Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Producers

Image hosting by Photobucket


The film adaptation of Mel Brooks' The Producers broadway show seemed to come and go without a great deal of fanfare and very mixed reviews, which is a real shame. Critics seem to have lambasted it for it's stagey cinematography, its over-the-top performances, and lack of sublety, even though these are the same people who fell over themselves to praise overblown fluff like Phantom of the Opera and Rent. Personally, I have to wonder if they even saw the same movie I did, but in truth, it just stands as a testament as to how out of touch a lot of film critics really are. I loved it, and haven't laughed so hard in a movie theater for a good long while.

The Producers over-the-top and stagey for a reason: it's a sendup of Hollywood musicals of the 30's and 40's. And it's a brilliant sendup at that. Everything onscreen is submerged in a glorious, all-singing, all-dancing Old Hollywood style. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that, had the Hay Production Code been more leniant toward risque humor and musical numbers with dancing girls dressed as Nazi stormtroopers, this could very well have been made in the old studio system. It is almost defiantly rendered in an anti-Moulin Rouge/Chicago quick-cut fashion, with no angst to be found throughout the whole film. For those of us who love to laugh, and appreciate how sophisticated lowbrow humor can be, it is a revelation with a laugh every second.

Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) is a once-great Broadway reduced to the laughing stock of New York, having to make love to wealthy, horny old ladies in order to finance his shows. When a timid young accountant, Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) stops by to do his books and comments that, through a little bit of loopholing, one could make more money producing a flop than a hit, Bialystock hatches a scheme to produce the worst play ever written, collect all the backers' money when it's over, and take off to Rio. Their search leads them to "Springtime for Hitler", a theatrical valentine card to Der Feurher by wild-eyed Neo Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind (Will Ferrel). They hire the worst director in town, the screamingly gay, cross-dressing Roger DeBris (Gary Beach), and everything seems set to go wrong. Unfortunatley for them, however, something ends up going right.

I've never seen the Broadway show, so I can only compare the movie with Mel Brooks' 1968 film. The original is a comedy masterpiece which will probably never be out-done by anybody, but this version is a fine successor which stands on its own two legs. Several plot changes were made from the original film, as well. The out-of-it beatnik character "LSD" who plays Adolf Hitler was eliminated to get more bang for the musical buck - instead, the homosexual director DeBris portrays the dictator. Uma Thurman's role of Ulla, the producers' sexy but dim-witted Swedish secretary was expanded upon too - rather than being a one-joke minor character like in the original, she is given more to do and is a source of rivalry between Max and Leo. Thurman is terrific here - I've always liked her, but I'm so used to seeing her play sword-weilding assassins I'd forgotten how beautiful and charming she could be. She's a head taller than both Lane and Broderick, too, which makes their physical comedy that much more of a hoot to watch.

Broderick and Lane are just terrific. They both appear to be completely comfortable inhabiting the roles of Bialystock and Bloom, and are having the time of their lives playing them before the camera. Mostel and Wilder would be proud. Will Ferrell, who I usually find to be really, really annoying, actually does an alright job here, though he's hard to believe as anything besides Will Ferrell impersonating Kenneth Mars from the original. The musical numbers are brilliant. Honestly, I defy you not to tap your toes at Leo's number "I Want to Be A Producer" or laugh at Max during his "Along Came Bialy" routine, complete with a chorus line made up of old ladies with walkers. "Springtime for Hitler" is better than you ever could imagine - for Brooks fans, it's the next best thing to actually seeing Bialy and Bloom's horrendoes production on stage for real.

Interestingly, The Producers seems to have a lot in common with Little Shop of Horrors, another movie that was made into a stage musical and back into a film again with a less than impressive critical response. At the time, films like Flashdance were the norm for musicals and no-one seemed to know what to make of a campy spoof with a talking plant. Gradually, though, it built up a cult following over the years. That's what I think is going to happen to The Producers too. It was misunderstood in its own time, but future generations wiser than ourselves will know the truth.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Matthew D. said...

Fun review as always, hombre, but Metacritic scores "Phantom" and "Rent" a 40 and 53, respectively, with the new "Producers" at 52, so while you can claim that this last film was underrated, I don't think the others were nearly as celebrated as you say.

1:24 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

prada outlet, christian louboutin uk, tory burch outlet, ugg boots, replica watches, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, longchamp outlet, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, uggs outlet, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses wholesale, kate spade outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, prada handbags, nike free, jordan shoes, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, polo outlet, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton, burberry handbags, uggs on sale, nike outlet, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, uggs outlet, tiffany and co, burberry outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online

5:34 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

sac hermes, polo ralph lauren, polo lacoste, kate spade, coach outlet store online, michael kors, nike tn, nike air max uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike roshe run uk, air max, nike air max uk, hollister uk, michael kors, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, ray ban pas cher, ralph lauren uk, north face, nike air force, new balance, hogan outlet, vans pas cher, michael kors pas cher, north face uk, replica handbags, ray ban uk, timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet, lululemon canada, longchamp pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, burberry pas cher, nike roshe, coach purses, true religion jeans, true religion outlet, louboutin pas cher, oakley pas cher, coach outlet, nike air max, guess pas cher, nike free uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, hollister pas cher, true religion outlet, jordan pas cher, nike free run, converse pas cher

5:36 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ralph lauren, valentino shoes, beats by dre, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, new balance shoes, baseball bats, nike roshe run, nike air max, mcm handbags, p90x workout, hermes belt, ferragamo shoes, nike huaraches, asics running shoes, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, iphone cases, iphone 6s cases, vans outlet, herve leger, longchamp uk, timberland boots, nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, iphone 6 cases, chi flat iron, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, celine handbags, hollister, soccer shoes, wedding dresses, lululemon, babyliss, reebok outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, nike trainers uk, iphone 6 plus cases, instyler, ipad cases, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, ghd hair, s6 case, iphone 5s cases, mont blanc pens, louboutin

5:39 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

coach outlet, hollister, moncler, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, ugg pas cher, converse outlet, pandora jewelry, swarovski, canada goose outlet, hollister, moncler outlet, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, wedding dresses, barbour, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, vans, replica watches, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, canada goose, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, links of london, moncler, moncler uk, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, lancel, karen millen uk, moncler, toms shoes, ugg uk, moncler, gucci, doudoune moncler, converse, canada goose jackets, barbour uk, moncler outlet, pandora uk, supra shoes, ray ban, canada goose uk, canada goose, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose

5:42 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg boots, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, gucci handbags, christian louboutin uk, tiffany jewelry, chanel handbags, louboutin pas cher, air max, nike free run, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet, jordan pas cher, louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, polo outlet, replica watches, nike free, nike roshe, kate spade outlet, nike outlet, tiffany and co, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses wholesale, prada outlet, nike air max, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, burberry pas cher, christian louboutin outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren

8:43 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike free uk, guess pas cher, michael kors, michael kors outlet, hollister uk, ralph lauren uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, north face uk, coach purses, burberry outlet, converse pas cher, coach outlet, polo lacoste, nike blazer pas cher, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, hollister pas cher, lululemon canada, michael kors, sac hermes, true religion outlet, uggs outlet, nike air force, michael kors outlet online, burberry handbags, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, new balance, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, vans pas cher, ray ban uk, ray ban pas cher, nike tn, true religion outlet, kate spade, north face, nike air max, true religion jeans, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, hogan outlet, oakley pas cher, nike air max uk, nike roshe run uk

8:45 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

insanity workout, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, soccer shoes, iphone 6s cases, ralph lauren, hermes belt, iphone 6 cases, abercrombie and fitch, mont blanc pens, timberland boots, s6 case, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, lululemon, mac cosmetics, giuseppe zanotti outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, ferragamo shoes, herve leger, iphone cases, celine handbags, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, valentino shoes, soccer jerseys, iphone 5s cases, wedding dresses, bottega veneta, nike huaraches, ghd hair, baseball bats, iphone 6 plus cases, north face outlet, p90x workout, instyler, vans outlet, new balance shoes, oakley, ipad cases, nike trainers uk, babyliss, louboutin, beats by dre, reebok outlet, nike roshe run, nike air max, hollister, asics running shoes

8:48 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

lancel, swarovski, hollister, swarovski crystal, moncler uk, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, doudoune moncler, links of london, ray ban, ugg uk, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler, hollister, moncler outlet, moncler, barbour uk, louis vuitton, replica watches, nike air max, louis vuitton, toms shoes, barbour, canada goose outlet, converse outlet, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs, louis vuitton, ugg, juicy couture outlet, pandora jewelry, wedding dresses, canada goose, louis vuitton, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, canada goose uk, pandora uk, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose outlet, gucci, moncler outlet, ugg pas cher, converse, thomas sabo, karen millen uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose, supra shoes, canada goose jackets, vans

8:50 PM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160713
toms outlet
christian louboutin shoes
michael kors outlet online
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton purses
nike outlet
nike roshe run
coach factory outlet online
michael kors outlet
asics shoes for men
ralph lauren outlet
nike store uk
nike store
gucci outlet
cheap basketball shoes
kd 7 shoes
polo ralph lauren
jordan shoes
montblanc pen
jordan retro 4
louis vuitton handbags
timberland boots
discount jordans
air jordan shoes
ralph lauren outlet
replica rolex watches
adidas outlet store
kobe 10
adidas superstar trainers
ladies cartier watches
cheap jordans
oakley sunglasses wholesale
giuseppe zanotti outlet
michael kors handbags
cheap ray ban sunglasses
vans outlet
michael kors outlet
polo shirts
coach outlet clearance

11:42 PM  
Blogger Mie Helal said...


Your website is extremely helpful
http://www.kuwait.prokr.net/
http://www.emirates.prokr.net/

1:35 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home