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Five Movie Musicals Not to Miss

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From classic literature to rock fantasy, these films offer it all

Fans of musicals have a lot to look forward to over the coming months. Hollywood plans to roll out several much-anticipated movie adaptations of popular Broadway hits, and one recently released film is now available on DVD. There's no need to travel to Broadway when you can enjoy the following musicals at your local cinema or from the comfort of your home theater.

Les Miserables

The much-awaited movie version of one of Broadway’s most beloved stage plays is finally here. Look for a film release later this year of Les Miserables, based on Victor Hugo’s heroic tale of Jean Valjean – a prisoner-turned-mayor. This film will feature the music that made so many fall in love with the stage adaptation of this epic Hugo work. Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are all lending their star power. If the trailer is any indication, this one is a must-see.

Rock of Ages

Sure to be one of the most talked about movie musicals of 2012, Rock of Ages takes the glam metal of the 1980s from Broadway to the big screen. This rendition of the Broadway show is sure to be popular with members of Generation X who grew up with many of the songs featured in this film. A star-studded cast that includes Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Paul Giamatti should make this one of the highlights of the year.

Sparkle

A remake of the 1976 film loosely based on the Supremes, Sparkle is sure to draw fans that enjoy the Motown sound. This movie features talented musical performers like American Idol winner Jordin Sparks in her first acting role, Cee Lo Green and the late Whitney Houston. The film will include songs from the original film, plus some new music.

The Sapphires

Another movie musical releasing this year pays tribute to the Motown sound. The Sapphires is an Australian comedy that tells the story of Australia’s version of The Supremes. The Sapphires all-girl group entertained troops in Vietnam during the 1960s. This film is based on a 2004 stage play of the same name.

Joyful Noise

In case you missed it recently in theaters, you might want to check out Joyful Noise, now available on DVD. This film, starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, is a light musical comedy about two small-town choir leaders who set out to win a national competition. Although it received a lukewarm critical reception, the voices of the two leading ladies make it worthwhile for gospel fans.

Hopefully these films will feed your cravings for musicals in the coming months. If you can’t make it to Broadway for the real thing, don't worry. The film versions of many musicals can be just as entertaining as the stage version and bring you just as much foot-tapping joy.

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