Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Producers Review

When you base a movie on a play that was originally based on a musical you get the same effect that Jimmy James on NewsRadio got when he wrote his memoirs, had them translated into Japanese and then translated back into English rather than just redoing the English version.  It's a good idea and has great source material but it becomes a shadow of what it could have been.

The problem with this remake of the Producers is that they tried to make it look like a play on the screen.  That was a huge mistake.  While both live plays and movies can entertain at the same level, they have to do it in different ways.  When the audience is there and you're doing everything live, you can do the over acting and looking off into the distance.  With a film, there's so much more that you can do with camera angles and such and if you try to recreate a play, it actually falls flat.  It's a shame because the Producers has fantastic comedic value and it was all wasted in the way they brought it to the big screen.

This is exasperated by the fact that they used the same two lead actors that they originally had on Broadway in Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.  Both are fine actors on stage and screen but they seemed to have forgotten that they were moving from one medium to the other with the same story.  I didn't get the same vibe from the other actors because, for the most part, they were only coming in as film actors for this story.  In fact, Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell are much more screen friendly in this movie.

For sheer comedy, it's good.  The idea of a Hitler play is just so ludicrous and Mel Brooks is a master at making something like that funny.  But for the rest of the production value, it is poor.  Sadly, the comedy does not outweigh the poor production.  Don't see it.

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