Mamma Mia! (2-Disc Special Edition)

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Meryl Streep as Donna
Pierce Brosnan as Sam Carmichael
Amanda Seyfried as Sophie
Stellan SkarsgÄrd as Bill
Colin Firth as Harry Bright
Julie Walters as Rosie
Christine Baranski as Tanya
Dominic Cooper as Sky
Rachel McDowall as Lisa
Ashley Lilley as Ali

Special Features:
Sing-Along! On-Screen Lyrics for 22 Musical Numbers!
- Deleted Musical Number: “The Name Of The Game”
- Feature Commentary with Director Phyllida Lloyd

2-Disc Special Edition Exclusives:
- The Making of Mamma Mia! The Movie
- Anatomy of a Musical Number: “Lay All Your Love On Me”
- Becoming a Singer
- Behind the Scenes with Amanda
- On Location in Greece
- A Look Inside Mamma Mia! The Movie
- “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” Music Video
- Bjorn Ulvaeus Cameo
- Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
- Digital Copy

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language Tracks
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 109 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD description:

“Unleash your inner Dancing Queen with the 2-Disc Special Edition of ‘Mamma Mia! The Movie’ that includes a fabulous sing-along bonus feature as well as exclusive interviews with the all-star cast! Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth – as well as up-and-comers Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper – star in this undeniably fun celebration of mothers and daughters, and old friends and newly found family. Be a part of this joyous movie phenomenon – Mamma Mia is a party that never has to end! ”

“Mamma Mia!” is rated PG-13 for some sex-related comments.

Mini-Review:
In the ’80s when my family moved overseas, we had 3 audio cassette tapes that we took with us. My dad took The Oak Ridge Boys, my sisters and I took Ghostbusters, and my mom took ABBA. (I wouldn’t make this stuff up.) We eventually broadened our collection, but we listened to them over and over and over in the car just to hear some sort of American music. So by sheer reluctant exposure, I got to know a lot of ABBA songs. I was forever scarred.

Having seen “Mamma Mia!” now, I think this movie is aimed squarely at women my mother’s age. They’re the ones that are familiar with ABBA music, they’re the same age as the lead actresses, and they’re the ones most receptive to the storyline. So if you’re an ABBA fan or well over 40, you’ll probably like “Mamma Mia!” Broadway and musical fans will enjoy it, too.

So what does a male popcorn flick junkie think of “Mamma Mia!”? It was OK. The ABBA fongs fit surprisingly well in a musical format. Some songs do seem a bit forced into the story, but others like “Our Last Summer,” “Slipping Through My Fingers,” and “I Have a Dream” work perfectly in the movie. The cast did a fine job, too. Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, and Christine Baranski sing quite well. Seyfried is a particular standout. Fortunately none of the other cast embarrass themselves though you can tell not everyone is comfortable with singing as others. It ends up being a fine ensemble cast that makes the movie worth watching. Put them against the stunning Greek backdrops and you have a fun film to watch.

All that being said, the story is a bit weak. The mystery of who Sophie’s father is isn’t all that intriguing. And they are a little too quick to go from one song to the next in some spots. The film needed some better pacing between musical numbers.

I’d recommend “Mamma Mia!” to musical fans, fans of the play, and of course anyone that likes ABBA. Everyone else will probably want to pass on it.

Among the bonus features you’ll find a deleted musical number with Seyfried and Stellan Skarsgard. A featurette entitled “On Location in Greece” will have you wanting to plan a vacation to the islands (maybe after the riots). Another highlight is “Becoming a Singer” which shows all the actors and actresses learning to sing the ABBA songs. You begin to appreciate the amount of effort they put into the music.

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