Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Die Munchkins, Die!!!!

We all know it. Some of us hate it.

The Wizard of Oz.

Yes, that's right. I hate The Wizard of Oz. Sue me.

To begin, it's a musical. And I don't like musicals. For the most part. LIttle Shop of Horrors is fun; I've seen a stage version, and the movie (Steve Martin as the dentist was brilliant). And Into The Woods had a good way of connecting and then tearing apart fairy tales, and how often do you see a tale where the narrator is killed halfway through the second act?

But this isn't about musicals in general. This is about Judy Garland as Dorothy in that damned classic film.

I first saw the film as a kid, and it wasn't until years later that I read the book. It was too late, of course. My loathing of the musical tainted my opinion of the book.

It's that wide eyed gee-golly sort of tone of the musical that infests the film. That's where the dislike starts. Then we have Judy Garland singing. And singing. And singing some more. And just when she's stopped singing, there's yet more singing. Enough with the damned singing!

And while we're at it,
that song...Over The Rainbow? Really overdone, if you ask me. She's singing it like it's an anthem. Overdoing the song to the point of murdering it. Whitney Houston took some lessons from the Judy Garland school of singing, which is to sing way the hell over the top.

The irony is that the song is actually fine in and of itself, if it's done in an understated way. I've heard it done many times by other singers, like Eva Cassidy or Jane Monheit, and it's done in an understated way. Apparently Judy never heard of understated. No, with her, it's all over the top.

Add in a bunch of munchkins (miserable lot of them, where are some orcs when you need them?), a witch getting crushed by a house (what did she ever do to deserve that?) and the unseen alternate ending in which Dorothy stays in Oz and has wild sex with the Scarecrow (you know that reel is out there somewhere), and you have a recipe for how to make my eyes roll.

It's not like I have something against classic movies. I love classic movies. Just not this one. I'm still convinced this one deserves a spot in the seventh circle of hell. Right beside Gone With The Wind.

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