Musicals

Cinderella (1950), by Albert W. Vogt III

After watching all the Rocky/Creed films, what more logical selection would there be to follow them than Disney’s original animated classic Cinderella (1950).  As I have indicated in reviews of other examples from the golden age of Disney animation, their magic is almost entirely lost on me.  For instance, when I go to the Magic Kingdom and I see the title…

La La Land, by Albert W. Vogt III

La La Land (2016) is a musical that I have seen.  The end.  Thank you for reading!  Please subscribe to The Legionnaire! I am kidding, of course, though not about seeing La La Land, unfortunately.  That part is sadly true.  My distaste for this particular musical goes beyond its format.  It is not that everyone was all about it for the two seconds of…

In the Heights (Part 3), by Albert W. Vogt III

If my distaste for musicals is well-documented, so too was a late friend of mine’s love for them.  Actually, in the nearly thirty years I knew him, and living with him for the past ten, I learned that there were limits to his affections for this genre.  He was not keen on the more modern stuff, and…

Cyrano, by Albert W. Vogt III

What is worse than a musical?  A historical musical.  There are a few removes to be explained.  First, Cyrano (2021) is a recent film based on a play written in 1897 called Cyrano de Bergerac, which is a fictionalized biographical work about a real seventeenth century French novelist of the same name.  Confused yet?  And for some mad reason some mad person decided…

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, by Albert W. Vogt III

Before you go thinking that I am getting soft on Disney, let me offer to you some valid reasons for watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).  Foremost, it was the first color anything to be shown in movie theaters.  Think about that for a second.  Today, we take for granted that what we see on the screen is…

Pocahontas, by Albert W. Vogt III

It may seem counterproductive to praise somebody else for somewhat similar work, but earlier today I saw Screen Junkies’ “Honest Trailer” for Pocahontas (1995).  It was fantastic.  The review, I mean, not the film.  The movie is every bit the steaming pile of hot garbage I had heard it to be.  It was the “Honest Trailer” that inspired me to finally…

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, by Albert W. Vogt III

Now to once more dig into my favorite Disney films, and those are of the more obscure variety.  I have probably already explained this before, but back when the Disney Channel started, with cable television in its infancy (yes, I am that old), they had to find programming.  Lots and lots of programming.  During the day, when I…

Pitch Perfect 3, by Albert W. Vogt III

As stated in my review of Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), they should have ended the proceedings before getting to a trilogy.  I do not think I am alone in this opinion.  Not appearing in Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) is Jesse Swanson (Skylar Astin), main protagonist Beca Mitchell’s (Anna Kendrick) boyfriend in the first two movies.  A little research on this subject says…

Pitch Perfect 2, by Albert W. Vogt III

One of the more clichéd statements in cinematic history is that the first in a franchise, series, trilogy, or whatever you want to call it, is always the best.  I cannot argue against this statement, though there are examples of the subsequent entries living up to their predecessor.  The gold standard for this, of course, is the…

Pitch Perfect, by Albert W. Vogt III

Despite nearing 1,000 reviews on The Legionnaire, if you were to give me a film title, I could tell you whether or not there is a write up about it.  This is helped by the fact that I have posted each one with these tired old hands of mine.  I also pride myself on my ability to recall…

The Jazz Singer (1927), by Albert W. Vogt III

Common trivia will tell you that The Jazz Singer (1927) has the distinction of being the first motion picture featuring sound embedded into the film.  It is more typically referred to as the first talking movie.  Such factoids should come with an asterisk.  For much of the film’s runtime, it is of the silent variety.  It has a score, and text…

Going My Way, by Albert W. Vogt III

When I began The Legionnaire, one of my initial thoughts was to not talk about movies that are self-consciously Catholic.  My logic was to cover the ones that have nothing to do with my Faith in order to show how aspects of popular motion pictures can reveal Christianity.  Often, this takes some mental gymnastics, but the effort is…

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, by Albert W. Vogt III

A movie like Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) can tell you all you need to know about what Hollywood thinks of Catholicism.  It is not all bad.  It is not all good, either.  In fact, the majority of it is enough to make you clutch your Rosary beads just a little tighter in frustration.  On my dissertation committee…

The Muppet Movie, by Albert W. Vogt III

You have to hand it to Jim Henson, the guy was a genius.  Who would have thought that puppets could become as recognizable characters as has his Muppets.  I almost hate to say this, but what are essentially toys have gotten to the point where they are seen as real as you and I.  That is the way…

The Lion King (1994), by Albert W. Vogt III

Man, you would have thought Disney smeared poop on celluloid and sent it out to theaters for its loyal public to view when it released in 2019 the live-action version of the animated classic The Lion King (2019).  I did not see it, so I would not know.  Nor do such things stir me to any kind of emotion…

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), by Albert W. Vogt III

Two years ago my dad was watching Versailles (2015-2018), a dramatic Netflix series about the famous palace of the same name built by King Louis XIV of France.  It was my dad who introduced me to history, and many of the films we have watched together over the years have been of the historical variety.  After viewing them, our…

Fantasia, by Albert W. Vogt III

When it is late at night, especially on a Thursday or a Sunday, and I am grading, I like to find something that I can put on in the background.  I am not paying complete attention to it because my work is my priority.  What I want is something to look up at when my eyes need…

The Muppet Christmas Carol, by Albert W. Vogt III

One of the first live stage productions I remember seeing is Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol (1843).  What a lot of people do not seem to realize about this classic piece of Victorian literature is that it was originally published as a novella, not a play.  Of course, it was soon adapted for the stage, but not by its…

Sing 2, by Albert W. Vogt III

As I stood outside of the theater after Sing 2, my youngest niece asked me what I thought of the movie.  Ah, to have the innocence of an adolescent once again. . . .  I had to go back and see what I thought of Sing (2016), a film that I saw in preparation for the sequel that came out…

West Side Story (2021), by Albert W. Vogt III

Find me a William Shakespeare story that has not been given a modern twist.  Some of these include the more recent takes, like 1999’s 10 Things I Hate About You, which is the Bard’s Taming of the Shrew in a late, turn of the twenty-first century high school setting.  Perhaps the Elizabethan poet and playwright’s most iconic work is Romeo and…

Encanto, by Albert W. Vogt III

There was somewhat of a role reversal for The Legionnaire this past weekend.  Usually, Cameron would be the one to see the animated films given my distaste for them.  Yet, the past few days had another unusual twist in terms of my typical movie going experience: company.  Under normal circumstances, I will look forward to seeing a movie like House of…

The Producers (1967), by Albert W. Vogt III

Sometimes you have to make fun of history.  For a historian, I do this more than most of my colleagues.  It may not be the most professional thing to do, but every once in a while you have to let loose.  The past can be deadly serious, particularly World War II.  Why do I bring up World War II?  Because…

The Wizard of Oz, by Albert W. Vogt III

I am somewhat surprised that The Wizard of Oz (1939) has yet to be suggested.  It is one of the most familiar films of all time, and there are a lot of reasons for this fact.  For starters, it is one of the first color films in cinematic history.  That is quite the accomplishment, and would give it merit by…

Tangled, by Albert W. Vogt III

One thing I must hand to Disney for: their movies are usually short and to the point, even the musicals.  Lately, I find myself pressed for time in the evening.  Part of this is due to my desire to get back to watching Downton Abbey for the third time through, and also owing to an increasingly busy schedule.  Downton Abbey is…

Dear Evan Hansen, by Albert W. Vogt III

During my last stint as a youth minister, one night I received a phone call from my pastor.  This was not a usual occurrence, but he had been inspired by a musical he had just seen called Dear Evan Hansen.  What he wanted was for me to organize an outing for my ministry to go see it as…

In the Heights (Part 2), by Albert W. Vogt III

No, they have not already made a sequel to In the Heights.  The other night I got home from watching another run-of-the-mill Hollywood offering in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and wanted something special.  Because I have a subscription to HBO Max, I thought what could be better than In the Heights?  It is certainly the best movie I have seen so far…

In the Heights, by Albert W. Vogt III

Once more, for the record: I do not enjoy musicals.  Yet, I chose In the Heights this weekend because I figured it would be the biggest release of the weekend.  I mean, I suppose I could have seen Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, but since I never watched its predecessor, I thought I would be…

Beauty and the Beast (1991), by Albert W. Vogt III

Another classic Disney film I have never seen has fallen. This time it is Beauty and the Beast (1991). Actually, I saw Beauty and the Beast (2017) before, but I guess the live action version does not count. Because I am only a lukewarm Disney fan at best (despite my commercial habits), I never understood…

The Little Mermaid, by Albert W. Vogt III

The Little Mermaid (1989) is a good movie, but I do not care for it.  I feel like I need to tread carefully here because I have too many friends that love this movie, and the last thing I want to do is upset them.  But we all have those films, no?  The ones that everyone acknowledges is good…

Mary Poppins, by Albert W. Vogt III

Perhaps I reviewed them backwards, having done Saving Mr. Banks (2013) first. Oh well. I blame it on all of you, though I mean that in an entirely humorous fashion. I appreciate your suggestions, even if I do not always enjoy them as much as you do. But, as the old saying goes, there is…

The Sound of Music, by Albert W. Vogt III

When my sister and I were still in elementary school, our mother forced us to watch The Sound of Music (1965). We rented it from the video store and we were told that we had to sit down in front of the television for its entire three hours, or else. To this day, I am…

The Greatest Showman, by Albert W. Vogt III

After watching The Greatest Showman (2017), I went on YouTube and took in Screen Junkies “Honest Trailer” for the film. You can check it out here, and it is worth doing so. If you watch it before reading the rest of this review, then you might be in for a bit of repetition. Still, I…

Frozen II, by Albert W. Vogt III

Very soon into Frozen II, my friend Scott leaned over to me and said, “Holy *%#$ this is the Fifth Element.” It took all my powers of restraint to not laugh out loud at an inappropriate time in the movie. Essentially Elsa (Idina Menzel) is the Fifth Element, and with her powers she is the…