Thursday, October 31, 2019

What's Next On My List? Hocus Pocus

I decided to write about a classic, I have included this in other lists before, but as the news broke that Disney+ is developing a sequel, I felt it fitting to go back to this classic, which has since grown itself into a fan favorite worthy of further discussion.

Three witches that sealed themselves in order to survive the Salem witch trials are awoken by a group of youngsters out trick-or-treating on the night of Halloween. The witches have to re-adjust to the 20th century surrounding them, but their powers are as strong as they were before and our team of youngsters have to be very creative in the way they try to defeat the three witches that appear to be invincible.

I was very young when I first saw this movie, it came out when I was just two years old, and I remembered seeing parts of it, but never the whole movie. When I was a teen my sister got a hold of it and we watched it from beginning to end, only to find out that it was not the major hit that I always thought it was. This movie is still a 6,8 on imdb, and actually people have become fans years after it actually came out. In that regard, I am awesome and hipster because I loved this movie far before others did. I had seen some nostalgia reviews, that pointed out how perhaps the wrong things were in focus (like, virginity and therefore the lack of sexual activity), but I think it flips it around just in time to focus on the fact that this was a good trait of a character rather than a negative one.
I am still scared of this movie to today. It is kind of a nostalgic fear, of course, as I child I did not know how they were going to defeat these witches, and every time they tried, something happened, a spell or a curse that protected them. They managed to keep me entertained and afraid at the same time, which to be honest, is proof of especially good story writing. I look forward to a continuation, although scared that this perfect balance won't be achieved, but perhaps Disney will take proper care of it. I know I wouldn't mind seeing it in the theater and share that experience with a bunch of people in costumes on a Halloween night in the near future.

Watch it? Oh my god, yes! Those movies that become classics do so for a good reason: just because the release time of a movie or the company in charge of production did not do a good job, does not mean that a movie is not outstanding. Some of the best movies in history are under independent companies and will never reach a wide group of people. Funnily, this was a Disney production, and I think even they did not account for its success later. Just to show you: it was released in 1993 and in 2019 we are talking about a sequel... that is over 20 years of fans gathering and requesting this movie, loud enough to reach producers. Or maybe there was a spell cast on us... who knows?

Until the next item on my list!
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Bette Midler - Winifred
Kathy Najimy - Mary
Omri Katz - Max
Thora Birch - Dani
Vinessa Shaw - Allison
Doug Jones - Billy Butcherson

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Blogger: NSP Live At The Electric Ballroom

It was a year ago that I wrote about my favorite youtube channel, Game Grumps (now with the addition of The Grumps, featuring videos other than let's plays!), and coincidentally, it is also exactly 10 years since Ninja Sex Party posted their first video ever, "I Just Wanna Dance". The reason we are here, is because I had the pleasure to see them live for the first time in my life and I just had to write about it!

A few months ago, in a separate video, Danny Sexbang (Daniel Avidan) and Ninja Brian (Brian Wecht) hinted at the fact that they would not have concerts in America in 2019 anymore, aside from their 10 year anniversary arena show, *wink wink, meaning that they have things scheduled elsewhere. Seeing that they already had a tour in Australia, I knew that Europe had to be next, and sure enough, they came finally as close to me as they could! The minute the announcement came of a European tour, I put my money aside and waited for the locations, seeing London my eyes lit up "I can go there!" [from Hungary], I yelled out and immediately bought tickets for a concert in Camden Town that ended up being sold out in a matter of days. Then the count down begun for October 20th...

The openers...
A small band called Planet Booty opened for NSP, singing three songs with one very important message: self-love. All these bands actually emphasize how you should face yourself in the mirror and learn to love yourself because you are just wonderful the way you are. I am not sure how long they have been opening for NSP, but they just seemed so humble and happy to be here with them that it made me love them even more than I could have imagined. They have catchy songs and truly beautiful voices for people who sing about booty and asking people to take their pants off. I also loved that their songs were not just for the ladies, or the men, but everyone in between with the emphasis on it being "consensual". The room went insane when they sang that part of the song! I cannot for the life of me think of any other band singing about sex and love making that emphasizes that it has to be consensual... so that alone makes them my new favorites! 

... a TWRP concert...
What followed were forty minutes of the Tupperware Remix Party, who are simply breathtaking on stage. However, I was not pleased... the band members, Doctor Sung, Lord Phobos, Havve Hogan, and Commander Meouch are probably among my favorite musicians of the 21st century, with songs that beat Daft Punk in my humble opinion, but... the microphone was terribly calibrated. Every time anything in the background started to play, a new song was being prepared e.g., for Doctor Sung to take the lead, I could not hear a single thing he was saying. He has this peculiar way of talking that reminds of me of the terrible English dubbing they used to have over Japanese movies, which is very fast with strange pauses for air and I got lost sooooo fast... which made me particularly sad, because he had great jokes and the message of self-love was not lost on them either. I love this band and they have wonderful stage presence, a lot of which was lost thanks to the mic not being set up properly. The one thing that they did do, that made me enraged, was playing "No Pants Dance", which features Danny Avidan, WITHOUT him coming out and singing it... what was the point of that? He was right backstage! I kept waiting for this to be his entrance, which would have been also awesome, since they sang all other songs they have collaborated on once they were on stage. I just do not agree with the set-list. It was not at all what I expected it to be, and that might not be a could argument, I realize, but some decisions did not make sense to me. Maybe they did not want to overshadow TWRP once onstage, but as much as I love them, and am thankful that they work together with my favorite comedy band of all time, I just felt an incredible imbalance, which could have been fixed with my ticket saying "NSP AND TWRP concert".

... followed by Ninja Sex Party
My shelf at home
It has been some nine years since I have been a fan of this band. I got to know them through Arin Hanson, as my brother followed Egoraptor previously, and he made their video "Dinosaur Laser Fight", (which they also sang at the concert in an acoustic way). So Danny and Brian finally came on stage and they sang songs about "Unicorn Wizard"s, about fighting bullying through the help of "Cool Patrol", and what their songs about sex have been leading to all along: the real "Heart Boner" to end an era of awesomeness (for now). They also sang a cover song, as they have two albums and a third one coming out (but I would have liked more of that too); which gave Ninja Brian the chance to misbehave on stage and his interactions with Danny were perfectly in sync with the two characters we got to know and love through their music videos. It was amazing, to experience in front of them the same kind of excited butterflies in my stomach I have every time I see them upload a new music video! They came out, "We are Ninja Sex Party!", the crowd went wild, Danny's parents and Jacksepticeye up on the balcony, a room full of fans from literally around the world, a line that went around the block before we could head into the building... I was in awe.
My photo on instagram
Overall, I wanted to see a Ninja Sex Party concert, and I feel like I did not get enough of them... I do not know what the contract is between them and TWRP, and I know that Danny loves that they have a live band behind them to sing their songs, and working on the Under the Covers albums gives them a chance to have just that, but it was not nearly enough. It was two and half hours, out of which just one hour was with NSP. But am I really complaining? Oh, fuck no. I cannot believe for the life of me, that after sticking with these boys for all these years, a simple youtube band starting out when youtube was NOTHING, was able to grow so big and travel near enough for me to be able to say that I have seen them live! Because of that I have to thank all the other fans too, I alone could not have done it, of course, but I will be there to like every video and buy every single album as long as they make them. I still wish to see Starbomb live too, which I find would be closer to my expectations. But it was all money well spent, and this is just a review, and the world will keep going on even if I share some thoughts of disapproval.

I still cannot believe that I saw them live, and I hope that this feeling never fades away. I also wish to be there at the 20th year anniversary concert and many more. I wish to take my brother and sister too, who are huge fans, and my girlfriend, who lets me educate her in the ways of NSP ever since we started dating. I wish to be able to use words to express how much I love this band and their music, and I wish contribute to their success whenever I can and when I can. Thank you for all these years of awesome, keep on rocking!

Happy 10th Anniversary,
With all my heart,
a Hungarian lovely
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Follow these awesome people on any of the links below:

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There is a reason, however, why I might have been so sassy about my experience... and that is because the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town can go suck my d*ck. Before getting in, they checked my bag, which is fine, I get that, but the dude then got my empty water bottle (which I emptied just at the entrance in order to be able to take it inside) and he just threw it out! Like what the f*ck, I thought, OK, they want me to spend money in here, don't trink water from tap, OK, I am not cool with that whatsoever (not to mention that I am not from London, I was a tourist and money was an issue on my trip, and now I had to buy ANOTHER plastic bottle (which I already hated to do), for this a**hole to just throw it out at the entrance? And only THEN I saw, at the end of the concert, that the bar had PRE-PREPARED cups of PLASTIC filled with FREE tap water on the counter for everyone to take... WHAT?! What was the point of throwing out my bottle if they are fine with us taking the previous free water anyway? AND DO THEY KNOW HOW MUCH WASTE it is to have all of those plastic cups thrown out afterwards? I was literally disgusted. 
All of this on top of the fact that failed to deliver my tickets to Hungary, which is beyond me, and told me that I would find them there at the sight. I went to the ticket office, the girl had my name OK, but instead of a ticket she gave me a small green paper at the size of a pen cap, that said "adult", and that was my only way in, and the guy took it from me right away. No ticket. NO EFFING TICKET. This was my dream concert and I have NOTHING to show for it! I cannot believe this, if they had already f*cking printed a ticket out for my delivery why was it not there?!! Thankfully I could ask a girl to take a picture of hers, so I have a bootleg version, but I was enraged. This place was just terrible and I will try my best to avoid buying ticket through them.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

What's Next On My List? Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

I have compiled a list of movies I have seen since as long as I can remember. Now, I am going through that list and just writing down movies that I would like to talk about a little bit. These were surprises, hated movies, and some that just worked their way into my hear unexpectedly. So let us get in deeper:

Ace Ventura is hired to find a dolphin, specifically the mascot of the Miami Dolphins. During his investigation he comes across Ray Finkle and other old players of the Miami Dolphin, among whom the former has disappeared some years ago after missing a field goal and causing his team to lose. In search of this old player, Ace finally comes across the dolphin he was sent to rescue.

I was very little when I saw this movie, but as a result, cross dressers have never given me any problems. As a matter of fact, I even like the narrative of one trying so hard to flee their past and their demons that they don't only change their name and face but their gender as well. The only thing that hurt me really, was putting Sean Young in the role of the man who is pretending to be a woman, because she might be one of the most beautiful actresses I know. That having been said, in the role of the villain she was simply wonderful, and her interactions with Ace were quite fantastic.
Growing up, the second Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) was actually my favorite (I was also too young to understand the clearly adult sex jokes and the now obvious references to it, which goes to show, children don't need to be protected from sexuality), because this one first movie was quite scary at points... I will never forget Ace going to house of Ray Finkle, and there is an unease over the whole scene, the pain of that football player can be felt throughout every beat of the score playing the background. And well, I am always waiting for a jump scare, even if I know it isn't coming. Not to mention when he sneaks into a shark tank by accident... that also scares the shit out of me. So overall this was a pretty serious movie, but it also had very funny moments that despite the clear childhood trauma of the serious moments in the movie, I am still taken back to it over and over again. I do believe the second one is more family friendly, despite the sexual jokes in it, and am very sad that the man himself, Jim Carrey did not thinks so... or the audience.

Watch it? People have to go and re-visit both movies and better sooner than later. This iconic character yielded several spin-offs and for good reason too, since it is, in my humble opinion, still one of the most original characters ever invented. He has the iconic Hawaiian shirts like Magnum P.I., but also the white shirt and comfortable shoes of someone who does not care about his looks overall. His peculiarity makes him unique, and his positive take on life and love for animals makes him relatable. This movie stands the trial of time.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _

Jim Carrey - Ace Ventura
Courteney Cox - Melissa Robinson
Sean Young - Lt. Lois Einhorn
Tone Loc - Emilio
Dan Marino - Dan Marino
Bill Zuckert - Mr. Finkle
Alice Drummond - Mrs. Finkle

Friday, October 11, 2019

What's Next On My List? Last Action Hero

I have compiled a list of movies I have seen since as long as I can remember. Now, I am going through that list and just writing down movies that I would like to talk about a little bit. These were surprises, hated movies, and some that just worked their way into my hear unexpectedly. So let us get in deeper:

Danny is handed a golden movie ticket to see his favorite movie on the big screen, all alone, before the cinema closes down. As if by magic, he is transported into the movie where he goes on an incredible adventure with his favorite action hero of all time.

This is one of my sister's favorite movies. I do believe that this fell under the radar because... Americans are f*cking idiots. Hear me out: you know how we used to look bad at a singer if they wanted a career as actors? Or the other way around? I remember that this used to be headline back when, and it isn't anymore, which I am happy about, but the reason for that is that Hollywood requires even more from someone to get into the business. Think of every single British actor you have known: they can all sing, act and dance, can't they? That is right, in most countries these arts cross into each other, but not in the US. So much so, that if an action hero wanted to make a fun or a dramatic movie, NOBODY wanted to know about it. My favorite movie of all time is Stallone's Oscar, which was nominated for awards for being the worst... yet, everyone I show it to today cannot help but fall in love with it.
Same with this movie: people do not want to see Schwarzenegger as a good actor, they would much rather have him be in action movies or making fun of himself, I mean, him playing Shakespeare is foolish and screw this movie. Right? I am sure that many thought this was going to be another awesome action movie, but then... then it turned serious with an actual plot and it made people think about the story they were seeing, and people don't like to think when they want to watch an action movie! Now, at the same time, think of something like Ready Player One. People love popular culture references, people love it when one breaks the fourth wall, we like stories that are aware of themselves... today. So my summary is actually that this movie was truly ahead of its time. If you watch it today you will laugh, you will cry, you will be scared and left wanting more. It is still an action movie, but it is so much more than that, and thank god it is. The characters are lovable, the way they combine different genres of movies was done very smoothly, and even if I was often scared, I knew that I would re-watch this movie every chance I got.

Watch it? Another movie that I find needs a second look at. And well, movies that were underrated very rarely gets remakes, so I am not afraid that someone is gonna come in and force a new version on us that completely misunderstands the depth and genius of this story. And for that very same reason I do hope that people go and watch the original and rethink their criticism over it. There is a lot more there to see!

Until the next item on my list!
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Austin O'Brien - Danny Madigan
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Jack Slater
F. Murray Abraham - John Practice
Art Carney - Frank
Charles Dance - Benedict
Frank McRae - Lieutenant Dekker
Tom Noonan - Ripper / Tommy Noonan
Anthony Quinn - Tony Vivaldi
Mercedes Ruehl - Irene Madigan
Ian McKellen - Death

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

What's Next On My List? Grease 2

I have compiled a list of movies I have seen since as long as I can remember. Now, I am going through that list and just writing down movies that I would like to talk about a little bit. These were surprises, hated movies, and some that just worked their way into my hear unexpectedly. Out of those, I have decided to write my most detailed review about this movie, because I feel that it deserves it.

Michael comes to the same school where his cousin Sandy graduated from, and there he immediately runs into the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies. One lady in particular, Stephanie, catches his eyes, but she is looking for someone who can ride a motorcycle like no one else. Michael decides to fight for her in his own romantic way, and in the end, she falls in love with him before realizing it herself.

Before I tell you if I liked this movie or not, I want to write my review. First, the music: it is really good. Unfortunately there are four different songs just about having sex, which means that subtlety wasn't this movies forte, but, the songs that are not about "scoring" are simply excellent. You know, if you follow my blog, that I care for musicals, they just have a special place in my heart. And to me a good musical is measured by the songs: if I catch myself singing a song, or wanting to listen to it again, then there is value to it. I know a lot of songs by heart from this movie, so you can tell, I am very satisfied with the music. I loved it when I heard of reviews of The Fabulous Baker Boys, and people where astonished that Michelle Pfeiffer can sing, and all I gotta say is: bitch please. Second, the casting. It is actually amazing to discover this movie once you are grown up and you know the actors from it, for example, our lead Michael was my favorite asshole, from Empire Records, the one and only Rex Manning. And he is an adorable lead in this movie. Some returned from the first Grease movie, and others have since never acted in everything ever again... but that can happen quite often even today.
And that brings us to point three: the story. Obviously, it seems pretty straightforward, there was a gender swap, with the girl being the cool one and the guy being the nerdy kid who does not fit in just yet. On the surface, it looks like the same movie. When you look at Grease today... At least one out of five are gonna argue with you about the moral lesson of the movie, and they are not wrong... love is one thing, but these two don't really meet halfway, the woman completely suppresses herself for the other one. And yet, we all wanted to be Sandy! ... Well, I wanted to be Rizzo, but that is something that I need to deal with in private with my therapist. Here, however, simply by making the guy the little nerd who seeks to become cool for the girl he loves - instead of impressing someone he is supposed to be in love with already - I cannot find any moral questions that were dealt with in a wrong way. Stephanie clearly has feelings for Michael, he is funny, smart, and caring, but he isn't a T-Bird, he isn't a "Cool Rider", but she is not against getting to know him. When she finds out that it is him in the end, she is very happy to know that the mysterious man that has been courting her for so long is the same sweet boy. The way Michael learns to be a cool rider, and he still studies all the time, while even helping others at school, makes him someone to look up to, and you want them to get together, without either of them denying a part of themselves for the other one. That is why, in my humble opinion, Grease 2 is actually just as good as the first one.
Did I think that in the beginning? Oh, of course not. The reason I kept going back to it was actually the songs, and the more debates I got into regarding Sandy's suppression of her true self in order to be liked by her boyfriend and his friends, the more I thought: this movie is stupid. Don't get me wrong, I love Grease because I have very strong nostalgia goggles on and the music still gives me shivers after all these years. But as much as we like to avoid the fact that this sequel exists, because let's face it, Grease did not need a sequel, I personally don't want to ignore its existence and do believe that it needs to be re-watched before we claim that it is a bad movie, period. Does it need that many songs on sex? No. Are any of the other side-characters likeable? The reason they make an impact, is actually the fact that they are not stereotypes. Another thing I have to note as a good writing in this movie, is that we spend a lot of time getting to know the side-characters. They have interactions that made me invested in them. The biggest change in the original movie is from the female lead leaving one cliche character to become another. Is society's pressure so unbearable? Since that is what both movies come down to, in the end, the fact that we always care about what other people think. And Danny almost got there, who knows if he would have been strong enough if Sandy had not taken steps toward reaching him sooner, but in this movie, Michael really only cares about Stephanie and what she thinks; getting approval from the others is just the cherry.

Watch it? Well, I couldn't be more detailed if I tried. I am sure I raised enough points to get you interested. Is it a flawless movie? Of course not, but no kind exists. Is it hated on a bit too much? I definitely think so. People put this movie to impossible standards and of course it did not live up to it at its time. But forcing a more modern feminist look on it, I think I lot of people should see how the heroine of this movie is actually pretty bad-ass, and someone who, after all these years, did not make questionable choices from a moral point of you. I recommend you give it a second go, and if you haven't seen it yet, the more so.

Until the next item on my list!
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Michelle Pfeiffer - Stephanie
Lorna Luft - Paulette
Maureen Teefy - Sharon
Alison Price - Rhonda
Pamela Adlon - Dolores 
Adrian Zmed - Johnny Nogerelli
Peter Frechette - DiMucci
Leif Green - Davey
Didi Conn - Frenchy