"I don't see what's so great about the choreography by Twyla Tharp, it looks like they're making it up as they go along."
Uh...that's the whole idea.
The singing and dancing in the film for the most part has an improvised, slightly ragged feel. It, by design, lacks polish. If you saw a bunch of hippies dancing in Central Park, chances are they WOULD be making it up as they go along.
"Why cut Annie Golden's one song?"
"And the film, coming ten years too late and about 15 years too early, just drains all the politics out and makes the hippies seem to have no reason to be how they are."
I'm not sure if you realise this, but the film, despite being released in 1979, was set in the late 1960s. It existed in its own little retro galaxy. It's perfectly clear why the hippies "are how they are". Drains all the politics out of it? Hardly. It's all pretty damn obvious to anybody with at least half a brain.
A lot of people use the argument "ten years too late" (I don't agree with the argument but I can see why some make it), but 15 years too early? I'm not certain why you would've wanted this film to be made in the year 1994. I don't see the logic in that at all.
1979 was probably the best time for the movie to reach cinemas. It was wedged between the last days of disco and the dawn of the 1980s, the "greed is good" decade. Its appearance must have been like a wake-up call: "the Age of Aquarius is drifting deeper back into the past, and we can recapture it before it's too late. This is what can fill the void left behind by disco culture".
Of course, along came the 1980s and that hardly ushered in a revival of the Woodstock era. But there has never been a golden rule that a film adaptation of a stageplay must be made in "this" period or "that" period. Anyway, it's been such a long time since the 1979 movie was first released, the difference between "the late seventies" and "the late sixties-early seventies" period is marginal at most.
"Even Ragni and Rado didn't like it."
I'm tired of all these people who complain about how the movie is so vastly different from the stage musical. Cinema allows one to do things that would be totally impractical on stage. Milos Forman had the ability to do things on celluloid not permitted to Ragni and Rado, and the fact is that if Rado and Ragni were filmmakers rather than playwrights, they would've done things very differently themselves. Whole scenes and characters would've been rearranged to better fit a narrative designed especially for cinema.
(They may even have cut a few songs).
If you want to watched a filmed play, go watch a filmed play. Don't rag on Milos Forman for exercising his cinematic capital and showing some imagination.
By the way, the film is not "overrated". From all of the "great film lists" that I've read in books and mainstream press and various websites (you know, those Top 100 Film lists and the flicks that you must see before you die, etc), it's never once been mentioned. Dozens of musicals are ranked ahead of it by the big critics. The film is miles away from being in the IMDB Top 250, plus it didn't win a single Oscar.
So I don't know what colour the sky is in your world, but if you think that "Hair" is overpraised, you need to lay off the hard stuff. If anything, it's relatively obscure as a film ("relatively" considering the popular nature of its stage origins) and is discussed/praised/revived nowhere nearly as often as films such as "West Side Story" and "Singin' in the Rain".
"Hair" is a great motion picture, one of my all-time favourites, a treasure on the big screen.