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What an Excellent film! I went to an advance screening and left with my
jaw aching from all the laughing and grinning.
At first, it felt the film was just the play in front of the camera, but the style eventually worked, turning the movie audience into a Broadway audience. At times, the director took the actors outside almost as a fun way of saying "see? with a camera, we can now move around!" Nonetheless, by the time we get to the most famous musical number, the audience was applauding and cheering after each song. During the credits, it felt like a curtain call with applauds for each actor.
So much fun and very deserving of the name Mel Brooks this film is great for the holidays (with the more adult jokes being concealed in song, and only minor swearing) older children and teenagers should get a kick out of this fast paced, fun, and very memorable film.
Also, just a bit of advice: stay until the end of the credits.
The Producers (2005) **** Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman,
Will Farrell, Gary Beach, Roger Bart Dir. Susan Stroman
I don't think the critics know what they are talking about. This movie rocked! It took me back to the old days of movie musicals. You know, the Bugsby Berkley years, big and flashy with hum able songs. Based on the 1968 film starring Zero Maestel and Gene Wilder, and the smash hit on Broadway, the story of a failing Producer named Max Bialystock who has just had the worst show in town close called Funny Boy, a musical version of Hamlet. Distraught he runs into accountant Leo Bloom who comes up with the notion that you can make more money with a flop than with a hit. Max overjoyed to hear such wonderful news lays it all out. Step 1. They find the worst play ever written, the "mother lode" as Max calls it when he comes across Springtime for Hitler, written by neo-nazi Franz Liebkind. Step 2. Hire the worst director, a prime and proper gay man named Roger Debris who wants to keep everything gay! Step 3. Raise 2 million dollars from Max's backers: harmless little old ladies looking for a last roll in the hay. Step 4 Open on Broadway and before you can say step 5 they close and run off to Rio. All goes well until Springtime for Hitler becomes a success leaving Leo and Max in the dust.
People have been comparing it to the original, which sure it has some of the same lines, and the story is the same, but both shows have something different to offer. You get songs in this version that you don't get in the original. Nathan Lane tears up the screen and will have you in stitches as Max; his show stopping number "Betrayed" will have you applauding. Matthew Broderick is also very good as Leo who can't grab life by the balls and go. He sings "I Wanna Be A Producer" with such gusto and dances with Ms. Uma Thurman, who is amazing as Ulla, and their dance number has sheds of the old Astaire and Rogers's musicals of the 30s.
Also excellent, are Will Farrell as the Nazi who speaks to his birds and Gary Beach and Roger Bart as Roger De Bris and Carmen Ghia they gay "couple" who want to put Springtime for Hitler on the stage, both stand out in the cast, and both played the roles on Broadway. Other familiar faces you will see are Jon Lovitz as Leo's accounting firms boss, Michael McKean as one of the prisoners and Richard Kind as the Jury Foreman who took over in the Nathan Lane role on the stage.
Susan Stroman doesn't make the camera cuts flashy, they are simple, which makes it more enjoyable to watch the dance numbers, from the opening number to the hilarious "Along Came Bialy" when the old ladies do a dance break with walkers, to "Keep it Gay" to the uproarious Springtime for Hitler number. The best-staged number was probably "I Wanna Be A Producer" as it has shades from the 30s mixed with modern day. It was wonderful! If you listen to some critics who choose to say "this film show inexperience" or "not as good as the original" you are missing a terrific movie musical that is just as good as Chicago! Plus Mel Brooks was also standing there at the helm with Ms. Stroman. Be advised to stay until the very end of the credits to view something special! Bravo!
Much better than anyone had the right to expect. Lane and Broderick are superb. Even moving. Look what I'm saying, moving. I mean it. Their commitment is contagious. The comedy in itself is shamelessly anachronistic. The gay jokes belong to the period in which the original Producers were conceived. The tone is consistent with that period, the film happens at an incredible pace and you smile from beginning to end. How marvelous to see Matthew Broderick dance. This is an actor who never had an Academy Award nomination and his performances have always been top notch and his range runs the famous gamut from A to Z. What a courageous actor. I couldn't believe he could get away with the "I'm in pain! I'm wet and I'm still hysterical" scene without making me miss Gene Wilder but he did. Nathan Lane is a force of nature. His Max is very much a tribute to Zero Mostel, especially to his hair but this Max is Nathan Lane through and through. Uma Thurman is a delight and I had a great time at the movies. What else do you want out of life.
After reading critics' reviews I thought twice about seeing this film.
But I needn't have worried as this was fantastic entertainment. I don't
seem to care that the director has kept the stagy sets and took a
literal approach to adapting a stage musical for the big screen. It was
a fun time from beginning to end.
While his portrayal of Leo Bloom was too much like Gene Wilder's, Matthew Broderick was simply divine when dancing. Indeed it was an interesting to see the top half of his body so still and rigid while his legs and feet were moving with such poise and grace. Nathan Lane never seems to disappoint, he is simply brilliant. His physical resemblance to Zero Mostel is obvious but the mannerisms are all his own. Uma Thurman is good as Ula and Will Ferrell rediscovers his funny.
I didn't even mind the over-the-stop stereotypes. Gary Beach and Roger Bart are screamingly funny. Springtime for Hitler is the best part of the show and nice to see John Barrowman giving it his all as the blond Nazi.
If you want to be entertained for a few hours then this is the movie to go see, don't let the critics put you off!
First, there was Mel Brooks' clever movie "The Producers." That got adapted into a Tony-winning stage musical. Then the musical became adapted into a movie. This hilarious spectacle is sure to please! Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick return as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, the same roles they made famous on Broadway. Lane is a riot, channeling Zero Mostel's bombastic character. Meanwhile, Broderick surprises as he does a decent take on Gene Wilder's original hysterical act. Will Ferrell scores laughs as Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind, and Uma Thurman puts in a good song and dance as Swedish sexpot Ulla. The movie perfectly catches the style of the old-fashioned musical, with a large serving of slapstick. This snappy production is sure to be a hit with everyone!
What a fantastic surprise. I've seen Luke-warm reviews about this film,
largely saying that the theatrical basis (the Broadway show) is
oh-so-evident. Well, in my opinion, this is one of the film's
strengths. It's a well-intentioned performance and is close enough to
the original Producers, and so unlike it, that the musical remake is
I love musicals, especially musical comedy. This film is a sop to the musical comedy, with good performances from the leads, and Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell, who all appear to be enjoying themselves.
The central (staged) number "Springtime for Hitler" is brilliantly choreographed, with suitably outrageous costumes. Gary Beach as a brilliantly camp Hitler completes this excellent scene. And the bratwurst!! The editing in this sequence - camera panning to the gob-smacked audience is brilliant. This is a film that salutes and spoofs musicals. It's an absolute delight
I am a huge fan of the original movie and had the pleasure of seeing
the wonderful Broadway show in 2003, so I was more than expecting to
love this remake. Unfortunately it didn't live-up to my expectations on
a number of fronts.
Most fundamentally, it seemed more of a cinematic rendering of the stage show than a remake of the movie - the problem is that it utterly lacks the charm of the 1968 film, and fails to capture the excitement and energy of the show. This is not to do with the actors, who all put in great performances and do the best job possible with their roles. Though, I wonder if it was a good idea to keep the leads from Broadway - playing a part on stage is very different from doing the same thing in a movie. This is at the heart of what is wrong with this movie - it is trying to be cinematic and theatrical at the same time.
Also, they have cut some of the funniest scenes and changed some of the best lines from the original. Why, I wonder? For example, the first encounter between Max and Leo in the original movie is hilarious and dramatic - a magnificent opening set-piece, with drama, humour and conflict. In this version, Leo just knocks on the door and introduces himself. Bit of a damp squib, really.
Overall, I am not sure what to make of this movie. I would probably have enjoyed it more if I had not seen the original. But not much.
Nothing is more arrogant than a film that assumes it's going to be a hit before it even goes into production. Such a disaster is this musical remake of "The Producers." Stagebound, presentational instead of reactive, and more leaden than an Iron Cross, it betrays everything about the 1968 classic -- not to mention raising questions how anything this klunky could ever work, must less be a hit, on the Broadway stage. Reportedly, Mel Brooks was distracted during filming by his wife's illness and death, and that director Susan Stroman didn't have the clout to override his in absentia presence. Never mind that the new third act ending betrays the first two. Never mind that Lane and Broderick never develop the father-son relationship that Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder did, and which drove the story. Never mind that the musical numbers are not only forgettable, but extraneous. Never mind that the 11 o'clock number is over by 10:59. Never mind that Nathan Lane is made up to look like a Hirschfeld drawing. Never mind that Matthew Broderick is a human marshmallow. Mever mind that Uma Thurman sucks the energy out of movies that she's not even in. Never mind that -- oh, never mind. Like a dumb horror movie where the girl heads up to the attic and you know the monster's there waiting for her but she goes up anyway, "The Producers" is its own train wreck, devoid of any sense of self-awareness, let alone the major one: that it needs an audience.
I just watched the remake of THE PRODUCERS. I am left speechless. Who, in their right mind would even attempt such a silly idea? I watch the original periodically and still laugh a lot, but this thing is ridiculous. I saw the play in London this year and found it wonderful. The acting superb, staging brilliant etc. I am a fan of both Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick and can't understand how they allowed themselves to be so miscast. As far as Will Ferrell trying to do Kenneth Mars' part, it's laughable(and not in a good way). Anyway, if you want to see how funny something can be go get the original because it's arguably the funniest film ever made.
My father adored the original Zero Mostel/Gene Wilder version of The Producers, he used to watch it regularly when I was growing up and that rubbed off on me. When I first saw Mel Brooks 'The Producers' I thought it was a stage play adapted into a movie not the other way round that it became. While I never saw the Broadway revival of 'The Producers' I did 'try' to watch the 2005 version of the 'Producers' on DVD. If you have never seen the original 1968 version and have only seen the 2005 version then of course the 2005 version is going to be funny. If you have seen the original, then you notice just how little effort the actors made other than giving pale imitation of the Zero Mostel/Gene Wilder blue print that makes the 2005 version look like an overacted summer pantomime. I could only go 15 minutes before turning it off in disgust.
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