This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. You have to go and see this on the big screen.
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One of the film's great tricks is that, for a time, you think it will go down a rabbit hole of unrealistic glorification.
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Set as it is in the Motown era of the Sixties, it's not hard to draw a comparison between the Dreamgirls of the title and the hit-making Supremes, along with a character like Jimmy Early, who seems to be a composite performer based on Little Richard, James Brown, and Smokey Robinson. But with Eddie Murphy in the role, a bit too much of Eddie Murphy's personality comes through, almost as if he's doing a parody on Saturday Night Live. There's also a late film addition of a Jackson Five knock-off. But with all the Motown elements, it didn't feel like a story set in the era, but one designed for the year in which it was made.All of that is not necessarily a bad thing. As movie musicals go, this one was entertaining enough for this viewer, even if I'm not a fan of the genre myself. What I found particularly interesting were the scene transitions, like when Effie White (Jennifer Hudson) auditioned for Max Washington (Ken Washington) in a small room, and the setting changed to a night club performance in front of an attentive crowd. There were a few scenes like that, that were nicely done.Of course, all the singers were quite good, but when the stage dynamic switched to the actors and actresses singing to each other, both the song lyrics and situations seemed awkward at times. I guess the biggest surprise for me was hearing what a powerful voice Jennifer Hudson has. Since my personal Golden Age of music occurred during The Sixties with the British Invasion, The Surf Sound, and of course Motown, I'm not as in tune to current singers like Hudson and Beyoncé. As entertaining as they are, their musical style is just not my favorite type of listening pleasure.But overall, if you like movie musicals, this one ought to satisfy. At just over two hours, I never got an antsy feeling while watching, so for me, that's saying something. Visually it's also a great experience, as the costuming and stage presentations are quite colorful. The dynamic among the characters is also compelling enough to keep one's attention, right up until the final curtain.
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Looking at the some of the main cast for this movies; Beyoncé Knowles, Jamine Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Danny Glover, I really thought "this is going to be good!" and that is exactly how it started. We are first introduced to the 3 beautiful ebony girls, Effie, Deena & Lorrell, whom are fighting to make a career within the music industry. The story quickly picks up as the girls get a manager, goes on a tour with the already established artist James Early, and while fighting against the racial discrimination of the 1960's America ends up breaking though on national radio and TV. We follow the girls from their early beginnings in the ghetto, on their way to fame, but the road is not without its bumps, as different ambitions, managers, internal intrigues, and love-affairs all play a role in making this road especially hard. Now, the plot and story seems quite good the cast looks good so what is the problem: Is this a musical or an regular movie? I have no idea.The initial 30-40mins of the movie was quite pleasing, acting is good, and the music is used on stage or in recording studios, and compliments the store and regular dialogue quite well. But at some point the characters turn from talking to each other, to instead singing to each other. And at this point the story starts to get confusing, the music feels forced, and unpleasant. This goes on for quite a while, and peaks with a 15min nonstop song that is so bad that I actually turned down the sound of my TV, so I could still be in the room. Coming towards the ending of the movie, the musical theme fades out, dialogue is once again used, and music in once again used as music.This shifting between regular movie/musical/regular movie, is really confusing, and it breaks apart the story to a level where I just don't care about it anymore it's highly annoying. maybe it makes more sense if you watch it again, but honestly I don't feel like watching it again, ever.
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Dreamgirls (2006): Dir: Bill Condon / Cast: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy, Beyonce Knowles, Danny Glover: Provocative musical about fame and disappointment. Jamie Foxx plays a record producer who signs three woman as backup singers. Director Bill Condo highlights the film with courageous musical numbers as well as showcase R & B and soul music with racial elements within the industry. Foxx is excellent as a charming producer whose motives are questionable and sincerity lingers. He uses seduction and false promises of fame and fortune to lure talent towards his benefit. Jennifer Hudson makes an impressive debut as a gifted front singer who is demoted to backup in favor of women of less weight and greater sex appeal. She will set out to prove that she is the more gifted vocally and that talent should be rewarded. Beyonce Knowles plays a new singer whom Foxx becomes involved with and attempts to control. Eddie Murphy plays soul singer Jimmy Early who demands recognition as an innovator. This is Murphy at his very best as he combines humour with soul music but ultimately gets caught up on drugs. Danny Glover plays Early's manager until Foxx enters the scene. Now Glover turns to managing Hudson. They are involved in the corrupt worldview of music, fame and the price paid to place dreams in the wrong hands. Score: 10 / 10
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The Supremes deserve a lot better.Dreamgirls is largely based on the story of The Supremes, the ground-breaking Motown group. However, the movie does them no justice. All the music in the movie was written especially for the movie. So you don't have any recognisable 60s songs. Plus, the songs are quite dull and don't really capture the sound of the 60s or of Motown.Throw in a rather linear script and unimaginative direction and the movie is nothing special. Plus, in a movie filled with musical performances, the director has random music-instead-of-acting scenes, like in a musical. It just seemed like overkill and totally unnecessary.Decent performances though. Eddie Murphy got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Not sure she deserved it though - she was good, but not THAT good. Then again, there wasn't much competition in that category in 2007.