Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bad Guys

Recently someone came across my Facebook page and posted this: Do you think villains are cooler than superheroes? Read our 5.2 Reason why we think they are.

It's a fun post, but it lacks a sense of... BOON.

So, for your rip-off pleasure, I bring you...


That's right. I'm not going to stop at super villains, AKA "Bad Guys," and super heroes. I'm not even going to stop at FICTIONAL characters! **GASP!** "Can she do that?!" I can, silly citizen. Sit back, and watch.

Let's start with who everyone should always start with when discussing fictional characters: Shakespeare. What absolutely amazes me about Shakespeare is that each and every single one of this characters is FASCINATING, and fun to play, watch, or read. This RARELY ever happens in any other play, story, what have you.

For example, let's look at Twilight. You know I'm a Twilight fan, but it's not because of Meyer's amazing turn-of-phrase, or her strong secondary character development. Her character Emmett, for example, has NO depth, NO character, and brings nothing to the story except to add numbers to the Cullen Clan and be there for Rosalie, whose character is a tad more crucial.

But if Shakespeare had written Twilight, (I'll wait for those who have just fainted to regain consciousness,) Emmett would be a fascinating, hilarious, character, who was witty, driven, AND charming.

Oh wow, excuse me. I seem to have just gone off on a crazy Twilight/Shakespeare tangent. Let's get back to the point, shall we?

Shakespeare plays have some of the GREATEST acting roles EVER. And if anyone ever, EVER offers you the chance t
o play a Shakespeare villain, you take it. My favorite is Iago from Othello. In fact, the reason I love that play so much is BECAUSE of Iago. While, sure, who wouldn't kill to play Hamlet? But playing Hamlet is WORK DARNIT! Playing his uncle the King... **shudder** that's just fun. Playing Iago? FUN! Playing Ty
balt? FUN! FUN! FUN! FUN! Why is playing a villain so fun? Because we're nice little people, living in a polite little effing society. We dot our i's to make them easier for other people to read, and tie our shoes so we don't trip on peoples' dogs. Playing villains allows us to escape from being nice. We get to explore revenge, vengeance, gluttony!

Coincidentally, this is also what makes watching villains more fun. We love to watch actors have fun. Above EVERYTHING, we love to watch people have fun.

We love to watch people do things we can't do, but more so, we like to watch people have fun.

I discovered this when I went to see a church production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamc
oat." If you know me, you know I'm a bit of a play snob, music snob, snob-snob, so you'll know that I look on the play as pop-corn theater. It's cheesy, and there's nothing "impressive" about it. (You want impressive, you go see a Mozart opera.) However, if you read my blog you know that I'm a fan of fun. This musical is fun, and nobody showcased that fun more than this church's production. The actors were mostly of the teen-aged variety, (Now, I've worked with teen-aged actors; it's not easy, but it is fun.) I'd bet that over half the cast had never been in a play before. But it was one of the best times I have ever had in an audience, because the cast was having SO MUCH FUN!

So, in a nutshell, we love villains because they're fun, and the people portraying them are having fun. Do you think Heath Ledger was having fun while he was playing The Joker? You can TELL he was having a blast! You could tell by his ingenuity, by the way he said, "Yeah," after he was asked, "You think you can steal half our money and get away with it?" You could tell by the way he clapped for the newly appointed Commissioner. We didn't like the performance because it was gritty; we liked it because Ledger was having a time.

But that's not the only reason we love villains! We also love them because they just don't care. And the number one rule to coolness is to not care. If you care, you're not cool. And villains don't care; their sidekicks care. Lefou, Gaston's little buddy from Beauty and the Beast, he cared. (Although, Iago, from Aladdin, I'd say didn't care, and was a lot cooler than Lefou. Although, albeit, obnoxious.)

There are more reasons, but I'm not going to tell you everything. Sometimes you do have to think for yourselves. Geez, people.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monsters University

I've never seen Revenge of the Nerds, but apparently MU takes its plot from that movie. Apparently so does House Bunny, which I regrettably HAVE seen. (Note: the only good movie starring Anna Faris is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.)

But I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. It avoided one over-used under-dog mechanic, and traded it in for a less-used one, making the movie way less predictable. (SPOILER: When they were nearing the end of the Scare Games, it was time for the movie to introduce a Billy Madison style disqualification. The fat wrestler comes out and gives a reason why the team should be disqualified. And while this KIND of happened, it didn't happen until later, and Sully's confession brought it on, not a fat wrestler... although Sully IS really big.)

I loved this movie. I LOVED it. It was care-free, and ADORABLE. I'm glad we bought the digital copy so my son can watch it on our iPad on long car trips when he's a little older. I'm sure he'll love it.

I DID call that they were invited to that party to be Carried. And they totally were. (If you get a chance to Carrie someone, you have to take it... at least when making a movie.)

The purple guy what resembles a bridge is my favorite.

To quote Floyd, "I want to see it again!"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

About Great Gatsby

I take back what I said about it.

The first time I critiqued the movie was after I had watched a bad copy. I watched a better copy and effing loved it.

I thought that might happen.

Baz Luhrmann is all about spectacle, glances, and images. 80% of the story is seen.

But Daisy is still the worst, Jer.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Musical Every Teenager Loves

Of course, I could be talking about a number of musicals. Wicked comes to mind. But no, I'm talking about GREASE! 

Teenagers love it more than anyone else in the world. Why? Maybe it's because the movie's (I'm only talking about the movie, not the play. The play is weird.) about teenagers. Maybe it's because DJ's play that awfully cheesy medley at teen dances. Maybe it's because they don't see the movie until they're teenagers, because it's not exactly kid-friendly.

I'm not saying "Little Shop of Horrors" or "Les Miserables" is kid friendly. But at least the morals of those stories are appropriate.

Grease, on the other hand, is a story about an innocent, strong teenage woman who gets mixed up with a bad group of gangsters, falls in love, and turns into a big slutty tramp.

Is this the message we want to be sending the youth of America? No. Do they eat it up? Apparently.

And have you LISTENED to some of those lyrics John Travolta blurs together in, "Grease Lightening?" They had to edit the words when they performed the song on Glee. And that's saying something!

Now, I loved me some Grease when I was a teenager. I knew the ending was lame, and not to pay too much attention to "Grease Lightening," and that the "Beauty School Drop-Out" song was a fat waste of time, but Danny Zuko was hot, the characters were interesting, the songs were fun, everyone else loved it, and... the songs were fun.

The moral of the story being, sometimes we like musicals because the music is good. Sometimes we like musicals because........................................ Well, sometimes it seems there's just no good reason. 

Teenagers of America, you could do worse.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Careers

Now that we've got another Hunger Games installment coming up, let's talk about The Careers.

The Careers are kids from Districts 1, 2, & 4. They train for the Games and volunteer, and look at the competition as a means of providing riches and glory. Usually the winner of the Games comes from one of these Districts.

In The Hunger Games The Careers are...

From District 1: Glimmer & Marvel.
District 1 is the wealthiest of the Districts, and supplies the Capitol with luxuries including wigs and diamonds.
Glimmer is a pretty blond Barbie who operates a bow and arrow, (not as well as Katniss does,) and is killed by Katniss via Tracker Jackers, (mutant yellow jackets.)
Glimmer is portrayed in the film by Because her death is rather early on, we don't see a lot of acting from her, but what we do see pretty much matches what we expected from the book.
Marvel is also killed by Katniss. He's a spear thrower and meets his end after spearing Rue. He is played by . His part is so small that Katniss doesn't even know his name.

From District 2: Clove and Cato.
District 2 is all about masonry.
Clove throws a pretty mean knife, (or a couple of them,) and comes close to killing Katniss a number of times, but eventually is pulled off of her by Thresh, (from District 11,) and is killed. She's played by I like Isabelle. She has a good Clove-look, and her acting is pretty awesome, except when Thresh is slamming her head against the cornucopia; she screams for Cato more like Thresh is tickling her, and less like he's killing her.
Cato is the ring-leader of the pack of Careers, and wields a sword. His casting is near perfect. He looks formidable, but he also looks like a child. He's played by  whose final scene on top the cornucopia is pitiful... in a good way! His hand is shot, by Katniss, then he falls into a pack of mutant dogs and is done away with by the mercy of Katniss's bow.

From District 4:
District 4 supplies the Capitol with fish.
We don't know their names. The boy tribute was killed immediately at the cornucopia blood bath. (In the movie, Cato kills him during that scene.) And the girl was killed by the Tracker Jackers, ie: by Katniss. However, in the movie she is killed when her male counterpart was, by the same hands. I guess they didn't make it into the alliance.

In Catching Fire, things are a little bit different and the tributes have all been in the ring before, making everybody Career material.

From District 4 we have, of course, Finnick Odair, played by The Pirates of the Caribbean's On Stranger Tides' Phillip. He won the 65th Hunger Games, (We're on the 75th. Catch up!) His lady friend is Mags, who won who knows which Hunger Games, and you'll have to see the movie, or heaven forbid, read the book, to learn what happens to either of them.

From District 2 we have Brutus and Enobaria. You'll have to read/watch to learn more about them too.

From District 1 we have a brother and sister team, Cashmere and Gloss. (Gloss is the boy.) I'm not telling what happens to them either.

Which brings me to my own Careers. When my husband and I were directing a play I wrote, we naturally had to have auditions. During said auditions we quickly realized we had two categories of actors: Careers, and the others. No. We're not telling you their names. But they honed their craft, and had deadly accuracy. ;)

If you'd like to see where the districts lie, or where you would be, look no further. (Actually, you may want to look further. There are loads of Panem maps and each one is different. This one claims to be the most accurate.)

It looks like the best part of the country is underwater. Too bad. Although, where I live now survived. Yay! Which brings me to my next question; is District 6 the cow district? No. It's their transportation district. Weird.

The problem with this map, and others like it, is it leaves no room in between the Districts. So, if this is "the most accurate," then I'm guess I'm gonna hold my breath and wait for a better one to come along. Or make one my-frickin'-self.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Underrated, and in Everything

Guess who one of my favorite actors is?

Need hints? That didn't give it away on its own? Okay. Here are some hints.

1. He's a dude.
2. He's in LOTS of stuff.
3. He's in The Hunger Games movies.
4. He's in Julie & Julia
5. He's in the Percy Jackson movies.
6. He was in that Jack the Giant Slayer movie. (No. Obviously I'm not talking about Marcus since Marcus wasn't in any of the other movies listed above.)
7. He was in Captain America. (DON'T GO ON IMDb yet! Just wait, and I'll tell you! Geez! I'm getting there!)
8. Easy A
9. The Lovely Bones (Yawn! More like The Boring Bones!)
10. A Mid-Summer Night's Dream (You're getting hot now. Come on! Here's a big clue: he was PUCK!)
11. He was in The Devil Wear's Prada....

You've got it now, right?

Well, he'll be in the upcoming Transformers movie, (which, by the way, has Marky Mark and "Frajer" ["FRAJER!"] and NOT Shia LaBeouf in it.) and he is...



Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing

The Problem with Much Ado About Nothing is that I've seen 's version. So, unless you've got an actor better than KWesley Wyndam-Pryce, but you don't, and unless you've got an actress better than  which, I'm sorry Fred' but do I even have to say you're not better than Emma Thompson? Really? - then I'm afraid, your version is just going to fall short.
enneth Branagh which, I'm sorry

While I'm not as avid a fan of  as everyone else in the world seems to be, I thought he was a fine Dogberry... however, not when compared to  who played the role in Kenneth Branagh's version. (Honestly, if you find a movie directed by Branagh, WATCH IT!)

The character I found the most fascinating was 's Don John, the bastard brother of the prince. Sean Maher is known for pretty much nothing, but I found him interesting and full of villainy... or something. Oddly enough, in Branagh's version this part is played by Keanu Reeves of all people. But remember this movie came out in 1993, a year after Keanu was in that Dracula movie, and only two years after he starred as Ted in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Parts were funny. But, I'm afraid, for the most part the movie was a bit dull. Shakespeare aught not to be dull! Shakespeare aught not to be played subtly! Shakespeare, especially comedic Shakespeare, aught to be a little over the top.

It was filmed in 12 days, with... no budget it seems, and I appreciate that they endeavored it, but if I'm going to watch Much Ado About Nothing, I'm going to watch Branagh's.

And, caution if you do watch Wedon's version, it gets a bit racy. It owns up to its PG-13 title. Put the kiddos to bed first.

I liked it better than my husband did. In college my husband played the part of Don John the Prince. So perhaps it's a little dearer to his heart than it is to mine, and therefore he's more affronted by... slight mediocrity.

All right. I am done with thee. Go to, but ere you part, remember, "If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer: his glory shall be ours, (in your best Spartan voice:) FOR WE ARE THE ONLY LOVE-GODS!"