Why not have a little look at my latest video?

18 03 2011

Gotta Geddan on Friday 😀 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oiF3pWMmyY


“Un-Glee-ful” (Jeremy’s title)

10 03 2010

Well I have to be honest, I’m almost proud of the fact that I’ve got this far without seeing Glee. Last night I was placed in a situation where I could not escape.

One word to sum it up. “Wow.”

And that’s not wow-good.

It literally gave me a headache, and I am still feeling quite nauseous. It’s nearly the worst thing I’ve ever seen (and I’ve had to sit through an episode of Coming of Age).

Let’s justify this rant:

I know it has a (very popular) soundtrack, but seriously, how hard is it to do some proper lip-syncing? If I can manage it in A-level Media, I think 20th Century Fox have the ability to get it spot on. So why then? And yes, the music is ok, but have these people never heard of a ‘mash-up’ before?

And Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” will never be the same again. And no, it’s not better than the original. And yes, the track was popular before Glee.

Focus is a nice tool to use creatively but in a simple two-shot or just a medium-long of the group of ‘typical’ American teenagers a tiny depth of field is definitely not needed. Unless it’s that the show’s producers really are patronising enough to suggest that viewers can’t tell where they should be looking when there are two people on screen, one of whom is delivering a line. Let’s assume then that just to be on the safe side we shall blur the other person beyond recognition.

Then there’s the cheese. OH the cheese! Does any show have to be this cliché? At times I can see the whole ironic level of it

Wheelchair guy. [Large] black girl with a big voice. Asian girls whose ethnicity is made fun of (but of course it’s ok because everything is so ‘light-hearted’). Chastity school girl who loses her virginity to a rough-tough bad-boy, whilst the deluded ‘good-guy’ looks on thinking he has a chance. Overly-camp in-the-closet guy who’s crushing on the good-guy. It’s like a bad 80s movie designed to make fun of the clichés contained within clichéd 80s movies about a group of stereotypical ‘French-words’. But so much more painful.

I could write more but I fear my brain would overload with the amount of awful things I could comment on. Urgh.

At least I’ve never let myself see any of these High School Musical things.

Let’s just hope it stays that way.

Harry Potter VI

5 09 2009

The Half-Blood Prince. And a less than half-accurate film.

I was quite excited when it came to the time for the sixth film in the Harry Potter series to be released. I have the first five films and fairly recently watched them back to back. I even spent time re-reading the sixth of J.K. Rowlings books, a great read. Maybe this is why I was personally so disappointed with the film translation of the novel (If HP books can be classed as “novels!”).

In terms of action, the film contains quite a large amount. Despite reports from others that the film was lacking in the “Wow” department, I felt that the action sequences were both well-worked and frequent enough to retain the interest of people who probably aren’t too concerned about the fate of the wizarding world. One scene that stands out is the search for the ‘Horcrux’ in the cliffside cave. This part of the film is well produced, with the levels of tension, drama, action and storytelling well-balanced (even if still a little inaccurate).

In terms of inaccuracy, I will rarely criticise a film for not being completely true to the original plot: doing so removes the artistic license and the creativity of the director and others involved in the making of the film. In this case however I will make a necessary exception. The differences in plot between the book and the big screen versions are appalling.

For example; there is a world of difference between changing minor details to get a cheap laugh (such as the timing of Ron’s poisoning with love potion which, incidentally, was funnier in the book than on screen – this could have been due to Rupert Grint’s comedy acting though…) and, not only missing out but, reshaping entire sections of the narrative! One huge example of this is in the ‘Astronomy Tower Scene,’ with Snape discovering Harry as he is witnessing the events above him. A ridiculous change there, bypassing the main reason a certain wizard met his maker: he sacrificed himself to save ‘The Chosen One’. Understandably, if you haven’t read the book then you will miss out on this: but why? There is no need for that detail to be left out. It would not have been a difficult idea to put across and it would have heightened the levels of emotion and drama in the scene hugely (just like in the original story).

To top it all off the film has a poor, almost bathetic ending, compared to quite a dramatic climax in the book itself. The end of the film does not inspire me to return for the first cinematic rendition of book seven.
Thankfully I have read book and know that the plot is gripping, so the films should be great, providing they are actually based on said book and not the ramblings of a scriptwriter.

As mentioned there are some good HP-style action sequences (though little “Quidditch” – is anyone saddened/relieved?) with some nice editing as one has come to expect from such films, however the films scoring is a bit of a let down. “Sadly he [Hooper, score composer] fails to craft an engaging score.” (Empire, October 2009 issue). As Empire also notes, it is a shame that the score is not more in tune (PLEASE excuse the pun) with the emotional depth of the story. On top of this, the whole score feels scaled (I’ve done it again, apologies) down in comparison with the more epic sound produced by John Williams in the first two films. There’s very little of the ever-so-memorable themes from, “The Philosopher’s Stone,” such as, “Hedwig’s Theme” or even the main motif. Again, I look forward to some sounds of more epic proportions from the last two films, again aided by some brilliant plot writing.

To summarise, it’s not the worst film. It could have been a lot better mind, and when compared to either the book, or the Harry Potter films that preceded it, it is shown to not meet expectations; however to the casual viewer and to younger children, possibly now the primary target audience (somewhat sadly as it’s quite possible they weren’t even born when Harry first tried to get on to “Platform nine-and-three-quarters”), the film is able to hold its own.

I would advise that you heed my plain advice:

Read the book. It’s better.


3 09 2009

I can’t be doing with typing out whole reviews on my phone but as of tomorrow I’ll have my laptop back so will post a few more soon hopefully!

In the meantime, add me on Twitter! @jgallant1990. I’m also on facebook 🙂 and for all you old skoolers you’ll even find my (slightly in need of an update) MySpace page at www.MySpace.com/musicaljoe

We Will Rock You

26 08 2009

First things first, I am aware that I am reviewing a theatre show as my first real post to a blog aimed primarily at reviewing films, however, it’s my blog so I shall do as I wish!

We Will Rock You is a musical based on the greatest hits of Queen, for those that don’t know. The story is fairly interesting, although at times feels a little stretched to fit in with the song lyrics: a problem that obviously wouldn’t occur in musicals with original compositions, but a minor problem nonetheless.

The show places a great deal of focus on music, as the soundtrack is one of the main reasons people pay to see the show, and it does not disappoint, with some great musicianship and some enjoyable crowd participation too. At times the singing, although at a high volume, is overpowered by the music itself, making some of the words difficult to understand; it seems strange but I think I am suggesting that the volume should be turned down!

Some musical highlights are Radio GaGa and One Vision, both added to by the brilliant visuals at the rear of the stage and some great choreography.

Much of the writing is very witty, and very up to date in the humour: I must admit I’m a sucker for observational comedy! From the word “Go” the play is very funny, although sometimes a little close to the mark – even if many of the jokes will be above children’s understanding there is quite an amount of innuendo and at times the language seems unnecessarily crude. The same also applies to the visual humour and some of the costumes are a bit too revealing, so I wouldn’t strongly recommend this play to family audiences.

All things considered the production is very entertaining and with an encore of BoRap a hard choice to refuse, though maybe not a suitable one for those with a young family (that said I did see kids dancing in the aisles who certainly didn’t look old enough to know what was really going on!).

Maybe the fact that I went with someone who was seeing the show for the seventh time built it up too much, but the play didn’t strike me as mind-blowing – nevertheless it was an enjoyable way to spend an evening and I wouldn’t recommend against going to see We Will Rock You by any means!

(Where: The Dominion Theatre, London. Tube station: Tottenham Ct. Rd.)


25 08 2009

If there are any films that people want reviewed then give me a shout, new or old!


25 08 2009

This is my brand new blog through which I shall soon be bringing you some light-hearted and hopefully (semi-) intellectual film reviews.

The reviews may be of brand new films or there may be some classics thrown in but either way there should be something here for everyone.

For now, check out my Author page to find out a little more about me 😀