Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jersey Boys - Review

In this film adaptation of the very popular Broadway musical, the viewer gets to watch the dramatic trials and tribulations surrounding the creation, success, and falling out of The Four Seasons. If we are especially good, grandpa Eastwood may be nice and actually give us one of those pop songs that we love and came predominately to see. Yes, director Clint Eastwood is greatly at fault for this solemn, poorly crafted movie, chiefly because he, like Tony DeVito, refuses to let the music stand and sing on its own. He instead wants us to sit through his faulty narration scheme, where characters talk right to the audience and state the obvious. He wants us to listen to a script that has some delectable moments but is constantly telling the story, not showing, and oversaturated with lackluster melodrama and frivolous females. He wants us to take in his flat landscapes, with shot after shot featuring no visual rhythm or distinguishing features, thus causing the digital camerawork, color correction, and re-using of sets to be even more distracting. And finally, he wants us to accept these four mamalukes as are stars, including Tony Award winner/original Valli actor John Lloyd Young, despite the sheer fact that they are 40-years-olds playing young teenagers at the beginning, their singing skills are not totally up to snuff, and they are caked in horror-inducing old man makeup at the end. When we are treated to the tunes, they too are badly decomposed by Eastwood's touch: The breakout single "Sherry" looks like a run-of-the-mill jingle on the American Bandstand backdrop; All of the "on the road" breaks seem to be coming from the same theater; Several popular songs are missing are not present at all; Teenage girl anthem "My Boyfriend's Back" is handled by an awful lead singer and is wrapped around the absolute worst scene in the entire movie, where the makers do a dreadful green screen job (Why couldn't they film it on a real road?); and the intended Act Three rouser "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" is utterly ruined by bad sax skills and absolute shrillness. The acting and the novelty of seeing The Four Seasons on screen may make the ordeal slightly pleasant but you are better off waiting for the theatrical production to travel into your town or soothing your personal life to the modern jukebox of iTunes.


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