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26 January 2009 @ 01:49 pm
Jesus Christ Superstar 2000...kinda sucks.  
So I'm watching Jesus Christ Superstar 2000, a remake/update of the musical that throws away all the elements of 60s/70s kitsch that makes or breaks (depending on your point of view) the 1970s film. Judas is about to betray Jesus.

So far, it kinda sucks.

The characters just seem incredibly off. Judas, instead of being frustrated by his inability to protect Jesus, just comes off as a jerk. He's your stereotypical baddie. His vocals also suck. He's very...inconsistent. How to say it? When he sings, it isn't smooth. It jerks out of his throat, like he's choking on his words, instead of casting them out. It isn't a beautiful sound. It's whiny and over-acting. Right now he's running around the stage in circles while the Pharisees are just ignoring him. That moments actually pretty funny, but I don't think it was meant to be. Nope, now it's back to lame.

The High Priests aren't bad though. The way they all move as a unit is downright creepy.

I'm waiting for Jesus' big song Gethsemene. So far, Jesus comes off as a rock star who shot to fame too suddenly and now he doesn't know what to do. He's confused, but not about his mission or the choices he must make. He just seems baffled by human nature and the people around him. Isn't that the one thing Jesus shouldn't be? He's too clean-looking, with golden curls and angelic face straight out of painting by Raphael.

Granted, I love the 1974 movie with Carl Anderson and Ted Neely. The 70s camp is just sets my heart a-pounding. I love it. I like the folksy/bluesy way Mary Magdalene sings her songs, and I think Ted Neely nailed Jesus. Jesus' obvious conflict with the message he's trying to preach and the way his disciples are interpreting it is revealed in very evident frustration, and the internal struggle to follow this path God has set up for him always gets to me.
Speaking of Jesus. He's stomping around the set angrily while the apostles are groping him. It's so awkward. The movie's filmed on a stage set, so everybody is very constrained because they have nowhere to go.
Back to Ted Neely and the 1974 film. Yeah, the hippies are ridiculously over-the-top, but who isn't madly in love with the fringes at the end, right?

Also, it sounds like they've slowed the singing down for the 2000 film. Everyone's over-enunciating. Maybe that's a good thing - when I was a kid I couldn't understand half of what Carl Anderson sang - but it just seems so shout-y.
Yeesh, they're overacting SO MUCH IT'S PAINFUL.

OK, if Gethsemene isn't good, I'm stopping the film. It's awful.

Waiting...
waiting...

While I wait, I shold mention that people are constantly crying and its SO ANNOYING. A couple of people have noted that the stage actors were also used for the film, so that's probably why everything is so over-the-top.

OK. Glenn Carter is a pretty singer, very nice on the ears, but there's no emotion behind this song, that should this showdown between Jesus and God. I mean, he could be singing about rosebuds and flying birds and it would have about the same emotional impact. It sounds nice, but there's no depth.
But at least it sounds nice. Judas sounds horrible. Magdalene was flat.


This probably isn't very interesting to anyone but me. I'm turning the DVD off and wandering away.