Friday, June 19, 2009
Visits to the cheese shop.
Last weekend, my dad and I went to see Monty Python's Spamalot, the Broadway musical now touring the country. It is kinda sorta based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, though it also takes some bits from other parts of the Python oeuvre, like the song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life from Life of Brian, and a re-working of the fish slapping dance, a favorite of Padre Mickey's. Eric Idle of Monty Python wrote the book, and the rest of the Pythons merely cash the check for the use of the group's name. The two Terrys, Jones and Gilliam, aren't that keen on it. Michael Palin and John Cleese are kinder in their assessment. Graham Chapman stubbornly remains dead, and so has not been available for comment.
The show not only makes fun of the Arthurian legend, it takes many shots at Broadway and Broadway musicals. The "big star" of the show is John O'Hurley as King Arthur, and the big voice (no ironic quotation marks) is Merle Dandridge as the Lady of the Lake. The original Python cast was noticeably thin on females, except for Carol Cleveland and sometimes Connie Booth, the future ex Mrs. John Cleese, but this is a Broadway show, so you gotta have the honeys. There are plenty of song and dance numbers, and the female dancers in the touring cast include many young women who used to be Radio City Rockettes. They have maintained their standards when it comes to female hotness.
Among the things that had to be ridiculed from Broadway musicals are the many costume changes, the expensive sets, and of course, it wouldn't be a Broadway show without that special song, The Song That Goes Like This. You may enjoy this song, and then again, this song may make it so you can never listen to Susan Boyle again.
I expected silliness and I was not disappointed. The old Python material holds up very well and the new stuff also had me laughing.
Is it truly cheese if the people making it know it's cheese while it's being made? That is a question for philosophers, and not a humble mathematician such as myself.
Then there's Outlander, the massively expensive movie from last year that pretty much went straight to video. Here are the bare bones of the plot. Space aliens look like us because Earth is an abandoned seed planet. Actually, aliens look like James Caviezel, except for the ones that don't. His spaceship crashes in a Norweigian lake in the 8th Century A.D., but there was also a ravenous monster on the ship. So it's up to the Outlander and a band of brave vikings to kill the huge unstoppable beast.
I rented this not expecting much. It's actually better than I expected. It's not as good as the Korean monster movie The Host, but very few monster movies are. It's many orders of magnitude better than Cloverfield, a movie I shouldn't bring up because thinking about it makes my blood pressure rise and I start pacing the room and talking too loud to myself.
It's cheese, but it's better cheese than I expected. Two of the "big stars" in the cast are John Hurt and Ron Perlman, who are both signs of quality cheesy movies nowadays. You might think this is a contradiction, but I promise you it's not. Signs of poor quality cheesy movies nowadays include John Rhys-Davies and F. Murray Abraham, whose career has taken a plummet few Oscar winners can match. And yes, I'm including Jon Voight and Liza Minnelli on that list.
And then there's The Legend of the Seeker, the cheesy TV show I started watching in the middle of the first season and watched straight through to the end. It's currently in re-runs, so I get to catch up with the early episodes I missed.
There's more to the show than just the creamy complexion and cute little freckles and laced up bosom of Bridget Regan, but it does promise to show us all those things every program, and I am a sucker for all of that. And Ms. Regan is clearly all of that and a bag of chips.
Matty Boy, you're a sucker for that? Aren't you also a sucker for collarbones belonging to Indira Varma? Incredibly long legs? Rear ends that look gooooood walking away? Redheads? Giant women? Melissa Theuriau?
Wouldn't it be simpler to say you're a sap for pretty women and leave it at that?
You know, hypothetical question asker, sometimes you really get carried away with the attitude.
I just wanted to say that for the record, because I'm not actually disagreeing with the point you made.