Hamilton An American Musical by Lin Manuel Miranda (2015)

Hamilton-the-musical

The idea came into Lin’s head while reading the 2004 biography on a man he believed embodied hip-hop.  In 2009, he was invited to a poetry jam at the White House.  He performed a song about the first Treasury Secretary.  Everyone laughed.  Six years later, on February 17, 2015, the show came in with a bang.  Hamilton is a show with rap and hip-hop.  It’s a show where everything is sung, and music is the best way to tell history.  It started off-Broadway, but by August 2015, it moved to Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theater.  In 2016 Hamilton set a record for 16 Tony nominations, and won 11 of them.

I’ve always loved Broadway.  But I didn’t start to appreciate it until spring of 2017.  I had heard of Hamilton before, but didn’t bother to take a look at it.  One day, a friend told me that I should listen to it, just one song.  That day, I went home and I listened to the opening song.  Now, I usually listen to the soundtrack of a Broadway show after I see it.  Then I will listen to a different one after seeing another show.  Although, after listening to that first song, I could tell that something had stuck with me.  I started listening to more and more of it.  Soon enough, I became obsessed.  By the time I had gone to camp, I had memorized a lot of the songs.  At camp, I met many people just like me.  Some of them even went to see the show.  Talking to them forced my urge to see the show to grow and build.  After getting back from camp, I would always ask my mom, “Did we win the lottery?” “Were you able to get us tickets?”  In addition to chorus, I joined a small singing group at school.  There was always music playing.  Hamilton was almost always on.

One day, after school was over, I headed over to the club meeting I had that afternoon.  I checked my text messages.  I saw that my mom had sent me many Hamilton stickers.  Then I scrolled down and I saw the words, “Guess what.”  I had already guessed, but I still felt the need to call her.  It rang, and rang, and I waited for her to pick up, but it went to voicemail.  I began to freak out.  I ran outside and called again.  Ring, ring ring, ring ring…then it stops.  For just a moment, there was silence.  But, then I could hear her voice, “Tomorrow night, WERE GOING TO HAMILTON!  WE WON THE LOTTERY!”

I was bored out of my mind.  We had ran to catch the train, and now it was just sitting.  Because of switch problems, our train wasn’t moving.  Then, of course, when we did finally move, the train moved backwards.  I looked at my watch, it was 5:25 pm.  The show was going to start in almost one hour.  After a little bit more time the train once again began to move forward.  When we arrived at the station, we immediately started  walking to the theater.  The place was amazing.  The Hamilton logo was everywhere around the building.  We were the first ones in line.  Don’t get me wrong though,  the place was filled to the brim with people within the next ten minutes.  When we got inside the theater, we got our tickets.  I got a sweatshirt, then we got some water and M and M’s.

I slowly walked into the theater and laid my eyes upon the stage.  It was magnificent.  There was no curtain, no set changes, just the stage, and one set.  We walked down the aisle along the orchestra.  We were in the second row, middle seats.  I have never sat so close that I could see the actor’s sweet.  We were front and center.  It wasn’t much time before they started the show.  The first act mainly focused on introducing the characters.  The first act kept going back and forth between Hamilton’s personal life and him fighting in the war.  I absolutely loved the music!  I have never seen a show that mixes rap, hip hop, and the traditional style of Broadway music.  Even though I had listened to the soundtrack many times before going to the show.  Although I was already familiar with the show, the way I saw each song changed because I was able to see the actor’s expressions on their face.  It changed the whole meaning of the song.  Some of the most popular songs are in the first act.  Because the first act mainly introduced the characters, it didn’t really follow a storyline for the most part.

In the second act, three characters are gone and three new ones come in.  You can probably guess that it’s the same actor playing different roles in different acts.  During this act, it follows more of a storyline more than the previous act.  What I discovered here is that it kept switching between Hamilton’s personal life and politics.  I definitely think that the second act was better than the first.  Also, my favorite song is in that act was“The Room Where It Happened.”

It was such an amazing show!  I would definitely suggest to start listening to the music.

“I’m past patiently waiting. I’m passionately smashing every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation.  I’m laughing in the face of casualties and sorrow.  For the first time I’m thinking past tomorrow.”-Lin Manuel Miranda aka Alexander Hamilton

 

 

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A.I. : Artificial Intelligence (2001) directed by Steven Spielberg

d3e2c048dd609d69c768e295089dad4cFar into the future, in a date unknown, Earth has become a dangerous place.  The ice caps have melted and all along the shore line, the great cities of the world have flooded.  Scientists have created robots.  For the first time in human history, they will create a robot to look like a boy.  A boy that is programed to love his parents.  A couple named Monica (played by  Frances O’Connor) and Henry (played by Sam Robards) adopt a young robot named David (played by Haley Joel Osment ) to replace their birth son who’s been in a coma for five years.  But when there son Martin (played by Jake Thomas) wakes up from the coma, he sees David as a threat, as if he might steal all of his parent’s love from him.  So Martin makes David seem like a danger to the family.  He tells David to cut a piece of Monica’s hair off and she wakes up with the point of the scissor near her eye.  Monica takes David and leaves him in the forest with regret, wishing she could keep him.  All he is given is his robot teddy bear.  Now David must face the dangers of the world while trying to get back to the woman he claims to be his “mommy”.

In A. I., there is a group of people who are anti-robot.  They destroy and kill these robots at something called a Flesh Fair.  The first thing that happens is David gets captured along with another robot they called Gigolo Joe (played by Jude Law).  After escaping they head to a city near New Jersey and NYC.  David believes that if he finds the “Blue Fairy” from the story of Pinocchio, he will become a real boy and can be with his mother again.  He goes to NYC, which has been flooded, to look for the “Blue Fairy.”  He finds her, but what he sees in NYC is horrific.  He prays to her for 2,000 years so that he can become a real boy.  After those 2,000 into years the future, humans have become extinct.  Robots now run planet Earth.  They find David and his teddy bear.  By scanning David’s memories, they can see life when he was still living with his family.  They try to explain to David how much time has passed and that his mother is no longer living.  They tell him how they can bring people back from the dead if they have some piece of DNA.  Even with the DNA they can only bring her back for one day.   But Teddy remembers the hair he had cut earlier in the movie.  Because of that one piece of hair, he is able to get his mother back for one day.  That night, when Monica goes to sleep and for the first time in his life, so dose David.

Remember the horrific thing I told you about that he saw in NYC?  It was himself.  David believed he was one-of-a-kind and that he was special, but he was wrong.  At a warehouse in NYC, he saw many boy and girl robots like him that were going to be given to parents like his.  He even destroys one in a rage.  The reason I wanted to look closer at this part of the movie is because in this scene, we are watching a robot (programmed to love) hate.  It shows that once you give these robots even one emotion, they can access any other emotion in the world.

If I were living in this time, I think I would be anti-robot.  Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to killing every robot that I happen to find, but I wouldn’t go hunting for robots just to watch them get destroyed.  I believe that once we make something that’s too smart, too quick and we make too many were just asking for our own extinction.  It’s already happening today.  People are so obsessed with their phones, that we might as well be robots.

In the end, when he gets one last day with his mother, it got me thinking.  If there was someone in my life that I could only see for one more day, what would I do with only twenty- four hours?  I feel like I would want it to seem just like another normal day.  What would you do.

Comment bellow are you anti-robot or pro-robot

Happy New Year 2018 !

Plains, Trains and Automobiles (1987) – directed by John Hughes

Fun fact, this movie was made exactly 30 years ago.  November 25, 1987

1200x630bbWARNING: SPOILER ALERT AHEAD

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year.  It’s America’s very own holiday to give thanks.  But traveling is quite the pain.  A lot of people hate driving home after Thanksgiving.  Well, in this movie, the main character Neal Page (played by Steve Martin) is trying to get home for Thanksgiving.  Everything that can go wrong does go wrong.  From a snowstorm, to a car that catches on fire.  This is the perfect comedy to watch right before Thanksgiving.

It starts out with Neal Page trying to get home by plane.  Back at home, his town is having a snow storm, so the plane lands somewhere else.  On the plane, he meets a very talkative man.  Since Neal does not want to sleep in the airport overnight, he decides to share a motel room with Del Griffith (played by John Candy).  That’s when everything went wrong.  First, they’re robbed, then while trying to leave on a train, it breaks down.  Afterwards Neal tries to rent a car, but the car isn’t there.  Later, Neal bumps into Del once again and they drive the car that Del rented.  Del’s cigarette ends up in the back of the seat.  They drove on the left side of the road and then the cigarette burns the entire car.  They have no money and no way to get to their finale destination.

The writer and director of this movie has also wrote other holiday comedies, like Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.  I personally think that movies like these are perfect for the holidays.  For this movie, I didn’t pay as much attention to the dialogue as I usually do.  In this case, I tried to pay more attention to the action than the dialogue.  That’s what this comedy is all about.  For example, there is a scene where Neal goes into the bathroom, washes his face with dirty water, then wipes his face off with Del’s underwear.  Also, someone who does not like strangers is stuck with a talkative one for two whole days.  The movie knows when to be funny, and when to be serious.  This makes for a touching ending.

Throughout the entire movie, Del continuously mentions his wife and how he has not been home in years.  At the end of the movie, Neal is finally on a train heading home to Chicago.  He goes back to the train station where his train had originally left.  Del is still there.  Del ends up confessing his secret.  He says that his wife had been dead for eight years, and that he doesn’t have a home.  He is a traveling businessman.  Neal takes Del home to meet his family.  Because of Del, Neal is now a better person.  I think that this sweet, touching ending is a great way to end a story like this.  This kind of ending is not new for a John Hughes movie anyway.  Home Alone 1 and 2 They get to spend Christmas as a family together in the end.  In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, they end the movie with Ferris learning to get along with his sister, and they make up.  I think that these kinds of endings are perfect for comedies.  It allows you to see the character’s true nature.

Whenever I watch a movie, I would like to relate to it somehow.  I still liked this movie, but I can’t relate to it whatsoever.  Most of my family lives very close to me, so I never go on the road for more than sixty minutes on a holiday.  Overall, this movie is the one to watch on Thanksgiving.  Its funny, it’s heartfelt, and in the end it’s all about being thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving! Make sure to watch this movie, and don’t forget to comment. 

Murder On The Orient Express directed by Sidney Lumet (1974)

Before I begin my recap of the story, I must warn you, there will be spoilers.

It begins with the Armstrong kidnapping in 1930.  A baby girl is taken from her house.  Later the girl is killed.  This tears apart the family, and soon other Armstrong’s die.  Five years later, a group of people come aboard the Orient Express.  One man (a rich retired business man, who was responsible for baby Armstrong’s death) gets onto the train.  Later that night, the man is murdered.  He was stabbed twelve times in the torso.  Hercule Poirot (a world famous detective) happens to be on the train, and is working to find the murderer.  Everyone’s a suspect.  Everyone has a past.  Everyone has a secret.

This movie (Murder On The Orient Express) is a classic who-done-it film.  The dialogue was amazing.  Each character had their own choice of words, which made it easy to identify each character by voice.  The tone in their voice also helped describe there emotion without looking at there face.  In the case of this movie the dialogue is key, to telling the story.  A lot of movies today are all about the action.  Star Wars, Geostorm, DC comics, Marvel, etc.  Although these are good movies,  sometimes it is nice to sit down and watch a movie that needs your attention to understand it.  The 2017 remake of this movie seems like it will consist of more action and less dialogue that needs thought.

The story of this movie is very complex.  Like I said in the paragraph above, it needs your full attention to understand it, and your ears open, because every piece of dialogue maters.  Everyone’s background in this story is significant.  In each interview that Mr. Poirot conducts, everyone makes thenselves seem innocent.  That’s why this story is so complex.  No mater how much you try while watching the movie you can never figure out who did it.  Also, the train has to stop because of the snow.  It stops right around the time of the murder, and moves once again after the murderer is revealed.

When I watched this movie for the first time (which was only last night), I could not wait to find out who did it.  When I did, I was shocked.  I would have had to watch the movie five more times to figure it out.  Like I told you before, each person had a past.  That past was connected with the Armstrong family.  I told you in the beginning that the man had been stabbed twelve times.  Not including Hercule Poirot and the dead man there were twelve passengers.  The passengers all wanted revenge for the Armstrong family.  Their connection to them was too strong.  So, late one night, the twelve of them lined up to stab the man.  Each for their own personal reasons.  They were all the murderers.

I think that the way these two crimes were tied together was perfect.  It made for a great story, and a wonderful climax.  I can’t think of a better way to end this amazing who done it story.

If you haven’t already, you should see this amazing film right away.  There’s nothing better than a movie like this.

Please leave questions, comments, or suggestions bellow.