Theater, Movies, Fiber Arts
2012-10-07, 8:31 p.m.
I did a lot of stuff this weekend.
On Friday night, I rented a Zipcar to attend a theater show in town that would normally be too far to walk to, because they were doing City of Angels. This is my second favorite musical of all time (after Avenue Q) and it's rarely done, so I was excited to get to see it again. I'm surprised how much of it I remembered after seeing it yonks ago. It has great songs, well done, and switches back and forth between a black and white movie/book plot and the in-color real-life author of the book trying to adapt it for a movie. I really like the double casting, and the coloration, and the author and his main character interacting as they do. I did kinda feel the second time around like the ending was a bit of a cheat to get the author happily back together with his wife (who had good fucking reason to leave him because he's a cheating dog), but otherwise I really enjoyed it. I forgot how LONG of a show it was, though--had to add extra time on Zipcar because it got out after 11.
It was a semi-interesting Zipcar experience--I'd rented a car downtown to start at 8 p.m. because the show started at 8:15. I figured it was a 10 minute drive there, but I also had to get my ticket at Will Call. Zipcar allows you to start your car drive up to 14 minutes early if nobody else is using it, so I hoped nobody else would book it ahead of me, as I could use an extra 10 minutes of drive time, but not an extra 30 of paid car time. Well, a few hours before my reservation started, I saw that someone had booked it right up until 8. Argh. I switched my reservation to the other car in the parking lot. This turned out to be a good idea, because the other car didn't show up that I ever saw--and some guy was parking in a Zipcar spot to boot. That would have had me freaking right out. Comparatively speaking, the car I ended up with was having low tire pressure issues, but still got me there and back, so okay.
Saturday I went to a party of L's--some coworker's birthday party where there were mojitos and a lot of Turkish people. Seemed like nice enough people to not mind me being there, so what the heck. But before and after that, I saw some movies. I went to see Pitch Perfect alone--nobody else I knew would want to see that-- and saw Looper with L later. Here come the reviews:
Pitch Perfect is supposed to be for the Glee/acapella fans, which I certainly am. But dear lord, it's a weirdly written movie. Whoever wrote it should get a kick in the crotch, because dear lord. The plot is pretty typical--wannabe DJ/music producer Beca's college prof dad wants her to get a degree before she hauls off to LA and she attends his school because it's free. Having no other musical outlet, she joins the Bellas all-ladies acapella group. Acapella is a biiiiig deal on this campus, as there are 4(!) different groups of it. But the big rivalry is between the award-winning all-male Trebletones and the Bellas, who lost last year when Aubrey spontaneously hurled all over during the song. The group is led by Aubrey and her co-group-manager, whose name I forgot, but she's redheaded and has zero problem with harassing Beca naked in the shower. There's a couple of non-anorexic girls in the group, including the girl with the punk hair who's most likely a lesbian (this is kind of made into a big deal for some reason) and Fat Amy, who you've seen in the previews for this movie already. Fat Amy is the voice of sanity and reason in this movie, for what that's worth. For no good reason at all, they also have a girl join the group who is literally almost entirely inaudible at all times. INCLUDING WHILE SINGING. She likes to mutter things like "Setting things on fire gives me joy" and "I ate my twin in the womb" very very quietly. I do not get why they let this girl in the group given the lack of sound.
Anyway, Aubrey insists on (a) doing the exact same fucking songs at every competition and performance, every time, including the song that she hurled during, (b) while they all wear outfits that look like the stewardesses in "Catch Me If You Can" and (c) the songs bore the crap out of everybody, along with the twee dancing. Aubrey also insists that the Bellas do not consort with the Trebletones. Of course this interferes with the possible love life of Beca, whose coworker at the indie radio station joined the Trebletones. Beca is lukewarmly interested in the dude--she doesn't really give a shit about Aubrey's ban, but on the other hand she's too busy being a determined loner to care about Jesse's woo-pitching.
I will say this for the movie: the dude casting has a lot to be desired. I get the impression that Jesse is supposed to be the new Paul Rudd. He's okay, but nothing to write home about. And the Trebletones do look like your average college dudes rather than studly hotties--but I have a hard time imagining that lead douche "Bumper" (did not make this up) would be the lead in this group. Am also pretty sure that John Mayer wouldn't want to hire this dude for his band (yes, that's a random thing in this movie).
There are a lot of lines in this movie that shocked the crap out of me. They have a terrifying set of acapella commentators at every judging that are freaky. Especially the guy, who says things like "That's why women can't be doctors." They also make a point of saying that all-female acapella groups never get anywhere because they don't have any bass singers (is this true?!), and then later have the redheaded co-leader girl get nodes on her vocal cords and supposedly getting surgery on them means she's now a bass. Not that I could tell! There was also a line about how drinking coffee in the Breakfast Club helped Judd Nelson's poops, and some other terrible lines I wish I could have written down. There is also yet another HUGE VOMIT SCENE, which goes on forever even after a presumed slip-n-slide vomit wrestling scene-- at least, I'm guessing this is what happened because I had to stop looking at the screen. But instead of every woman there RUNNING TO THE BATHROOM, they all have a touchy-feely chat time and share their deepest secrets. While covered in vomit. NO FEMALE WOULD EVER DO THIS. Bathroom would be needed before that. Come ON.
So what's good about it? The sing-off is interesting. Fat Amy keeps it lively. Beca's audition scene is interesting. I do like that the Bellas actually (spoiler alert) lose in a semifinal and only get into the finals when the second place winners get booted for having a ringer. The final performance in which they all do a lively mashup of current day songs is darned good, but I wish they'd done that a lot sooner in the movie. I mean, I LIKE the song "The Sign," but doing it multiple times in the exact same way loses its charm. It's no "That Thing You Do." But mostly it is just weird.
As for Looper, you've probably already heard the plot of it already. Young Joe is a non-forward-thinking dude who gets paid to kill people and then spends his nights dropping acid into his eyeballs. Old Joe has lived his life, gotten married, then didn't take well to getting his loop closed by "The Rainmaker," an anonymous and terrifying figure in the future. Old Joe, before going back to the past, has found out some details about The Rainmaker--enough to nail it down to him or her being one of 3 kids born at the same hospital on the same day. His plan is to kill The Rainmaker before he can become a bad guy, kill Joe's wife, etc. Young Joe is a callow enough idiot to want to kill his future self anyway to preserve his silver stash and his acid trips, but gets ahold of 1/3 of Old Joe's map and stashed himself at a house in the country waiting for Old Joe to show up. Young Joe finds himself getting kind of fond of young Cid, who turns out to be the candidate in question (look, it's kinda obvious, it's a movie). While the time travel shit is ah, not terribly well done and I am inclined to nitpick it anyway no matter how much people in the movie tell you not to (sheesh), and most of the characters are pretty douchey, it's an interesting flick. And it does have a shocking "wow, you went there" ending that freaked out the people in our audience, so there's that. L loved it, I'm not sure what to make of it.
On Sunday, L and I went to Lambtown, a big deal fiber arts event that I've heard about for years but could never get to without a ride or car. Huzzah for going this year. It already had more going on than the Scottish Games at the same location. More booths, thank goodness. I got some roving from my favorite lady, some roving from another lady (of the rainbow-ish sparkly variety) and some white angora (bunny!) roving and some white merino yarn for a future dyeing class I have in a few weeks. It was a cool thing to do. I wore a rainbow skirt and boy, was that popular with people.
After she dropped me off, I wandered the streets of town. I have been trying to figure out what I am going to do for my Halloween costume for quite some time. I am going to go for a Rapunzel outfit--making my own yarn wig pretty much because I can and I've never liked any of the wigs I've tried on in the last few years, so why not. Sewing a replica outfit would be a total pain in the ass, expensive, and I don't have the time since my social life is freaking busy this month, so I decided to try to make up/adapt some patterns to knit a bodice/top, and then I'd just buy some long pink or mauve or purple skirt to fill out the rest. However, I have been having a shitty time trying to find a skirt, to the point where I was debating ordering one online. However, I've had major concerns about ordering one, would it show up on time, is someone going to have to sign for it because I can't do that, etc. I found a pretty close to replica dress for $50 at one place that was gorgeous...but ships from the opposite coast and I don't even know if I'd get it on time.
Happily, today I actually found a mauve long skirt that will work, for $30. Huzzah for saving some bucks AND getting instantaneous gratification! The guy I bought it from said he didn't see these around much, and I agreed with that. After having lunch and hitting the thrift store again (sigh), I finished out the day by going to the local knitting circle and discussing going to Lambtown. Fun times.