From Skip and Setter’s Creator: New Year’s Movie Resolutions

Blog Sketch of Me 092213Hi, everyone. Just want to wish all of my followers and anyone else who has checked out my blog a happy and healthy New Year. I have a number of cinematic resolutions that I mean to adhere to for 2014, and though that’s easier said than done, I believe they’re basic enough so as to preclude any straying. Here they are:

Resolution #1: to refrain from counting aloud the inordinate number of previews shown before movie viewings at any theater

Resolution #2: to keep guffaws to a minimum while watching trailers for any feudal-Japan-set film with an American protagonist who has been enslaved or recruited by samurai who need him to fight some sort of ludicrous supernatural enemy

Resolution #3: to smirk only briefly at every ad touting a new stage musical based on a flick that wasn’t so good to begin with

Resolution #4: to continue to praise unsung motion pictures and criticize overrated ones

Resolution #5: to avoid any concert films starring bands or “artists” who raise their hands while they sing

Resolution #6: to run far, far away from 3-D flicks about flash mobs, dance contests or zombies

Resolution #7: to eschew the butter-flavored topping on my popcorn during at least one trip to the cinema

Resolution #8: to lament the dearth of $2 second-run movie theaters in my area

Resolution #9: to shun animated films about polar bears, talking birds or prehistoric hominids

Resolution #10: to watch as many good movies as I can

Setter’s ‘Spectives: Let’s Put On a Movie-Inspired Show!

Setter Drawing for Blog 082613Do you remember the (sometimes) good old days when Hollywood turned Broadway musicals into motion pictures?

Yes, we still get that to some extent with Chicago, Phantom and others of their ilk. But, uh …

Well, but. It’s not the same, is it?

Definitely not the same is the trend to turn motion pictures into Broadway musicals. The Lion King is one example. Another’s Newsies. Even My Favorite Year got into the stagebound act (terribly, I might add).

What are we going to say about the cinema 20 years from now? “Hey, where were you when the film of the musical based on the movie The Producers came out?”

I know how I’d respond: “Me? I was watching the film of the opera based on the Beaumarchais play The Marriage of Figaro at the Met. After that, we ate at the restaurant spun off the novel based on theĀ  video game inspired by … ”

Blah, blah, blah.

There’s something truly uninspired about creating a play or musical based on a movie–especially if the original’s a good one. Film’s not like theater; it’s permanent, constant. Actors don’t flub lines one night and get them perfectly the next. You’ve got a completed work.

So if the source movie’s good–as is the case with My Favorite Year and The Producers–why bother translating it for the stage? Shouldn’t we consider ourselves lucky that we have a film we can always return to, laugh at, quote the lines from? And isn’t that one of the main reasons why we can watch great movies over and over again … because we know them like we know our significant others, our families, our friends?

Because they never change?

That’s why I’m not interested in seeing any more Broadway shows based on films. The theater begs for interpretation, transformation; movies don’t. I’ll watch the motion picture version of Sunset Boulevard, not the musical, thank you very much. Because the latter, like so many of its kind, just isn’t ready for its close-up.