There comes a time in every woman’s life when she must switch from watching poorly executed animated films about princesses to poorly everything films about, well, grown-up princesses. Or you can be like me and never grow up and get the best of both worlds. What does that consist of, you might ask? Watching both Tangled and Burlesque in the same week, and thoroughly enjoying both of them!
Well, truth be told, I actually enjoyed tangled more. Behold, a comparison of what it means to have female genitalia in this day and age:
Though these two posts have funnier and probably more comprehensive notes about the more hilarious aspects of Burlesque (respectively, its similarity to Showgirls, a cinematic classic that is now available on Netflix Instant, and the prominent role of gay men in the movie), there is still much to be said about Cher’s triumphant return to screen. Though I’m a huge fan of Cher’s based solely upon “Believe“, I do sort of agree with my father and think she’s a better actress than musician. If you disagree, watch either Moonstruck or Mask and call me up laughing/crying afterward. A large portion of the Lower East Side of Manhattan must be on my side, because when Megan and I went to see it, there were a number of high maintenance male couples attending. Why high maintenance? Apparently, it’s not appropriate to talk when “The 20” is airing 10 minutes before the previews have even started. Go figure.
It should be noted that these days I would watch Cher perform merely because she’s more interesting to look at than pretty. Her face is really something to behold. She stares at you, unblinkingly, and looks like some sort of bird of prey, or an alien life form, or maybe a really weird baby. But she’s least interesting when alone; her one number that she tiredly belts from an empty stage was incredibly boring. The only interesting part of it was that I could not for the life of me figure out who the DJ was, and upon googling it, I realize that he is Terrence Jenkins, Khloe’s co-host of “Khloe After Dark”, her radio show in Miami, who constantly has to cover for her when she’s late.
Other important males: Stanley Tucci, the gay costumer, who, while referencing one drunk night he had with Cher’s character, made me dream of a night in Vegas that was magical with him as well; Alan Cumming, in a brief cameo that was very much appreciated and made me realize what a ridiculously versatile actor he is; Cam Gigandet, who I always want to call Cam Gidget, and who looks better with eyeliner; and Eric Dane, who I will always remember most fondly from Valentine’s Day as a closeted gay football player. Generally though, it was the females who were more stronger and more interesting the males; Christina Aguilera takes up practically every single scene.
The movie was directed by Steven Antin, who is the brother of Robin Antin. This is the Robin who started a nouveau dance troop called the Pussycat Dolls, which combined some semblance of burlesque with stripping. She spun that off into the pop sensation PCD and finally started the illustrious career of Nicole Scherzinger. Once you have that in mind, this version of burlesque doesn’t seem that far-fetched at all from what the original conceit really is. By the end of the film, you’re only a little bit sick of seeing this clean, crisp, albiet somewhat boring dance style that they have created. The cinematography was excellent; the edits horrible. And the script — not the reason to see this movie. There were several times where Megan and I wondered where on earth the plot was going to go, despite having a feeling we knew exactly where it was headed. When Cher’s character discoveres Christina Aguilera’s Ali talent, she gets her big break in literally three minutes. “Oh, you’re nobody? Oh, I’m making a show about you.” Speaking of Ali, the hair was miserable. The hair was a tragedy. It was the most distracting thing about the movie, and I pray to god it was a wig.
Burlesque finishes with the song “Show Me How You Burlesque”, which was supposedly written by Ali’s cute jazz piano playing roomie-turned-boyfriend Jack (Cam Gidget). To say that it was the most unrealistic thing about this movie that Jack, who was a jazz piano player, would have been inspired to write this R&B tinged pop number, is probably a stretch. What’s worse is the title of this song, which makes no sense.
Tangled was definitely a far better film. The two main characters were voiced by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi (of Chuck!), so I was obviously biased towards it before the film even began, but it really was very pleasant to watch. The trailer’s humor had me doubting, and Disney’s marketing of the movie was not my favorite, but really, animation alone, this one blew it out of the park. There was a scene with floating lanterns on the water that literally made me tear up.
Images via Disney
I have actually not seen a movie in 3D since I was a kid, and so that was weird. The biggest improvement there would be just making lenses you could put over your glasses if you wear them, because the double frames was pretty uncomfortable, though apparently hilarious (it was too dark in the theater for KB’s picture to come out, fortunately for me). KB also pointed out that it was frustrating that basically our only choice was to see it in 3D. It didn’t really make things much cooler, though at some points I did reach out and try to touch the air like an idiot. And Rapunzel’s hair really did have a life of it’s own. Along this line, I was pleasantly surprised with the attention to detail, not just animation-wise. I was consistently pleasantly surprised by plot developments or features that I would not have predicted.
There’s not much else to say, other than see it. As I implied before with my blatant other-post-linkage, it’s the last of the Disney Princess movies, but I totally dug it, and left feeling warm inside, which is what we all really want from them anyway.
A bonus: Flynn Rider in 10 sexy pictures. He’s the hottest “prince” in a long while, which is saying a lot, considering the weird crushes I had as a child on both Simba and Robin Hood, the animated.