Monday, May 22, 2017

What's Next On My List? Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again

Welcome to #MusicalMay! If you have followed my blog before, then you know that I am big musical fan. I just think that singing makes everything better, I really do. It is a sort of medicine to the soul. When two years ago I wrote about my favorites from Halloween to Christmas I still had many left on my list and I will cover a few of them this month! Enjoy the music.

Television has decided to start a series of live events with famous musicals and I am 100% for it. The castings are remarkable, in my opinion, and always have something new. Some musicals, no matter how much I love them, I will never see live and this is the closest I'll ever come to it.

A young engaged couple gets lost in the woods and ends up in a castle owned by a Professor Frank-n-Further. On the night the Professor shows them her creation, Rocky, and from then on the horror ensues as the main characters lose all sense of who they are and were before that night.

Of course I don't have to tell you about this musical, everyone knows it, and there have been hundreds of versions since. The idea of actually casting a transgender actor, however, I think is simply wonderful. I adored every second Laverne Cox was on the screen! It drew me in right from the start. I adore this musical, the songs, the idea behind it, the intertextual jokes and the magic of the overall story.
This musical probably has the largest fan base all over the world. It has been in the theater for the longest time, despite being a fail at the box office at first. Re-enactments of the musical within the theater are, I believe, some of the best ways to pay tribute to something people adore. Now, coming back to this version: it was great. It is different, but then again, what's the point of making it the same as the original? It won't be, so dare to pay homage but move on at the same time. A different angle, a different cast, a more open approach to an idea that was already revolutionary when it came out. As far as I'm concerned, the more versions the better, but people should be introduced to the original before getting to know the newer ones.

Watch it? Sure, it's good fun. Songs you love and actors you should get to know. One crazy night that can change your life, as it changed that of the main characters.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Dr. Frank-N-Furter - Laverne Cox
Janet WeissVictoria Justice
Brad Majors Ryan McCartan
Columbia Annaleigh Ashford
Riff Raff - Reeve Carney
Eddie Adam Lambert
Rocky Staz Nair
Dr. Scott Ben Vereen
The Usherette - Ivy Levan
The Criminologist, An Expert - Tim Curry

Friday, May 19, 2017

What's Next On My List? Repo! The Genetic Opera

Welcome to #MusicalMay! If you have followed my blog before, then you know that I am big musical fan. I just think that singing makes everything better, I really do. It is a sort of medicine to the soul. When two years ago I wrote about my favorites from Halloween to Christmas I still had many left on my list and I will cover a few of them this month! Enjoy the music.

What I adore about musicals is that they can be of any genre, from comedy to horror, really any story can be told through music. I, for one, don't like horror and yet the musical format not only made me enjoy but also care for the following musical:

In the future an epidemic brings about a company, GeneCo, that provides organs for anyone who needs them, however, if they can't pay or they breach their contracts, then they send the Repo man after them and he gets back what is rightfully GeneCo's. Our main character is Shilo Wallace, who is sick as well, and her father keeps her closed in their home, but she sneaks out to see the world and that is how she discovers much of the horror that surrounds them. This monopolistic system is, however, close to being changed because if GeneCo is no more, then the possibilities are endless.

This is a strange world, but it grabs you. First of all, the story is told as if it was a comic book, with transitions that turn into drawings. This already got me hooked, because much more than brining comics into life, I love it when we are made to believe we are reading one. Second, there is a narrator to the story, a Graverobber, who finds the main character in a cemetery and introduces her to the harsh reality that is their world. This apocalyptic vision of a dark world that is dying and people being obsessed with their looks and plastic surgery is surprisingly believable. The world is no longer in control of the government, but of one company that has money.
The narrator gets a material, zydrate, from old graves which help with the pain if you get a surgery, and some use it to get high - like the daughter of the owner of GeneCo. And the man, the Repo, who gets back the organs if you don't pay in time is the father of our main character. His job - to kill to get back the organs - is justified by the fact that there is not much else to do in a world where organ markets rule and everyone wants to get high enough to not see the chaos and dismay that surrounds them. Of course, there are a few twists and turns to the story that I am intentionally not revealing because I believe you should see it. If you plan a horror movie night, or if you like musicals, or just apocalyptic dystopias then you will surely enjoy it! Grotesque and eerie and chilling in a good way.

Watch it? Well, yes. Here is the problem with musical movies that are made solely for the small screen: they go unnoticed. If something is a hit on Broadway then it is likely to be a hit as a movie as well because the people have heard or known of it for years. Although most actors in this are famous, the movie was somewhat unnoticed. I'm sure it has its own fan base, and that's awesome, but it could be bigger!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _

Shilo WallaceAlexa PenaVega
Rotti LargoPaul Sorvino
Nathan / Repo ManAnthony Head
Blind MagSarah Brightman
Amber SweetParis Hilton
GraverobberTerrance Zdunich

Friday, May 12, 2017

What Next On My List? The Last Five Years

Welcome to #MusicalMay! If you have followed my blog before, then you know that I am big musical fan. I just think that singing makes everything better, I really do. It is a sort of medicine to the soul. When two years ago I wrote about my favorites from Halloween to Christmas I still had many left on my list and I will cover a few of them this month! Enjoy the music.

This was one my sister's favorite musicals and she was happy it was made into a movie, so was I, because you see we will never go to Broadway. Even if by chance we get the money to go to America, we will never get to see our favorite musicals live. We love musical movies because they bring us closer. And not everything gets translated into Hungarian, so the stage is rarely an option for us. This is one of those musicals too.

The narration of this musical is outstanding. We have a couple, Cathy and Jamie, and the story is told backwards for one of them. Cathy, an actress, starts off singing at the end of their relationship, while Jamie, the writer, is at the beginning. They meet up in the middle, when Jamie asks Cathy to marry him, and in the end we see how Jamie is no longer as happy in this relationship as the fist time Cathy was when she met him.

"Jamie is over and Jamie is gone.
Jamie's decided it's time to move on.
Jamie has new dreams he's building upon.
And I'm still hurting."

This idea is quite spectacular, not to mention that to me it signified that there was a point of view shift within the musical. When Jamie asks her to marry him, the initial scene is repeated, but a bit differently, which to me implied that now we see it from Cathy's point of you. Not only point of view but from her recollection of the story. As the story unravels you sometimes feel mad at Jamie, but then again, that is just one point of view. Each relationship takes two, let that be marriage, love, friendship, and each side has their own good reasons for acting the way they do. You need to listen and be patient. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't, but don't let that be because there was no communication or you were too stubborn to put aside your own expectations.
This musical actually reminds me of a quote from the TV show Nashville, which goes "Sometimes the one we learn the most from is not the one we end up with." When you think about it, we all have relationships that had an impact in our lives. Whoever they were, they had a place in our hearts and left something, good or bad, that we learned from. We learned something of ourselves through that process. In this story Cathy and Jamie learn who they are, what makes them happy, what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and the other one might not be that 'one' they are meant to be with. But the journey they took to get there cannot be underestimated. Shifting the storyline for one of the characters highlights just how important they were to each other. This is a wonderful musical.

Watch it? I'm telling you it's brilliant. The imdb rating is complete idiocracy. This movie had the misfortune of coming out on a bad weekend and people STILL don't take the time to understand musicals and the story behind them... I for one adore every single second of it and wish more people could see it!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _

Cathy - Anne Kendrick
Jamie - Jeremy Jordan

Friday, May 5, 2017

What's Next On My List? Evita

Welcome to #MusicalMay! If you have followed my blog before, then you know that I am big musical fan. I just think that singing makes everything better, I really do. It is a sort of medicine to the soul. When two years ago I wrote about my favorites from Halloween to Christmas I still had many left on my list and I will cover a few of them this month! Enjoy the music.

First up is the musical that reminded me that I need to continue my musical reviews:


A musical of the life of Eva Perón, wife of Juan Perón, the president of Argentina between 1946 and 1955. The story details how Eva came to live in Buenos Aires and how she became an actress only to meet Perón at a fundraiser. From then on the two became a power couple and were beloved as they fought dictators and cared about the nation. The story is narrated by Ché, who appears in the background of all of Eva's life, he is both active and passive, and in the end it seems that he loved Eva maybe more than any other Argentinian. Perhaps Eva loved him too.

"Sometimes it's very difficult to keep momentum when it's you that you are following."

This is one of those musicals in which you fall in love with the songs more and more each time you re-watch it. First time, two or three, second, four or five and so on until you know the whole soundtrack by heart. Whilst watching this movie you'll also ask yourself why doesn't Antonio Banderas sing more?! As far as I'm concerned I would give him a role in every single musical out there :D His voice and his charisma as a narrator are essentially the best part of this movie. Of course that is arguable as Madonna's performance is wonderful. Very few movies I can think of where I was happy that a singer was cast as an actor, but here? I applaud that decision.
The musical of course is quite controversial. Eva Perón was a beloved woman by her people and the movie showcases parts of her life that one might not be proud of on a larger scale. She was accused of abusing her looks and connections to get ahead. Historically accurate or not, the movie does not bring into question that her charity work and her devotion to the people was done with love. She cared. She did make a difference. If she didn't there would be no musical about her, think about that! Even if there are debatable parts, the music and the narration is outstanding, the casting is literally the best of Hollywood and if you have questions regarding the story then look them up. That is the beauty of historical figures: you can always clear things up for yourself! Here is my favorite song from the musical:

Watch it? Well, it is 100% worth it for the music. You might argue that you are not a fan of Madonna, and to that I will say that you shouldn't worry, this is Eva Perón on the screen. Historical musicals I believe are the best way to learn for anyone. It makes you interested in the background, the inspiration and the reason for the need to tell that given story. I would so much recommend this movie that I'm going to re-watch it right now!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Eva - Madonna
Juan Perón - Jonathan Pryce
Magaldi - Jimmy Nail

Saturday, April 29, 2017

What's Next On My List? Children Of Men

Welcome to #ApocalypticApril! The aim is to cover movies that either have an apocalyptic element or take place after it. I had a class on this, "Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction", and although it was over three years ago, it is still one of my favorites to recall of the many free credits I did. I planned this month for a while now and decided that this is the year for it! Hope you enjoy!

This is the last review for April and in the apocalyptic fashion I thought I would leave for last something that had a major impact on me as a viewer.

In the year 2027 a dystopian future has come to life, when everyone is monitored, but women have become infertile. It has been 18 years since the last baby was born and the youngest person alive was casualty to a bombing on the day when the adventure of our main character begins. Theo Faron is recruited by his ex to help a woman to safety, a woman, who is pregnant by some miracle. She has to be transported to The Human Project where she will be safe, but in a world torn apart by war these two fugitives will have a hard time as there is no one they can trust.

I have seen this movie when it came out. Something drew me to it and I was petrified afterwards. First, the idea of this world is something that was more real to me than anything else. Men with guns shooting at everything and everyone, bombs on every corner, in coffee shops and so on. Nobody is safe. Nobody can be trusted. It was plain terrifying and of course the only organization that cares about the life of humans is considered a myth... I have seen and have reviewed some of the worst sets of dictatorships that have been told in movies or books or anime after an apocalypse. While some dealt with the impending doom of an apocalypse coming. This movie to me was scary because all the others had elements to them that made them a bit less real. I'm not scared of encountering a monster like in Cloverfield, I'm not worried about zombie-like vampire creatures, or an alien attack from someone that fears humanity. I am, however, scared of human stupidity. We as a race are f*cking idiots and we reach for a guns before asking questions and that is the future that this movie showed us.
In not being able to understand the reason for infertility we just start killing each other. Soldiers putting their lives on the line for... what? Each country is dying out. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. There is one beautiful scene where the woman has already had her child and the soldiers hear the cry of the baby and they stop to shoot. Everyone stops to listen to the cry of a child. Something they haven't heard in years. You understand that this is what they fight for: life. But even life has become secondary to conflict and someone needed to remind them of it. Our heroes are victorious but at great costs and great losses. The movie maintains its dark grayish hue as that is what a world that is about to crumble will be. Even if there is a sun up in the sky, the smoke of guns and fires will hide it.

Watch it? Be prepared to cry and to be scared, but moved at the same time. The idea that some haven't forgotten what matters, as in, that children are literally the future is great moral message. Humanity at its worst presented in a wonderful movie. I do recommend it.

This, however, ends our apocalyptic tails for a while. I wanted to write about these movies for the longest time, so I'm happy I got around to them. More? We'll see. This is it for 2017 as far as our impending doom is concerned!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _ 

Theo Faron - Clive Owen
Jasper - Michael Cain
Julian - Julianne Moore