Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo

It’s a little tricky to really formulate an opinion of the 1977 version of Frollo. On the one hand, this is one of the most accurate versions of the characters. He’s a priest, he does practice alchemy, he expressives desire for Esmeralda. However one major fault with the character is just in the way the movie is shot and how it counters  Frollo’s character.

 Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo

Let’s be clear, Kenneth Haigh does fine with the material and direction he was given.  Frollo is not  easy role to play since it’s all very internal. You either need to allow for the director to get facial shots or you could run the risk of over acting.  

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Trouble with the 1977 version and with MANY versions is that it’s shot as purely representational, it’s a period piece and the filmmakers don’t add any artistic shots, angles or lighting to hint at the characters’ internal struggles thus relying solely of dialogue and expressions. And at most with Frollo the character’s austerity doesn’t allow for many chances for the desirous or conflicted expressions to be showcase. Not saying they are not there even in this version, they are but they are downplayed. The most Frollo gets is yelling about his desire, closing his eyes and the red door scene. He does do his crazy laugh but even that seemed to be tame and awkward. He does not seem like a man insane with lust.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Frollo’s character almost exists more in musicals. The best showcases of Frollo’s character are Disney’s Hellfire and Notre Dame de Paris’ Tu vas me Detruire. As both pieces use song, a nice substitute for dialogue, expressions/body language and visuals to give insight to the character. Hellfire uses fire and hellish imagery to get the point across whereas Tu vas me Detruire has stone pillars or  the church literally trying to crush Frollo.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Tu vas me Detruire Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo performing Tu vas me Detruire

You can interpret this as  his desires will crush  him or that the church is trying to stop his desires and he the one pushing them away choosing to give in to his lust for Esmeralda thus choosing to be destroyed.

Example of Chiaroscuro Frollo (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Frollo, 1939

The only non-musical movie version to actually give some thought to visual representation of Frollo’s desire  is the 1939 movie. In that version when Frollo backs Esmeralda against a tree to confess, there are some great shadows, with only his eyes illuminated which makes him look insane as the actor, Cedric Hardwicke, keeps them opened very wide.        

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo

With respect to the 1977 version it is one of the few versions to get Frollo’s scenes down. One example is when Frollo and Gringoire spirit Esmeralda out and Gringoire leaves her with Frollo. Though the scene is vastly shorter than in the book I appreciate that they at least made a go at having that scene in the movie.  But that being said is having all the scenes in movie presents in the movie but shot is a plain efficient manner somehow better than approaching the material in way that makes it visually interesting? I would say no. This is a good effort at the character and his scene but it’s just a dull rendition.

Got two this time and I’m also a week late but I’m a very lazy person so that’s a good enough reason.

 

Episode 7: Eloise Gardner

Meegan Warner a Rapunzel & Colin O'Donoghue as Wish Hook Once Upon a Time Season 7 episode 7 Eloise Gardner picture image

Meegan Warner as Rapunzel & Colin O’Donoghue as Wish Hook

I do love Fairy-Tale Procedurals!

So according to someone on reddit the reveal of Alice being both Tilly  AND Wish-Hooks daughter was obvious and yeah it was, I mean I caught onto it BUT I never saw anyone mentioning it prior so maybe it was in your face that one needed to mention it, I’ll leave it at that. And yet I was off on Gothel being Eloise Gardner, I think or she posing as Eloise Gardner for  dramatics.

This episode explain how who is Alice’s mother and how she became cursed. Wish-Regina infoms Wish Hook that she is out of magic, so he goes to a tower to find some. Rapunzel is there and she tells him she needs a flower petal to ecape so he gets a flower and then they share an “enjoyable night.”  However  Hook is trick by Mother Gothel  who was posing as Rapunzel who had in turn trapped her in the tower and she needed a someone with her blood to be trapped in her to escape. Gothel is also the witch trapped by Ivy and Victoria and she also poses as Eloise Gardner too just throw off Rogers because Eloise Gardner is the missing teeangers who saved Rogers but the OUAT wiki says Gothel is Eloise, more confusion. This backstory does make things a little more problematic.

First thing, I did not HATE this backstory BUT there big big problems. FIRST ONE, The Tower itself.  So wish realm Hook goes to the OTHER Enchated Forest with no issue? We know it’s in that realm because we saw it when Regina trained Ivy. The realm hoping and time line are just in shatters for a show that’s WHOLE first center around it. Remember Rumple orchestrating the Dark curse to find his son? Remember? How Realm  hopping is child’s play and easy EXCEPT when it’s not. So Wish Realm Hook had a baby with another realm witch? Is he real and that makes Real World/Enchanted Forest/MistHaven Regina a murder and that begs the question What Happen to Wish Realm Regina? Also How old is Alice? She is conceived  after Regina failed the Dark curse so she has to be Emma’s age but time seems to move faster in the other enchanted forest. How old is she?  I”M CONFUSED NOW!  

Ok, the OTHER problem with this backstory  is the one most people are talking about with is OUAT penchant for rape with magic. This is not the first time a character has engaged in sex with someone who is in disguise, in essence the person did not consent to sex with that person. THis happen with Zelena in season 4 posing as Marian and getting pregnant with Robin. And now again with Wish Hook and Gothel posing as Rapunzel.  But wait there is more, Graham from season 1, remember him, he was Regina sex slave because he had his heart and then she murders him. Emma dates a flying monkey who is technically in his real form as Walsh/Oz but still was misleading as well as Emma and Neal because she still a minor when Henry was conceived. So this show has issues! Like big issues

 Colin O'Donoghue as Wish Hook Once Upon a Time Season 7 episode 7 Eloise Gardner picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Wish Hook

So the rest of the episode was Roger tracking down Eloise and finding Gothel and Victoria gets locked up for it as by Ivy’s design.

The there is the food truck plot which what I’m calling the Jacinda Henry Lucy stuff. It’s just not interest. Basically Regina in order to protect Henry from whatever it was Ivy did is blocking Hnery and Jacinda for dating. This should more dramatic emotional thing but who cares. Henry has more chemistry with his mix tapes and in turn Jacinda has more chemistry with her truck’s engine. Does ANYONE CARE?     

Despite the issue with this episode it was fine. It’s nice to see the OUAT writers learn what a set-up is because the Hook dark one arc was stupid and I’m not over it, also Tilly might be one of the more interesting new characters, her and Ivy .  

 

Episode 8: Pretty in Blue

 Rose Reynolds as Alice & Dania Ramirez as Ella Once Upon a Time Season 7 episode 8 Pretty in Blue picture image

Rose Reynolds as Alice & Dania Ramirez as Ella

Oh Show why did you bring up Catherine Nolan? I still want to know happen with Frederick? Did Catherine go to law school, I mean Dopey got a master’s degree so why not her? Oh this show and dropping people and characters.

Anyway this episode, groans.

So Alice and Wish Hook have this curse on then where Hook’s heart is poisoned so they CAN’T be together. That is a thing now and WHY?  Why on them? And who cast it? Anyway long and short of it is this poisoned Heart was on Ella’s (Cinderella) mother and father but Ella thought her mother abandoned her family and Ivy tried to it  to Henry’s heart but gets stopped and something with pendants showcasing Henry and Ella are true loves. The pendants have to show it because the actors do not. Also Alice can make portals appear, like that’s her thing.  

And apparently it’s not fully the actors’ fault because they have chemistry with other characters. Henry and Ivy and Jacinda and her baby dad, Nick. Lucy’s theory is that Nick is the Catherine Nolan of Hyperion Heights. Nick is a lawyer and a cool dude. But what is happening? Why do Henry and Ivy and Jacinda and Nick seem more like the pairing direction than Henry and Jacinda who the show trying to force true love on. We know it’s true love with them since it’s thier kiss that will break the curse because Ivy set it up and she making sure Regina blocks them. But what is the curse? Ivy or rather Drizella set it up to make her mother suffer but also to get magic from Anastasia? It’s all more convoluted than Regina’s or Snow’s or Hook/Nimue’s.

I did like Regina trying to gauge Weaver/Rumple, don’t why he would fake it. Anyway next time Regina and Henry are off to San Francisco to get someone.

Didn’t enjoy this episode as much it was all over the place.            

Tis the season for ugly x-mas sweaters

 

Wake up Call

Adelaide Kane as Drizella Once Upon a Time Season 7 episode 6 Wake Up Call picture image

Adelaide Kane as Drizella

This episode on a broad spectrum was okay. No strong feelings towards it. It seemed more like a gap filler, giving us some nuggets of info without giving us too much.

The biggest amount of character development comes from Ivy/Drizella. In the past she was taught magic by Regina which seemed to a plot by her mother to take her heart for Anastasia. Would that even work? Hearts can only be traded when true love is involved? Whatever, it’s hard to sort out the ever changing rules of magic. At least it seems that True Love’s kiss will break the spell but Drizella, who appears to have cast the “Dark Curse” made it hero proof as some will happen to Henry should he True Love Kiss with Jacinda. If the Charming ever around they would bring up that third option.  Also Drizella’s issues are mother based, like so many other characters before her; Regina, Zelena, Rumple ect. Basically she set up the curse because he mother didn’t love her and she wants her to suffer.

Also Regina wakes up because Ivy needs her help. Ok sure, Ivy is still the best of the new characters. Tilly/Alice isn’t bad though.

Speaking of,  is Tilly/Alice Eloise? I mean Rogers  is after his missing daughter, Eloise is missing and Tilly/Alice is being set up to be his missing daughter and Rogers is hunting this cold case, that is his plot. So unless this is a misdirect seems likely BUT WHO KNOWS til it’s reveal.

Also there is Lucy. Can’t figure her out. She was in the Enchanted Forest-like realm before but is the child of Henry and Ella. Was there a timeskip? Time is very messy in this season since Enchanted Forest and The world without magic (sometimes)  runs parallel but this unnamed “other realm” moves differently. According to wikipedia, not the best source, it says this regarding Lucy in the season 6 finale,

In the Magical Forest (During the future), In the woods, a man is seen running away from a beast. He reaches a cabin and sends his daughter Lucy away with the “Once Upon A Time” storybook, telling her to keep it safe as he fights off the creature.”

And then

“Many years in the future, in the Magical Forest, the young girl returns to her home and discovers everything destroyed. However, Tiger Lily shows up and tells her to take the book to her mother, telling her that the fairies foresaw that she will be reunited with her father.”

And finally

In the Future, Many “Years Later” in Seattle, Lucy arrives at the man’s apartment by train. Lucy tells the man, who is revealed to be an adult Henry, that she is his daughter and that his family needs him, although Henry no longer remembers her.”

I suppose that is a reveal for another episode. Again this was an ok episode. Nice to see Regina back and Ivy is a treat but no real strong feeling toward the episode.               

Also the second Lady and the Tramp reference and it about another Italian restaurant, other things happen in that movie. How about  someone walking a cocker spaniel with a blue collar and with  a large standard schnauzer terrier mix  with red collar and another person walking a cairn terrier and bloodhound. Better than a line about pizza at Bella Notte  with stray dogs, because dogs are the best and this season is lacking them, at least there was sometimes Pongo and Charming’s dog.

Hulu tries to sell Hunchback 2 with lies

Hulu tries to sell Hunchback 2 with lies

The words “Magic” and “favorite” should be nowhere near Hunchback 2

Greenbacks

Dania Ramirez as Jacinda and Mekia Cox as Sabine Once Upon a Time Season 7 episode 5 Greenbacks picture image

Dania Ramirez as Jacinda and Mekia Cox as Sabine

 

Aside from Ivy, this episode was a groan, a massive groan! It focused on Tiana/Sabine which would be okay if I wasn’t so confused. Tiana is a princess who is getting taxed by a King? Seems like the Tiana and her mother retained their rule but are getting taxed by another King? Did anyone proofread this?

Then Victoria is on the path to gentrified via to break Lucy’s faith to bring back her daughter with some witch who is really in league with Ivy who is really the Palpatine to Victoria’s Vader but for whatever reason she needs Roni and Henry to trust her. Point is Ivy knows what is up.

And Rogers is hunting some case which a missing teenage girl name Eloise Gardner, though if I RECALL from episode two Eloise seemed to do what Emma did when s Wish-Hook (a.k.a Rogers a.k.a this version of Hook) was dying but there is a  WHOLE to do with the backstory involving the missing girl and Rogers maybe I’m not remembering correctly. Anyway there is a plot with the missing girl made more clear by episode 7 titles “Eloise Gardner.”

Speaking of remembering, Roni finds a picture of Henry and Regina from Storybrooke that the witch had, so more memories.

The big take away from this episode is Jacinda and Sabine are starting a food truck and that fried chicken place DIDN’T have a fire extinguisher.    

This episode was much weaker  aside from Ivy. Evil or not she is the most interesting character.  

Also Pictyourthis!

Beauty

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Belle Once upon a Time Season 7 Episode 4 Beauty picture image

Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin & Emilie de Ravin as Belle

Oh Halloween does provide some nice chances for Disney Easter eggs. Here’s the ones I noticed, Elsa, The Incredibles Snow White,  and Belle. If there was more I missed them HOWEVER there were two more easter eggs floating around this episode or more like homages. There was the recreation of the first ten minutes of  Up staring Rumple and Belle and Tale as Old as Time playing which to be fair the show has done before, anyway on to the episode.

This episode gives us a Rumple and Belle ending. Basically they go to the Enchanted Forest to travel and raise Gideon as well as try to break the dagger’s curse. Now I have to point out that the show forgot that Belle nearly broke the curse WAY back in season 1. So does the true love kiss thing NOT work? Because it worked multiple times on Snow and David for the same curse. Can Gideon not break it? Why do things work sometimes and not others. It could be a moot point since Belle and Rumple did escape their toxicity and had an Up style love story of Belle growing old which means with her death that allows for a path to break the darkness with open and they path lead Rumple to whatever Realm the Hyperion Heights  players are from. Like they call it another Realm but The Enchanted Forest got TWO NAMES, remember is in season four the Arendelle characters called it “Mist Haven” so could the writer’s not be bothered to think of a name.

Anyway Rumple goes to the other realm to find a guardian who will take the darkness from Rumple so he can join Belle and so the darkness can rested thus perhaps ending The Dark One. Alice is hinted at being the guardian and Rogers’ daughter. Did the writers remember what a setup is?  

 

Anyway the Hyperion Height plot were Tilly or Alice remembering more of the other realm and trying to wake Weaver up which she does by shooting him but since he is still the Dark one he doesn’t die and is awake though Tilly is back on her pills so she forgot.

The B-line Hyperion plot was trick-or-treating with Ivy, the wicked step-sister and Lucy which doesn’t go well as Lucy runs away from Ivy. Henry and Ivy have a few moments together about doing the “scary” thing which for Henry is moving on and for Ivy is more human connections.

To be honest,  Henry has way more chemistry with Ivy  than with Jacinda. Not sure that is an issue with acting or writing or MAYBE it’s on purpose.  It would be more interesting of a plot if that is how the show preceded.   

While this episode had pacing and some logic issue, seriously show remember your own damn True Love Kiss rules and also the concept of time passing in each realm*, this episode was great. It was nice to be able to enjoy Rumple again and perhaps the show’s BIGGEST retcon they made Belle and Rumple’s relationship endearing again. Granted that was being of the UP homage but still it was nice ending for Belle and Rumple. Also the Tilly Hyperion plot was fine, she is interesting as well as Ivy and possible Henry.    

    

*Seriously don’t think about it. Like decades pass with Rumple and  Belle in the Timeless sunset place. Not sure how old Henry is but he  has to be in his last twenties MAYBE he’s 28 but not sure that age is pre-curse or post curse and Lucy is around ten but none of the Other Realm people have aged so does that mean Lucy aged  but they stuck in time in a neighborhood of Seattle. See! Don’t think about it.

The Garden of the Forking Path

Dania Ramirez as Cinderella, Andrew J. West as Henry Mills & Lana Parrilla as Regina Once Upon a Time Season 7Episode 3 The Garden of the Forking Path picture image

Dania Ramirez as Cinderella, Andrew J. West as Henry Mills & Lana Parrilla as Regina

As a fan of “The Good Place” I must laugh at the title since “fork” is how that show says the F-word, it’s self-censorship for humor. Anyway on with this episode.  

So we get more plot and the show pretty much rehashing the episode from season 1 where Henry goes into the mines where Snow White’s coffin was. The only difference is that Lucy didn’t find a coffin with Henry but part of Cinderella’s shoe and in weird try at a twist it turns out Victoria dug up the gardens to FIND a coffin which is her daughters Anastasia. Speaking of rehashing, this Cinderella is ALSO a single mother like the previous verson.  

In the past Cinderella joins up with the resistance lead by Tiana. Somehow I just can’t take this seriously. First why? There is so far nothing on why there is a resistance and what makes Lady Tremaine so forminable that there NEEDS to be a resistance against her?  Also Why Tiana? Like why her as a character? It just seems like a random pick and I really can’t help but think that Esmeralda the way Disney made her out to be would have been better since she was all about social justice but whatever the show is really hit-and-miss when taking cue from the Disney movies so Tiana is Leia.

Anyway, we learn some nuggets of info like Anastacia’s death is somehow Cinderella’s fault making Victoria’s motivations reviving her daughter. ERGO her motivates are akin to Rumple’s but that also diminishes her menace. But to bring up the menace again, she needs a Heart.

Here is some confusion, Lady Tremaine in the past needs Henry’s heart which is The Heart of the Truest Believer. So the writers remember that plot from season 3 but FORGOT that there is a protection spell on it so no one can take it. BUT in the world without magic (except when there is) Victoria needs to break Lucy’s faith to revive Anastasias. What? At least I think that is the plot.

Honestly I can’t put my head around this episode.  We have Victoria formerly  Lady Tremaine who knows about the curse or as the show puts it, is awake, digging up a community garden and shelling out 5 dollars bills to get permit to do it so she can bring back her child from somewhat death. And we have Cinderella making speeches to save the community garden and that makes her the hero she was?  

Then we have to  wonder about the graves Henry saw that allude to his wife and child. Are they real or is this another wish-version doppelganger or part of the curse. Speaking of said curse last season Lucy was TOLD by Tiger Lily to find her father. So how is going to resolve the end of last season with this season. Did Lucy escape the curse but Cinderella still remembers her.

I just didn’t’ care for this episode aside from some plot exposition that is just adding to confusion  it was boring. Because watching a Fairy Tale character with amnesia talking about building codes to save a community gardens from a greedy builder is just want I want in a convoluted Fantasy drama.       

 

Also Jacinda did a Tom Jane from  Arrested Development

 

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Warren Clarke The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Warren Clarke as Quasimodo

Like the 1986 burbank version the 1977 follows the plot quite faithfully. Aside from the Sister Gudule plotline this version is the most accurate to the book.   There is no vault scene of Quasimodo lying down beside Esmeralda’s body instead there is a weird ending where Phoebus and Fleur de Lys’ wedding processional dances around Frollo’s fallen corpse with Esmeralda’s body hanging in the background. And Gringoire just laughs it off saying the he survive to tell the tale. BAD ENDING!

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977 picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda & Kenneth Haigh as Frollo The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1977

But the ending is a symptom of a larger issue with the plot, sure it’s got in a lot of scenes from the book, like the scene where Frollo and Gringoire spirits Esmeralda out of Notre on the boat and Gringoire leaves her with Frollo, that scene is never don except slightly in the Jetlag version but to point the movie doesn’t elevate the scenes. The actors say their lines MAYBE  emote a little and that is it.   It’s like a very mechanical boring version of the book.

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Kenneth Haigh as Frollo 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame

The adherence to the book is it’s only selling point. There is nothing much this version has to offer but the plot. Aside from that there is no artistic vision, no mood, and no heart.  

Peter Dinklage Quasimodo picture image

Peter Dinklage

 

It’s been announce that Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage and Charles dance will produce a TV drama called Quasimodo based on The Hunchback. Now we have been burned before on Hunchback versions like with Brolin and that one from Esmeralda point of view and I don’t know what’s up with the Max Ryan version. There is also that universal monster cinematic universe and MAYBE. maybe a Disney live-action version is could maybe happen, maybe. However I’m excited and I hope this gets made.

Charles Dance picture image

Charles Dance

I do like the idea of Dinklage and Dance starring as Quasimodo and Frollo. Though they wouldn’t super idea to the roles as Quasimodo is liken to a giant and Frollo is mid-aged from a late renaissance point of view, still I think they could act the roles well pending on how the story is adapted.

Also Charles Dance was one my Hypothetical casting for Frollo and I still maintain that he would be a great Frollo. And oddly George R.R. Martin did allude to Quasimodo when Cersei refer to Tyrion in A Feast for Crows  “swing from a rope in the Sept of Baelor” and Dinklage plays Tyrion on the HBO show of Game of Thrones.  You can read that post here. So if they do take the roles it would be great casting.

You can read more of this story below;

http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/game-of-thrones/268269/peter-dinklage-and-charles-dance-to-executive-produce-tv-drama-quasimodo

The Hunchback of Notre Dame The Stage Musical picture image sheet music

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Stage Musical

 

Releasing at the end of the month on October 30th is the The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Stage Musical. It has arrangements of  17 songs from the stage musical adapted from  stage musical and the Disney movie. This collection includes vocal line arrangements with piano accompaniment. Pre-order it here