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I read Joss Whedon and his brother's were bored during the Writer's Strike last season and came up with the idea for Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. All I can say is at least one phenomenal thing came out of that strike! This three part comedy/drama with music is the most entertaining thing I've seen all summer. Neil Patrick Harris is absolutely inspired as the not so horrible, Dr. Horrible. Nathan Fillion is as adorable as ever as Captain Hammer, but he gets to reach in and find some shallowness too. This is fifty minutes, when you put all three parts together, of silliness, twists and turns, all with a soundtrack. It's only free online until July 20th, then you have to buy it. But the season pass at iTunes is only $3.99 and it is well worth the money. I highly recommend this for anyone who loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode, who loves Joss Whedon or Neil Patrick Harris.
Exceptional dialog, music, humor, pathos...yes, one of those again!
Whedon and crew are reshaping "television" into the 21st Century and
hopefully will carry the "industry" along with them in their wake (I
know...I'm mixing metaphors but what the hell!). I can't wait for the
next episode (I pray one will follow)!
Each of the main actors brings with them a unique "graphic novel" ambiance to the three-part episode. Nathan Fillion delivers just the right balance of likability and swarminess. Neil Patrick Harris brings an exquisite mix of illusion and reality - enough that we can touch his human side (and connect with it), while still laughing along with his illusory attempts at superhero-ness. And Felecia Day provides a perfect target of the two male leads' affections. The songwriting is catchy and endearing and the songs delivered with clarity and feeling.
For the past three days I have found myself unintentionally singing lines from the show as I drive, shop for groceries, shower, walk the dogs, cook dinner . . . you name it! They are that catchy!
You won't regret downloading and sitting through the 40 minutes of exceptional film-making!
I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into when I first sat
down at my computer to watch this. I had heard that Joss Whedon had
created it, and I was a fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, but
I didn't know what it was about or anything.
Forty Five minutes later, I was completely blown away. The songs, writing, and acting are just amazing. It made me laugh, and nearly cry. It's so creative, and has superheroes in it, which I love.
If you're someone who isn't sure about it, just watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog anyway. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Dr. Horrible has a P.h.D. in horribleness, and awesomeness.
If you are a Whedon fan, you'll enjoy this little gem. If you don't
know who Joss Whedon is, you need to get out more.
This short, internet film was made on a very limited budget-namely, Joss Whedon's own money-using friends and family to help him complete it. It was written and largely produced during the WGA strike. Why? Well, a man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.
The vid is fun and funny, yes. It also has wonderfully appropriate, cleverly written songs. So, singing, jokes, and fun. Well, yes, and then again, Mr. Whedon can't leave anything as simply fun. It also contains tragedy combined with sufficient pathos and a touch of probing insight into the human condition. This qualifies "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog a bit more than a simple, goofball musical comedy exercise.
Of course, it works just fine on that level, too. Be sure you watch it more than once.
When I first heard that science-fiction mastermind Joss Whedon was
putting together an internet-launched serial that involved singing,
low-budget superheroes, and Neil Patrick Harris, I was immediately
intrigued at the strange prospect. As preposterous as it sounds, this
thing actually works and I wouldn't be shocked at all to hear that
Whedon's little experiment yields a profit on DVD revenues.
"Dr. Horrible" is about a man with that very name played by NPH who considers himself a villain and is only waiting to receive his official acceptance into a league of villains, though to do that he must succeed at an evil plan or most specifically, kill someone, neither of which he has been able to do. He also has a thing for Penny (Felicia Day), the girl at the laundromat he can never seem to talk to. It's a strange situation for a guy who considers himself evil to be in, but that's part of "Dr. Horrible's" uniqueness. In classic fashion, it is over-cocky hero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion who worked with Whedon on "Firefly") who seems to always interfere with both of Dr. Horrible's objectives: being evil and Penny.
The music in this serial was probably the most surprising thing about it. The many Whedons that worked on this score really impressed me. I would consider owning a CD or downloading (legally of course) the songs. Though instrumentation was done entirely on electronic instruments, it's a good fit. While the songs and the plot don't always work seamlessly, there's a charm about the songs that makes them good anyway. They're modern songs in a sense, but they also are very structured like musical songs are.
NPH and Fillion are great talents in these roles. Fillion is hysterical in his first go around at a real comedic role (that I can recall). I've always been fond of him and he earns the most laughs I would say. NPH gets the quirkiness but the sincerity of a very strange character who is definitely difficult to believe, at least on pure premise.
This serial has a very interesting sense of humor too. It goes for a lot of subtlety jokes with people saying things that are absurd but that the other characters generally play dumb to. It's the right kind of humor for this kind of project though because the goal of the project is clearly to be unique.
I wouldn't say "Dr. Horrible" is genius and ground-breaking, but I would say it's really quite good for being something that clearly was intended to have a low-budget look and feel. I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen next each time a new segment was posted, which is a credit to the writing. While I wouldn't run and tell all my friends about "Dr. Horrible," I would definitely recommend it to the right people who have an appreciation for projects that play small ball and look to do something different. ~Steven C
Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.blogspot.com/
For 'Buffy' fans, "Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" is similar to the
famous 'Once More With Feeling' musical episode, exploring familiar
Whedon territory with some favourite Whedon stars: Nathon Fillion from
'Firefly', Felicia Day also from the last series of 'Buffy', plus Neil
Patrick Harris and cameos galore: is the good guy good, is the hero the
heroine with a day-job, and does the bad guy *want* to be horrible?
Lots of fun, with some good music and clever, thoughtful lyrics and
some surprising performances; you start believing! I lol'd at the
groupies and the baddies, and stay around for the credits.
Available on I-tunes for purchase.
And yes, I know what a hammer is.
If you simply enjoy being entertained, this enchantingly short trio of
episodes sheer is perfection itself.
Congratulations to Joss Wheedon for giving his planet such a very sweet little gift.
i'm not much of a fan of musicals as a rule, but this one plays so cheekily on all things geeky it's hard to resist.
Too often these days, performances rarely reveal that the cast absolutely enjoyed their rolls so much. Knowing that these people all performed for free and for friendship makes this one all the more enjoyable to watch.
So many Directors with so much money & talent at their disposal really do miss the point, and the point is to put your heart into it.
So obviously made with love, and the help of friends, Dr Horrible will make you smile over & over!
... I say this though as a quasi-Whedon ignorant; I've only seen about
two seasons worth of Buffy, no Angel, and all of Firefly and Serenity.
Joss Whedon's sense of humor is playful, crude, warped, and everything
one might love from a skewering of superheroes. Hancock, take note,
this is how it's done with consistency! The premise of Dr. Horrible can
be summed up in one sentence: Boy (Dr. Horrible) with nerdy powers
finds and wants girl, boy loses girl to arch nemesis boy Captain
Hammer, boy plots revenge, boy finds things end on a pretty bitter and
sad note. Or, to put it another way, it's about the nerdy guy wanting
the girl and the beefy upstart with an ego the size of a blimp is
hogging her for himself.
That's the gist of it, anyway, but to say this is all Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is about is to do a total disservice to Whedon and his large fan-base. This is a musical not quite unlike the Buffy classic "Once More, with Feeling" only without that pesky 'you have to know a and b and c are going on in the series and season' logic. One is thrust into that sharp, laconic, and joyously obvious sense of humor that reveals Whedon as someone who is a kind of curious master of musical comedy with those appropriate doses of barbed satire.
At the same time, as one who may have watched their share of Buffy and even Firefly knows, Whedon is also a hopeless romantic (hopeless in that he can't seem to put people together without *something* going wrong, which is the point of all drama one supposes), and his tale of Dr. Horrible, done through songs that reveal the characters' souls, heartfelt and adorable and totally meat-headed (the Captain's final song at the podium with his award is next to Godliness), and at the same time a cheap joke (random cowboys singing along from the sides of the frame) or a catchy number (the "Man's gotta do" song is far more wondrous than about 99.9% of stuff on the radio now) isn't sacrificed for the sake of what little plot there is.
And lest not forget the acting, or at least the awesome musical prowess. Neal Patrick Harris and Nathan Filion are just about perfect in their roles, as is the woman who plays Penny (the red-headed girl Dr. Horrible meets at the Coin Mart), with Filion especially juicy in a somewhat campy turn where he takes all those heroic qualities of his Firefly character and reveals the dark side ("And yes, we had sex"). Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog is about as close to romantic-comedy-musical-satire amazement as one could hope for, or maybe not expect, from Whedon, particularly as a free web-series running just about the length of a full short film (or an extremely short feature).
I am not a fan of musicals, nor a fan of Joss Whedon's earlier work. I never watch Firefly, Buffy, or anything. In fact, the only reason I watched this was Neil Patrick Harris' involvement. Thank God I did! It is truly a one of a kind, and there isn't anything I could suggest to watch otherwise. It really is just fantastic, in terms of originality, writing, acting, the whole shebang. I do hate one thing about this thought. I hate having stupid friends, so I cannot just let them watch it on their own. I must watch it, then explain it's awesomeness, then force them to watch it again. So, if your friends aren't as retarded as mine are, please share this gem.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This little musical by Joss Whedon is clever and well written yet could
be easily financed by a college freshman. The music is catchy, the
lyrics are entertaining and fuel the story, the characters are
memorable and quirky and the ending will disappoint people who want a
schmoopy lovey-dovey ending. Those of us who are fans of Firefly will
watch because we love Whedon's writing and Nathan Fillion's acting.
Fillion's "Captain Hammer" is the shallow superhero nemesis of Neil
Patrick Harris's Dr. Horrible, the latest in a long line of villains
who have somehow had time to get their doctorate. While the video only
adds up to just under 45 minutes, there are several story lines within
the story that are very entertaining. The singing is by no means
operatic, but is always pleasant and enjoyable.
Neil Patrick Harris is great in this. Felicia Day is beautiful and Nathan Fillion is memorably ridiculous.
This is a fun little sweet from Joss Whedon's bag of candy.
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