Archive for January, 2005

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Another Learning Experience

January 30, 2005

My new lesson learned today was this: Joel Schumacher should stick to directing musicals.

The first CD I ever owned was the original ‘Phantom of the Opera’ CD which I got for Christmas back in 1990. I have the entire thing memorized and had always hoped to see it onstage someday.

That never happened but the film version was finally made (sadly, without Michael Crawford) and I have now FINALLY seen it. I could recite every line of the film as it is an almost completely faithful version of the stage musical. Besides a few casting flaws (mainly the title character) the film does start to lag in the second half, but so does the original musical. As a whole, it’s still a damn good story and I found the movie very enjoyable.

In the past few years I have grown to dislike Joel Schumacher very much. Living with a comic book geek I was taught how badly he royally f&*ked up the last two Batman films. I have no problem with homo-eroticism but it has no place in the world of Batman – and don’t get started on the whole Batman & Robin thing. That’s not what that relationship is about and it never was. If you don’t buy it, try reading a Batman comic book instead of repeating what you’ve read mis-informed journalists spout off.

But I digress.

When I heard that it was Schumacher who was going to direct this long-awaited film version of Phantom I had mixed feelings. On one hand I thought his over-indulgent directing style might be a perfect fit for a musical; musicals have to be watched with a solid suspenstion of disbelief or they will never make sense to the viewer and over-indulgence mixes well with that mindset.

However, I was also worried that he would make the Phantom very gay. The Phantom is very much a straight man who loves the arts – yes, it can and does happen.

My fears were put to rest when I saw the movie last night. Gerard Butler was far from charismatic but he never exuded any kind of homosexual leanings and still managed to come off as very passionate about his art. In today’s society where men loving musicals automatically equals gay, I found this to be very refreshing.

I do recomend this film to fans of the original musical and to those who have the patience for a movie that is basically all singing. There are some spoken words (not many), but most of that was sung in the original stage musical.

The visuals in the film are gorgeous, especially the opening scene where the audience is ‘taken back in time’ via the rising chandalier – a scene that literally had shivers running up and down my spine. As stated before, the acting is adequate with one exception that even surprised me – Minnie Driver is hilarious in her role as the diva Carlotta.

I still regret that the Phantom was cast so poorly. Gerard Butler was not charismatic enough and his singing was simply not what should have been required for the role. Michael Crawford would have been the best choice but I suppose the producers thought he was too ‘old.’

Stupid producers.

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What I Learned Today: 01/29/04

January 29, 2005

It’s time for today’s new item learned: Kyle MacLachlan is in a new movie called ‘A Touch of Pink‘ “So what?” you say? He’s an actor, that’s not news! What’s really nifty about it is that he’s playing the spirit of Cary Grant

I have always been of the opinion that MacLachlan’s comedic talents have been very under-utilized and I look forward to seeing him in this movie being a huge fan of both MacLachlan and Cary Grant. Visit the site to watch the trailer to see some examples of his Grant-impersonating talents.

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I visited Mr. MacLachlan’s official site today and was thrilled to see a picture of him as George Reeves for a project that never got off the ground. It’s a real shame that the project didn’t take off.

For more information about Mr. MacLachlan’s career, visit his very nicely designed official site:
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You Learn Something New Everyday

January 29, 2005

Maybe because I have a lot of time on my hands right now, I was thinking about the ol’ cliche ‘you learn something new everyday.’ I realized that it’s pretty much true unless you sleep all day. And even then you might learn that you enjoy dreaming about alien abduction.

Today, I learned that the theme song from The Golden Girls was not written for the show. No, not a big revelation, but it was something new. It was recorded in 1978 by Andrew Gold.

So there, now you’ve learned something new today.

-Brandi

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He’s Back!

January 25, 2005

As anyone who has read my blog in the past month knows, I’m a Ted Raimi fan. Last year I found his personal website (click here) and thought it was pretty nifty. However, updates were pretty non-existant. The latest news was from when he was filming Spider-Man 2? You know, the movie from last summer?

But no longer! Ted’s back and promises to update more often and to answer all the email that he’s received.

Too bad I don’t have cable. His latest project (CSI: NY) sounds pretty interesting.

Visit his site to read more!

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Politics Alert!

January 24, 2005

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I thought it was us liberals who were supposed to be the freaks?

Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. —- Why do you hate freedom?

— Eric Alterman

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Virginia Mayo

January 18, 2005

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I honestly don’t know much about Ms. Mayo’s personal life or anything extensive about her career. However, she appeared in two of my favorite James Cagney films: White Heat and West Point Story. The latter is a silly musical, but it’s loads of fun and Ms. Mayo’s performance was sizzling.

Visit her official site for more information about his talented actress that will be very missed.

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Joxer, the Mighty Unappreciated

January 16, 2005

I became a Xena: Warrior Princess fan pretty late. When it was on the air, I refused to watch it because it just sounded so silly to me and I didn’t ‘get’ action shows.

I used to be very hard on anything that sounded silly to me. Before I met my husband, I didn’t have much of a sense of humour or any appreciation for the kitchy or absurd. I also didn’t like action movies or telelvision very much. By all reports, this was Xena in a nutshell.

My husband bought season one of Xena when it was released on DVD and he asked me to at least give it a chance. I told him I would but I didn’t expect to like it at all.

I think he might regret introducing me to the show because while he’s always been very appreciative of the show, I’ve become a huge fan. When we get a new Xena box set, I’m more than happy to just sit and watch all 20 – 24 episodes in a row, non-stop.

I wasn’t ‘there’ when it was on the air, but it is my understanding that many Xena fans hated the character of Joxer. I know why but I find the reasoning behind this sometimes rabid hatred to be extremely flawed.

Joxer wasn’t a superflous character. He was part of Xena and Gabrielle’s world and a very close friend, but he was never really totally accepted into their very tight family of two. Being a more ‘outside’ observor of the Xena/Gabrielle relationship, his position often gave him the benefit of being able to see a different to side to problems that neither of the other two characters would even consider. I can’t think of a specific example, but I do remember that sometimes a simple, sometimes silly sounding statement from Joxer would get Xena’s brain working on a new solution to a problem.

Joxer was a bumbler and oftentimes an idiot, but he was no coward and his devotion never wavered. My only complaint with Joxer is that the writers never let his character develop. Xena and Gabrielle changed and grew over the course of the series, but Joxer never really became more competent or sure-footed. He was always the ‘same ol’ Joxer.’ If the writers had allowed the character out of that box, I think maybe those hate-filled Xena fans would have tolerated him better.

*SPOILER ALERT: Season 5 (V) spoilers ahead*

I did, however, love how his death was handled. I just watched this episode (Eve) yesterday, and was completely shocked. I have avoided reading spoilers online and had no idea that he was going to die at all. I was curious as to how they were going to handle having ‘old Joxer’ around, and this certainly took care of that dilema.

While I was shocked and I cried quite a bit, I think it was the perfect end to Joxer’s character. He died fighting with his friends and, more importantly, he died saving the one woman he had always loved. So many times over the course of the series he had tried to save or even just help Gabrielle, only to slip and fall, or be knocked out or just make things worse. This time, he saved her. He didn’t slip, he didn’t fall. He did what he set out to do while still staying in character.

I’m kind of dreading the last season of Xena because I feel that a bit of the heart of the show died with Joxer and most certainly quite a bit of the humour.

Despite what many of the more narrow-minded fans may have thought, I truly believe that Joxer was a Mighty character and I will very much miss him as we watch the last season.

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Be sure to check out TedRaimi.com, homepage of Ted Raimi who portrayed Joxer, plus his two identical brothers, Jet and Jace.