Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"You'd like Vienna. It's like Paris... without the French." - Michael Sheen as David Frost, Frost/Nixon

   May I say something?  Alright, I think I will.  This blog is pathetic.  Yes.  Pathetic.  Speaking of pathetic today, I had an extreme memory laps during a recital.  I'm, as my Grandma would say "gutchin' ".  (i.e. moping, stressing, depressing, not getting over it) (please excuse the spelling.  I spell it as it is pronounced, I think it is just a dialect thing.  The Toscana..ns would say it much better than my Greenwich-Napolean Grandma, thank you).   Yes.  Although, it was a tiny performance.  I know that piece so well!  I never mess up there!  I placed in a competition with that!  At least I didn't mess up then...  I don't understand, I just DON'T, but I was crying (which I also DON'T understand) and such and I later played it perfectly... after everyone left.  Oh, I really need to get over this.  I've had countless memory lapses in the past!
Hm.  What to blog about.  I'm sure you stopped reading once you read "gutchin' ".   Moving on... have any of you people watched "I, Claudius"?  (say that sentence with a Jersey accent, it is SO much better).  I'm doing a unit (yes, I am a homeschool freak.  Just one year.) on Rome.  So, I'm watching I, Claudius which is this 70's show about the Roman Emperor.. Claudius.   But not just Claudius, the people he lived through.  It begins with Caesar Augustus (previously known as Octavian), then into Tiberius, then Caligula, and finally Claudius. (Though I'm still on Augustus) It is fabulously acted by a cast of Shakespearean actors, including the great basso Patrick Stewart. (Perhaps better known as Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard)  Though, I haven't gotten to his part yet!  He's Sejanus, apparently.  You should really watch it though.  I thought it sounded uninteresting too.  But the Romans were all so bonkers and vicious, it makes it entertaining.  It is beautifully done.  Honestly, watch an episode.  If your going to watch one, I'd say start with the first just to understand, but then you should watch two because the first episode isn't very good.

That's all I think.  I saw quite a few movies this week.  I'll review them in short:

Up in the Air (2009):  What can I say about this movie?  Critically acclaimed, attacked (positively, well didn't win.  But still) by the the Oscars, and other, lesser, award shows.  It was very, very good.  Witty through out, George Clooney was perfect for that role, Vera Farmiga was also perfect, and Anna Kendrick is just so damn cute.  The ending was bittersweet.  But hey!  Very unexpected.  A must-see.  But, you should know that.  Though not for the kiddies!  (I'm exempt from that, thanks)  Vera Farmiga's naked ass randomly goes onto the screen.  They also exercise expletives throughout the film, but we live in the 21st century!  What can we ask for?  MUST-SEE

Frost/Nixon (2008):  See it.  Just go.  See it, just now.  Stop reading this, and go rent this movie.  Or buy it.  Just GO.  Frank Langella is INCREDIBLE.  Absolutely INCREDIBLE.  BLOODY INCREDIBLE.  I just love Michael Sheen.  He is just so charismatic and fits Frost so well.  I had low expectations for this movie, despite it's Oscar buzz back in the ancient days of 2008.  It well surpassed them.  GO SEE IT.

Driving Miss Daisy (1989):  This is one of the sweetest movies I have ever seen.  Despite my minimal years,  I have seen A LOT of movies.  Morgan Freeman never fails to impress and surprise again and again.  Jessica Tandy played it so well.  If you don't know this movie, it is about Jessica Tandy, Miss Daisy and old stubborn Jewish woman who wants to continue doing things for herself, despite her age and inability to do these things.  When she gets into a car accident her son (Dan Aykroyd; also very, very good) hires a chauffeur, Hoke, Morgan Freeman.  It plays out from there.  This movie is so sweet and so lovable.  Another bittersweet ending, but I seem to love those.

That is all.  Love you nonexistants!



P.S.  I would like to share how much the Oscars SUCKED this year.  Both the show itself and the winners.  I really should have done a ballot contest, I got everything right!  As did the rest of the world.  I won't even mention Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin's little shtick.  Hitler memorabilia?  We're all Jews?  "Damn"  Hellen Mirren?  No.   

Dear Agony Review?

Ciao! I really feel that this blog is being abandoned . . . . VIVI. Kay, so I just got Breaking Benjamin's new album Dear Agony (I know, I'm late . . . VERY late . . . ) and I guess I'm going to review it since I have nothing better to talk about on this *pathetic* blog.
First off, I must say I am sort of a poser fan. I am proud to have been Breaking Benjamin's fan since BEFORE "Surrogates" (great movie, by the by. I love Bruce Willis, he's so amazingly hot in his semi-quasi old age and good taste in roles . . . ), but I haven't brought myself to buy their first two albums, Saturate and We Are Not Alone. Honestly, I don't LIKE those albums. Well, not the tracks I've heard anyway. (When I say "tracks" I may or may not be referring to the 30 second iTunes clips . . . ) I am a Phobia fan though. And Dear Agony.


TURN ON: So overall,  I really like this album. It kind of carries on Phobia's darkness (which is NOT present in Saturate and We Are Not Alone, may I point out), while adding on a heavier. . . I want to say texture, but that would be just plain wrong. You get it though, right? No? Shut up.

TURN OFF: Almost every song on this album starts with a similar driving rift that too much of will give you a headache. Don't get me wrong, I like this sometimes, but my ears needed a break. Also, we NEEDED a tempo change-up. I really hated the consistent 4/4 tempo throughout the album, broken only by a few tracks (e.g., Anthem of the Angels and What Lies Beneath).

Song by song:

1) Fade Away– Verses somewhat reminiscent of The Diary of Jane, this one is cool and has superawesome syncopation. I like the chorus, which actually manages to stand out. The bridge . . . . basically nonexistent, but we'll forgive. 8.5/10

2) I Will Not Bow– Kay, so we've all heard this one, Breaking Benjamin fan or not (except for maybe Vivi, who is a pop-culture hermit (actually, that's not much of an insult at all).) on the radio, in Surrogates, or because your stupid friend with strange taste in music made you listen to it. This is great the first twenty (YES, twenty) or so times, but it seems overplayed to me. Nevertheless, good, good song, gets stuck in your head. 8.5/10

3) Crawl– Verses on this one are almost boring, but the chorus makes up for it with Ben's screaming which is like, totally . . . .  for lack of a better word (who am I kidding, this word is sex!) shmexy. Love the single bridgelike thingy. It's . . . . yep. Good, good. 8/10

4) Give Me a Sign– FAVORITE. SONG. EVER. EVER. EVER. For the moment anyway. No, really, this is my favorite song out of ALL of Breaking Benjamin's songs (closely followed by Breath). Emotion blast. Stays somewhat true to Phobia's sound, it FINALLY gives my ears a much-needed break, as it is somewhat quieter on the verses. Cool ornaments, and the end. Oh my god, CHILLS (except for how he says "eva" in place of "ever," which is just . . . . amazing. x]) Dude it looks like he has a double chin . . . . ) Love love love it. 10/10

5) Hopeless– Sorta quirky in the beginning. Verses are nondescript, considering the other tracks. The screaming is a nice touch and gives it more (REALLY for lack of a better word this time) ferocity. Zzzzing. Nothing too special among the others. 6.5/10

6) What Lies Beneath– I really like this one. It definitely stands out as it actually has dynamic variation. Packed with emotion, although sometimes the screaming breakouts seem out of place. With lines like "I will find what lies beneath/ Your sick twisted smile/ As I lie underneath/ Your cold jaded eyes," the feeling seeps out in more places than the others. 10/10

7) Anthem of the Angels– Cool orchestral intro (quickly joined by guitar of course). The verses are nice, but the chorus blows them out of the water. Lines like "I keep holding on to you/ But I can't bring you back to life" really lack emotion sometimes, which is disappointing since Ben's voice is so schmexily expressive. Gets great towards the end. 9/10

8) Lights Out– Oooh, angry. Angry song. Despite the same tempo and driving rifts, I really, really like this song. It's REALLY emotional. Angry. As I might've mentioned earlier. Screaming is plentifully sprinkled. Haha. "Screaming" and "sprinkled" just don't work. Lines like "I will remember how you scream/ I can't afford to care" and "As if I even care" give it an actual story. This song is yumful. 10/10

9) Dear Agony– Love. It's really emotional and nice and delicious. Lots of expression. I like that, in case you haven't figured that out. Really cool ornaments. The last bridge/chorus are great, great. And when he says "I'm so sorry" it's like DUDE, BEN, with this much emotion you could be Italian!! 10/10

10) Into the Nothing– Sounds a lot like "Dance with the Devil," except less angsty. The chorus is refreshing and nice. I've used that word a lot. It's a positive word. Overall a little bland on the emotion front, except the end makes up for it. He says "Stay with me, you're all I have left" quieter and then you know, sort of yells "I know we can make it all right" as he has with the rest of it, so it has this great like doubt twist. I know I'm really sucky at describing that and I totally made you not want to listen to this. 8.9ish . . . PFFFT FINE 9/10

11) Without You– I really like the scoops on the chorus, which is something you will NEVER hear an opera singer say. Nice close to the album with the orchestral stuff on the end. The verses are cool and different from the other tracks. Overall a not-too-special track though. (Except he says "foreva" in this one too! x]]) DOUBLE CHIN!) 7/10

Okay, thank you for pretending that you read this, Vivi. And no thanks to you stupid people that don't read this blog.
Thank you for your time.

Ti amo e ciao!


EDIT: Kay, I went back and changed the ratings around a bit. They may seem high for those of you listening to the music, but you must believe me when I say these songs really grow on you.