I have become fascinated by the culture of youtube videos where people buy basically low quality products off of sites like Wish and Romwe just for the curiosity of what the low cost products are like in real life. It does seem that youtube is a sea of these types vicarious purchasing videos as evident by all the haul and product base review videos.

Now I have gotten at least two items from Romwe in the past and I hated them and I have no desire to get anything off of Wish but I want to play in this content sandbox too so I decided to see what Wish had to offer for Hunchback products.   

Wish Disney Esmeralda Costume picture image

Wish Disney Esmeralda Costume

Turns out it seems like to search through Wish you need to  have an account, screw that. A cursory google search brought me to a $93 Esmeralda costume, which looks like a really good costume. However,   Wish is notorious for using other people’s images to sell the products so is this actually the costume someone would get in that mail?    

Aliexpress Disney Esmeralda Costume picture image

Aliexpress Disney Esmeralda Costume

The same picture is used on Esmeralda costume on Aliexpress along with some other pictures of clearly different Esmeralda costumes. Also there are two different sellers on Aliexpress “selling” this particular costume.

myshow26 Disney Esmeralda costume picture image

myshow26 Disney Esmeralda costume

 

After a bit more research I found this costume on eBay where I finally could read the watermark which reads myshow26. This is not a person but a cosplay company. They sell a lot on amazon.jp. The only myshow26 costume I could find on amazon.com was Ariel’s Blue dress.  So while this product may not be the best quality at least the sellers did not steal someone’s cosplay picture to sell the product. It is in fact the product they are selling (in theory.)   

Now for the record I don’t want to waste any money for curiosities of what this costume is actually like in person,  so I failed there but the culture of buying products for the sake of entertainment is very interesting to me. The people on youtube buying these cheap products are making their money back on ad revenues at least the bigger channels are but it still stands that people are being entertained by someone else’s consumerism.  And if I were to get a advance degree in sociology or even anthropology,  I would love to study it more or just read reviewed articles on the subject for fun.

Reem Kherici as Juliette and Nicolas Duvauchelle as Mathias Wedding Unplanned picture image

Reem Kherici as Juliette and Nicolas Duvauchelle as Mathias

Basically this  is a French Wedding Planner. You know how it goes, the wedding planner falls in love with the groom but instead of a meet-cute where they have some sexual tension here they have a one-night stand at a costume party. Sure, whatever. Also to add more conflict in the mix the wedding planner/mistress (movie’s word), Juliette and the bride-to-be, Alexia were childhood class mates and by that  I mean Alexia was a pretty rich blond mean child and Juliette was fat and poor.

So there is the dynamic of the characters, unfortunately it’s all presented as very shallow and artificial, like this movie needed another round of rewrites and editing to the screenplay. Aside from Juliette’s connection to her childhood/inner child and her alcoholic mother nothing about that seems to impact her life or personality, she seems pretty together and confident.

There is nothing to really suggest that Mathias, the groom,  is at all unhappy being with Alexia except that he has been with her for five years but didn’t think of marriage until Alexia found Juliette’s professional card in his pocket and assumed they were getting married. Alexia is a sort of bitchy and shallow but not deserving  of Mathias’ wishy-washy/lukewarm attitude. Really it’s just bad character development. 

For instance the movie tells us that Mathias doesn’t have a family, ok fine but what happened to them? Are the dead or was there a falling out? I he going to reveal the truth to Juliette there by strengthening their connection? Nope, it’s a taboo subject never brought up again. He might has well have a family if it’s not important to the plot otherwise why bring it up? The movie isn’t at all that interested in flushing out the characters and their interactions beyond smiling,  drinking and the wacky antics they get into.

Which bring us to the humor. Now French humor is a little different, they like misfortune to happen to other people, other people’s pain is funny and BOY does this movie take that and run with it, with train and throws it over a cliff and then breaks its teeth just for good measure. And here are some that occur in the move; Mathias is forced into kissing a man to keep his trite with Juliette a secret, a Bride’s gets her mouth smashed during her wedding after a cross falls on her, Alexia is hit in the face with a tennis ball and breaks for front teeth, Alexia’s father’s prized wine collection is  broken by Juliette as she tries to hide after her Mathias are nearly caught having sex again in Alexia’s father’s house, and many more with one being so awful I nearly stopped the movie. This is a style humor that I don’t find very funny but maybe if the characters were better it could have worked. Like I didn’t care that Alexia got her teeth smashed in. There was no feeling it, it was supposed to be funny but that joke land on it’s face much like that random bride whose face was literally smashed which was also not funny.

While I did finish this movie it wasn’t good  or  enjoyable. Perhaps if you want just a  mindless movie to fill the void for a little over and hour then if’s a fine but you could want anything else and get the result  with your time.

Site Note  While I ‘m happy I at least did the four reviews I set out to do this month but it came down to the wire. While like the idea of reviewing random movie streaming on Netflix I don’t think I will continue. I had mentioned reviewing French Musical in during the month of August, as I have wanted to do that for a while, the truth is my August is looking busy so I’m going to hold off on that for now. In the meantime I want to  at least try to do more Hunchback content even if it’s stupid, like 100 layers of Esmeralda. So no more random movie reviews for a while.  Not sure how frequently I will post but I will try and post something once a week at the very least and something related to Hunchback.

Karla Souza as Maru and Ricardo Abarca as Renato ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño? picture image

Karla Souza as Maru and Ricardo Abarca as Renato ¿Qué Culpa Tiene el Niño?

I’m going to blame the fanfic I read right before I picked a movie to watch for my choice on this one. That’s right, I read something about a one night turing into something more meaningful and then I watch a 2016 Mexican movie about a one night stand turning into something meaning. Also I wanted something that was a different and not Asian/Indian Media.

And like a one night stand turning into something meaningful this movie starts as some nothing and the gets a little more complex at end when there a twist that actually makes it rather sweet.

As you might have guessed this movie is about a young professional upper class woman, Maru,  who has a drunken one night stand and gets pregnant. The guy is a very young unemployed loser named Renato and he is all in on being a dad and marriage and love. Maru doesn’t want to get married to him but does due to family and societal  pressures but in they end up in love and have  their baby.

I haven’t’ seen many examples of Mexican movies so I can’t really rate the style of acting but it seemed fine. Maybe coming off a Bollywood where sometimes in the more mainstream movies, they tend to over-act without much subtlety, so in they were over-the-top in this movie it didn’t come across, aside from the weird musical moments but even then it didn’t seem like too much. Here the characters seemed like slight over-exaggerations of real people. They were fairly shades of gray, as in the characters had their ups and down. Were they amazing characters? No. Were they serviceable for the tone and story being told? Yes.

Was this a great movie? No. Was this a serviceable movie? Yes, I mean I finished it, that seems to be an accomplishment  for me right now.      

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015) picture image

Shah Rukh Khan as Raj and Kajol as Meera, Dilwale (2015)

Sorry, this posting series has gotten away from me, much like reviewing Hunchback versions. Anyway let’s see if I can somehow watch/review two more movies before then end of July. On a better note I did at least decide on the next Hunchback version.

Anyway I hadn’t planned on reviewing another Bollywood movie since I just did one but I watched this with a friend of mine so  I figured why not?

Before we get to this movie, a brief history. As a semi-casual Bollywood fan I enjoy the pairing of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Prior to Dilwale I had seen every movie they have been toegther, which is not major accomplishment. But as a person who enjoys this pairing I was very excited to hear that in 2015 they were going to be a new movie and I had wanted to see it in theaters but then another movie came out around the same time and distracted me. That movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Then I heard Dilwale sucked and I forgot all about it. That is until I saw it streaming on Netflix and I knew I should watch it. So was everyone right? Was this the worst movie with this actor pairing?

The answer is yes. I didn’t finish the movie, I’m such a pro at the whole reviewing movie thing. (I know am not.)

I was so confused by this movie. Most of the characters  are terrible. Shah Rukh Khan plays Raj, I think he repairs cars or something but he used to be a gangster. He has an idiot brother who likes a boring yet conventionally attractive girl. Raj is okay with the pairing until he meets the girl’s  sister, Meera. Meera and Raj had an affair 15 years ago in Bulgaria but she was in a rival gang and both their father killed each other or something. And then she shot him.

Was there anything good about the movie? I mean maybe we should just focus on the positives.

Oddly I liked that the film said they were in Bulgaria, as random as that sounds. But there is a movie called Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam, which a way better movie, but in that movie they tried, and failed, to convince the viewer that Hungry was Italy. It was clearly Budapest they went to and not Rome. So I guess kudos Dilwale for saying you filmed in a place and putting that in the story?

What else? The Shah Rukh/Kajol part of the story was better than anything with the younger couple. That should have been the movie. Their chemistry wasn’t as good as any of their other movies.

Some of the lighting was okay. It was OVERDONE in cluttering the frame but it was a nice distraction in parts.

Everything was bad. This movie was bad. If you like the pairing of these actors and want to be a completionist sure you could watch it  but I would recommend the other movies they have been in. Sometimes it’s not worth being a completionist.         

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na picture image

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na

Instead of doing the roulette thing, I decided to take destiny in my own hands and pick for myself. I decided to go for  a Bollywood movie since it had been a while since I last watch one. So I picked Kyun! Ho Gaya Na because it was a period of Bollywood I used to watch when I first started watching  Bollywood movies (mid 2000s) and I do tend to go for the romantic saccharine movies.

So how was this movie? Very boring. I turned it off after and hour because I just couldn’t muster any attention for this movie. I even paused it to try my hand at water-marbling my nails. Which didn’t go well either but I had more fun failing at nail art than watching this movie.

The center conflict of the film isn’t bad, basically the two leads have opposing attitudes on love. The guy, Arjun, wants his parents to choice for him because love is complicated and Diya rather fall in love. It’s a take on tradition vs modernity theme that you see in a lot of Bollywood movies but the stakes are not high so it’s not compelling.

Honestly that isn’t even the issue. A small love-story that is either chill or silly is fine but this is neither. It doesn’t really know what it’s doing with a tone. The acting is also weird combo of hammy and wooden. Aishwariya Rai is only as good as her director.  There isn’t much in the way of chemistry between the leads either which is detrimental in a romance movie.

The look of this movie is off. Some Bollywood movie have a weird super contrast look which makes color pop but darker tones are really dark. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has that look however that movie know to use a lot of color, Kyun! Ho Gaya Na doesn’t so it look weirdly washed out.

Then there is  the editing and dancing, both of which are  very jarring. To be fair I did stop watching so maybe the songs in the second act were better and the editing was tone down. But not the first three songs.

I would pass on this movie. It’s just all around dull.

I failed this quest line. Shame on me. Or did I beat it because I refuse to have it waste my time?  Those are the questions! That is the true debate! I did really fail at water-marbling though but I suck at nail art in general much like reviewing movies on the internet.    

The trend of 100 layers of stuff maybe over but I lost my mind, so here is 100 layers of Esmeralda.

100 layers Esmeralda picture image

100 layers Esmeralda

Not Real News Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

Not Real News Hunchback Notre Dame

So this made the rounds and ended up on my news alert. So why not do a quick fire round of casting thoughts on these performers in these roles. This very off impromtu. Read the article here    

Andy Serkis as Quasimodo – Unless it was motion capture I don’t see this casting. Serkis is a great actor but I can’t see him being a innocent child-like Quasimodo.

Gal Gadot as Esmeralda – I get it. She could work as Esmerlada but it’s not a casting that I would have thought of. I think there are better opinions but if did happen probably wouldn’t be the worst.

Peter Capaldi as Frollo – I have never heard of this guy, I apologize.  Apparently I have see him in The Devil’s Whore, which I don’t remember at all.  He has played The Doctor though and he was in the Vicar of Dibley of which I have only watched the last two episode. Well I will say this for this casting HE LOOKS the part so shrugs of this casting. Probably wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Chris Hemsworth as Phoebus  Did an actual post on this one back in 2012 so read it here.  I guess this a popular casting pick for Phoebus.

Eddie Redmayne as Clopin – No! While I could see him as Gringoire and Disney’s Clopin has elements of Gringoire in his characterization just no to this one.

Kesley Grammar as Victor – I don’t understand this one. I want to but I don’t.

Betty White as Laverne – Don’t put Betty White in a Disney movie. Don’t censor her.

Jack Black as Hugo – Maybe but no. Sure they are both crass but still.

Anthony Hopkins as The Archdeacon  Well he did play Quasimodo in the 1982 movie so having him in another version could be cool but no. Again not the worst casting but meh.     

  

But what do you think of this fantasy casting?  And will Disney actually remake Hunchback?

Cinema Sins' take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania picture image

Cinema Sins’ take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania

Though considering the totality of the movie it shouldn’t have been surprising that they messed up Quasimodo. I don’t even consider this a version of Hugo’s character.

Or my relationship with Google Alerts

warning – this a ramble and a rant

La Jolla Hunchback Poster picture image

La Jolla Hunchback Poster

 

Everyday at about noon I get two google alerts. One for news on Hunchback of Notre Dame and the other for the Notre Dame de Paris Musical.

Now the Notre Dame de Paris alerts doesn’t always bring in news stories about the musical but mostly news stories about the cathedral, which is fine though I tend to ignore them.

Prior to the regional productions of Hunchback, the other google alert  focused on a lot stories that mentioned the Disney movie or the Lon Chaney movie to some capacity. There was a lot alerts about craiglist listings for old Disney merchandise. The point is the alerts did come in everyday an there wasn’t a lot to them.

Now with the regional productions, I get a lot of news stories about the many, many, many productions or even past productions of the musical. While yes it’s great that there is an interest in the shows it does come a bit of a cost.

First off even with the La Jolla and Papermills productions, there is no real version of the show. Every production changes things or puts its own spin on the show. There is no central production to really look to as a benchmark.

Also I can’t review every version of the show. There is too many and they not available to me to review. I have reviewed five iterations of the production, six if you count the movie though maybe 7 if you count in the book. But of the staged productions I have reviews the 1999 German version, the King’s high school production, the Lajolla/Papermills versions, and the Ogunquit playhouse version. I should note that the Ogunquit version is that I saw live. If there was a version close to me I would try and see it.          

The point is while it’s great that there a lot of interest in this show on a regional level the result is that it’s all fleeting. That the news of regional productions clogs my news alerts so that any news that might come in about maybe a new movie version can get lost for a few days, till it clogs my alerts and then petters out to be replaced with more news about regional productions.

It’s just hard to get excited about news about  production after production for a relatively small audience.  Now if the show went to a bigger venue say like Broadway, or the West End or just done on a bigger scale for a bigger audience that would be something but does not seem like that will happen.

In the end I get actual news alerts for Hunchback and not just craiglist stuff but it just the same type of news everyday that I can’t get excited about.

 

side note-  I’m not going to turn off the alerts because sometimes I do get news that is related to upcoming movie/tv  versions.

Meliodas and Hawk, The Seven Deadly Sins picture image

Meliodas and Hawk, The Seven Deadly Sins

Hahahahahahaaa. So the fact that I randomly picked this anime is funny since this anime used to be one my favorites. I still really enjoy this show but I just been on a downward swing with anime as I don’t watch it with some amount of frequency or enthusiasm as I used to. I do have plans to watch the actual second season of this show when it comes to Netflix. I can wait since I have read a lot manga though at present I’m behind.

I first watched this show back in November 2015. I didn’t watch it because I was interested in it though, shounen shows have never been my thing. The only one I ever really watch before this one was Bleach  WAY long ago. I also did watch Attack on Titan but that show drove me crazy. I did watch and enjoy Yu Yu Hakusho though. Anyway I actually watched  Seven Deadly Sins  because I was to making a list of the best Fantasy anime and this was on my radar. I had very low expectations of it but the first episode was a lot of fun and I binged watch the season after that and have rewatched it a few times since. And I have made three AMVs to this show which is actually harder than you would thing.

All that being said I’m not sure how to review this first episode since it’s just one episode and two unlike that Mermaid show and even the Sinbad show, I have a really good working knowledge of what happens in it.

Let’s just start with some world-building. This is clearly a European Medieval world with knights and magic and talking pigs. Nominally it’s going for Arthurian legend vibe but ONLY with names.

Exposition is done through dialogue of extras and the two leads; Meliodas and Elizabeth. We mosty learn that The Seven Deadly Sins, a group of powerful wanted criminals are still at large after ten years and Holy Knights. Elizabeth explains that she looking for the Seven Deadly Sins because the Holy Knights of her kingdom have taken over and she has concluded to Seven Deadly Sins  are the ones to help.

Now with regards to our two leads, there is a total of three fake out identity involving them in this episode alone and this just episode 1. It’s bit excessive especially as the show actually goes out it way to pull this off as Meliodas’ wanted poster in his own bar doesn’t look like him. There is a slightly plot reason for this but it’s really just a plot mechanic for people to be incredulous towards Meliodas as he looks like a child and not like his poster and to make the audience confused/giggle,   

I would say aside from all the exposition this episode is fun especially between Meliodas and Hawk, the talking pig.

Actually from the vantage point of review this episode it’s a little maddening since things occurred that make some of the character out right liars.

All in all the first episode of Seven Deadly Sins is a fun introductory episode. It hooked me the first I watched it and while at this point I don’t really want to rewatch season one, it was still fun to watch it  the first episode.

 

Site Note – I’m a little bum that I didn’t get a Fantasy Movie from this exercise or a K-drama but can you do. Despite my lack of regular scheduled posts I’m considering continuing the random Netflix posts but with Foreign movies for July. And then in August I thought of looking at other French Musicals, which could be fun. As for getting back to Hunchback versions, I’m still thinking about which one will be next but I’m leaning towards that Roland Petit Ballet version next even though I know nothing about Ballet. It’s just been a crazy summer and it doesn’t look like it will let up soon.