RENT the Musical Saturday, May 8 2010 

When I saw that the musical RENT was playing at the Civic in Auckland, I thought “Hmm, might be interesting.” I soon forgot this little inclination, to be perfectly honest, until one of the girls I work with piped up and said “I want to go to RENT – anyone else keen?” So we got together a group and bought tickets. Well. Best decision EVER!

RENT is an avant-garde rock opera, based around a group of young, down on their luck creative types living in New York and trying desperately to survive (and pay their rent, of course!). This story could very easily tip towards being quite depressing, as it touches often on poverty, death and HIV. And yet… it is woven together in such a way that it becomes a story of hope, endurance and love, without becoming overly sentimental. You fall in love with the characters, you understand that their mistakes are what make them so wonderful and offbeat. You are sucked into their world, and even though you know there can’t be a fairy tale ending, you sit there desperately hoping for them to be touched with happiness even for just a moment.

And the music… ohhh THE MUSIC! Beautiful, haunting, catchy… Obviously, many actors/singers have played these brilliant parts all over the world during different productions of RENT, but the songs themselves are pure gold. And the New Zealand cast of Rent? Didn’t let the show down at all. They were exceptional.

When I got home, I went straight onto iTunes and downloaded the album (from the film that was made based on the musical) and I have the film itself on order, too. This musical left me buzzing… It just was so riveting, dark, honest and thought provoking. I recommend anyone, anywhere in the world, to go see this show if the opportunity presents itself. It isn’t light and fluffy, but it is utter brilliance.

Can you tell I really enjoyed the show? Haha 🙂

Watch a few scenes here from the musical RENT!

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Hugh Grant – My Foppish Older Man Crush Sunday, Apr 4 2010 

We all know who Hugh Grant is. He’s the lovable jerk, Daniel Cleaver, from the movie’s Bridget Jones’s Diary 1 & 2. He is the dorky sap from Mickey Blue Eyes, and the foppish English dweeb from the famous Four Weddings And A Funeral. Over his long-spanning acting career, and a successful one at that, he has racked up countless roles that have showcased his acting talent, wittiness, ingenious facial expressions and great hair. (I’m sorry, but he does, even if he is stuck in the past with his chosen styles!)

Born Hugh John Mungo Grant on September the 9th 1960, in Hammersmith, London, he earned himself a scholarship to esteemed Oxford University where he enrolled in acting courses. Since then, his career has been on the up and up. His roles aren’t usually serious, gritty journey’s; he often portrays affable, eccentric and witty characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. His most common film trend is that of the leading man in a romantic comedy – working alongside actresses such as Drew Barrymore, Mandy Moore, Andy MacDowell, Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson and Sandra Bullock to name but a few.

He’s also the guy who got caught with prostitute Divine Brown in 1995, whilst dating Elizabeth Hurley. (He was consequently arrested for lewd behavior and fined.) Which isn’t exactly sexy buutttt…

I’m coming out of the closet here. Hugh Grant is my all time older man crush. From his quaffed hair, sparkling blue eyes and crooked grin, to his sexy English accent, his ability to be so witty and lovable onscreen and his quirky personality. I just can’t help but fall for him all over again whenever I watch one of his films. Age difference much? But I don’t care! Haha, he just does it for me!

Every girl I know has an older man crush (George Clooney being the most common!) and Hugh is mine. YUM-O!

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

77 Movie Sequels Currently in Production Tuesday, Feb 9 2010 

Stumbled across this article at the “Den of Geek!” website, detailing which movie sequels are being made (some rumored, most verified) as I write this/you read this! Yay for imagination and originality! 😛

Haha – nah, some of them have me pretty excited… Like Avatar 2, Anchorman 2 and Indiana Jones 5! Whoop!

Read the full list here.

Movie Sequels

Avatar Movie (2009) Thursday, Dec 24 2009 

So I went and saw this last night with one of my best friends at her very excited insistence. She had already seen it and was over the moon at being able to go again. So I went in with high hopes. I walked out going “Oh my god, that was one of the best movies EVER!”

The movie is set in the future, and though there is talk of Earth, everything is set either on spaceships or on the planet Pandora. Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine, has taken part in a science experiment in the place of his dead twin brother. He is part of a team of humans that have created “Avatars”, bodies like the native Na’vi people of Pandora (big, blue, amazonian). He can transfer into this new body and out of his broken human one. In the beginning he is protection for the rest of the team, going down with them to Pandora in his new body (and enjoying being able to walk!) and scoffing as they take plant samples and talk of learning the ways of the natives. When he is suddenly separated from his group due to the horrifically scary animals of this planet, he is saved by one of the natives, a female called Neytiri. When the essence of the planet gives Neytiri a sign that he is important, she takes him back to her clan, where he is forced to pass through trials to prove he can be one of them.

Whenever he goes to sleep as a Na’vi he wakes back up in his human body (and vice versa), and during these times you find out more and more about the true reason humans are on Pandora. Underneath the Na’vi tribes home is a precious metal that Earth people want and believe they have every right to take. Jake’s team of scientists know this is inevitable, and are trying to get the Na’vi to move so that they don’t get hurt. The military side of it has stated that if they don’t move in three months they will be executed. At first Jake isn’t that fazed by this, as he thinks he can make them move and with the promise of his legs being fixed, he selfishly believes he is doing the right thing. 

As Jake learns more about the cultural and spiritual aspects of the Na’vi’s world, as well as falling in love with Neytiri, he finds himself. He reevaluates what is important, what is right and good. He learns a strength he never had before, and as a character becomes more animated in his Avatar body than as a human being. I won’t give everything away, but this movie HAS IT ALL! Romance, action, humour, fantastic CGI (and I mean, bloody amazing! Go Weta Productions!), heart and even an environmental message that really makes you think. I kind of thought this was a super modern day Pocahontas, where two worlds meet and the individual who thinks they are more civilised learns that really, they are not. This movie has a beautiful feeling to it, backed up by great acting and amazing, fantastic, wonderful CGI and effects like none I have ever witnessed before.

All in all, I’d give this movie a 10 out of 10. I’m most certainly going to be buying it on DVD when it’s released. I can’t stop raving about it – and neither can anyone I know thats seen it! Please, take my advice. Go see it. Don’t think, boy flick yuck. Science fiction, no thanks. Animated? Bleh. No. Go into it with new eyes. It’s just great – and now I think I prefer blue boys! Hehe.

Avatar The Movie (2009)

Neytiri - Daughter of the clan leaders

Forgetting Sarah Marshall Saturday, Dec 5 2009 

This movie has been out on DVD for a while, and if you’re looking for a movie that makes you cry with laughter, then I recommend you rent it (or heck, buy it!). 

Forgetting Sarah Marshall stars and is written by Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother, I Love You Man, Knocked Up and countless more) and shows the breakup between Peter (Segal) a musician who has yet to find his true calling and Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell) a famous television actress. Sarah breaks up with Peter after five years together, leaving him for infamous british rock star Aldous Snow (played by hilarious comedic talent Russell Brand) and causing him to spiral into a pathetic state of depression.

With a push from his half-brother Brian (Bill Hader) Peter decides to leave the country and the constant reminders of Sarah, and flies to the beautiful island of Hawaii. Once there, he checks into a beautiful resort where – to his surprise, dismay and burgeoning hope – he runs into Sarah and Aldous, who are also holidaying at the resort together. 

The rest of the movie is a brilliant, witty and laugh out loud journey where Peter both finds who he is and what he really wants in life. One of the resort workers, Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) helps Peter to relax and have fun, and along the way a romance blooms. Other characters include Chuck (Paul Rudd) a stoner surf instructor, Darald (Jack McBrayer) a newly wed on his honeymoon whose major crisis is how to bring god into the bedroom for the first time and Matthew (Jonah Hill) the resorts loser waiter who is absolutely obsessed with Aldous and wants to follow in his rock-god footsteps. 

This movie is brilliant. Not only is it one of the funniest movies I have watched in a while, but it is also painfully brutal when it comes to the truth behind relationships. Sometimes, it isn’t black and white, not just one persons fault. One of those odd comedies that actually gets you thinking. 

Warning, it can be delightfully rude and there is a bit of nudity – though not from who you’d expect! This is a great movie to watch with mates or even an ice-breaker for a first date. It’s just great!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall