Category: Entertainment

Now this is going to be an interesting discussion to say the least because it is in the nature of the human psyche to lookout for such news items that would pique their curiosity to the next level and what better than entertainment to do so.

The social media revolution has its fair share of admirers and detractors in equal measure but the fact is that one simply cannot ignore its impact on the citizens of every nation across the globe, especially the younger generation folks.

This is the era of smartphones and online apps where you can satisfy your thirst for entertainment and at the same time prove your worth in the larger circle that got suppressed by the professional life of jobs and businesses.

New Age Sensation

Tiktok is a word that needs no introduction for it has acquired the phenomenal status of a rare kind that no celebrity in existence has achieved and that too in such a short time which speaks volumes of its caliber.

Its enormous impact on young minds can be gauged from the fact that Tiktok video download became the number one trend on Twitter within days of its launch and none more so than countries like India and United States, which led to other nations to follow suit.

Now the number of Tiktokers has reached the mammoth figure of 700 million with nearly 90% of them being in the age group of 12-26 years that is a remarkable achievement that was both unseen and unheard of till now.

Apart from India being the number revenue market due to its large population, US accounts for nearly 70 million users in the 18 to 28 years age group which is both astonishing and alarming.

Tiktok has become more addictive than alcohol, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram put together and this has become a problem that needs to be looked into sooner than later.

The television adaptation of Stephen King’s The Langoliers, a novella published as one of four in the King collection, Four Past Midnight, truly leaves something to be desired, making the audience wonder exactly what it was that inspired filmmakers to make this particular work into a made-for-tv movie and, moreover, what when horribly wrong in the translation.

The first thing that one is likely to notice from The Langoliers is that the cast contains no one of repute. Beyond the vague feeling of “hey, that’s that guy from that movie that one time, where they went to that place and did that thing,” the cast is utterly unrecognizable. If their performances in this film are anything to go by, it’s easy to see why none of them have made a remarkable dent in Hollywood.

The dialogue is written well enough, but it’s carried off with such a lack of conviction that the lines sound like they’re coming from a high school drama performance and not an actual film. The cast may well take their cues from an equally unimpressive director (Tom Holland, known best for his work in… well, absolutely nothing at all of note), who seems to have very little actual direction over this movie.

It feels upon watching as thought Stephen King gave birth to an idea which slowly evolved into an entity of its own, and this little blob of literary goo tried very hard to make itself into a film without the aid of anyone who actually understood cinema. A bizarre concept, certainly, but we are talking about Stephen King, and it’s difficult to get more bizarre than that. The adaptation of the right method should be made to purchase LiveTV. The difficulties in the purchase are handled with the skills and expertise of the person. The watching of the views is great with the engagement of the visitors. The direction and positions should be great with live streaming and broadcasts.¬†

Because it is standard King faire, this film is all about the quirky alternate-world into which a group of travelers have unwittingly stumbled after falling asleep on a plane trip. In this world, they are on the lookout for the Langoliers, a group of time-eating monsters that are strangely remniscient of “The Nothing” from The Neverending Story. As the characters wander around an airport throughout the vast majority of the movie, they search for clues as to what has happened to them.

The audience, on the other hand, would do best to be on the lookout for the countless continuity errors resulting less from a low budget than from sheer laziness on the part of the filmmakers. On countless occasions when a character is talking about how the world is completely devoid of people other than their own group, the viewers can see cars driving by or people passing in airport terminals.

We’ve all had those pictures that we take while on vacation where a tourist walks right across the picture when we’ve finally gotten the whole family together and standing still, but we don’t take those pictures. Imagine three hours of those shots spliced and poorly edited into a film. Stephen King’s works already require enough suspension of disbelief without the audience constantly having to overlook errors in the filmmaking process.

The Langoliers also has a problem common to several other films in the thriller/sci fi genre; the frightening foe in the film is indeed frightening, until we see it, at which point it’s no longer frightening but rather laughable. The key to a good King film seems to be in that crucial air of mystery keeping the force of evil somewhat masked (Carrie, Children of the Corn, Misery), but The Langoliers takes this old format and throws it out the window, offering the viewers some spectacular computer-generated images that come off looking a lot like poorly-drawn balls of aluminum foil with teeth, and even the kids unfortunate enough to see this film will find nothing at all frightening about the film’s climax.

Small-time filmmakers in Hollywood would do well to remember this simple rule: if the audience does not feel terror at the crucial moment in a film, you’ve lost them. They’re not coming back. They’ve already wandered off to see a film that possessed both a budget and some decorum.

As most local movie stores will not carry this item, you can save your time looking for it there… but this reviewer would recommend shortening your Netflix queue by one more item and foregoing this film altogether, lest you find yourself begging for that three hours of your life back.

You should read this, as you look at the greatest metal albums, what you’ll notice is that often, they are composed of eight to twelve songs that all sound relatively the same, but on repeated listens, each one becomes unique and stands out (the best examples of this are Immortal, Demilich, Massacra, the first Morbid Angel album, Graveland, and early Emperor). As a collection of baroque pieces or Gregorian chants, it all sounds like on the outside, but each individual piece varies greatly, at least to a trained ear.

This is because good metal, more so than other forms of popular music, is structural music with narrative song forms, meaning that the music is composed of a series of repeated phrases (riffs) that follow each other and interact with each other in ways you’ll never hear in a Britney Spears or Jay-Z song. It’s more complex not only musically, but artistically as well, due to the fact that some form of ideation or ideology often precedes the composition of the actual songs.

Metal isn’t really focused on sounding appealing to commercial tastes, and unlike certain odious trends, it is not about being “different” or “diverse” by throwing in a bunch of random elements, styles, or parts, and feeling smug and “open-minded” for doing so (examples of this? Between the Buried and Me, Opeth, Psyopus, Dream Theatre, Dillinger Escape Plan). Like classical music, it is more focused on actual composition, which is more mathematical/logical and simultaneously more emotional/artistic than most other forms of modern music, which are socially or financially motivated.

You could diagram it like this:

“Heavy” ideas, realistic values, or interesting observations — gt; Musical representation of that idea (or as close as you can get) — gt; Several ideas grouped in logical / emotionally powerful order — gt; Good metal, folk, classical, neoclassical music.

“What most people want to hear” — gt; Familiar musical ideas — gt; Verse-chorus-bridge format — gt; Pop music, hip hop, soul, emo, etc.

So if you want to write good metal songs, there are several basic traps to avoid. For one, music that has nothing to say won’t stand the test of time, no matter how virtuosic or well-put-together it maybe (I’m looking at you, Necrophagist!). Second, if you’re going to form a band, know that metal left behind the verse-chorus format over twenty years ago. And lastly, throwing everything and the kitchen sink into your songs doesn’t make your music smart or artistic, it usually just makes it distracting and ugly.

When you find what you want to say and the media / aesthetic in which you choose to say it, focus on writing the best material you can, composition-wise, and make the music you want to hear – it doesn’t matter if it”s cut from the same cloth as Bathory, or has the exact same product as Incantation. There is nothing wrong with an honest tribute (as long as it offers a new angle and isn’t just a blatant ripoff), and it is perfectly reasonable to stay within the orthodoxy of metal imagery, lyrical topics, and aesthetic values. Because if there’s poetry within them, your songs will be collectively an eternal meditation on the logical architecture of reality and the irrational language of emotion all at once.

 

My husband and I were recently in Key West for the Fantasy Fest week and decided to take in a drag show. We had walked up and down Duvall Street, the main street in Key West that goes from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic and this was the only show where the show was promoted. They usually have a show at 9pm and 11pm but since this was part of Fantasy Fest the only one being advertised was the one at 9pm. They were handing out promotional tickets at 7pm.

We came back at 8:30pm and after paying a $12.00 per person cover charge we entered the bar area and decided to sit at the bar. We ordered a drink, and to our surprise it was a very strong one, not like the watered down versions in other establishments. We paid $5.00 per drink which is standard and possibly lower than other bars in the area. They had a great selection of drinks, from ordinary mixed drinks like vodka and tonic and frozen margaritas. They had a very large selection of beers. There were several high drink tables and one area to the right was set a little higher than the stage with couches and small drink tables. Unfortunately we were not able to sit on the couches as they had been reserved for a birthday party. We sat at the bar until the place filled up and the show began at 9:00.

They have five drag queens but only three drag queens were working that night. The first one, Inga, was continually dressed with a blonde wig and did several impersonations and sang a few racy songs. She was hilarious. The next one was named Victoria and had a dark wig. She did a fantastic impression of Celine Dion, Cher, Shania Twain and Pat Benetar. The third one was a black performer who did a fantastic impression of Aretha Franklin and a host of other performers.

They would take turns singing and interacting with the audience, sashaying around accepting tips, They were incredible performers. They could really belt out a song. You could not tell they were not women until you got up close. The costumes were very well done and the shoes they were wearing had heels that were at least six inches high. They would also interact with the wait staff and everyone seemed to love what they do.

Since this is a gay bar a lot of reference was made to gay issues. Being straight they did not make us feel uncomfortable. They were extremely professional and the singing and costumes were so precise it was hard to tell they were not the performer they were imitating.

Such performances are not the regular ones that you get to see in nightclubs and what was comforting was that they were not mocking the gay community by any standards and the show was quite excellent that made the people in attendance take notice and people simply refused to budge until the last act. A truly illuminating experience it was and one that no one will ever forget, a stark contrast Lavelle Toronto, which many times resorted to vulgar and crude jokes whenever there was a sensitive topic for the theme of the party, not to mention uncouth behavior of certain individuals.

The show went on until 11:30pm and I can honestly say that this is a show you must not miss. The performers came into the crowd after the show so that patrons could take pictures with them. They did not rush anyone and would take as many pictures as people wanted. We had the best time and highly recommend this show to anyone.