Russell Brand’s Acting In A South Vietnam Resort Destination (TheWeeklyReview Issue 6)

Alright everyone, it’s that time of the week again; time for me to discuss what happened personally this week, and to discuss any ideas I had that weren’t long enough for any other article! Well, that and to talk about the articles I did publish this week, or to just rant again (except with TheWeeklyReview, I’m ranting for a special occasion). Either way, without further ado, let’s begin TheWeeklyReview!

I suppose the most important thing that’s happened this week is my visit to Mui Ne, a coastal town in southern Vietnam that’s essentially become one massive resort destination. That unto itself, however, is where the interest in Mui Ne ends. It is, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than a resort town whose main source of income are tourists coming on vacation. As further example of this, the main street in Mui Ne (leading to the resort where I stayed) is filled with three things: local boutiques, restaurants and more resorts. I can safely say that I’ve never seen such a high concentration of hotels and resorts in my life, excluding Las Vegas itself. In regards to Las Vegas, however, I’d like to take some time to talk about the hotel that I had the “Pleasure” to stay in. The Sea Links Beach Hotel isn’t a bad hotel, nor is it terrible, terrifying, horrendous, or dreadful, but the property has a certain characteristic that I can only describe as derivative (if that’s even the proper word to use in this scenario). Although, even the word “Derivative” is unfair because the hotel isn’t really derivative of something, so much as it wishes to be something else; specifically: a Las Vegas hotel (even more specifically: a low quality Las Vegas hotel).

Everything from the layout of the lobby, to the restaurant, to the golf course, to the bar, to the ball room, to the board rooms, are all attempts at recreating a Las Vegas like experience. The worst part is that one could completely disregard all of this, assuming that they don’t pay very much attention to the property itself, and get past all of this, but the entire hotel tries so hard to shove it in the face of its guests that it’s almost impossible to entirely avoid. The first thing that one notices once they step into the lobby is the carpet and, clean as it may be, it doesn’t belong anywhere other than a Vegas dealers floor, which is really saying something considering that the hotel is literally 10 minutes away from a very Vietnamese city, albeit with a few quirks to keep tourists entertained. Moving on from the carpet (that occupies almost every part of the hotel), the guests are introduced to this rather large lounge like area that doubles as the hotel’s main bar. Following this structure is the main restaurant, a corridor leading to the balcony, and another corridor leading to the hotel’s main ballroom. The balcony provides a rather nice view of the sea, the pool and villas that are currently for sale; it’s a simple view overall, and I actually have nothing more to say about it. The restaurant, too, requires little description. It has a few VIP rooms designed for higher profile guests, and it also has a neat and tidy wine cellar for any of the more educated guests willing to pick out their evening delight. In addition to the in-hotel features, the hotel has a golf course (which I believe is still under construction) that is, for all intents and purposes, a golf course and nothing more.

On a final note, the hotel complex doesn’t just include a hotel and golf course; the developers are attempting to build an entire city, and while the hotel, villas, and golf course are complete, there are entire apartments still to be constructed. Though my utter dislike for the hotel might make it seem that I also didn’t like the city of Mui Ne which, if inferred, I must apologize for. The hotel notwithstanding, I absolutely loved the city of Mui Ne, and despite the rain that swept the three day trip, I can safely say that given another chance, I would definitely go back to visit to the city to visit the sand dunes, spend more time by the beach, and explore the city even further. Additionally, I would love to visit the neighbouring city of Phan Thiet, though that really is just an added thought; I would like to mention that despite my constant searching for one, I was utterly and entirely unable to locate the city’s Opera House. That being said, I’m going to safely say that no. Not every city I visit has an opera house for me to marvel at.

Moving on from Mui Ne and it’s lack of opera houses, we move on to a more pressing matter, specifically, the acting ability of “Beloved” English actor and comedian Russell Brand. Now, considering the majority of his roles involve him playing a drug addicted womanizer, one might wonder why his acting is being called into question. In fact, some might even be so bold as to say that his acting is fantastic for what he plays. He acts with nothing more than pure conviction and determination to fill the shoes he has been told to wear, and more often then naught, he succeeds. Russell Brand’s style of acting has been providing him with a continuous stream of pay cheques and “Adoration” (as it were) by fans the world over, and I was one of those “Fans.” That is, until I saw the insane train wreck that was the 2011 remake of the 1981 hit film Arthur. Keeping in tone with the rest of this article, I’m not going to sidestep the issue further: I genuinely enjoyed watching Arthur, and getting to see Russell Brand play the role, I’ve come to several conclusions regarding his so-called “Acting ability.” To begin with, despite my continuous stream of jokes and sarcastic quips, I cannot deny that the man has talent as both a comedian and a relatively straight man type actor.

Now, before I explain why Russell Brand’s acting has struck me, I must be allowed to give some insight into the topic of Arthur (the 1981 movie), for those who aren’t aware of it’s presence. The movie details the life of Arthur (played by Dudley Moore, a role for he which he was given an Oscar Nomination), a spoiled, rich, alcoholic, womanizer who is forced to marry a woman he doesn’t love in order to keep his father’s massive fortune (because he’s a drunk womanizer, this is incredibly important, as getting money without working for it is a dream of many an individual). Over the course of the film, he falls in love with a working class diner worker (played by Liza Minnelli, a role for which an Academy Award nomination was not presented to her) and in the end, he decides to give up his fortune for her love, a rather sweet feat up until his grandmother decides that he’s going to keep his fortune because no one from his family has ever been working class. It must be mentioned that despite this supposed lack of moral, Arthur does grow up (because his father figure dies on him), despite the fact that he ends up having his chauffeur drive him and his love interest through Central Park (because driving a car through central park, in place of a bicycle or horse, is perfectly safe and reasonable). The 2011 remake has the exact same character and basic plot, though the ending is slightly different. Instead of Arthur being given the money and winning the girl immediately after he ends the wedding with the woman he is forced to marry, he ends the wedding, runs to the true love and is rejected outright. Following six months of sobriety, Arthur discovers that his true love has written a children’s book (which he buys, of course), finds her at a book signing and tells her that he loves her (and then he informs his true love, and the audience, that after doing charity work and sobering up, his source of income has opened up to him).

At this point in the film, Russell Brand plays a sober character. He doesn’t just stand there saying outlandish and pithy things (this is a line in the film that Russell Brand himself delivers, proving once and for all that he is entirely aware of his own existence and that he is aware of why and how he is funny). He plays the straight man, instead of the injured and defected party boy, and frankly, it is that change of character that has made me believe that Russell Brand is entirely capable of playing better and more serious roles, while maintaining his trademark “Stand and be pithy” behaviour. This bit of information is extremely important because it’s allowed me to come to terms with the fact that underneath his insane and slightly alcoholic visage, Russell Brand is entirely capable of truly good acting. Yes, it won’t win awards, and yes, it’s not fantastic, but it is good (and at this point, good is a lot better than what others have to offer).

Moving onto the final point of the week, brought about by Russell Brand’s acting, I’ve decided to launch a new page to TheByteDaily. I’ve noticed that while I might not update with articles as frequently as possible, to insure that each article gets at least a day’s worth of attention, I cannot write a review of a movie and an additional analysis (or another article) without one article or the other losing its attention. Therefore, I would like to formally introduce TheByteScene; a new page dedicated solely to reviews of movies, television shows, music, manga, comic books, and just about everything in between. I hope that with TheByteScene, I’ll be able to streamline the viewing of reviews and analyses, and I’ll also be able to make sure that each and every article gets the same amount of attention.

Finally, this week, we had two articles written; this one over here (one Promises and Perfection) and this one over here (on Criticism and Attack). Enjoy the week’s reading folks.

As always, this has been your Admin; comment and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!

-EK

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