Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I'm a fan of, well, all the little things

~new job opportunities~
~story ideas~
~unfinished stories~
~music |-/~
~hamburgers on the grill~
~POTO 25th Anniversary~
~Bridge of Spies~
~F. Scott Fitzgerald~
~Christopher Poindexter~
~Tyler Knott Gregson~
~a t t i c u s~
~long hair~
~Avalon High~
~the periodic table~
~A Blank Canvas Is......~

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Phantom of the Opera (1983)


I have found lately, that you find some of the strangest and sometimes best things when you're bored and on Youtube looking for something to watch. As you may have known, that is how I found La Cenerentola, North and South, and a bunch of other random things. So I got bored on a night that I can't remember..... It was either a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (way back when), because I got to stay up. Anyways, I just decided that I was in a Phantom mood, so I think I looked up "Phantom of the Opera full movie". No, before you ask, I wasn't looking for the 2004 version because it SUCKS. (Sorry, Alexa!) But I just started pushing random ones to see if they were going to be interesting. You could usually tell, like, five minutes into it if it was going to be worth your watching.

This is the 1983 version, set not in Paris, France, but in Budapest, Hungary. It is very (very, very, very) loosely based on Gaston Leroux's novel. There's no songs from the musical that we all love and know, but that was actually okay. It starts out with Sándor Korvin (Maximilian Schell), the conductor of the Budapest Opera House preparing his lovely wife, Elena (Jane Seymour), for the lead role in the show 'Faust'. Her voice is beautiful, but not when she's obviously nervous. Anyways, the show goes on, but not before an audience member begins to boo her off the stage. A critic named Oscar Krauss gives Elena a terrible review. Krauss wrote it intentionally to ruin Elena because she blew off Baron Hunyadi's advances towards her (like, she's a married woman. Leave her alone....) so Hunyadi wanted to ruin her for it. Unfortunately, Elena had little confidence in her great voice and ultimately drowned herself because of the terrible review, leaving Korvin devastated, angry, and hungry for revenge. He goes to Krauss and orders him to reveal what wrong he has done, but then they get into a fight. Korvin kills Krauss but he is badly burned by a bottle of acid that fell from the shelf. The rat catcher named Lajos rescues him and takes him to his home(?) under the Budapest Opera House. Korvin is burned beyond recognition and soon takes on the role of the Phantom of the Opera and begins to torment the opera house. It is five years later when Michael Hartnell (the Raoul character played by Michael York), the new director of the production of Faust is holding auditions for the lead role of Marguerite when Maria Gianelli (the Christine character played by Jane Seymour) auditions. Not only is Hartnell impressed, but so is Korvin. Gianelli bears a large resemblance to Elena (Both are played by Seymour) and her voice matches as well. Gianelli gets the part of Maguerite and soon Korvin approaches her and offers to teach her at a private home. She takes lessons from him, but falls in love with Hartnell. Korvin soon becomes obsessed with Gianelli and pretty much does what the Phantom does to get her ahead. In he end, Korvin kidnaps Gianelli and plans to use Elena's well-preserved corpse to pass as Gianelli's body (which is later found in the sewers). Hartnell rescues Elena and the show goes on. Korvin is so upset by the end, that he cuts down the chandelier, but not before seeing Gianelli sitting directly under it. He and the chandelier plummet, but not before Gianelli escapes alive. In the final scenes, we see Korvin's mask under the chandelier.


This version of "The Phantom of the Opera" was sort of good, though a bit questionable. Korvin was a great "Phantom" and he had a reason to be angry. But honestly, it was just really creepy that he preserved his wife's corpse to remember her, only to throw her in the sewers and replace her with Maria. Like, that is Class A level creepy. Maria drove me nuts. Honestly. Like, she tries to be all "I'm independent" but honestly, she just isn't. Hartnell..... Well, I liked his voice. That's about it. This version features Christine as less modest than the classic Christine we know and love. For example, there is a scene where Hartnell undoes the side of her dress and in the next scene they're undressed in bed together. I didn't care for that all all. Like, "Cool, we get it; you love each other. That's all we need to know." It also shows Hartnell going to some kind of old sauna or something when Korvin comes and begins to choke him (I don't know if he was wearing anything or not) The only violent scenes would be when the fire starts and Korvin is burned and when we see Lajos leaning on the organ with a sort of dagger in his back. (obviously dead) I think that's about it for everything.

So while this was an okay version, it definitely wasn't the best. I think I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10 for a rating of being worth the watch.

Have you ever seen this version before? Share your comments on it!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Movie Review: Avalon High


Sorry for the large print. I seriously just don't want to get sued for using photos found off of the internet. Credit is to whoever took them.

So, if you ever had a childhood, you'll remember all the old Disney Channel Original Movies that came on from the 90's and early 2000's. Well this week, Disney brought most all of them back! I was elated. So I've been binge watching all kinds of the old movies, such as Horse Sense, Jumping Ship, Stuck in the Suburbs, and more. But though this isn't an "oldie", I was interested in this movie when it came out, but not interested enough to watch it. So when it was put On Demand, it was the first movie I watched. This movie is based on a book by Meg Cabot, though it has many differences.


Avalon High came out in 2010, starring Britt Robertson as Allie Pennington, a high schooler who has moved for the upteenth time to a new place. Her parents are college professors and writers who teach the subject of medieval literature (mostly about Camelot). They tell her that they will not be moving until she graduates from her new school, Avalon High. Soon Allie makes friends such as Will Wagner (Gregg Sulkin), the stereotypical senior, quarterback, football captain, class president, homecoming king and, of course, he is academically smart. They hit it off right away, though he has a girlfriend, Jen. Lance is his best friend and fellow football player. (wide receiver) She runs into Miles, one of the most intelligent students (I'm guessing, because he is portrayed as extremely intelligent (and he says he's a National Merit Scholar)) in the school. He is also bullied by Marco (get to him later) for obviously being a nerd, has quick and witty comebacks, but most of all, has psychic flashes of the future. Now, back to Marco: He is Will's stepbrother and doesn't get along with anyone. He repeatedly tries to basically ruin Will's life, torment Miles', and tries to scare Allie away and even goes as far as threatening her.

Now, all of the characters mentioned above have the same European history class, taught by their teacher, Mr. Moore. They are paired together to work on projects for their subject on Camelot. Will gets paired with another classmate, Jen and Lance are paired, as well as Miles and Allie. Miles and Allie get "The Order of the Bear" for a topic. Later Allie makes the varsity track team and Miles appears randomly at her house, wanting to work on their paper. However, when they can't find anything on it, they eventually go to Allie's parents for help. They give her a large book and tell her that it is a secret organisation that believed King Arthur would come back reincarnated. But throughout the movie, Allie believes that the reincarnation is happening now. She believes that Will is King Arthur, Marco is Mordred, Lance is Lancelot, Jen is Guievere, and so on.

Unfortunately, just like the prophecy predicted, Will's life begins to fall apart. Someone sticks the answers to the final test of European history to the bottom of Will's shoe, his team has lost respect for him because of this, and so on. Allie is pondering everything one night when Miles appears out of the blue. He reveals to her that he has had glimpses of the future since he was young, but that the feeling gets worse like "being hit in the head with a brick." He tells her that he envisioned them looking through the Order of the Bear together because there is a secret page. They discover that King Arthur's great battle will take place on the night of a total eclipse meteorite shower, which just happens to be the Avalon High Knights football team's last game to get to state.

On that night, Will finds out about Jen and Lance and drives off upset. Allie goes after him and tells him about him being King Arthur, but Will shrugs it off as a metaphor and goes back to the game. But he disappears right as the second half of the game begins. Allie and Miles go to look for him but he has disappeared from the locker room. Allie tells Miles to use his flashes of the future to find Will. He does so (in agonising pain) and they run to the school's theatre. But in a flurry of strange and twisted events, everything and everyone is not as they seem. Will is there lying down, hurt. Allie tells Will again about everything, but Will says instead, that Marco was there to warn him. A spotlight comes on and Mr. Moore appears.

Then comes the spoilers:

Marco is not actually Mordred. Instead, he is a good guy, trying to protect King Arthur. His father was in the Order of the Bear and he "swore to continue on" what his father had been doing. Miles is revealed to be Merlin (Woot woot) and instead, Mr. Moore is really Mordred instead of Marco. He goes after Will (after tossing Allie, Miles, and Marco aside), but Allie grabs a plastic toy sword prop and it turns to Excalibur, revealing that she is the real reincarnation of King Arthur. It goes into a battle scene in the time of Camelot, where Mordred is defeated.

Allie as King Arthur and Will as her knight in shining armour

Miles as Merlin

Mr. Moore turned Mordred

Then it goes back into present time where a cop comes, because it it after hours. Mr. Moore tries to say that Allie kidnapped and attacked him (mind you the sword is once again plastic) but Allie and Will say they know nothing, and Miles always has his comebacks: "And I'm a National Merit Scholar. I don't kidnap teachers - I suck up to them." Mr. Moore is taken away and they all go back to the game, where the Knights win and qualify for state. Allie and Will kiss and Miles (feeling more confident with knowing he's actually Merlin) basically scores a girlfriend. In the end, we see them at a cafeteria table at high school (which turns to Camelot) where they all lay their swords on the tables in a united way.


I don't know why I didn't watch this sooner. I really liked this movie a lot. Now, before you ask, no, I don't believe in any sort of reincarnation. It's honestly just dumb and un-realistic. But I didn't mind, after all, it's just a movie. If anyone has a problem with the whole reincarnation thing, I don't recommend this movie. 

Allie was actually a great female role. Disney has been going all "girls don't need a man" on me and I've been tired of it. However, this one was actually okay. Allie wasn't overpowering at all, nor what she wimpy. She had a great balance to her. Quite frankly, I've been getting tired of Hollywood and basically the movie industry going all feministic on me (i.e. girls can take care of themselves, they don't need a man, blah, blah, blah) It's okay for us to be vulnerable and have feelings, and at the same time, it's okay for us to be independent. But for me, Allie Pennington was a great balance. Kind and caring, yet able to take care of her own, stand up to bullies, and do what's right (most of the time). Also, while Will and Allie have a spark and probably end up getting together at the end of the movie, the entire movie wasn't exactly focused all about their relationship. There was a lot more to Allie than just Will. Like the way she befriended Miles, stood up to Marco, and dealt with her parents and all that. 

Britt Robertson as Allie Pennington

Will Wagner is your stereotypical good guy. Now, first off, just gotta say, I MISS HIS BRITISH ACCENT. Gregg Sulkin played Mason Greyback in Disney Channels Wizards of Waverly Place as Alex's boyfriend and was on Pass the Plate on Disney, so I knew he had an accent and I was sad to see that he had an American one in this movie. His character however, was nice. Very one-sided, but nice. I really admired how he tried to be understanding to Marco, but at the same time was not tolerate of his rude actions towards him or his friends. 

Gregg Sulkin as Will Wagner

Miles (it doesn't state his last name) is personally my absolute favourite character. Like, you know when you have those side characters that you just really like right at the start? Miles is that character for me. I think it's because I'm a lot like him, (or I wish I could be more like him). In all honesty, he's really rude to people to hide his insecurities, keeps to himself, and is bullied for being such a nerd. And he hides his ability to see the future by making up excuses for every time he gasps or cries out in pain. He doesn't like jocks and doesn't have any friends but Allie. He and Allie seem to grow close through this time, and in the end, he starts to embrace who he is, instead of looking at himself as being different. He ends up being extremely helpful to Allie in their quest of the entire process of the reincarnation.

Joey Pollari as Miles

Mr. Moore is just a wow character. I honestly never expected him to be Mordred. Like, there were so many signs and I was oblivious to them all. And now I feel extremely stupid. Like, my eight year old sister figured it out way before me. He seemed so nice, and then turned mean at the end. So, in a way, it's a bitter/sour/sweet relationship that I have with his character. 

Steve Valentine as Mr. Moore

Marco was so mean at first! That, and his eyes and obvious staring at Allie was really creeping me out. Like, the producers were spot on with the "trying to fool the audience by having a creepy looking guy be a good guy" thing. I actually pitied Marco more than some may have hated him. Like, I kind of tried to understand what he was going through, so there was less room for hating him, I guess. In the end, he turned out to be a good guy, and even apologised for his actions later. 

Devon Graye as Marco

Lance and Jen made me so annoyed. Like, it's better to tell him than let him find out for himself. Honestly!

Chris Tavarez as Lance Benwick

Molly C. Quinn as Jen 

Overall, the movie was great. Out for ten stars, I'd give it a good eight. There were parts that I liked and obviously parts that I didn't like. I liked the camaraderie between Allie and Miles. I liked the realistic struggles between Lance, Will, and even the football team. But, most of all, I liked Miles. His comebacks were always on point. Examples: 

To Marco: "When I'm at Yale and you're in jail, I'll be sure to tell everyone how cool you are."

Jen: "This is all my fault."
Miles: "Yeah, pretty much." 

Miles to Lance: "Yeah, and meanwhile, try not to lose the game!"

Allie: "You know, if Will is King Arthur, and Marco is Mordred, maybe you're Merlin the Wizard. Merlin was a psychic."
Miles: "Doubtful. Merlin had a long white beard; I can barely grow a nose hair."

Miles to the police officer: "And I'm a National Merit Scholar. I don't kidnap teachers - I suck up to them."

Allie: "We have to tell Will so he can defend himself."
Miles: "Oh yeah, that'll be great. "Hey Will, you're the reincarnation of King Arthur, your step-brother is is Mordred, and he's going to try and destroy you. You gonna eat those fries?"
Allie: "Hmm. Yeah, it's a little out there, isn't it?"
Miles: "Yeah, we passed 'out there' five exits back."

Miles: "I always do my assignments in half the time allotted."
Allie: "Why?"
Miles: "To prove I'm better than everyone else?"
Allie: (laughs) "And more modest."
Miles: "That too."
Allie: "That was sarcasm."
Miles: "How's it sarcasm if it's true?"

Allie: "Any chance you're getting a vision on how it goes?"
Miles: "And I doubling over clutching my head in excruciating pain?"
Allie: "No."
Miles: "Well, there you go."

Allie's father (reading from the Journal of the Order of the Bear): "As the keepers of the prophecy, it falls to the members of the Order to search for potential Arthurs in each and every generation, but beware the Dark Forces, led by a reincarnation of Mordred, determined to find the next Arthur and destroy him before he can realise the prophecy." So, see what they're saying.....
Allie's mother: "If Arthur isn't found soon, Mordred and his followers will send us back into the Dark Ages - ignorance, humiliation, suffering-"
Miles: (enthusiastically) "High school!"

So, there's a review for a great movie to watch. I loved it; it doesn't mean you will if you give it a chance, but you know, try it! You might like it.

Have you seen Avalon High before? What have you thought about it?