Robert Stigwood

Robert Stigwood

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Grease Review


Excellent
It's the goo they put in their hair.

It's the goo they slather on their hotrod cars.

Continue reading: Grease Review

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Review


OK
No, this isn't a Beatles film like A Hard Day's Night, released in conjunction with the eponymous album and telling a vague sort of story. Rather, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band came out 11 years after the seminal Beatles record. And it doesn't star the Beatles. In fact, it's one of the most bizarre films ever made, with the Bee Gees (who have no dialogue) appearing as the titular band, who acts through a series of vignettes based on songs that appear on the titular record (and some off of Abbey Road, too). Story-wise, there's really not much here -- basically it's about a small band's rise to fame and subsequent fight against the evil, corporate music business. And I mean basically. Really it's excuse to hear Beatles covers from the Brothers Gibb, Peter Frampton, Sandy Farina, Aerosmith (who pioneered their "Come Together" version here), Steve Martin(!), and George Burns(!!), who narrates the proceedings. And the music is really good, too. Never mind the "story."

Saturday Night Fever Review


Good
Time and the selectiveness of memory has recorded Saturday Night Fever as a fun romp about disco and little more. Check out the reviews online -- they talk about how great the Bee Gees music is, John Travolta's dance moves, his hairdo, and his Brooklyn swagger. If the plot is mentioned at all, it's the meta-version, about how Travolta's Tony Manero wants to break free of his stifling Brooklyn residence, oppressive family, and blue-collar job -- maybe an escape to the big city across the river?

Little mention is made of the sad and often hopeless tale of Tony's bleak little world, full of fistfights, a tragic semi-suicide/accident, and even the gang rape of his girlfriend by his friends. After all of it, Tony gets his hair coiffed and gets back up on the dance floor, even if he's sporting bruises and bandages across his face.

Continue reading: Saturday Night Fever Review

Jesus Christ Superstar Review


OK
I've never seen Jesus Christ Superstar or Godspell on stage, and while I appreciate the desire to spread the word of God via mass media (especially if it involves singing), I've just never been able to get into these overwrought productions (see also Hair), especially if they were made in the 1970s.

WhileSuperstar is a period piece set during the last weeks of Jesus's life, it also contains strange anachronisms like guns and cars -- designed to tell us, presumably, that Jesus's works are still relevant today. But it also misses the point on a lot of those lessons -- why, during his rampage against the money changers, is he destroying the stands of people selling glassware and vegetables? Thou shalt not eat greens? Hmmm.

Continue reading: Jesus Christ Superstar Review

Gallipoli Review


OK
Few Americans -- or anyone else, for that matter -- know the story of the ANZAC invasion of Gallipoli during World War I. Why should they? Despite massive casualties, the battle for Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula had little effect on the outcome of the war. But for the countries of Australia and New Zealand, whose young men composed the ANZAC forces, the battle at Gallipoli is a fixed point of national pride.

As such, Gallipoli forms the perfect backdrop for an Australian film about the terrors of war and the endurance of bravery and self-sacrifice. Add to the mix two of Australia's greatest cinematic talents, Mel Gibson and director Peter Weir, and Gallipoli would seem halfway to greatness before it even gets started. Unfortunately halfway to greatness is mediocrity -- and that's as far as Gallipoli gets.

Continue reading: Gallipoli Review

Grease Review


Excellent
It's the goo they put in their hair.

It's the goo they slather on their hotrod cars.

Continue reading: Grease Review

Evita Review


Grim
Now I understand why Argentineans wanted Madonna to go home during the filming of Evita!

What the fuss is all about, I have no idea, because Evita is just another bad movie starring one of our worst actresses, Madonna. The catch is, this time she gets to sing sing sing for 2 1/2 hours -- sing until she can sing no more -- sing until your ears bleed.

Continue reading: Evita Review

Robert Stigwood

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