Jun 17, 2015

My Hannibal Experience

I've been wanting to write this post
for a while, but just didn't get around to doing it until now.


Oh my goodness gracious...
where to begin?

Rewind to my teen years.
Ah, those glorious carefree days when I could eat all the junk food I wanted 
and never gain a pound!!! Where were we?  Oh yes. Sorry- got distracted there.
Like many folks, I was first introduced to the character Hannibal Lecter 
by watching "Silence of the Lambs" when I was 16 years old.
 Anthony Hopkins was amazing.  I was horrified and intrigued by the 
entire movie. It stuck with me for a long time.

"Hello, Clarisse..."
Eeeek! *Freaked out squeal while hiding behind a pillow*

I haven't watched the other films
in which Hopkins portrays Dr. Cannibal Lecter.
Maybe I will someday.

*      *      *      *     *

When I heard that our dear Richard
had been cast in a role in the Hannibal TV series...
I was excited for him, yet disappointed because I wanted to avoid
being sucked into the world of Lecter again.
It's just a creepy place, and I'm a wuss!

On a wussy scale of 1 to 10, I am a 9.  Solid 9.

I thought, "Sorry, babe... I'm gonna sit this one out.
Call me when you decide to do some smexy period piece again."

But then...

I stood.
Sit the hell down, Richard!!!
Don't you know I avoid viewing anything
too suspenseful/creepy/horrific???

Actually, I DID sit there, but I was bored one
April night and decided to check out Hannibal on Amazon Prime.
(Damn you, AP, it's partially your fault!)

I watched the first episode and was like:
I'm scerrrred!
The blood!  The gore!  The creepy deer antlers!

(I know I use the word "creepy" a lot in this post.)
The cannibal cooking!  How in the heck are they allowed
to show this kind of stuff on prime time TV?
This is like Rated R material.  I guess TV ratings aren't
so strict these days.

I knew the show would be suspenseful and scary.
I guess it didn't help that I watched episode 1 late at night,
in the dark while it was raining outside.
*cue daunting background music*

I was a little bit traumatized and decided
I wouldn't continue watching the series.  Too-da-loo, handsome
Will Graham 
and sexy, yet menacing Hannibal Lecter!

A month later, I watched episode 2.
I don't know why I decided to give it another try, but I did.
I'm glad because Hannibal is a wonderfully written and acted show.
One of the best I've ever seen.  Yes, there are many chilling
events that take place.  Yes, I may want to pee my pants
at times... but once you get past that (just change your undies,
you'll be fine), the real meat of the story (sorry... shouldn't mention
meat, should I?) are the dynamics between Will, Hannibal and at
times, Jack Crawford.  Very enthralling!

Side note:
I can't help but wonder if I became desensitized
to the shocking murder scenes after the first few episodes?
(That is a topic for another post, I guess.)

I knew I liked actor Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal)
after seeing him in "A Royal Affair"
and Hugh Dancy (Will) in many films,
but wow.  They are better than ever in this series.

So, if you are like me, as in a Wimpy McWimpkins,
and too afraid to view Hannibal... just give it a try.
If it's too much for you to handle, I understand.
But you may find yourself watching another episode,
and then another, sitting on the edge of your seat, 
wondering what will happen next!

I ended up loving Season 1 and 
enjoyed Season 2 even more.  Hopefully
Season 3 will surpass them both!
Awesome cast.  I can't wait to see Richard join them!
(Well, some of them... *sniff*)
Don't be too scary, Richard!

I have a bone to pick (get it?) with Dr. Lecter.

Why can't he just make a freaking hamburger and fries!?
I mean, he has to be all fancy-shmancy all the time, making 
dishes nobody has ever heard of before.

If he tried to serve me "Langue d’agneau en papillotte
served with a sauce of duxelles and oyster mushrooms"

I'd know right then and there he was a sick bastard. 

Just no.
I guess I don't have a refined palate.

Jan 4, 2015

Nat's Take on Battle of the Five Armies

*Spoilers, of course.*
I wrote this last week, but just now getting around to posting.

It’s Christmas Eve’s Eve,
and I have a million things I should be doing,
but all day long, my mind has been on
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Hot Guys...

Fili & Kili count as one for inclusion purposes.

...I mean ARMIES.

I couldn’t sleep last night after seeing it.

I don’t know if it’s because I took an afternoon nap,
 or all that Mountain Dew I drank at the theater,
but my mind was wide awake until 2 am,
 consumed with the movie I had just seen.

I looked at all The Hobbit fan art I could access online.
I watched fan videos on YouTube.
I obsessively tweeted about my Thorin Feels.

Please tell me you are as pathetic as me!

There are a few things I think would have improved this movie, 
which I’ll mention in a bit, but overall, I enjoyed it.  
(Despite being in mourning over the 3 handsome dwarfs, 
which I knew was coming, though I was still in denial.)

I feel like I need to go back and watch the movie again 
to really let it sink in, but as of now, the parts that have 
stuck out in my mind are the following:

*Bard opening a can of whoop-ass on Smaug.
You get 'em, Bard!

*Kili and Tauriel’s farewell by the lake.
I was not a fan of this pairing until I saw this scene.
The way Kili gazes (up) into her eyes is so sweet.
And then Legolas is all, "Get away from my woman, you little punk!"
I have to admit, between the two, I'd choose Legolas!

*Thorin going cray-cray with dragon sickness.
Snap out of it, Thorin before they send you to the loony bin!

*Bilbo’s facial expressions
Martin Freeman is SO brilliant.  All of the little twitches
and body movements he does as Bilbo are great.  My favorite
in this movie was the nose twitch.

*Thorin's smile in this movie!
You can't really see his smile in this pic, but you can see it in his eyes.
Despite all the craptastic stuff happening, it seemed like Thorin smiled more
in this movie than the others.  As in, full-teeth smile.  There were a few times
when he was talking to Bilbo when he unleashed THE SMILE and then
this moment... which looked like Thorin and Kili were going to give
each other an Eskimo kiss... I loved seeing Thorin's smile!

*Thandruil’s snobby awesomeness
So Thranduil is pretty much a jerk.  But I love him.
He's just too fabulous, with those flowing locks, "I don't give a crap" attitude
and chopping orc's heads off left and right.  The guy is scary and powerful
and does actually have a soft side, as we see at the end of the movie.

*Dain showing up in his 
hog-riding glory and head-butting everyone.
The mohawk & tusk mustache was an added bonus.

*Thorin snapping out of his nuttiness.

*Alfrid’s comic relief.  He’s like the Worm Tongue of The Hobbit series
as the greasy sidekick... only less creepy 
and more icky.
Alfrid in all his hunched, unibrowed glory.

*Bilbo taking matters into his own hands
I enjoyed seeing Bilbo doing what he felt needed to be done...
like taking the Arkenstone to bring peace and telling Gandalf not to boss him around.

*Fili’s death and Kili’s reaction.
My heart sank when Fili was killed.
Though I knew it was coming, I wasn't ready.
Then I sort of sat through the rest of the movie feeling a bit numb.

*Kili’s death and Tauriel’s reaction
I know that many Tolkien fans are upset that Fili and Kili
didn't die defending Thorin like in the book.  I, however, haven't
read the book, so this story line didn't bother me.  It was bittersweet and
meant to tug at the heartstrings.  And it did!  *sniff*

*Thorin’s death and Bilbo’s reaction
 Surprisingly, I was fine during Thorin's fight & death scene...
until Bilbo started trying to point out the eagles to Thorin and then
hung his head and sobbed over the loss of his friend.
I was crushed!  Crushed, I tell you!!!

There are two things I wish 
would have been included in this movie~

First of all, where in the heck was THIS scene?  

They shouldn't show something in the trailer
and then not include it in the movie!

Also, I am most disappointed about not seeing 
the funeral/feast in honor of Thorin and his nephews.   
I bet it will be included on the extended version, but that’s
like a year away 
from being released, I’ll betchya! 

"The Death of Thorin Oakenshield" by Darrell Sweet

In the book, Thorin is buried in the Lonely Mountain.

Bard places the Arkenston on his chest and Thranduil lays
Orcrist on the tomb.  I know this because my 9 year old son HAS
read the book. :)  WHY WAS THIS NOT INCLUDED?
I would have appreciated this closure.  It would have healed a 
little of my mourning-over-a-fictional-character heartache.

Despite my complaints, like I said before,
I did love this movie 
and give it a thumbs up, for sure.

I saw it twice and enjoyed it more the second time.
If you haven't seen it yet, go!  Then report back and tell
me what you think.  For those who have seen it,
what was your favorite part?

Dec 31, 2014

Armitage Coat of Arms

I was scrolling through a website called Society 6
(which has all sorts of cute & quirky t-shirt designs)
and stumbled upon an Armitage Army t-shirt.

It proudly displays an Armitage Coat of Arms,
featuring elements from North & South, Robin Hood,
Spooks, The Hobbit & Strike Back.

SOOO cute!
I have to have one.
Get yours in any color HERE.

Dec 10, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust

*Spoiler Alert!*
Don't read this post if you haven't read
The Hobbit and want to be surprised about
about Thorin's outcome.  Even though the title
pretty much gives it away.  Sorry.

I am SOOOO excited to see
the final Hobbit movie next week!

As in freaking out excited.
All the movie trailers,
interviews, and premier photos/videos
have left my Armitage-Tolkien
fangirl heart a-flutterin'.

Having said that...
I'm feeling anxiety over seeing it since
I don't know how I'll feel at the end.
I'm always sad when a movie series is complete,
(no matter how satisfying the ending) due to
it being THE END.

And in THIS case,
I know that the ending for our Thorin
isn't to live happily ever after. *sob*

I'm aware that Thorin dies...
and don't know that I'm mentally prepared
for another Armitage death scene.

~Let's review some, shall we?~

I'm not doing this to be morbid, 
but as a reminder that Richard plays dead
often, and does it well.

Heinz Kruger in Captain America.
Self-poisoning Nazi.
I didn't really care about this guy.

John Porter in Strike Back.
Killed by terrorists in the line of duty.
Sad. But I wasn't too gutted.

Lucas North in Spooks.
(Or whatever his real name is- John again.)

It is implied that Lucas jumped off a building
and we see Sir Harry looking over the edge all glum,
but a body isn't shown.  This is good for our tender
minds, but didn't give me closure. I kept hoping
He had somehow faked his death like Sherlock and
would suddenly appear in the final season.  But no.
Lucas was gone.  I didn't like his demise one bit.

I handled all the above character deaths okay...
but then there was Gisborne in Robin Hood. 
That's another story, folks!  Sure, we can all probably agree 
the script for Season 3 was nuts.  But this is GIZZY 
we're talking about here.... the bad boy with a soft core that we
learned more about in Season 3.  (Meg episode, anyone?)

This death scene broke my heart.
I shed some tears and was in mourning for a week!

  THIS scene is why I'm so worried about watching
Battle of the Five Armies.  I know Thorin's death scene
will be dramatic and that there will be sad music playing
in the background and his comrades grieving 
his loss...

Chances are, I will be sobbing into 
my popcorn with snot running down my face.
It won't be a pretty sight!!!
I guess the only solution will be to take a big box
of tissues and wear waterproof mascara.

So that we don't end on a depressing note,
let's gaze at a few pretty RA pics.

All better.