Tag Archives: Entertainment Weekly

Will ‘Fire’ Bring Sheeran an Oscar? From EW this week.


Ed Sheeran, the cherubic-faced, ginger-haired British folk/pop musician who has written an original song for the end credits of DoS , the haunting “I See Fire,” is quoted in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (Nov. 22, 2013) talking about the idea behind the tune.

“Peter told me you need the song to take the audience by the hand and lead them out of the movie and back into reality,” Sheeran says in a brief article written by Kyle Anderson. Sheeran first met PJ while he was touring New Zealand. According to the article, the young Grammy nominee has a double mission: “I have two big goals. One is to headline a stadium, and I want to win an Academy Award.  If I did get nominated I might go dressed up as a hobbit and not wear shoes.”


                                                                           Bing Images

Now, I certainly hope the song gets nominated anyway–I really like it–but I have to say this young man with his mop of curls and sweet face has “hobbit” written all over him, and what a bonus it would be to see him in full Bilbo regalia at the Oscars . . . wouldn’t you agree? 😉

EW’s egregious error, or Oscars are fine, but give me my dwarf


I just got around to looking at my copy of Entertainment Weekly. And I definitely have a bone to pick with you, EW. Those multiple covers for print subscribers you had apparently stopped doing?

Well, I see it’s back for the Oscar preview issue. Hey, Jessica and Daniel and Quvenzhane look great in their portraits along with Mr. Oscar himself on the front.  Best of luck to all of them.

But, why, oh why, couldn’t you have done the same blessed thing with the special Hobbit issue, pray tell? Instead I got stuck with a slightly constipated-looking Gandalf.

I love Sir Ian, don’t get me wrong–but it was the fierce warrior dwarf with the fire in his belly, wielding his mighty sword that I really, really wanted.

Did you get a lot of complaints about that egregious error, I wonder? Perhaps that is why you went back to the multiple cover special issues for those of us who still shell out bucks to read you the old-fashioned way . . .  all I can say is this. Assuming you DO another special issue for the second movie, I am expecting to get my multiple covers and one of them better feature Thorin.


Otherwise, I will be forced to unleash these guys on you. And they don’t mess around on mission. I’m just sayin’ . . .




Lego Goodness, Cover Boy Thorin, & Flirty-Girty RA: What a fun morning!


After collapsing fairly early again last night (all this Armitagemania is exhausting me!! LOL What must the poor man feel like??) I slept reasonably well and woke up around 6 a.m. to do some more Richarding. And some Richarding I have done! Twitter has all been a-flutter this morning with more links to photos, reviews, interviews, articles re RA and The Hobbit.

It’s been a busy day for cast members as they are popping up here and there all over NYC today promoting the film.

This has to be the cutest story out there today relating to the film. Go to the Buzzfeed link below to enjoy seeing TH cast with their mini-me Legos. All the photos are just great.  http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/the-cast-of-the-hobbit-pose-with-their-lego-dopp

A very sexy Richard Armitage in Thorin garb showing off his Lego figure. Never have I wanted a Lego so very much.

A very sexy Richard Armitage in Thorin garb showing off his Lego figure. Never have I wanted a Lego so very much.

And here is one of four collectible covers featuring the King himself, Thorin, on the special Inside The Hobbit issue of Entertainment Weekly. Mine should be in my box on Friday. Typically print subscribers get a copy with the collectible covers included. *squee*

Looking fierce, Mr. Armitage!

Looking fierce, Mr. Armitage!

And—-I finally got to see Richard on American TV! In a brief but adorable interview with Hoda and Kathie Lee on TODAY, Richard looked marvelous (Lucas in Guy black). He’s absolutely breathtaking in High Definition.  I recorded it on my DVR and I’ve rewatched it, oh–a few times. He get to see him drink wine and in full flirty-girty Lee mode, too (channeling all sorts of characters, it seems). We also see what a good, compassionate heart he has. *sigh*

Here’s the link to the YouTube upload.

And now, the latest post–featuring that beautiful young prince named Thorin. O. M. G.

Wow, just wow. What a morning, my darlings! What a morning!

EW’s latest article on The Hobbit: Fans & Facts


In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, the fall movie preview offers a page devoted to The Hobbit.  I don’t have a scanner here right now so I can’t scan it in, but I can hit the high points for you. While there are no quotes from Richard (yes, the first thing I looked for, I confess) it’s an interesting read and focuses on the fact everything (outside of Bilbo and the dwarves, of course) connected with these films is HUGE.

The shooting schedule, the technology and the expectations of the movie fans anticipating seeing them (and, of course, the budget) are all on a scale “that’s hard to comprehend.”

Martin is quoted as saying that some days filming TH felt less like a film set and more like NASA.  Jackson admitted to feeling a bit daunted at times even before the two films were set to become a trilogy.

“We know we’re making a series of films that people really want to see,” said Sir Ian in the article. “But it’s a big responsibility because you don’t want to let them down.”

Philippa Boyens, however, doesn’t seem worried, saying, “There is no one way to tell these stories—there are multiple ways. People have said, ‘Aren’t you worried about what the fans are going to think?’ And I go, ‘Well, we ARE fans!”

And that fact is one that I personally find reassuring—that Philippa, Fran and Sir Peter are all huge Tolkien fans who are going to do their best to give us three excellent films.

Here are some fun factoids on The Hobbit by the numbers:

450 miles of yak hair used for wigs and beards on the first two films alone (I suspect there are some chilly yaks roaming around the Himilayas)

100 lbs. is the weight of the coat worn by Graham MacTavish as Dwalin (wonder how much Thorin’s coat weighs!)

44 individual hobbit holes created in Hobbiton

More than 2,000 prosthetic pieces—ears, noses, foreheads, hands, etc.—created for the 13 dwarves

6 sets of prosthetic hands created for each dwarf

7’1” is the height of Sir Ian’s scale double for Gandalf, Paul “Tall Paul” Randall (Wow, RA would look short compared to him. Which I guess is the point.;) )

Pix of Shirtless Men Who Aren’t Mr. Armitage (and some who are)


I received my Entertainment Weekly in the mail today. The cover photo was of Channing Tatum unbuttoning his shirt with an arrow pointing to the center of the cover indicating you should “open here.” And so, being an obedient girl, I did. Inside was a photo featuring Tatum along with fellow hunky actors Matt Bomer, Matthew McConaughey and Joe Manganiello all sporting dirty tank tops, tight black leather and in Joe’s case, just suspenders up top to showcase his ripped abs. These handsome gents are starring in a movie titled Magic Mike, set to open next month.

Tatum actually was a male stripper back in his teenage years and he pitched the concept for this movie to well-respected director, Steven Soderbergh. It’s said to have some of the wildest, campiest strip scenes ever depicted in a studio film, and unlike Showgirls, Magic Mike is said to be “intentionally funny.” And here are some of the photos from the issue, courtesy of Just Jared:

Channing and Joe. I do think they’ve been a wee bit Photoshopped.







Joe Manganiello

Now, I suspect this will be a hit, drawing lots of females and quite a few males (Matt Bomer is openly gay and Tatum, although straight, appears to have a gay following).  It will be interesting to see how it does fare at the box office. But the reason I shared these photos with you is to also share my reaction to them.

They’re nice photos. The guys are all handsome and buff. And–that’s about it. No   ” OMG–look at that BODY!” No need to wipe the drool from my mouth and tell my heart to stop beating quite so fast.

I don’t look into their eyes and feel they own me. I don’t feel a mad desire to touch their bare chests.  I appreciate all the work they put into getting so ripped for these roles. I certainly like looking at handsome, sexy men. But I don’t feel as if I have been punched in the old solar plexus when I look at them.


Because they aren’t Richard Armitage. If these were photos of RA in similar attire and poses, there might very well be drool all over this keyboard. Not to mention a screen heavily smudged with my fingerprints from finding my fingers stroking it.  Kind of like I want to do with these images:







I am hopelessly devoted to Mr. Armitage and his special brand of buffness, beauty and sex appeal . . . sorry, boys. But there ain’t no other man like RA.

One last round of Guy, ladies–and a little Hobbit, too


I have comments to catch up on replying to, and my Entertainment Weekly to peruse. The Hobbit was mentioned as the number one “Blockbuster with Buzz” with a subheader, Peter Jackson‘s vision of The Hobbit is Clear. Really Clear including quotes from Sir Peter and major theatre chain execs referring to the controversial 48 fps vs. the traditional 24 fps displayed in the 10 minute clip collection at cinema.con.

One said, “There are some guys in this industry where you just say, over time, they’ll figure this stuff out. It doesn’t hurt that it’s Sir Peter Jackson.” I heartily concur. My money’s on the adorable and very, very clever bloke helming the whole project.

Ballpoint pen portrait on 21 x 29 cm format

Ballpoint pen portrait on 21 x 29 cm format (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can’t wait to see the cover stories sure to come on TH. And with EW’s penchant for shooting multiple covers for different cast members as part of major  cover stories (which are included in all subscriber copies) there is a chance we just might see Thorin on one of those covers.  And I suppose I need to rustle up something for supper.  I guess just eating a mocha brownie is out of the question . . . yeah, I thought so.

My two cents on 50 Shades of Grey *Please note mature content in post*

Cover of "Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edit...

Cover of Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Once upon a time there was an Englishwoman who fell in love with all things Twilight and decided to try her hand at fan fiction.

Her Twilight story, Masters of the Universe, was also an erotic romance. The writer had read 800 to 900 of such books on her commutes to work and wanted to try her hand at something similar with her favorite fictional characters.  And so her fan fiction, about a young whiz kid Super  Executive and his innocent and naïve love interest was a steamy, sexy tale that included B*D*S*M. Yup, kinky sexy as in handcuffing ankles and wrists together and using riding crops and canes and . . . you get the idea. It went places a lot of us have never gone.

This spreader bar is the type of device Christian keeps and uses on Ana in his playroom, which Ana calls "The Red Room of Pain."

Word-of-mouth made the fan fiction very popular online, and EL James—the pseudonym taken by the fanfic writer—eventually changed the names and other aspects of the story, renamed it 50 Shades of Grey, and published it as a trilogy for profit in England.

EL James reading a passage from her 50 Shades trilogy.

Vintage Books, an American publisher, heard the enormous buzz and inked a seven-figure deal with James, who went on to sell the film rights for $5 million and to secure casting and script approval. Not bad for a debut author.

50 Shades have been featured on the front page of Entertainment Weekly, written up in numerous print and online media and creating all sorts of buzz over who will play the roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the upcoming film.

But—is it any good? Is it worth your while (and your $30 for the three Kindle editions or paperbacks) to read?  What are the strengths of Fifty Shades and what are its weaknesses?

Having read the entire trilogy now and discussed it a bit with dearest Dr. Servetus from Me+Richard Armitage, I am ready to share more of my thoughts and impressions. I won’t do it nearly so eruditely as she, but one can only try.

Popularity, of course, in books, films, television, art and music, does not necessarily equal worthiness or quality. We all know that. How else do you explain the cult of the Kardashians?

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Keeping Up with the Kardashians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mediocre writers end up on bestsellers lists. Artists who can’t hit a note without Autotune have gold records. Go figure.

First of all, let’s get the sex out of the way. There is a lot of it, and it is frequently very, very hot, and I enjoyed that. I like to read and write erotic romance and I’ve been told I am pretty good at penning it.

However, I should also point out I am not into Pain + Sex = Pleasure.  What two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom is their business. I can get into naughty and playful.  A little light bondage, blindfolding and fun with sex toys is one thing; achieving sexual gratification from beating someone else is quite another and I can’t quite get my head around that. There’s consensual rough sex and then there’s–abuse? What do you call it if it’s consensual but obviously harmful?

Those darker, more twisted aspects of Fifty Shades I did find very disturbing.  On a more light-hearted but nonetheless irritating note I quickly tired of the constant referrals to my “inner goddess” and all that she was getting up to anticipation of sexy time. You could build a drinking game around all the appearances of the IG. There is also a tremendous amount of eye rolling taking place by various characters. I keep expecting them to say, “WhatEVER.”

Some who have harshly criticized the trilogy seemed to have been most troubled by the graphic sex. However, from my POV, that sex scenes were actually one of the better-written aspects of the story (minus IG) and the best reason to read it.

Certainly neither the plot nor character development are particularly strong. If you are looking for consistency, logic and psychological insight, hmmmmm—there could be a problem.

Let me introduce you to the hero and heroine of our tale. Christian Grey is a copper-haired, grey-eyed 27-year-old  filthy rich business mogul in Seattle and the middle of three children adopted by the Greys.

He’s handsome, he’s fit, he’s smart, he’s sexy and every female who isn’t a lesbian will start blushing and stammering the moment they are in his presence.  His family thinks he’s gay because he’s never seen in public with a woman or had a girlfriend as far as they know.

James' inspiration for Christian Grey. Finally, a photo of Robert Pattinson in which I actually consider him to be attractive.

In fact, he always has a woman at his beck and call—literally. Christian is a dominant and he makes plain the fact he doesn’t do hearts and flowers,  vanilla sex or “make love”. He “f**ks hard” and he gets off on “beating the s**t out of pretty little brown-haired girls.”

Anastasia Steele is the pretty  little brown-haired girl  with the bright blue eyes whom Christian meets cute at an interview where a nervous, blushing Ana is filling in for her ailing roommate, a journalism major on the staff of the college newspaper.

Ana, a bookish and self-described “scruffy” literature major, has hopes of pursuing a career as an editor with a publishing house.

Christian, on the other hand, has hopes of grooming Ana as his next submissive.  His controlling, sadistic ways are attributed to some early trauma that happened before he was adopted and which he doesn’t want to talk about.   There is  also his “f**ked up” relationship with his mother’s friend that started when he was 15 and “Mrs. Robinson” not only seduced him, she started beating him. Talk about carrying around some emotional baggage.

He’s an angry guy with violent tendencies, a hair-trigger temper of volcanic proportions and a control freak without parallel. And yet he is able to be the calm, cool and collected self-made multi-millionaire who has thousands of employees and can buy corporations at the drop of a hat—all this at an age when some men are still living with their moms.

How does he manage it? The problem is, James never really satisfactorily explains that.  I find it hard to believe this stuck-in-adolescence fellow who sometimes suffers from debilitating panic attacks, who is completely self-loathing and flies into rages over pretty insignificant matters is also able to be such a competent and successful businessman. It just doesn’t compute.

And then we have virginal Anastasia who adores Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and who is a complete innocent when it comes to sex.

Kristen Stewart, the virginal heroine Bella in Twilight and inspiration for Anastasia in 50 Shades.

Apparently she has only kissed a guy once or twice in her entire life and never experienced “tingles.”. She hasn’t even attempted to self-pleasure.  She’s got more than one good-looking young man who is interested in her romantically, but it is as if her libido is completely in hibernation.

Only super sexy (and kinky) Christian can unleash her passions, it seems.

This isn’t the Victorian era and Anastasia isn’t Margaret Hale. It’s hard to believe she is as naïve as she is written here.

Margaret Hale

Margaret Hale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nor am I convinced someone so innocent would agree to even consider becoming Christian’s submissive and signing a contract stating in great detail all his expectations of her, right down to how often she eats, how much sleep she gets, personal grooming habits, workout schedules and so forth.  Granted, she never does actually sign it and she makes clear she has some limits—but I think I would have taken one look at all that frankly creepy fine print and headed for the door.

(She also doesn’t own a computer of any kind. I know she isn’t from a privileged background like her stereotypical gorgeous-and- popular roommate-who-makes-her-feel-scruffy, but nearly all college kids have a least a cheap laptop or desktop nowadays, don’t they?)

Sometimes Ana comes across as level-headed and prudent and other times she behaves in a very rash, immature manner. Her anger flares quite often. In fact, the couple seems to be arguing, screaming, sulking, brooding or fuming over something constantly. They use emails to converse and they both flirt and fume there, too.

It’s like kids in middle school who bicker and break up, and then make up, and then bicker . . . it’s exhausting to read it all.  I found myself growing impatient and wanting to say, “Oh, grow up already. Snap out of it!!”

We seem to have two adolescents here with raging hormones and tremendous mood swings. And access to handcuffs and weapons. It’s not really the healthiest of relationships.

They both can be quite charming and tender and flirtatious and they have a lot of hot and mutually satisfying sex, but what they can’t seem to do is to sit down and have a reasonable, rational conversation with one another.

There is plenty of physical intimacy, but very little communication and constant misunderstandings arise . . .  but after some more implausible plot twists (think heavy-duty soap opera), they get their happily (and kinkily) ever after.  Apparently the love of a good woman (who likes it rough) turns Christian’s life around.

There are several unsavory and/or just plain sad supporting characters in the story. And there’s Christian’s shrink whom I am not altogether sure is providing the proper treatment for his very troubled patient.

Christian has some serious issues and maintains some toxic relationships over the course of the three books. For a long while, he claims the woman who manipulated and sexually abused him “saved” him.

I don’t understand Christian. I am not sure the author understands him and therein lies a big problem.

She just keeps throwing new personality traits into the mix along with his ability to fly helicopters and play classical music. Will he be sweet, loving and tender, overly possessive and  demonically controlling or just plain mean and scary? Wait five minutes or a couple of pages and who knows which Christian you will get.

But hey, he sure looks great with his “just-f**ked” hair, those luminous grey eyes darkening with lust, those acid-washed jeans with the top button undone and the way they hang on his hips in such a tantalizing manner . . . I told you the sexy parts were the best thing about the books.

It isn’t great literature but it never aspired to be.

James has said she didn’t have high expectations when she wrote the fan fic or published the novel and “it is what it is.”

And I respect her for being candid about it. One thing she doesn’t appear to be is pretentious.

But I have to agree with Servetus: 50 Shades’ fanfic roots are definitely showing. As the mistress of my fanfic universe I can do anything I want to with the characters and it doesn’t have to be plausible or logical.

But when you move into the realm of mainstream fiction, little things like plausibility and logic and consistency of characterization and a strong story arc are important, at least they are to me.  You also need to be engaged with the characters and care about what happens to them. That didn’t really happen for me. I read all three books in hopes of getting more involved with the characters but to no avail.

I would have liked to have seen a good copy editor tighten up those indulgent references to “inner goddesses” and the much-repeated use of “holy crap” and “holy sh*t” throughout by Ana, who tells the story in the first person.

Not to mention removing all the Britishisms that don’t fit properly in a book about Americans living in an American city ( I haven’t seen the Vintage paperback versions of 50 Shades but I understand it has been tweaked since the Kindle edition).

One thing that I am wondering about is how many 50 Shades wanna-bes are going to be written in hopes of winning the jackpot? And how are they going to adapt  50 Shades for the big screen without it being borderline porn and possibly unintentionally hilarious?  In order to draw in a lot of the Twihards, won’t they need to tone down the sex in order to get a less restrictive rating?

There’s a lot more I could go into, but I am already at over 1,700 words and will save further discussion on the matter for another post.

Here’s my advice: if you were thinking of purchasing it, save your money. I think it would be worth purchasing for, say, $3.99 an installment but not for $9.99.  There are better reads you can get for $30.

As a matter of fact, there are better reads you can get right here in the RA community that include hot and steamy erotic romance  coupled with a good story and engaging characters and not pay a dime.

If you’ve got it and you haven’t read it yet, by all means, do. It’s not terrible. I just want you to go in forewarned. It is what it is.

But that’s just my two cents.  I would love to hear from anyone else who has read it and may have a very different spin on things.