Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Tempest (2011)

Very easy to follow but unimaginative version of the Tempest, I did enjoy it but it was nothing special. Everyone did very well with their words (Brandy included- though he already talks like that so I never thought Shakespeare would be a challenge for him). The costumes were irritating, all the zips just looked cheap, Caliban's loincloth looked like designer gear next them... Being one of Shakey's magical plays There were a lot of trippy special effects but they were not impressive, they were quite embarrassing and I feel would have been done exactly the same way in 1970 (lots of kalidescoping), still though I wasn't that embarrassed when I thought about it, I mean, what else can you do with sprites and magic?!
Finally the root of the problem. Forget the zips and the whirly special effects. The casting of a woman in a male role completely changed the tone of the piece and it ended up not working at all. Mirren's performance was solid. But the ending was completely changed.
Prospero is a man full of anger, he tortures his enemies but in the end his heart softens thanks to seeing his daughter fall in love and so he does not kill, he forgives. This is a very strong character. He rose above his emotions and he found peace. Well done.
Prospera is a woman scorned, she tortures her enemies but in the end she forgives them. This is a very weak character. She is woman and so she could never really go through with it anyway, she did what all women do, she let her heart soften and she forgave them and gave up her magic, resigning herself to death.
In conclusion: Men and women are different and what may be a great strength in a man can be seen as a weakness in a woman. Helen Mirren should have killed those fuckers and the final shot should have been her on Caliban's shoulders waving her stick and cackling. Avenged.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog (York Grand)

And now back to the present day. Last night Anna, Lauren and I saw Greg of We are Klang (or Mr Gilbert from the Inbetweeners) do his stand-up show. I found it so enjoyable that in between my painful laughter I couldn't help wishing that my parents were there to enjoy it as well. Greg confesses he is a worrier and that he can't go through any normal experience without fretting about who might die, the stories in his show are the few moments where he has felt none of this worry, only joy and hilarity. Lauren said she felt the ending was a disappointment but I found it consistently brill and all the more enjoyable seeing that Greg was laughing so much himself.
I recommend to everyone. If Greg comes near you, see his show.

Old Reviews 10: Present Laughter (National Theatre, December 2007)

Also while in London I saw the Noel Coward play 'Present Laughter' starring Alex Jennings. I am not a Noel Coward fan, I didn't know if I was before hand, but now I do know, the only bit Anna and I laughed at was the bit that Round the Horne had taken the piss out off back in the 60s, no one else laughed as it wasn't actually a joke. Anyway, it was one of those audiences who laughed at everything while Anna and I sat there wondering what the hell they were laughing at. Jenno himself was awfully good, but I'm not sure if I was convinced by the other actors and sorry, Noel Coward, but I just didn't like how it was written! The set and lighting were lovely of course, it was the National Theatre, but it didn't work as a play for me.
How the hell old is Alex Jennings? I've always thought he was around mid fifties, but I've thought that for about ten years! He has the face of a child!! Has anyone ever noticed that women look older on stage and men look younger? Well, Jenno did.

2011 Author's Note: That's the gays for you! You'll notice this starts with the word also, that's because the day before we saw the Spice Girls' reunion show at the O2. Fun.

Old Reviews 9: Russell Brand's Shame (Feb 2007)

Anna and I went to see Rusty because we've been fans of his radio show since last May, first the 6music show- which was way better by the way Rus- and now his Radio2 show, check it out. If you hate Russell Brand I don't blame you. I had no idea what he was like on TV, what he even looked like for three months! I just loved his radio stuff, it's so friendly and fun, it's not at all what you might think of him from that ghastly show he does about Big Brother, he has no catchphrases on radio, he's just a weirdo who likes Star Wars and the Elephant Man just like the rest of us.
Anna bought some horrific badges that said stuff like "'citing!" and "ball bags" on them, I didn't want any.
Trevor Lock was Russell's warm up guy, and I thought he was ok, me and Anna were laughing at your routine. You could sort of tell that the audience just wanted to know where the hell Russell was and that none of them had heard of Trevor, they obviously hadn't listened to the radio for the past ten months like me and Anna where Trev is one of Russell's co-hosts. (along with Matt! Woo! Where Matt where Matt where Matt?) We loved Trevor's final joke and him stripping down to bikini, he was brilliant. The theatre was so hot that I can't remember much of what he said or Russell and people keep asking me what it was like but my eyes dried up somehow and maybe my brain too...
Russell did two hours and kept explaining in the first hour "This isn't the show, i'll start that in a minute," my favourite parts of the show were the bits that weren't the show. His first hour consisted of going through the local newspapers and reading out all the most boring stories and taking the piss out of them. He also took the piss out of the girls from Emmerdale who had come to see him- oh, and he walked among the audience and sat on people, not us, we were in the circle. Anyway, the newspapers, it was very amusing, the first story he chose to ridiclue was about a woman who was trying to promote hula-hooping as a big new exercise alternative. He called her on Craig's phone- Craig was in the front row, Russell used his phone to make various prank calls. He left a message on the hula hooping woman's phone and then later a message on some grouting company's phone- they called back which was most amusing, I'd love to get one of those phonecalls with an audience laughing in the background, it was hilarious. Russells' second hour was basically him talking about sex, which was most amusing but a bit crass. What I do remember however is:
"Me, I'd look out of place on a bike, 'less it was a penny farthing... How do you do madam? Oh, Mr Merrick! Good evening John, how are you? -Oh, that's ever so kind of you to ask *slurp*- Very grateful the Elephant Man wasn't he? Nah, he's alright, I liked 'im." Then Russell told himself "It's an obscure reference as it is, just stop it." Me and Anna were cheering for more Elephant Man impressions.
At the end of Russell's show he said "Now, those of you who are thinking, 'oh, he's on the telly, he's unobtainable..' I'm not. Ok? I'm not! So I'll be in the foyer in a minute for a cuddle, see ya!"
We couldn't get out of that bloody place for all the freaks and weirdoes hanging about wanting to meet and shag Russell. In an other life we would have liked to meet him too, but we knew that Dad-Y and Mooma were waiting outside and probably had been for about half an hour, so we left and didn't meet old Rus.
Russell was great though, it sounds boring 'cause I'm a bit tired, but some of the news paper stuff he did and the improvised stuff was all brilliant, it was just like the radio show though I did miss Matt.

2011 Author's Note: This was the first of three times Anna and I went to see Russell's stand up, I think it's best to think of him as having died rather than think about what he's up to now. I loved that radio show (see photo- remember when Matt ate all those narners?)

Old Reviews 8: The Letter (an Edinburgh Theatre, Feb 2007)

So into the theatre where we scoffed our sandwiches too quickly, and hundreds of old people joined us. I forgot about these wednesday matinees, they're like pensioner days. That's what happened when I saw Nigel Havers a couple of years ago, I was on my own in a sea of grannies. Same today. But you know how it is, pensioners are so well behaved, they've been to the theatre before they know it's not their living room so they won't talk... UNLESS they're sitting next to me, they're then guaranteed to talk. "Ooh, is that Anthony Andrews? No. That's a much younger man. Is that Anthony Andrews? Yes, yes it is. Hasn't he aged?" I stress, this was NOT a conversation this was a commentary by one mad old woman.
Anyway, the play was The Letter starring Antoine and Jenny Seagrove. The first scene was Seagrove overacted and forgetting her lines, it was cringeworthy, I actually thought "Oh my god.. this is amatuer dramatics. This is so terrible." And I actually found myself thinking I could do a better job!! She was dreadful and I thought the whole play was going to be a dead loss, but luckily for us most of the play was just Anthony Andrews talking to himself or his amusing clerk. What started out a horrible attempt at drama soon turned into humor and the day was saved by Double A! The man who I've now seen most on stage out of all my favourites! (thrice)
We had ice creams in the interval and old people did embarrassing things but not as embarrassing as Celia's slip falling off somehow from under her dress. She blamed the old people. I was in hysterics. Anyway, not a bad play. Didn't like Seagrove, she had a one-tone voice that cut through me and she couldn't act.

2011 Author's Note: Me and Celia were so drunk on our trip to Edinburgh we could have been watching anything.

Old Reviews 7: Evita (Apollo) Rock 'n' Roll (Duke of York's) (August 2006)

Hello! I had a good time and saw some shows, as is the way when one goes to London, as well as seeing the two shows mentioned I also saw Les Miserables which I'd never seen before and thought I'd better see. It was ok I suppose, just a bit too long with only a couple of really good songs I thought. Plus, Javert died so I was pretty annoyed. Ok, I'm sure no one cares about Les Mis 'cause it's been running for what, 20 years? I'll just say I still couldn't decide who I liked better Jean Valjean or Javert, they were both cool, the guy playing Valjean was great! Apparently he's the youngest actor to play the part as well as holding the record for the longest running Phantom of the Opera (1,400 show! Jeez!) Enough!
Anna and I went to see Evita on wednesday, Anna's never liked Evita, she hates Madonna so refuses to watch the film, which is a shame because I think the film's actually ok and I try to forget about Madonna in the real world while I'm watching it. We'd read reviews of the show, it was supposed to be nothing special, sort of average as far as shows go, all the reviews said basically the show belonged to Elena Roger. And it certainly did, that woman has such a huge amazing voice for such a tiny person!! She was the perfect Eva. I'd say Matt Rawle didn't compare to Antonio, but then, seriously folks, who could?! (Antonio fan, right here!) He was good though, and he looked the part, Anna just said it was a bit of a contrast to Elena's Argentinian singing accent to have the narrator singing it all in an English accent. One of the great things about the show was to me, as a stupid artist, the brilliant set! I'd read that it wasn't spectacular but I'd say compared to the crappy Les Mis set from the day before it was wonderful! And Anna of course loved all the dancing and I'm happy to say there was a lot of great dancing! All the songs were there (excpet of course my favourite- the Lady's got Potential), there was a lot more focus on the political I'm pleased to say, the film seems to focus on Eva as a poor little dove rather than all the corruption and ambition. I thought it was rubbish in the film that they cut Peron's mistress singing 'So what Happens Now?' and have Madonna sing it, but they did it properly and Eva was always strong, flirty, dangerous and a total bitch! That was one quibble I always had with the film, them painting her as the victim, like when Jimmy Nail drops her, in the musical she drops Magaldi, much more accurate!
So, Rock 'n' Roll. This play was so good, so funny and touching, I reccomend it to absolutely everyone! I mean, I could see people (other peeps in the audience) looking at me and Anna obviously thinking "you can't possibly understnad this, not even the bits about rock and roll which are the non-political bits!" Well to hell with you! Anna read up on the political side of it before we went, though I'd say they make it all very clear in the play! And I love rock and roll! Every scene ends with a black screen and a bit of rock and roll appropriate to what the characters have been talking about and I knew every one of those songs! I don't like music, when people ask me what I like to listen to, I don't know what to say but all the bands they talked about in the play... I had those albulms! On VINYL!!
Anyway, enough about my knowledge of rock and roll. I'll tell you about the actors, they were all perfectly cast, Rufus Sewell, Brian Cox and Sinead Cusack all standing out as the amazing performers of the day, especially Rufus and Brian, those guys were AMAZING! And wow is Rufus Sewell handsome!!! (girly moment again) That boy is AMAZINGLY HANDSOME!! I'm glad I've always based my imaginary boyfriend Max on him... And again the set was ingenious, two different back drops, Prague and Cambridge and the revolving rooms were great.

2011 Author's Note: I forgot about Max my imaginary boyfriend... He was a looker! Rock 'n' Roll was one of the best plays I've seen not at the National.

Old Reviews 6: A Touch of the Poet (Studio 54), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Imperial), Spamalot (Shubert) Spelling Bee (Circle in the Square) Jan 2006

Spamalot. I love Holy Grail and I love David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria. So I thought I was a Python fan, let me tell you something, you do not realise what being a python fan is until you've heard an American audeince! It was dreadful! I couldn't stand it, they laughed so much at everything, they even laughed to the extent that the joke became not-funny because of the laughter! Ok the laughing wasn't that bad, laughing's good, but what I could not
deal with was the people in the audience who decided that when a joke was "super-good" it deserved to be repeated in loud voices and laughed at some more! No! No! Don't do that! You turn something funny into something annoying!! And all I could think was "Oh god, oh god, I hope the audience at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels isn't like this, oh god! I couldn't stand it!"
Anyway, the show was more or less exactly the same as the film but they gave it an ending and a girl. Some of the musical numbers were good, and some were tedious. DHP's number was by far the best and Hank Azaria was the best actor as all the John Cleese parts.Next day was Gabriel Byrne in A Touch of the Poet which was absolutely wonderful, a lovely theatre too, all the actors were great and I needed a good straight(ish) play to get over the horror of the Python fans! There was a part in the second half though when I drifted off a bit, I was very tired, still jet lagged, but when Gabe was off stage for a good half hour I felt the days walking getting to me and Carolyn told me that she realised that in that part she was just staring at the wall! Some theatre lovers we are!! Gabe was great in it, especailly at the end when he came out of his pretentious bastard character for the happy(ish) ending.I think I'll just skip the next one and go to Friday's play The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This show was wonderful. I'd booked tickets the day before because my dear friend Lauren was ill for the entire trip and I felt so awful for her that I wanted her to at least have one treat while she was in New York. (of course tickets for Wicked were all sold out unless you want tickets at 300 dollars a pop!) I'm so glad we chose this show. The theater was decked out like a school assembly hall and the show was clearly one of those audience participation ones, which I'm always a little weary of. Spelling Bees don't go on over here in Britain, so I can't see this coming to the West End really despite how good it was. If you've seen the film Spellbound though, you'll have an idea what a spelling bee is. The actors in the play were absolutely brilliant, playing not only the kids taking part in the bee but with very little costume change, sometimes just putting on a pair of glasses or a hat they performed other parts in sort of flashback scenes of the kids with their parents before just sitting back down. All the songs were wonderful, very catchy and funny, and the actors pointing into the audience at their 'moms' and the whole feel of it was great, I didn't mind at all taking part in it and Lauren thought it was great so I'm glad we saw it.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The show was so good, Jonathan Pryce was so surprising, it's great that even as such a big fan he could surprise me like that by acting so differently from anything I'd ever seen him do before. The word that springs to mind at the jet lagged moment is 'zany'.
That was one good wig, Calum didn't even know it wasn't real, and he calls himself a fan... Our seats were FANTASTIC. Front row centre of the circle, or the mezzanine as it's known in America. Calum kept looking at me to check if I was ok before it started, I was grinning and jumpy and sweaty palmed.
There was Jonathan for his opening number, Give Them What They Want, he was suave and so cool, then he totally made out with some chorus girls in the middle of the number as he took their jewelry. (You guys have seen the film right? It's ace, as a kid I had all of Steve Martin's films and I always loved that one. Especially the Ruprecht bits, my friend Paul and I have been doing Ruprecht impressions since we were 12!! "Oklahoma, Oklahoma! Oklahoma!!" etc.)
When they talked between numbers Jonathan played it so David Niven, I just loved him. The jokes were great, it was the film in musical form, the music went with it and the songs were great... Norbert Leo Butz, now there's a showman! He was a crowd pleaser indeed, very funny physical guy. And that's what struck me about Jonathan in the show, how physical he was being, and how energetic he is to do all that dancing and jumping about and still be able to sing so wonderfully, and it was wondeful.
'All about Ruprecht' and the Ruprecht scene was the highlight of the first act. Jonathan takes his loud and annoying Oklahoma fiance down to the garden to meet "the Young Prince" "Ruprecht will be so happy in Oklahoma!" Enter Norbert wearing underwear and too small shirt, clutching tridant and stuffed dead ferret (which wears the same costume) And so goes the scene straight from the film, Ruprecht tried to snog Jonathan's bird, Jonathan hits him off, he gets sad and Jonathan goes to hug him to forgive him, when Norbert jumps him and gets him on the bed, dry humping and sticking the tongue down the ear. But here's the best part, they roll off the bed and Jonathan sort of goes along with it, stroking his leg and smiling coyly as they recover and stand up to the horrified girl, where he sings a great song, and actually cracked up during one of the lines pulling Norbert's face into a grin as they dance and play. It was brilliant, Jonathan corpsing in the middle of a song was brilliant, it's clear that the two of them were having such a good time!
The second half had an equally good fun number, which was Ruffhousin' mit Shuffhausen where Jonathan's character continuously hits Norbert acoss the thighs with a whip-like stick while he's under the guise of a man who has no feeling in his legs. It was the numbers that they performed together which were the best, Norbert had some great songs and the lyrics to 'Love is My Legs' are just hilarious!! I sung it for the rest of the trip. There was a great big dance number in the middle, ('The More we Dance') Jonathan is so energetic, I was so surprised that he would do something that to me looked so tiring!!
I don't think I've ever seen him do comedy like that before, and the chemistry between the two leads was great.

2011 Author's Note: This was an Art School trip to New York which consisted (for me) of going to as many Broadway shows in five days as I could manage. I remember being sad that I'd missed John Lithgow in DRS but so bloody over the moon to find out Jonathan Pryce was replacing him! I loved seeing Jonathan in a musical, I remember the show so vividly, I'm glad I went to Dundee Art School for that reason alone. Also, Spelling Bee is actually on this month at the Donmar for a very short run.

Old Reviews 5: The Brothers Grimm (November 2005)

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually liked it.
Ah Jonathan Pryce, have you never seen a film where the British baddy sword fights against the American armed only with a flag, "I sense an impailing!" I sung as it began... Didn't Mel Gibson kill British Jason Isaacs with an American flag in the Patriot?! Just like in that Simpsons episode! He did! I swear he killed a Brit with an American flag!!
And what about a kiss for Jonathan!? Everyone else got kissed and brought back to life, I don't see anyone running to his side! Unfair. Ah well, I guess he was a creepy bastard with an outrrrrrrageous french accent.

2011 Author's Note: Very surprised I never wrote a fanfic along that theme...

Old Reviews 4: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

I just saw the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with my friend Lindsay, she didn't like it, but I tell you I've never cried so much in one cinema. I couldn't stop, everytime Bailey and Tibby's bits of the story came on all I could taste was tears spluttering out of my mouth, it was so embarrassing.
But seriously, I'd seen the trailer about a hundred times and thought no way, each time, that looks so crap. But then I wanted to see it 'cause I wanted to do a comic about me Lauren and Susie sharing a pair of jeans, so I reckoned I'd better see the movie if I'm to take the piss out of it.
It's about these four girls buying a pair of jeans that they share on their seperate holidays... One's a blonde tart who wants to bone her football coach at football camp. One's a moany bitch who has to watch her dad get remarried to a family of nazis. One's a prude with a face like a child making out with a very young Antonio Banderas while her Greek grandparents spit on her, and the last one's a kick ass arty type making a documetary with her new best friend cute-12-year-old-girl!
So basically I hated the blonde one becaue I know so many people like that, and sports sucks big time anyway. I didn't like the one that was telling the story who had to watch her father get married, she was extremely annoying, and as self-centered as the blonde. The one with a face like a child was ok, but I thought her sketches were crap, I liked the guy who looked like Antonio Banderas that she fell in love with, he was the good part of her story. I liked the one who befriended the 12 year old, I liked her story the best and Brian McBrian is the best name for a character, he was cool.
But christ, when Tibby found out Bailey (the kid) had leukemia I cried through almost all their scenes, I sort of found myself thinking 'god, I hope she dies soon so I can stop crying!!' Oh it was so sad, but the girl and the kid were so good! Good actors I mean! I wish I had a cool twelve year old friend who would carry my sketch book for me when I go out drawing.... that would be handy. I wouldn't want a sick one though, that would be depressing.

2011 Author's Note: I guess it must have been my time of the month or something...

Old Reviews 3: The Philadelphia Story ( Old Vic) Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre) The Woman in White (Palace Theatre) ( June 2005)

Me and Anna have been funning it up in London this week.
We go to London every so often to see a bunch of shows, last time we went to see The Producers and before that I saw Round the Horne Revisited, Journey's End and The Goat, and before that My Fair Lady (starring Anthony Andrews without fat suit)...
Anyway, monday night we saw The Philadelphia Story with Kevin Spacey, who I wasn't that impressed with, though the supporting cast were good. Anna and I were in the front row, which was pretty painful on the old neck but great for being a metre away from Kevin Spacey- I tried to remember films I've seen him in and thought were excellent and all I could remember was American Beauty, and unfortunately K-Pax- which was awful, then I remembered Hey! What about Glengarry Glen Ross, I love that film! "You Fairy, You asshole."
Speaking of Jonathan Pryce, we were greatly amused to find the Pickering to his Higgins, Nicholas Le Prevost, in The Philadelphia story, I must say he stole that show and as soon as he came on stage me and Anna were in fits of giggles, nudging each other and the like, and at the end I swear he looked straight at us during the bows... Anna and I have whispered to each other in despair that we might have to go and see everything he's in from now on becuase he was so wonderful.
The Woman in White, had lovely music, we realise now, listening to the cast recording, but the sets were a big let down, it was all just cgi projected onto the backdrop, what a gyp!! Just like that Nigel Havers play!!! But Antoine was amazing! Anna and I were surprised!! When we saw him in MFL he didn't sing, he did a Rex Harrison, after Jonathan had sung it all, and that other guy, the guy who got the Olivier, I forget his name, sorry mate. Anyway, we were expecting another shouting performance but no, he sang, he sang excellent well.
Next day! We saw Ewan McGregor in Guys And Dolls, but we didn't get spat on, shame. He did not disappoint especially when singing Luck be a Lady Tonight, that was a great number- and that bird from Sex and the City was very good, and so was all the cast!! It was just a great show all round!! And good sets!! We got a great set on The Philadelphia Story.

2011 Author's Note: We did then go to see everything he was ever in and over the years I managed to befriend him and as it happens I was talking to him just yesterday. Funny old life, eh?

Old Reviews 2: Rebecca (a Glasgow Theatre, March 2005)

Play time! I went to the theatre and everyone else in the audience was over 65, millions of old women, probably Nigel Havers' groupies, and no one my age- or even under 65 to be honest. I had a good seat in the Dress Circle in the middle near the front. The play started and Nigel is just so thin. And as I remembered the story I thought 'This is such a terrible play for him to be doing', in the whole first act it's like his wife died and he never got over it. Nigel's wife just died!! (last year) This must be awful for him, why is he doing it!?'
So Anyway, the girl playing the new wife was Paul McGann's love interest in that Poirot episode that I watched with Lauren one night!! The set was kind of cool too just a screen with different backdrops projected on it, but props were very minimalistic.
I liked the smooching scenes.
I bumped into Evil Dave on the way home, apparently food makes him burn things so he's not coming to the meal, but he is coming to the party afterwards.

2011 Author's Note: So begins my friendship with Evil Dave.

Old Reviews 1: Look Back in Anger (Feb 2005, Edinburgh Lyceum)

So we saw the tall and very thin David Tennant today in Edinburgh in the play Look Back in Anger... It was an ace play, and wonderful set design! But what a bastard Dave played! And the whole premise of the play was people living in a flat and feeling smothered, very appropriate for me at the mo, but in the play it was because David Tennant's character was such a bastard!
Ok, but here's the important bit!
We parked outside the theatre at about 12 and the show wasn't til half two, I said we should go look at the posters in the window, my dad saw the big poster and he said "Oh look he's a rapist!" And then he said "Oh wow, look! It's the guy!" And it was!!! It was David Tennant going into the theatre!! But me and Anna were totally scared that Dad-Y would embarrass us so we ran away as Dave walked into the theatre! He was so tall and handsome looking with lovely glasses on!! And Anna was totally grinning. But by the time Dad-Y had decided to "grab him" (as he put it) Dave had already gone back stage. So Moo-pa hung around outside for a while in case he came back out- to tell him that Anna was his biggest fan and could he sign the flyer- but he didn't...

2011 Author's Note: I was having trouble living with someone at the time. This was the first time I saw anything at the Edinburgh Lyceum (I was living in Dundee at the time) and it was not the last, every play I've seen there has been absolutely excellent- maybe there'll be more reviews in the livejournal. Also it was the first time we saw pre-Who, pre-Potter even, DT on stage, having seen him on telly only in He Knew He Was Right where he played a flared-nostrilled flirty vicar. He was extremely good, and he did sign our flyers when we posted them to him, Anna got two kisses, I only got one.

Old Livejournal "Reviews"

Once upon a time, from 2004-2009 to be exact, I kept a livejournal, or rather, I didn't keep it, I had one and every so often I'd post some awful opinions on something or another or some screenshots of actors I rather fancied or drawings I'd done. It had no structure! And it was not updated regularly. I decided after getting this blog (which you'll admit despite it's lack of content, I do update quite regularly and obviously enjoy keeping) that I would delete my livejournal because I'd stopped using it and more importantly there might be some incriminating content on it. Hey ho!
But before I delete it I thought I'd read it and see if there are any amusing reviews of theatre, TV, radio, film etc. That I could transfer over here and then remember in the future (and the present- my memory is so shocking) and not destroy forever.
I've looked at my first entry, October 2004 and it's a review of Anthony Andrews' performance in an American TV film of David Copperfield. I don't remember watching it but it appears he attended the Mr Gently Benevolent School of Evil and was extremely camp as the villain of the piece. I will not be including it here.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Rite (2011)

Shite. But look how beautiful the boy who stars is! Seriously! I was watching it thinking "my god, he might actually be perfect!" Something of the Joseph Fiennes about him methinks... but even better!
The first half of the film was ok, I thought they might actually be trying to do a "realistic" exorcism film. The pregnant girl being possessed seemed quite well done, and as we kept on being told, there is no physical evidence, you (the priest) have to just believe... But then loads of physical evidence started to happen; coughing up nails, doors cracking open, candles blowing out, bracelets being chucked all over the shop. Like, surely someone would say "Hey, this is physical evidence, isn't it?"
And if all the possessed folk just shout "fuck off priest!" how come when Anthony Hopkins is possessed he's extremely eloquent? He's Hannibal Lector again! I reckon that was just the way he taught every priest how to be an exorcist, just pretend to be possessed and let the kid say all the spells. "Well done, you passed! Next!"

Monday, 7 March 2011

Christ on a Bike (Richard Herring)

Richard Herring! I was saving myself for something good to make the 200th post in this blog that no one reads, I could have reviewed Bramwell, the Victorian lady doctor (she fails at everything! Women shouldn't be doctors!) but I waited for this.
Anna, Lauren and I went to see Richard Herring at the venue under the cinema last night. He'd finished the first show, literally forty minutes before coming on and doing it all over again, but he did not seem tired at all, phew!
At Lauren's request we sat in the front row of the tiny venue, Rich was practically doing the show on top of us. I don't like sitting in the front row but I was completely at ease being in the front last night, creepily it's probably because of listening to [sometimes during the year] three podcasts a week starring young Richard I think of him as a pal of mine, I mean I know what he's up to all the time without even reading his blog or stalking him (makes a change). Let me tell you Lauren, we're not sitting in the front for Greg Davis next week, I'd be far too scared of him massively looming all over me and grimacing...
Christ on a Bike was brilliantly entertaining. Seeing one of Richard Herring's shows is like seeing a lecture given by a scarily intelligent manic child with a beard. He has so much energy and is so enthusiastic about his subject, he has really researched, but when grown-up reasoning with dream-Jesus fails, knob jokes are always there to fall back on. Also, Rich doesn't grimace.
I enjoyed the show as much as Hitler Moustache, but it was more gentle, tackling Jesus is safer than tackling Hitler, after all Jesus would most likely let you have the ball but Hitler would have SS surrounding him at all time and you'd never be allowed on the pitch. I'd still find the image of Jesus handing me the ball so much more infuriating though... Smug git!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

That Thing You Do (1996)

Tom Hanks directs a boy who looks sort of like how he used to. Like Robert Redford directing Brad Pitt, except Brad Pitt is really good and where is this boy now? Colin Hanks on the other hand, who I noticed had an non-speaking role as Liv Tyler's escort and screen time of two seconds, has done some ok comedy films and was in series two of Mad Men, he's probably more likely to be his father's protégé, but still, do we really need a new Tom Hanks?
I saw this film when it came out and now I've rewatched it 15 years later, it was nothing special. But you know, I do like that song. I downloaded that song about five years ago after hearing it used over a montage in an episode of Third Rock from the Sun (Dick, Mary and Strudwick bunk off school and go go-carting etc. Those episodes with Strudwick were the best!!)
They play the song fully about six times during the film.
Imagine how awful the film would have been if the song had been shit! The song makes the film. It's an ok film, apart from the last three seconds, which is the hotel porter grinning knowingly at the camera. What the fuck!?

Nine minutes in. Absolutely brilliant.

The Mosquito Coast (1986)

Harrison Ford plays a mentalist who tries to kill his family by making them live in the jungle and then on a beach and then on a raft- and don't pretend you didn't know he was completely unstable right from the start! It was obvious. Helen Mirren plays his wife, an extremely weak character who does nothing to protect her four children from her husband's lunacy. SHE JUST LETS IT ALL HAPPEN.
The only way out of the hell is for Harrison Ford to die, but what would have happened if he hadn't been shot by somebody else!? Would they have all just carried on?! When would Helen Mirren have said "that's enough now"? How many of the kids would have had to die before she did something?! It just made me angry that she was such a bad mother.