January 2013 to August 2013 Three Sentence Movie Reviews

Gangster Squad:

So much fun. I thought Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen would steal the show, but it was Josh Brolin’s performance as a hard-boiled dick that really won me over. Exciting smack talk and fight scenes. 

Warm Bodies:

It’s great to see a zombie movie from the zombie’s point of view. Really fun and sweet. I can see how this would become a favorite rom-com for many couples. 

Jack the Giant Slayer:

You know, it was really fun. The story is exciting, with some surprising twists. Well worth your time if you’re still a kid at heart. 

Iron Man 3:

IRON MAN IS FUCKING AWESOME! Great continuation of the story, dealing with Tony Stark’s PTSD from Avengers. The kid in the movie really comes through as a great part of the movie. 

Star Trek: Into Darkness:

Cool, but not as good as Star Trek. Had many meta references to Wrath of Kahn, which wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good. Watching Spock put some serious foot to ass was fun. 

Fast and Furious 6:

CARS GO MUTHERFUCKIN BOOM! The Rock and Vin Diesel fight like a bajillion guys. This is a fun and exciting franchise of heist films, and I like heist films and look forward to the next movie. 

The Hangover: Part III: 

Not as good as the original, but it’s not bad. If you like dick jokes, you’ll like this movie. It’s always refreshing to see John Goodman get some work. 

Much Ado About Nothing:

Simply beautiful and charming. The grasp of the text, performance and   pretty much everything is tremendous. This deserves ALL the awards. 

Pacific Rim:

Such a great sci-fi film. You know it’s about giant robots fighting giant monsters, but when you’re watching it you’ll be like “HOLY FUCKING SHIT, IT’S GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS FIGHTING GIANT FUCKING MONSTERS!” Really covers the human side of apocalypse very well. 

The Wolverine:

Kind of disappointing. There’s some good moments in the film, but the plot is lacking. We deserve a good Wolverine movie and this isn’t it. 

Elysium:

It’s a good movie and shows how Sci-Fi can show us the problems in our time. I didn’t expect much from this film and was surprised, where my friends had high expectations and were disappointed. SPOILER ALERT: they didn’t have Mecha-Jody-Foster appear as the final boss fight, no matter how cool that would’ve been.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone. I haven’t posted a blog post in several years and thought I would try this again. It’s 2013 for crying out loud, and I recently turned 35. It’s about time I start doing everything that I always wanted to do.

Also, I started this blog as a theatre review blog years ago. I’ve decided to go ahead and move away from that. Sadly, I don’t attend plays as much as I used to. Also, I go see movies and art exhibits and discover many of the hidden treasures of Los Angeles and feel that I would enjoy talking about those as well.

Furthermore, I’m not a critic and have no desire to become a professional critic. Nor do I want to turn to being a critic out of self pity for my lack of a rewarding career. I do have my opinions, I would like to think they are educated opinions, and people often tell me they enjoy hearing them. I feel this would be a great avenue to share them.

So, please, let me know how I’m doing, what you enjoy and what you would like to hear.

Forbidden Zone and TAPE this weekend.

I saw Forbidden Zone last week, but didn’t have time to write up a full review before heading off to vacation. When I get back I may do a bigger, for realsies review, but do yourself a favor and go see this play this weekend at Sacred Fools. It has a dwarf with a wakazachi, boobies, kissing, frogmen, big-huge-devil-cock-with-severed-head-testicles, awesome music, great performances and simply brilliant costume design. Sacred Fools is one of my favorite theatre companies in Los Angeles and this is the closing weekend for this great production. What’s most important about it is that it’s fun. You will go to the theatre and enjoy yourself and smile.

Opening this weekend is a show that I’m looking forward to: TAPE by Stephen Belber at EXPO at 4321 Atlantic Ave. in Long Beach. I’m not too familiar with the play or the venue, but the actors in it are artists who I greatly respect and if they’re doing a show together for the first time in years, I’m definitely going to go see this play in a few weeks. You can reserve tickets for this show at 562-639-2659 or by email at lonecollectiveproductions@gmail.com.

Pink Champagne at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

I saw Pink Champagne at the Elephant Stages, part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. It’s written and performed by Dylan Jones, directed by Aryiel Hartman.

This show is billed as a cabaret filled with ‘Glitter & Shenanigans.’ I like all of these things, but this play doesn’t provide any of them. To me, it came across as Theatre of the Absurd, with dancing and singing.

It opens with the backup performers warming up their voices, dancing a bit and ad libbing as the audience enters. They begin the show with the cast singing and dancing to showtunes and Dylan Jones, the star, enters.

This is when the show, in my opinion, jumps the shark. Dylan Jones goes through a past life regression and we see three different random scenes, I guess dealing with love and rejection. Or was it four scenes? I really don’t know and I was there.

While sitting in the audience, I remembered when my sister and I would put on impromptu plays for our family. It’s kind of fun to watch, but mostly because the performers are having fun and you’re captivated to see more because you have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen next.

I left the show wondering, “What the fuck did I just see?” The actors’ energy levels seemed low and maybe Pink Champagne would be better at different performance, but then again you only have one chance to wow your audience and they didn’t do it.

That being said, I hate saying something negative about a production without having an idea about how to improve it. I have no ideas on how Pink Champagne could’ve been better. Maybe if they served booze and if you watched it all liquored up it would be better. I don’t know.

Still though, it’s not a completely terrible show. I guess it’s kind of fun, but not really worth going to see just for this one show. I do have to say I’d go see another show Dylan Jones puts on. She grabbed my attention enough to see what else she can do, but this show didn’t do it for me.

There’s one more performance of this show left, on Saturday, June 26 at 3:30 PM. If you’re there to see the earlier performance of Kill Your Television, which I already reviewed, stick around and see it and let me know what you think.

Kill Your Television at the Hollywood Fringe

Last night I saw Kill Your Television at the Elephant Stages, which is one of the many productions with the Hollywood Fringe Festival. It’s a fantastic one-man show, written and performed by Jeff Gardner, directed by Vicky Silva.

The show itself is one man watching television in his pajamas. He’s alone, except for his stuffed monkey. You watch his, as well as your own, ritual of watching television. The show is completely without any actual dialog, and it feels at times like you’re watching a silent film. It’s Gardner’s simple, yet complex, reaction to the brilliant sound design.

Having slept on it, I’m still left speechless. This is one brilliant show that just does everything right. There’s one more production of this show at 2 PM on Saturday. Go see this play. You won’t be disappointed.

Fiddler on the Roof at the Gem Theatre

I drove down to Garden Grove on Saturday to see Fiddler on the Roof at the Gem Theatre. Why would anyone drive an hour to see a show? Because my friends are in it and I wanted to support them and I’m classy like that. Also, there are good theatre companies in Orange County and One More Productions is one more of them.

This production of Fiddler is like most things in Orange County. It’s a bit too clean compared to LA’s grittiness and when you look close you see things that are wrong. Nothing big, but stuff that stands out.

The set design was decent, with hanging flats of rooftops surrounding an empty stage. Other flats and set pieces are brought on later to convey the different locations. The style of these was kind of retro, a throwback to fabulous musicals in the 60’s.

The acting, singing and dancing were decent, with some people better than others. It’s that way with all shows. I was pretty fortunate to have a seat in the front row. Some actors projected better than others and I think that if I sat in the last row I wouldn’t have enjoyed the show as much.

I feel that the real linchpin scene in Fiddler is the Fruma-Sarah scene, where we see the ‘ghosts’ invade Tevye’s dream. What you see on stage is indeed what nightmares look like and I’m still trying to figure out how they got Fruma-Sarah to fly. It wasn’t wires, it wasn’t just a rolling cart. There’s something there that I just can’t figure out and that’s a good thing. Theatre should be magical and keep you guessing.

The costumes were decent, but the lack of period shoes and spectacles and obviously fake facial hair really put me out of the experience, but I could see that’s not the case for everyone. They do use college ruled notebook paper in one scene that made me go *facepalm.*

The lights were limited but effective. Not a criticism, just an observation. Lights are expensive and they did a good job with what they had.

The program doesn’t warn you about the fog-machine or strobe lights. I’m pretty photo-sensitive so that would’ve been nice to know.

Ultimately, my final say is that it’s a fun show and that’s the most important thing about it. Theatre needs to be enjoyable and this production is incredibly enjoyable. So, if you live near Garden Grove or really love Fiddler on the Roof, check it out this weekend. You’ll have a fun time.

Venue:

The Gem Theatre really is a throw back to when theatre was an outing that brought the community together. The lobby is large, the venue beautiful, concession plentiful and they even have a raffle. It’s a wonderful place to spend an evening.

Other Notes:

Damien Lorton, Director, Musical Director and Artistic Director for One More Productions, should really teach other theatre companies stewardship. He does a superb job of introducing the audience to the production and making everyone feel welcome. He even got the mayor pro-temp of Garden Grove to attend and introduced donors. good for him.