Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Newsies

Disney's 1992 film of the Newsies musical is directed by Kenny Ortega and stars Christian Bale, Robert Duvall and Ann-Margaret.

Image result for newsies movie

It tells the story of New York paperboys who go on strike after Pulitzer tries to up the price on their papers.  The boys are already dirt poor and insist that if they band together under the leadership of the charismatic Jack Kelly (Christian Bale) they will be able to stick it to the man and preserve some dignity.

This was a pretty good musical, though not the best I've ever seen.  It was more or less light hearted at most times and had the characteristic romp-style of 90s Disney musicals.  The music itself was better than anything you'd hear at a high school musical, but not necessarily Broadway quality, though film versions of Broadway productions never are I suppose (*cough cough* Les Mis).

Christian Bale is a fantastic actor I really love so every time he was on screen I was pretty captivated, and he had a fairly good New York accent.  Every single movie I have ever seen Christian Bale in, he has a different accent: Cockney accent in The Prestige, American accent in The Big Short, Batman accent in the Batman movies, etc.  It's pretty impressive in my opinion!

Image result for christian bale dancing gif newsies

Sadly, Christian Bale can't really impersonate a good singer--his voice strains to reach the high notes.  I liked to listen to the music anyway and the lyrics were pretty nice, especially in Santa Fe.  That song really made me sympathetic to Jack Kelly's character and I (spoiler) caught onto the fact that his parents weren't waiting for him in Santa Fe pretty early--I knew they must have been dead or otherwise incapacitated and were never coming back.

Christian Bale also has a hilarious random dance section all by himself which I couldn't take seriously at all during the middle of his solo, Santa Fe.  I kept picturing him in his other roles and imagining characters like Borden and Batman doing those crazy moves.

Image result for christian bale dancing gif newsies

The songs were high energy with lots of Disney-esque dancing that I think would definitely be memorizing for kids and very energizing.  The music is not the best I've ever heard, but songs like King of New York, Santa Fe, Seize the Day, and The World Will Know were toe-tappers and they are now on my musical theater Spotify playlist.

The greatest strength of this movie is the likability of the newsies and the strong urge to root for their success. 

Here's my rating of all the songs in this film after seeing it once:

  1. Santa Fe
  2. The World Will Know
  3. King of New York
  4. Seize the Day
  5. Santa Fe (reprise)
  6. The World Will Know (reprise)
  7. Seize the Day (chorale)
  8. Once and For All
  9. Carrying the Banner
  10. Carrying the Banner (finale)
  11. Rooftop
  12. Fightin' Irish (Strike Action)
  13. Prologue
  14. Escape from Snyder
  15. High Times, Hard Times
  16. My Lovey-Dovey Baby
Image result for dancing gif newsies


(Pssssst!  Don't forget: Christopher Nolan week starts this Friday!!!!)

2 comments:

  1. I love Newsies! You're right in that it's not the greatest musical of all time, but I really like the stories, and the characters had my sympathies from the beginning. I also guessed about Jack's parents... just something about him seemed so sad.

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    1. Yeah, plus all his white lies he kept telling to his friends in order to make himself seem really cool sort of gave away that he was hiding something sad or embarrassing (like being a poor orphan).

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