Blu-Ray Review: Little Shop of Horrors (1986) Director’s Cut

Director: Frank Oz
Screenplay: Howard Ashman
Based on a film written by: Charles B. Griffith
Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin, Vincent Gardenia, Bill Murray, Levi Stubbs
Country: USA
Running Time: 94 min (theatrical cut) 103 min (director’s cut)
Year: 1986
BBFC Certificate: PG

I think I’ve mentioned this in a review before, but I’m not the biggest fan of musicals. I love music and love films, but putting them together too blatantly doesn’t always work for me. I think it’s mainly the stereotypical squeaky clean Rodgers and Hammerstein style that I don’t go for though as there are a couple of musicals I truly adore. Singin’ in the Rain is one of them and another is Little Shop of Horrors. The more often I watch it, the more I come to feel it’s my favourite musical. Yet it’s a film that’s largely only ever been available to watch in a form not originally intended by its director. Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors was written and first shot with a particularly downbeat ending in line with the original short story, non-musical Roger Corman film and off-Broadway stage version. However, the bleak finale didn’t go down well with test audiences and the producers forced Oz to re-edit and reshoot the ending to be much more sugary.

Now I’ve never had a problem with the happy ending I’d seen several times previously, even though I was aware of how it originally concluded. Nevertheless, I was always intrigued to see Oz’s intended version of the film and my wish has been granted by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment who have released Little Shop of Horrors in a Premium Collection version, complete with the director’s cut, which is what I chose to watch for this review.

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Oscar Hosts 2011: Hathaway and Franco. Yay!

Though I get less and less excited for the Oscars with each passing year I still find myself discussing the awards show incessantly and always look forward to nominees and announcements surrounding the show. At the very least it’s fun to bash this or that about the actual production of the Awards Ceremony the next day. Almost universally the main topic is how well did the host(s) do with keeping everything fun, fresh and moving along.

This year we’ll be treated to two young hosts dazzling us with their stage presence: James Franco and the quite fetching Anne Hathaway. Both seem to be reaching quite a high point in their careers and both are uber charismatic, charming and easy on the eyes. Both have appeared on the telecast before (not as hosts) and I remember quite fondly Hathaway’s singing and dancing with host Hugh Jackman a couple of years back – to quite positive reviews if I remember correctly.

So I think this is quite an excellent choice the more I think about it. They’re both funny, quirky, goofy, at times quite odd and extremely talented people, they should get the young crowd interested in watching and having two hosts rather than one (as it was last year with Martin and Baldwin) should give opportunity for some light banter and go between. To the best of my knowledge, the two haven’t worked together in a feature film before, but they strike me as a couple that will instantly hit it off with chemistry and pizzaz.

But I think an interesting question is how will this play in to their potential as being nominees (especially Franco) in the same year they are hosting? Will it hurt their chances? Does it matter? Will it be awkward on stage or will they use that angle to their comedic advantage? Should be fun!

So is this is a good fit for the always evolving Oscars or should they just have gone back and gotten Billy Crystal to host again?

Thanks for the heads up Kurt, [via]

Sam Jones: A-Listers in their Element

Take a close look at Sam Jones’ photos and you’ll notice a common theme. Each of these major movie stars are posing as if they’re part of a scene. Whether it’s Steve Carell trying to stand inconspicuously in his patterned suit or it’s Steve Martin walking nonchalantly through a mine of banana peels, these actors agreed to create a story for a single snapshot. What Sam Jones does so well is captures these actors in a raw and real way. He brings out their God given personalities and makes them shine.


a bunch more under the seats…
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Steve Martin is Back to Hosting the Oscars… with Tag Team Partner Alec Baldwin!

News out of Variety a few moments ago is that Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin have accepted the honor of hosting the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Martin has hosted a couple of times before and this will be a first time role for Baldwin. I think the choice to revert to someone tried, true and trusted and stick him with the new guys who is on fire as of late in terms of comedy is a great choice. Hugh Jackman was fine last year – quite great actually – but I think these two together are going to be make for an infinitely more entertaining show than anything from the past several years.