I'm starting a new posting series here on J+1. In Justin Plus Fun, I'll give you my personal recommendations on what to spend your hard-earned money on. As a solid Capricorn, I have a very intimate connection with my money, and therefore know what is worth it, and what is not.
When something gets credit on J+Fun, you have my guarantee it's worth your time and coin. And when something gets shamed on J+Fun... well... consider it a leper that should be avoided at all costs.
Here we go!
Justin Plus Fun in Film:
What you should see: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
I just caught this doozy over the weekend with a group of trusted friends (Kristin, Melissa, Mikey, Ricky and Ryan.) WOW! Expect to cry - happy and sad. Expect to want to vomit at least three times (especially if you have poop issues).
Expect to hate and love and cover your eyes from time to time. Danny Boyle brings you a high-octane, cute, horrifying, and energized film that (while promoted as indy) is completely UN-indy. But, as a mainstream movie - it's one of the best I've seen this year.
What you shouldn't see: My Bloody Valentine 3D
I can't tell you from a personal perspective that this movie is terrible. But I can tell you that my friends left the theater bloody... with guts pouring from their eyes. Then again, if you willingly go to see a movie called "My Bloody Valentine," you're expecting a blood-soaked shit stain.
I don't know the movie at all. I imagine it has something to do with valentines and gore. And, frankly, Valentine's Day is bloody enough. If I want a bloody and horrific 3D valentine's experience, I'd cheat on my boyfriend, and give him a ball-peen hammer before I tell him what I did.
Justin Plus Fun in Theater:
What you should see: You're Welcome, America
I have always loved Will Ferrell. And yes, I know that his Dubya impersonation is not much like the real Dubya at all. That doesn't matter. The slight drawl and attitude Ferrell adopts to play our 43rd President allows for perfect comic timing, and invites us to laugh away the horrors of the past 8 years.
From the first moment when Dubya is lowered to the stage by a helicopter, telling us the joke is on him because he said "hey, since we're flying over New York, why not drop me in the faggy theater district?" you know you are in for a fantastic night.
Any fears you have that Ferrell may not be able to keep his Dubya funny for longer than a five-minute sketch are absurd and unnecessary. He carries the show expertly from beginning to end. And the show, itself, has much besides Will to love - including a break dancing secret service man, three huge screens for multimedia presentations, a sexy dancing Condi Rice, a shoe-throwing audience shill, and a gruesome shot of a limp penis that constantly appears (I'm not kidding).
The show is only open for 8 weeks... so I suggest you get your tickets NOW.
What you shouldn't see: Hedda Gabler
If Pal Joey was strike one for this year's Roundabout season, then Hedda Gabler is strikes 2 and 3 (okay... I'll STILL see Godot, even though these two shows sucked something fierce). A friend of mine texted me two days after I saw this play, saying "Is Hedda worth 20 dollars?" I quickly responded: "She isn't worth a fucking penny."
There is nothing to like about this Hedda. Mary-Louise Parker does nothing for the character. The translation and adaptation do nothing for the already maligned story. The acting does nothing for the characters. The strange between-scene set dances do nothing for nothing. And the direction does nothing for human decency.
When you see Hedda, you are seeing a show that got so caught up in being arty that it went to hell with itself. Nonsense abounds. This Hedda doesn't come across as crazy so much as she seems bored to tears. The lines are written in wood and delivered by marionettes who stand completely across the stage from each other and scream so they can be heard.
Sure, there are a few good performances. But nothing stands out. Perhaps the next adaptation needs to reconsider their female lead. Choose someone better to play the role. How about a turkey? (Hedda Gobbler?).
Point is, you can't stage Hedda Gabbler without a flawless Hedda. And not only is this Hedda flawed in all the ways she shouldn't be, but everything working with her is too weak to soften the blow.