Sunday, February 13, 2005

Jesus Christ Superstar (Really Useful Company)

It is good – for a christian-ish film. Well, it is a musical retelling of the Jesus story, much like the “Passion of the Christ”, which I condemn by the way because it is so boring and they dare call that gore? Watch “Gladiator” man, then you will know the true definition of gore!

Anyway, “JCS” as I said, is the retelling, every aspect is the same like the Romans and the silver coins etc. The only thing is, they moved the time into the 20th century! So there are guns and discos and tight leather and shades etc. The first character to appear is Judas – wearing a tight red T-shirt with a pair of long black pants and black leather jacket, to give that punk-ish touch. Next to come out of the smoke is Jesus, long wavy blonde hair, white singlet, beige cargo-pants and white sneakers. Hip eh? There are also the disciples, only they are young teen-looking punk-looking kids. Simon, for example, wears a pair of army-patterned pants with biker gloves, and totally spiky hair dyed blonde at the tips, and Peter is a black guy who dresses almost similar to Simon. There are Asians among them too. And Mary Magdalene is the girl Jesus falls practically in love with who is a black prostitute. And the Romans, if they can be called Romans in this case, look more like the guys from “The Matrix”. You know, long black leather coats – the lead Roman of the lot looks like Morpheus. Pontius Pilate is a big muscular guy, but his face looks like a turtle’s, and his costume makes him look like Bison from “Street Fighter”.
Oh yes, and the singing. It is very… colorful. All the voices are very different and each has its own ‘uniqueness’. Judas, when he sings the higher and longer notes, sounds like he’s a wire gone short-circuit. And Jesus, when he sings the higher notes, sounds gay… and I mean very gay. The song, ‘Gethsemane’, which I was looking forward to hear in this show since I have heard Michael Crawford and Michael Ball sing it very very well, was turned into a gay song when it was sung by this Jesus guy. The way he sang the high notes sounded like a girl squealing while getting violated. And caught how he threw that television across the floor? And Judas hanging himself part was quite… interesting. I feel sorry for the guy.
There is also the part when Jesus carried the cross to where he was to be crucified. That is my favorite part. Because that is when they sing the theme song ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, which is a nice song. And whoa! That was after Judas hanged himself, but here he is in a cool, shiny red suit leading the song and singing into a microphone, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Ooooooooooooh, Je-esus!” There are red disco lights about too, and even the press comes with their cameras to film Jesus dragging the cross across! Then the angels descend from behind – women in tight red leather minis with red hats and high leather boots wearing dark shades and white sings attached to their backs. It was cool, something new and apart from all those other shows where whenever they come to this scene, the background music and people are all sad and solemn and pitiful. This one gives a whole new touch, I could even call it original!
My rating: 3/5*

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Evita

It is a drama musical, and like "The Phantom of the Opera", it is a stage-musical-turned-movie by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Unlike "The Phantom of the Opera", it was not a great success. Majority (including the FiRST magazine) called it a disaster vehicle. To me, it was alright. It is a drama musical and I am not a person for drama coz I find drama slow and draggy and boring. I like classics, epics! But it is considered a real compliment that I label it 'not bad'. I love some of the songs!

The movie stars Madonna as Eva Perón, aka Eva Duarte or more famously: Evita, a B-picture Argentinean actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinean president and dictator Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina. She was diagnosed with cancer and died in the 1950s.
They say that the movie was a wreck mainly because of Madonna, that she was a result of bad casting. I say, "Nay". Madonna was great for her role as Eva. The movie was wrecked due to bad direction. They had less than 10 lines of dialog in the whole entire 2-hour movie! Everything was sing sing sing. Sure, it is a musical, but you must know where to draw the line! Turned out to be like one hell of a long music video. It was quite boring, got me wanting to sleep. But I do intend on watching it again within the week. Antonio Banderas was amazing in that movie, and he sings! His voice is brilliant, love it! Believe me when I say he can sing. He could have been a great Phantom if it weren't for his accent. Sorry he didn't get the role. In my opinion, I think it was he who saved the entire movie. I doubt I would have sat through it if it weren't for his outstanding performance. He is in the male supporting role of Ché, a personification of Eva's conscience or some sort. A guy who is there but not exactly there. One minute he's the bar tender, the next he's the reporter or the waiter or the tenant or the detective or an upper-crust gentleman or someone from a hostile mob. He's just wherever Eva is or in a place which concerns Eva.
My favorite songs are 'Oh! What a Circus' (during the beginning which shows Evita's funeral), 'High flying, Adored' (during the middle when Eva is enjoying her success) and the famous 'Don't Cry For Me, Argentina' (when Eva address the crowd(Argentina) from her balcony).

Yes, a fairly good drama-musical. Watch it when you have the time. The music is real good (like all of Andrew Lloyd Webber's works). "Sing for me!" - the Phantom.

You let down your people, Evita.
You were supposed to have been immortal.
That's all they wanted, not much to ask for.
But in the end you could not deliver.

- Ché (Antonio Banderas)

My rating: 3.5/5*