever watch award shows, especially not the oscars, and I did this year because Zac Efron was going to be on. I watched almost the entire thing, too. So, they accomplished their goal.

Wow, sorry, novel.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on February 23rd, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
I liked the concept and on paper it probably sounded amazing, especially given how amazing Moulin Rouge truly is.

But for the format of an awards show, trying to create a narrative where Beyonce=Maria and Hugh is her beau to string together the songs didn't work. They would have been better off choosing a theme of some sort (like love as it is in Moulin Rouge).

I think going with a theme like that allows them better use of their stars. Then they could create three different subsets (hugh/beyonce, zac/vanessa and amanda/dom) and give each of them their 1.5 minute scene. Then tying them all together would have worked better and been more pleasing to the crowd.

I did like it cause I am dork for musical theater and for Zac and Hugh but it could have been cleaner and more cohesive. It needed more time in the oven, as it were. Baz might have vomited were he given this suggestion, but really bringing in Adam Shankman or even Kenny Ortega really would have been helpful I think.
butterflybee260butterflybee260 on February 24th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)

I would have loved if they had brought in Adam to help. Kenny not so much. But that would have helped to tie it together better I think.