Courtesy of that hotel shoot. Please let me know which one so I can give credit.
So I combed through Pinterest of all places looking for photos and found another one from The Infamous Shoot. It’s another example of what should have been a stunning picture. Not that it’s bad, but RA appears either too lit up or wears too much make up. As it stands, this is one of the better photos from that shoot.
Just because you can remake a movie, doesn’t mean you have to.
Disney takes a second shot at its own 1991 classic animated film by the same name. It offers what you would expect: big lavish production values, an array of stars, and a sense that this live action version must achieve parity or surpass the first mega-hit. As I read in another review, Disney seemed to “ask themselves in every scene whether it met the original and the answer was no.” So they added new songs and subplots which served both to lengthen the story and, I suppose, justify the additional material. Considering that Disney intends to remake its other classics like Little Mermaid in live action films, the stakes are very high.
Unless you have never been the original, it’s impossible not to make comparisons. In fact, several scenes are replicated line for line, frame by frame. But there’s an inherent problem with comparing live actors to their animated counterparts. Does Emma Watson look like Belle? (No.) Can you overlook it? (It depends.) Is her voice good enough? (That’s debatable.) This running dialogue ran through my head all during the movie. However, some actors rose above the chatter. Luke Evans as Gaston has a good voice and Josh Gad is a wonderful DeFou. The scenery is beautiful. The production is spectacular. The movie delivers on the extravaganza. It even has some magical moments towards the end that pulled me in.
But Emma Thompson singing the title song isn’t Angela Lansbury. Kevin Kline is miscast as Belle’s father. Dan Stevens’s Beast needs to learn from Richard Armitage’s Thorin and use his eyes to convey emotion under all that fur. The added songs and subplot are unnecessary and unmemorable. The story-line changes in odd ways. Cogsworth, Lumiere, and Mrs. Potts lose their charming animated expressions of the original. Even though the big razzle dazzle Big Our Guest seems to strain to be as Over the Top as OTP could ever be, there is something missing. In sum despite all the lavishness, some essential charm has been lost.
Audiences have apparently been coming in droves to see why Disney would want to risk remaking its own classic. Well, it’s for the usual reason: to insure that these old classics continue to make money by retreading them every generation. That’s not to say that this Beauty and the Beast is a waste of time. I didn’t leave wanting my money back. Those who have never seen the original should enjoy it. It’s just that for old-timers like me, there is a reason why a film becomes a classic after all.
Well, hello class! Yes, AGAIN. I know I’ve been away quite a few times actually but think of it as your teacher taking sabbaticals for her – mental health. Please know that the blog will transition away from Richard Armitage as soon as I start cranking out original stuff – but not just yet. There are still issues I need to address about him. Let’s get on with the foolishness, shall we?
I’m as shallow as I’ve always been. I have the uncanny tendency to pick actors starting in their mid-30’s at the height of their masculine beauty then following them until their 40’s when they reach the cusp of youthfulness. Then it’s downhill from there and I kick him to the curb. Well, imagine my wistfulness when I beheld this picture from a last year’s photo shoot after being away for awhile. (This is not a great one but my source of current photos seems to have tried up.) At first glance, he’s quite the fit, handsome, dapper man. But look closer. Use a magnifying glass. The lines are more pronounced. The softness around the eyes is disappearing. The lips are paler. The jawline isn’t as firm. Yes, our Richard is aging.
Well, this may not be a shock to you, but it was to me after all this time. Now this ordinarily would not be a big deal. I’m sure many men would love looking like this at 45. But RA is an actor who doesn’t move in ordinary circles. His vocation idolizes youth and the ability to project youthfulness as long as possible. Here is he is just finally achieving wide success and The Powers That Be ordain that men his age should either move on from lead roles to action parts or secondary characters. He has reached the time when moisturizer is a given and dermabrasion is recommended. Dare I mention a facelift on the horizon? (Personally, male beauty care if fine, but I don’t like facelifts on men. It makes them look too artificial.)
I glanced at my WordPress dashboard and saw that this blog made it over the 500 posts mark at last – not a big deal when considering that it took six years. Analytics tell me that I posted in concentrated spurts the first few years, ramping up to the wild and crazy time from 2012-2014. But there were long periods when I didn’t post at all.
During those silent times, my fangirling evolved. Let me explain. Having spent over 25 years in various fandoms, I’ve experienced them as a process of phases. The first phase we all have experienced – the giddiness of discovering a new crush with the accompanying squeeing and desire to find like-minded souls. Then the girlishness progresses to an avid following. The infatuation stays strong but a bit of the breathlessness tapers off. Finally, there’s the third stage when the ardor wanes and heads down one of two roads. The first path leads out of fandom and fangirling – full stop – with the crush kicked to the curb. The second way continues to hold interest in the crush’s work, but the initial passion is gone.
After six years, I’ve hit the third phase. Mind you, I’ve not been the typical Richard Armitage fan. In fact, the ongoing joke has been me as an anti-fangurl who is the first to scream the emperor has no clothes. (And I’ve been a pretty fab anti-fangurl I might add). But alas, I’ve come to that fork in the road where the thrill is gone and I have to decide what happens next. Don’t get me wrong. I still like RA and enjoy his work. And he’s still easy on the eyes. But the lack of keen interest has made it difficult to blog about him as in the past. So should I close shop and move on? Should I direct my focus away from him? Can I write about him occasionally? If I stop, will I have any readership left? Can the blog survive a transition?
Most importantly, what becomes of The Man? I’m not being funny here. I enjoyed writing the series; it exercised my writing muscle and entertained the fan readership at the same time. However, the inspiration behind the series *cough* may have been a certain actor *cough*. Can I find the MIA muse and bring it back? Will the readership stick around for fiction having nothing to do with their crush? At this point, I have no answer to any of these questions. There’s just a persistent feeling that something has to give.
I welcome feedback here. Please let me know what you think or if there’s a happy compromise.
In 2 1/2 months, I will celebrate my sixth blogiversary. Needless to say, I’ve evolved as a fan of Richard Armitage. Six years ago I enjoyed the rush of a newfound crush and seeking out his work, digging for pictures and videos, reading blogs, just being a typical fangurl.
Now, things have changed. It’s not like I’m no longer fan – don’t get me wrong – I still like him. However the euphoria has dissipated and I find myself more interested in the work than the man. A long time can go by without even a thought. Then the PR starts to crank and I look forward to seeing an upcoming project like Berlin Station or Love, Love, Love in New York City. I still participate in fandom but the reasons why I do so have changed.
But then a picture will come along and I’ll have to stop and look because – reasons. I’ve not gone blind, you know. *Cough.*
Welcome back to Foolish Friday, class! I know it’s been gone a long time, but it’s taken me this long to remember what I did on Fridays. But thanks to Bare-ChestedGate, my memory jogged and we can return to our regularly scheduled objectifying. Yes!
I just read that Richard Armitage has topped 70,000 followers on Weibo. In my eminently prepared style, I have no idea what Weibo is but assume it’s popular with non-English speakers. This got me to feeling slightly wistful that our RA has truly been discovered by the world; he’s no longer the obscure actor known only by the UK and its allies (unless that 70,000 are the same people on Twitter). We can no longer think of him as our little secret (well, except me). Our boy has burst forth from his cocoon and stands ready to fly away. That bit of overwrought prose had me looking through photos of the younger RA, when he was happy to get a small part. Thankfully, the younger RA offered prime objectifying material. Let’s have a look class.
This is Himself as Lee Preston in Cold Feet. While it’s not that picture, this rarely posted shot has a lot to offer. Notice the laid back youthfulness on the cusp of a man in his prime. The smoothness of the chest and abs contrasting with the hairiness of the forearms and reminding us that he waxes. The firmness of the jawline. Although people joke about speedos, I developed a new appreciation with his. Must have been the color.
Need to run and continue production work. Your homework is to find other aspects in this picture that the world needs to know. I know you can do it.
Richard Armitage as Lee in Cold Feet. Courtesy richardarmitagenet.com
Real Life socializing (read: attending festivals) has me derelict in my writing duties. I have a nice “The Man” story in the works but it probably won’t get done this week. So I’ve dusted off my Bag of Goodies and rummaged around. But what to my wondering eyes should appear but a fresh pic from a not so new Esquire video. Can’t have too much class, I say.
Enjoy and have a great weekend.
RA thinks his trousers have finally reached “tight enough.”
I left for friends’ house two days ago for a cookie bake. The bake turned to elfing and then shopping and eating and weathering a deep freeze and before I knew it, I just returned home today. Goodness, do those friends know how to hustle and bustle. Tomorrow, I return there for Christmas dinner, but today, I visit family. It’s still very cold but tonight, we are getting SNOW! Whee! My inner child is quite happy. So it’s all good in my world.
Have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate it. Enjoy yourselves and be a safe out there.
It’s posted by Save the Beard in the Love for the Beard group on Facebook. Apparently there’s a beard and mustache competition in August. I hear people travel to these contests, even abroad. Interesting concept. The beard phenomenon is trending now; at the past Oscars, every other movie star wore one. Sheesh. It’s not a good time for a lukewarm beard person like myself. Even the fandom’s beardy horde continues to expand. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve nothing against beard. A well groomed small beard looks distinguished on the average man. I just think they do nothing for good-looking men, and in fact, take away a little something.
Before you start sniggering, Richard Armitage is the ONLY good looking man I’ve ever seen to be the exception to the rule. He’s got the perfect beard facial line and his square jaw and round chin make a great platform for a baby beard. (Baby as in just grown in, not teenage straggle.) So yes, I confess that the man rocks a baby beard. When it becomes too hirsute and unkempt like during the Captain America premiere, then the rule kicks back in again.
See, I can be reasonable. Some.
Here, have some pretty.
There’s a beard? Courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com
Oh wait – I retired. I don’t have to go to work. (Sorry, had to rub it in once. I’ll be good now).
Returning to blogging again means dealing with WordPress.org – again. The recent version is causing tech problems with subscriptions and postings. Lovely. If you’re having issues, please let me know.
I’m baffled to have acquired new subscribers in my absence. Don’t have a clue why that happened. So, hello New Readers! This blog is parts irreverence, snark, stream of consciousness, and a showcase for sojourns into fiction and drawing. It’s brought out the contrary and perverse side of my nature, so expect much pot stirring to ensue. I even gleefully point out the emperor wears no clothes, even if he’s a certain British actor. Please remember that I try to do so with love and humor. I aim to remind fans that we are here to enjoy our crush and each other, and not take him, fandom, and ourselves too seriously.
Speaking of not taking RA too seriously, there’s a six month backlog of things I’m dying to say about him: the premiere and DVD release press junkets, his new groomed persona, his … interesting… utterances – Richard Armitage 3.0. Then there’s the fans’ reactions – both old and new ones. It’s a veritable treasure trove of things from which to pick. However, one of the downsides of having too many options is indecisiveness. I don’t know where to start.
So, Dear Reader, what would you like me to tackle first? Are you dying to hear my opinion about something? Please keep it simple; my brain can’t handle meta at the moment.
Oh, here’s another pic. I know what you come here for.
Hello again, Dear Readers. I’m instituting a new regimen that includes dedicated writing. I must write something – anything – no matter how long or short. There’s a two-fold purpose: 1) to get back in the habit of writing, and 2) to move from writing for self-distraction to writing as a way of life? hobby? goal? So bear with me if things seem a bit scattered for the next few weeks. This is mental rehab unfolding before your eyes.
New readers, I’ve always dedicated Sundays to inspirational music. I’m no longer religious, but still enjoy the songs. You can read about why here. As I sat here wracking my brains for a new entry I haven’t covered, it occurred to me that classical tunes also inspire. My older self chuckles because the younger me used to find classical music boring and stuffy until learning that many pieces have been translated into modern songs. My gym classes exercised to Strauss waltzes in primary school. Clever way to introduce a genre to children, yes?
Anyway, the following composition came to mind: Mozart’s Piano Concerto 21 in C Major. It’s difficult to describe music but this piece is so beautiful it gives me goosebumps. It subtly marches while calming, soothing and uplifting. It’s something my mind needs – to march forward, slowly and quietly. Baby steps still.
My pal, Wiki, says:
The Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, was completed on March 9, 1785 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, four weeks after the completion of the previous D minor concerto, K. 466.
This is only an excerpt. The entire composition is over 30 minutes long. Enjoy.
Yes, I’m terribly late to the party as usual, but Happy New Year to all. Welcome, new subscribers and viewers to this blog. I’m always amazed by the traffic here even when there’s nothing new to read. Thanks for coming and do feel free to look through the archive. Also, thank you Dear Readers for your encouragement and steadfastness. Your patience will be rewarded with more posts soon. In fact, it’s on doctor’s orders. Seriously. But more on that later.
Since the end of November, ArmitageWorld has gone from famine to feast, a glut actually. It’s provided a cornucopia of subjects to discuss. There’s still the review of The Hobbit, and a second (and third) look at Thorin. Then, there’s the epic Richard Armitage report card. Truth be told, settling on criteria for assessment has been giving me fits, but it’s beeen sorted. I’m binding and gagging Inner Fangurl, and aiming for the most fair and impartial perspective view possible. Well, as impartial as an anti-fangurl can be. (Yes, I’m still searching for how to really describe myself). I’ve also altered the focus from his performance at the NZ premiere to the entire Hobbit tour. The emergence of RA on the world stage has been too fascinating not to cover in entirety. Later on, I’ll discuss who I think he is, or isn’t.
Speaking of fascinating, I’ve also been observing fandom’s reaction to the film and tour. As this blog’s title states, I enjoy watching people. Even though I’ve been in fandom’s for 20 years, I’ve never had a chance to observe firsthand, a fandom’s response to a crush’s rapid ascension to potential stardom. It’s been quite interesting. I might get run out of fandom on a rail, but you’re get my unvarnished opinions on my perception of ArmitageWorld after 2+ years, the changes occuring within it, and where I see it heading.
This all reminds me: my 2nd blogiversary passed on December 28, 2012. A lot has happened in these past two years personally. I’ll explore what it has meant for me, where I am currently, and hope to be in the next year. You’ll see more short stories with my inner trio, Jada, Jodi, and Quiet One (let’s not forget Patty the pom and Dr.G.); the conflicted muses (Sir Guy vs. Thorin?); excerpts from a possible mystery; The Man; and anything else escaping from my fevered imaginings.
Does that sound like enough to kick off 2013? Stay tuned.
Oh, and have pic.
Richard Armitage in 2004 photo shoot, courtesy RichardArmitageNet.com
Richard Armitage models almost-James. Yes, this is the best part. Courtesy of Getty Images.
I’m still tired to the bone. Sadly the NYC Adventure post isn’t happening tonight. Trying to keep up with the relentless hype seems to be wearing. Cannot even begin to imagine how the cast is getting through all this. Yet, they have 8 days to go.
The NYC premiere was a clearly a low key affair with no live streaming fans could find. Most news came from our TeamThorin on the scene, tweets from Warner Brothers, and pictures from Getty Images. After four days of steady publicity, the big American premiere was – a bit anemic in comparison with NZ and Japan. It felt a bit embarrassing actually. Sheesh, Big Apple. What happened?
Anyway, I finally got to see a potential new suitor #4, whom I’ve tentatively named James. (Thanks for the help, Twitter!). I say tentative because I’ve not decided whether James is worthy of my affections. Don’t get me wrong; the glen plaid tweed is lovely and the cobalt blue tie really brings out RA’s gorgeous eyes. However, after a diet of superbly fitted suits like George and Fernando (do keep up), this particular English cut was a bit off putting. IMHO, the jacket style places the waist a bit too high to flatter RA’s longer torso and lower natural waist. It doesn’t accentuate his lean form. Not to mention the trousers hint at on-coming male camel toe. Just sayin’.
I was about to include a full portrait of sorta-James but then realized this one is all you need to see. Am I right?
EDIT: I’ve added a full length shot for more research and analysis. Of course. See what I mean? The waistcoast is nice, but the style does not flatter his build. And yes, those trousers are too tight honey. TeamThorin remarked on Twitter that they hugged his rear quite tightly, so I feel vindicated in my observation. What is male camel toe? It’s when tight fabric gets really really friendly with a man’s junk. Should a style like this frame anything like that there? I think not.
EDIT: His stylist says it’s a Michael Bastian flannel from the Winter 2012 collection. Well.
Richard Armitage breaks from shooting pheasants to pose at they NYC premiere. Courtesy of WireImage
I say now…
Keeping up with The Hobbit tour? Want to congratulate RA? Show your appreciation by
gift bombing his Justgiving page! Show him and the world you care.
I give up. No serious blogging will get done until the weekend hopefully. So, time for my bag of goodies. Oh… here we are…. a nice black and white photo. I rarely post any of these. Observe the contrast of light and dark. Class, are you with me? Discuss.