Every so often in Hollywood a brand new talent emerges and proves to have real staying power. Think of the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Lupita Nyong’o. Five years ago even an avid film fan might not have known all those names, or at least might not have been familiar with the respective actors’ work. Now they seem like thoroughly established stars whose talents are beyond doubt. That’s because “staying power” is tough to determine at a single point. Plenty of young actors and actresses look promising at one point or another, and the ones who stick around simply do so, while others fade away.
With this concept in mind, one up-and-coming actress who appears to be “sticking around” in a big way is Alicia Vikander. Though she’s been acting for some time and previously appeared in a few major features such as Anna Karenina and The Fifth Estate, Ms. Vikander really exploded onto the scene in 2015, and it’s beginning to seem like we’ll be seeing her for many years to come. She’s already won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (for her work in The Danish Girl), and she’s just 28 years old. It’s probably about time we film fans get to know her a little bit!
When you hear about a musical titled, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” there is little worry about the show resembling the ordinary. Throw in a 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical, and there is no question that something really special is going on at the theatre. And if there are still any doubts, let me put an end to them right now by saying that this highly original and entertaining show is nothing less than extraordinary.
Going into A Gentleman’s Guide, I tried to stay away from as many details as possible. Knowing the little that I did – that it was an award-winning musical staring actors playing multiple roles – I wanted to find myself surprised as the story unfolded. What ended up occurring may better be described as memorizing, becoming thoroughly captivated by the hilariously clever story and fantastic musical numbers.
The hero (turned anti-hero) of the show is Monty Navarro (KEVIN MASSEY), a poor young man who has recently lost his mother. Not knowing how he is going to survive without her, he is soon visited by an old family friend – Miss Shingle (MARY VANARSDEL) who tells him that his mother was actually the daughter of the grandson of the nephew of the Second Early of Highhurst. Soon after discovering he is ninth in line for the throne, he hatches a plan to eliminate those who stand in line before him. He believes that once he is Earl, he will win over the love of his life – Sibella (KRISTEN BETH WILLIAMS).
Local H will be appearing at the Ready Room on Thursday, August 18, for the “As Good As Dead” 20th Anniversary show.
The band has been around for just over 25 years now, having released 11 albums; one greatest hits record and a live album in 2005. While many bands from the 90s have come and gone, Local H has managed to maintain a relatively strong following. Reviewstl.com recently talked with Scott Lucas, lead singer and guitarist of Local H.
The band has been around for just over 25 years now. What do you think has been the driving force that has kept the band relevant with older fans and attracted new ones?
“I don’t know. I think there’s something about the way we do things that connects with a certain group of people. It’s very, uh, I want to say cultish. I think they go to our show for a more personal connection than if you go see a band that you’re not gonna get to talk to or even be in the same room with. I think that’s it. It’s hard to say.”
Is there an album that you’re more proud of over others?
“Yeah, I was really proud of ‘Pack Up The Cats,’ when we made that. ‘Whatever Happened To PJ Soles’, I think there’s a nice hand-made quality to that record that I’m not sure I realized would happen while we were making it. It really doesn’t feel manufactured. I’m really proud of our new record (Hey Killer). When I heard the mixes of it, I was like wow, this is pretty good.”
The band has put out a good amount of cover songs. How do you choose a particular song to cover?
“Number one, it’s just whether or not you like the song. Then you ask yourself if we can add something to this so we won’t just sound like a shitty cover band. That’s usually it, whether or not we can actually make it your own or not. That’s why I like covering songs that don’t really sound anything like you.”
If you ask the question “What is the BFG?” to two different generations, there’s a good chance you’re going to get two very different responses. Growing up in the 90’s as a computer gamer, my first reaction when I heard the title of the movie harkened back to my days of playing DOOM and Quake II, taking out enemies with the Big F*cking Gun.
Apparently, though, this is not what that refers to. Rather, The BFG is actually based on a children’s book by Roald Dahl published in 1982. Although a previous animated adaptation came out in 1989, this effort, helmed by Steven Spielberg, is the culmination of more than 25 years of work to bring a live version to the big screen. A few of my friends read the book as children, but I went into the theater knowing absolutely nothing about it. In hindsight, I think this was a good thing.
Everyone’s got their share of guilty pleasures. Things that we know aren’t good (or good for us), yet we refuse to let go of. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, really, unless your guilty pleasure is like murder or something.
When I was 12, a summer blockbuster named Independence Day rolled out in theaters and took the world by storm. Filmed on a $75 million budget, the movie went on to gross more than $817 million worldwide. Featuring an ensemble star cast and visual effects that garnered an Academy Award, ID4 became one of the biggest hits of 1996 despite a mediocre script and a somewhat jingoistic theme. Regardless, the movie quickly became one of my favorites and I anxiously await a sequel in the years to come.
Well, 20 years later, the sequel is finally here, and you have to wonder if it’s too late. Will Smith, star of the first film, was not re-cast; after the first film propelled him to international stardom, he became too pricy for the second film.
The good news, nominally, is that much of the original cast does return for the sequel. Jeff Goldblum returns as David Levinson, now the head of the Earth Space Defense (ESD) in this alternate universe. Given 20 years to prepare for the return, ESD has massively upgraded from the conventional weaponry in the original film. Moving up from F/A-18s to fighters based on alien technology, AMRAAMs and fusion weaponry to plasma cannons and cold-fusion missiles, the ESD has done what it can to get ready. Whereas Smith and Goldblum’s characters split top billing in the first film, this is clearly Levinson’s time to shine.