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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Hobbit: Exciting And Dynamic Casting

One of many exciting and dynamic moments of RA as Sir Guy of Gisborne
in the tv-series Robin Hood (2006)

Geez, I turn my back on internet for a couple of days to go to Narnia and there is news about some tall, dark "hot tottie" (excuse my language) joining the cast of The Hobbit as a Dwarf fighting a dragon! Hopefully he does the full works: with braids in beard :).

Strangely I was thinking about dragons last week. Some months back I watched the movie Eragon (not Aragorn) on tv. It was about a gentle dragon. By chance I managed to get a copy of this booklet The Making Of Eragon by Mark Cotta Vaz. It has a great read how to act opposite an imaginative dragon.
Another example is the mini-series The Color of Magic, which has David Jason and a dragon and is at times hilariously funny! Maybe I write a separate post on dragons in movies/tv-series someday.

But no matter who would be appearing in The Hobbit, I would still buy my ticket for the cinema, as I have seen the three movies of Lord Of The Rings on the big screen and later on borrowed DVD´s. Went with someone who was proud to have read these books, while I had to learn the story as it was presented, with all these visually stunning scenes.

To my surprise, I was really moved by Smeagol/Gollum !! After seeing the DVD extra´s, I learned that Andy Serkis was initially on board just to mimic Gollum´s moves for computer graphics and was later on recognized and properly acknowledged for his acting talent. I assume that was done by it´s director, Peter Jackson.

Now recently Peter Jackson said on casting RA for The Hobbit: “Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle-earth is in such good hands.” (1) If you need proof, take a look at RA´s showreel for example.

“Thorin Oakenshield is a tough, heroic character, and he certainly should give Leggie and Aragorn a run for their money in the heartthrob stakes — despite being four feet tall,” says Jackson, who also announced seven lesser-known English, Irish, and Kiwi actors in the roles of other dwarves. “In Middle-earth, dwarves are a noble race and have a culture and physical appearance which sets them apart from humans. It’s fun to develop these different cultures for the movie, and we are doing much more with dwarves this time around than we did with Gimli in Lord of the Rings. Our company of thirteen dwarves in The Hobbit lets us explore many different personalities — and costume and make-up designs will support the type of character each actor plays. Richard is a powerful actor with a wide range, and we’re very excited to be handing Thorn over to him. In this partnership, we need Richard to give us his depth, range, and emotion as an actor — and we’ll make him look like a dwarf!” (2) A heartthrob Dwarf, noted, so no beard?

“We’re auditioning for every role,” Jackson said in an interview, adding he is a big believer in casting a wide net to better match actors with the roles. “What we’ve done over the years is discover a lot of interesting actors, like Orlando Bloom (in ‘Rings’), Kate Winslet (in ‘Heavenly Creatures’), Saoirse Ronan (in ‘The Lovely Bones’). So if you start looking and auditioning seriously, it’s amazing what incredible talent you’ll find out there.” (1) See link of clip in which he said that TH or LOTR are not star-driven films, Tolkien is the star: finding the right people who can do a Hobbit or a Dwarf.

Auditions often involve multiple sessions, readings or interviews and for films of this size the net would likely be cast wide causing the process to be a lengthy one. Likely cast members are called back to read with other actors to test for chemistry and rapport, extending the process for weeks or even months. (1)

(1) Quotes found on TheOneRing.net
(2) Quote found on EW.com

Would it look like this? Too many beards, if you ask me

Meet the demands

[THORIN OAKENSHIELD] Heir to the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, Thorin Oakenshield was forced to lead his people far away from their homelands into exile in the Blue Mountains. Powerfully built and a legendary fighter, Thorin has led a tough and dangerous life and it shows on his face. He is sharp eyed and sharp tongued, proud in his bearing and un-trusting of those he does not know. But Thorin is also capable of intense loyalty, immense courage and surprising gentleness and humour. Thorin will be required to wear a wig and beard and some minor prosthetics make-up, like a nose or forehead, is possible. LEAD. AGE: EARLY 40’S to MID 50’S. ACCENT – STANDARD R.P. OR SLIGHTLY ACCENTED REGIONAL ENGLISH ACCENT.

What they were looking for...read more here.

Meet the cast

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/ The Hobbit: part 1 (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1170358/ The Hobbit: part 2 (2013)
http://www.theonering.net/torwp/the-hobbit/cast/ latest

Meet the lobbyists

http://mulubinba.typepad.com/an_ra_viewers_perspective/2010/10/well-i-may-have-got-the-role-a-bit-wrong-but-.html  OK, one of them

**Find more links on my blog in the sidebar: Hobbit Country**

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spooks Review 9.3: Chemistry When Heated

Harry and Lucas teaming: "We have a plan"

In which Lucas is in an undercover operation, the Home Secretary is not interested in Harry´s old fashioned beliefs, Harry snarls at Ruth, Harry talks about sunblocks with the Russian ambassador, Maya gets a call from Lucas, Ruth is a Russian expert and persuades Harry to have a strategy, Harry quarrels with the Home Secretary, Beth has to open a rucksack, Harry practises selfreflection and Maya decides to be kissed by John.
Sorry about the delay in posting. Had a writersblock caused by too many brainwaves!

Reason one: I blame myself for thinking I could read some Spooks reviews after a couple of episodes. Not! The opinions and theories now cross my mind. Further, eh, I blame Servetus for her thumbs fetish, blame Tw****r @Lucas_North for weekly mentioning the word ´kitchen table´ which is nowhere in sight. Also I am picturing RA in a Hitchcock film after some Captain America walkthroughs. And why do I suddenly have a lot of hits this week for my top post ´Lucas North, pretending to be dating´? Bzzzzzzzz.

Had to clean up my files after seeing this episode. Seeing your life in boxes. So far I thrown out three. (Lives!) OK, on with the show!
Was episode 9.2 packed with the number of screenshots which appear in a total of 8 episodes, it was described by me as a walk in the park. Episode 9.3 was filled with more elderly-proof shots, thus the feel of the show I can only describe as end-of-the-week workdays. However the transition between these two episodes was for this viewer that impressive, that only on second and third viewing the story emerged.

The story of this week resolves around a chemical that when heated vaporises and leaves no scent. We know it´s not lavender perfume then. It causes a contamination. Of course there´s no antidote. Through motives for a country, some gang want to use it. The chemical might serve as a purpose for future cancer treatment. Which is found out after the discovery that not all samples were destroyed in the ´60´s. One gangmember comes to UK soil to find it as there is one sample of it stored known to a doctor at a London university and a former colleague doctor who is part of that gang. 

One FSB officer to one formerly-captured-by-FSB, British officer:
"Let´s team up for dinner at Claridge's"

Basically it then becomes a problem for the British Spooks. That´s all fine, had it not been that the particular gang is monitored by the Russians and Harry and his team have to cooperate with the FSB and allow them on the Grid. Harry is going to protest against it, but the Home Secretary is impatient with his old fashioned beliefs and throws in front of his feet the mention that if Harry is tired of doing his job, he only have to say so. So Harry has to allow one FSB officer on the Grid and send Lucas for an undercover operation to that specific country. The Russian agent doesn´t follow the rules on more than one occation. Who does? Counted at least three distractions/decoys.

"OMG! The FSB guy smokes in the bathroom!" ;)

Adorable baddie/ghost from the past Vaughn catches Lucas/John on the pavement (Friday afternoon?). He wants L/J to retrieve the Albany file from the MI5 archives. Vaughn promises he would disappear and get out, as he was threatened: "They want me dead". As Lucas/John refuses, Vaughn asks him if Harry knows who L/J is. If not, he suggests he wants to speak to Harry. Challenged, Vaughn has no energy to call his own bluff. Which leaves L/J triumphantly.

 "Tell him now.... Uh? No? Thought not!"

Maya teams up after work (Friday afternoon!) with Lucas after he called and texted her his address earlier to meet him at his bachelor´s house ("Risky", as Oleg Darshavin, his former interrogator in ep. 8.4 would have said). The MI5 files give Lucas some information on Maya and in combination of what he maybe knows about her and what WE viewers don´t know, she is welcome to his door. But she has demands: "You lie to me and I swear you will never see me again". (..) "Why did you believe me you were dead?" Talking about an excuse to end a relationship... The reason Lucas/John gives isn´t exactly great to have on one´s CV: "Allright, I went to prison for eight years, is that good enough?".

Maya: "I don´t know you anymore"
L/J: "Yeah, you do".
Maya: "Now I´ve forgotten".
L/J: "Close your eyes".
I guess we have too...

"Close your eyes" (find MP3 files on RANet) (yeah, sorry about that)

Question of the week:
Would you sunblock your vision when an ex asks you to heat your chemistry for him?

Tease: romantic kiss at the end
Scary: the shooting of all members of that group, pictures of nasty symptoms
Lesson: working at university can be very hazardous
Yep: Lucas wears gloves
Nice: long shot/scene with Harry and the Russian ambassador
Replay: Vaughn and Lucas/John status shift
Crush: unless Vaughn proves to be a nasty bastard, I develop a crush for Vaughn
Health: running is good for you
Hopes: Vaughn and Lucas get on? Like this duet of two famous English lads (that´s so tongue in cheek)
Verdict: chemistry when heated

Screencaps: RichardArmitageCentral, TFB 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Who´s Johnny, She Said

"You haven´t changed a bit!" Please don´t lie!

Just talking about the name John for Lucas North in Spooks 9 this time. In ep. 9.1 he runs into Vaughn Edwards, someone who adresses him as ´John´. Bonus, there is an old flame and she does not know who John is anymore. She gets our support, because we all want to know who he is and was!

After ep. 9.1 the followers on blogs were more into quessing who John may be as a character, that what John´s surname might be. I have no idea, but immediately thought about a character called Johnny Jones as a foreign correspondent, under the penname of ´Huntley Haverstock´.
The particular film was called ´Foreign Correspondent´ (1940), directed by Alfred Hitchcock, see trailer.
This film, which I found on a DVD-box, was promoted as:

"The thrill spectacle of the year!".

Please, read the synopsis

The thriller elements of Spooks series step into the footsteps of Hitchcock films. 
There could be some simularities between
Lucas North/´John´
Johnny Jones/´Huntley Haverstock´. 

It could be John/´Lucas North´.

So, a bit of brainwaving on my part!

Screencaps: Maria Grazia/RANet?,  Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Looking For Clues In Spooks 9.2

As I was reviewing Spooks ep. 9.2, I noticed something that fits the category:

No, no, no, no, eh, yes!

As a valued Spooks watcher (yes, read on) I should say, nothing surprises me in the Spooks world. 

This was unbelievable.
This was the oldfashioned: "No Way!" 
This was category: "Is this my joke for real?????"

Lucas and Beth get peppersprayed in Westhouse´s penthouse (ep. 9.2)

I have proof that Robert Westhouse, oil magnate, valuable for the British government to secure British oil deals, has connections with the CEO of the DeWitt Bank in ep. 8.6, possibly with Sarah Caulfield. Or did they just shared a suspicious art rental center? Just ask for a list of their clientele, I´d say!

And still Lucas did not see it!

Lucas really needs those multifocal glasses, while sitting in the CEO´s office! (ep. 8.6)

Code: I get the inside joke

More proof here, Looking For Clues In Spooks 8

Screencaps: RichardArmitageCentral, TFB

Monday, October 4, 2010

Spooks Review 9.2: Play As It Lies

From elevatorpitch to pitchfork: at tee time, Harry still got the gloves on

In which Lucas and Beth follow an assassin, Beth takes the lift to the 25th floor, Lucas takes the stairs but lowers his handicap with a lift chase, a former flame gets stalked by Lucas, Dimitri is driver and security nerd, Lucas does his memory game, Beth uses her feminine charm on an assassin to dispose a baddie, Beth shouts ´Fore!´ to Harry at the 19th hole, Lucas accepts to become Section Chief and wants to assemble his own team.

This week it´s like a normal day at the office, a walk in the park. No bombs to dismantle. The work day starts at 8.00pm at which time the Spooks receive intel that an oil magnate is threatened to be killed by an assassin. Of course the story doesn´t start there.

It´s about a lift ride straight to the penthouse, Beth joins the crowded lift to the 25th floor. It´s possible that the assassin is in the lift with them. Spooks demands a lot of it´s actors, namely to arrive crispy fresh at the 25th floor taking the stairs. At some point, probably above the 15th floor, the lift is jammed and the electrics are turned off. It´s pitch dark. Then, heavy gunfire. Not all are dead. Beth and a man called Chapman are alive.

Unusual to the Spooks series, so far I know, the story is divided into three viewpoints: Lucas, Beth and Chapman. I won´t retell the story according to this trip-tych, I rather prefer themes.

Who´s lying to who? Lying is part of the job according to Lucas. Harry thinks lying is OK, as long as it´s not to each other of the team. Can we say Beth was lying when she was ´withholding´ information about her past?

Lucas: Did you trust Ros?
Harry: Implicitly

I´m afraid the rest of my post will appear in segments in separate posts, as I can´t squeeze out more for now.
Or maybe not, as this blog tends to be organic.There´s just too much to pitch!

 Lucas sitting 2nd row knowing all too well the world of oil
as he was part of a swap for British oil in ep. 7.1

Question of the week:

Would you rather hit a golf ball
than an old flame ?

Tease: fashion show Lucas
Scary: bloody elevator
Action: glassex-y elevator chase
Health: not all medicines are prescribed
Gadget: old suitcase
Prop: painting
Yay: Beth stays
Adorable baddie: Vaughn
Technical: sound and camerawork improved since S8
Hope: Lucas gets gloves too
Verdict: an early Birdie

Friday, October 1, 2010

Face The Frame

See what a difference a frame can do!
Let´s say, I needed a change
A Friday Photo (this time)

Hope the new layout improves your reading!

Have to finish a few posts!

Review Spooks 9.2