Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tango "Bad Dog" (2010)

Audrey Fleurot, whom I saw in Engrenages and Un village français, plays a police detective named Joana Larsen here. I believe men will find her hot, especially for her red hair :-) Joana Larsen is a very independent woman and Fleurot is perfect in this role. Her co-star, Frédéric Pierrot, is also very good in playing a police detective who has divorced and is taking care of his only son, who often blackmails him to get things he wants, like the newest game, for example. Thierry Sauvage (that's his name) has been having relationship with another woman and she is pregnant now. It's not official yet because he still lives with his son only. One time he irons his pants in the headquarters. In one occasion his son sees the dead body in the autopsy room.

Together Larsen and Sauvage try to solve murders of 3 women who live alone with their dog. The victims found the dogs in the street about 2 months before. It seems that the 'timid' dogs are the killer. The investigation leads the 2 detectives to an old case of 20 years ago, where one of the victims, still a high school student, accused her teacher of rape. 3 other girls were witnesses. The teacher committed suicide and it seems now that the murders are an act of revenge. Something has triggered the dogs so that they become ferocious and attack the women. The detectives must find the 4th woman before it is too late. Meanwhile, the killer sends a killer dog to Sauvage's son, who blackmails his mother so that he can keep the dog.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of 'The War of the Worlds' (2006)

I was curious to watch this DVD of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of 'The War of the Worlds' and thought to give it a try, because the price was not much. I must say first that I never like alien stories, although I do enjoy Doctor Who very much. I have never watched other versions of The War of The Worlds movie and I have never read the book by H.G. Wells. However, I like musicals such as Les Misérables, The Phantom of The Opera, Blood Brothers, Into The Woods, Jane Eyre, Rage of The Hearts, Aspects of Love... and many more of them; and in where I live, musicals shows are rare; so I very much longed to see this DVD of Jeff Wayne's musical, which was recorded live on stage - and not some poor film version where they have change all backgrounds. The reviews were all positive, so I had a high hope on this.

However, the show was not what I had expected. The music is very pop - although I am not sure if it matters much, because I like La Révolution Française, which is a rock opera. I think what bothers me much is the number of repetition of the songs. A 3D head of Richard Burton appears on a big screen on stage, to function as the narrator. This big screen is like what we see on cinema and I don't like this. It shows everything: the alien planet, the ship, the burning village, etc. I like musical theatres because I love to see the tricks they do on stage, how the backgrounds change. Like in The Phantom of The Opera: front stage, back stage, underground, roof; are performed on a single stage. In 'The War of The Worlds' I don't see such things.
The story is also not as rich as I have expected, because there are times when only pop music can be heard [i.e. the narrator & other characters don't have any lines to read or sing].

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary

It's been years since I listened to any Les Miz recording, so I was very happy to watch this DVD. The familiar songs brought back good memories. There are parts which are not available in the 10th anniversary concert, which is a good thing, because those who are new to this musical can understand more about the story. About the cast, I think the 10th anniversary concert has better cast.

In the 25th anniversary concert, I think Norm Lewis who plays Javert is very impressive. Alfie Boe, who plays Jean Valjean, is good, but not extra-ordinary, or at least that was I first thought. I thought Colm Wilkinson was better, until when Alfie Boe shows his true ability in singing Bring Him Home with Colm Wilkinson, John Owen Jones and Simon Bowman. Wow, he is great and deserves the standing ovation. Lea Salonga is very good as always; she and Jenny Galloway are the only cast member whom I have known before. Ramin Karimloo, who plays Enjolras, is very handsome; but I still prefer Michael Maguire.

I only once went overseas, and that was only because someone kindly paid for my air tickets & accommodation. That one time I went to London for 9 days and watched 2 musicals, one of them is The Phantom of The Opera, in which Ramin Karimloo played Raoul. In that one time, his mind seemed elsewhere and I thought he played badly. I still dislike him for ruining Raoul in that one time I was able to watch The Phantom of The Opera. For him it was perhaps only another night, but for me it was the only time I could watch that musical on stage. John Owen Jones played The Phantom and he was very very good and stood out among the cast and I still love him until now. [That was in the middle of September 1994.]

I have read that Michael Ball was in this 25th anniversary DVD, yet it was still a surprise to see that it actually had the whole Original 1985 London Cast. Together with the 25th anniversary cast, they sing 'One Day More', the last song in Act I. And being guests, they sing with more relaxed feeling [because the whole musical has a tragic nuance] and oh, what a happy situation it is, when The Thénardiers sing their part.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

France Boutique (2003)

This entertaining movie is about France Boutique, a shopping channel created by Olivier and France, who are husband and wife, played by François Cluzet (who looks like Dustin Hoffman, imo) and Karin Viard. Olivier and France also star in their advertising films. In fact, the most interesting thing in this movie is behind the scene of the advertising film making. However, if I myself think that advertisements exaggerate products' quality and that they are mostly lies; here Olivier and France test a product before represent it.

Here comes Sofia (Nathalie Baye), the head of an internet shopping company, who offers a big contract for France Boutique to make an ad about a fear eliminator product. The product itself is bogus. Sofia wants France Boutique loose its credibility so she can take their airtime. She sends a spy to report back to her. Meanwhile, Olivier - France's relationship is having a hard time. France seems cannot concentrate and she ruins the shooting several times.

It looks like Sofia will win, but France gets her good mood back [after relaxing, i.e. spending a night with a g*g*lo] and markets the product as a cellulite tracer - and it works!