Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Danny Boyle's Frankenstein

I had the immense pleasure of seeing the screening of this play with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature, and Jonny Lee Miller as Frankenstein. As critiquing goes, my thoughts are: omg I loved it go see it I wish I could go back in time and get tickets to the original play. Now, to be serious for a second, which is about only how long I can remain serious on any subject (ah see, I think I failed immediately, carrying on): This was an absolutely amazing play and I seriously recommend it to anyone who is having doubts about seeing the screening. It was fantastic.

To head on with a bit of a story: One of my favorite books out there is Frankenstein. It has been since I read it 8 years ago. I love the Creature and I adore Frankenstein and, really, the whole thing. It has actually been one of my secret dreams to write a screenplay for the book, something very chilling, dark, and touching. Something not like James Whale's movie (and don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on him). So when I found out about this play, it made be very happy. There's the music, which is absolutely up my alley, and the imagery, which is also intensely pleasing. Also, I very much love Cumberbatch. I have somehow entirely missed Jonny Lee Miller as an actor, however, now I love him too.

Actually, when I found out I could see this screening, I was positively ecstatic. To use my newest phrase: I was uncontrollably excited. It was the complete truth. I knew I was going to love this. It was something I was just oozing to experience. I simply glowed with pure excitement for about 2 hours.

While on the metro coming back, my dad asked me, "Did it live up to your expectations?" The answer was yes. It did. It absolutely did. I was completely correct in my uncontrollable excitement.

I honestly don't think I'm just playing a fangirl here. My dad's words were, "That was absolutely amazing." Perhaps that phrase sounds... Flat. After all my hubbub about running around uncontrollably happy, that phrase could sound too simple, but it isn't. It is spot on. Danny Boyle's Frankenstein was just absolutely amazing.

To top it off, I also got to meet two Sherlock lovers who happened to be dressed up as Sherlock and Mycroft. I chatted with them (this was Mycroft's third viewing, apparently, which goes to show how good this is), made friends, was ecstatic with them, and that meant it was a wonderful evening.

So I most definitely give this screening/play a very excitable:

5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Campaign (2012) (And a bit of In the Loop)

So this was a more spur of the moment movie. I had been wanting to see Total Recall and especially The Bourne Legacy (I have a bit of a soft spot for The Avengers actors, heh; I just like seeing their movies), but hey, I went out and saw The Campaign instead.

I think the hardest thing to rate about this is that I'm a big fan of British and black comedy. (Black as in "dark," as in depressing. If you must know, I'm a big fan of Romanian comedies, for example. So when I say "comedy," I must admit that my sense of humor is a bit... Different.) Now the reason why I make note of that is that sometimes I have more trouble gauging American comedies, especially of this variety. Also, partly because I will always rank In the Loop as my top political comedy.

I've got to admit, a lot of the audience laughed at points. For not knowing who was in it, I was a bit happy to see John Lithgow in it, or "Kenny" (Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock). Overall, it sort of... It happened, to put it that way. It was a movie and I was watching it. I pretty much had the same feelings as when I watched The Dictator.

It's a little hard to really say much on the movie. Maybe if I was a bigger Will Ferrell fan, I'd enjoy it more? Maybe if I was more into American comedies like this, I'd also enjoy it more. I don't know. The dialogue didn't always intrigue me. Or perhaps, a lot of it didn't. Again, I can't tell if I'm unfairly thinking of In the Loop, because the dialogue was just a constant stream of amazing, while here, it was crude and rather disjointed. The movie was trying to juggle different things--the story, the comedy, even trying to make us feel for the characters or care what happens to them. The problem is, however, it felt more like a switch--comedy on, comedy off. There were precise moments in which we are specifically supposed to say "ah, I care about him!" And this is where I compare it to In the Loop. We care about Simon Foster because of his bumbly-ness, or how horrifying this entire situation is. Later, he tells us, in a moment of complete despair: "a distant voice in the back of my head goes 'oh shit' like a car alarm in the middle of the night." No matter what's happening, we can always feel what the characters are emoting. Malcolm is angry, frustrated, rushed--of course, this makes sense, he is, in general, a very angry human being, but Simon gets flustered and confused. He's all bumbly and completely means well. They're all humans. And they're hilarious.

With The Campaign, I can't really think of many great moments as I can in In the Loop. Or perhaps, I can't think of great moments. There was no major one liners or fantastic impacting moments. I did sort of enjoy Karen Marumaya, but in part, she was rather dripping with sarcasm and her scenes were fairly small. I also felt that John Lithgow was a little wasted as an actor. He's a wonderful actor, but his role was a little too bland. Lithgow, as we've seen now from both 3rd Rock from the Sun and Dexter, he can be great in a comedic or villainous role.

Overall, The Campaign was a little punchy. "Laugh," and "Feel touched." "Feel sad now." "Laugh again." Sort of big neon signs saying "this is going to be funny," rather than having each moment flow well, each character feel real. When jokes are made in comedies, I rather it feel more natural to what's happening, rather than punching me in the face.

If I had to rate this, I'd say maybe 2 1/2 stars out of 5.