** "Offbeat hilarious!" ** "RA tingles & laughs" ** "True to the characters! " ** "The fiction is great. Keep it up!" **

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review Pilgrimage Better Show Loyalty

Regarde-là, mon ami.

My reason for getting the Pilgrimage DVD, other than RA, was to get back to the Middle Ages. I tend to romanticize this era, while in movies and TV series it is often an excuse to showcase extreme violence and strict religion. Hence Pilgrimage was a mediaeval, gory ride in the Irish park on Sunday. Breathy, spacious, gory, succinct. Trained fighting pragmatism versus amateuristic brute force. Battle cries in Gaelic, French and English.

The monastery with monks keeps the relic of which the prologue tells its tragic tale. Then a Cistercian visits the monks with a mandate letter. The Pope's church in Rome is now the designated holy stronghold. A few monks go with him and underway they encounter opposition, instead of protection. The relic is won back at any cost.

Standout performances to me, first by the Mute with his reflective silences, who fights his inner struggle and gives extra breath to this story. Second, by snarly Sir Raymond (RA) who should offer the monks protection with his crusaders from Normandy, then turns out to steal the relic feeling the church can wait. Doing Crusades and making allies is more important. Grognements ensured!

This movie answers reflectively by showing actions and motives on the question: 'Is it worth it to give a relic this amount of cultural and religious value?'. It cleverly ends on the question: 'Where to go now?'. After almost every main character gets finished off and the relic is being baptized into the sea forever, viewers can fill in for themselves: 'Back to the monastery with empty hands or to continue with another rock?'.

I wish I could have fathomed the spiritual depth when I came into contact with mediaeval relics on an Italian visit years ago. Although it was more like a close encounter with perishableness, Especially, because one relic was the thybone of a priest wrapped in a shiny pink ribbon, nicely kept in a glass box with golden edges, and another relic was a shriveled, darkened woman's hand in a tiny box, electronically lit up in a old, serene chapel, duefully guarded by a voluntering church member.

The story in the movie could very well represent many relic travelling stories. Indeed a Saint Matthias existed who got stoned, of which the stone as relic was brought to Rome and ended up in a German church 'for better use', to collect sums for church and political purposes.

Ireland was considered the End of the World in those days. Ireland was the subject of the first extension of England's common law legal system outside England. Monastic schools in Ireland became centers of excellence for peoples from all over Europe. It was interesting to see in this movie how several groups occupy the area and interact. Overall, the anger and spirit seem historically pretty authentic. (*) 

(*) Initially I said 'accurate' in a tweet, so I was recalled by the writer who excused himself in a written reply cloaked as interview, mentioning it diffferently, and then RA rephrased even more. 

This review I wrote in an attempt to get it closer towards newspaper format. As blogowner I still have the freedom to shape my posts. In the Middle Ages the most popular choice would have been a poem. Sir Raymond or his father would have paid poets who know how to laud combats in remembrance. My laud and remembrance ends with this. Can we tempt RA to do more French speaking films?

Quote (not in this film):
Au long aller, petit fardeau pèse.
On a lengthy journey even a small burden weighs.

Reflective story, great acting (esp. the Mute), mind the gore.

For background context on medieval living in Ireland, I can recommend this easy-to-read book
The Edge of the World, a Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe 
by Michael Pye.

Information on Saints I found in the book
Sanctus, recognizing more than 500 saints
by Jo Claes. 

Interesting links:

Top image: Pilgrimage promotion

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dark Side Of A Berlin Station Fangirl

A spy never comes clean. Unless it is a fangirl. 

My spy codename is Soft Face, for reasons Eye Ball can only guess...

My family worries about me, because ONE blogpost about 'your friend' RA is understandable, but MULTIPLE blogposts???? Real friends left me for same reasons, so the road is clear to go spying...
I hang out with fangirls on different 'platforms' who form 'communities' in pseudonimity.

It is great that RA does another spy show (don't mention Lucas North in Spooks/MI5) and it is nice that he filmed it in Berlin instead of London for a change.

I was hesitant of pre-early reporting any reviews. As 'test audience' I could have revealed spoilers/ intel. I watched the first two episodes (1rst. twice, 2nd. once) which were temporarily available online, before they became 'area restricted' (many fangirls are 'area limited').

I was happy to have watched the promo talks. I found out that the Berlin Station makers had private jokes about the 'Armitage Army' which they didn't want to share. Maybe it had to do with the reputation of RA's fandom. (Where to find them is where they were looking. On Twitter.) Fact, I dropped two Berlin Station Cartoons on Twitter. (My bold and naughty Geist was back again. That is a good sign). Of course this is very egotistical and insecure thinking, very much along the lines of fangirl behaviour. I could have made some 'casualties' in my enthousiasm...

To mock this further:
"The much feared reputation of RA's fandom reached a new low, 
for he had to apologize profusely to his fellow BS colleagues, 
and company line was to ignore these cartoons on Twitter in loud unisolo silence." 

"Now THAT's what I call a fangirl."
(Choice of pic, gesture and calendar moment very intentional, clue-worthy fangurl blogmanship).

Good writing is uncomfortable. Shakespeare wrote Real Fiction. I might have embarrassed some.

The Berlin Station spy looking great.
RA is having great fun promoting this show. 

In reality I am a follower.
Feel free to come back to this blog and read my other great posts.

Note to EPIX:
The world is big. It is not only US of A. 
Overseas fangirls would love to see Berlin Station. Immediately. And talk about it together.
At the moment however, EPIX is rarer to find on digiboxes than RA pics on the web. 
Please, sell this show overseas.

Images: Berlin Station promotion material

Thursday, May 26, 2016

King Oleron Or Tick Tock End Of Scene

Review Alice Through The Looking Glass - you think.
Impressions, more likely.
Seen in 3D with Dolby Atmos

This film was right up my alley. Having read the books in the days, the film has its story liberations and I have seen the other one. I looked closely at the fabulisciously detailed CGI, characters, set, costumes, hair, landscapes, you name it. I enjoyed it very much in 3D and Dolby Atmos. 
It was a film I would have seen even if Mr. A was not in it. And there we have it, he was in it, but in such tiny doses, such a small amount of time, in only two scenes! Fair to the story, I must say. Richard was a nobel King with Proctor/Thorin voice in the first scene (long shots and a couple medium shots). In the second scene, he was younger and not speaking (one long shot). But before it got to those scenes, the story, or rather Alice, was well underway.
The family themes for Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen were heartwarming in their own ways. And the little animals and other creatures were adorable. I admitted before on Twitter to have wrongly guessed RA to be Chesspiece RA!. :)

I came away with the significant, yet filosophical impact the Time character played in this version. How time itself was visualised with a big clockwork with Seconds, Minutes and Hour as helpers, had me ticking. Sympatic symbolisms of how time passes for everyone, or how it is violently rupturing away, turning everything into rust, or the notion 'You cannot change the past, only learn from it' made the whole experience humbling to me.
But it was the voice of late Alan Rickman, which came out of nowhere, that made me realise that although he had no more time, there was a consolation in that his past recording was preserved and presented. This morning news reached me that Johnny Depp's marriage time was up. So has everyone their moments. Like me, I have just committed idle writing and should eat my hat for it.

To conclude, Producer Suzanne Todd said something on how this film nicely shows a woman taking the lead, which is highly commendable. The haters will say, yes if only you got a late dad with shares and a boat you can refuse a desk job, jump mirrors and sail the world. 

We need more of those stories in film out there. It is a matter of sailing through time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review Hannibal 312 Do You See Me

A review written with the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris in the hand, ethical knowledge in the head and an illegal internet source giving the eyeful.


Dear Bryan, I understand your point of view with this Hannibal episode, but please... do not call me a liar and bite off my lips, because I owe you awe....

OMG, this was the most sick, perverted, gross und geil episode of The Armitage. That is horny without horns and with a Dragon tail. GRRRRRR!! 

Now repeat after me. I am writing this review in one go, so it will be published before 313 airs in the UK. It will be different from my previous reviews, it is performance art.

'Is this art?'

In this episode again The Experts, of one is The Police I now learn, poke with deliberate help from Will Graham and a 'fool', the renowned writer dr. Chilton, They lure the Tooth fairy with an unfair review on him in the Tattle Crime, a supermarket tabloid, to kill Will Graham. But instead dr. Chilton gets a bite and a burning wheelchair treatment by The Great Red Dragon. Will Graham has some moral issues by this and talks to Bedelia, former lover by Hannibal, who is made nuts by becoming his prisoner in her mind. Hannibal mentions the 'Wrath of the Lamb' to Will Graham, clever for sure. 

The great thing about this episode was that I almost unfollowed @RCArmitage on twitter. Because someone who plays that, must have a similar character flaw in real life, n'est pas? On FB I found likewise souls, but after a counsel session with our madre familias admin, we all concluded it was a case of great acting. Impressively frightening, but also funny by its outragiousness. 
On the other hand, I checked out Raul Esparza on YT and I watched his singing to get idea. Fear not, I am not a musical lover and I doubt I will ever become one. But I am happy to watch the earlier episodes of the Hannibal show just for his scenes.

According to dr. Chilton and Will Graham, 
the Tooth Fairy is a 'vicious pervert and sexual failure.'

T-shirt design.

D negotiating a new book deal with dr. Chilton.

Name the title correctly: The. Great. Red. Dragon.

Quote of the week
Fear is not what you owe me. You owe me awe!

Eyeful: D again in shorts
Best: dr. Chilton's frightful reactions to D/Red Dragon, the Red Dragon crawling to dr. C.
Funny: the high/low status shift in dr. Chilton's dialogue, the Red Dragon showing his tattoo.
Worst: I can not believe I watch this show
Heartfelt: Reba tries to contact D again by visiting his home, while he is entertaining dr. Chilton
Eeeww: Red Dragon biting off Chilton's lips, Hannibal eating one of these lips posted to him
Clever: I can not say anything clever, mention of the 'Wrath of the Lamb'
Prop: pantyliner, can of soup, a pair of lips, dia projector 
Hope: D solves his narcissistic control issues with Reba
Verdict: this show is too sick for the Emmy's

Review Hannibal 311 Get Your Hat, Francis

A review written with the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris in the hand, ethical knowledge in the head and an illegal internet source giving the eyeful.


I have the same thing as Dolarhyde. While he tries to control the Dragon from entering his existance, I try to control the monster that is called Exploding Head. Every Red Dragon episode sofar has that impact on me. After seeing an episode of insanity, I want to scramble the bits of my brain off my attic floor. Then I have to write a review, which to my standards must have more moronic content than 'Yeah, it was watchable.' So I have my initial conclusions directly ready after watching, Then in the course of the next one or two days, my old faithful self, my internal dialogue, tries to reset my brain to initial settings. In that process odd - refrase smart - thoughts pop up. Furthermore, I do not grand myself the joy of watching a whole episode or even one scene at a time. No I pause after every sentence and I write the whole stuff down in a notebook first and then assemble my casual thoughts in a structural blogpost. Then in the last minute, I add images of what I found the most remarkable Dolarhyde moments. Before Exploding Head emerges again, I throw my review online, slamming that door of Blue Beard's room-of-the-week. But because I watch this via an illegal source online to keep up-to-date with the US, Canadian, Korean and UK watchers, I cannot wait too long.

Picture this. 
We. Have. To. Play. Along. With. Bryan. Fuller. 
In. His. Mental. Mind. Palace. 
Or. He. Will. Hide, Our. Dolls. 
And. Then. Cut. Our. Braids.
No. He. Is, Nicer. Than. That.
He. Likes. To. Smear. Snot. In. Our. Hair.

We have to play along. An innocent, dark show on murderers with a bit of comedy on the side. I am in too deep. I found that this episode was really in balance and finally on the whole, very understandable for an outsider, coming to this mind palace only for the Great Red Dragon storyline.

'Admit it. You crave change, shy boy.'

In this episode the authorative, but dangerous Experts summon Hannibal that the Tooth Fairy should kill himself and that Hannibal should aid to that. The Experts find out that Hannibal has been speaking to the Tooth Fairy by phone, under the guise of being his lawyer Metcalff, but Hannibal has not been contacted by his lawyer in years. In one of the first scenes Dolarhyde gets counselling from Hannibal as if they were in a room, but the scene begins and ends with a phone. D opens up on his fears for the Dragon as a seperate entity and Hannibal coys him by playing into D's madness, saying 'Save yourself, kill them all.' So D goes to Will Graham's family at night and tries to kill them. Yet mother and son escape. Although mother ends up in hospital, where the son watches baseball on TV, because his real dad loved baseball. Will Graham visits them there, where his wife tells him she knew it was the Tooth Fairy, because she reads that magazine, Tattle Crime. Will Graham feels conned by The Expert that watches over him. Helpful and honest Hannibal reminds Will Graham that Will is letting his family die, by not minding his privacy settings. After his anger, Will Graham wonders if this is some competion between them. Hannibal says that the Great Red Dragon did not murder those families, he changed them, because he craves change.

Oh, and D and Reba are breaking up. Reba predicts that they will not be a match, because she as a blind woman is a burden to men. D is scared by her he says, but he does allow her to touch his face. Reba walks away in tears. They tell each other the truth. It is heartbreaking, because it is the truth from their own perception. If only they talked about it some more they could have overcome this. Or, they could have spared each other.

The blind viewer Teresias in the Greek tragedies says that truth will bring no good. The metaphore of the Greek tragedy is that making mistakes is part of the human condition. The cravings of Hannibal, Will Graham and Francis Dolarhyde to do Dragon predictions is a denial of the true identity of these murderers and leads to some sort of blindness. The lesson of the Greek tragedy is that responsibility for this human factor should be accepted and that truthfinding should come first. Searching the truth may be the only true complete human freedom.

I crave this scene change. (Reminds me of The Crucible play).

I don't crave D hanging around in my back garden.

I guess some actors crave a hanging scene. 
Hannibal would say: 'Everyday you learn something new'.
Pic refers to The*Hanged*Man.
Tweeted by RA on 17 August 2015 after 
(1) a remark by @manatee73 who tweeted
'@RCArmitage did that handstand unassisted repeatedly' 
(2) to which I replied 
'@manatee73 (..) @RCArmitage You forgot the 'hanging by his ankles' bit.'

Quote of the week
A living woman. How bizarre.

Eyeful: D physically wrestling with the Dragon
Best: so many good quotes here
Sad: Reba and D are breaking up. Reba predicts that they will not be a match, because she as a blind woman is a burden to men. D is scared by her he said. This rings a bell to me as to the blind viewer Teresias who says that truth will bring no good.
Scary: D was not alone in the room, scary for this reason.
No way: last episode Hannibal phishing contact information by phone as written in the book, this episode he refers to Will Graham as to mind your privacy settings, implying internet?!
Not buying: Reba can see remarks adding extra tension to this show. OK, she could see when she was young, but could she have seen the dogs on the film screen at D's house? Then in the film lab, she could tell that D was sitting in the dark, yet she did not feel the lightswitch when she entered?!
Clever: bit was that Hannibal steers the Tooth Fairy into killing Will Graham's family, a plot twist that did not occur in the book. Also for convenience sake, Reba does not get attention by other males. Also Freddie Lounds is a woman and not appearing in this episode.
Prop: notice hanging in veterinarian waiting room to report of pet mutilations, sign on lab door  
Hope: D will not give Reba to the Dragon
Verdict: no way back

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review Hannibal 310 See How Magnificent You Are

A review written with the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris in the hand, ethical knowledge in the head and an illegal internet source giving the eyeful.


You would, after being swallowed whole, and digested by Team Hannibal, think you got a clue what they like. Wrong, It it pitchdark in their intestines and although they drink cocktails with Debussy music in the background, I fear I am going mental. What was the case? After postponing to write review 309, I managed to finish it and went straight into watching 310 and within another day 311. Try say anything sane after that.

Episode 309 I found not evenly balanced, only the Dolarhyde scenes were up there. Episode 310 to me as outsider was finally from beginning to end entertaining and the minor storylines were understandable. And to compare it, episode 311 was even more jawdropping. But back to 310.

While I was about to watch episode 310 I had to re-read the Dolarhyde chapters in the book. How easily little facts are overlooked. Still after two readings and this book covered in marking stickers, I was surprised and amazed what Team Hannibal wired into the show.

Online I read dislikes on the borrowing from other movies, but also joys of recognition. To me, the result of hussling bits from the Red Dragon book, was not as bad as how The Hobbit book was turned into three movies. I see what was done with the Hannibal script and while I missed clues, explanations and introductions in the previous Red Dragon episodes, this episode was insanely well balanced, even more in 311. What was showed, was going back and forth. What I liked was that one thing unfolds into another. Plus that background matters just as much as the drama.  This episode came up to steam, even in the mood. The storyline of Team Sassy Science was kept to a minimum.

'Only you would understand.'

Dolarhyde finally meets Hannibal in this episode. But is it in his mind or for real? Is it a fan fantasy of 'D' - as he is called by Reba McClane later on - having a meaningful conversation, even getting recognized in motives and even getting counselled by Hannibal? Before that we see him making preparations of relaying phonewires in a switchboard, wearing a SureTalkTelecom shirt, as if he was a phone comp guy.

In another scene D takes Reba to the Zoo where he arranged a meeting with a tiger for her. The blind Reba touches the tiger while D is observing her. In the show Reba touches the softness of the tiger's ear and 'mouth of the beast' with the sharp tooth. In the book, it was the private parts region. D has never seen that in real life before. Sorry, my sensors say I should watch my language. Then Reba makes the cocktails at D's home and as they get more comfortable on the bench to very comfortable in grandmother's bedroom, I was thinking I was watching an American soft porn sequence from the seventies. That could be not far off of the intention in the book which was published in 1981. In the heat of the moment, Reba transforms into a 'woman clothed in sun'. The sequence ends with a tear in the eye of the love depraved man, described as shy by Hannibal.

In the night, Reba is sleeping and D is awake as if he has realised the effects of a change. He picks up her hand and caresses it over his most dehumanising part of his face, his cleft palate. In doing so, he allows her to touch his face, something she had asked for in the previous episode. That moment was a mixture of acceptance and control, because she, being blind and asleep, could not sense the control over the conditions of the acceptance of her request.
The morning-after, D finds out that the bed is empty. He searches the house, first going to the attic where he did his flexing and then finds Reba downstairs already dressed. She wants to go home.

D also has his bad side. Hannibal analyses the murder on the Jacobi family with Will Graham. Also the Mah-jongg sign of the Red Dragon and the William Drake references get explained. Cue the interior of the Brooklyn museum. Funny thing, in the book and on the website it is mentioned when the museum is closed on a particular weekday for the public, yet researchers are allowed. So in this episode this was mentioned by a museum worker to Dolarhyde. A classic buildup, seventies-style, followed. D slams the museum worker to sniff, stroke and eat the William Drake painting. Meanwhile Will Graham has arrived at the museum, also for this painting. They clash, of course, but D escapes, for sure.

'This is not an unfair review.'

Watching Hannibal causes unwanted side effects. For instance, when I tried to get the hang of Dolarhyde's motives, my question on a RA FB fanpage 'Why he didn't have another go AND film it himself?' almost breached their rules. Yet I was only doing a 'Bryan Fuller', doing everything to please the sensors. To him spitters are quitters.

Quote of the week
Hannibal: So what are you becoming?
Dolarhyde: 'The. Great. Red. Dragooooon!'

Eyeful: romantic moments between D and Reba
Heartfelt: D caressing his cleft palate with Reba's hand
Best: the scene where Dolarhyde meets Hannibal and how it is visually portrayed.
Worst; there is no worst, only Wurst and deep throating.
OHHH: 'Actually I think of them as unfair reviews.' I hope D approves my review.
The devil is in the details clever: SureTalkTelecom shirt worn by D, counsel room, double D
Art: either a flash of a Hieronimus Bosch or a Pieter Breughel painting. 'Hannibal says: 'Before Dante one did not spoke of the gates of hell, but of the mouth of hell. My year of damnation began when I was swallowed by the beast.' Beautiful background music by Debussy.
Disturbing: not in this episode. D throws Will Graham against the wall and knocks a museum worker
Hot: go to the zoo with D and find out if you are a woman clothed with sun
Hope: Dolarhyde and Reba make love tapes for each other
Verdict: watch this on a Chinon Pacific movie projector

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hannibal Review Ep 309 Ride With Me... For My Pleasure

A review written with the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris in the hand, ethical knowledge in the head and an illegal internet source giving the eyeful.

As RA follower I am new to the Hannibal series and being no fan of the horror genre, this is the second episode of the Red Dragon story I was so lucky to watch early on. Trust me, I am smiling.
It is no fastfood-formulaic show like Crimescene. It is not about solving a crime within the episode. Team Hannibal serves this show as if it was an exquisite dish for insiders.
I feel like I am on the plate, undergoing the rite of passage of being eaten as an Ortolan, refrase Hannibal Hermitage garden bird. As one of the tiny birds - captured alive, force-fed, then drowned in Armagnac, refrase Armitage - I felt roasted whole and eaten that way, bones and all, while the diners - Team Hannibal - draped their sardonic smiling heads with a linen napkin to preserve the precious aromas and, some believe, to hide from God. (Paraphrasing quote from The Wine Spectator).

The tableaus morte - definately not vivant - I do not intend to be a part of. Dishing Hannibal's character with some girl who he talks into committing a murderous act left a bad taste in my mouth. The female newsreporter had peppered moralities for Will Graham on the murder site which brought much needed balance back into this episode. Cat-and-mouse play in dialogues can come across as clever, but also tiresome. The third and following storylines were not always helpful getting to know the show, so for me it was hard to follow the who's and what's.

Then the main story for the episodes that I am following is the Red Dragon storyline. So happy to conclude with my narrow focus on RA's scenes, that those scenes were the most dramatic. What a great subtle expressions and verbal nuances were given in the Francis Dolarhyde and Reba McClane scenes!

This episode was about getting closer to Francis Dolarhyde. To get to know him more. Does he accept a touch? No, but a blind woman softens him to accept a prum, coffee and pie. Dolarhyde does not want you to know. Do not ask too many questions. Do not mention speach impairment. And why did he have to interact with people? News bites on him in the Tattle Crime, are they telling the truth on the mass-murderer or are they shallow assumptions from profilers? Hannibal speaks of the Tooth Fairy like he is a naïve, incompetent pupil.

Link to this issue Tattle Crime

Similar to watching this show I read the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, which was the basis for this show. This book, the Red Dragon episodes and the spoiler vids of upcoming episodes spark more personal thoughts on the background of Dolarhyde than this frame of review allows me to. While I was writing this post I found it mentally hard to write these personal thoughts in. To compare every Dolarhyde scene with the scenes in the episodes would feel like hard work too. It is more like I kinda know Dolarhyde. I compare him to the lonesome, eccentric characters I witnessed in my life. But does that mean they automatically are psychopaths? No not in the least. The animal killings in Dolarhyde's youth in the book and other minor valued, yet disturbing offences, do definetely point to psychopath. 'Revenge is a dish best served cold' is written on Dolarhyde's toothbrush.

Biting poster at busstop where Dolarhyde picks up Reba McClane.

Quote of the week:
Trust me, I'm smiling.

Eyeful: kinda hard, because it was Dolarhyde in dark environments, yet tense and s-speaking
Prop: newspaper Tattle Crime, red plume, red pie, knifes left and center
Don't get: why it is not the Red Dragon show
Disturbing: this episode asked less vomiting of its viewers
Flashbacks: Will Graham on the phone with his wife as if he sits on the bed with her
Clever: Reba McClane waiting at a busstop while Dolarhyde picks her up with a van and we see the poster in the busstop, implying she is up to no good destiny.
Best scene: the ink-licking scene plus the whole sequence of scenes with Dolarhyde and Reba McClane, but best one is the kitchen table talk scene with the physical hesitations of Dolarhyde.
Hope: Dolarhyde likes Reba
Verdict: fingerlicking hesitating

Images: Hannibal, Tattle Crime, poster via Bryan Fuller