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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Best Movie Musical Since Chicago

10/10
Author: ftljeff40 from United States
23 July 2007

Loved it loved it loved it. I kept my expectations low for this movie because I didn't want to be disappointed(as I was with Dreamgirls) but Hairspray 07 does not disappoint one bit. The entire cast is excellent and I was laughing and smiling from beginning to end. I had my doubts about Travolta but he blew it out of the park as Ms. Edna. He gave his own performance and did not try to impersonate Divine or Harvey, he seemed much more like a real women than a man in drag and the chemistry between Travolta and Chris Walken was great, you really believed they were man and wife, their musical number is a highlight of the movie. I'm going to see it again this week with a different group of friends and I know I'll buy it on DVD. This is the best 10.00 bucks you will spend this summer, forget Transformers, Hairspray is the kinda movie Hollywood needs to make more of, cause I think we all just want to feel good and Hairspray delivers in spades!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An overall great cast, a funny (and occasionally original) script, and those songs we all love....

8/10
Author: Brian Stephens from Denton, Texas
20 July 2007

A much better film-to-Broadway-to-film adaptation than The Producers. And unlike Dreamgirls, it doesn't take itself too seriously and isn't ashamed to be the over-the-top, realism out the window, movie musical it should be.

The younger cast is fantastic, with Elijah Kelley's Seaweed being the standout. John Travolta as Edna Turnblad is refreshingly subdued and touching(particularly surprising considering the character's unapologetic campiness in previous versions of this story.) Less successful was Queen Latifah's Motormouth Maybelle. She's so watered-down and meek that it makes the viewer wonder how she got her nickname.

During the musical numbers, director Adam Shankman's camera is considerably less intrusive than, say, Rob Marshall's in Chicago, but I still would have preferred even less cinematographic pizazz and more of the old-fashioned "let the dance numbers wow us without all the jerky edits" kind.

If you don't think you'll enjoy this film, I'll honestly say you probably won't. But, as expected, I had a blast.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Helluva movie

9/10
Author: jack gregson (zvwf015@live.rhul.ac.uk) from London, England
20 July 2007

Hairspray is one helluva movie, it's a brilliant musical, possibly one of my favorite films this year (up there with Die Hard, Hot Fuzz, Spidey 3, Waitress, Blood Diamond and Dreamgirls) and one of the best musicals of all time, it just works, unlike the producers which while being a nice film felt very tacky and badly directed and Dreamgirls (even though brilliant) had too much of an operatic feel, but this just worked. It felt like a classic musical where everything just worked out in a good way. The direction by Adam Shankman (who has had some terrible films under his belt) was brilliant, his shots just worked (the opening shot of Baltimore, and the dance number in Welcome to the 60's were some I was impressed with) and he managed the mix of fantasy and realism quite well, none of the musical numbers felt out of place. The acting was great, Travolta wasn't half as annoying as the trailers make him out to be, you really believe that Christopher Walken and him are in love, Amanda Bynes was sweet but under used, Zac Efron (the main reason my cinema was full) ditched his teeny bopper style and moved on to great things, Michell Pfeiffer was brilliant, her voice was excellent and she was incredibly believable, James Marsden as always (even when wearing a visor) brings charm to his performance though he needed much more screen time, Queen Latifah belting out "I Know Where I've Been" brought a tear to my eye and possibly the best casting decision in the movie (and one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen, with ms Bynes being up there too) is Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Edna Turnblad, she is Rikki Lake, she is Marissa Janet Winokour, she is fantastic. The story is the same as the original pretty much and the songs all work fine the only real problem I had was that it needed to be longer, it felt a bit rushed, I mean I think there must be an hours worth of songs and that leaves about 40 or 50 minutes to move the plot along. Honestly this might be my favorite of the summer but I am yet to see Knocked Up, Ratatouille or Transformers. 9/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Hairspray made me high on life

9/10
Author: MovieZoo from United States
20 July 2007

I really was not going to see this movie. What changed my mind was Travolta's interview on the Letterman show. He was looking quite youthful and funny and his attitude was the same. Comments about the fun he had with the fantastically fascinating Christoper Walken loosened me up enough to think "What the heck" and so I went.

WOW, WOW, WOWIE WOW(a near quote from Walken's romantically hopeless yet hopeful character, the Continental) this movie was absolutely amazing. My foot was tapping to the music right from the start, and almost lifted me right off my seat. I found it very hard to find a reason to dissect this movie for any faults even though there are a few. I just couldn't. Performances were perhaps as close to perfect as you can get.

Walken and Travolta just made my eyes water with love and laughter. Pfeiffer, WOW, Pfeiffer!! - the best and most lovable baddie. Queen Latifah was fun and great to watch but almost got lost in the crowd. But in the street march, she sang a song that opened my eyes and heart with utter respect and admiration. Her voice is still so beautiful it can make you melt. Even more, when I saw what I am sure was a very sincere tear trickling from her right eye down her nose, I cried with her. And I knew that this character meant far more to her than just a part in a movie. It was also then that I realized that all the performances were an indication that all the performers played their parts to perfection out of love for what they do.

I wish more movies were made with the love that this one was. This was truly a movie madeout of love by, with and for the people who love to love. 9 out of 10 from me and a thousand thanks to all of those who made this movie so fantastic!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Out of this World!!!

10/10
Author: Bailey158 from United States
20 July 2007

My teen daughter and I went to the first showing in our area at midnight! While in my opinion, nothing replaces seeing Hairspray on Broadway, the movie was amazing and from the laughter and responses of the audience I think a lot of people will agree. I really expect to see this movie winning awards.

My only disappointment was the ending kiss....just didn't do anything for me. I asked a friend who saw the movie and she said she agreed. Maybe it was because the people were young and not as experienced but if Zac Efron wants to make it in movies like this, he's got to pack a little more punch. You almost ended up feeling like he really wasn't wanting to kiss the girl.

If you take a child be prepared for some questions or explain a few things beforehand. My daughter had several questions about the black and white issues the movie presents.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Artificial Tease

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
27 November 2007

I think I'll watch any copy or remake, at least for a while, because its fascinating to have one movie folded onto another. In this case, the original was attractively strange. We knew it came from someone who celebrates not just trailer park kitsch, but the peculiar self- referential sexual edge. It was joyful trash, and not from the South. On that, Waters laid a veneer of a genre, but the thinnest of veneers. His poke in the eye was intended very seriously.

Now the formula is reversed. We have a stage show that takes itself seriously, and the poke in the eye? Well, that's now gone, replaced by stylistic nods. Travolta in drag is a joke, but a simple movie joke, not a statement about the edge of the world. There's a moralistic story here about integration that ends happily. In the original, we know that what we see is one positive event in a sea of reverses. We have our fat girl in both, but in the original she was deliberately pathetic and the whole world of similarly pathetic creatures saluted. Here, she's triumphant. Having Queen Latifah on board in such a prominent role assures that. For once, she was appropriate for the purpose.

Its all another reminder of how we absorb the deviant. We had the hippies for less than a decade before they became a "lifestyle." We had true black heros, and they were swallowed in a glueball of hiphop. Waters is no great shakes in the grand mastication of society. But he was boldly perverse (within the rating system). And here, that perversion becomes simply set dressing for an old fashioned song and dance show.

Its perverted.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Hummable and hammy, weighted down with ostentatious 'attitude'

5/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
14 August 2007

Musical remake of John Waters' cult-comedy from 1988, adapted from the Broadway triumph and full of toe-tapping songs--each one a 'showstopper' that hopes to obliterate the number that came before--has a "short and stout" white high schooler in 1960s Baltimore becoming a teen-sensation on the TV dance-program "The Corny Collins Show", which is run by bigots afraid of integrating white and black dancers. Leslie Dixon's script retains much of Waters' original elements--which is a good thing--but she doesn't allow the characters to take shape, and teen rabble-rouser Tracy Turnblad (well-played by newcomer Nikki Blonsky) hardly gets to make her mark on the tube before leading a protest march on Baltimore against segregation. Comparing the two movie versions is pretty much useless (Waters' film wasn't a musical after all, and it had a far slimmer budget), but beefing up the (supporting) characters of Velma Von Tussle and Motormouth Maybelle was pointless (except to showcase Michelle Pfeiffer and Queen Latifah, respectively, in these roles). Centering so much of the plot on Von Tussle (now the station manager who handles "Corny Collins") takes time away from Tracy and her new boyfriend, and from the teen-celebrity angle itself. Tracy still signs on to be a spokesmodel for Mr. Pinky's Hefty Hideaway, but after one musical number in his shop, we never see him again. Casting John Travolta as Edna Turnblad was an endearing idea (the role has traditionally been played by a man in drag), but portraying a woman barely brings out a softer side to Travolta (he has far less grace than usual); a worse gambit was Christopher Walken's casting as Edna's husband--never before has Walken appeared so charmless and dull. The film gets off to a rousing start, and Blonsky is firing on all cylinders, but the script is a shapeless mess and the direction isn't sensitive. The kids here have lots of in-your-face attitude, when actually a more subtle approach might have given their characters some depth. The Waters version took the racial issues seriously, but presented them in a lively, winner-take-all manner; here, Dixon and director Adam Shankman are teary-eyed literal, with Latifah singing a spiritual in the street. It drains all the fun and hope from the scenario, in an attempt--I guess--to make its nostalgia relevant today. Shankman moves through the scenes so fast that Tracy's audition (and rejection) for the TV show isn't even her moment--she's discarded so Pfeiffer can sing her number. The songs are certainly hummable, though the lyrics continually pit one race over another (who is superior to who), which leaves all the celebrating at the end seeming just a touch shallow. ** from ****

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Best Musical of all time is one of the best movies of all time!

10/10
Author: PoisonKeyblade from Long Island, New York
24 July 2007

Hairspray is the latest film in the flood of Broadway-to-movie films, and not only is it the best of its kind, but it is probably the best film musical of all time. All of the scenes were perfectly paced and balanced, and Hairspray is probably the ultimate feel-good film. It makes you proud of pretty much everything. The acting is all-around magnificent and all of the songs bring goose bumps to the viewers. Hairspray features an all-star cast, with newcomer Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron, James Marsden, Brittany Snow, Christopher Walken, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, and Elijah Kelley.

In 1962, teenager Tracy Turnblad and her friend Penny Pingleton are rightly obsessed with The Corny Collins Show. After one of the members takes a leave of absence, Tracy goes to try out and finds herself on a wonderful adventure, which includes falling hopelessly in love with fellow teenager Link Larkin and making integration happen.

With the opening scene, the magical musical number 'Good Morning Baltimore', the film is off to a great start. One musical wonder after another, each song is perfectly balanced and the tunes are all so catchy. The lyrics are so rich and full of substance, although they are probably not as great as the lyrics in Rent. Each song brings something new, and each of the cast greatly contributes. John Travolta is hysterical, and when he sings it just goes to show why he was such a noteworthy selection. Amanda Bynes has a surprisingly smooth voice, but it is certainly not the best in the world. The biggest surprises are James Marsden and Nikki Blonsky. It seems as if there couldn't have been a better choice for Tracy Turnblad, as Nikki's voice is soft and powerful. James Marsden has a stunning voice that you would never expect to come out of him. He is just sensational as Corny Collins. Queen Latifah is one of the best among the cast, with her belting voice. Latifah has an amazingly strong voice, and Elijah Kelley as Seaweed is no exception. He is a huge surprise with his wonderful take on the character. The best casting choice by far, however, is rising star Zac Efron. He plays Link Larkin with such personality, such gusto, that haters of High School Musical may actually grow attached to the guy. His character is very lovable, and Zac displays certainly his best acting yet in Hairspray. Many people, myself included, shall be waiting in anticipation for what Zac has next, which just happens to be High School Musical 2! Zac has the pleasure of singing a new song specific for the movie version. 'Ladies Choice' is not only one of the best songs, but it displays Zac's musical talent in a very vague and effective fashion. I really enjoyed the new song, and it was a great addition to the movie. Michelle Pfeiffer is very evil as the wicked villain, and her daughter Amber, played by Brittany Snow, is also cast perfectly. I don't think there have ever been better casting choices in a musical (besides maybe Rent).

Hairspray is a relief in many ways; it is probably the best movie of the summer, and the movie musical of all time. Normally, you can't go wrong with an all-star cast, but there are some exceptions. It will remain for many years to come that Hairspray is the big movie musical of our generation, our very own version of the classic Grease (to which it is superior in every way imaginable).

Sitting in that theater, viewing Hairspray time and time again, is an experience that can be rivaled by no other, expect perhaps seeing the Broadway show which I have yet to have the delight of seeing. Hairspray makes you want to get up and dance and cheer for how fantastic the movie really is. Hairspray is the one of the best movies I've ever seen, and is a fitting summer movie and delightfully cute one at that. In fact, I can't wait to see it again!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A return to great movie musical comedies!

8/10
Author: Jay Addison from United States
22 July 2007

Hairspray has done something truly amazing already that has nothing to do with the actual movie. It has saved a genre that has been struggling to survive over the past few years: Musicals, and particularly musical comedies. For the first time in recent years, people are really excited about seeing a musical at the cinema- even teens! For someone like myself, that's pretty exciting.

The story of "pleasantly plump" teenager Tracy Turnblad has been told three different times: As a campy 80's movie, then on the Broadway stage, and now in this fantastic new screen version. The story is that this big girl teaches her beloved Baltimore a lot about racism and integration, all while winning the hearts of the city on a dance-off TV program. It's a very cute story with lots of laughs and lots of heart, and this film puts it together wonderfully and hilariously.

The cast is pretty much perfect. Unknown Nikki Blonsky stars as Tracy, and "stars" is what she does indeed. In fact, she's downright radiant on screen. John Travolta is laugh out loud funny in his gender-bender role as Edna, the mother of Tracy. The rest of the cast is all impressive, most very interesting choices for the individual; interesting choices that turned out quite well. Zac Effron is perfect along with Amanda Bynes. Both were surprisingly good. Elijah Kelley, Christopher Walken, Allison Janney, Michelle Pfeiffer. Brittany Snow and James Marsden are all great. And what can be said about Queen Latifah: She's simply wonderful, as always.

The songs, which are half the reason we're all there, are all well-sung and, of course, well-written. The most surprising of the singing voices were James Marsden and Amanda Bynes. Both sang beautifully, and I had no idea. Michelle Pfeiffer was the only one who had a little trouble with her song. Ms. Blonsky's voice is fantastic.

Really, a great movie all around, with big laughs and big heart, and a great return musical comedies and blockbuster musicals period! 8/10 stars!

Jay Addison

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely fantastic musical/comedy!!!

10/10
Author: Hurdles10 from Phoenix
22 July 2007

Simply a joyous movie. If you love musicals and you love to laugh, you'll really love this.

The film introduces Nikki Blonsky who is excellent as Tracy Turnblad. Michelle Pfeiffer, Chris Walken, Alison Janney, John Travolta, James Mardsen and everyone else rocked it as well!! The scene with the song, "Without Love" has cute special effects. Don't miss John Waters as the flasher or Riki Lake as one of the agents. I missed both the first time. And how often do you get to see JT dancing in heels?

Go see it and enjoy it! FYI,the role of Edna is traditionally played by a man. Have fun with it as I did ... twice!

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