Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sweeney Todd

When I think about the many Broadway shows I have seen that knocked me out, three come to mind right away: Wicked, Phantom, and Sweeney Todd.

I guess you could say I am a "big fan" of the Stephen Sondheim show Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I saw the original with Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury, and then the revival with Michael Ceveris and Patti Lupone. Both productions were wonderfully done, though I prefer the original.

When film director Tim Burton did his cinematic take on the story, with stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, I was pleased with the bloody result (except for the omission of "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" and the chorus which drives the show to its horrifying finale).

So, you can imagine my joy when my son Dave, a junior at Rutgers, landed the part of Anthony (played by Victor Garber in the original) in the Livingston Theater Company's production. They are doing a bloody wonderful job that would make Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury proud. I'll be attending the final show today at 2 p.m.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Feb 28, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Unbreakable 2?

In other Bruce Willis news, I read that he is urging director M. Night Shymalan to return to Unbreakable and do a sequel.

I don't know about you, but I would love it. Though there are a lot of Unbreakable haters out there, I'm not one of them.

I thought Unbreakable was a masterful twist on the superhero genre: the ordinary man who gradually discovers that he may be extraordinary, even superhuman. And his mysterious mentor, Elijah Price (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is not a benevolent teacher like Dr. Xavier in the X Men mythos. Rather, his mentor is an evil genius, bent on finding the supermen of the earth by engineering mass disasters. Whoa.

Okay let's start imagining. If Bruce persuades Night to do this, what would you suggest?

My idea: continue twisting the X Men storyline. Just as mutants were gathered around Dr. X in a school, what if other quietly extraordinary men and women, awakening to their super powers, come to Philadelphia in search of Willis' character David Dunn. What if, like Dunn, they are regular people --housewives, cab drivers, and even unemployed accountants-- afraid of the latent power within but curious to discover their purpose in life. They gather around Dunn in a sort of 12 step support group for super humans. Then...the evil genius returns.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Die Hard 5, anyone?

I have read that Bruce Willis and Company are starting preparations for Die Hard 5.

As a fan of the first movie, I am excited about this. But, having seen the series steadily deteriorate in quality, I'd like to invite comments on ways to recapture the magic in Die Hard 5.

A few of my thoughts...

- Rating: Go for the R. The more mayhem, the better.

- Director: Where is the original guy, McTiernan? If he is not available, how about the director of Taken?

- Locale: I've heard that Willis is thinking of setting the next film in a non-US location. Great. Now the question is: What kind of place to put John McClane in? Remember the Nakatomi Tower in Die Hard 1? It's key to put McClane inside a specific place where he is not only trapped, but he is able to use his resourcefulness and wits to outsmart the baddies.

- Story: What makes the Die Hard formula work so well is that John McClane is not on duty. He is not looking for a fight. In the first movie, he is in Los Angeles to try to reconcile with his estranged wife. Then suddenly all hell breaks out around him, and he chooses to take action.

Your thoughts?