Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rock of Ages Review

Wow, this is a musical with all the 80's music that you can sing along with. Surprisingly, this non serious musical is actually very good. The music mashups with all the songs you can sing along with is infact very enjoyable.

Tom Cruise as Stacec Jaxx is simply amazing. Somehow the weird story woven together makes everything even more fun.

I really liked the songs in this movie.

They include,

"Paradise City" – Tom Cruise
"Sister Christian" / "Just Like Paradise" / "Nothin' but a Good Time" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
"Juke Box Hero" / "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" – Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough
"Hit Me with Your Best Shot" – Catherine Zeta-Jones
"Waiting for a Girl Like You" – Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough
"More Than Words" / "Heaven" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta
"Wanted Dead or Alive" – Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough
"I Want to Know What Love Is" – Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman
"I Wanna Rock" – Diego Boneta
"Pour Some Sugar on Me" – Tom Cruise
"Harden My Heart" – Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige
"Shadows of the Night" / "Harden My Heart" – Mary J. Blige, Julianne Hough
"Here I Go Again" – Diego Boneta, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige, Tom Cruise
"Can't Fight This Feeling" – Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
"Any Way You Want It" – Mary J. Blige, Constantine Maroulis, Julianne Hough
"Undercover Love" – Diego Boneta
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige
"Rock You Like a Hurricane" – Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise
"We Built This City" / "We're Not Gonna Take It" – Russell Brand / Catherine Zeta-Jones
"Don't Stop Believin'" - Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige

Shockingly, this movie has no shortage of movie stars.

Julianne Hough as Sherrie Christian, the female protagonist who works as a waitress at The Bourbon Room but wants to be an actress.
Diego Boneta as Drew Boley, the male protagonist who works as a busboy at The Bourbon Room but dreams of being a rock star.
Russell Brand as Lonny Barnett, the narrator of the story, the manager of The Bourbon Room and a close friend of Dennis.
Alec Baldwin as Dennis Dupree, the owner of The Bourbon Room and a close friend of Lonny.
Bryan Cranston as Mike Whitmore, the Mayor of Los Angeles. Replaces the character of Franz from the musical.
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Patricia Whitmore, Mike's wife and the main antagonist who wants to shut down The Bourbon Room.
Replaces the character of Hertz from the musical.
Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, the lead singer of Arsenal. He is Drew Boley's idol.
Kevin Nash as Stacee Jaxx's body guard.
Mary J. Blige as Justice Charlier, the owner of The Venus Club.
Paul Giamatti as Paul Gill
Malin Ã…kerman as Constance Sack
Will Forte as Mitch Miley
Anya Garnis as Destiny
Constantine Maroulis, Kidus Henok, Sebastian Bach, Nuno Bettencourt, and Porcelain Black will feature in various cameos throughout the film.

Watch out for Alex Baldwin and Russell Brand's song in the middle of the movie. It is simply hilarious.

This movie is must watch, but remember, bring lots of friends!

Overall, 9/10

-- Robin Low

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rosarito Art Fest 2012 -- Review

Rosarito Art Festival 2012 Review

It is time for Rosarito Art Festival again. Located at Rosarito Beach, about 30 minutes south of the border from San Diego, this is an annual even which attracts thousand of crowds to attend. Why is this event so popular? Let me share my experience here.

1) Location.

Coming from San Diego Airport, just taking Highway 5 South towards Mexico, the ride was relatively smooth until you get near the border, where traffic starts piling up and start an go traffic is encountered. Even when driving down on a Memorial Day weekend, it took us less than 30 minutes of traffic before crossing the border. And the border crossing seemed very smooth and easy, no hassle and checks.

2) Scenic journey.

Leaving the border, you get to see people coming up to wash your windows, the regular Southern California thing, but shortly after, the route becomes a beautiful mountaneous road. Passing through hills and beautiful sunset scene on the beach, the route is smooth and enjoyable and no drama. There seems to be a lack of traffic lights and not that it is a bad thing, but you get all the way to Rosarito Beach without stopping.

3) Food.

If you like Mexican food, well, this is Mexico. Things here are half the price of San Diego. I enjoy a good burrito from time to time, and somehow, Mexican food here is better. Jalapenos here are dangerously spicy though, had a grilled one, and it BURNS. Try a little before throwing anything green in your mouth. It may not be Guacamole.

4) Drinks.

Beer, tequila, margarita... You have it all in the motherland. It is definitely cheaper and infact better. An advice from a local, keep away from Corona here. The Corona is much better further south, but there are a lot of interesting beers, all sort of summer beer for the summer like weather. I've tried many, all pretty good, and none really catching my attention. Unlike many countries, so far, the random beers are pretty good even when they are pretty damn affordable.

5) Art.

Well, this is an Art festival, and strangely, Rosarito Beach is known for -- ART. At Rosarito Art Festival, there are more than 100 artists, and there are many galleries across the road from the Art Fest. So after the show, you can easily get to the other galleries to chat with the artists and view the art in the galleries.

6) Party!

Well, the party never ends here at Rosarito beach. At midnight, the party just started and there are tons of bars at Rosarito beach to party at. Just follow the loud music, and there is no quiet here. Drinks are cheap, pretty ladies are plenty, what else do you ask for?

7) Beach?

The name Rosarito Beach says that there is a beach here. Walking to the beach, I do see the regular people suntanning, but strangely no one in the water. I went to test the water, feeling it with my hands and it definitely felt COLD! Damn, like New England Cold.

Even on a bright sunny day, the water is COLD! I guess it would be nice when everything is hot and humid to chill in the cold waters, but I did not give it a go. But the cold water does have its benefits, and the temperature here is nice and cool, and it seems to be this way year round.

7) The people.

I was glad to know that many people speak and understand english. WAY MORE THAN SPAIN or BARCELONA! With my weak conversational Spanish, I could order anything in the restaurant, ask for the toilets and price of things. People here are hospitable and friendly, and local guys on the streets may look intimidating in a large group, but are fun and friendly.

Overall, I enjoyed myself at Rosarito Beach and Rosarito Art Festival. It is very interesting and fun, none of the pretencious high art crap, even though many of the arts are high quality fine arts. I would recommend coming to the Rosarito Art Fest 2013, and this is definiely a family and party friendly place for all ages.

The weather is perfect, cool and sunny, and just come experience it for yourself.

-- Robin Low