Tag Archives: Madonna

The Set of 400: #181 – My Favorite Barehanded Catch

Today! Because this is what it’s going to be like in the factories, too, I suppose, isn’t it? The men are back, Rosie, turn in your rivets –

A League of Their Own (1992)

Directed by Penny Marshall

Starring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks (x3), Madonna (x3), Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn (x2), Garry Marshall (x3), Megan Cavanagh (x2), Anne Ramsay, Ann Cusack (x2), Tracy Reiner, Bitty Schram, Freddie Simpson, Renee Coleman, Bill Pullman (x3), Don S. Davis, Harry Shearer (x2), Tea Leoni (x2), Joey Slotnick, Eddie Mekka, Mark Holton (x3), David L. Lander (x2)

The best baseball movie ever made (take that, The Natural!) and the funniest (suck it, Major League!), A League of Their Own gave us so much – it was a long overdue history lesson about the WWII-era women’s professional baseball organization, the AAGPBL (that is a mouthful of an acronym, too); it’s an insight into the world back home during the great war and the unbelievable pressure on the wives and girlfriends stateside; it’s a riveting sports movie with many of the typical beats but executed at a very high level; it manages to swing expertly from hilarious to heartbreaking without losing any strength or momentum. And it’s ridiculously the third Madonna movie on this list, which I’m as amazed by as you are.

Who’s That Girl did not make the list!

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The Set of 400: #196 – My Favorite Faceless Villain

Today! Because for a tough guy you do a lot of pansy things –

Dick Tracy (1990)

Directed by Warren Beatty

Starring Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Madonna (x2), Glenne Headly (x2), Charlie Korsmo, Dustin Hoffman (x3), Paul Sorvino (x2), Mandy Patinkin (x2), Seymour Cassel (x2), Charles Durning, William Forsythe, James Tolkan (x2), James Caan (x2), Michael J. Pollard (x3), Kathy Bates (x3), Dick Van Dyke, Ed O’Ross, R.G. Armstrong, Catherine O’Hara (x2), John Schuck (x2), Charles Fleischer (x4), Henry Silva, James Keane, Frank Campanella, Allan Garfield, Colm Meaney (x2), Bert Remsen (x2), Estelle Parsons

Look, we all wanted Dick Tracy to be the second coming of Batman in the summer of 1990, and no one more than Warren Beatty. They were using these hyper-stylized, primary color posters and design schemes, and they packed the film with movie stars from the smallest bit roles to the leads. And so what if the movie doesn’t 100% work – there is so much obvious effort in every inch of this film that you can’t help but be impressed as hell.

It’s a film exploding with color, and bullets

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The Set of 400: #369 – My Favorite Descamisados

Today! Because oh, what I’d give for a hundred years, but the physical interferes –

Evita (1996)

Directed by Alan Parker

Starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Pryce, Jimmy Nail

Look, I get it, theater people – in a lot of ways, this movie is a jumble of bungled nothing. Like many modern musicals, it had to cast stars just to make the film, and movie stars don’t tend to have the voices to pull off even moderate singing, never mind borderline operatic Andrew Lloyd Webber/Stephen Sondheim type shows. The 2012 Les Miserables barely missed this list, it’s still sitting out there as #401 – I really like that movie, and it actually has a bunch of decent singers, but the Russell Crowe Javert just kills me. Same deal with Sweeney Todd, my favorite stage musical of all time, is just gutted by the warbling.

However, somehow, I think Evita manages to transcend this problem. First off, the production values are terrific – they really manage to pull this show off the stage and make it a movie. The opposite is a more prevalent problem with filmed versions of musicals (and a lot of plays) than not. Second, for what it is, Madonna’s voice works okay. Sure, if she didn’t have Banderas opposite her she might’ve looked worse, but because they’re both okay singers performing at around the same level, it stays a pretty steady, nice film. Continue reading

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