Archive for July 3rd, 2006

Weekend Not-Quite-Reviews

Well, the shadowy and mysterious Codename V. and I had a lovely weekend here in Pittsburgh, and as we always do, we went out and saw a bunch of stuff. I don’t have the mental wherewithal to pull together coherent reviews of anything just yet, but I should be able to rattle off some impressions.

Nacho Libre
Not a whole lot to say, other than that it had some seriously funny bits, and I particularly liked his sidekick, who really likes his corn-on-the-cob-on-a-stick (and is quite handy with it as well). If you can even tolerate Jack Black, you should probably see it.

Cirque De Soleil: Delirium
This was the first arena Cirque De Soleil show I had ever seen, and the translation was not entirely successful. First off, they made it more like a concert, complete with an opening act (Nitza, who did very well in that thankless job – great pipes, excellent energy). There was a lot more singing and dancing, and a bunch of scrim/projection-screen/light-show multimedia stuff, and less of the usual clowns and jugglers and acrobats. Sometimes all of those elements were in play at the same time, and it was busy and distracting. Other observations:

o Overall vibe was Cirque-De-Soleil-Meets-Neil-Gaiman. With maybe a little bit of U2 concert thrown in.

o My favorite part was when the guy who spent most of the show hanging from a balloon said, “I’m glad this is all just a dream. It’s way too… weird,” and then a shirtless man appeared out of nowhere and ran screaming down the length of the stage with his arms out in front of him.

o I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stiltwalker run before, much less dance.

o I know I’ve never seen same-sex dance partners at a Cirque De Soleil show before. Good on them.

o Cirque De Soleil sure does like their dangling-from-the-ceiling-on-a-ribbon dancers. I think every Cirque De Soleil show I’ve ever been to has had them, and this show had at least three or four. Unfortunately, they’re not really all that interesting…

o The acrobats were impressive. One of them did a series of solo balancing routines on a small disc on the end of a long, thin pole, and later on a quartet of them performed some very elaborate mult-person balancing routines, including one of them balancing one-handed on the top of another one’s head.

o The hoop girl was even more impressive. She had up to 8 hoops going at once, although it was more impressive when she had five hoops going around (IIRC) her waist, shoulders, arms, and leg-straight-up-in-the-air. Seriously, whatever she was doing had to be physically impossible.

Superman Returns
I liked it! It was strangely pleasing to hear the old Superman theme once more, and there was a bit more whimsy than I expected (like, say, the unexpected sight of Lex Luthor brushing his teeth, and some amusing bits with Pomeranians), which is always welcome. However, I did have some objections/observations (I don’t think there are any spoilers – this is all either non-pivotal, or revealed in trailers or reviews)…

o Sometime after the first series of Superman movies, Superman supposedly goes away for five years to see what’s left of Krypton. First off: Kryptonite is made up of radioactive fragments of his exploded homeworld. So… wouldn’t he be encountering rather a lot of kryptonite in that general vicinity? Second off: How is it that no-one notices that Superman and Clark Kent both come back on the exact same day? Third off: How is it that both he and Lois Lane look at least five years younger than they did the first time around?

o Lois Lane is quite possibly the Worst Mother Of All Time. I can’t elaborate on that without giving anything away, but you’ll know it when you see it.

o Superman is not gay. Something about his build seemed a little peculiar to me, though. Maybe I was expecting him to be a little more classically superhero-muscular.

o Apparently cab-whistling is a superpower. Who knew?

o How did Jimmy Olsen sneak up on Superman?

o Maybe an engineer can correct me on this, but I’m pretty sure it would be impossible for Superman to save a large airplane from crashing, no matter how strong he is. I just don’t think there’s any single part of the plane that could bear all of its weight without it breaking into pieces.

o When you shoot someone point-blank right in the eye and they don’t even flinch, you know you’re screwed.

o What a waste of Kal Penn (Kumar from Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle).

4 comments July 3rd, 2006 at 06:14pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies

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