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On stage, A Chorus Line pulled back the curtain to reveal the hopes and fears of showbiz strivers, but that energy and urgency is lost in the transition to the big screen.
All Critics (35)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (21)
| DVD (2)
If you were one of that legion who saw A Chorus Line more than once in the theater, the film is enough to make you doubt your judgment. If you've never seen the stage piece, you may come out wondering what in the name of goodness all the fuss was about.
A Chorus Line: The Movie is like a soccer match seen only from the waist up. They've cut off the feet, which is all the more frustrating when you're supposed to be enjoying the fancy footwork.
A Chorus Line is a kind of 'Murphy's Law: The Motion Picture' -- everything that can go wrong does.
Richard Attenborough's movies are like the best-behaved guests at a Swiss embassy reception; they never offend, never impress.
A classic play has been reduced a decent movie. It's a shame it couldn't be as good as the play; it's a small pleasure that it`s as entertaining as it is.
You want to know about the dancing? It's bad. Rather, the way it has been restaged and shot for the movie is bad.
A Chorus Line is a noble, at times highly entertaining attempt to bring a hopelessly stagebound show to film. Considering the limitations of the medium, it's almost as good as it could be.
The show's format proves too slippery for the director to manage properly. The stagebound setting gets boring; the action doesn't build a steady momentum; and the characters do far too much hanging around until the camera's ready to point at them again.
Attenborough's efficient workmanlike adaptation of the hugely popular Broadway musical works surprisingly well transferred to the big screen.
This $24 million extravaganza is an empty shell, so cautious it lacks even the sleazy energy of a real desecration.
Athough director Attenborough's film version has a couple of pleasant numbers which serve as oases amidst the dullness, it really hurts for those who remember the dazzle and emotional depth of the let's-put-on-a-show original.
Attenborough takes the show that set the stage alight and, in this curiously flat version, dampens its spirit.
Who knew making a musical could be so dull? Filled with the all the horrendous hair and clothing fashions of the 1980's, "A Chorus Line" falls flat with poor acting and inept screenwriting. Although there is much admirable in the music, the 80's electo-orchestration is atrocious and there aren't strong enough voices to sing through the weaknesses. This ain't "off Broadway" -- it's just "off".
17 hopefuls are auditioning for 4 males and 4 females chorus roles. Each one of them were asked about why they wanted to be a dancer. Some stories were funny, some were heartbreaking but all of them needed this job.
The film adaptation focused way too much on the sub-plot of Zach and Cassie which made the film lost its magical touch of the stage version. it's still enjoyable to watch nonetheless.
I recently saw a 30 minute excerpt of the play at a community theater conference. This got my wife and I interested in watching the DVD. Unfortunately, some songs were added in the movie that were not in the stage musical and some songs were excluded from the movie that were in the stage musical. This all came together to mean that the audience doesn't get a chance to know all of the core group of auditioning dancers as well here as in the stage version and that the emotional impact seemed diminished. I ended up thinking that the 30 minute excerpt with some of the highlights of the show was a better piece of entertainment than this two hour movie.
That being said, I did like Michael Douglas's performance. The drama happening between the director, the choreographer, and the returning star is something I missed in the excerpt I saw. I missed the song from the stage production though where the director asks the performers what they would do if they couldn't dance. The way the camera captures the dance numbers, the often used mirrors, the backstage areas, and the dark shadows of the house where the director sits made the movie visually interesting especially since I love theater. I only really fell in love with three of the musical numbers here in the movie, so that's not a very large percentage. Overall a disappointment.
Good fun, lovable characters, fantastic dance. Cop out of a story, but hey it's Broadway. Worth the watch.
P. S. The DVD box looks like shit.
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