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|Index||82 reviews in total|
Tons of homogeneous talent -- the tooth bleach is blinding. No story,
no rhythm (oddly enough), over-processed young actors with expensive
haircuts and wardrobe.
This film isn't about a school with young hopefuls, it's about a fictitious institution packed full of painfully beautiful pimple-free young people.
In the original film, a handful of personalities burst onto screen and their characters were revealed as layers peeled away.
In this version, tons of hotties are thrown in and popped like corn. Nothing memorable occurs, no great songs or outstanding characters. This should have been called "Fame: Another High School Musical" Looked up the director on IMDb.com and he produced Briney Spears' tours -- talk about unoriginal, packed with fluff, and emotionally depthless. He brings all those qualities to this film.
I remember when I was younger I enjoyed the original Fame movie.
Although I currently can't remember anything about the movie at all,
save for the theme song. Tonight I got the chance to see the sneak peek
of the 2009 version. Overall, I wasn't impressed. What was wrong with
the movie? 1.) The plot
or lack thereof. There were so many "main"
characters, that the scenes just jumped from one to another without any
real cohesion. Sometimes there were even two scenes going on at the
same time with the camera flashing back and forth between the two.
2.) The timeline. Before each "section" of the movie, you got a title like "Freshman Year", "Sophomore Year", "Junior Year", and "Senior Year". This would have been fine if they spent any time in these years. Instead, they went by so fast that the title just threw off the pace. For example, you get introduced to the characters and see "Freshman Year". Then you get to see their insecurities and character flaws all over the course of one day. The next day is "Sophomore Year" and the characters have made no forward progress since day one of freshman year. The movie could have been vastly improved by simply stripping out these time stamps.
3.) Character development. Tied to the first two problems with this movie is the character development. There is so much going on and time passes so fast that you don't really get to see much development of many of the characters. I understand there is only so much time in the movie, but that could have been resolved by reducing the number of "lead" characters. If you reduced the number of people we had to keep track of, we'd be able to see more how those characters evolve, and care more about them in the end.
4.) Lack of resolution. None of these characters really show any sign of improvement until the last scene in the movie, and then we still get no resolution on how things turned out. The last scene is graduation and we have no idea if any of these people amounted to anything after that. Very few even make mention to what they MIGHT be doing after the movie ends. Heck, I would have even settled for the lame freeze frame with written text explaining what people went on to do (which is a pretty cheesy cheat out of writing a resolution to your story as is).
5.) Predictability and memorable characters/scenes. I am going to lump these two issues together, because they go pretty much hand-in-hand. the movie from beginning to end was pretty predictable. There were absolutely zero surprises within. As a result, there was very little memorable about the movie. In fact, without looking at IMDb, I couldn't name a single character in the movie.
So was there anything good about the movie? I guess for what it was, it was an okay movie. No real surprises, and nothing you are going to remember any length of time from now (which is maybe why I don't remember the first movie). But I did enjoy the gratuitous completely unrealistic cafeteria jam session on day one of Freshman Year. And some of the cast music (which I assume was mostly original at least nothing I've heard elsewhere) was good. Actually, I would have been okay if it was just one jam session after another, because I kinda dug that cheesy scene. Otherwise I say that if you are really interested in this movie, or perhaps a fan of the previous one, wait for the DVD. There are much better movies you could spend your money watching, especially since tickets are so high these days.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
okay.... so first things first.... I was invited to the N.Z. premiere
tonight in Auckland of the new "Fame" reboot or remake or whatever you
want to call it. I thought free food, a few celebrities to stalk and
some free beers and then the movie to end it all, sounds like a good
night. I grew up with the 80's fame on t.v. I saw Leroy rocking it
weekly on screen... so yeah I was interested to see how they re-branded
this film for the new millennium. To be frank, I was not expecting
"Fame" to be an academy award masterpiece but I was still very
intrigued after watching the trailer, the music sounded cool, the
atmosphere seemed a little charged the trailer was cut nicely... but
sadly... thats where all the excitement ended in the trailer.....
This movie is b- to- the -oring.!! BORING! So I will be mentioning some spoilers so stop reading here if that's an issue for you.... got an issue grab a tissue.
Basically they take a bunch of very talented up and coming singers, dancers, actors etc and they cram 4 freaking years of this elusive, over the top, hardest school in the world to get accepted to into a roughly 90 minute film. Every 25 minutes was one year.. starting with a "freshman year" title on the screen... then about 25 minutes later fade to black and "sophomore year" then about 25 minutes later "junior" etc etc... this spread the movie extremely thin... although the leads hair grew longer or haircuts changed so you knew they were older and more mature.
They have the cliché young black guy who is full of torment and angst that his father left him, who sits all melancholy in the stairwell while everyone else is in the cafeteria dancing on tables and plugging in guitars and hitting bongos. There is the young black woman who is being forced to play classical piano by her parents when all she really wants to do is be free and sing her heart out... because no one cares about her needs. There is the typical geeky video guy who always seems to have a camera in his hands when you see him, the gay male ballet dancer who no matter how hard he tries cannot cut it and impress his teacher.... blah blah blah and the young girl actress wannabe singer who starts singing in a little tiny voice all shy and quiet, so you would expect that bam she will find herself and come out of her shell like her teachers have been telling her the ENTIRE 4 YEARS!!!!! BUT NO.... nothing changes... she doesn't get a big voice, stays wooden and timid and shy... I mean seriously I thought this school was supposed to be only accepting the best of the best! They just spent the first 20 minutes showing us auditions and having the school principal tell everyone that thousands audition but only a few hundred are accepted!! There are so many cheesy moments, from the black guy saying "aiightt" to the "I just want my parents to be proud of me" to the boyfriend "I'm just going to sing to you and give you a big hug and then cartoon rabbits will come out and doves will lower a silk scarf around your neck and there will be world peace and God bless you tiny tim"... what?!?! Okay so maybe I'm going a little over board but there was more cheese in this then a stuffed crust pizza from domino's.
I think the biggest problem with this film is you walk away with a "who cares" mindset. The fact that they have approx. 10 main roles and follow them for their four years of tuition which is crammed into 90 minutes of movie is so thin... you just don't care about the characters at all because you don't get to know them. Each person maybe gets about 15-20 minutes screen time max. Then you are left wondering so what about him or what about her or did she make the album or did he get kicked out or did they stay together or how did the father handle the news????!? The story is not interesting, it extremely average, there is ZERO edge to this reboot.... no pizazz no hype no excitement. It's plain dull.
I'm sure that young girls aged between 5-13 will like this, is this who 'fame' is catered towards??? I mean if tweens is the fame target demographic then it may do okay for a week or two. Sadly the biggest audience reaction from tonight's "Fame" premiere was when the "New Moon" trailer screened before the start.
Some good things..... The singing is amazing... the dancing is as you would expect incredible but over all that's it. The acting a big thumbs down, I came away from this feeling like it was a very expensive made for TV movie. The story is all over the place, spread top thin and unlike the trailer again I say there is no edge, It's like a pilot for a new TV series... actually.... is that what it is suppose to be?!?
FAME is LAME!
Don't be fooled by the trailers, Fame is not as dazzling and inspiring as it may seem. Strip away the fancy lighting, music and camera work and you're left with nothing less than a cast of one dimensional, mundane, and unlikeable characters. The movie doesn't give enough time for any of the characters to develop and therefore, I ended up feeling like I barely knew the characters at all, even at the end of the film. I don't even think I could name all of them. The actual script and dialogue is not any better and the plot feels forced and irrelevant to what the movie claims to be about. From the looks of it, no one in the movie is cut out for actual "fame" with the exception of Payne's character who is portrayed as an arrogant and selfish dancer. The cast had a lot of potential to become very likable characters but because of the poor script, their performances fall flat and feel fake. I entered the movie with hopes of being entertained even if it was on a strictly "crowd pleaser" level. I left feeling like I had just wasted an hour and a half of my life learning that "success is love." There are no real resolutions to any of the character's trials and tribulations. Life must suck at this performing arts school because no one learns anything particularly profound or life changing. Don't waste your time with this movie, and if you still want to, at least wait for it to come out on DVD. The large screen, dark theater, and popcorn won't make this movie any better than the dud that it is.
I had watched the original Fame movie when I was a kid, enough to know
the theme song sung by Irene Cara, but little else. Fast forward to
today, I'm pretty sure I still enjoyed the reworked theme song, but the
film unfortunately is a disaster, with predictable story lines,
cardboard characters, and while I'm quite OK that it may have tried to
be more documentary like in its presentation, it just fell short on
almost all accounts, save for some of the set musical pieces.
Despite its hip trailer aimed specifically at its demographic audience, the film just didn't work out, and tried too hard to resemble plenty of dance movies already out there, except that it did a lot more worse by injecting too many characters having everyone bear the brunt of the burden in carrying the film through its runtime, through supporting role appearances at best. Having cast a relative bunch of good looking unknowns also helped in providing the fresh-facedness required, but it's akin to watching a bad episode of American Idol, except that you don't get to choose who stays and who goes.
Granted it wanted to be more "School like" encompassing all the various subjects taught from dance to acting, in quite an elitist fashion in getting mere hundreds amongst thousands of applicants, and if quality control was so stringent, it provided critical flaws to the plausibility of the show. For one, these characters are talented folks, and it's just no good treating talented folks like toddlers in school, picking on every little thing they do wrong in hoping to polish those rough diamonds. Also, the screening of candidates, while provided some Audition hilarity, was mostly based on the whims of the various instructors, hence the kind of petty issues they dredge up for themselves, like the angry actor who thought the stage was his calling, throwing tantrums and in need for some serious counselling.
But the most critical flaw of them all, for a movie in its genre, is whence the buildup and character development? We're suppose to believe that after their graduation they're all "ready to make it" in the big, bad, unforgiving world of fine art performance. Unfortunately the output's pretty much the same as the input, save for a few characters who turned into perfect gems overnight, with nary any focus on their transformation. The best just coasted through school, while the worst (amongst the best) turned in much better performances through the sprinkle of magic dust or through the rubbing of shoulders. There must be something in the diet served by the school's canteen as well it seems.
Fame fell short and became plain, formula, predictable, and ultimately boring. The screenplay reeked laziness - who needs yet another teenage movie where it tells you that even the best amongst us suffer from trouble dished out by disapproving parents, romantic relationship roadblocks, yet another naive girl becoming bait for hot looking predatory guys, wanting to fulfill a deep desire and break out of routine, discrimination, trust and integrity. The list just goes on, no thanks to individual cardboard characters being assigned some thematic homework, and turning in the results in little episodes and scenes, without allowing the audience to build any emotional connection, or to even root for the underdogs.
It's ambitious too in its setting, taking on the entire school journey of these select group of youngsters, albeit without a real story, nor gelling them together in one coherent way. Technically, director Kevin Tancharoen (who had so far done music videos) and cinematographer Scott Kevan had opted for the shaky cam technique, for what reasons I do not fathom, and came off quite irritatingly. Someone should start preaching the virtues of mounting the camera of a tripod, versus making it a lame excuse to want to do it documentary style, or to allow for fluid motion in capturing the performances, not!
The only saving grace here, are some of the performances, be it group dance ensembles, or solo acts. I had preferred the former a lot more for their energy and choreography, and amongst all the disciplines, I personally enjoyed the dances a lot more, compared to the others like acting, or even singing, due to the rather lacklustre tunes and mediocre lyrics.
This is one film that I'd rather not remember its name, and could be called anything else other than a remake of Fame.
The movie had such a good vibe in the early stages before we actually
started to shoot it. In fact, it had such good energy going on, that it
was a pity it ended up being cut-up/chop-chopped and 'sanitized'. There
were a lot of scenes that unfortunately did not make the final cut.
These scenes showed stories about true friendship, love, passion,
relationships, sexuality, disappointments and successes in detail thru
character development. Though the locked version was 'tamed down'
because of the PG rating, a DVD directors cut would probably show the
actual stories of the 10 different characters.
It seemed that Mr. Tancharoen forgot (maybe intentionally?) that he had 10 characters to develop. It appeared that there was concentration on one, Ms. Panabaker (and how could her character pass such a rigid audition?), Mr. Book, Mr. Pennie, Ms. Naughton (who sang very well) and Ms. Payne. Whatever happened to Mr. Iacono, Mr. McGill, Ms. Perez de Tagle, Ms. Flores (Did you notice her? what character did she portray?) and Mr. Perez? What are their life stories or experiences? Being part of the crew, I witnessed a number of scenes where Joy (Anna Maria), Kevin (Paul McG, who plays a gay dancer did you notice?) and Neil (Paul I, obsessed film maker) developed and established their friendship. There was a dramatic/touching scene where Joy and Kevin made the whole crew shed tears and I thought that would have been a clincher in the film. But sad to say, it ended up in the editors bin. Ms. Perez de Tagle should have been given more substantial scenes. She really is a "Joy" to watch. If I may add, Mr. McGill as handsome as he is, should have been given the same opportunity. In my opinion, these three characters would have been able to show the true color of FAME.
Needless to say, Mr. Tancharoen should have captured the true essence of the "New York PA youth" by utilizing and developing all of his characters evenly. In my opinion, he could have done that, if he had chosen to do so. However, it seems that Mr. Tancharoen concentrated on just one character's development .Jenny (Ms. Panabaker) .whom he had 'captured' and "captivated" way before the filming was over. Sad, utterly sad, but true.
Give it a chance, view it in it's entirety. Maybe a PG-13 rating would have made the FAME re-invention .'live forever' Thank you.
KW, Beverly Hills, CA
Definitely, a niche movie that only relates to teens already in the
performing arts. To me it felt like the writer crammed 4 seasons of
Degrassi or all 3 High School Musicals into 140 minutes. All in all,
there wasn't a sufficient amount of time to flesh out any aspect of the
Way too many characters. Dull musical numbers. Bland choreography. Uninteresting AND unnecessary romantic subplots.
The movie should have focused more on the professional growth of each student over the course of freshman year by really spotlighting the student/teacher dynamic.
Instead the movie flaunts the futile personal endeavors of each student over a four year span at a prestigious academy. So by the end, the high school backdrop felt completely pointless because the students learned absolutely nothing to separate their senior level experience from the original insecurity of their auditions.
Kevin Tancharoen's rambunctious first feature film (after directing a
series of music TV shows like "The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search
for the Next Doll") isn't as mawkish or amateur as you may expect. He
may not have Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg looking over their
shoulders, but Tancharoen clearly knows how to shoot a dance sequence.
Thankfully he understands what the audience want from a movie like this
and it isn't lengthy conversations or scenes to showcase the young
stars' acting chops, we want exceptional dancing mixed with an
ear-pleasing soundtrack. From that standpoint this first-timer
We meet the characters during the introduction as they audition for a spot in the highly sought-after academy, each one of them showing their obvious skills over a well crafted montage that establishes the tone for the rest of the movie. From there we go from one rhythmic set piece to another, of varying enjoyment levels, with the absolute highlight coming from a Halloween party boogie at the halfway point. The gigantic finale goes for broke however doesn't quite reach the heights it should. Also worth noting is Tancharoen's ability to ensure non-dance enthusiasts (like myself) will be entertained no matter what art form is on display; those who think they could never take pleasure in ballet just try and not be entranced with the routine led by the lithe Kherington Payne in the second half.
Every film needs a plot and character arcs mind you and this is where Fame's failings become quite evident. The massive ensemble cast is simply too big; trying to follow the amount of individuals on offer is often frustrating. When you start to like someone they disappear for 30 minutes whilst we see the other dozen or so stories unfold, and only randomly do they intersect each other. Of the young cast Kay Panabaker, Asher Brook and Paul Iacono are the pick whilst the wise and wonderful teachers are best served by Bebe Neuwirth and Charles S. Dutton.
So how much is the final result affected by the hit-and-miss acting (the romantic scenes between the teens are excruciating), unfocused screenplay and ridiculous reasons to break out in song and dance? Not all that much to be honest. A film that can be this fun to watch doesn't deserve to be hung up on faulting elements such as these. Go in expecting a collection of enthralling dance numbers and you will be walking out a satisfied customer.
3.5 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
I really enjoyed seeing how talented they were, and it gets you feeling rhythmic. At first, I thought it was going to be a good movie, seeing how the auditions went. But, after that part and they went onto freshman year, I got a little disappointed. They showed the students' problems, and what they're going through to make it to be famous, but it almost seems like the director got bored of the movie itself, and just skipped through a lot in the movie. You don't see how the students' problems were faced and how they were solved, you first see them upset, and then at the end, they're happy and ready to graduate? That's not a very good plot, actually, there isn't a plot at all. I am upset with the movie, but the dancing was great. Overall, it really was enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you're thinking this is just another Step-Up, Save the Last Dance,
or Raise Your Voice, you're wrong, but there are definite similarities.
This features a school for the arts, much like the other film, but this
one goes through a bit more character development.
Everyone has to audition to see if they have what it takes to get into the school. Starring Megan Mullally, Kelsey Grammar, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles Dutton, and other stars that aren't really well known to me. The bigger names are all teachers who help the students with their musical and acting talent. This movie gets into what families struggle through to get their kids into a really good school. Including making hard decisions and in the end letting them make their own choices. Relationships are tested and if you really care about someone, you will not let anything get in the way. This movie may seem dull at first, but it was a good one to watch and might just be more exciting than the others I have mentioned.
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