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Angela Dec 8, 2007 (edited Dec 14, 2007)

By "Enchanted," natch.  Pretty great movie.  The hand-drawn animated parts are beautiful, as brief as they are, and the live performances are strong and extremely well-acted.  Amy Adams plays Giselle so sweetly, and it's enjoyable seeing James "Cyclops" Marsden in such an over-the-top hammy role.  Most importantly, I think I've become a heartthrob fan of Dempsey's as of today. :D  The film weaves a whole boatload of Disney homages and slight parodies, yet does so deftly enough as to never intrude on the overarching story.  The story itself is predictably linear, but its telling and presentation is so good that it leaves you feeling emotionally satisfied by the end; it ain't easy to get me to cry in a film, but more than once had the waterworks turned on for a few genuine leaks.

And the music score?  Catchy, fun stuff.  With highly influential orchestral overtones, combined with a few light sprinklings of modern pop elements here and there, Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz have drummed up some pretty excellent thematic material.  The "True Love's Kiss" main theme is awfully infectious, but it's the big musical number "That's How You Know" that's convinced me to go buy the soundtrack.  I also wouldn't say no to what I'm hoping is that deliciously dark, choir-filled piece in "Narissa Arrives."  :)

allyourbaseare Dec 10, 2007

Glad I'm not the only one who felt this way!

I was roped into seeing the flick with my family who came down for Thanksgiving.  It's okay, 'cause the wife wanted to see it anways.  I went in with shields up and about 1/2 way through the movie, I actually found myself laughing and enjoying myself.  Props for Disney not taking themselves too seriously.  Jeers for the absolutely hideous Susan Sarandon.  Blech.

Angela Dec 11, 2007

I didn't think Sarandon was that bad.  She played her role as the stereotypical villainess pretty well, and she was an accurate portrayal of a real-life Maleficent through and through.  One of my favorite parts in the movie was when <BIG OL' SPOILER> she was trying to persuade Giselle to eat the poisoned apple at the ball, and she did that creepy-yet-hilarious tongue flitting bit.  That one brief shot had me in stitches. ;P

Actually, if there was one character that annoyed me to a certain degree, it was Pip.  He's great for the kids, but his constantly hyper-active personality became obnoxious.  I was actually rooting for Nathaniel to squash the little bugger.  (Timothy Spall was awesome here, by the way.  Can't wait to see him in Sweeney Todd.  ^_^)

allyourbaseare Dec 13, 2007

Yeah, the squirrel was probably there for the kids sake. 

When the movie first started and it was animated, my mom's husband said "is it going to be like this for the whole movie?!" and I just about lost it.  He ended up having a good time too, but probably not as much as me and my wife.  It was refreshingly nice to see a good-spirited Disney flick.  I haven't seen any sort of fairy-tale in a while.

XLord007 Dec 15, 2007

allyourbaseare wrote:

I haven't seen any sort of fairy-tale in a while.

Watch Pushing Daisies.

Angela Dec 17, 2007

XLord007 wrote:

Watch Pushing Daisies.

Speaking of Kristin Chenoweth, I just picked up her 2005 album, "As I Am," and I'm enjoying it immensely - a lot more than her Broadway-style debut CD "Let It Go."  It's much more gospel-geared, more contemporary, and generally more pleasing, both lyrically and melodically.  Her coloratura soprano voice handles both covers and original material with superb finesse.

Angela Jan 6, 2008 (edited Apr 17, 2008)

Got a chance to more fully listen to the Enchanted soundtrack.  It's pretty great; it's got the three big musical numbers (True Love's Kiss, The Happy Working Song, That's How You Know), the full version of Carrie Underwood's Ever Ever After (in the film, it's a bit truncated for the ending sequences), the romantic dance number "So Close," and even the complete version of Marsden's rendition of "That's Amore." (Which serves more as a five second afterthought as played in the film.... but here, is sounding quite excellent.)

I find myself enjoying Menken's score very much, especially the darker Narissa Theme cues; the big showdown sequence in "Storybook Ending" really lets loose some ferociously incredible choir-induced performances of her theme.  I like that they re-inserted the True Love's Kiss and Ever Ever After melodies back into "Girls Go Shopping" - in the film, it was a pretty short cue and lacking said melodies.  And "Enchanted Suite," which serves as the perfect bookending end credits, is worth the price of soundtrack admission alone.

As for the order of the tracks themselves, as convenient as it is to have all the musical numbers first, I still prefer my listening experience of the movie in its original chronological order.  For anyone who's cares, I've re-shuffled the tracks into their proper places, as heard in film:

---

01 TRUE LOVE'S KISS (Amy Adams, James Marsden)
02 Andalasia
03 Into The Well
04 HAPPY WORKING SONG (Amy Adams)
05 Robert Says Goodbye
06 THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW (Amy Adams)
07 Nathaniel & Pip
08 THAT'S AMORE (James Marsden)
09 Prince Edward's Search
10 Girls Go Shopping
11 Narissa Arrives
12 SO CLOSE (Jon McLauglin)
13 Storybook Ending
14 EVER EVER AFTER (Carrie Underwood)
15 Enchanted Suite

Angela Apr 16, 2008

Ahh, I almost never bother with multi-language tracks, but I just had to rip the Spanish and French musical numbers from Enchanted.  Of the five numbers, only "Ever Ever After" remained undubbed, so I didn't bother to include it here.

Enchanted - International Tracks:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AB0Y685H
   
Personally, I like the Spanish versions more, since the vocalist generally sounds better and is closer to Amy Adams in tonality.  And for some odd reason, the French tracks don't sound quite as crisp and sharp in the sound mastering.

Adam Corn Apr 17, 2008

Watched this on the first of the month since it had just come to Japanese theaters and I needed something to see.  (Movies are priced at about half their normal, ridiculous price on the first of every month here.)

It's too bad an otherwise good movie is spoiled by such an awful ending.  The sappy animated intro I can forgive as it is essential for the live action bulk of the movie to really click.  From approximately the emergence of the live action witch (didn't even realize it was Sarandon till the credits) it goes rapidly downhill though, becoming very like the sort of cliched slush it parodies so well until then.

That said the middle two-thirds is surprisingly entertaining, particular James Marsden who despite once again getting a "never gets the girl" role hams it up hilariously as the out-of-his-element prince.  (The peasants line is classic.)  After this and Hairspray I am becoming a fan and would be interested in seeing him in a role with some meat to it.

I've never been a fan of Alan Menken's work in musicals but wouldn't mind giving the score a shot.

Angela Apr 17, 2008 (edited Jun 19, 2008)

Adam Corn wrote:

That said the middle two-thirds is surprisingly entertaining, particular James Marsden who despite once again getting a "never gets the girl" role hams it up hilariously as the out-of-his-element prince.  (The peasants line is classic.)  After this and Hairspray I am becoming a fan and would be interested in seeing him in a role with some meat to it.

Yeah, Marsden was pretty awesome in both Hairspray and Enchanted.  I think he takes everybody by surprise with his apparent Broadway vocal talent.  Though he may not have been the most prominent star in either film, he was certainly one of the most memorable.  I always get a kick out of his effeminate "Oh, Giselle!" proclamation in Enchanted.  ^_^

I've never been a fan of Alan Menken's work in musicals but wouldn't mind giving the score a shot.

It's fast become my most favorite work of Menken's, and given the man's that's saying a lot.  I did up a recording edit of the amazing "Enchanted Suite", where I spliced together where the CD version ends and the film version picks up (there's about four additional minutes of music that make up the credits in the film), bumping the run time to eight minutes.

The suite features the melodies in the following order: That's How You Know, Happy Working Song, True Love's Kiss, So Close, Ever Ever After -- and then borrows from the cues Prince Edward's Search, Robert Says Goodbye, Into The Well, and a new rendition of True Love's Kiss for the finale. 

Crystal, thanks for the heads-up on the Japanese CD release!  I'm certainly going to pick it up for those new Japanese tracks.

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