For Whom the Bell Tolls: VI

I have decided to leave my feature article piece for another day as it might insight a bit of controversy, as well as the fact that I am having a rough time formulating a final draft. Some things just aren’t meant to be I guess. Luckily for me I am an entertainment whore and I have a stock pile of things to review! So here is another mini.

Literature: M. Butterfly, a play by David Hwang. Most of America is familiar with the acclaimed opera Madame Butterfly, the story of a U.S. soldier, Pinkerton, and his love interest in China, Cio Cio San. It is considered one of the corner stones of fine Western Opera. In Hwang’s spin-off of the opera he explores the story of a French diplomat, Gallimard, in communist China and his affair with Song Liling, a Chinese diva. The story uses the basis of Madame Butterfly, a western man infatuated with an exotic Eastern beauty and that which she represents. It is a wonderfully written play that explores the dualities of gender, sexuality, race, culture and imperialism. It spent a good deal of time on Broadway and is critically acclaimed for its originality and candor. The play explores the meaning of sexuality, love, and stereotypes when, after a 20 year affair, Gallimard finds out that his lover is both a Chinese spy and a man. It is extraordinarily composed in both dialogue and staging; its motives are relevant to modern society and revealing of the way in which global politics affect our perceptions of the world and the roles designated to each person by society. Star Rating: 5

Movies: Twisted, with Ashley Judd and Samuel L. Jackson. Judd plays a homicide detective, neo-feminist-tough and troubled by a dark past. Her father went on a killing spree which ended with his wife and himself, leaving Judd’s character orphaned, to be raised by her father’s partner in the force, played by Jackson. The plot is set up from the start Judd has anger-management problems and an appetite for alcohol and anonymous sex. After she is promoted to homicide a string of murders occur. In the hunt for the killer, Judd finds that all of the men are previous lovers of her, all signs point the blaming finger at her. The plot reveals that she has a stalker and several possible suspects emerge: her new partner, an obsessive ex, a former lover and lawyer of a convicted murderer, among others. The movie had great potential to be an “edge-of-your-seat thriller” and a smart movie with great plot twists. Unfortunately all the twists were formula and the ending predictable. For the average American viewer, the movie was decent and moderately surprising, but for a person accustomed to thriller movies, it was a let down. Not only did I correctly guess the identity of the stalker within the first half hour (granted I did doubt my suspicions at points), but there were many loose ends and unexplained variables. In addition, the accuracy of the directors and writers research was obviously poor. The ballistics were not in keeping with reality and the twists fell short of my expectations. It was a decent movie for the twenty-first century viewer who wants to sit and be entertained without thinking, but for the more intelligent and movie-savvy, it was yet another trite cop-flick with an empowered chick and a crazed man whose obsession turns foul. Star Rating: 2

In closing I would like to ask all of you who have read this to please post a comment. The staff and writers of BP love to hear feed-back, we all work very hard in our free time to bring you the wonderful articles you read here. I do my best to comment on everyone’s articles and I would greatly appreciate it if you all commented on mine, even if it is one word, even if you didn’t like it. Thanks so much for reading!!

12 thoughts on “For Whom the Bell Tolls: VI”

  1. Really not much to say… as usual this is a well written piece.

    I agree with your assessment of Twisted entirely i think your 2 might be a bit generous actually, hehe.

    As for M. Butterfly… sounds interesting, i’d love to read it when i have more free time i’ll have to swipe it from you.

  2. I’ve heard of Madame Butterfly and it sounds really good. I think I’ll have to eventually check it out. Yeah Twisted didn’t sound appealing at all so blah. Your writing is so impressive by the way, Bell. I just thought I’d further reinforce that for ya.

  3. Great article, though now you’ve sparked my interest as to what you’ve got planned. Controversy isn’t always a bad thing, you know? It gets people talking, and that’s a good thing.

  4. I read madame butterfly for my playwriting class. I thought it was really great. Im glad you reviewed twisted…i was gonna see it but now i guess ill just wait to rent cause it doesnt sound like anything worth spending 8 50 on.

    Good work once again Bell ๐Ÿ™‚

    and i did take the rating system but…its a dog eat dog world out there ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Decent reviews, however.. I felt they were lacking something…

    So, here’s my constructive criticism:

    The first review seemed more like a summary or synopsis than a review… It was a good idea to explain what the play was about, and what the reader/viewer would experience, and to go over the broad the story line a bit, but you really didn’t put much of an opinion behind it. I know you said it was well composed.. but the actual review was about a sentence in length, and it wouldn’t be honest to not point that out.

    The movie review was a bit better, but still kinda short. I mean.. if it let you down.. why did it let you down? Examples? Maybe I’m thinking more of a reflection than a review.. i just thought they lacked substance. If you are going to rant about something that spoils the plot, and you dont want to spoil it for someone just denote something like “PLOT SPOILERS! If you wish to enjoy this movie fresh DONT READ THIS PARAGRAPH”.

    Otherwise I thought it was decent

    I try and read feedback whenever i read these things… I once left ya feed back on one of your articles that was longer than the actual article and I was a bit suprised that no one decided to take issue with some of the things I said in there.. but yeah… how about feedback for feedback? I mean its like these articles… if no one reads em why write? Well if the author doesn’t read the feed back or try to take it in whats the point in the feedback? The Feedback Catch 22 B^p

    ;0)

    It’s all good,

    Chris

  6. So my mom loves Madame Butterfly like whoa….and christine is a good writer….and umm…this is my first time to the site…it rocks….so holla back!

  7. I too was kinda wondering a few things myself.

    I think both reviews are fine and I’m def. not knocking them, but wondering on a few issues.

    Did you see the play? It kinda seemed that you might have hinted that you saw the play, but I’m not sure because this was all about the literature. I was wondering if the visual view reflected your view on the topic.

    I kinda agree with Mad Dog that something was missing. It was easily gathered that you loved the Butterfly but disliked Twisted. It would have been nice if you could have had some examples to back up as why. I mean, you stated several things which was tight, but on some things, it was like “why?”

    Other than that, I felt it flowed well.

  8. ok, a few clarifications:

    the review was of M.Butterfly, not Madame Butterfly… they are two completely different things… i guess i didnt make that clear enough. Madame Butterfly is an Opera that was released in the early twentith century and M. Butterfly (connotating the french abreviation for Monsiure) is a play created about 20-30 yrs ago.

    And all of the things i said about Twisted were not plot spoilers, they are all things that appear in the movie trailers.

    But thanks for the constructive stuff, i know i was off my game this week, i wrote this whole thing at work and posted it late cuz i havent had the time to really sit down and write something great. my apologies and i agree with you completely, althouh i hope you got a little something out of it.

    as for the length, thats why they are “mini” reviews, there are a lot of reveiw columns and i like to keep mine short and sweet, but i completely agree with what you are saying… next time i will make the mini a little less short and with a little more punch a detail as that seems to be what people like to read the most. the idea was it was supposed to be a paragraph reveiw so i could post a major article every other week… oh well…

  9. I gottcha, missed the word “mini” the first time around, but i definitely caught it after ya mentioned that, but even so, I’m gonna have to stick with my original comments (which i gotta say I’m very glad youre reading em ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    It can be really tough to sit down and write sometimes especially when you aren’t all that inspired, or really have the surplus of time to do so. I feel your pain.

    As for the spoilers thing, I meant that if you saw the movie, dont be afraid to give parts of it away in your review.

    Like… if youre gonna say (stupid example):

    “Well.. when the tornado picked up the car and flung it into cow manuer pile, and miraculously NO ONE was hurt.. it just made me say ‘get the fuck outta here!’ ”

    Then just denote that what you thought was dumb about the movie is someting that youd see but only in the movie itself, and that the person shouldn’t read that section if they wanna go in fresh. Ya know? Kinda like a “Reason’s to throw things at the screen and or projection booth” kind of section. [B^P

    but its all good,

    Chris

  10. thanks chris. like i said, i know that this wasnt my best work, i have been slacking off and i appreciate the constructive criticism, i think a lot of people are afraid to say what they really think and just like to blow steam up my ass. so thanks for the honest opinion.

    and i always read me comments, i just usually dont post back, but i prolly will from now on, as i realize it make it seem as if i dont care who’s posting what.

  11. Its appreciated Bell ๐Ÿ™‚

    I give you credit for being a braver woman than I with these things.. I’ve been tempted to write an article myself, but I know that I’d never have the time to do so. Anyways, keep up the good work!

    Chris

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