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Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Phantom of the Opera: A Review

So, this Christmas I finally managed to get my own copy of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" The Movie. I had seen the movie once before, in a cold movie theater with my friend. I had had extremely high expectations for the film, mostly coming from having spent nearly seven years in idle worship of the stage musical. I had seen the musical twice, once in Boston and once in New York on Broadway (second row, orchestra seats!) as well as having read the book, I was well known as the resident Phantom expert amongst my social circle. Of course, I saw the movie.

There were time during that movie when I wondered why I had come. Don't get me wrong, I did like the movie. It was a very good adaption of both the stage musical and Gaston Leroux's original book. The extra back story given to Madam Giry I found strikenly similar to the story of the Persian from the book. I found the acting to be for the majority quite good and the few changes to the story and the to the play in general worked well.

I had mixed feelings about Christine. Emmy Rossum was very good and managed to hit the part almost perfectly. Christine is a tough part to play in acting and in vocals. On stage two people have to share the role and switch almost every other night. I guess it was how the character was written that bugged me. On stage, Christine has a rather strong presence. She has a great scene where she gets to insult Carlotta, and is not nearly as much of a suffering innocent as they made her in the movie. And was it just me, or was Emmy Rossum trying to put on a British accent towards the begining of the movie? I swear there was a hint of British to her voice at the very begining of the film that she seems to have abandoned about 20 min. through.

Raoul was...well...Raoul. I always liked this character. He didn't really have much personality and he spends most of both the musical and the book being perpetually confused. He's got a sort of charm to him in how he doesn't really do much. Except in the movie. He did a lot in the movie. I really didn't know Raoul could horseback ride. And bareback. Impressive.

Here's my biggest issue with the film. Gerard Butler, ugh! What an awful phantom! I mean, his acting was brilliant, but his singing was AWFUL!! God, the phantom is suppose to have the most amazing voice ever heard by human ears. He is supposed to sound unearthly good. But Gerard, oh Gerard, he sounds like a growling bear trying to sing! They really should have had someone better play the Phantom. Maybe the guy who played Raoul? He was good, he would have made a good phantom. But Gerard Butler, great acting, terrible singing.

So all and all, I liked the flim. It wasn't nearly as good as the stage version of course, but did anyone really expect it to be? Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson were both very good, great choices for the characters. I won't even go into Gerard Butler. They may have changed where the chandeleir fell, but that still didn't make him any better.

Oh, and what the hell was up with that sword fight in the cemetary? I wanted to see the Phantom shoot deadly balls of fire or lightning (dependent upon your preformance) from some random stick thing! That is one of the favorite parts in the musical! I mean, I guess I can understand not having it there, it would be rather hard to do it on film and have it look good. But a sword fight? God, at least put something there that showcases the Phantoms magician, almost unearthly, qualities and skills.

8/10 Needs a better Phantom.

Nelly Explains Stuff: Doctor Who

Many of you are probably wondering what this hell this "Doctor Who" thing I keep talking about is. Well, let me tell you. (You may want to sit down)

Doctor Who is Great Britan's longest running Sci-Fi show in existance. It is also by far the greatest show in exsistance. The show centers around a man called "The Doctor" who travels through time and space in a space ship permanantly stuck looking like a police box. The show has been on the air since 1963, and abiet being technically cancelled in 1989, it was ressurected (or regenerated, but we'll get to that later) in 1996 for TV movie and eventually returned to being a full fledged series in 2005. The new series is still going strong today, and is of course my favorite show!

So, now that we've got that covered, let me tell you a little bit about the show itself. As previously mentioned, the show's main character is a man called only "The Doctor". Not much is really known about the Doctor, and what we do know is mostly bizzare. Here is what we have discovered over the course of the series' run:

1.) The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey. His species are called "Time Lords" which are a humaniod like race with two hearts and limited telepathic powers. The Doctor is a renegade from his planet.

2.) The Doctor travels through time and space in a ship called a "TARDIS" which stands for "Time And Relative Dimentions in Space" On the outside the TARDIS looks like a 1950's police box (it's camelion circut which lets it change it's shape to fit the enviorment broke while in London in 1963) but on the inside is a large, futuristic interior with seemingly endless amounts of rooms. It can travel to any planet at any point in it's history or future.

3.) Somehow or another, in a yet to be explained series of events in the 2005 series, the Doctor was either directly or parcialy responsible for the demise of his home planet and his species, meaning that by 2005, he is the last Time Lord.

4.) The Doctor has the ability to regenerate meaning if he dies he'll come back to life, but with a different body. All Time Lords have this ability. The Doctor has used this ability nine times throughout the show, meaning ten differnent actors have played the Doctor. They are in order:
  • William Hartnall (1963-1966) - He was a Grandfatherly figure who died of old age.
  • Patrick Troughton (1966-1969) -He was more of a favorite uncle then a Grandfather, a clown who was forced to regenerate as punishment by his fellow Time Lords
  • Jon Pertwee (1970-1974) - An aristocratic scientist, at this point in his life he was trapped on Earth, he died of radiation poisoning.
  • Tom Baker (1974-1981) - The Doctor's longest and most popular incarnation, a Bohemian who died from falling off of a Pharos Project radio telescope.
  • Peter Davidson (1981-1984) - A cricket lover trapped in a body much younger then his personality, he died from contracting deadly Specktrox Toxiemia.
  • Colin Baker (1984-1986) - Flamboyant and arrogant, this incarnation was the least popular, he died of unknown injuries after the TARDIS was shot down by the evil Rani.
  • Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989, and again in 1996) - He started out as a clown but eventually became far more dark and manipulative, he died on the operating table after being operated on by a human doctor, not knowing he was an alien
  • Paul McGann (1996) - He only apeared once, in a TV movie, he was a romantic with an ability to tell people's futures. His death was never televised or explained.
  • Christopher Eccelston (2005) - The first of the new revival series, though still considered the ninth Doctor, he was a dark and intense Doctor, hardened by the Time War that destroyed his planet and his race. He died after absorbing all the energies of the Time Vortex.
  • David Tennant (2005- today) The current incarnation, he's a bit more easy going then his ninth incarnation, with a taste for punk rock.
So to put it lightly, the show basically centers around the adventures of the Doctor and the many companions he gains on his travels. His current companion is a human girl named Rose Tyler, but his previous companions range from the alien Nyssa of Traken to the mild mannared Sarah Jane Smith. He's also had a few male companions such as the alien Turlough, and more recently, Rose's "boyfriend" Mickey Smith.

The Doctor has no "main villian" of sorts. He fights injustice throughout the galaxy (with his sonic screwdriver usually) where ever he finds it. He had an arch enemy called "The Master" for a while, but he was eventually (supposedly) defeated. His most famous enemies are the Daleks (mutated robot creatures that look like pepperpots) and the Cybermen (a fusion of human organs and metal, Robot Humans) Almost every incarnation of the Doctor has faced both of these villians, yet they never seem to just die.

And so, that's the famed Doctor Who. My favorite show! And let me just stress one thing, HIS NAME IS NOT DOCTOR WHO!! His name is "The Doctor" the question is "Doctor Who?"

"I can feel my hair curling, which either means it's going to rain...or I'm onto something!"
-The Fourth Doctor

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Summertime...Sweet Summertime....

Ah the summer! A time for relaxation. A time when the world seems more beautiful and alive. The sun is usually shining, the grass it typically green, and the sky is sometimes blue. The air around us is warmer, and some people overheat. But, as summer is a time for pleasure, the world has devised an incredible method of beathing that sometimes opressive summer heat. We call it, the pool.

Yes, the pool! I'm sure almost all of you out there in the world that might be reading this have been in one. That cool, soothing, liquidy wonderland that not only beats the summer heat, but is also fun and enjoyable. There are some people however, who abuse the wonders and privledges of the pool. A perfect example of this would be my dear sister.

If the wonders of the pool were based on devotion, she would have it made. My sister woke up this morning at 8:00 AM, and immedietly woke me up in full swimming atire. Now my parents have entrusted me with the awsome responsibility of looking after my dearest younger sibling. I alone am responsible for the safety and well being of my sister. This unfortunetly means that if she wants to go into the pool I have to go too. By the time I got myself up and dressed and had trudged out to the back yard to the pool, it was 8:30.

My sister stayed in that pool without coming out once untill 12:30. Four hours strait in a giant tub of freezing cold water. And damn it if I had to drag her out of that thing and force her inside to eat lunch. It took her about 10 minutes to eat, and ny 12:45 she was back in the pool. I sat there watching her splash around and bounce, and float in and on her tube. It was a very curious sight actually. She spent an incredibly amount of time doing exactly the same thing. Floating, swimming, jumping, it was all the same. Yet it seemed to keep her occupied until at least 5:00 when my mom finally came home and took over. I fled from that poolside so quickly it's not even funny. I still don't know how long she stayed in that pool, but I know she was still there at 7:00 when I looked out my window.

The whole thing wouldn't have been nearly as bad if she hadn't insisted on splashing me. I mean, sitting in one place in the hot sun for 8 and a half hours is bad enough. Add a seven year old who has a habit of splashing when you least want or expect it, and it's enough to drive anyone mad.

And so I part with this. I love summer time. It is a brilliant time of long, warm, lemonaide and iced tea filled days. If you ask me what my favorite season is, sure, I'll say summer. Just don't ask me to talk about poolsides.

Kyle XY: A Review

So recently, meaning about four hours ago, I saw the premiere of the new ABC Family series, "Kyle XY"All and all, it was very good. I had planned to watch it after seeing numerous adds for it on ABC Family. The tagline is was got me hooked, "Who is Kyle XY?"I was too curious to not want to watch it.

Now I am a huge Doctor Who fan, Doctor Who is pretty much my life right now. One of the huge things about Doctor Who that intrigues me so much, is the mystery of it. Who is the Doctor? Who is Kyle XY? It's pretty much the same principle at work. Anyway, after so much obsessive watching of Doctor Who (a British show) I had pretty much lost my faith in American Sci-Fi shows. I really had no interest in watching anything else other then Doctor Who. But the tagline for Kyle XY was like a challenge. I couldn't not watch it.

The show was awsome. Of course, not much can ever really be said about a first episode of something, this was like watching a mini-movie. The plot was very well written. I especially enjoyed the voiceover by Kyle throughout the episode. Some of the acting was bad, an example being the brother (what was his name, he showed Kyle how to "shoot hoops") Althought that might have been due to the HORRIBLE lines he was given. Definetly not how your average 13+ boy talks.

Another issue I had was with the sister (God, why can't I remember anyone's name?) Her acting was good, but the situations she was in, and her character is just awful. She's such an annoying character! And her friend, that blond chick who only had like one line? Her one line was terrible. "Does he have digits?" Gag.

Aside from that though, it was very good. It was the story of a normal family told through eyes of a complete outsider. And the complete outsider...wow! Very good acting, very good characterization, and a great impersonation of a juvenile deliquint (sp?) wanting juice. I loved how Kyle touched every member of the family in a different way, and the whole belly button thing was kind of cool too I guess. But damn it, they never answered the question!! God my insesint (sp?) curiousity was most definetly NOT satisfied. I guess I'll have to keep watching!

9/10 Great show, not the best writing or acting (but only for certain characters)

Today You Die

So after years of attepted free websites, Deviant Art accounts, and other such failed endevours, I figured I'd start a Blog.

I'm sure you're all thrilled.

Anyway, this is my astounding Blog. Here I will share my opinions, reviews, stories, or whatever is currently happening to me. A little about myself: I am a New England high school student who has nothing better to do this summer then write useless things about everything. I am trying to find work this summer (unpaid of course) as a voice actor for radio dramas, and fan things. If you are a producer of these sorts of things, and are in desperate need of voices, contact me!

So yeah, this is what I will hopefully be doing over the summer. I've just spent three full days watching my seven year old sister jump in and out of a giant blue inflatable pool. Despite my repeated threats of "If you splash me you die" she continues to do just that. She claims it to be only an "accident" however I fail to see how following someone around and splashing them at least eight times in two minutes is an accident. If I have to do this one more day, I think I might throw myself dramatically into the sea in Cape Cod.

Of course first I'd have to get to Cape Cod, and unless I hijack the Hood Blimp, that doesn't seem very likely right now. Plus I already tried that, accidentally of course. I fell of a cliff in Cape Cod while on a trip leading girl scouts. It was a couple of weeks ago, maybe if you're really lucky, I'll tell you that story later.

Well now I'm just rambling. So I'd better go. Keep coming back. Maybe I'll post pictures. Maybe I won't. Who knows.

Oh, and speaking of Who, I'll just add now that I'm an obsessive Doctor Who fan! You'll probably here me rambling about that too. Be prepared.