ECLECTIC ARTS

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

PREMAN: SILENT FURY Film Review September 27, 2022 Eclectic Arts

PREMAN: Silent Fury

Well Go USA
Reviewed: 9/27/2022
Rating: 4 / 5

Available on Digital, Blu-ray™ and DVD September 27

(Well Go USA)


The new film, “Preman: Silent Fury” is an exceptionally well done film. Typically in an Indonesian action film, the dialogue scenes are merely excuses to get to the action scenes. This isn’t the case here.


The story is dramatic at times but overall it is interesting and captures a depth rarely seen in an action film.


(Well Go USA)

 

And the action scenes are intense and even more so because the characters were built up through the dialogue scenes. When the fighting breaks out, you give a damn about the characters which is rather rare in an action film.


“Preman: Silent Fury” is a winner and well worth your viewing time.


Recommended.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here

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CARMINA BURANA PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET September 24, 2022 Eclectic Arts

CARMINA BURANA

Pacific Northwest Ballet
McCaw Hall
Seattle, WA
Review: Saturday 9/24/22 7:30pm Performance

Performances run through Sunday October 2

(Pacific Northwest Ballet company dancers with the PLU Choral Union in Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana. PNB presents Carmina Burana on a triple-bill with works by Alexei Ratmansky and George Balanchine, onstage at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall September 23 – October 2, 2022 (and streaming October 6 – 10.) For tickets and information, contact the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or PNB.org. Photo © Angela Sterling.)



The 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Northwest Ballet is an amazing accomplishment for the company. I was barely making a mark in this world when the PNB started all those years ago. The 2022/2023 season will be a mixture of new and old to celebrate the 50th Anniversary.


The first production of this new season features Carmina Burana (Kent Stowell), Allegro Brillante (George Balanchine), and Wartime Elegy (Alexei Ratmansky).


The performance started off with Allegro Brillante. As influential as George Balanchine was/is, I am honestly growing a bit tired of seeing his works scattered throughout the various seasons that I have reviewed for the PNB. Artistic director Peter Boal clearly loves Balanchine’s work as he has incorporated many of his pieces since he took over as artistic director. It’s not that Balanchine’s work is bad, far from it. I just find it dated and the more I see of it, the more dated it becomes.



(Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancers Clara Ruf Maldonado and Juliet Prine in Allegro Brillante, choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. PNB presents Allegro Brillante on a triple-bill with works by Alexei Ratmansky and Kent Stowell, onstage at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall September 23 – October 2, 2022 (and streaming October 6 – 10.) For tickets and information, contact the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or PNB.org. Photo © Angela Sterling.)



The dancing during Allegro Brillante was as high level as one would expect from the PNB. I enjoyed seeing the PNB live again after a few months off. I just wish the program would have started with something non - Balanchine.


The second work was a world premiere and was arguably the best work of the evening. Wartime Elegy told a story much like cinema on a grand scale. Dramatic in the first movement, comedic in the second movement, and dramatic again in the third movement. The music and choreography worked so well together that it was simply mesmerizing. This was a highlight performance and one of the best I've witnessed since I started reviewing for the PNB in November of 2018.



Pacific Northwest Ballet company dancers in the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Wartime Elegy. PNB presents Wartime Elegy on a triple-bill with works by George Balanchine and Kent Stowell, onstage at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall September 23 – October 2, 2022 (and streaming October 6 – 10.) For tickets and information, contact the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or PNB.org. Photo © Angela Sterling.



The last work of the night was Carmina Burana, something I have actually seen before in 2019. Due to the 50th Anniversary aspect, there are a few productions that will be repeated viewings for me which is interesting as now I can compare and contrast when applicable.


Carl Orff’s main theme has been used in numerous films, tv shows, and commercials. I tend to think of it as “Conan” music as that was the first time I heard the music where it made an impact on me (the 1982 film). The ballet version of Carmina Burana is impactful and weaves a great story, complete with operatic vocals, a full sized choir, and other assorted visuals to add to the overall impact. My only gripe with it was the length. There were parts of it toward the end where it seemed like the choreography should end but unfortunately it didn’t. But this is a minor gripe. I really enjoyed the production and all of the artistry that went into making it come alive on the McCaw Hall stage.


Overall, Rep 1 for the 2022/2023 season of the Pacific Northwest Ballet was solid, aside from the opening number. Again, this is just my “still learning about professional ballet” opinion. I’m sure there are some patrons that get excited as soon as they see Balanchine’s name on the program.


What I can say is that I’m looking forward to seeing a full season in-person of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. This would be a first for me as I started one show into the 2018/2019 season. The 2019/2020 season - well, we all know what happened there. Ditto 2020/2021. And the 2021/2022 season was hybrid (for me at least).


The PNB is ready to celebrate 50 years this season. Be sure to join in the celebration!


Carmina Burana runs through October 2. Purchase tickets:  HERE!


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here

THE GRISWOLDS' BROADWAY VACATION The 5th Avenue Theatre September 23, 2022 Eclectic Arts

THE GRISWOLDS' BROADWAY VACATION
The Musical

Book, Lyrics, and Music by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen
Directed and Choreographed by Donna Feore

The 5th Avenue Theatre
Seattle, WA

September 23, 2022 Evening Performance

(Megan Reinking as Ellen Griswold, Hunter Foster as Clark Griswold,  Livvy Marcus as Audrey Griswold and Nathan Levy as Rusty Griswold in "The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation"  at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  Photo Credit- Tracy Martin)


The world premiere of “The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation” had the local Seattle patrons buzzing with excitement. Depending on your age, you know, and in many cases love, at least one of the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” films. The very thought of Clark, Ellen, Audrey, and Rusty traveling from their native midwest roots to the sights and sounds of New York really sounds like a fantastic idea. Of course there would be mishaps along the way until they reach their final destination.


Act I starts off in New York City. There is no traveling to be had so to speak. The quest for Clark to come through for Ellen and the kids is really at the center of the storyline. And, of course, seeing a live broadway hit called, “Wilson” (which is a take off on the Tom Hanks film, “Castaway”).


The tone of the production is light and captures the vibe of the films rather well. This should be fun and it definitely is (particularly Act II). Act I took some time to get things going. The musical numbers were written well but could stand a few less measures in some cases. More concision would be a great asset to some of the musical numbers.


The interplay between Hunter Foster (Clark), Megan Reinking ((Ellen), Livvy Marcus (Audrey), and Nathan Levy (Rusty) worked seamlessly. They are a fun and likable cast and the comedic timing was spot on.


Jay Klaitz as Cousin Eddie in "The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation" at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  Photo Credit: Tracy Martin)


When Act II begins after the intermission, with a full appearance by Cousin Eddie (portrayed by Jay Klaitz), the show really finds its footing. The heart of the production starts to come through in the Clark and Audrey scenes and the laughs definitely go up a notch (no spoilers here). By the end of the show, you will leave entertained.


Overall, “The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation” is a solid contender for replication around the world. A few tweaks to Act I and the show will be that much better for the audience.


If you’re in the mood to escape the outside world for a few hours, with genuine laugh out loud moments from your seat, this show is for you.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here


“The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation” runs through October 2. 
Purchase tickets:  HERE!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

FROM THE HOOD TO THE HOLLER Film Review September 25, 2022 Eclectic Arts

FROM THE HOOD TO THE HOLLER

Reviewed: 9/25/2022
Rating: 4 / 5

FROM THE HOOD TO THE HOLLER is in select theaters now and on Digital September 30th!





The new film, “From The Hood To The Holler” follows the political campaign of Charles Booker in Kentucky. A democrat in a primarily red state, the film shows the highs and lows of mounting a campaign against the odds.


The further we ebb along into the years post 2020, that period of time feels even more odd than it did at the time while living in it. Voter suppression, political hysteria, and of course COVID-19 were just a few of the topics of that insane year.


While watching “From The Hood To The Holler”, the issues presented were extremely pertinent before 2020 and now. But at the same time the issues almost felt like a moment in time from long ago.


Where we go from here remains to be seen. There is a great deal of hopelessness of ever turning this mess around but films like, “From The Hood To The Holler” give a glimpse into a movement of people that refuse to let that future hope fade away.


Recommended.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here

Friday, September 23, 2022

SECTION 8 Film Review September 23, 2022 Eclectic Arts

SECTION 8

RLJE FILMS
Reviewed: 9/23/2022
Rating: 4 / 5

In Theaters and Streaming on AMC+ starting Sept. 23.    

(RLJE Films)



The new film, “Section 8' is an action thriller that actually delivers on both of those genres. While the plot isn’t going to win any awards for originality, the execution of the film really works well.


With an ensemble cast that features Dolph Lundgren, MIckey Rourke, Dermot Mulroney, and Scott Adkins, the dialogue scenes flow together with the action scenes.


There have been a slew of films that have a solid cast with a decent budget and the end result has been lackluster. “Section 8” bucks that trend and bucks it hard. This is an entertaining film and one worth seeking out at home or at a theater near you.


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here

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GRATITUDE REVEALED Film Review September 23, 2022 Eclectic Arts

GRATITUDE REVEALED

Reviewed: 9/13/2022
Rating: 4.5 / 5

GRATITUDE REVEALED is out September 16th!





The new film, “Gratitude Revealed'' is a wonderful documentary about, well, gratitude. It explores several different stories from around the world to demonstrate gratitude in all its forms.


Much of what can be learned from the film may be common knowledge but it's not put into action as often as it should be (I’m guilty of this as well). It’s so easy to get caught up in the hecticness of day to day life that gratitude can get it lost in the mix.


Something as simple as the weather, and not just your favorite type of weather, but all forms of weather has a purpose. Am I grateful when it’s raining outside? Sometimes I am as I prefer the cooler months to the hotter ones but my gratitude is only half measured.


Something that may seem impossible that is actually possible - our gratitude can get lost in the degree of difficulty. The film shows a great example of this scenario with a mountain climber (no spoilers here).


In the end, “Gratitude Revealed” is a welcome reminder to stop and smell those proverbial roses. And to thank them for being in our lives, big and small.


Recommended!


Best,
Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts


Connect with Eclectic Arts:  Social Media Links Here

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

ECLECTIC ARTS - A Quick Hello!

Greetings!

Thank you for taking the time to read, watch, and/or interact with this thing called Eclectic Arts.  It's something that I love doing and I have the battle scars to prove it.  

The reason I'm writing is that there are so many new followers that are being introduced to the Eclectic Arts world from many different angles.  So, if you're reading the blog and haven't looked into everything else, please take a gander if you would be so kind.

ECLECTIC ARTS YOUTUBE CHANNEL

CLICK HERE

The YouTube channel has been growing ever since the pandemic.  We're just over 1,400 subscribers and growing.  You'll find a wide variety (and I mean wide) of interview guests (both livestream and in-person) as well as various live clips on the channel.

PLEASE hit the subscribe button and the notification bell to support what I do there.  It costs you nothing but it helps me ever so much.  Thank you in advance!


SOCIAL MEDIA

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My main social media platforms are in order:

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I have a Twitter account that is also on the link above.  

I post everything first on Instagram - with less than half of that content ending up on Facebook.  Feel free to follow me on either platform.


Thank you for your support!  I do my best to answer all emails and DM's so don't be a stranger!

Best,

Mark Sugiyama

Eclectic Arts

(Andy Grammer - Photo by Mark Sugiyama for Eclectic Arts (c) 2022)