Monthly Archives: February 2013

Reflection: Ken Kaden’s Adaptation of Nick Hornby’s “A Long Way Down”

There are few shows that bring comedy into a serious issue and still resonate with the audience… and yet Ken Kaden has managed to keep that vary spirit of Nick Hornby’s novel “A Long Way Down” via his staged adaptation.

But first a little about “A Long Way Down”:

In his fourth novel, New York Times-bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they’ve reached the end of the line.

Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year’s Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper’s House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.

Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, A Long Way Down is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life.

Yep… you read that right, funny but in a very thought provoking way even Ken admits as such via the Facebook invitiation:

Some oddities about “A Long Way Down!” :
1. It’s about suicide, and we hope to make you laugh.
2. It’s a staged reading, and most of the lines are memorized.
3. It’s not a musical, and music is important throughout.
4. One of the characters is famous, and nobody likes him.
5. Admission is free, and we hope you will give generously to a worthy cause.
6. It is first-come, first-served, and we hope to turn no-one away.

So now that you are semi-familiar with the adaptation and realize that it will open this coming weekend, why am I writing about it now?


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Endeavor: Oscar Night’s Dish Inspiration

Since the Academy Awards was just a couple of days ago, one of my friends threw an Oscars Party where everything was themed in accordance to not only the nominees for Best Picture, but others as well.

I chose to create a dish for the occasion and since I was coming to the cooking party late I had minimal choices…

In the end I decided to create a dish inspired by a drama film: The Master… a film that I knew absolutely nothing about. Sometimes I am really glad that Wikipedia exists.

After reading through the summary provided I latched on a few key words:
– alcohol
– ink blots
– sex
– paint thinner
– Slow Boat to China

Yeah, I know… an interesting list. So what did I plan to do? Well originally I wanted to create a savory dish and had my mind set on make pate chaud for the Oscar Party… however, the issue i was having was how to tie that to the film that I chose.

Then after a few nights of not thinking about it, inspiration hit me… there was a jello that my mother made for parties that when created looked like a crazy mess which would actually fit with the idea and themes of the film. However, the primary ingredients for the jello included:
– coffee
– coconut
pandan leaves

So how to invoke a feel and theme that I wanted so that it would tie in with the film?

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Reflection: Oscars Snub at the VFX Industry

See this?
Yes… it is a big blob of green… or more specifically the green used for the “Green screen” for visual special effects.

But let me go back a bit…

One of the things that bugged me was the botched up (and semi-funny) presentation for the Visual Effects award done by The Avengers clan. At the moment I am sure a lot of us were just rolling our eyes, but when I started listening and relistening I realized something…

It felt like they were goofing and stalling… why?

The San Francisco Gate said it best:

Biggest Oscars snub: A shark attack on the VFX industry

What happened? Well according to the SFGate.
Well they turned on the light to the one thing that was bugging me during Bill Westenhofer’s thank you speech… specifically right when he was cut off:

Sadly, Rhythm & Hues is suffering serious financial difficulties now…. I urge you all to remember…

Not only that, but the producers of the Academy Awards cut him off using JAWS musical.

Sadly, I will admit it was rather funny in the moment… which was probably what the producers were going for… but in hindsight reveals something far more sinister.

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Fleeting: 2013 Oscars Thoughts

Seth MacFarlane… I <3 you.

Well there were others that I truly enjoyed, but honestly Seth made the show for me… behind Tina/Amy and NPH… Seth just skyrocketed up my list of award show hosts that I wouldn’t mind hosting again in any capacity.

And that’s probably because my sense of humor is dark and perverted enough to truly appreciate what he did as host of the Oscars over the weekend. Though the addition of
– Captain Kirk (the William Shatner version)
– Channing Tatum / Charlize Theron dance sequence
– Daniel Radcliffe / Joseph Gordon Levitt / Seth MacFarlane Broadway-ish sequence
– Be Our Guest…
Definitely helped him and the writers (unless he wrote a fair chunk of it himself).

Oscars 2013 – Opening Number With Seth… by IdolxMuzic

Now I had forgotten that Charlize has dance training, but I knew that Channing was more of a hip-hop dancer… you can see the lack of extensions and polish in Channing’s movement. But as a few of my friends (and me) were critiquing his dancing, one thing I did notice was that he actually had pretty strong partnering skills. He was there for Charlize in the lifts, dips, turns, etc… and that is just half the battle in ballroom dancing… but I digress.

Daniel and Joseph singing and dancing with Seth? O.M.G. that was the cutest thing I ever saw, granted Daniel was glancing down at his feet on occasion, but seriously, what’s not to love?

Oh… and did I mention the “Boobs” song? I know that if I were able to I would have been rolling on the floor in laughter.

Though I’ll admit, using Seth as opposed to a “voice from above” announcer voice was a very good call… a very very good call, if only because that meant more joking and ribbing from him and in my point of view and taste that is perfectly alright by me.

So outside of my love affair with Seth what else caught my attention?

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Entertainment: Fantasy Only No More?

The good and the bad when it comes to technology…

The Good
It brings the mystical and fantastical closer to reality

The Bad


So what “advances” in technology have come across the table recently…

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Fleeting: Modern Adaptations of Old Classics (Shakespeare Edition)

Being a lover of Shakespeare, I am always on the look out of modern adaptations to some of Shakespeare’s works. Some have been hits (for me) others have been misses (you gotta have some) and some fall in the in between.

So what worked for me may not work for you guys, but hey, that’s what opinions are for, no?

Keep in mind these are adaptations that are also modernized… I will not be looking at pieces like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet… which is essentially the play with a modernized feel, what’s the point.

West Side Story
This has got to be the most obvious. Taking a look of who kills who, what happens to whom and most of the ending (Juliet doesn’t really kill herself as much as she may want to). It is well written, well composed, and chock full of dancing, singing, and drama. Classic in a Romeo and Juliet piece.

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Fleeting: Pokemon Inspired Evening Wear

Yup you read that right… someone out there decided to design evening dresses using the various Pokemon as inspiration. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t but more often than not they are fun to see.

After skimming through some of the designs posted on the 29 Cent Pens blog, I found myself leaning towards some styles that not only are doable for me, but are items that I am sure that I could put together with relative ease and still have it look good on me (one hopes anyway).

What got me on this particular realm? Well… basically when I came across Wigglytuff and realized that I could adapt the drawn image out of items from my own closet:

So what other styles from this site has also caught my attention? Well I have primarily pinned them via my Pinterest “Fantasy Clothes” Board.

Granted there has been a whole “movement” of people who have been designing casual or evening wear inspired by any and all characters across the spectrum.

Another such site is Disney Bound which I have mentioned in a previous post.

Maybe my fascination with Pokemon is because I am back on the Pokemon “gotta catch ’em all” phase of the old Gameboy Color series, you know… the original 251 Pokemon before everything kind of blew out of control. Just give me Pikachu and Jigglypuff and I’ll be very happy… unlike Kirby who is still giving me nightmares… but that’s a story for another day.