Friday, November 19, 2010

Hard Candy Christmas: BURLESQUE

It's been a tough year for Xtina. She shot out of the cannon with her self titled album BIONIC and had to watch it turn into a massive pile of pop carnage. Then, following Madonna's lead, booted her hot husband to the curb, so she could get her party on. She went from "kissing all the boys and the uughhh..." to kissing all the boys and the SamRo". Then she got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and nobody cared. Now she has to suffer through a hard candy Christmas. BURLESQUE opens nationwide and it's enough to make one not believe in Santa Claus.

I have only had one experience with real live Burlesque. I am not a fan of girl parts in my face or in my surroundings, but one of my good friends had enrolled in a Burlesque class and asked me to come to her recital. I was nervous. I was actually sweating, because I found out that all the girls went topless with pasties of course, but that is at the line of too much for me. Once it was over, I felt this immense joy and pleasure. It takes a very brave and talented person to go up on stage and reveal themselves so much in front of an audience. It was empowering, respectable and most importantly entertaining. Three things that cannot be found in BURLESQUE.
From the moment the movie was announced there has been an air of "UGH" floating around it. From the cheap ass movie poster, to the lackluster preview, the movie seemed plagued by the GLITTER locust. Vanity never looks good on anyone, even if you are wearing lacy bloomers and a pearl necklace dress. I am always one to watch the movie first before forming an opinion about it and I honestly thought it would pay off regardless of how the movie ended up. It could fall into the Glitter world and be totally awful, but legendary and all the blame fall on Xtina's shoulder. Or it could go the way of SHOWGIRLS (fingers crossed!) and be a big budget camptastic mess of a movie, but the blame be pointed at everyone in the film. Sadly, BURLESQUE becomes an enigma of bad movie making. It falls somewhere in the middle.

While it is certainly vain enough, it does not even compare to the Mariah. The supporting cast made up of likable characters played by Kristen Bell (who could have stolen the movie if her scenes hadn't been cut) and Stanley Tucci. No one in GLITTER was likable, including Mariah's mom. On the other hand, the supporting cast of SHOWGIRLS including Gina Gershon and Glenn Plummer are so unlikeable that you kinda fall in love with their awfulness. At least they are interesting. Verhoeven (never scared of a run time) let the characters develop within the realm of the SHOWGIRLS universe. BURLESQUE doesn't give you that option.
Instead you are forced to sit through cookie cutter versions of movie characters you have seen a millions time and will see a million times again.

Then there is the love interest. Think Jake Shears, but not cute or hot. He is hot if you like your men with hourglass fiugres. He looks like he weighs about 4 pounds and Xtina's boobs would crush him if she tried to do the diiiirty with him. He is boring and loves black eye liner and Famous Amos cookies. Ever eat cookies that have been around someone's dick. Maybe after a shower or something, but come on! Give me Zack tossing Nomi around in a pool any day. That is sexy!

Most of the blame can be placed on Steve Antin, who wrote and directed the film. I like to think that he had an epic masterpiece about sisterhood and claiming your own sexuality, but the studio made him chop it to bits for mass consumption. I am willing to give Antin a break cuz it is his first movie, but there are things that must be spoken of. The editing is monstrous. There is literally two times were the screen just goes black for a good 5 seconds and the scene changes. I think the movie is suppose to take place within the time limits of one month, but it is like the busiest month EVER!!! Let's see what happens in 31 days.
These are all calucated averages.
Cher (we will get to her) finds out that she is going to lose her house of Burlesque: 1 day.
Xtina quits her job, packs her bags and travels from Iowa to L.A. by bus: 4 days.
Xtina gets to L.A. and gets an apartment and starts looking for work ala Dolly in STRAIGHT TALK; 7 days.
Xtina discovers an underground club where girls stick their butts up in the air and forces herself in the workplace: 2 days.
Xtina reads all the books on Burlesque that she can find: 14 days.
Nerd Girl loses a contact on stage and has to find it: 1 day.
Prego girl goes from tossing up burritos in the toilet to 8 months pregnant: roughly 200 days.
ALL WITHIN A MONTH!!! And Xtina hasn't even performed yet. Something is off. Someone wasn't paying attention. Even if Cher had four months to save her club, the time line is still way off. As that sign in the corn maze at the pumpkin patch so adequately states DON'T GET CORNFUSED.

Okay, let's dish. Cher is God. She can do no wrong. She is absolutely flawless in this movie. She seems to know what she has gotten herself into and just goes with it. She can at least get a Golden Globe out of this movie or something. If she can get a remix of her big ballad, she might find herself with a hit song. Cher will come out on top like she always does. She is graceful and giving in the film and you never ever think that she might just hate Xtina. I don't know if she does or not. We most likely will never know. A true diva.

The worst part of Burlesque are the tired (like go to bed tired) musical numbers. Everything is something we have all seen before. Two segments are just regurgitated PussyCat Dolls videos and for a musical there is a lot of sitting around and singing. If you are going to make us sit through a musical you better bring something to the table like Moulin Rouge or Chicago. AND don't even get me started on DREAMGIRLS. DGS did it right, bitches. AND one number for BURLESQUE steals from DGS! DEENA JONES TAKE THE WHEEL!

In a last ditch effort to create some buzz about the movie, the marketing team eyed their last hope. The GAYS. Thank Deena for the GAYS. For Cher we will do anything. But sadly, there is a chunk of the movie that the screen is devoid of Cher. WHERE ARE YOU? The gays screamed. She whispered back, "I am always here. I live in you. I will be with you long after this movie is long forgotten." I can rest easy.

And that is truly the worst part of BURLESQUE. It is just so forgettable. People still watch GLITTER. People STILL act out moments from DREAMGIRLS (well some of us do) and we all certainly go into SHOWGIRLS mode anytime we are around a slot machine or a swimming pool.

Life is a struggle. Cinema is suppose to be there to guide us through life and help us. Whether it is to escape reality for a fleeting moment or to change a perspective or attitude toward an idea. Film has the power to move us the way that no other art form can. And in this day and age of candy taxes, huge cell phone bills and 8 dollar cocktails, we have to be smart when it comes to picking a movie to shell out 12 bucks for. BURLESQUE feels like it was made for cattle. Just release the shit, herd the audience in, get them situated and silent (good luck with the trend of bringing babies to the movies) and start the movie. Then it is over, herd the audience out and wait for the next weekend for another piece of garbage to come out and the process starts all over again. Luck is on Xtina's side. BURLESQUE will not go down in history as the worst movie of 2010, that honor has already been awarded to SEX AND THE CITY 2: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS....and ends.

Xtina shouts at the audience in the last musical number, "SHOW ME HOW YOU BURLESQUE!" I will show you how, by taking Bionic off my Ipod.

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