Thursday, February 02, 2006


The Producers, he said 5.0

So, we were back and then left again, but I think we are back to regularly scheduled movies now. Of course, this time of year that is not always something to look forward to. Fortunately, there are still a few end of the year releases for me to get around to during this cinematic famine. Case in point, "The Producers." This is the movie based on the musical based on the movie by Mel Brooks. Despite mediocre reviews by most critics, I must say that I have not laughed this much and this hard at any movie in quite awhile.

Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane reprise their roles from the original stage run. Sadly, I never got to see it on stage, but I finally got to see what all the fuss was about. These two have amazing comedic chemistry together. Uma Thurman, quite possibly my favorite modern film actress, joins the two as Ulla. She is hilarious in the role and beautiful as always. Will Ferrell somewhat redeems himself from a string of bad movies as the crazed Nazi playwright. Gary Beach steals every scene he is in as stage director Roger DeBris. The film is also littered with cameos by other comedic actors such as Jon Lovitz and Michael McKean. The acting is solid though there were times when I could tell that Lane's and Broderick's performances would come off much stronger on stage. On film, at times it's overacting, but this is a comedy musical, a genre where that is rarely a problem. They do a great job, but they fail to outdo the performers from the original movie. Johnny Depp may have bested Gene Wilder in 2005, but Matthew Broderick falls short despite being good in his own right.

The movie is just as funny as the original film, and for me, the added songs just added to the fun. The comedy is crude without being raunchy and is deliciously un-PC. The song "Keep It Gay" pulls out nearly every gay stereotype and provides possibly the funniest scene in the movie. Just wait until you see DeBris' production crew. Like in the original movie, the stage show "Springtime With Hitler" is deliciously crazy. I was rolling during this scene. I may be the only one, but I would love to see "Springtime for Hitler" turned into a full-length musical on its own. That would be so absurd!

This movie is the most laugh out loud funny movie made last year that I have seen. I am disappointed that it did not do as well as it deserved. Although I was forced to see it in a dollar theater, this movie is far more than a 3. If all the heavy drama of Oscar contenders and all of the crap released in the past few weeks have gotten you down, do yourself a favor and seek out a theater that is still showing this overlooked gem.

What did you think? Would you see an entire musical of "Springtime for Hitler?"
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