28 January 2010

Legion (spoilers!!!)

This is an ouch review..... it tried not to be mean but...
OK, so ignoring the reviewers I went to see Legion. What a wreck!! I don't even know where to start...

Here we go..... spoilers ahead, you have been duly warned!

The movie stars Paul Bettany as the archangel Michael, who disagrees with an order from God and decides to leave the "family" and come down to Earth on his own and protect mankind. You see, God is ticked off at humanity and finally decides to destroy mankind. Just after arriving on Earth, he breaks into a toy company, making a grand entrance through the glass roof, cuts his wings (ouch!), which causes him to loose this thing around his neck that looks like an electronic collar (so God keeps angels slaved using collars WTF?),  and sutures the wounds  with a spool of suture (chromic gut by the looks of the pack, with a needle so big I could only use on a cow's stomach ;-)) that he finds in the medicine cabinet, because as we all know, that is stuff that is kept at toy warehouses (!?!?). Oh, then he arms himself to the teeth, because the toy company is a front for an illegal arms trader, I am guessing because there is a room full of all kinds of cool machine guns. After he gets out by way of an explosion (are the doors locked from the inside?) that leaves a cross shaped opening (wtf?) on the cargo door he confronts two cops and one turns into what cannot be called anything else but a demon. Kills him and steals the patrol car.

Out in the desert in a diner in the  middle of nowhere, we come to meet the usual stereotypes. Slutty chick with uptight upper class parents,  bitter pregnant chick, boy in love with pregnant chick (but pregnant chick likes him only as a friend), bitter diner owner, religious cook, gangbanger. There is only good scene in the whole movie. A sweet looking little old lady (still think Betty White should have done this part!!!) comes in and after eating a raw steak, she starts swearing at pregnant chick that her baby is going to die and swiftly tranforms into a thing that crawls up the walls and after a brief chase she gets killed by gangbanger. Michael arrives and we learn that the baby preg chick is expecting is the only hope for lasting peace (second coming of Jesus? Why would God want to destroy his own Son. And if the baby is not his son, who is he? In Christian tradition the second coming is nothing like this....nothing in the movie uis based on any tradition that I am familiar with. This is never adressed......... ). A battle ensues between our brave group of misfits and an army of humans possesed by angels. Yeah, by angels......... I am still scratching my head over that one, why not come down from Heaven  and  carry off God's orders, since they would be almost immune to human weapons (angel wings are bullet proof!) Only Gabriel comes down from Heaven is his true form (looking a lot like Alan Cummings on Cabaret, I kid you not!) and battles Michael. Michael appparently dies and it is up to boy in love to protect the baby, the tattoos that Michael wears appear magically on Jeep's (yes, the character's name is Jeep, no wonder the poor boy is so screwed up!) body. Michael reappears and tells Gabriel that God changed his mind and decided to show mercy and not kill humanity. Michael tells Jeep he needs to continue to protect the baby, that it was his destiny all along. Why, if God has changed his mind, does Jeep and the chick with the baby have to continue running away? At times this seems like a Terrminator knockoff, angels replacing the cyborgs. This could have been a decent movie but it really is a mish mash of stuff that the more I think about it the more confusing it gets!

I won't even go into the acting.... Bettany has the same facial expression throughout the whole movie, moody and distant. His accent varies from English to an almost Southern twang, very annoying. The rest is not even worth mentioning.

The director also wrote and produced the movie. He should have fired himself. OY!

I guess the animation of the Angel wings is kinda cool.......there, I found something nice to say hahaha!


24 January 2010

Ak & Zuie /Stephen Jay gig Jan 16. 2010

The trip:

After a trip in which I found out what a chicken thigh feels like in a  Shake n' Bake bag, I arrived in Sunny California.  Cold for the locals, heavenly mild for me. After stopping at Pyramid Lake and taking some pictures got to Frazier Park kinda early so I drove around, beautiful area. Desert in FP, gigantic pine tree woods to the west of there, mountains everywhere (Illinois is mostly flat as a pancake, so I go gaga when I see mountains :-)). 

The show:

The place they were playing at is a small art gallery during the day. Cozy place full of locals except us "fangirls" that came from near and far; me, Nancy, Helen, Vikki and Tina. What a treat was to hear the guys play in such a cool setting. The sounds was as close to perfect as humanly possible. There is something very unique about hearing them play live as opposed than listening to their music on a CD, which is fantastic too. There is a lot of improvisation and mixture of rythms that you acan only achieve playing live. They even played a brand new song called "Cold in the Sun", watch for this one on Steve's MySpace and his website pretty soon. It has a very contagious reggaesque sound that you will love!. One song that they allways play that is one of my favorites is "Trouble". This song is good on CD but live you can really hear all the nuances a recording just cannot do justice to.  I did not write down the set list, too entranced with the music to do it, plus I was "field testing" my new camera on low light setting for the first time, I got side-tracked. Off the top of my head they played:

"Cool Dry Place"
"All of the Above"
"Cold in the Sun"
"Sea Never Dry"
"She was the One"
"Can't Wait Long"
"Thank You"
"Big Shoes"

As I think of the other stuff they played, I will add them.

At the end we had impromptu dancing, and jam sessions with two audience members, very cool. Three hours of great music and fun flew by!

23 January 2010

The Addams Family, a New Musical

The preview/tryout for the Addams Family just ended its roughly 3 month run two weeks ago. I had the opportunity of seeing this new play a few times,  starting the third time it was performed publically and ending on the closing night.  

The gist:

Wednesday turns 18 and as an adult member of the family she is to abide to the rituals and rules of the clan. Well, not so much, she has a boyfriend that she has been trying to hide from her parents, because he is "normal".  So of course the Addams, ever the perfect hosts, invite them over for dinner. The Bienecke's arrive and they are normal, well as normal as things are in the Addams Family universe, but the Missus'  outfit reminded me of bird poo and has made me develop a sudden dislike of anything golden yellow.  Morticia begins to dubt herself as a seductive woman, now that Wednesday is in the spotlight. They have dinner and play The Game, in which the adults reveal their deepest secrets and Mrs. Bienecke, with some pharmacological help courtesy of Grandma's potions (an acident, since she was not the intended reciepient) gives way to a dark, dark, dark song that creeped out everyone, even Gomez. The B's try to leave but a sudden (and convenient) storm ensues and they are stuck at the mansion overnight.  Morticia and Mrs. B bond while the guys discuss life and squids, giving way to the funniest, if not most ridiculous (and I mean mean ridiculous with the utmost respect) song of the show.

The cast:

Gomez and Morticia are played by Nathan Lane and Bebe Newirth respectively. I alsmost wrecked my truck when I heard the the announcement on Sirius last year. The are both extremeley talented actors with a gazillion years on the stage under their belts and I had never had the honor of seeing them perform live. I love Bebe as Morticia, got to see her understudy once (Rachel de Benedet and she was fantastic also), Nathan was overdoing it at first, his accent was like the love child of Antonio Banderas and Arnold, the Governator! But he was much better on later performances.  Terrence Mann plays Mr. Bienecke, seems a bit restrained at times (his character as a whole is a bit bland, compared to everyone else) but when he sings his solo at the end......... I remember why I love this man's voice so very much. Jackie Hoffman steals the show as Grandma! On later shows she was ad-libing during her monologue and on New Years Eve she made a joke about Dick Clark and dropping balls that made everyone (including the other actors!) crack up laughing for a few minutes, effectively stopping the show.  She is being way underutilized on this show, there, I said it. Krysta Rodriguez is effective as Wednesday. She  has a very funny song about how freaked out she is about feeling normal that the kids loved.  Kevin Chamberlain is adorable as Uncle Fester. Adam Riegler playing Pugsley, has improved a ton since the first show (but I cut him some slack since he is a kid), seeming much more at ease with his character and his interactions with the rest of the cast. Wesley Taylor plays Wednesday's boyfriend, Lucas. He was one of the characters that I was worried about at first, his lines made him seem lost among everyone else but that has improved..  Lurch, played by Zachary James, having only one song and real lines at the end of the show, is a total waste of that beautiful baritone voice he has.


The play has good potential of succeeding ........... it just needs a bit of tweaking before hitting Broadway in March...

I give 3.5/5

Favorite line:

"This is Peyote, one swig of this and before you know you are  locked up at Bellevue screaming
 I AM SPARTACUS!!!!"-Grandma