No rehearsal today….
But so much MOVIE excitement happened on Thursday that I didn’t get to talk about yesterday so here we go:
Major movie trailers dropped Thursday. Comic Con has begun so movie studios are trying to have THE trailers to talk about all weekend. Especially since Marvel is all finished with The Avengers….FOR NOW!!! (that’s for a post another day)
Anybut, I’m going to discuss three in this post.
#1 Top Gun: Maverick (aka Top Gun 2)
Okay I have a confession to make……..I’m not the biggest Tom Cruise fan……..truth be told I find him quite unpleasant as a person and as an actor. Now, to be fair, I do enjoy some movies he’s done. Risky Business, Rain Man, Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men…pretty much all of his filmography in the 80s and most of the 90s. And I enjoyed the film Top Gun, too. HOWEVER!!! I am not in the camp of those who wanted a second Top Gun movie. If you are in that camp, good. I’m glad your dream came true. But I will not be checking this film out. I noticed a pattern starting roughly mid-2000s with Tom Cruise movies. They’re all the same. He’s the action hero he’s always wanted to be. He gets to stand at the same height or even taller than everyone else on screen (even though he’s usually the shortest in the cast). He gets to get the girl and be the big, strong man who rescues the supposedly intelligent female (who oddly seems to catch the case of the dumb when he’s around so he can save the world with his SURPRISE knowledge)….Bottom line is, I’m tired of seeing Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise’s dream self in every movie he’s in. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS!! There are always exceptions. Tropic Thunder…he was brilliant. And (as much as this series plays into everything I HATE about his recent movies)…I find the Mission: Impossible series to be stupid fun…don’t tell my mother.
#2 IT: Chapter 2
I love Stephen King books. They were the first adult level books I ever read….in elementary school. Yeah, had some very confusing and terrifying nightmares in the fourth grade. I love Stephen King movies. Yes, even the laughably, awful TV movies that are the butt of a lot of jokes. But IT will always have a special place in my heart. The TV movie led to many nightmares. I remember the first time I watched it with two of my friends in Indiana. The opening scene started and me and one of my friends ran out of the room as soon as Pennywise (played by the incomparable Tim Curry) appeared in that sewer gate. We screamed in the hallway at our other friend brave enough to watch the whole scene alone. I distinctly remember her laughing at us and saying, “All they showed was him opening his mouth. No blood.” We were naive enough to think they were going to show Georgie getting his arm ripped off in a TV movie from the….90s? (checking my DVD of it….yes I own it….and I’ll own the new movies once they release them as a set) 1990. ANYBUT, the remake of IT, the first half, was, in MY opinion, closer to what I imagined it would be back then (and by back then I mean 2001-2, I don’t really remember the EXACT year I watched it, but it was around then). Yes, some of the effects were a little over the top, but others were….WOOF!! That headless kid in the library was the best build up and delivery of a scare I’ve seen in a long time. Now Chapter 2 is on its way and I couldn’t BE HAPPIER!!! It looks terrifying and it’s including scenes that were not in the TV series. Scenes that are important! And I’m hoping….GOD I’M HOPING…that they’ll be very careful when they show IT’s form for the finale. But I have faith and I’ll be there opening night! (unless I have a show that night…..nah, I’ll probably still go) SEPTEMBER 6TH!!! ARRIVE PLEASE!!!!
AND FINALLY….#3 CATS
Here’s another confession. I love musicals. I work in theater and, at the moment, that means exclusively musicals. That’s not the confession. The confession is….I actually really like Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals. Now for those not in the know, he was an extremely popular musical composer and writer during the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and a little bit of the 2000s. He wrote Pop Musicals and not what you’re thinking. In the most basic terms he wrote musicals that were meant to be popular. How did he do that? Well, he knew what kind of music people liked, and using some creative music acquiring skills (ie, using actual opera music to assist in writing one of the most popular and longest-running musicals of ALL TIME!!) he wrote musicals to great success. Some were well received (Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and Sunset Boulevard). Others….not so much (Starlight Express, The Beautiful Game, The Woman in White, Jeeves, and Whistle Down the Wind). But where does Cats fit in? Well, it was successful…very successful (before Phantom of the Opera, Cats was the longest running Webber musical), but also strange. A musical about cats based on a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. Hmmmmm. BUT! It was a guilty pleasure for me. The music has hits and misses like any Webber musical, but the true heart of the show is the dancing. And the dancing is phenomenal. (FUN FACT: the staged production is available on DVD…and maybe streaming….I think somewhere streaming) Now here is where I must put on the rant hat. Cats is a guilty pleasure musical for me. So to see it be…..just…..I hate being dramatic, but DESTROYED because of the need to include as many celebrities in it is depressing. NOT TO SAY ALL OF THE CASTING CHOICES ARE BAD!! I actually really like the idea of Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger. I think it’s genius. But there are some major missteps. I don’t mind updating the music to be closer to modern pop music…hell, Webber probably suggested it himself, but DON’T SACRIFICE THE DANCING FOR IT!! Also, I can tell from the trailer, the story has changed to focus on the white cat (Victoria fyi), and I only have a problem with this because of one word: kittens. There are kittens already in the show (DEMETER WHO HAS A SOLO THAT SOARS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE THE NOTES ARE SO HIGH MY GOD). In the cast. Why not do it from THEIR eyes? Especially since you’re clearly aiming this film at children (Taylor Swift? Really?). “Maybe Victoria will be a kitten?” No. She’s not a kitten. They’re not playing her as a kitten (mainly because traditionally, in the musical the dancer who plays Victoria is the BEST dancer/dance captain/pro trained ballerina in the cast). I don’t even mind changing Old Deuteronomy from a male cat into a female cat. NO PROBLEMS THERE!! Where I have a problem is all the additional lines I KNOW they’ve added or actors have improvised……AND NOW TO THE CGI FUR….JUST NO!!! The costumes were fine in the stage version. Now they look like you just stuck a human face on a disturbing mannequin with furry bouncing boobs that looks unnatural. And sorry, the shape of a human head makes cat ears on the top the way they designed it creepy. Look up the costumes from the musical and TELL ME it would’ve destroyed the movie for you if they looked like that instead of strange, creepy, uncanny valley, cat people. Also (final thought) why do all that CGI but then not even have makeup give them a little bit of cat on their clearly human face. AT LEAST USE SOME EYE LINER TO DO A CAT EYE!! COME ON!!!!
That’s it. I need a minute. When this is published I’ll be back in rehearsals. Where all the actors, some of whom are highly skilled dancers or have Memory memorized because it’s an AMAZING song, are as confused and disturbed as I am with the creative choices made in the Cats movie….and who don’t even know what IT is…or Top Gun because a lot of them are in their early 20s and now I feel old…