keep your hand at the level of your eye

i just found this amazing youtube mash-up today – it is the original japanese cast of the pantom of the opera singinging ‘stranger than you dreamt it’ alongside the 1925 lon chaney phantom film
fucking brilliant!

i don’t know if if i’ve ever bored you with how much i hate joel scumacher’s phatom of the opera but i’m going to. finding that clip has just brought all my seething resentment about it bubbling to the fore again.
let me put my cards on the table here: i like musicals. there, i said it. and yes, i like the phantom.
it was always going to be a bit dicey translating it to film. alan parker did a really good job of evita but by nature of it’s ‘theatricality’ (ok, implicit borderline ridiculousness) phantom was always going to be a little more tricky.

so they gave the job to joel ‘i nearly killed batman’ schumacher.

everything about the film is terrible. too many static shots of people standing signing at each other. too much gerad butler swishing his cape around like a cow tail. too much of jennifer ellison murdering every line she has. just too much, really.
i’ve since found out that mr s originally wanted antonio banderas for the phantom which would just about explain why gerad butler is playing it as antonio banderas as zoro. almost.

there are a lot of awful things about the film which, to be fair, are also awful about the stage version but somehow they read so much worse on screen. the orchastration is pretty outdated to say the least (drum machine and keyboard aplenty) but how hard would it really be to sort these out a bit for the film? the original novel by gaston leroux is gothic in the traditional sense (closer in tone to the novels of jekyl & hyde or frankenstein) and there was a wonderful opertunity to team up the musical score with something just a little more believable and darker. instead it’s like someone described ‘goth’ down the phone to their mother and told them to direct it. whilst playing flamenco music.

ironically, the one thing in the film that i was most worried about before hand was the only thing i really enjoyed in it: minnie driver as carlotta. i have always pictured carlotta as more of a hag-diva, a miriam margoyles type. but give the girl her dues – she did a good job of brightening up an otherwise loathsome experience.
oh, that and getting to see simon callow sing – i could watch that man read the back of a tin of peas and be happy.

but the leads – oh god. neither of their voices are anywhere near rich enough for the roles. the girl who plays christine (she is so dull i can’t even remember her name and refuse to google out of spite) is just a wet little lassie who could be a million other wet little lassies. her voice is clear enough, but so boring. the benchmark will allways be sarah brightman and and michael crawford. sarah brightman has an incredible vocal range and allthough she is most known for being able to hit those incredible high notes at the end of the title song it’s often when she sings in the lower register that she really makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. she often reminds me of an operatic kate bush in that sense.
and michael crawford had just the perfect voice for the part: dark, emotional, syrupy. he can be quite creepy in places but also childlike and delicate.

this video clip sums up everything i hated about the film

when she appeared around the corner on the horse i actually burst out laughing in the cinema.
no need for the horse. none.

Look at your face in the mirror, I am there inside

i finally got around to seeing mirrormask tonight and – oh my goodness – i loved it so much. if you haven’t seen it yet the clip above is the perfect taster. it shouldn’t spoil anything but is an amazing set piece in it’s own right.
mirrormask is a proper fairytale – suitable for quite young kids but with some wonderfuly creepy bits too. visually it contains the most amazing imagery but also some superb ideas. it deals with the classic allegory of adolecence and the love/hate relationship you have with your parents at that age, but with a unique twist that feels at once modern and ancient.
i loved coraline and this was in a very similar vein, but all the better for being in glorious 3d.

some salted nuts sir?


    ‘piff paff poff’ from the high life

oh good lord our eurovision entry is amazing this year. have you ever seen a rougher bunch of camp old trouts? i keep expecting shona spurtle to come out of the cockpit at any moment. you can learn the dance routine here.

i hadn’t been allowing myself to indulge in the glorious europap as i didn’t think i’d get to see it on the night and, a bit like major sporting events, it’s the kind of thing you want to see live or not at all.

and no cries of ‘not at all’

it’s a spandex-ridden joy to behold. although i do have a particular fondness for those backwater nations that still think the waistcoat is a good look…

i was also amused to find out (with more than a dash of scadenfreud) that justin hawkins had put in a failed attempt at reviving his flagging career through, of all things, the eurovision heats. i loved the darkness’ first album and the video for ‘i believe in a thing called love’ is still one of my favourite things in the world but his effort is exactly the kind of ill-thought-out self, indulgent smart-arsed-ironic drivel that we don’t want going through to the big night.

give us irritatingly catchy melodies.
give us sinisterly pervy gay men (a la bucks fizz)
give us really haggy fag hags that really, really mean it.
that’s what it’s all about!

so while we’re at it please enjoy a prime and pregnant slice of jordan, our sadly defeated horror of a near-entry last year:

we can beat them, forever and ever

[photopress:NUP_104903_0377.jpg,full,pp_image]

anyone who hasn’t been watching heroes really needs to get themselves up to speed this minute. the basic premise is not really all that dazzling – a bunch of disparate people find out that they have ‘super powers’ and that they are all somehow connected to each other – but trust me, it’s all in the execution. gritty, original, well acted, cast and scripted with a plot as tight as a boy-scout’s knotwork. the most recent episode was an absolute belter and left me literaly squeeling with frustration at the cliff-hanger ending.

and besides, how can you not love a programme whose main axiom is “save the cheerleader, save the world”?

fire and ice

OH HEAVENS HOW GOOD DOES THIS TRAILER LOOK?!?

captain jack is back!

was someone kissing me?

😀 i still have such a soft spot for him despite the torchwood debacle

explosions, multiple time periods, rather scarey scare-crows, creepy guys yelling ‘RUUUUN’ and…
*geek guess alert*
…shades of ‘the beast’?
and…
*geek guess alert two*
…could that be a double heartbeat that the illusive mr.saxon is tapping out ? sinister stuff.

i can’t believe they are making me wait two weeks for this.

Just a little screw-up. But what the hee? Me got it under contwol. Fuggedaboudid

[photopress:a_brown_hugh_070426.300w.jpg,full,alignleft]

from the bbc news:

Actor Hugh Grant has been arrested over an allegation he attacked a photographer in London, before throwing a tub of food at him.

Photographer Ian Whittaker told the Daily Star newspaper he was kicked before the tub was hurled at him.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed a 46-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of assault and has since been released on bail.

Mr Grant’s lawyers confirmed an incident was now under investigation.

It is thought the alleged incident took place near the actor’s west London home.

Mr Grant voluntarily presented himself at Notting Hill police station on Wednesday, where he was arrested and then questioned for an hour.

He has been bailed and will return for questioning in a month.

.

not quite as rock and roll as his last arrest but you know – float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

apparently it contained baked beans.

watching too much tv will make us insane

before i start, let me preface this with the fact that i know i shouldn’t be frying my brain by youtubing programmes like project catwalk but what can i say? these things happen…

the episode i watched tonight involved the fledgling designers being set a breif to design a dress for kelly osbourne. i thought this was really interesting brief since kelly has a very strong sense of style herself and is not just a bland keira knightley type clotheshorse. now obviously kelly isn’t going to be sashaying down the catwalk in some ludicrous reality-tv creation and instead is on the judging pannel, so they get to choose a girl to wear it…

… from the clutch of six foot size four catwalk models that bear no physical resemblance to miss osbourne whatsoever (5ft nothing about a size 14-16 i’m guessing). but so far so fine, the design could accomadate for this, and i’m thinking if it was me i’d pick the one that at leat has a bit of bum and boob to work with.

of course none of them do this, and one model is even picked because she is quote unquote “thin as an eel”

am i alone here in sensing that this is just a teensy weensy bit insane??

to be fair the only dress of the three that a) kelly might actually wear and b) kelly might actually be able to zip up (far right picture) did win the competion so the judges weren’t completely mad.

but still….

picture-1.pngpicture-2.pngpicture-4.png