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4.2 out of 5 stars
Mamma Mia [Blu-ray] [2008] [US Import]
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337 of 360 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2008
My wife and I went to see this last week not sure what to expect and we came away really impressed. Objectively, it's a very well crafted film. The songs are used to great effect throughout in reflecting events and building the emotion of the storyline. The particular sequence just before the wedding is an unexpected series of emotional body-blows: I defy anyone with grown-up kids to resist empathising with the feelings being portrayed on screen. It certainly caught me out - middle-aged guy speaking - and my wife (along with numerous others) shed a tear. Streep in particular is wonderfully adept at bringing the lyrics to life. I found myself thinking anew about the meaning of lines from songs I've heard and sung along to many, many times before.

Looked at coldly, without knowing details of their musical 'credentials', the cast list is an unusual combination, but there's no doubt that this particular recipe works terrifically well on screen. To those who criticise Brosnan's singing - I think you've missed the point. This is not just a standard 'musical'. The guys, it seems to me, were chosen mainly for what they could bring to the roles as actors, not as lead singers. At no point before seeing the film was I expecting to be blown away by the guys singing, and at no point during the film did I feel disappointed by it either. Their singing is a delightful facet of their broader characters and far from detracting from the value of the film as a musical, actually makes it so much more enjoyable.

To sum up, I went to see it in ambivalent state of mind, fully prepared to come away with a so-so opinion of it. I have to admit Mamma Mia won me over, and as a result, for the first time in 30 years, we've been to see a film twice. It's an optimistic, life-affirming movie. The cynics can pull it to bits if they please, but the sheer, uncomplicated happiness it gives to the vast majority who've see it - including us - speaks volumes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I loved ABBA when I was a little girl and when I heard that Mamma Mia was the top-selling movie of 2008, I had to see what the fuss is about. It's about a young girl sending letters to three hopeful fathers so she can find out which one is the right one to give her away to her wedding. The singing and dancing is high in this, the actors using their unknown voices to feel happiness, sadness, raw emotion and feel-good numbers. Meryl Streep was brilliant, the three fathers (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Sarkgard) wern't the best singers of the world but they looked like they were having fun to care about it. Kids and adults should like and love this movie, nothing really harmful in it at all and there's even a singalong feature so you can do it without anyone hearing your voice! It's strongly recommended to see it, it might not be for everyone's taste but it is to me and I enjoyed every second like it was magic. A brilliant romantic musical, go and get it so you can enjoy the beautiful setting and the damn amazing songs to tap your feet to!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2008
When I saw the Mama Mia film I was certainly NOT disappointed! It was abolsutely brilliant. It had been classed as a "feel good happy film" and it was just that. Abba, of course, are the true singers of all their hits, but the cast did a splendid job with all the songs. It made me happy, sad, weepy, joyful. It takes a good comedian to make me laugh and laugh I did with the good comedy involved.

I have already ordered the Mama Mia DVD on-line for end of November and I know I will play it many many times. I felt so happy when I left the cinema. I can't understand the negative comments of reviewers but wholeheartedly agree with all the other reviewers' brilliant comments. I think the words of the songs were linked well with the story and the cast were top-notch in their individual parts.

Of course, the Greek beautiful island of Skopelos was amazing. Tourists will have already flocked there. I could just imagine myself being there, taking in the breath-taking beauty of the island and taking movie and camera clips. I have enjoyed listening to the Mama Mia soundtrack too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2008
First a short summary. This film is a musical that uses the songs of Abba as a backdrop to a story about a girl who invites 3 men, one of whom is her father, to her wedding on a Greek island. She doesn't tell her mother this so needless to say much fun ensues before the inevitable happy ending.
How could it fail? Thankfully it doesn't!

I hadn't seen the stage musical but that really doesn't matter as the film is very good on it's own merits.
The excellent supporting including Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard are all obviously having a ball. Perhaps the least said about some of their singing and dancing abilities the better!

The film is comedic most of the time though there are a few moving moments, especially a few dealing with the mother-daughter relationship.

I'll make one point that really struck me during the film. Given the bright and breezy nature of the story I found Meryl Streep's performance very intense. It wasn't like watching her in "Sophie's Choice" but she seemed to emphasise the regrets and sadness her character had about her life and parenting skills. I must add that this didn't take away from my enjoyment of the film, as it is never long before the next dance routine came up!

So if you want to have a laugh and sing along to Abba (if only to yourself) go and see Mamma Mia.
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94 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2008
What can I say about this great film. Mamma Mia! How can you resist it! Fantastic movie. If you've not already seen it, give it a go, it's the best 'feel good' film in a long time. If you've already seen it, then you know what I mean. I received my DVD yesterday and have watched it twice already. Maybe one day I'll get fed up of it, but don't know when!
The film may not be to everyone's taste, but good for most tastes. There's a bit of comedy, romance and sadness, with a good happy ending. Easy to watch too. Lovely setting. The well known stars live up to their reputation by giving a great performance. You don't have to be an Abba fan, but with most Abba tunes, can't help tapping your feet. Overall, a good watchable film.
The gift set was extra special with book and pen, a little souvenir, good for giving as a present.
My seller is recommendable, quick delivery of item, impressive, thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2008
You have to see this movie! I don't care who you are, what age, what gender, what musical preference. I remember listening to ABBA in the car with my Grandma and though I did enjoy the original versions (who wouldn't?) the accents threw me a little bit (like they can help it but you know). I have seen this film at the cinema 4 times. The absolute enthusiasm and feel good attitudes radiate from the start to the finish, and even the sad bits were brilliant, with Winner Takes It All tugging at the heart strings. It's true that the vocals aren't the strongest in the world, but you have to remember that these guys are not professional singers, they are actors having their own take on classics that they adore. It's a movie musical, not a stage musical, so I believe Pierce Brosnan can be forgiven. A fantastic movie that'll have you singing and dancing for weeks to come! So take a chance on this and you'll be the winner that takes it all!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2008
I don't like musicals, Meryl Streep or Abba but haven't seen a film for a long time which left me feeling so happy and upbeat. Apart from the first 10 mins when there is a lot of female screaming and I thought I had made a terrible mistake, it was great fun. Trust me and put up with that initial feeling that you should not have been persuaded to go to the cinema to see this. Meryl Streep is brilliant and can really blast out a song. Despite all the bad press for Brosnan's voice I feel his strained sounding voice is rather appropriate for the songs he has to sing. I went for the second time last Friday and I intend to buy the DVD as soon as it is available, so that I can secretly watch it in the privacy of my own home every week, until I get bored to death by it.
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153 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2008
Saw this film last night and thoroughly enjoyed it! Can't remember when I last saw a film at the cinema that had the whole audience buzzing, laughing and smiling by the end of it!

Fantastic cast, especially Meryl Streep and Julie Walters. Glossing over the fact that Pierce Brosnan sounded as though he was trying to sing while being strangled(!), I thought it was wonderful that he, Colin Firth (more eye candy!) and all the other big name cast members were quite happy to make themselves look as ridiculous as possible so that the comedy element wasn't compromised! Certainly looked like they all enjoyed making this film. Pure entertainment from start to finish!

I'd happily go see this again and can't wait for the DVD to come out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Many people don't seem to like Mamma Mia! very much but I found it captivating and a lot of fun. It obviously isn't meant to be deep or stand up to rigorous tests of plausibility, but who cares about a bit of contrivance when the water is this blue and the stars are throwing themselves into the roles with such gay abandon? The whole project is so likeable, with all the actors finding some humanity as well as charisma in their admittedly underwritten roles, but there's only so much you can do with all the songs to get through. Meryl Streep is pivotal to its success, you feel, because she is totally committed to it and lends it a stature it wouldn't otherwise have. Her voice is very different from the original Abba sound but who would have wanted an attempt at an exact copy - it could only have ended up sounding bland. All the numbers work here - with one outstanding moment being Dancing Queen in which all the local women join in a procession down to the water's edge - really a scene which lifts the spirits. Pierce Brosnan also plays it straight and his rough-at-the-edges singing is perfect. Trying to do a 'professional' job would have ruined it. Colin Firth is genuinely touching, Stellan Skarsgard brings a certain Scandinavian worldliness to his part, while Donna's two women friends project their lines with panache. Julie Walters is very funny (as always) and Christine Baranski shows great pizzazz, bringing off her beach rendition of Does your mother know with dazzling aplomb. It could have seemed sleazy but doesn't, the whole thing is pitched so well. And there is some superb beefcake supporting her, if only we'd seen a bit more of it (perhaps a genuine flaw after all?!) I suppose the absolute high point is Meryl Streep singing on the edge of the cliff with her red scarf blowing around passionately in the offshore breezes. As she runs up the hill trailing it behind her I'm sure no one can really resist the pull of so much colour and zest for living!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 September 2008
Ask someone to describe Sweden in one word and there will be a variety of answers. Home-lovers will say Ikea; indie kids will say Kopparberg cider; football fans, of the right persuasion, will name check the god that is Henrik Larsson. But nine times out of ten, there will be only one answer - ABBA. Once they'd finished being the biggest band on the planet, and after a couple of suspect solo projects, the two Bs - Benny and Björn - produced the leviathan that is Mamma Mia!, which to date is estimated to have been seen by 30 million people and taken $2 billion worldwide. And now, in 2008, almost 30 years after the songs were first released, the ABBA anthems have finally arrived on the big screen.

It's the day before little `Chiquitita' Sophie's (Amanda Seyfried) wedding. `When All Is Said And Done' she's had a happy childhood, growing up on the Greek island of Kalokairi. But there is always one things she has yeaned to know - `Does Your Mother Know' who her father is? Old `Dancing Queen' Donna (Meryl Streep) isn't too sure, but she's narrowed it down to three `Super Troupers' (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard). Sophie wants her father to `Gimme, Gimme, Gimme; away before she says `I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' to her `Honey, Honey' (Dominic Cooper). So she sends out an `SOS' to her mum's old flames, asking them to `Take A Chance On Me' and come to the Mediterranean island.

Bringing Mamma Mia! to the silver screen is the directorial debut for Phyllida Lloyd, the women who was responsible for the maiden production. Unfortunately, her rookie status as a director does show is some parts, with some simple mistakes being made, such as Pierce Brosnan losing the top of his head when dueting with Meryl Streep. Her directional isn't dreadful though, with her stage experience coming to the fore during the big set pieces, such as when the women of the island are all liberated from the daily drudgery by `Dancing Queen'. The production team has also struggled to re-create the beauty of the Greek island when filming the interior scenes at Pinewood studios. The change from one to another is obvious, with the sea no longer gleaming and the sky looking just that little bit dull for Greece.

If marks were given to Mamma Mia!'s to casting, they'd probably get a B-. Thankfully, as she leads most of the film, Meryl Streep does have a pair of lungs on her, although at times it feels like she's trying to put too much emotion into what are effectively pop songs. The rest of the cast do well, especially the young leads., but the three male leads are a different story . Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth appear to be embarrassed to be taking part in the whole singing and dacning thing. But it's Pierce Brosnan's first note that brings the biggest laugh, and biggest cringe, of the entire film. Mr Bond was simply not built for singing, and his presence is merely to make the 40+ females feel weak at the knees.

Now though, forget all that, as Mamma Mia! is as close to the perfect film as you'll see. Why - because the songs of ABBA are completely indestructible. They are as popular today as they were when they were first released, with entire radio stations relying on ABBAs back catalogue for their play-list (anyone heard Clyde 2 recently?!?!?). Taking these simply fantastic pops songs, and then cramming them and moulding them into a 109 minute story about love on some magical Greek island is a complete piece of genius.

Despite being badly made, with some dubious casting decisions, the world is a better place after seeing Mamma Mia, and anyone who tells you any different is lying - fact.
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