Monthly Archives: April 2012

55 posts

The Dawn of Egyptian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The statue is nicknamed “The Lady of Brussels” because its home museum is in Belgium. It is one of the oldest free-standing statues in the world, dated to around 2695 BC. The “Lady” certainly has her charms. She is wearing one of the extraordinary wigs that were such a noteworthy item of feminine beauty in Ancient Egypt. But her restrained, submissive pose somehow disappoints when contrasted with the energy and mysticism of the mysterious “Bird Woman,” created a thousand years earlier.

DVD Review. I, Claudius: The Complete Series 35th Anniversary Edition

The whip-smart dialogue, as fans of the series well know, forms a giddy counterpoint to an operatic plot featuring just about every permutation of sex and death imaginable. There’s also John Hurt as Caligula, in a gold bikini and makeup Hurt applied himself, because the BBC makeup girls couldn’t make it tasteless enough, dancing the role of goddess of the dawn in a ballet of Caligula’s own devising before a terrified audience who know they must applaud or die.

Don Quixote, San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, April 27, 2012

Let the ballet snobs pound sand in the corrida if they find neither rhyme, reason, nor much musical innovation in Don Quixote: It is still that sampler of delicacies which, done right, can end the dance season on a crescendo, and on April 27, San Francisco Ballet surpassed all expectations! The fun begins when your companion of the evening points out querulously that there is a horse trailer parked at the stage door. You explain, “For the donkey.”

NBC’s Fantasy Series Grimm, Set in Portland, Oregon

For those who haven’t seen the show, Grimm starts from the premise that all the supernatural beings in the tales by the Brothers Grimm were real creatures. In the pilot, young Portland (Oregon) homicide detective, Nick Burkhardt, learned from his dying aunt that he is a direct descendant of the Grimm Brothers. His forebears were not just storytellers, they were hunters. The Grimm bloodline enables Nick to perceive the many “wesen” (the German word for “creatures,” pronounced “vayzen”) among us through their human disguises, and he has a responsibility to protect the human race from the dangerous ones.

Movie Review: The Five-Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement Directed by Nicholas Stoller Screenplay by Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Chris Pratt How long is The Five-Year Engagement? 124 minutes. What is The Five-Year Engagement rated? R for sexual content, and language throughout. CLR [rating:3.0] Emily Blunt and Jason Segel […]

Movie Review: The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Meanwhile, the West Indies are buzzing with the imminent Pirate Of The Year Awards. The most fearsome captains are caught up in furious last-minute plundering for a shot at the coveted prize. The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is one such contender, but his lovable antics and luxuriant beard are beginning to pale against his modest record of villainy. To distinguish himself from his flamboyant rivals, he must lead his loyal crew of knuckleheads into an adventure like none other. Who could imagine that a chance encounter with Charles Darwin, sailing homeward on the Beagle, would provide the opportunity?

Movie Review: The Raven

The Raven is a piece of historical fiction about what happened during Edgar Allan Poe’s (John Cusack) mysterious last days. The film theorizes that he spent his final week, give or take, working as a consultant to the Baltimore Police Department who were trying to capture an unstoppable madman whose kills were inspired by Poe’s works.