Live Action (Short Subject) Nominees
The Brand New Testament

Sing

sing-posterI’m a big fan of The Voice. I watched American Idol. I love musicals. The trailer for Sing looked awesome. And then I saw the movie. And I was bummed. The elements were all there for greatness (or at least very goodness), but it doesn’t come close to reaching its potential. In fact, I was bored for a big chunk of Sing, especially when the menagerie of animated pop-star wannabes weren’t singing. That’s not to say it won’t do (extremely) well at the box office. It will. It’s like The Secret Life of Pets (from the same studio, Universal Pictures/Illumination Entertainment). Pets wasn’t very good, but I’m convinced that kids and adults had psyched themselves up to like it – no matter what — based on the cute trailer and premise. The same will be true with Sing. Enough people will see it – and sing its praises – to put me in the minority. So go ahead. See it, and weigh in! I’m listening!

Here’s the gist: In a city populated by animals with humanistic qualities, a cash-strapped koala named Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) holds a singing competition in an effort to save his beloved theater and restore it to its former glory. The promise of a $100,000 grand prize (because of a major typo on the promotional flyers) lures a random mix of animals/dreamers to the try-outs. They include: Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), an overworked mother to 25 piglets who gets paired up with a flamboyant dancing pig named Gunter (Nick Kroll); Mike (Seth MacFarlane), an arrogant mouse who can croon like Sinatra; Ash (Scarlett Johannson), a punk-rocker porcupine with a loser boyfriend; Meena (Tori Kelly) a teenage elephant with power vocals – and stage fright; and Johnny (Taron Egerton), a mountain gorilla who loves to sing but is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a gang leader. As the competition is about to get underway, there’s a mishap with the theater. It looks like there’s no way the show can go on, and you can forget about the prize money. But, hey, this is the movies. The animals will surely come together to save the theater because it’s not really about the money. It’s about the music, and following your passion! Cue the applause!

Sing has some funny lines, cute characters, sweet moments, and a few solid musical numbers. But the movie as a whole is a hot mess. The montage of auditions that you see in the trailer is, for the most part, one scene in the movie. That’s a cinematic foul in my book. I’ve said it before this year, and I’ll say it again: Zootopia is so much better.

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