Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Episode 1.2 - Review

Remember when Christina Ricci played Wednesday in The Addams Family and Addams Family Values and she beamed with delight at the sight of electrocuting people with her electric chair? There's quite a look of delight in her eyes again when she portrays Lizzie Borden taking in a burlesque homage to her alleged hacking to death her daddy. Except there's no blood on stage; rose petals flutter through the air when the knife is slashed. In case you were not paying attention, the show reminds you of the ax incident with flashbacks... again, and again, and so on.

Following last week's "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles" debut, Lizzie signs the papers on a new house, not having to owe any debts of their father. The debts were wiped away when William Almy suddenly was murdered by, guess who? And who got blamed? William Borden, of course, but he's suddenly suicidal if you believe the inept Fall River Marshal's office.

Cut to Lizzie making friends with a woman named Adele (Kimberly-Sue Murray) who was injured in a factory. She turned to hooking when she couldn't get work with a right hand that just has a bit of scar make-up on it. Lizzie saves her from being assaulted in an alley after taking in an aftershow party with Emma Borden (Clea DuVall) in tow. She daringly clobbers the unsavory man called Skipjack and takes home, much to Emma's admonishment, Adele to take care of her. Lizzie shows her just how much she cares when she kisses Adele affectionately in a dress shop changing area the next day. In comparison to the graphic murder scenes, this scene with fully buttoned-up ladies kissing is quite tame.

Over the course of the episode, Lizzie enjoys tea with the person who pimped out Adele, Mr. Flowers (Jonathan Banks). Lizzie pays him off so she can keep Adele to herself. During her visit, Flowers teaches a lesson to a misogynist low-life while Lizzie agreeably waits patiently for the head bashing to end. Banks is basically "Breaking Bad's" Mike in the late 19th century.

Adele and Emma bond over soup, discussing as you may have guessed, aspirations for a husband and perhaps a family. Adele could be Emma's confidant as she makes the insightful recognition of Emma's having to practically raise Lizzie when their birth mother died. Emma clearly needs someone other than Lizzie to hang out with because the husband topic surfaces a second time and we're only halfway through the second episode. This is Lifetime, so settling down and having a family is the only way Emma's story remains within "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles."

The dashing superhero investigator, Charlie (Cole Hauser), continues privately investigating the blood trail Lizzie leaves everywhere she goes. He's had her followed.  Lizzie actually confronts him, introducing herself while he's dining alone. A few minutes of dialog lets us know Lizzie is not phased by Charlie's presence. It seems he's a man of many talents yet to be revealed. We've only just found out that his magic fingers can untwist Isabel Danforth's twisted ankle back at the B&B. [Danforth is portrayed by Olivia Llewellyn and appeared in Season One of "Penny Dreadful" (Showtime). We don't know yet if she's returning as Mina Harker in Season Two.]

Everything was going swellingly until Spencer (Frank Chiesurin), a playwright/con artist, convinces Lizzie to be a patron of the arts and, ironically, to fund his schlocky play. Planted in this scene is Adele and a coffin that just happens to be in the old barn at the old house. Coffins just are things people keep in barns back in the late 1800s. That Lizzie can sure pick them because he soon ties one on and, when he finds Adele alone, blowing out the candles in nearly every room, he decides to presume Adele will wax his own candle. Instead she nearly snuffs him out. Lizzie finds him outside, injured with a pitchfork and finishes forking him.

This is where I can spoil the rest, but I'll leave it up to you readers to catch up by next Sunday. I must advise you to always keep strike-anywhere matches in your pocket.

Monday, April 06, 2015

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Episode 1.1 - Review

"The Lizzie Borden Chronicles" debuted on Sunday, April 5. Lifetime Network is likely stepping up its "darker" programming on Sunday nights to win over some fans of horror who are missing "The Walking Dead." WGN premiered season two of "Salem" the same night. It seems smart that the networks waited until after season five of "The Walking Dead" ended.

This is the fictionalized telling of the story four months following Lizzie Borden's trial in which she was accused of killing her parents and acquitted. I tried to re-watch the re-airing of the movie, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax the night before. It's still difficult for me to like the sickening charm Lizzie (Christina Ricci) lathers on her father or her sister Emma (Clea DuVall). I also couldn't enjoy the modern rock music juxtaposed in the 19th century setting. Some think it's cool, but I think it is obvious that the creators are trying to be obviously different because the movie and, now, the TV series lack a few things. Character development being one of those things.

One of my favorite lines in the first episode subtly alludes to Lizzie being a lesbian when she's answering her sister Emma's question about what she has imagined her husband to be: "I never imagined a husband." If you didn't recall that Lizzie Borden had a half-brother in Ax, don't worry because he wasn't actually in it. He shows up suddenly in the TV series, stirring up trouble, of course, with flaunting a secret held by the sisters. Emma seems to be up for a back story in one of the seven more episodes in this eight-episode series.

There's a B-story involving an investigator named Charlie (Cole Hauser), who starts to look into the murders. Also, William Almy (John Heard) is suing the Borden estate for the debt owed by their late father. Other interesting characters include Lizzie's former elementary school teacher. She offers little insight into Lizzie's wrath on people. The series spends a lot of time repeating flash backs to scenes from Ax, and has lesser horrific moments of dead things in the dark.

Episode one wasn't terrible, but it makes me wary of the next seven. Little things stand out such as the noticeable historic inaccuracy: how is a character able to use a flashlight in 1893? I haven't spent loads of time searching, but what I've seen so far on the internet is that flashlights didn't become available until as early as 1896. Infrequent clever moments, as in Lizzie's reference to the Dickens story Bleak House. However, the charm act is old. I will still continue on in case Jonathan Banks saves a scene or two from being intolerably a drag.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Begins April 5

"The Lizzie Borden Chronicles" is going to be a short TV series drama fictionalizing the life of Lizzie Borden and the people around her. Her story continues from where the movie left off.

Stay tuned for a review of this episode in the following week.

Friday, December 26, 2014

End of Year Review

I'm sorry for not posting more often this year. Work piles up and writing more at the end of the day gets to be difficult. I did have time to review two shows of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. You can read those reviews in the August 2014 issue of RE/Search's newsletter. Here are a few other events, TV shows, and memorable moments I enjoyed over this past year (no order, just a list)

In the coming year, I'll try to post a few words for each event, TV show or memorable moment for which I either view or attend just to keep the Korner active. One thing to look forward to (I miss "Pan Am") is the TV miniseries "Lizzie Borden: The Fall River Chronicles" on Lifetime coming in 2015 starring Christina Ricci. She starred in the Lifetime movie "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax" nearly a year ago. It was panned, so I don't understand the miniseries being picked up.

There's so much I could say about my favorite "guilty pleasure" TV shows which include The Mindy Project, The Walking Dead, The Good Wife, The Comeback, Homeland, The Affair, Veep, Castle, New Girl, American Horror Story, and Z Nation. I look forward to seeing more excellent writing in 2015.

Write in the comments what your favorite moments of 2014 included. Do we have anything in common?

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Like" the Community Facebook Page for Roger L. Jackson

Stay on top of where Roger L. Jackson will be next with his Facebook Community page. You can meet Roger, March 14-16, 2014 at the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention in Kentucky. He'll have new printouts that you can have signed -- video game characters and more Mojo Jojo! He really enjoyed his first convention last weekend. The community page has photos showing what a great time he had with the fans and how much fun it was to meet his idols. Line up early if you dare... he'll be ready to sign anything you bring to the table!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who's Heading to Monster Mania March 7-9 in Cherry Hill, NJ?

Meet up with Roger L. Jackson, voice actor from Scream I - IV, KhumbaMars Attacks, "Robot Chicken," "The Powerpuff Girls," and hundreds of video games. He's a horror fan, too! The Monster Mania convention is March 7-9, 2014 in Cherry Hill, NJ. Get in line early and, at the end of the weekend, post about what it was like to meet Roger in the comments below. Comments are monitored for spam, but are promptly published when legit.

Friday, December 20, 2013

News from Roger L. Jackson

Wednesday's Korner followers, 2013 commences with exciting news from Roger L. Jackson. You can now follow him and tweet to him your respectful praises regarding his voice work on Twitter.

"Dance Pantsed" is the title of a newly designed and re-imagined The Powerpuff Girls coming to Cartoon Network on January 20, 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. Mojo Jojo kidnaps Fibonacci Sequins, whom is played by Ringo Starr.

Roger will be appearing in 2014 (March 7-9) at the Monster Mania Con in Cherry Hill, NJ, celebrating the Scream movies. Become a follower of the Korner to keep an eye out for more convention appearances in the coming year.

Don't miss Khumba, opening in soon nationwide, in which Roger is the voice of Black Eagle. "Like" the movie on Facebook to get updates or follow on Twitter.

Thanks for visiting the Korner and I promise to keep you in the loop of all the great happenings to follow.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jeep Parts and Accessories for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Looking forward to watching the new season of AMC's "The Walking Dead"? Here's a great campaign to help you prep for a real zombie apocalypse!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lonely are The Mainstreamers Who Should Shut-up and Listen to Peter Murphy's Wisdom

Tonight at the Fillmore, waiting for a quiet moment, "To the people who know only two Bauhaus songs, go home!" I didn't really scream it, but I wanted to. Peter Murphy's show of songs from the Bauhaus catalog (the 35th anniversary of Bauhaus) also gave us moments of him telling us stories in between songs, but the sound engineer was too lazy to remove the reverb on Murphy's mic so his voice was not too clear. Murphy began to tell a story about the song lyric "Now the ultra violet's violent" and how he and David (paraphrasing) didn't agree on that lyric and that David didn't like the words "ultra violet". This woman near me says loudly, "He's playing 'Ziggy Stardust', I told you," to her friend. The song is called "Endless Summer of the Damned," for the record and this girl just didn't get it. Peter Murphy is talking about David J, yeah, that David, if she could just listen to what he's saying and stop shouting ridiculous crap.

I move around to find myself closer to the front, thinking maybe I'll find some true fans up there. The guy in the trucker hat at about the time the band is 30 bars into "Bela Lugosi's Dead" says "I think this is 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'." It was surprising that "Bela" shows up in the middle. There's quite a stark contrast to seeing Murphy in reading glasses as he's knob-twirling during the early part of "Bela" and then he removes them and performs brilliantly without missing a beat.

Murphy mentions the show poster that the Fillmore commissioned for the show. The Fillmore gives out free posters at the end. He says that they gave him bat wings and a bald head. "I've still got hair on my head, for one thing...Someone said that I should be glad that they put a poster with my name on it up on the wall, yeah, okay... anyways, the poster doesn't make the show, it's the people that make the show!"

When a stagehand was setting his mic stand in position, Murphy quickly gestured a swat in his direction with his melodica. Spontaneous moments like this made me nostalgic for the original members of Bauhaus.

Murphy has a real drummer unlike solo shows he's done in smaller venues where it was not so electric. I wondered if the drummer ever imagined playing a goth dance beat every night when he answered the ad "Drummer Wanted". The bassist also plays violin, which I think was during "Severance," the Dead Can Dance cover. The guitarist sounded best during melodic parts, but I found the overall instrument mix with Murphy's vocals to be too muddy. His vocal reverb with the baritone is overdone to the point that it sounds underproduced and amateur mixing-wise.

Visually compelling is Murphy's use of a portable light during "Boys," much like the stripped down live sets back when Bauhaus would perform within darkness and shadows contrasted with bright light effects; lights shown up from the floor or from the side of the stage. Murphy played a gorgeous, rich sounding acoustic guitar on "A Strange Kind of Love" from his solo album Love Hysteria. He did two encores, ending the first with "Ziggy Stardust" and the second with "She's in Parties." The exiting crowd was surprised as probably was the Fillmore lighting engineer because house chandeliers lit for a second and then quickly went dark as he took the stage once more. His set included "King Volcano," "Kingdom's Coming," "Double Dare," "In the Flat Field," "Silent Hedges," "Dark Entries," "Spy in the Cab," "The Passion of Lovers," "Stigmata Martyr," "Hollow Hills," "Spirit," covers "Telegram Sam," "Ziggy Stardust," and, on of my favorites, "Kick in the Eye."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mécanhumanimal: artist Enki Bilal exhibit in Paris at The Musée des Arts et Métiers until 5 January 2014

Mécanhumanimal: exhibit of five new works and a selection of earlier art pieces by artist Enki Bilal now at The Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. Details in English. If anyone attends, please report back in this post's comment area to tell us how you loved it! This is the book being sold with the exhibition. More items for sale, but no way to see how to purchase them online.

Mécanhumanimal, Enki Bilal au Musée des arts et... by musee_des_arts_et_metiers