Thursday, November 19, 2009

Britney Spears
The Circus Tour 2009
Acer Arena

The crowd:
Absolutely INSANE. The loyalty of her fans was OBVIOUS during the show. I've NEVER been to a show with SO MUCH screaming and devotion. It was nice to see, especially after endless media reports about walk outs and upset fans. It was clearly only a small percentage of people who didn't enjoy the show, because from what i saw, most people seemed to have a blast.
The crowd was the most interesting one iv'e seen so far at an Arena tour [besides GaGa's crowd]. SO many poofs and SLUTTY girls, lol, but in a good way!
The female fans were awesome, the crowd was filled with Barbie doll look a likes, some in Britney costumes, others practically in their undies and heels. Even the fat girls bleached their hair and put on the pinkist skirt they could find. Had a tranny sitting in front of me too.

Opening act: Well known Aussie female Dj, Dj Havana opened the show. Cool set up, hot girl, jumping around in her tiny undies and stilettos. Set the mood for the type of show we were about to see.

The show: Firstly, the set up for the tour was done well. The entire stadium glowed pink [gay], and they had sprayed the entire arena with her perfume. I felt like i was sitting inside Britney's vagina or something, was cute :). Once Dj Havana finished her set, they had a big 25 minute countdown to Britney's arrival. It was the PERFECT crowd warmer, because once we got to that last minute, lawd oh lawd, lol, that crowd fucking lost their minds. GREAT way to start the show.

Britney started with Circus, then worked her way through Piece of Me, and a couple of other songs. It was exciting seeing her. She's SO famous, and because i've been a fan for years, i couldn't help but get a few butterflies inside my tummy. I wasn't going nuts though, it just didn't call for it.

As we approached the middle of the show, things got a bit more interesting. Me Against The Music was GREAT. Best performance of the night, they utilized the stage the most during that. The stage was a bit tricky to navigate at times i noticed. There were some songs where she'd just have oher back to us for an entire song. It left you feeling a bit "um.....hello bitch, i'm over here!".
Other stand out moments were Do Something and Get Naked. The dancing in get Naked was really good, and Britney seemed into it. Breathe On Me was funny. The guy they dragged up on the stage looked pleased with the fact that Britney was shimmering her hips in front of him. He was some big jock, he looked REALLY excited in the pants region. I think he was straight, lol.

Other parts of the show i liked were the videos shown. The opener with Perez was done well, so was the Sweet Dreams mask party video.

Now for the not so great stuff.

Miming. This is the first "live" act i've seen mime a show, and it will be my last. I was obviously aware of what i was in for going in, and that's fine, i still chose to go. After going through the experience though, i can't say i got too much out of seeing someone lip every song on stage.
The main problem is the CONNECTION. When you mime a song, there's NO connection with the audience. I don't care if the song is only about shaking your ass!, if you sing it live, it puts a bit of conviction behind it, and it makes me enjoy it more. I don't mind a bit of miming during parts of songs where choreography comes in. But at least sing the majority of it live so i can actually connect with you on SOME level during the show. With Britney, there was nothing like that there. The show felt like it was on auto pilot, and she felt a million miles away.

Another thing, audience interaction. I don't expect ALL acts to sit and chat with the crowd like Pink does. I'll admit, it's a GREAT way to really make an audience feel close to you if you acknowledge there presence in some way, but it's not desperately needed. Britney had ZERO interaction with us. She said "Hello Sydney" and then "Bye Sydney". That was it. She just wasn't............"there". And i don't mean in a "drugged out" way. Her energy levels were good most of the time and she looked like she was having fun, but it was like watching a robot "do her thing" and then leave.

The tour design was nicely done, but i also think at times it was a bit too much. It felt like the performances were DROWNING in the lights and special fx. I wanted to see Britney, not smoke bombs and flying chairs for 5 minutes while Britney dances at one end of the stage where i couldn't see her past the pretty lights. It was overkill sometimes, and i wished she'd PULL BACK some of the sets to allow us in a bit more.

The miming, the lack of audience interaction, the veil of visual all worked to make her feel like she was a million miles away on that stage. It was just empty.

Overall, as a fan, i had a decent time. She's got some great songs under her belt, and some of the performances were nicely done. What made the night was the crowd atmosphere and the music. As a touring act though, i can't say Britney left any sort of lasting impression on me. I wish i could say she did, but she didn't. I saw the show, and pretty much didn't think about it by the time i got to my car in the car park. I suppose that's what you get when everything she has to offer on stage is so.........."false".

I've been following her career for 10 years, and i'm still a big fan. I'm glad i can at least say i saw her ONCE in my life, just for the thrill of it. Would i ever see her again though? No. I wouldn't.

Sorry Britney, but..............after seeing her fellow pop friends like Pink, Beyonce and GaGa [who only had a shitty club stage may i add], Brit just ISN'T in the same league on stage. At all. In any way shape or form.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What happens when you sleep?Paranormal Activity [2009]
Directed by: Oren Peli
Starring: Some random people


There's been so much hype around this movie that i can barely see straight. It's taken the world by storm, and many people are saying it's one of the scariest movies ever made. Some critics even labeled it the scariest film EVER. That's a big title, and a few films over the years have received it. The only movie that's ever lived up to that hype for me has been The Exorcist, so i went into PA with curious eyes. I left all expectations at the door when i went to see this, and was thankfully pleasantly surprised. By "pleasantly surprised", i mean, CREEPED THE FUCK OUT a few good times.

The story follows a young couple named Katie and Micah. They move into a new house, and we soon learn that Katie has a few problems with ghosts. One "ghost" in particular has been following her most of her life. Katie's getting a bit annoyed by being terrified by shadow figures during the night, so her boyfriend decides to record each night as they sleep, so they can catch some raw footage of the haunting taking place. The "ghost" doesn't like this idea very much, and as the nights go on and as creepy footage is captured, the shit starts to hit the fan in a major way.

That's pretty much the entire movie. You follow these people day in and day out, hearing them talk about what's happening, seeing them get stressed, and see paranormal activity occur during the night. What's great about the film is that it has a really nice slow build up to the events that take place closer to the end of the movie.
We get to know the couple during the daytime scenes, some people hated them, i personally liked them. The night time scenes are when MOST of the "freaky" stuff happens, which is probably why it's best to see the film with a smaller crowd. Those scenes work best in complete silence. There's a lot of sound use in the film that really makes your spine tingle, sometimes it's very subtle, other times it's loud as FUCK.

It's hard to talk about the movie without giving too much away, it's best you go in with no idea about scenes or stand out moments. So if you haven't seen the movie, don't read on......if you have, highlight the muted text to read my thoughts of specific moments [or skip to the black text at the end of the review for no spoilers]:

The realistic use of the night cam gives a really great eerie feel to the movie. You feel like you're seeing the real thing and it helps build atmosphere every time the lights are out and the hauntings occur.
Another great effect during the night cam footage: Every time something creepy is about to happen, the play a foreboding sound that lets you know something isn't right. It's an amazing effect that worked like crazy on me, and the rest of the cinema [who went silent each time it happened].

The stand out scene for me was when Katie gets dragged from her bed by her foot. It really fucked me up, and everyone in the cinema was really freaked out, lol. The way it was executed was PERFECT, everything from the way her foot gets gripped to the dragging down the hallway and her screams of terror. It looked exactly like how it would in real life [i assume]. Absolutely spine tingling and completely unexpected. That moment is one of my all time favourite scenes in a movie ever. It's SO well done.

Other nice parts.................the footage of a Ouija board being left alone in the house, creepy stuff, the bed sheets being lifted up over Katie's legs as she sleeps, Katie watching Micha sleep while in a trance, spooky, and the ending where Katie screams for Micah right before throwing his lifeless body at the camera sitting in their bedroom.

The film isn't perfect, and it's not for everybody. There IS a pacing issue in the first half of the film, and a day scene or two could have been shortened or left out completely. The ending, as great as it was, does mess with the tone of the film a bit, and it did get a bit too "Hollywood" for my taste. Other than that, i didn't really find much else wrong with the movie. On repeat viewings it'll most likely lose a bit of it's bite, but in the right setting it could easily be enjoyed again in a second screening. As a first viewing experience though, GREAT stuff. Lots of fun.

When this was initially released through film festivals earlier this year, 99% of the crowd reaction to this was extremely positive. The critical reviews have been strong during it's entire release as well. With lots of hype comes eager people ready to rip a film apart though, and now this is suffering the same situation Blair Witch did back in the day. People go in readying themselves to be TERRIFIED instead of just enjoying it for what it is. I'm sure there are many people out there who genuinely found it boring, or not scary. It's not a masterpiece by any means. But it's also the perfect movie made for the cynical crowd who refuse to get caught up in the latest fad out of some strange desire to PROVE EVERYONE WRONG by hating a movie. It's a bit ridiculous.
In saying that though, as i mentioned before, the film is getting rave reviews by the critics [and still many movie goers], and that's always welcome in my book since horror films are disregarded by critics so often because the genre churns so much crap.

Ignore what everyone else tells you. Don't listen to the hype, don't listen to the complainers [they always try and ruin a party], and try and see this film in a dark room, with as little people as you can, with the volume turned up full blast. If you like a good slow burner, you'll be in for a few treats with this.
Is it the scariest movie ever made? no, is it genuinely creepy? fuck yes.

I'm waving my PA fan flag loud and proud!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

She's Evil!Jennifer's Body [2009]
Directed by: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried

Megan Fox plays Jennifer, a beautiful cheerleader who becomes the victim of a ritual sacrifice at the hands of Satanic worshipers. Problem is, Jennifer doesn't die, in fact, the sacrifice goes a bit wrong and Jennifer returns from the dead, possessed by a flesh eating demon and ready to eat her way through high school.

Enjoyable movie. I didn't expect to be blown away, but it looked decent enough, and i'm a Diablo Cody fan, so i knew it'd have enough positives to pull me in. Some people think Diablo tries too hard with her scripts, creating new words, trying to be witty ect. I actually like her style, it reminds me a little of the writing from Buffy, so i can enjoy it without feeling like she's trying to force "indie cred" onto me. The writing actually turned out to be funnier than i expected, i found myself laughing at a few of the lines, and the characters for the most part were like able.
The storyline was simple and to the point, and even though there wasn't a lot of depth to the characters, they still gave enough for us to like them. They were cast well also. Amanda Seyfried was great as Jennifer's best friend, and Megan Fox did a good job as well. Megan doesn't have much to do in the Transformers movies. She spends most of the time bending over a lot and screaming out "Sam" [not in that order]. Her role in JF isn't exactly brain science either, and it's mostly set around her looks [which are smokin'], but she at least gets to have a bit more fun with this role than she did in Transformers. She has a chance to sink her teeth into something a bit more interesting and it comes across that way, she's having fun, you can tell. I'll be interested to see how she does with more complex roles in the future. I don't think she's the terrible actress some people make her out to be. She was definitely watchable in this.

Another part of the film i liked was the direction. It was nicely shot and edited, slick and stylish. The horror wasn't too over the top, but there's enough of it there to give casual viewers their blood fix. Hard core horror fans may be disappointed by the lack of gore, but the film never sold it self as a straight up horror flick anyway, so whatever expectations you have as a horror fan, maybe don't bother trying to meet them with this movie.

It's not as rewarding as Juno [which Diablo also wrote], but it's certainly entertaining enough for at least one screening. It's an easy watch, it doesn't ask too much of the viewer and it just gets on with it. It could have been a little darker, a bit gorier, a but more fleshed out story and character wise, but it's a decent enough package as it stands. I liked it.

PS: There's some people who said Ginger Snaps did this story better, i agree with that.

PPS: For the boys out there, NO you don't see Megan's tits in this.