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.