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Mamma Mia!

Old 07-19-08, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000
I think The Producers did it best. The director basically took the stage show, made the sets bigger to fill the 'big screen', and filmed it. Same original actors, same staging, same songs, same direction, everything. Is that so hard???
That was the exact PROBLEM with that movie because the performances were so over the top (playing to the back of the house) that they didn't work for film... film acting isn't the same as stage acting and none of the central performances were tweaked...making for a truly grating experience. I thought Rent wasn't afraid of the music... but Mamma Mia could never decide if people were singing in the movie or if the songs were just part of the soundtrack, switching in songs from 'diagetic' to 'non-diagetic' which just didn't work.
Old 07-19-08, 10:42 PM
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(missing song)

Spoiler:
wow - I was absolutely livid to see a number that was part of the soundtrack, 'The Name of the Game' that was recorded but unbeknowest to me wasn't actually in the finished movie, the song occurs when Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) confronts Sophie thinking he is her father, she then sings: 'The Name of the Game'. It's a great song, and Amanda Seyfried delivers a fantastic rendition of it, IMO it's a stand out track from the sountrack, but is it actually in the theatrical cut? - ummmm no. Was this song/scene actually filmed or was it cut in post production? some one tell me... if it was filmed I really really hope we can see it on the eventual DVD/Bluray release.


As for the movie - it was okay, but the flaws I saw were: one, Pierce is terribly miscast, sure he's suave, but really he can't sing to save his life, and it really sinks the movie - when he starts singing 'S.O.S' the sold out audience at the Avalon let out a collective groan (hand him a Razzie). I also thought the Director of Photography, editor, sound mixer and choreographer should all have been fired, of course all the ultimate decisions were in the hands in the director, Phyllida Lloyd, who in my opinion should never be allowed to go anywhere near a film camera after this - numbers like 'Voulez-Vous' and 'Does Your Mother Know?' should have been standout scenes, but what Lloyd created were limp and just straining for energy - the scenes felt sloppy and very amatuerish, 'High School Musical's musical numbers had more oomph and style than this. The characters of Sophie and Sky seem so out of the picture and plotline, that they quickly become very ancilary characters (see above spoiler).
Old 07-20-08, 10:03 AM
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I was ticked that song didn't make it to - one of the best on the soundtrack.
Old 07-20-08, 03:07 PM
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I saw it yesterday... And I know everyone in the media is talking about how Amanda Seyfreid stole the show and it's her breakout performance after being on Big Love... I've never seen the stage show Mama Mia, so I was surprised that the movie seemed to focus more on the mother charecter.. I thought it was supposed to be all about the girls wedding. I was also confused by the fact that... the daughtors fiance in the movie told her he wasen't sure he wanted to get married,...and then in the next scene he was in, they were both about to get married. no conflict resolution. also I diden't like the switch between the singing and dialougue. It felt choppy.
This is definitly a chick-flick movie... not really my type of genre, and I don't think I was expecting to love it ...but I also diden't really like it. Will be going to see The Dark Knight this weekend = thank gosh... can't stand these chick flicks, but I think I just saw this one to give it a chance.
Old 07-20-08, 09:07 PM
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Yea. It looks alright. But I don't want to have to see it and subsequently defend that I'm NOT gay. So I'll probably lock the doors, close the blinds and catch it on cable in a few years.
Old 07-20-08, 11:21 PM
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I found the link from the red carpet premiere in sweden- ABBA still looks good and still going strong- The film was a little over the top but it was great to see the music alive on the big screen- It's just a feel good film.


http://www.abbamail.com/mammamia/200..._swedprem2.htm

Last edited by brtcmfn; 07-20-08 at 11:39 PM.
Old 07-21-08, 10:24 AM
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I liked the movie a lot, even Pierce's terrible singing because he was so self-effacing about it. It's not the best movie of the year by any means, but it was just so damn fun and left me in a good mood that is still going strong. Will get the DVD for sure, and am already enjoying the soundtrack.

Maybe it is just hard for me NOT to enjoy something with that much ABBA music.
Old 07-21-08, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by onebyone
I liked the movie a lot, even Pierce's terrible singing because he was so self-effacing about it. It's not the best movie of the year by any means, but it was just so damn fun and left me in a good mood that is still going strong. Will get the DVD for sure, and am already enjoying the soundtrack.

Maybe it is just hard for me NOT to enjoy something with that much ABBA music.

Agree 100%- Still listening to Abba Radio on Sirius
Old 07-21-08, 07:41 PM
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Wow, this movie was AWFUL! Terrible direction, acting, editing, cinematography. Meryl Streep looked pretty good, but was kind of a ham. People were laughing at Pierce Brosnan every time he sang. The ONLY saving grace was Amanda Seyfried. Sorry, but it's true Kristina. She was so cute in this. And I had no idea the girl could sing.
Old 07-22-08, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by brtcmfn
Agree 100%- Still listening to Abba Radio on Sirius
well at least it isn't '30 Days of Coldplay' on XM which wouldn't turn you gay, just suicidal.
Old 07-22-08, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kristina
I saw it yesterday... And I know everyone in the media is talking about how Amanda Seyfreid stole the show and it's her breakout performance after being on Big Love... I've never seen the stage show Mama Mia, so I was surprised that the movie seemed to focus more on the mother charecter.. I thought it was supposed to be all about the girls wedding. I was also confused by the fact that... the daughtors fiance in the movie told her he wasen't sure he wanted to get married,...and then in the next scene he was in, they were both about to get married. no conflict resolution. also I diden't like the switch between the singing and dialougue. It felt choppy.
This is definitly a chick-flick movie... not really my type of genre, and I don't think I was expecting to love it ...but I also diden't really like it. Will be going to see The Dark Knight this weekend = thank gosh... can't stand these chick flicks, but I think I just saw this one to give it a chance.

you obviousily haven't seen the actual musical on stage, act two the songs of which there are about four more than the movie has are just as jarring and very forced.
Old 07-22-08, 12:14 PM
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Really? I haven't seen Mamma Mia on stage but I had seen Rent and Phantom several times before I saw their respective movies. Those movies suffered from the same issue but the stage shows didn't as they were mostly sung. (You know, since they're MUSICALS!) I just figured Mamma Mia had the same problem.

The thing that I couldn't understand is the stage show has such a fanatical following. There are productions all over the world, people always rave about the show, it's supposed to be so fun, full of energy, etc... But the movie just DRAGGED, especially in the beginning. I mean, there wasn't even a big opening number!!
Old 07-25-08, 06:52 AM
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I watched it last night and have to say although is not as "fun" as the show, I found it enjoyable. The mostly female audience seem to love it and with Julie Walters character getting the most laughs. Pierce Brosnan singing was not as good as some of his co-stars as stated but he looked like he was aware of it and trying to have some fun with the role. Colin Firth, on the other hand, had some decent voice while singing "Our Last Summer". I like how they handled the encore at the end of the movie.

I have to agree with some of the earlier posts that no matter how they bad they screwed up with the directing and staging, it's hard not to have fun while listening to ABBA songs.

BTW, the scenery for this movie was absolutely fabulous. Where was the location of the shoot?

It's been a few years since I watched the show and was wondering while watching it if
Spoiler:
Harry was gay
in the show too or did they change that for the movie? I really don't remember that part from the show.
Old 07-25-08, 12:57 PM
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They reference it in the movie but it seemed fairly subtle. Was it more outlandish in the stage version?
Old 07-26-08, 08:07 PM
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I absolutely adore Meryl Streep, and a friend of mine adores ABBA... so we saw this last night.

Someone needs to teach the director about the rule of thirds, how to shoot scenes so they properly cut together (line of sight between characters!!!), and how to use wide-angle lenses to take advantage of absolutely beautiful scenery.

Seriously, the shots were way too tight, and sometimes you had people's heads in really strange places in the frame. The colors didn't match between edits -- towards the end in the church, it would cut from one wide group shot (incandescent lighting -- yellowish whites) to a shot of Pierce in a pure-white shirt. Everyone's skintones were messed up too.

Music was fun, Meryl went from looking absolutely awful to absolutely beautiful (bad lighting? makeup? who knows). Choreography was.. umm, I felt uncomfortable at times watching it.

Classic example of bad direction. A shame, too, this could have been a fun fluff film, instead I kept noticing bad filmmaking that pulled me out of the music.
Old 07-26-08, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jpfisher
I absolutely adore Meryl Streep, and a friend of mine adores ABBA... so we saw this last night.

Someone needs to teach the director about the rule of thirds, how to shoot scenes so they properly cut together (line of sight between characters!!!), and how to use wide-angle lenses to take advantage of absolutely beautiful scenery.

Seriously, the shots were way too tight, and sometimes you had people's heads in really strange places in the frame. The colors didn't match between edits -- towards the end in the church, it would cut from one wide group shot (incandescent lighting -- yellowish whites) to a shot of Pierce in a pure-white shirt. Everyone's skintones were messed up too.

Music was fun, Meryl went from looking absolutely awful to absolutely beautiful (bad lighting? makeup? who knows). Choreography was.. umm, I felt uncomfortable at times watching it.

Classic example of bad direction. A shame, too, this could have been a fun fluff film, instead I kept noticing bad filmmaking that pulled me out of the music.
The person who directed this film should either be shot or never allowed to step behind a camera again. Same goes for the cinematographer. Both (direction and cinematography) were the worst I've ever seen in a movie. Which is a shame, because the play is so fun and this film had so much potential.
Old 07-27-08, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Daytripper
The person who directed this film should either be shot or never allowed to step behind a camera again. Same goes for the cinematographer. Both (direction and cinematography) were the worst I've ever seen in a movie. Which is a shame, because the play is so fun and this film had so much potential.
However, the persons responsible for the movie were also responsible for the stage show.
Old 07-27-08, 08:12 AM
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I saw this the other day having no clue about it other than thinking that maybe it was a musical. Never heard anything about the stage show.

I was very pleasantly surprised to hear the Abba songs. Never really thought about it before, but I guess I'm an Abba fan.

I ended up enjoying the film, thought they did a great job of mixing the songs into the right places in the storyline. I can perhaps see the complaints mentioned above, but overall, I had a good time. Solid C+.
Old 07-27-08, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by LorenzoL
However, the persons responsible for the movie were also responsible for the stage show.
According to IMDB, Phyllida Lloyd directed it. Which I just learned also directed the Los Angeles production of "Mama Mia!". And the cinematagrapher was Haris Zambarloukos. Who, the only films I recognized by him, were "Enduring Love" and "Venus". And he did a great job on "Enduring Love". "Venus" looked liked anything on BBC. Anyway, a broadway (or in her case, touring broadway director) does not make a screen director. I saw "Mama Mia!" on the stage in London so I have no idea if they changed anything for the U.S. production. At any rate, I thought the play was fun and sunny. And felt none of that was brought to the film.
Old 07-27-08, 09:47 AM
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I saw it with the wife last night, incredibly stupid but fun. I thought Pierce was hillarious in this film, he knew he couldn't sing worth shit, so he was just playing it up all movie long.
Old 07-28-08, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by LorenzoL
However, the persons responsible for the movie were also responsible for the stage show.
yet just because they know the material doesn't mean they know to translate it effectivly to screen.
Old 07-28-08, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
yet just because they know the material doesn't mean they know to translate it effectivly to screen.
True. What they try to do was to recreate the stage version (which I like) on film and that obviously did not work as well as intended.
Old 07-28-08, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by LorenzoL
True. What they try to do was to recreate the stage version (which I like) on film and that obviously did not work as well as intended.

sadly not, they went the 'Xanadu' route (reverse wise).
Old 07-28-08, 09:54 PM
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I have never seen the stage show,so I have nothing to compare it to.
I saw this with a group of ladies I work with. We all enjoyed it, and have had several laughs at work togther since.
Old 08-01-08, 10:07 PM
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Have to agree with those who are dumping on the direction - absolutely horrendous. In a good screen musical (and in movies generally) the camera with be invisible - the framing, movement and editing will be an inevitable extension of the music and motivations, and go unnoticed. This one called out and seemed to be fighting the joy and effervesence of the ABBA songs.

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