The Red Shoes Review; Waiter, there is a Movie in my Ballet!

The Red Shoes picture image

The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes is a take on the story by Hans Christian Anderson of the same name and gives it like a modern take, and by modern I mean 1948. I had no knowledge of this movie beforehand, I just randomly found it on a live-action fairy tale list and I really wanted to like it and most people seem to enjoy it. I mean it has a 96% on rotten tomatoes and it won and was nominated for a few academy awards including Best Picture. However I really didn’t enjoy this movie and let me tell you why.

Moira Shearer as Vicky practicing The Red Shoes picture image

Moira Shearer as Vicky practicing

Basically it follows this aspiring ballerina named Victoria Page, or Vicky. She lands a spot in this fancy ballet. Also there is this aspiring composer named Julian Craster who also get into the company. The Ballet is ruled erm run by this seemingly ruthless dude named Lermontov.

So one day the principle ballerina decides that love is good and leaves the ballet to get married because honey you can’t do both as love ruins dancing according to meanie-face Lermontov. So Vicky gets the lead in a new Ballet based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Red Shoes. Craster is conducting and wrote the score. He and Vicky butt-heads about tempo but the ballet goes well and their careers pick up. Then they follow in love and they leave the ballet. Craster writes an opera and Lermontov lures Vicky to perform The Red Shoes again. Craster leaves his opera opening night to make Vicky chose between him and dancing the part. Vicky can’t choice as dancing is like breathing to her so she kills herself Anna Karenina style. Her dying wish is for the red shoes she is wearing to be removed and The Red Shoes is performed without Vicky but the spotlight follows her as if she was dancing. And my friends, that is a 2 hour and ten minute movie.

Moira Shearer as Vicky  The Red Shoes picture image

Moira Shearer as Vicky

Now before I tell you why I disliked this movie, I will tell you what I did liked, besides when it ended. The best part of the movie and what held my interest was the ballet proportion. The movie presents The Red Shoes ballet is its entirety and it was really magical. I really like that Moira Shearer, the actress who played Vicky was a ballet dancer first. It seems to me that ballet was the reason for the movie. Like the story and characters were built around that.

Moira Shearer as Vicky having to choice between love and dancing The Red Shoes picture image

Moira Shearer as Vicky having to choice between love and dancing

That being said this movie broke the first rule of screenwriting, SHOW, DON’T TELL! They did that with the ballet and it was magic but the rest of the movie was all tell. The big plot of the movie is Vicky’s struggles with love and dancing and that plot thread was like thirty minutes tops.

In fact Vickey and Craster’s love story was blatantly told to us. We didn’t see them fall in love they just said that they were so in love. They literally have three conversations and one they were arguing about tempo and them BAM they’re in love. WHAT THE FUCK Movie?

You know what this means? Anakin and Padme have a more believable love story in Attack of the Clones than Vicky and Craster, at least Anakin and Padme spoke more to each other. I should never, ever point to the Star Wars prequels as positive unless it’s a costume. I feel so dirty, thanks movie.

Moira Shearer as Vicky  The Red Shoes image picture

Moira Shearer as Vicky

Also, I never saw Vicky’s need for dance and that is kind of what linked her to the story of The Red Shoes, the addiction and it leading to downfall, pain and death. Didn’t not get that from her character. I mean she said she needed to dance but the feeling of her yearning for dance was not expressed just said.

Moira Shearer as Vicky with Anton Walbrook as Lermontov   The Red Shoes  picture image

Moira Shearer as Vicky with Anton Walbrook as Lermontov

The Red Shoes was shot in Glorious Technicolor but I didn’t see the glory I just dull brown tones. It just made everything seem more boring than it had to be. For a movie called The Red Shoes, the shoes should have popped more and yes they probably could have done something to that effect is late 1940’s. And again only the Ballet had interesting color tonalities.

Also the shots seemed more for a stage than a movie and the scene that was literally on a stage seemed more cinematic. Was that a style choice or did they just really liked the ballet scene over the rest? I’m going to the second one.

Moira Shearer as Vicky  The Red Shoes picture image

Moira Shearer as Vicky

The acting was also dull. The ONLY time I felt emotion which is needed to fairy-tale movie was in the Ballet scene, figures, and I guess the ending but with the ending it was too little too late. There was like no build up to Vickey pain and it was dumb of Craster to make her make that choice. I mean the movie tried to paint Lermontov as this demon who hated love but Vicky and Craster expressed as much love as limp dish towels. It was WAY too forced to be effective.

Also was it just me or was the actor playing Lermontov doing a Lawrence Olivier impression? It was both hilarious and jarring.

Moira Shearer as Vicky  The Red Shoes picture image

Moira Shearer as Vicky

One truth there is to fairy tales is they are emotional pieces, not logical, not deep but they evokes feelings. I don’t need all my movies to have compelling characters with deep stories but all The Red Shoes evoked from me were yawns, except for the ballet part, if that had been the movie it would have been great.

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Quasimodo Reference in A Trivia Game

I was over a friend’s house and we decided to play this game a call Smart Ass. It’s a trivia card game and it’s really fun. So it was mine turn to read one of the cards and the player who guessed the answer right  landed a  bonus tile, so I had to read a card from the hard-ass pile. On card you have a choice of two questions  and I kid you not this is the card I drew to read.

Quasimodo Card from the game  Smart Ass picture image

Quasimodo Card from the game Smart Ass

 

Even though I knew the player knew the answer I had to pick the Hunchback reference. Smart Ass is also really fun, I would recommend it plus it has a Hunchback reference so clearly it’s awesome.

I won the first game, and the next two games I kept getting bad rolls that forced me back three spaces but it’s a really fun game. Photo credit to my pal Jackie ^^.

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Songs of Notre Dame de Paris Part 7

This part have FIVE songs because of someone’s weird decision to change a song

Ma maison c’est ta maison (My House is your House)

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame Ma Maison c'est ta maison garou helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame

Ma maison c’est ta maison is one of the sweetest songs in Notre Dame de Paris. In it Quasimodo offer Notre Dame as both protection and a home to Esmeralda, very nice. This is the only version really do this as Esmeralda isn’t in any trouble.

It also just a nice duet between Quasimodo and Esmeralda but it offer some character development, like what Notre Dame means to Quasimodo, like it’s his passion, his air, his prison his homeland etc. Esmeralda admits to being afraid of Quasimodo but through this interacting she changing her mind as he reminds her of the gargoyles which make her laugh when she is bored. That could sound mean but it’s not meant that way.

Melodically the song is very gentle and sweet. Unlike the other songs in the song the built isn’t with music, it’s Esmeralda and Quasimodo singing together which is a nice little change.

This song also makes Notre Dame seem great, cool in the summer and warm in the winter, I live in New England so that sound wonderful as we have insane winters and crazy humid summers.

One more thing, I really like when Esmeralda takes Quasimodo’s hands, it’s very nice. It’s always nice when the performer have good chemistry and Garou and Helene Segara have really wonderful chemistry.

Ave Maria Païen (The Pagan Ave Maria)

Helene Segara singing Ave Maria Paien in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Helene Segara singing Ave Maria Paien

Ave Maria Païen is one of Esmeralda’s big musical numbers. It’s a clear homage to the 1939 version when she prays to Mary. Disney had a similar scene but the tone and message was a little different.

In this song Esmeralda ask for protect for herself and she asks that barrier like race, nationality and other creeds that divide people be lifted which is her philosophy. So while she asks for protection and also ask for the welfare of people who get trampled on people in power much like God Help the Outcast.

The song itself is rather simple but gorgeous. Instead of having complex chords and music it instead has a children choir which just adds a lot of beauty and atmosphere. Also Helene Segara sells with song with a lot of passion in her voice.

Jens sens ma vie qui bascule (I feel my life slipping)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Jens sens ma vie qui bascule Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Jens sens ma vie qui bascule

While Esmeralda was praying Frollo was watching her and he becomes more fascinated by her. Really, this bridge song is meant to link Ave Maria Païen with Tu vas me détruire but in some way it’s more of introdution to Frollo’s song. It makes that point that Frollo is becoming vulnerable.

As a bridge song goes, Je sens ma vie qui bascule was perfect for Frollo’s character and the flow of the show and then they ruined it.

Si Tu Pouvais Voir en moi (If you could see inside me)

Gio di Tonno as Quasimodo, Notre Dame de Paris Itlaian version picture image

Gio di Tonno as Quasimodo, Notre Dame de Paris Itlaian version

Sometime in 2001 someone changed Jens sens ma vie qui bascule to Si Tu Pouvais Voir en moi song by Quasimodo, who is now the one watching Esmeralda pray taking Frollo out of the scene which makes his following song come out of no where which makes for sloppy flow.

But more than that this song is basically Quasimodo calling Esmeralda out for being shallow and not loving him as every other guy’s love is not true like his. This song is just fucking pointless, we already know this from Belle. I just don’t understand the thought process of ruining the pacing, the following song, and ruining Quasimodo’s character. Quasimodo is calling her shallow for not seeing inside and yeah Quasimodo did something like that in the book with vases but this song feels wrong for his character.
Really it would have been fine for Quasimodo to watch Esmeralda pray but it ruined too much to be meaningful to the show. I HATE this song, hate, hate, hate. Boo!

Tu vas me détruire (You will destory me)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris

This is Frollo’s first big solo number. In Tu vas me détruire, Frollo sings about how his obsession is going to destory him and he on the one hand cares as he curses her but on the other he doesn’t care. He is going to sink into his obsession without any remorse.

The performer playing Frollo typically put their own spin while singing this song. Some are more angry while others are tragic. What I like about Lavoie’s version is that he has a great combination of pathos and desperate anger which is perfect for the character. I also like the way he hold his hand with a lot of tension like he trying to retain what little control he has left.

The staging is also really great. As Frollo sing pillars are trying to crush him. Literally his issues of purity and purity are trying to kill. If you really look at those pillars, you can see eyehole and a doors.

The music has a weird mix of being gentle but really off and I don’t mean off like the timing but like a stirring madness which again is perfect for the character and mood.

When I was first into this show, this song was one my favorites.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 4; Chapters 1-7

The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 4: The Cell of Torture

Much like Hunchback we get a torture scene though it’s pretty different. First let me backtrack a little bit. Back in Book 3 there was this chapter called The Wapentake. A Wapentake was an administrative division of the English court. Basically in the context of this story, if they touch with their staff thing you’re pretty much arrested and here in Book 4 one comes for Gwynplaine. However prior to that Gwynplaine torments himself over the beautiful duchess or the heavenly Dea, poor guy, two women want his love, does he have to spilt his heart in two? Dare I say he’s torn apart. Actually, No, he burns the letter and then the court cop shows up. Gwynplaine is taken silently as to not upset Dea.

Ursus then follows Gwynplaine and the Wapentake to the jail, the Southwark jail. There Gwynplaine sees a prisoner pretty much being torture but not quite because they didn’t torture people in England as that time, instead they deny the poor guy food and drink. The man also claims to know Gwynplaine which Gwynplaine denies and freaks out.
The Sheriff then says to Gwynplaine,

I have before me,” said the sheriff, “Lord Fermain Clancharlie, Baron Clancharlie and Hunkerville, Marquis of Corleone in Sicily, and a peer of England.”
Rising, and offering his chair to Gwynplaine, the sheriff added,–
“My lord, will your lordship deign to seat yourself?”

Gwynplaine is a lord! WHAT! I should go back and skim through that chapter on the English nobles, because even if I had paid attention I would have forgotten. *
Anyway this book was okay, I mean really only a few things happen but the twist was nice though.

 

*Thanks to magic, (CTRL+F for the name Clancharlie) I found the the mention of the title in that boring part way back at the start of the book.
Linnæus, Lord Clancharlie, Baron Clancharlie and Hunkerville, Marquis of Corleone in Sicily, derives his title from the castle of Clancharlie, built in 912 by Edward the Elder, as a defence against the Danes. Besides Hunkerville House, in London, which is a palace, he has Corleone Lodge at Windsor, which is another, and eight castlewards, one at Burton-on-Trent, with a royalty on the carriage of plaster of Paris; then Grumdaith Humble, Moricambe, Trewardraith, Hell-Kerters (where there is a miraculous well), Phillinmore, with its turf bogs, Reculver, near the ancient city Vagniac, Vinecaunton, on the Moel-eulle Mountain; besides nineteen boroughs and villages with reeves, and the whole of Penneth chase, all of which bring his lordship £40,000 a year.

Now how could one possibly forget that at the end of chapter full of paragraphs like it? My sarcasm aside it was still a nice twist though.

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PaperMill Hunchback Cast Album in works

Finally Google Alerts gives me something I can use.

Ciara Renee and Micheal Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee and Micheal Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Exclusive-THE-HUNCHBACK-OF-NOTRE-DAME-Cast-Album-in-the-Works-20150515

Basically we’ll get that cast album, I’m very happy.  I still hope it will go to Broadway someday but it’s better than nothing.

 

 

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Three Wishes for Cinderella; The Power of Nuts

Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Three Wishes for Cinderella

Today’s movie, Three Wishes for Cinderella, is interesting. By interesting, I mean watching it, I couldn’t find it nor get a DVD of it with English subtitles so I had to watch it without subtitles and then I watched it again with this British guy narrating it, which was weird but I least I understood the story better.

Three Wishes for Cinderella, or as it’s sometimes called, “Three Nuts for Cinderella” and I’m immature enough to giggle when I see that, is a 1973 Czechoslovak/East German movie starring Libuše Šafránková. So did I mind watching this movie twice as most movies I struggle to even make it twenty minutes before suppressing the urge to kill myself? Nope, this movie was charming.

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince with his pals Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince with his pals

It’s your basic Cinderella story. Cinderella has a step-mother and step sister who hate her while every else love her. Though this movie is quite different from other versions. Cinderella is forbidden to ride her pretty white horse and Step mother makes her keep busy by mixing peas and lentils together and makes Cinderella sort them, which is a tasks that her dove friends do for her.

One day, when the King, Queen and the Prince are heading to a castle in the vicinity, Cinderella sneaks out and visit her pet owl and meets the prince. Well she throws a snowball at him and gives him the run around and then steals his horse. The Prince is impress that someone other than him could ride his horse.

The step-Mother weasel an invite to the ball. The send the stewart to get fabric. He offers to get Cinderella gift. Cinderella wants to go to the ball but dejected that they step-mother would never let her go she asks her to bring back what ever hits his nose. On his way back the prince hit the stewart’s with a bird nest and he find three hazelnuts which he gives to Cinderella.

Cinderella takes the hazelnuts to her owl and tell him that she wishes she could fly ways but to even leave she would need a disguise. The owl motion for her to open the hazel and out pops a huntsmen costume. She then runs into the prince who is having a contest where the first one to shot down a bird of prey wins a ring, Cinderella wins the contest and once again impresses the prince. She then runs off and the prince chases after her. She take off her disguise and give him the run around again.

As the Step-mother and sister get ready for the ball, Cinderella ask if she could just look in through the window, which her step-mother respond by making sort the peas and the lentils again. However she once agin gets help from the doves. She them goes to her owl. For her second wish she wishes for a pink ball gown that looks like the dawn. She goes to the ball and wins the love of the prince who wants to marry but before she agrees she gives the prince a riddle, which is something like, “ Dirty face but now a chimney sweep, A Feather hat but not a huntsmen, a ball gown but not a princess.” Which is her but until he can answers it she won’t be his wife and he runs out the ball to her horse and leaves her shoe. Oh and in this version she wears a veil so no can recognize her which means the Prince follows for her grace and charms over her face.

The Prince follows her to the manor but can’t find her. I think her Step-mother does something to her when she figures it out but I’m not sure what. Cinderella escapes though, I guess and goes to her owl and the last wish is a wedding gown. Cinderella reveals herself to the prince and they ride off to the castle on their horses.

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella  Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella

What is interesting about this movie is that for a lot of European specifically in Germany and Norway, though there could be more countries, this is THE movie to watch on Christmas Eve because it has a nice winter setting, which is both refreshing and has a nice romantic feel.

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella  on her horse  Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella on her horse

What I really like about this move version is Cinderella herself. So often Cinderella is accused of being too passive and marrying a guy she doesn’t know. This Cinderella hunts, rides, is kind, mischievous and smart. And much like another Cinderella who fits these traits, that we’ll get to someday (Cough Ever After Cough), she also meets the Prince by throwing something at him. Also Libuše Šafránková just looks like a great Cinderella as she is quite beautiful but in a charming natural way. She was just perfect.

Also with the her wearing a veil and the Prince meeting her a few times their love is a bit more believable, though it didn’t seem she was really interested him and she did let him off the riddle hook quickly, but it’s more than original story.

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella  with her owl Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with her owl

The changes they made to the story were great as the owl and hazelnuts act as the fairy godmother and there is no coach just her horse. There was just enough magic without any real frills. It was just good emotions

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella  with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince   Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince

 

I will say there are some weird cinematic choices. I think it might be more the the style of 70’s cinema than artistic expression but there are some weird closeup that are off-putting but the last shot is stunning as they ride off into the distance against pure white snow, it was rather magic.

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella  with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball

Being costume freak I am I have to discuss Cinderella’s Ball gown, First off, I really like the motif of the gown. She looked like a sunrise with a soft pink and blueish tones. Many Cinderella are either in blues and white that pink is a nice color choice. Also I love, love the fire bird on the back of the train and on the sash.

However I din’t really like that this gown was style of the times and didn’t really fit into the rest of the costumes. It was the point of the costume but they didn’t even try to make it the mingle the style of the 70’s with the time period of the movie. Though Šafránková looked lovely and it was a fun scene, so I forgive it a little bit.

Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with a dove

Three Wishes for Cinderella is a very refreshing take on Cinderella plus an Owl and Horse play a critical role so clear it’s a great movie.

I will say the ONE thing I didn’t like was all the hunting but that is me being sensitive, also that music they played all the time got a little old.

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Notre Dame de Paris in Lebanon

Here are two promo videos for the July performances in Lebanon

 


 

Ok, here are some off-the-cuff things because I got too lazy to do the post I original planned.

Number 1 – I know they do this ALL the time in NDdP promos but the mixing of the casts is so hilarious to me. The first video is guilty of this and not the second one. It’s defiantly audio from the original cast but I swear it’s the 2011-2012 Asian tour cast, I could be wrong, but the Esmeralda at 0:26 looks like Candice Parise and judging by the dress it isn’t the same as the one used when Alessandra Ferrari played the role in the “World Tour” cast.

For the record this cast version for the Beymouth performances is the latest French Cast that played in Korea in February 2015.

Number 2 – Why? Why is the audio so bad. Honestly, I can’t tell if this cast sucks or not because of the horrible audio in like every video I have seen from it except the Vivre duet. Such bad audio quality. Though I THINk I like this cast’s Fleur-de-Lys. But it should be a crime for Belle to have that bad of audio quality.

Number 3 – So, I dunno, when do you think France will get performances outside of those concerts they used to do? I means it’s always nice to hear about new Notre Dame de Paris performances but they now seldom leave Asia and let’s not forget that Lebanon did get a Notre Dame de Paris concert in 2012, just saying.

If I sound bitter perhaps I am but I mean besides in Italy there haven’t been a performance of this musical in Europe since 2010 and forget about North America and yet there has been three difference casts in two different languages playing the same cities in East Asia and Russia since roughly 2011. Then again I freely admit that I know nothing about booking and putting on a show of this scale perhaps the blame should go to a lack of interest in the West. Still I for my part can be bitter and jealous.

To those who are fortunate to go to these performances, enjoy and do let me know how the cast is, stupid bad audio in the promo makes it hard to tell.

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Songs of Notre Dame de Paris Part 6

Anarkia

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Anarkia Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Anarkia



Ok, I love this bridge but it is 43 seconds of three completely different subject matters.

Subject Number 1; 0:00-0:17

Frollo asks Gringoire about Esmeralda. Gringoire says that she is his wife and Frollo orders Gringoire not to touch her which Gringoire would never permit himself to do but not for the lack of trying, am I right?

Subject Number 2; 0:18-0:33

Gringoire asks about the word craved on the wall, Anarkia. Frollo tells him that it means “fate” in greek. Which is a simplified definition of the word but it’s not wrong.

Subject Number 3; 0:34-0:43

Gringoire sees Quasimodo being taken away and Frollo says (or sings) that God know why he got arrested but the jerk knows.

Anyway three magical subjects and my goodness do they not blend together at all. I mean they needed a song likeAnarkia but this song suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder. I mean I love that they put concept of Ananke in the musical but it so shoe-horned in.

ReallY just find the three subjects throw together hilarious but it does get us to the next scene, it sort of lifted from the books and helps the plot so I don’t hate it.

A Boire (A Drink)

Garou Helene Segara Quasimodo and Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

This scene is one of the most important scenes in the book as it’s when Quasimodo falls in love with Esmeralda after she gives him some water and pity. The song itself is fine, Quasimodo is emotional and pathetic as he tied to the pillory. I like how he is rocked back and forth as it’s a nice visual.

There isn’t really too much to A Boire though. It has a nice tonal shift with a march at the beginning then become sad and haunting. But that is pretty much it. It feels more like a bridge song to get us to the song of the show.

Belle

Notre Dame de Paris Belle Esmeralda Helen Segara, Garou Quaismodo, Frollo Daniel Lavoie Phoebus Patrick fiori picture image

Garou as Quasimodo , Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, Patrick Fiori as Phoebus and Helene Segara as Esmeralda performing Belle

There is very little contest over what the star of the show is and it is Belle. For many it was that first song they heard from the show, myself included.

Belle is a highly emotional song as it perfectly expressives the feelings for Esmeralda from three different perspectives. Quasimodo sings about a tenderness with underlying sexual desires, Frollo sings about a conflictions of desires against seeing her as combination of evil and pure and Phoebus just can’t resist wanting to have sex with her even though it hurts his fiancee.

These perspectives are not only perfectly captured by the lyrics but the key changes. Quasimodo is sweet and melodic, Frollo is a little stronger and his a heavy drum beats, and Phoebus has a more rock-like vibe.

The staging is also wonderful. Pending on the version, Quasimodo either sits on top of the pillory for his part or his hands are still tied but he can make lunges towards Esmeralda. With him on the pillory it makes the part seem more dream-like but the other way makes him seem more protective towards Esmeralda. Frollo and Phoebus more of less just stare intently at Esmeralda, though Frollo knells before her and Phoebus motions toward Fleur-de-Lys. At the end when they all sing together Esmeralda lies on the floor in a crucifixion like pose as the three mean close in around her, foreshadowing these loves are fatal for her.

If I had one criticism of this song, it’s that I don’y have any criticism of it. It’s pretty perfect. Well maybe one but it has to with the staging, what are those guys doing with Fleur-de-Lys. they like push her around and then Phoebus saves her? Huh? Is it to show Phoebus likes Fleur-de-Lys while still desiring Esmeralda, because we kind of got that already. It’s just weird. But again that is staging and not the song.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

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The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 3: Chapters 1-9

The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 3: The Beginning of the Fissure

Where most authors who have the plot kick in anywhere from 1 to 25% of the way through the book, Victor Hugo, with his 1860’s style dares to be different and say “No, the plot kicks in around 52%,” gotta love Kindles for giving percentages.

So yes, the main plot starts around here in Part two book three, though there have been critical backstory components that have been explored, like all the ocean and storm descriptions, I don’t know about you but I would be lost without them. Despite the kicks in very little actually happens. Out crewe goes to London. Ursus gets in a little trouble with some intellectuals guys, Gwynplaine is sexual aroused when he see Lady Josiana which in turns gives away for him to gave conflictions towards Dea, as he finds her a scared entity and desiring her as a woman is driving him crazy.
At the end of the book Josiana’s page gives Gwynplaine a note that says she desire him and he should come to her.

The beginning of this part was a dull but it did pick up toward the end. I did enjoy the descriptions comparing Dea and Josiana and when Hugo goes into pose about conflictions about sexual desire that is also interesting. Also Ursus with intellectuals doctor guys was amusing. This part gets a grade of a B. It’s solidly ok.

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Beastly Review; The world didn’t need a Twilight Beauty and the Beast movie

Beastly picture image

Beastly

There is no amount of alcohol that I could safety consume that would make this movie, Beastly, remotely okay. Unlike some other movies I get why this was made, Twilight proved to be a cash-cow, so other people went for and copy and low and behold someone wrote a book of a modernized version of Beauty and the Beast, except it’s devoid of anything likable and engaging. So let’s just get this over with.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy

So rich kid Kyle is an attractive asshole running for student body president because it looks good. Kyle is shallow dick because the film makes it clear that his dad doesn’t love him enough and his mom is dead or something, I wasn’t paying attention to the movie, it was the only way to get through it. So yeah Kyle doesn’t have love in his life.

So he pisses off the school’s resident goth girl which equals witch and he is cursed with ugliness. Ugliness in the movie’s context is bald, scarred and tattoos, okay sure whatever movie, you have already yourself as shallow fuckery. SO he has to hear the word “Love” by the spring or else he will stay unattractive forever, which in this movie is tantamount to cancer.

His father is jerk who has him live in exile, which is outside of New York City with only a maid and a blind tutor. He then arranges for some girl from his school to stay with him because some drug guy wants to harm her or something. He also kind of liked her when he was pretty. He then goes by the name Hunter to hide his identity from her and then conforms his personality to get her to like him and then voila they are in love and blah happy stupid ending. Also the issues of the maid and the blind guy are fixed with the witch’s magic. And world peace broke out, oh wait no, just an asshole learned love and kindness are better than being a dick, yawn.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle  with Neal Patrick Harris as Wll  the blind tutor Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle with Neal Patrick Harris as Wll the blind tutor

So before I get into the movie, though really what is there to say, the wording on the spell is that he has to hear the word love. That doesn’t mean romantic love. If the maid or tutor had said love in a platonic way does that count? A puppy would have loved him because puppies are awesome, would that have work or do we need the word? Would a different language work or is the spell English-specific? Minor thing but it really the whole thing. The dude needed to learn how to love but is romantic love the end-all be all love?

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy

That was issue number one, the language of love here is issue numero dos. In place like New York, you would think there would be a sub-culture that would have been into the whole beast look this movie went with, with its bald, scarred tattoos. I mean I know this a shallow movie but geezes movie he was hardly that ugly.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle and Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy

Despite the stupid and shallowiness of this movie is the movie like a good movie with good shots and characters? Hell no. I can’t even recall anything about the look of this movie other than it had like a blue tone to it but as for shots I don’t remember shit. And characters, the main character goes from jerk to in love but I don’t really recall him making any super big changes unless you count him asking the witch to help the maid and tutor. But that seemed more because the original story had the Beast’s servants cursed too, so it was shoe-horned in the movie because of the source material not because he was being nice.

The girl, Vanessa Hudgens‘ character, I want to say her name is Libby, no it was Lindy which was short for Linda…..sigh…….. Anyway she was ummmmmmmm, I’m not sure. I guess she had one motivation which was to go Machu Picchu, which seemed like a random location but whatever. Other than that I don’t think there was much to her personality, she was rather bland. No, wait, I take it back, she liked jujyfruits, clearly she is the most compelling character in this or any century.

WAIT, he gave her jujyfruits and built a green house to impress her, basically flowers and chocolates. Just when I gave this movie a little credit it does that. How Fucking dare you movie, I take back my sarcastic back-handed compliment, you don’t even deserve that much.

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle  with Mary-Kate Olsen as Kendra the witch Beastly picture image

Alex Pettyfer as Hunter/Kyle with Mary-Kate Olsen as Kendra the witch

Beastly is a shallow vapid movie that was made to cash-in on the pretentious teenage movie trend that Twilight created.

Also in that scene where they are watching that Korean show and they were claiming to know what they saying, even with my meager knowledge of Korean, I knew they went not saying love, fuck you movie, and fuck your shallow pretension.

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