Monday, January 21, 2013

Some more random (very) thoughts about Twitter and tweets

Once again my Twitter count has me concerned about its authenticity. Right now people reading this are probably thinking that this is a complaint expressed many times by this blogger. Really, it shouldn't bother or concern me in the grand scheme of things but it does.

Let me clarify that Twitter is a useful communication tool. As a writer, it's a means in which to publicize my blog updates. I mean, there's no sense in sharing one's view if nobody reads it. Right? My philosophy in as far as "following" people/places/things is that it has to mean something to me personally. Being that I'm an aspiring playwright with hopes of having one of my plays produced before I depart this world for that great theatre in the great beyond (feeling very philosophical), I'll follow and tweet theatres and theatre-related people to keep abreast of the business. As an artist, tweets and updates from creative types following me will be reciprocated, as are humor writers/writing blogs and literary matters. Then there's the cornucopia of tweeters who might not be related to my interests but intrigue me on a personal level to follow them.

It's somewhat trivial but there is something annoying upon discovering that my "follower" count has dropped. True it doesn't happen that often but it's disturbing not knowing who dropped me and the reason. So I'm thinking here, perhaps Twitter should provide a category for this very issue. Something to the effect: "Hi blank-blank! Just a short note to tell you that I'm not following you anymore because you didn't follow me back." At least there would be a reason - not that it would make a person feel better. Perhaps another space could be provided where the drop-ee could ask for re-consideration: "Please reconsider following me again because..."

On occasion Twitter does make errors in their tweet updates and in the past, it/they/whatever Twitter is, reversed my followers and following lists. Twitter has this subject covered in their "Help" section under the "My follower count is wrong" section:
  • If you received a message from Twitter alerting you to a new follower, but don't see that person later in your followers list, it's likely that user was removed for spam activity, unfollowed you, or deactivated their account.
Naturally, e-mails were sent to notify them of the errors of their ways but in the end, the count remained the same.

Another issue is nowhere is it mentioned how to determine the identity of the drop-per so it's pure speculation at best. In the end it's all a numbers game, anyway, and every tweet counts. To paraphrase a line from an Elvis song: tweet me right.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Movie version of "Les Mis" a miss for me

Couldn't make up my mind whether to post this in my playwriting forum or here, since it sort-of covers both blogs. Let me preface my remarks before sharing my views on the movie version of "Les Miserables" that I saw the live version of the play, in addition to watching all the PBS specials over and over again. Love it that much.

There was some reservation on my part upon learning that there was going to be a film version of the popular musical play, which has played all over the world to rave reviews. Knowing that music and singing was the main focus, I naturally assumed that professional singers or at the very least actors with voices that could carry a tune, would be used. Unfortunately not. Instead, and it boggles the mind why the producer/director/whoever went in this direction, unknown actors were chosen for the most part. This in itself wouldn't be detrimental if they could carry a song.

For me, Anne Hathaway had the physical gaunt appearance of Fantine and although I've heard her sing and she can carry a tune, in the movie her voice doesn't make the grade. Even more surprising is that she was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category. A big mystery is why Russell Crowe ended up in the movie at all since his presence as Jalvert lent nothing to the role. Perhaps he should limit his vocal abilities to his rock band. The role of Cosette played by Amanda Siefried had the effect, to coin an old phrase, like squeaking chalk on a blackboard. Actually, gritted my teeth at some points. The only performer that was acceptable in my view was Hugh Jackman, nominated for an Oscar in Best Actor category, who seemed to be holding back on his vocals until the mid point of the film. He is a stage and Broadway performer and his experience in this area is obvious in the role of Jean Valjean. Also noted is that Colm Wilkinson, who was in the London and New York production of the play in the role of Jean Valjean, had a cameo role as the Bishop Myriel.

Overall, the movie didn't get started for me until the barricade scene. Until that point, it seemed to drag and plod along and is too long. Loved the chorus and this made the movie somewhat enjoyable as did the visuals. The movie version doesn't even begin to match the stage version and therein lies the problem. Some stories are best left as a play.