Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Horrible Histories t.v. show and the Maccabeats

  A good friend of mine introduced me to a show called Horrible Histories. It's a British musical kid's t.v. show that teaches history. They make fun of it with goofy songs but still keeping it factual. I love it. There is a video of Elizabeth I having an online dating account. Lol. The funniest video is the one about the Spanish Armada. It's like a commercial for a movie.  It does not make history boring. The British did an awesome job!! Yay for history!! :)

        The second thing that I am going to write about is a Jewish A Capella group from New York that I discovered around Easter. They are called the Maccabeats. I was on YouTube and I came across their Passover video. It was very creative. Told the story of Passover with songs from Les Miserables. That was really cool!! They are students at Yeshiva University. I'm not sure what city that is in. They also take a popular song and change the lyrics to fit their faith. It's really neat. I love their song "Candlelight" which is a song about Hanukkah to the tune of "Dynamite" . They are a group worth listening to. I now have an interest in the Jewish culture and the Hebrew language because of this group.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

One Night with the King movie

        Hello!! Sorry I have not written lately, I have been very busy with school and rowing. Away this blog will be about one of my favorite movies, One Night with the King. This movie is loosely based on the Biblical book of Esther. A bunch of creative licenses were taken but an amazing movie anyway.
        This movie mostly focuses on the relationship Esther and the King have. In this movie, the King and Esther love each other. As a history major, I like thing to be historically accurate. I doubt that the relationship they had in the movie was accurate. It could be, it was more common back then to have arranged marriages. The King also picks Esther because she is beautiful. Enough with the history rant. This movie is one of the best movies.
        There are some really cool creative stuff in this movie. Like the main character Hadassah (Esther's real name) has a necklace that whenever it put near light, Stars of David show up on the wall. This necklace helps her prove that she is Jewish to the King near the end of the movie. Esther's wedding to the King is also a pretty cool scene. There is like a sea of flowers on the floor and the throne room is massive. There is like a giant statue of a lion right behind the King. It's not much of a scene because all the King does is place a crown on Esther's head. The actors in this movie are awesome. I loved the girl that played Esther. She was very believable. An actor's ability to make me believe the characters they are playing is important. It would be really bad if the audience did not believe that the actor was portraying the role well.

        Overall, I believe it is an awesome movie and you should see it. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valjean's Confession/ Suddenly (Reprise)

 Les Miserables is known for its amazing story line and brilliant music. It is highly impressive and has been my favorite musical for the past four years. In the movie there were a few new scenes added. One was right after "Valjean's Confession" one of my favorite songs in the show because it is beautifully written. In this song, Valjean convinces Marius to lie to Cosette about where he is going. Marius does not want to lie to Cosette because he knows she would never believe him. Despite this, he does agree to lie. Enter new song and scene.
     The song "Suddenly (Reprise)" is basically the scene that Marius tells Cosette that her father is leaving. Of course she does not believe this. She has more questions than answers. Marius then tells her that Valjean asked him to say he was "gone a journey far away"* Then Cosette says that it breaks her heart that her father left. This is where I thought it was strange. Strange because I thought Valjean's actions did the reverse effect. I mean, wasn't his main purpose for going away was that he could not "Tell Cosette and break her heart"?** However, his leaving does break her heart. so either way, her heart could be broken. She finds out the truth anyway at the end of the movie.
      My crazy awesome Grammie said that she thinks Valjean starts the whole thing because he knows he his dying. Now that I think about that, it makes a lot of sense. I mean, Valjean saw it as his duty to make sure Cosette would be happy. Once he knew Cosette would be happy with Marius, he knew that he could "die in peace"***.
      So yeah, it is something that I have always thought about. It's an interesting aspect of the musical.

    Next week, I will be taking a breaking about writing about musicals. I will write about one of my favorite movies, One Night with the King.

     Key : * ~ Suddenly (Reprise) ~ Les Mis movie, ** ~ Valjean's Confession ~ Les Mis, *** ~ Epilogue ~ Les Mis 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Character in Musicals : Javert

One of the most bizarre characters ever created is the character of Javert from Les Mis. This show is based off the novel of the same name. So, the creators of the show cannot be blamed for making him the bad guy. That is what he was in the book. After seeing the movie, I have seen him in a new way.
     Javert is a hard core police officer that dedicates his life to hunting down Jean Valjean after he breaks parole. He believes that once a person is a criminal, they are always a criminal. During the confrontation with Valjean after Fantine dies, he claims that he was born inside a jail. Who knows if that has anything to do with him being some crazy hard core cop. Javert spends 30 years hunting down Valjean. I believe that the character of Javert is complex. He is a sadly misunderstood character and he misunderstands a few things as well.
      The reason why I say Javert is a complex character is because he is a conflicted man. He was the type that can only see black and white. There is no grey area in his world. He thinks he is doing the right thing by hunting down Valjean and return him to prison to serve a life sentence since he broke parole. Right before he kills himself, he sings "I am the law and the law is not mocked." He sings this after he is forgiven by Valjean. That is actually why he killed himself, because he was forgiven by Valjean. He is misunderstood because he is trying to do the right thing but makes him look bad.
      The reason why I say that he misunderstands a few things is because he is so closed minded. He does not understand the concepts of love and forgiveness  He also does not understand the concept that people can change. People who were criminals can change their lives around. Valjean did it. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the character. I like his songs but I do not like what he does.
     Next time I will talk about a song that been on my mind for a while then I will return to doing musical characters. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Characters In Musicals: Lt. Joseph Cable USMC

 The first musical that I ever saw on stage was South Pacific. I was in third grade when I saw it. In this musical, there was one character that I thought was amazing. His name was Lt. Joseph Cable USMC. USMC stands for his branch of service which is the Marine Corps. Lt. Cable was sent to the islands in the south pacific to spy on the Japanese. He is not a big character in the story but I think he is one of the best characters ever.
    Lt. Cable was a very good character. He was a good marine and he three good songs. His character sang "Younger than Springtime", "My Girl Back Home", and "Carefully Taught". His first song, "Younger than Springtime" was a little strange. He sings this song after he meets a native girl named Liat. It is basically a love song. Love songs are good, don't get me wrong, but, I thought it was kind of odd that he fell in love with someone in two seconds. His second song "My Girl Back Home" is about his fiancee back in the states. He sings this to Nellie, the main lead in the story. Right before this song, he tells Nellie that he loves Liat but he can't marry her because he is engaged and the whole racist society back in the states. This leads to his last and best song in the show.

    The last song that Lt. Cable sings is "Carefully Taught". I think it is this song is the reason why I like Lt.Cable. He sings this and his point is that people are taught to be racist. I loved the song in third grade and I still do. I was singing it for months after the show. I was to young to understand what is was about, but I liked the words.

     I could go on and on about this character but then this blog would be to long. Next week I will talk about a character that is quite interesting. His name is Javert. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Characters in Musicals : Eponine

Characters in musicals are very interesting. In my next few blogs, I am going to talk about a character from a musical. It will mostly be an explanation on whether or not I like them and what I personally think of them. The first character is Eponine from Les Miserables. 

        Eponine is the daugther of the evil innkeepers that abuse Cosette as a child. She grew up basically having everything. Only way that happened was her parents used the money for Cosette on their own kid. Thankfully, Cosette gets rescued. After that, Eponine's family ends up on the street. Her father starts a robbing gang. He forgets that she is his kid. Eponine ends up being friends with a young man named Marius Pontmercy. Marius is a law student involved in something that will become known as the June Rebellion of 1832.  She really likes him but he does not like her in return. He likes Cosette. This is where I have my major problem with her as a character.
       In the book written by Victor Hugo, Eponine is sort of a jerk face. She has the idea of "if I can't have him, no one can". She hides a letter written by Cosette for Marius. Her plan is to lie to Marius and convince him to join the uprising. She knows that everyone will end up dead. She wanted to seem him die and then die herself. For a girl who claims to love Marius, she seems very heartless. If she loved him, she would want him to be happy. Her whole "I will hurt him because I love him" plan is just wrong. However, she does take a bullet for him. So she has some good in her. In the musical, she is a lot better. Her character in the show however is pointless, she has good songs but she has no purpose. All she does is complain that Marius does not like her.
       I guess I should cut her character some slack. She did not have the best life and she did die for someone she cared for.
        Next time, I will talk about one of my favorite characters ever: Lt. Joseph Cable USMC from South Pacific 

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I saw LES MISERABLES on Christmas day! It is the most amazing movie I have ever seen. Here is my review for this amazing movie.
   I'll start with the actors and characters they played. 
    Anne Hathaway was a very good Fantine. I loved her version I Dreamed a Dream. I cried when she died. Hugh Jackman was an AMAZING Jean Valjean!! I loved how he played it. He is my favorite Valjean. His version of Bring Him Home was awesome. Russell Crowe was a good Javert. I was not sure how he would sound but he was awesome. It was intersting to see him and Hugh Jackman sing togeather. Both actors started their carrers with singing. Eddie Redmayne was a wonderful Marius Pontmercy and Amanda was a awesome Cosette. The students were also well protrayed by the various actors. Aaron Tviet played Enjorlas.Colm Wilkinson, the man who orginated the role of Valjean on stage was a great bishop. Samantha Barks, the girl that played Eponine was good. I have never liked that character though.   The only characters I did not like were the ones that were jerk faces so the innkeppers, factory workers, and the foreman made that list. 
        Time for the opinion on the relationships of some characters. The main relationship that I liked was the one between Marius, Cosette, and Valjean. They are my favorite characters. The relationships between all of the characters were well done. I really liked how they added more to the relationship between Marius and Cosette. It is not given enough attention in the stage show. I also liked the relationship between Valjean and the bishop. It was brief, but the bishop made a huge impact on Valjean's life. 
      I have many favorite songs in this show. Here is the list of songs I love. A Heart Full of Love, One Day More, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, A Heart Full Of Love Reprise, and Epilogue. All of the songs from the musical are in the movie except for one. Most songs were shorter than they are in the stage show. Which actually worked well for the movie. My favorite part of the movie was from Empty Chairs at Empty Tables on.  I thought it was beautifully done. I loved the added singing parts Marius and Cosette had. I thought it was nice that the movie gave their relationship more attention. The Epilogue was amazing! It is heart breaking. A Heart Full Of Love was also well done. I liked the acting choices that the actors made. One Day More was done similar to how Tonight was done in West Side Story.They cut to each person when they sing. It was really cool. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables was also well done. Eddie Redmayne's version is one of my favorites. 

       As an overall movie, I thought it was AWESOME!! I would highly suggest seeing it. It is one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen. :)