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Review: The Three Musketeers, Midnight in Paris, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Monte Carlo and Tabloid

By Cinema and Reviews

The Three Musketeers posterI don’t know what the French did to be so roundly insulted at the movies this week but I’d advise them to steer clear of Wellington cinemas for a while — perhaps until their film festival gets under way again next year. Firstly, crass action auteur Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) attempts to reboot a franchise from one of France’s most cherished pieces of literature but then makes The Three Musketeers without a single French person appearing on screen.

Actually, I’m teasing a little as neither the 1993 Charlie Sheen version or the 1973 Oliver Reed one had any significant French involvement, but to populate the latest film with Danes (Mads Mikkelsen), Austrians (Christoph Waltz), Germans (Til Schweiger) and Ukrainians (Milla Jovovich) does seem a bit on the nose.

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Cricket Test

By Theatre

The Second TestWhen the New Zealand cricket team (note not BLACKCAPS™) first toured South Africa in 1953 they had never won a Test Match and were given no show against a ruthless South Africa, on pitches tailored to support their fast, mean quick bowlers.

The cricket was tough, and victory was ultimately beyond New Zealand’s grasp, but it wasn’t the cricket that ensured that the series became a NZ sporting legend. The 1953 Second (Christmas Day) Test is famous for the profoundly moving story of one player, Kiwi fast bowler Bob Blair, and his story has been brought to the stage by talented actor Jonny Brugh (Sugar & Spice) and it’s playing now at BATS.

During the rest day of the Test, Blair got the news that his fiancée Nerissa Love had been killed along with 150 others in the Tangiwai Rail Disaster. When play resumed on Boxing Day nobody expected Blair to play any further part in the game. Without giving too much away, the rest (as they say) is history.

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Some Frank Langella trivia

By Asides, Humour, NZ and Theatre

Here’s a New York Times profile of Frost/Nixon star, and great character actor, Frank Langella. Langella once bought the Broadway rights to the hit kiwi “comedy” Ladies’ Night and author Anthony McCarten told me once of sitting in Langella’s trailer in Hollywood collaborating on the American-ization of the play that may or may not have eventually become The Full Monty. Periodically, Langella would have to excuse himself and visit the set: “Excuse me, I have to go and make love to Ellen Barkin.”

Significant Contribution

By Asides, History, Theatre and Wellington

Heartfelt congratulations to Sunny Amey who, at last night’s Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, was presented with “The Mayor’s Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre”.

Often on these occasions people will say, “without this person I wouldn’t be here” but in Sunny’s case I believe it to be literally true. When my parents got married in 1966, Sunny (and Ralph McAllister) organised the event, cooked the kai (meatballs and pavlova) and the reception was hosted at Sunny’s flat in London. Therefore, she’s always been a presence in my life (although I didn’t actually meet her until 1993 when I started working for Downstage the first time and she was on the Board).

I’m very happy that I’ve got to know her since, and that Downstage (where she was the first woman Director back in 1970) is where I have landed.

Elaine Stritch on Beckett

By Asides and Theatre

The incomparable Elaine Stritch is doing Beckett’s Endgame in New York:

I always remember the story of the woman who understudied Lena Horne in some Broadway musical. And she was told she was going to go on that night because Lena had lost her voice. And the understudy said, “Oh, wonderful!” She said she just needed a certain kind of eye shadow she had to pick out herself. And she was going to go out to one of the drugstores on Eighth Avenue and she’d be right back. And she went to Philadelphia instead. Isn’t that a great story? And it’s true. I understand it perfectly. I love the fact that she went to Philadelphia. What a story. And that’s an example of Beckett’s unhappiness being the funniest thing in the world.

[via Gothamist]