Movies

All posts in the Movies category

A Trip Down the Tracks with “Trainspotting” at The Elephant Theater

Published March 18, 2013 by mickala

Between the intensity of the performers as they act out the lives of druggies, the choppiness of the script and the thick Scottish brogue the actors have donned, the play adaptation of Trainspotting is shocking, riveting, but at many points very hard to follow and understand. The seat of your pants Productions presentation of this play, currently on stage at The Elephant Theater in Hollywood, is bold, with full male and female nudity, vivid and disturbing props of human feces, urine and bloodied tampons as well as strong language. This is not a show for all audiences but for those who can handle it, it is intense, thought-provoking, and filled with some outstanding performances.

Trainspotting_3

Adapted from Irvine Welsh’s cult classic book of the same name, Harry Gibson has taken the series of short stories about heroin addicts in Scotland and wrote it as a play, melding many stories in order to repeat characters and have more of a coherent arc. Originally written for only 4 actors, playing dozens of roles, Director Roger Mathey asked for permission to expand the cast allowing for less overlap of characters. This was allowed, and Mathey first brought his version of the play to Los Angeles audiences in 2002 resulting in rave reviews and many awards. Now the production is back, with four of the original cast members re-tackling these in-depth roles with ten more years of life experience themselves.

Trainspotting is a dark look into the lives of four friends whose entire lives are dictated by their heroine addictions. It covers a wide variety of themes that many people can relate to in one way or another. Mark Renton played to brilliant perfection by Justin Zachary, leads the cast in this whirlwind snapshot of this drug hazed group. Set in 1980’s Scotland which provides poverty, the AIDS outbreak and a lack of country pride for the characters to muddle their way through, as they try to embrace what they are living for. They have made conscious efforts to not amount to anything, to spend their lives “trainspotting” which is a term used for people who have too much spare time on their hands.

Trainspotting_1

The play itself is well staged, generally well cast, with Zachary and David Agranov as Tommy** standing out as the stars of the show. The direction is great for what the script provides. Since this was taken from a series of short stories it comes off as a bit choppy and at times it can be confusing. Mark is recognized as the narrator during the first act, yet the character Alison (Alison Walter) becomes the narrator in the second act which is unexplained and not as interesting.

Overall Trainspotting is a raunchy, in your face play that will definitely feel like a smack in the face. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes we need a good smack in order to ask ourselves what life is about and what we are actually doing with it. For there is nothing like watching a bunch of addicts, waste their lives to make you want to go out and do something with yours.

–Mickala Jauregui

Trainspotting runs weekends until April 13th. Please note that this production contains adult content and cigarette smoking.

**Please note that most roles are double cast and this review is based on the cast seen on Saturday March 16th.

Advertisements

“Rock of Ages”: From Broadway to the Big Screen on stale-popcorn.com

Published June 19, 2012 by mickala

Hi faithful followers! I am pleased to announce that I have a guest blog on a wonderful movie reviewing site called Stale-Popcorn! Please go check out what I thought about the new movie musical Rock of Ages. Be sure to browse the rest of the site and like their page on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

 

More theatre reviews will be posted on this blog in early July, it is time for a Summer vacation!!!

 

Much love,

Mickala

What a Great PUNCH Line: “The Avengers”

Published May 5, 2012 by mickala

For someone who is on the outside of the Marvel adventures that have been taking over the big screen for the last few years, setting the scene for the newest blockbuster “The Avengers“, it may be hard to be overly enthused about going to see the movie. But from one of those scenarios to another, go see it! It is worth the ridiculous fees they are charging nowadays for the script alone. That’s right this new comic book hero movie is not all hot women in tight costumes and amazing special effects. Joss Whedon has provided the movie with his incredible wit and excellent story telling abilities.

The stellar cast featuring Robert Downey Jr., Scareltt Johansson, Chris Evans, Mark RuffaloChris Hemsworth as well as an amazing slew of others, bring charisma and comedic timing to this action packed motion picture. Downey’s Tony Stark has the best one-liners in the film and with those one-liners Whedon captured his personality perfectly.  In fact Whedon captured all of the heroes and their distinct personalities. His direction of the Hulk was poignant, timeless and ultimately gut wrenching hilarious.

It is easy to get the jest of the background of these characters even for those of us who have not been comic book fans all our lives or even fans of the recent movies. This movie brings something to the table for pretty much every audience. There is suspense, obviously full-fledged action that is brought to life with stellar special effects. However there is also a great story that is delivered in an extremely entertaining way.

Sure, it is the usual story of a villain trying to destroy the planet with his army of aliens, but because of the way the story is written you don’t really care that you know the arch of the story. There are exciting moments throughout and Whedon was able to keep the momentum alive all the way through it with his script.

I am usually not a huge blockbuster movie fan, but I may just pay the ungodly fee the theatres are charging twice, just to re-live the glory that is “The Avengers”.

%d bloggers like this: