Daily Archives: January 3, 2013

Good things come in small packages.

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I am entranced with my Plush Thorin. He’s the perfect size to clutch to my heart. His blazing blue eyes and angry brows get me every time. I love his fuzzy hair. No braids to wind around my finger, but it’s delightful to ruffle with my fingers. I imagine a very, very young Thorin whose hair has not grown to its luxuriant lengths quite yet (I guess his beard got ahead of it. ūüėČ ) His nose also has a ways to go before it reaches its adult magnificence.

I am so glad Plush Thorin finally made it safely across the big pond to me this week.

(And I realized two things after looking at these photos: (1) I really need to touch up my roots again and (2) I mustn’t get carried away with the bronzer beneath the cheekbones LOL Trying to combat wan winter complexion. Ooh, and I need a haircut!)

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New Fanart: RA in a New York groove

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While I really like this pose, I¬†didn’t love the red background used for the¬†photo shoot¬†this was part of–I love red,¬†but certain shades seem¬†to drain Richard’s coloring, making him look tired in some of the photos. However, when I converted the color to sepia with red as an accent color, I liked it a lot better.

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One of my favorite casual outfits, the black hoodie under the black leather jacket.

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Hey, guys, this is another great essay by Susan, this time comparing and contrasting Thorin with LOTR’s Boromir. Our Tolkienistas will especially appreciate it. ūüėÄ

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Many fans of Tolkien’s works have noted certain similarities that exist between two heroes that inhabit the mythological realm of Middle Earth. Thorin Oakenshield, King of the Dwarves, and Boromir, future Steward of Gondor, share some characteristics, to be sure. They are both noted for their prowess on a battlefield, for their ability to garner the loyalty of their followers, for their belief in the worthiness of their own people, and for their ardent, bullheaded sense of pride. However, these two warriors differ in the most decisive way.  One was esteemed by the writer for his magisterial qualities. The other, was derided for his lack of abstemiousness when it counted the most.

Thorin Oakenshield was born to rule. He was a prince descended from a long line of kings. In medieval society, monarchs were divine. They were not like everyone else. By rights, they were obeyed in all matters. By…

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Fanart of RA in Japan: Looks like he’s having fun.

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We are discussing how much Richard seemed to enjoy¬†all the enthusiasm and excitement of the¬†Tokyo red carpet and I mentioned the charming¬†photo above. Thought I would assemble some fanart¬†(all save one completed yesterday)¬†from the Japan leg of the tour. Enjoy Electric Blue RA! ūüėČ

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O.T. Myrna & Loretta probably wanted to forget this.

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As I have made clear, I love old movies.  There are so many wonderful ones, with solid scripts, able direction, fine performances . . . and then there are the other ones.

Some of these older films are so bad they are almost good, offering a certain unintentional hilarity and a glimpse into the careers of actors who thankfully went on to (much) better things.

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Case in point: an early talkie, 1929’s The Squall, directed by Alexander Korda and featuring two future luminaries of the silver screen, Loretta Young and Myrna Loy, along with¬†the always delightful Zasu Pitts in a character role as the faithful servant.

Myrna Loy as the seductive, conniving gypsy Nubi in "The Squall." Image Bettman/CORBIS

Myrna Loy as the seductive, conniving gypsy Nubi in “The Squall.”
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If you’ve only ever seen Myrna as the sleuthing socialite in the sophisticated, witty¬†Thin Man¬†series or the “perfect wife” in films such as Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, this film is an eye-opener. Fact is, most of Myrna’s early film roles capitalized on her unusual beauty to cast her as the exotic foreigner, enigmatic and sexy, quite the femme fatale. The Squall,¬†set¬†in early 20th century Europe,¬†is no different.

This time, her skin darkened with makeup and her hair a wild riot of curls (she actually looks like she could be in a vintage Madonna video), Myrna plays a Gypsy who seeks shelter in the home of a happy, well-to-do Hungarian farming family during a terrible storm. Insisting she’d been captured by the¬†Gypsies as a child and¬†terribly abused, she throws herself on the farm family’s mercy.

Of course, she is not the poor innocent teenager she pretends to be, but a wily, seductive creature determined to vamp it up with everything in trousers within a 50-mile radius. She starts with the servant and soon has him singing love songs to the livestock and works her way up to the master and his son, causing all that happy family harmony to hit a very sour note.

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Everything is so over-the-top here–the dialogue, which had¬†me laughing in all the wrong places, and the performances, which, for the most part,¬†are just plain¬†bad.¬†

Alice Joyce, who plays the matriarch, was a veteran silent screen star, but seems very incomfortable here speaking her lines. Joyce gives¬†them the¬†oddest inflections at times, as if she were speaking something other than her native language. She retired from the screen shortly thereafter. Can’t blame her if this was the typical quality of the talkie¬†scripts beings offered to her.

Nubi, wearing nothing but a Turkish towel, working her wileson the master of the house.

Nubi, wearing nothing but a Turkish towel, working her wiles on the master of the house.

Loretta Young is only 16 in The Squall, a fresh-faced and physically expressive beauty, but her line delivery is so wooden here you think to yourself, poor kid, she can only get better. (And thankfully, she did. Went on to win an Academy Award in later years.)

And Myrna. Oh, Myrna. You did the best you could with what little they gave you.  Thank goodness the Thin Man came along a few years later and you escaped Exotic Evil Vamp Hell.  Otherwise your career would very likely not have lasted some 50-plus years.

Well, everybody has got to start somewhere. And you were quite the fetching sexpot, even with that awful pidgin English.

“Me Nubi! Me good girl! Me stay here . . . Always the Gypsies, they sing. Weird and sad. When the big sun have breath of fire that burn, and when the pale moon look from behind cloud, and breathe air cold as death, they sing.”

Turner Classic Movie host Robert Osborne describes this film as a guilty pleasure. It’s certainly not a good film, but yes, in its own way, it’s quite entertaining, if a good 20 minutes too long. If it pops up on your television, you might want to give it a watch.

You could have a drinking game centered around each new attempt by Nubi the Nymphomaniac to seduce some guy.