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|Index||61 reviews in total|
We received this movie as a gift and it sat unwatched for a year until my 3-yr old pulled it out. I don't usually tear up during movies, but this production is stunning to watch, and lovingly detailed. The costumes, the sets, the colors are hypnotic, very much like a dream. I particularly appreciate the inclusive, multi-racial cast, especially because we're used to seeing all combinations of families here in Cambridge. Whitney Houston's voice gives new meaning to the idea of fairy godmother. It's really her show; the whole theme that "nothing is impossible" rings even truer when you know about Houston's own history as a young housewife singing in her basement, dreaming of something better. Brandy makes a most sympathetic Cinderella-- she's not passive, she just doesn't know what to do, and her transformation from scullery maid to conficent princess is as believable as it is lovely to watch. This production is also unpretentious in that it's not preachy, or divisive. There is no one evil or bad; everyone's clearly trying to do the best they can. What more can you ask for? I'm in love with this movie, and credit Houston with a clear vision of how the dusty Cinderella story can become timeless and compassionate with just a few strategic modern touches!
I love this movie soooo much. I have seen it over 100 times. I have the video and I taped all the songs off of the movie and listen to it on a daily basis. I have memorized all the songs and words. The acting is great. I love all the people and how well they act together. Also I think the prince is just so cute!! I am a big fan of Brandy and Whitney Houston and I love all the dancing and music in the musical. My favorite scene is in the village at the beginning. I love this musical and if you haven't seen it you don't know what you are missing !!!!
If there's anything to be criticized in the Cinderella story, it's the
fundamental premise that Cinderella is passive...but then it's a one-plot
story that doesn't give her the chance to "evolve" as Harry Potter does.
don't we all wish to have our problems solved and our dreams made to come
true for us?
I love this updated version of the story because, at least for me and my family, it represents a double fantasy of the way the world should be. While the multi-colored cast might be jarring for those who knew the original version (which I saw as a kid), I thought it was brilliant. My kids don't look like me--my daughter is Chinese and my son is Guatemalan. So for them to see a black queen and a white king with an Asian son, who falls in love with the beautiful but misused black stepdaughter of a white woman with one black and one white daughter--neither of whom look remotely like her--isn't as un-real (or merely PC) as some people might think. For my family, it's an affirmation of modern reality. For my daughter to see a handsome Asian prince fall in love with a beautiful dark-skinned Cinderella is incredibly powerful.
Also, while I am not a huge fan of any one person in the cast, I thought they all performed wonderfully within the limits of the genre. Peters' "Falling in love with love" blew me away, because it actually gives you a moment of real sympathy for the stepmother--no one is wicked always, it seems to say, and heartbreak has hardened her heart against her beautiful stepdaughter. Instead of merely evil, she becomes tragic.
The costumes and sets were great--firmly placing this in the vaguely "old world" romantic place that fairy tales live--the pop stylings and characters of the actors instantly make this a period piece of the late 20th century--but that's just fine. Cinderella will be reborn many times in the coming generations.
It would be nice to see a subtle re-working of Cinderella with even more sympathy for the stepmother and sisters, and a little more complexity of character and plot to make the heroine and hero less two-dimensional--but then it wouldn't really be a children's movie, would it?
Good grief...the attacks, the smug, sarcastic asides, the soapboxes on
how this country is outta control with political correctness- Momma
Mia!! And the truth is, no one would care if this Rodgers & Hammerstein
musical classic was redone for a 30th time if the cast was white. There
are literally the same complaints over and over again about the
audacity of a black Cinderella (or a black queen or a black fairy
godmother), but swift denials of any racist feelings or speculations.
Yes, this version of the R&H musical is flawed, but the flaws (for me,
at least) have absolutely NOTHING to do with the casting. (In this
modern day and age, if people want to vocalize racial distaste, they
say things are "too PC," which is clearly shorthand for
"too-many-black-folks-in-the-room." How does a fairy tale- which has a
pumpkin turning into a coach and a dress vanishing at the stroke of
midnight- merit a debate about realism based on the fact that some of
the actors are ethnic? Who are you fooling with these comments?)
I thought Brandy was lovely- especially in the spotlight solo "In My Own Little Corner." And I loved "Ten Minutes Ago-" the elaborate waltz which pairs Brandy and Paolo Montalban (an Asian prince?! Eeek!!) in a rather extravagant duet which gains in scope with a spinning 360 degree camera and lots and lots of dancers. What didn't I like about it? That the medium was completely changed from a TV play to a CGI-heavy movie. The first two productions had exclusively been done for television, in a television medium. The original live 1957 broadcast could not be taped (tape wasn't thoroughly invented yet), but thank goodness the 1964 broadcast was (some of that live feel is retained in this middle version). I would've loved for the 1997 production to be videotaped, where it would've felt a touch more intimate and warm. But it ventures out-and-over the top too often, such as in the elephantine "The Prince is Giving a Ball" and "Impossible," which seems to be all about the crazy light effects surrounding the floating carriage. I think the latest version needed more intimacy. For instance, one of the best scenes in the entire production features a minuscule epilogue not in either of the previous versions. Following the ball (and "A Lovely Night"), Cinderella's fairy godmother emerges one more time to persuade her charge to find her prince and tell him the truth, underscoring that she believe in herself and trust the prince to love her for exactly the way she is. A lovely, powerful moment which relies on nothing but simple, honest sentiment.
What's not to like about this lively, romantic movie? It's fun for both kids and adults, it has some areas everyone can appreciate. Just relax and enjoy it, it IS a fairy tale. Adults can appreciate the 'politically correct' social overtones if they will just 'lighten up' (the adults I mean). The music is modernized, yet still done wonderfully. It's also refreshing to see actors from other genres perform believably here. All in all, a beautiful escape for a short while then back to reality. So sweet and vaguely Wizard-of-Oz-like set appearance. But it is a good movie that does what it intends.
This movie is a great musical remake of Cinderella. I enjoyed this movie. Great singing from Brandy and Whitney Houston like always. Whoppi Goldberg also done some singing. A great movie to watch with your family. Great acting also, especially from Brandy and Cinderella's evil, wicked, Stepmother. I really liked that they had a multi-racial cast. People make a big deal out of it all the time. What's the big deal? Race shouldn't have anything to do with a movie and it definetly shouldn't be judged that way. Don't get closed minded and just enjoy the movie. I for one, loved it. It's worth seeing.
I have been reading all of the other reviews of this title and I found
them quite confusing. The complaint that the cast is mixed race and
that the sets are fantastical fit perfectly with the concept of "fairy
tale" which, in fact, this is.
The second complaint that I would like to address is the problem everyone seems to have with the "new" music. None of this music is new, just new to this version of the show and all of it has been written by Rogers and Hammerstein. Since these are songs that I like from shows that are never seen, I appreciate the use of them in this production.
This is definitely more ornate than the original teleplays but the originals were rather bland. People complain about Brandy but Leslie Ann Warren does not have much of a voice to speak of. I enjoyed her version but singing was not the reason.
I feel that people should look at this for what it is. You either like it or not but for what it is not what you want it to be.
I, for one, am a fan.
This is one movie I never get tired of. I especially like the fact that it's multi-culturaled, which is a good example for young children. The message is universal, teaching that no matter how things appear at the present there's always something good at the end if you believe in yourself.
One of Rodger and Hammerstein's masterpiece. Although this TV movie is a remake, you just can't get enough of Brandy, Paolo Montalban, Whoopi Goldberg, Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, and all of the casts that makes this movie a classic. Listen to the music. Hear its glory.
Saw this one with four other people, and the reviews were quite good. Could do without the "modernized" sound in some of the songs, and the ending scene of this movie just sort of drags on for no reason, but most of the music is very good. Brandy is alright as Cinderella but her singing voice is a little too breathy. The multi-racial cast was strange but didn't bother me. Funny how a white guy and a black lady having an Asian son confuses us, but we are perfectly okay with the idea of a pumpkin turning into a carriage. And as long we're on the subject of skin color and carriages, the four white carriage horses could have participated in the political correctness. Would like to have seen one white horse, one black, one chestnut and one pinto. :o) Also a little more color in the dresses at the ball, as all of them were light blue or turquoise or lavender or green, no yellow, pink or white anywhere. Still, this was an enjoyable movie overall, maybe a bit too "updated", but by no means unpleasant. Fine effort and it made for a nice evening.
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