Thursday, September 20, 2018

BLEACHing hair with my son... NAH, Bleach Live Action Movie review....

BLEACH (Live action Movie)
 
Let’s go back in the time machine to when G4 was still a channel, I could get regularly updated news on some new anime without leaping through hurdles, and my body didn’t have quite the same aches and pains as it does on this day. Bleach was the new “thing” from Japan, a strong fanbase and a regular series on its’ way from Toonami, but we also still had a Suncoast video where I regularly bought into a regular anime collection on a semi monthly basis. Ahh, yes… disposable income… those were the days.
 
I started to pick up Bleach.
 
I thought it was a fun series, but the member of my household who really bought in was my young son who had gotten into the habit of expressing fandom through regular cosplay at the ripe age of five (maybe 4, really.) And I came home some days to find him dressed in a kimono his mother had fashioned for him, hair sprayed orange, and a decent facsimile of an oversized sword somewhere on his person. I am, perhaps, understating the absolute OBSESSION my son had with the sword swinging warrior who fought against and on behalf of ghosts. My son had a young hero that was his before it ever had a chance to become mine.
 
Netflix unveiled the film directly on the heels of it’s Japanese theatrical release in July. The story revolves around Ichigo Kurosawa, a teen with the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. A recent altercation brings him into contact with a “Reaper” named Rukio Kuchiki and she is stuck on Earth in a semi-human state while he is tasked with replacing her as a substitute. Neither are happy with the arrangement, both are resentful, and the Soul Society for which Rukia works is extremely displeased. They send two Reapers to bring back Rukia so she can face punishment for her actions, and Ichigo is forced to train hard in order to use his new powers effectively.
 
The film mostly condenses the first several chapters (or episodes) of the Manga/Anime in to an hour and forty five minutes. And this is a deep series with many threads to explore, but the film has to work in a different medium and can’t afford to spread itself as wide to satisfy some fan service to series loyalists. Suffice to say, a few elements from the series will be missing in this film so you should prepare yourself for that. But the characters are all true to their origins, with Ichigo himself as the central thread tying everything together. He’s brash, judgmental, a little arrogant, tortured, and… most of all… he risks it all to protect the ones he cares for. The ending is pitch perfect to the character of Ichigo, drawing at my now well-developed heartstrings and leaving my son with glitter in his eyes for the hero he discovered nearly a decade ago.
 
And make no mistake- this was a film for my son, who hates reading subtitles but sat through this rip roaring adventure because of the love he held for the series as a little tyke. His not-so-little heart was pounding, he was smiling from ear to ear, and that father/son bond we had as he sat on my lap in those days was beaming bright the night we sat and watched the live-action film. It was part nostalgia, but it was also the iron will of a young teen who refused to give up- regardless of how much the odds were stacked, regardless of what it cost him, and my son saw his hero brought to life.
 
8.5 and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

THE Predator.... not to be confused with Predator or Dateline NBC's series "To Catch a Predator"

 
Director Shane Black has a bizarre history in film that starts with the production of his script, Lethal Weapon. During production of that film, he appeared in another Joel Silver film in production at the time… Predator. He played doomed soldier Rick Hawkins, the first member of Dutch’s platoon to encounter the alien menace and have his spine and skull ripped from his body. He’s had many hit films along the way, but only made his directorial debut with the modern noir “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”. He had a hit with “Iron Man 3” and completely blew audiences away with the sleeper hit and modern cult phenomena “The Nice Guys”. So with the announcement of his work on the Predator franchise it was hard to see how the film could go wrong.
 
With amazing visual effects and a stellar cast, The Predator starts with a bang and brings the audience along on a thrilling ride with a group of rag tag soldiers teaming up with an xeno-biologist to face off against both the alien creatures and a covert Government Agency that wants them dead for reasons. More on that later. We love these characters- irreverent and sometimes tragic, they are a group of mentally unstable soldiers on their way for treatment with a number of disorders ranging from PTSD to Tourette’s. Thomas Jane and Keegan-Michal Key display a brotherly relationship that is at times antagonistic and loving, Trevayne Woods is the father figure of the team, and the bland Boyd Hollbrook is the lead whose earlier encounter with a crashed Predator ship starts the ball rolling. Blood, guts, action, and great dialogue pepper the film and is very satisfying to watch.
 
There is the twelve-year old kid inside of myself who was high on blood, guts, irreverent humor and kick ass awesomeness. BUT…
 
The Predator franchise, for all its ups and downs, has always been a pretty simple concept- The Predator is here to trophy hunt. They are hunters, they are tracking and killing prey, and they are not going to waste their time with unarmed chaff. The first film makes a strong point of this. The subsequent films, no matter how much of a failure some have been, have never tried to delve much deeper into the premise. But the latest film attempts to answer a question that no one was asking- Why do the Predators collect trophies? And what we get is an answer that then leaves the rest of the film under a blanket of “So, wait, why is this happening?” And, regardless of the answers, we are still left wondering “So, wait, why did all of this happen?”.
 
And, make no mistake, it’s a bit of a convoluted mess. I turned to my wife this morning and asked, and she had answers that she interpreted and I was still left a little confused. Shane Black even goes back to his trope of “kidnapping” characters in several moments (watch any Black film), only to leave us scratching our heads as to why? The Government agency wants to kill the loons, who have proven themselves effective in fighting and tracking the Predator because the Government Agency is written to be antagonistic and we don’t need a logical reason, goddamnit! Olivia Munn’s xenobiologist seems less like a character and more like a tagged on diversity hire (And no, I’m not touching the controversy surrounding the film with a  ten foot pole). Her whole purpose seems to be answering a question that nobody was asking. Not even the film’s lead, who takes her “revelation” with a dismissive shrug because it really DOESN’T MATTER!!! Oh, well, we also get to shoe-horn some environmentalist messages about pollution and the self-destructive nature of humanity and yadda yadda blah blah. Holy shit, there’s a whole lot of preachy bullshit scattered throughout this kick-ass film about an alien that hunts humans. The end builds to an almost satisfying finale only to dash it with an epilogue that may have seemed totally “cool” in conception but still leaves us wondering “Wait… WHY?!?!?!!!”
 
7 out of 10, though I’m probably being overly generous for the camaraderie displayed between the “Loons”.  

Friday, September 14, 2018

MANDY!!! Maaaaannnnn-dy! (Movie REview)

MANDY
 
Haunting, tragic, and twisted: MANDY is an experience that won’t appeal to everyone. It’s a film that will divide horror fans when the year in review comes around. Director Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow) and composer Johan Johannsson (Sicarrio) have crafted a surreal nightmare landscape of exquisitely shot visuals and haunting sounds. This is at once a beautiful and terrifying vision and it is totally insane. Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) is a logger living in the unspecified wilderness in the early 1980’s. He’s in love with Mandy (Andrea Riseborough), a haunting and self-assured woman who catches the eye of a cult-leader, Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache). The idyllic life the couple share is shattered when Sand sends his cult to find the girl, and the couple are subjected to a drug-addled torture.
 
Divided into three acts with title cards, the film is a slow burn to that final act. Roache delivers a manic performance as Sand, a spiritual new-age “Hippy” playing with a messianic complex that serves to blind him to his own narcissism. His rag tag assemblage of followers are lunatics devoted to the man-boys shallow definition of “enlightenment”. They serve to inflate his ego, though the film quickly reveals him to be a charlatan and fraud who long ago started to believe in his own lies. When he sees  Mandy, he wants her. He feels he should always get what he wants, that the world exists to serve him. His effort is met with a turn from Riseborough that is at once heroic and tragic.
 
The film becomes a nightmare swirl of pain and heartache. The bombastic score grates the nerves, a synthesizer blend of uncomfortable minor keys that rip hard into the conscious mind. Reminiscent of past films like Blade Runner and Risky Business, the music and color palette of the film are characters in and of themselves. We’re in a reality that seems familiar but also carries an epic fantasy level of dark energy, something bordering on the supernatural. There are no dragons here, but there are monsters that may have once been men. And the Reaper is coming.
 
It’s that third act where Nicolas Cage takes control of the reins and takes off all the gloves. He’s on a rip roaring rampage kill spree that will see him dive into the darkest depths of hell itself to do the things that must be done. It’s a truly awe-inspiring performance from Cage, a swing for the fences that rewards and pays back all dividends in full. Washed in blood and horror, Mandy delivers the goods.
 
9.5 out of 10. 

PLAYING LOCALLY AT THE OSIO THEATER WHERE THE POPCORN IS AWESOME! 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Triassic Parq: The Musical - Dinosaur Rock Opera!


**DISCLAIMER**
 
Before I begin; I have had a long history with the Paper Wing Theatre Company. I have performed with, directed, and written for several projects with the company and several performers involved with this production. I currently have a play entered in their “Play Reading Series” and have competed since the first year of the competition. I was invited to attend a preview performance of Triassic Parq: The Musical a few nights before the public opening. The conditions of my attendance were that I would write this particular disclaimer that would detail my relationship with the theater. 
 
** END DISCLAIMER **
 
Okay, now if this is your first time to my blog then you need to know a little something about me; I am one weird dude. Take a gander around the blog, look at the things I write about, look at the movies I watch, and the plays that I talk about, and you will see the ramblings of a consistently strange guy who enjoys entertainment off the beaten path. So when they announced Paper Wing Theatre’s production schedule for 2018, I’m going to be honest- the only production that really rang my bell from the get-go was the announcement of Triassic Parq. Not even kidding. The other shows? Some sounded okay and I would probably attend more of them then I would miss, but the truth is that I was kind of burned out and needed a long break from the theater community. But this show was a freaking beacon of weird!
 
The general premise is that we are going to see the events of a familiar film but flip the script and tell the story from the point of view of the dinosaurs. It was going to be a musical. It was going to be about the sudden and inevitable change in the social structure of the creatures when one suddenly changes their sex and the dinosaurs are now able to procreate. It was going to be a musical. There was going to be a MUTHAFUCKIN’ T-REX! I’m already all in the bag for the concept so my tickets are already bought and paid for, take my money, sit me down, bring down the lights, and start the show. This is what I want theater to be; Bold, creative, raw, original, and off the beaten mainstream path.
 
But that right there is the hype machine and that’s the easy part- the question is whether or not it delivers the goods. And that, my dear faceless reader, is where we really begin our little “review”… It always feels weird to me to use that dry and flavorless term to what I generally tend to write. But this is actually and precisely what I am setting out to do on this particular occasion. Because that’s why I was invited to the show- to review it.
 
Are you buckled in?
 
I feel like a junkie getting his fix.
 
The pop-rock styled musical follows in the vein of The Rocky Horror Show, Silence!: the Musical, and Batboy. Marshall Pailet’s music is brought to life by a capable four piece rock band (Piano, Bass, Guitar, and Drums) led by Pianosaurus (Taylor Safina), an often referred to and interacted with member of the dinosaur community. The book is by Pailet, Bryce Norbits, and Steve Wargo.
 
Triassic Parq opens with a pounding, driving beat that calls to mind the stomp of an approaching T-Rex. We are welcomed by scientists responsible for the creation of our lead characters. We open with a few key pieces of knowledge- The dinosaurs are part of a theme park. They were created in a lab. One percent of their DNA was derived from a species of frog and that should in NO WAY have any sort of an effect on the story. All of the dinosaurs are created female so there is no chance that they can reproduce on their own.  The dinosaurs soon answer to a roll call from our erstwhile narrator, Morgan Freeman (Kelsey Posey). The Velociraptor of Faith; Pastor-Mama (Nicholas Kelley), Katelyn the T-Rex 1(Kate Faber), T-Rex 2 (Erin Davison), the Mime-asaurus (Justin Azevedo), and our central protagonist, The Velociraptor of Innocence (Brian Balestrieri). They are a community living in relative peace under the watchful care of their deity, The Lab. They are fed, they are created, and they are cared for by the mysterious ways of The Lab and only Pastor Mama-saurus, a Raptor of superior intellect, is able to decipher the mysterious ways in which The Lab would prefer the dinosaurs to live.
 
Things go awry when one of the dinosaurs takes ill and develops a distinct feature, when that which once went “in” is now protruding outward. With such a change comes an explosive panic amongst the community. Pastor Mama demands that the dinosaur be exiled, other dinosaurs demand answers, and it’s ultimately up to our hero to seek out the long ago banished Raptor of Science (Kelsey Posey, once again). And then hilarity fucking ensues!
 
Balriesteri is perfect in his portrayal of the young Raptor, his movements a precise echo of the signature stride and curious head tilts of those from a familiar film. He has a clear voice and his growth from naïve innocent to defiant rebel is a clear fable to explore questions about religion, science, social gender dynamics, and even gender identity.  But while his journey guides us through the complex dynamics of opposing philosophies, we are drawn to the emotional weight of our two T-Rex’s left to work through complex emotional attachments and growing feelings both find incredibly strange. It’s difficult to express the performances of both Kate and Erin without spoiling the details, suffice to say that both tackle their performances with the skill and expertise of their craft that they have always brought to the stage.
 
Piano-saurus and Mime-a-Saurus are both hilarious additions to the cast, adding supportive gags to the hilarity onstage. There’s even some interaction with the erstwhile stage crew, some of whom come to feed the dinosaurs. Even a puppet goat, a familiar face for fans of the Jurassic Park series, gets in on the action with a beautiful duet by it and the Raptor of Faith.
 
But I would definitely be remiss to not mention the dual performance by Kelsey Posey, who absolutely STUNS as both Morgan Freeman (Our narrator of the evening) and the slightly mad Velociraptor of Science. Her manic energy and leaping strides truly captures the familial bond of the three Raptors. She is driven by a thirst for knowledge and an insatiable curiosity of forbidden lore. She hits an hilariously over the top Rap duet with Balistrieri (No stranger to the genre with several independently released albums under his belt as Trip B) on the nature and purpose of SCIENCE!!!
 
10 out of 10 and my favorite show of the year!!!
 
 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Giant Shark, Giant Monsters, Call forth the KRAKEN!!!!


THE MEG
 
This movie has been a long time in the making. I mean, seriously, a very long time in the making. The original Novel was released in 1997 and was almost immediately gobbled up by Hollywood’s “development hell” with author Steve Alten continuing the adventures of the lead character, Jonas Taylor, in a series of further titles. Jan de Bont, Guillermo Del Toro, and Eli Roth were all attached to direct the project and the project just kept falling through time and time again.
 
In the meantime, the past few years have brought a slew of successful “shark” films to the surface with The Shallows and 47 Meters Down both doing very well in the Box Office and that prime the pumps on the project which had found it’s director in Jon Turtletaub. The film was also set to feature Jason Statham with Lie Bingbing and would also be an American/Chinese co-production. Originally scheduled to release in March of 2018, the film was (wisely) pushed back to take advantage of the Summer Blockbuster season.
 
The results are a mixed bag. It’s crazy, over the top, and just violent enough to really get the heart pumping. The film knows what it is- a popcorn muncher that doesn’t need to delve too deeply into the shallow characters, but rather builds on the spectacle of a giant shark. At it’s core, this is a B-Movie with a great budget for visual effects. We mostly see a lot of CGI, but some practical effects help elevate the stakes and place the characters dead set in the path of a raging Megalodon. Statham is charming and funny and it hits all the notes it needs to.
 
But this is all there is. It’s a beefed up SyFy film complete with all the clichés you would expect to find in any one of a dozen shark films from The Asylum. Crackpot science, arrogant corporate billionaire, the wronged hero, the earnest scientist, tech wizard, and wise-cracking comic relief are all present and all do their thing and there aren’t any real surprises here. The movie goes where you expect it to, the “shocks” aren’t very complicated, and a major change from the novel doesn’t have half the satisfaction or horror as the source material.
 
You’re not going to go wrong with this popcorn muncher, but you shouldn’t expect more than what it promises to offer. 

 7 out of 10 and a strong recommendation.


GODZILLA: City of the Edge of Battle
 
Last year’s Animated “GODZILLA” film from Toho Studios built a new world for the giant lizard, both figuratively and literally. Featuring multiple levels of animation, including CGI, traditional techniques, and photo-realistic  texture designs it was an achievement in modern animation. And where we last left off, our heroes are stranded on the remains of planet earth after killing what they learn to be one of Godzilla’s offspring. The original is still kicking around hundreds of thousands of years later, and the scattered remnants of the exploratory force myst find one another and make new discoveries along the way.
 
Among those new discoveries include a tribe of humanity’s descendants, devoted to a mysterious “God” that guides their actions and allows them a small measure of psychic abilities. Haruo finds himself trusting the members of the Houtua, especially the one twin girl Miana,who helped to save him and treat his wounds. But the rest of the crew is distrustful, especially the alien tech worshipers; the Bilusaludo. But with their help they are able to uncover the remains of the long abandoned technology originally engineered to battle and defeat Godzilla- the Mecha-Godzilla.  
 
What is truly amazing about this film is that it is a deeply rich “Sci-Fi” story within the context of humanity’s struggle against a giant monster- the crew and survivors of the Aratrum have been lost in space for decades- but being further from the sun, and due to the effects of gravity on the dimension of time, hundreds of thousands of years have passed on Earth. Familiar elements from the Godzilla mythos are altered to fit the Sci-Fi nature (such as  replacing a giant robot with the self-replicating nano-tech of Mecha-Godzilla.) Slowly, but surely, cracks begin to appear in the certainty of Haruo’s mission to defeat the giant lizard and the morality of his actions come into play. How far is he willing to go to defeat his sworn enemy?
 
Currently streaming through Netflix, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle is a fun ride and highly recommended for fans of the genre.
 
8 out of 10.  

The Velveteen Rabbit at Paper Wing Theatre

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So, I am a man of complicated emotions.
 
On the one hand, I attend a show based on a classic children’s book of the same name. The show is adapted for the stage by a dear friend (Amanda Platsis), who is responsible both for the writing and direction. And it’s a great show- very artistic, well-paced, humorous, and with just enough artistic license to remain true to the original but with enough of her personal touch to make it different from other adaptations. I leave the theater happy and in good spirits.
 
But on the other hand, my car breaks down halfway home and I need to call a tow truck. A friend of mine stops along the way in order to offer a hand, though it winds up just keeping my wife and I company while we wait for the tow. I’m already in deep to my in-laws for personal issues I’d rather not get into. And my night feels rained upon and I’m left in a sour mood. Also, the show was already ending it’s run. It’s not like anyone could use it to promote their show or get anyone to see it based on my thoughts. Why bother? It was probably for the best that I leave things well enough alone. I don’t’ have to review EVERY show I see. Right?
 
But that freaking monkey kept dancing into the peripheral of my thoughts throughout the whole week. Dancing, moving, jumping, and tumbling around with an infectious energy. That monkey got me to thinking about the show again and again throughout the course of the following week. Yeah, so blame the monkey.
 
The Velveteen Rabbit is a well-known story that has been adapted in many different ways since its publication in 1922. Written by Margery Williams, the story follows a stuffed rabbit given to a small boy on Christmas morning. The boy plays with all of his other toys, ignoring the poor rabbit. One of the other toys tells the rabbit how a toy becomes “real” and it isn’t long before the boy is playing with the rabbit more than the others. And then, as they say, hilarity ensues.
 
The title character is played with youthful devotion by Raphael Morgan Sizemore, a charismatic young man whose soft voice and earnest eyes deliver a sense of devotion to the Boy (Donna Libelo). The Rabbit is, of course, joined by a menagerie of other toys; The treasured and extremely sleepy Scraggly Lion(Cheryl Karoly), the pompous and sharp edged Tin Soldier (Larry Oblander II), the [not all] fragile porcelain Doll (Kelsey Hansen), and the exuberantly loud Monkey, Persis “Kaya” Tomingas. And, as I mentioned before, it was that very monkey that kept dancing into my head and demanding that I write something about my thoughts to the show. It kept asking me questions, it kept insisting I write something, it kept tugging on my ear and angrily stomped it’s feet and clashed a pair of cymbals that didn’t even exist in the play itself. It just kept pounding until I eventually had to throw up my hands and bring my fingers crashing down on the keyboard. It was an infectious performance.
 
The Toys eventually leave the comfort of their playroom and encounter a trio of curious rabbits, led by Thistle (Keira Maroney) who commands her small pack to hop and eat the delicious grass. They taunt the poor Velvet, who is unable to play and join in with their own games. The faeries make their presence known- each flittering about to perform a duty specific to its’ nature. Each charming in their own right, the faeries are led by Teardrop (Suzy Nichols). But a long shadow creeps over all the characters- the presence of an Owl, it’s puppetry design requiring a three people to operate as it glides along the stage with wide wings and it’s bright glowing eyes seeking through both the stage and the audience itself. Voiced by Laura Be, the Owl is a beautifully creepy set piece in the imaginative production.
 
It was an enjoyable experience, intended as family entertainment. The cast is very good and all are fully invested in their characters, to call name-check them all would be exhaustive but they all deserve kudos. The story is brighter than some of the original material, so some edges are softened and the artistic direction. Platsis, a veteran at children’s shows, brings the best from her young performers and her artistic vision includes a wonderful sense of where and when to place the best music beneath the action on stage. Artistic designer Cody Moore’s ability is evident in various costume pieces, his own signature stamp on another successful Paper Wing Production for Families.
 
7 out of 10 and would be a nice recommend for Families, were the play still going on.     

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hannah Gatsby – Nannette


Hannah Gatsby – Nannette
 
I’ve been struggling with how to approach a review of this piece currently streaming on Netflix. It’s sold as a “stand-up” special, but harkens more to a one-woman piece in the vein of Julia Sweeney’s “God Said HAH!”. It’s certainly different from a lot of things currently out there and as a straight cis-gendered male, I’m actually kind of running a risk of being taken out of context for sharing my thoughts. It’s a problem I’ve been facing the past year on a number of films, plays, and other materials that I’ve experienced. The sense of nervousness and even a little fear in being attacked for one reason or another. Someone might misinterpret something I’ve said and use it against me. So keep that in mind when you read these thoughts, because I’m actively trying to not be offensive in any way.
 
But I’ll probably trigger someone or another.
 
“Nannette” is a mis-titled piece of stand-up performance by Tasmanian comedian Hannah Gatsby. She is an out and proud lesbian who performs mostly in Australia, she identifies as a woman despite many presuming that she’s is a trans male (Her look is rather “butch” by the LGBTQ definition), and she has a lot of opinions and thoughts on her profession, on society, and on the very topic of humor itself.
 
She’s built a career on telling her stories in life- growing up in a highly religious and intolerant small Tasmanian town, coming out to her mother, coming out in general, discovering herself and who she is in life, coping with the stereotypes and lifestyles of a gender-queer community, and so on so forth. Her humor is outstanding with a set up and a knock down delivery, some thoughts on people sharing their “criticism” and “opinions” of her work. “Men Criticize… Women share their Opinions.”  Her work stands out and she tackles mental health, medication, and utilizes her art history degree to deliver some truly scathing social commentary on the world as it is.
 
But Hannah Gatsby digs deep into her profession and the laughter stops. Because she’s tired of making people laugh, she’s tired of the way jokes are constructed, of the maliciousness and self-deprecation involved in making people laugh. She’s tired of the stories not going far enough, not giving enough detail on what transpires after the punchline is delivered. Because more does happen. She’s raped, assaulted, and she experiences terror, suicidal thoughts, depression, and she is not safe in the world. People are laughing at her stories and she just doesn’t want to be that person anymore. The material becomes deeply personal- it always has been but it was always played for laughs, but Gatsby just can’t find the energy to laugh anymore.
 
She is tired.
 
It’s an emotional piece and it takes you places and it entertains and informs. My heart goes out to Miss Gatsby, my heart goes out to all of those who have suffered and experienced the kind of pain and heartache she has experienced. She’s a natural introvert performing in an extroverts career, a constant contradiction to herself. She’s happier with a quiet cup of tea than going out to watch parades and dance in clubs.  She turns to the male members of her audience and commends them for taking some of the abuse she’s dished out, and she acknowledges that she isn’t being kind to them. She also acknowledges that she doesn’t necessarily have to be, but she knows they’re there and they’re supporting her.
 
Well, as a man or a viewer or a fan or a customer, the truth is that I don’t have a criticism. I don’t have advice or suggestions or any of that. I do have an opinion, but it has nothing to do with changing the piece or wanting some sort of alteration to what she’s done on that stage. The piece is what she wants it to be and it’s what the material needs to be- for her. It’s an artistic achievement.
 
I do have a bit of a rebuttal, though. Because as tired as Miss Gatsby is, as frustrated as she’s become, and has worn thin as the frayed lines might be, the humor with which she has faced all the terrible times in her life has given her a strength and a courage that should be admired, respected, and applauded. Her recognition of what a joke is does not diminish the importance of the joke or the need we have of coping with life. I have experienced my own terrors and fears and it’s the ability to laugh that allows me to face my life and avoid eating a bullet. Her words and experiences are powerful, but there is a deep fear in me that some of it would be used to justify restrictions on free speech. I certainly understand why people would- it’s not as though I were deaf to their experiences. I don’t lack for compassion. And I wish that Miss Gatsby did not need to have the strength she once got from comedy.
 
I am not Miss Gatsby’s target audience. I am afraid she would not like me very much. I am crude, obnoxious, sarcastic, and I am a free speech absolutist. She would likely roll her eyes at my review and never bother reading it should it come across her eyes on a google search one random evening as she is sipping tea. She would read my rebuttal and probably think me a wanker or whatever term the Aussies might use to describe a jerk with an opinion.
 
That’s fair.
 
10 out of 10 and a high recommend.