Tag Archives: Gary Morris

Happy Birthday, dearest Richard. You really ARE getting bettah and bettah.

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bvmrymnimamly4p_largeFrom Richard’s very own Twitter Account. The boy is getting braver and braver in his advancing years. ūüėȬ† I love this pic. For some reason, it reminds me of Paul McCartney back in his bearded days in the ’70s . . . Sir Paul was my first crush on a “grown up.” Something about those talented Brits that has appealed to me since I was a mere child of four or five.¬†

 

Dear Richard,

While you’ve been wowing all those audiences this summer at the Old Vic, I’ve been battling with an angry wrist I can’t seem to get sorted out.¬† And so I have to apologise–I don’t have a birthday video (or two) prepared for you this year. I do have something in the works, but it’s¬†not finished yet, nor is it, strictly speaking, a birthday video.¬† I have several ideas, some more light-hearted and others, in a¬†more serious vein, but it takes time, energy, a reasonable degree of comfort and clarity of mind for this old girl to get it together these days.

Actually, I feel like such a namby pamby even complaining about¬†my situation. Look at YOU. Eight grueling¬†shows a week, emoting your heart out, giving your best in every gut-wrenching performance, and yet–there you are, showing up time after time¬†at the stage door, freshly showered, smiling, soft-spoken and sweet-tempered as always . . . I don’t know how you do it.¬† But bless you for doing it.

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You’ve made so many people very, very happy–not only those lucky few (in terms of the overall fandom) who¬†are managing¬†to make it to the Old Vic this summer, but all of us who have vicariously enjoyed these encounters through shared photos, tweets and blog entries. Hey, I even have my VERY OWN “Crucible” programme and poster, thanks to one of your kind and generous fans (thank you, Judit!).

 

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““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

Can it be that¬†all those highly anticipated¬†appearances to sign autographs, have your photo snapped or accept¬†gifts from your well-wishers¬†help depressurize you after releasing¬†all that raw intensity on stage? Is it a reminder for you of how “our little community” really, truly does admire, respect and adore you? A chance to put aside the gruff Proctor and let the easygoing Rich come out . . . long ago, did you dream of this day, at a well-regarded London theatrical¬†venue, when a throng of fans would be waiting there for you? Ever have to pinch yourself, just a little?

 

Whatever the reasons, you continue to earn my admiration for being a truly kind, thoughtful and down-to-earth individual, the consummate professional¬†who also happens to be blessed with brains, talent, charm and good looks in a most extraordinary way (sorry, I didn’t mean to make you blush. Or maybe I did. That flush coming to those excellent cheekbones is really quite endearing . . .)

 

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And that talent . . . oh, how THRILLED I have been by all the accolades I’ve read about your performance as Proctor. Not that I expected anything less than a fine performance from you; but not everyone is blessed with that Good Taste Gene.¬† And Benny and I had so much fun seeing you in “Into the Storm.” I think Porter is still his favorite ChaRActer, but he has a true appreciation for heroic assistant principals who smell like sheep, too, now. ūüėČ

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Your skill in dealing with press junkets, red carpets and journalists offering varying degrees of knowledge and tact is ever¬†evolving. Unflappable Armitage lives, and continues to entertain, inform and disarm us. And what¬†a treat you look–stylish,¬†a true star, and yet very comfortable in your own skin.
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There’s so much to look forward to in your 43rd year, Richard. We eagerly await the release of “Urban” (even if I have to wait on a DVD to see it); there’s the extended edition of the second Hobbit film and the accompanying promotion for that. And, of course,¬†the¬†last juggernaut for the final installment of PJ’s trilogy,¬†offering¬†the return of majestic Thorin, the world’s sexiest (and most angst-ridden) dwarf (now, quit rolling those baby blues at me. Thorin. is. sexy. Period. Or full stop as you lot say)

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I don’t know what else is on tap for you; maybe you’ll be sharing that soon in your conversation at the Old Vic? What I do know is I wish you more—more excellent acting roles in whatever venues you desire, more happiness, friendship¬†and good health. More opportunities to learn and grow, to laugh and love. To live life to the fullest in the way you want to live it.

Happy Birthday, Rich.

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Because I certainly am. Ever so proud.

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Oh, and never stop talking with your hands. It’s an extra added value to the fangurling I dearly love.

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Signed,
an ardent Armitage admirer

aka fedoralady

He said, She said (Part 2): A Couple’s Take on ‘Into the Storm’

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And we’re back with more about¬†seeing “Into the Storm!” Pardon me if I sort of dart around here, my mind is going in a lot of different directions–but I want to write this while it is fresh in my mind. I did not read any professional critics’ reviews, or really any reviews¬†by¬†fans/bloggers¬†of this film before seeing it this afternoon. I wanted to make up my own mind for myself.

 

 

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The cinematic experience starts off really well for us during our Sunday matin√©e (WARNING: SHAMELESS PLUG FOR FAMILY BUSINESS COMING UP)¬†when the newest commercial for the local Chevy¬†dealership¬†created by¬†Pecan Ridge Productions, shot and edited by Benny, appears on the screen–with the tagline voice-over done by yours truly.¬† We hear someone behind us say, “Awww,” at the sight of those cute local kids playing ball and eating hot dogs. A win! ūüėČ

 

Then comes the preview for THTBOFA. There’s Thorin, larger than life and looking very majestic and¬†more than a little crazed.¬†I give spouse the teeniest dig in the ribs. He grunts and gives me a small lop-sided smile.¬† He’s humoring me. That’s OK.

Once the film starts and the video cameras appear on-screen,¬† I see spouse’s antennae perking up.¬† NOW we’re talkin’ . . . No one is sitting very close to us, so we can talk in low tones without being a nuisance.

Me: What kind of cameras are they using?

Him: (squints) Hmmmm, not sure. (suddenly grins like a kid at Christmas and wags his finger at the screen) But hey, that bracket holding the camera on the outside of the vehicle? It’s just like the one I got and put on the Jeep!

I think to myself, Well, he’s already enjoying it more than the Hobbit films. This is good.

[I take note that Richard as Gary¬†looks very much the part of¬†a single dad of teens¬†and¬†assistant principal at a small town high school in the Midwest. The close-cropped hair,¬†wire-rimmed reading glasses, the conservative (and, apparently, cheap) suit and tie for the school’s graduation. That look in his eyes.

Gary¬†has a lot on his mind. You feel as if this big, strapping man carries a burden on his shoulders just from the way he moves at times. A¬†physically strong man, but, perhaps, a¬†soul-weary one?¬† School duties, the principal riding him, a lack of communication with his two sons . . .¬† an ordinary (if very attractive) kind of guy living an ordinary life. And if he doesn’t sound exactly like Oklahoma or thereabouts, he sounds–generically American. Especially when I hear his voice and don’t see him. I think it’s a good start for a guy who doesn’t have a lot of experience doing American accents.]

 

Spouse¬†Loves “Jack-Ass” Style¬†Comedy Relief

When the group of good ol’ boys appears on-screen, videoing their own lame-brained drunken exploits, Benny chuckles. We know some folks like these guys–dumb as a box of rocks, but basically harmless and, you know, kind of likeable.¬† You’re just glad you aren’t actually related to them . . . BTW, did anyone else notice the cameo by Todd Garner in that scene with the swimming pool?

Him: Yeah, these guys are OK. (He clearly hopes to see more of them and, of course, his wish is granted.)

Me: Next thing you know, they’ll be saying, “Hey y’all, look at this!!” Which usually ends badly . . . [talk about dumb luck. Donk and Reevis actually survive!]

And then the storm hits.  Gary starts giving orders to the school kids and trying to maintain calm, all the while anxious to locate his own errant oldest son, Donnie (played with a shy, endearing awkwardness by Max Deacon. I predict we will see more of  handsome, talented Max in future films and TV projects. I like Nathan Kress as Trey, too, but Max really managed to tug at my heartstrings).

 

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Gary on the Way to Save the Day–Hooray!

Soon Gary jumps into the fray and keeps Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies) the pretty meteorologist, from blowing away as they hang on to the vehicle for dear life.

I must say from a purely prurient POV, I approve of soaking wet Gary in action (the thighs! the buns!) although I do not announce this to Benny. I do try to remind myself wet Gary smells like a sheep (according to Sarah).

And I can¬†certainly see why Sarah said¬†this wasn’t a “comfortable” film to make, too. An actor’s life definitely isn’t all red carpets and wrap parties.

Him:¬†(smirks) It’s certainly¬†a good thing¬†this guy’s¬†an SAS soldier.

[Porter is his favorite RA character. He’s seen Thorin, Heinz, Ian from “Ultimate Force”¬†and¬† some of “The Golden Hour.” So far, nobody beats out the sergeant.]

We both agree the visuals¬†are pretty darned impressive. I’ve seen enough actual footage of tornadoes, not to mention my own experiences and the accounts of friends and family, to say it all looked frighteningly real–both the twisters themselves and the aftermath. And the noise, all that roaring, and the popping of the transformers blowing . . . yep, it worked for me. Kudos to the seven different special effects houses (we always sit through the credits) who worked to finish the film when the original SFX house went bankrupt.

NOT Quite Buying That . . .

What didn’t seem so believable?

Him: Really convenient they had this big airport with all these big planes next to this little town with like, eight people in the graduating class . . . it’s like McKenzie (a tiny town in southern end of county) being located next to the Atlanta Airport!

Me: Uh . . . maybe it’s a regional airport?

Him: (gives me a look that says, “Yeah-RIGHHHT.”)

Me: (shrugs) OK, so maybe not so realistic. What else bothered you?

Him: (drily) Oh, the way the storm was nice enough to pause and take breaks and like, knit a sweater¬†and give them a chance to get all those kids on buses and out of harm’s way, and then to get the manhole cover open and get into the storm drain, and for the guy to get the¬†storm vehicle and hold the grate in place . . . (grins)¬†of course, if it had all happened in real-time, the movie would have been over in¬†15 minutes!

 

 

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Me: (Nods) Yep, gotta take some dramatic license here and there. What did you think of Richard’s accent?

Him: Well–he didn’t really sound like Oklahoma to me–but I’ve heard a lot worse. Definitely.

Me: I thought the performances all around were good.  I enjoyed it.

Him: I have to say–it was better than pretty much anything I’ve ever¬†seen on the¬†SyFy Channel (spouse is a devotee of said channel).

Me: I suspect it had a slightly higher budget than anything on SyFy.

Him: Better actors, too.

Me: We agree we didn’t miss it not being in¬†3D?

Him: Oh, yeah, we’ve seen–what? Five or six 3-D films now, big budget ones,¬†and none of them have made us go, Wow, because of the effects? I think I must really be a 2-D kind of guy.

Me:¬†(sighs)¬†It was so–nice—to see Richard in a movie in which his character LIVES! He gets a happy ending for a change! And he’s a hero!

Him: Maybe they can make a sequel. He gets married to Allison and they become storm chasers. Or it’s 25 years in the future, the kids are storm chasers . . .

Me: And HE’S really old . . . and goes off and gets into trouble and the boys go to save him but he saves THEM.

Hey, it could happen.

 Thoughts:

So, I am not quite sure why this movie is getting such negative reviews. Is it perfect? No. Are there some clich√©s and stereotypes? Yes. Do I see it as “weather porn,” as one critic termed it? No, I don’t. Mother Nature can be one fierce creature, and she seems to be getting more and more so with each passing year. I am glad the film made reference to the numerous extreme meteorological events we’ve seen in recent years just in our own country alone, never mind the world. What¬†exactly¬†were critics expecting from this found footage disaster film–and why?

I very much¬†like that this movie did not have a single superhero endowed with special powers. Although I also¬†enjoy those types of films, I think we need to see “regular people” get their inner¬†hero on, too.

Gary was the ordinary guy forced by extraordinary circumstances to step up and lead in a crisis, to not give up on his students or his sons. Call me a sentimental old sap–I will not argue the point with you–but it was so good to see post-storm Gary standing there smiling, his arms around those two boys. Rebuilding–houses or relationships–is never an easy task, but you feel as if the Morris family and their community have what it takes to make it happen.

And I have seen that happen in my own county, after natural disasters, neighbors helping neighbors, and also local citizens reaching out to refugees from Katrina and other storms, offering them shelter, food, clothing, even jobs and homes. There is still goodness in people.

So yes, we give Into the Storm two thumbs up–it’s entertaining, humorous and even¬†touching in spots, and ultimately, really uplifting. The resilience of the human spirit shines . . . and yes, Serv, you were right. I walked out of that theatre into the sunshine–and smiled.

 

 

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He said, She said: A Couple’s Take on ‘Into the Storm’ (Part 1)

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This afternoon Mr. Videographer and General Flunky¬†(AKA Benny and I)¬†headed into town to catch the matinee showing of “Into the Storm” at the local multiplex, The Edge. We settled into the comfy rocking chair seats¬†with a scattering of fellow audience members,¬†and prepared to see Richard Armitage and some¬†CGI tornadic activity unlike anything we’ve ever seen before–and hopefully, will¬†never see in real life.

 

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First, a little background on our own real-life atmospheric experiences.

Been There, Done That.

Benny and I have been through quite a variety of scary¬†weather systems¬†in our half-century plus here on earth–a huge blizzard with white-out conditions¬†in South Dakota, not to mention hailstones large enough to break windows and kill outside animals;¬†dangerous ice storms in various parts of the Midwest, more hurricanes than I care to think about right here in south Alabama¬†(don’t believe in climate change? Let me show you where a barn and many trees used to stand on my parents’ farm,¬†two-and-a-half hours inland, where hurricanes once left us with nothing more than some¬†heavy rain and a few fallen tree¬†branches. Oh yeah, boys and girls, it’s real).

As a young child, I remember the family driving to a neighboring county that had been hit hard by a tornado. There were houses missing roofs and outer walls, yet in some rooms, the furniture remained perfectly intact. I saw bicycles, twisted and tossed on the tops of some of the buildings left standing, cars flipped and folded and yes, flimsy blades of straw driven into the trunks of ancient oaks. One home might be a complete shambles, nothing left but a mass of rubble, while a house 20 yards away was completely untouched.

I think, other than normal human curiosity, our parents wanted us to see all that destruction in person as a lesson. tornadoes were nothing to fool around with. You had to move fast and be smart. Even then, there were no guarantees . . .

Looking at all the devastation, you felt awful for the people who went through all this. And¬†at the same time, you couldn’t resist breathing a sigh of relief it¬†hadn’t happened to you and your loved ones.

Traditionally, tornadoes have tended to follow similar paths over the years. Our stompin’ grounds have, thankfully, never been in one of those paths, while some communities have been hit multiple times¬†(But who’s to say new paths won’t develop? Mother Nature can be both cruel and fickle).

Too Close for Comfort

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Yes, we got a pretty good snow while I lived in Talladega, too. Some of the students got to experience it for the first time. Helen Keller, who visited the school’s fragrance garden in her later years, is celebrated with this statue of young Helen at the water pump.

I had my “up close and personal” moment with a tornado thirty years ago. ¬†I was teaching arts & crafts and creative and performing arts classes at the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega.¬†One rather grey morning, I got a call from the school’s main office during my planning period.

“Angie, you and Mr. W, get to the main building–NOW. A tornado is coming.”

I grabbed my hooded rain slicker from my office in the converted dormitory building and hurried as fast as I could down the stairs, out the front door and¬†across the sidewalk. Fat raindrops thumped against¬†us¬†as the sky darkened ominously.¬†Mr. W (the shop teacher)¬†and I¬†got into ASB’s front hall only moments before the storm hit. The winds picked up tremendous speed and a roar, not unlike a freight train coming right down South Street.

Talk about the nick of time . . .

I remember glancing up and¬†out¬†through a¬†window and see things flying by–what they were, I couldn’t say. It was all¬†one gigantic¬†blur. The students, crouching in the approved position,¬†were quite calm. It was some of¬†the sighted teachers who were verging on nervous wrecks.¬†As for me, I¬†was praying silently that¬†no one would get hurt, and that my second floor apartment in an old Victorian just two blocks down the street¬†would still be there when all this passed over.

There were, thank goodness, no serious injuries. A small portion¬† of¬†the School for the¬†Deaf’s main building’s roof¬†was partially blown off, with majestic old shade trees completely uprooted, sidewalks buckled, and some homes and vehicles badly damaged in parts of this town of 20,000.¬† And my quaint little¬†apartment? Still intact, albeit lacking power for several days after a main transformer blew close to the house’s¬†backyard.

It lasted only a short time, and yet it seemed to last forever, that storm. It was bad enough, but it could have been so much worse. And I decided then and there I never wanted to be that close to another tornado again.  Storm chasing? Phooey. Storm avoiding is the life for me.

And then I find out Richard Armitage, my favorite actor, is making a film about tornado chasers . . . wasn’t too sure how I felt about it all at first.¬†As a viewer, I¬†worried that “found footage” might translate into lots of shaky hand-held camera shots that would just irritate me and¬†give me a headache.¬† As a devoted fan, I worried that RA, whose characters’ recent track records for survival¬†fell into the lackluster category¬†might end up playing another doomed hero *sniff*

As a person who knows what survivor’s grief is all about, I was concerned¬†that seeing this unfold on film would bring back too many painful¬†memories of Tuscaloosa and Enterprise and Joplin, of the tornado in my sisters’ former hometown of Huntsville, where her co-worker died from injuries sustained when a tornado struck her apartment building.¬† Of the Birmingham tornadoes that so narrowly missed my oldest sister and her boy. Memories of all those who didn’t make it.

And, frankly, as a wife whose husband has sat through two long Tolkien films featuring Armitage¬†only to please his spouse and¬†not because he particularly enjoyed the genre, I didn’t want to sit through a movie worrying about how bored said spouse was.

 

 

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An image from Tuscaloosa after the city was struck by a tornado. In one of the ITS interviews, Sarah Wayne Callies recalls driving through the town on her way back to Georgia to shoot more of The Walking Dead. I¬†found myself very depressed¬†in the days and¬†weeks that followed,¬†and often broke into tears watching the images on TV/reading about it.¬† And all those from our area who traveled to Tuscaloosa to help with the cleanup said it was much worse in person–as if a nuclear bomb had gone off.

 

 

But you know what? I shouldn’t have worried.¬† “Into the Storm” gets the Mr. Videographer and Fedoralady’s Seal of Approval! More on¬†our thoughts about and reactions to the film¬†in our next installment (yes, the mister will have his say).

 

 

Continuing my Carly Simon homage: I haven’t got time for the pain

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First there was my “Anticipation” as the local theatre was “making me wait, keeping me wa-a-waiting . . .”

Waiting, of course, to find out if and when “Into the Storm” would be gracing the screens of the nearest multiplex.

Because assuming it would, would make an “ass” out of me, right?  Never assume anything.

Well, after being more or less bedridden for close to 24 hours (chalk it up to FMS, sciatica, severe muscle spasms in my back and ulnar nerve pain in the wrist), I picked up my almost-dead cordless phone noon-ish today and once again punched in the numbers for the theater’s hotline.  And what do you know . . . the first thing announced by the recorded voice THIS time was “For Into the Storm, press 1 . . .” I gave an inner *squee* and hastily hit that button. I heard the show times just before the phone gave up the ghost and insisted it be charged for seven hours.

So, you see, I haven’t got time for the pain–not since RA arrived in town in the guise of Gary Morris. Oh, I still hurt, but I’m definitely better than early this morning, and even more so, now that I know I have this guy to look forward to seeing tomorrow:

 

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“Haven’t got time for the pain, haven’t got room for the pain, haven’t the need for the pain, not since I met you . . .” Sing it, Carly!

 

I’ve seen fire, and I’ve seen rain . . . Mr. A is having a wet, hot summer! *squee*

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It’s the Summer of the Armitage! Richard is spending the next couple of months giving audiences an impassioned, impressive performance as the conflicted farmer John Proctor, adulterous husband embroiled in the Salem Witch Trials. I know I have shared this edit of mine before, but I like it so much I’m sharing it again. Hey, the beauty of having one’s own blog.

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So there he goes, setting London on fire . . .  this big, fit, beautiful, bearded man, acting his linen smock off (literally at one point. *heaves sigh*) and using that commanding presence, physicality and voice to enthrall once more.  And then turning up at the stage door to be as sweet and affable and accommodating as always. What a guy!

 

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But we are ALSO getting more Armitage– a contemporary role as the clean-shaven all-American high school assistant principal Gary Morris, a widower¬†caught with his sons in a deadly day of tornadoes¬†in the (long-awaited!)¬†August New Line release, “Into the Storm.”

Serv posted some screencaps earlier from the new trailer, and naturally, I couldn’t resist having some fun with Wet Gary, aka the Hunky Educator Hero in the High-Waisted Slacks. Do you all remember some of those promo stills that came out after they do some additional shooting for the film? When RA’s hair was still a bit longer on top (as compared to how it was cut for principal photography)? I do . . .¬† hmmmm, Gary must have been blown into some Miracle-Gro at some point (a fertilizer here in the US) and it went to town on his hair. ūüėČ I am sure most folks won’t even notice.

But I always think of Lucas and his Mysterious Travelling Tattoo . . .

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I’ve been right smack-dab in the middle of a tornado (on the campus of the Alabama School for the Blind) and I’ve taught high school kids. And neither one is a picnic! ūüėČ

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Having been in a tornado, very close to the path of tornadoes and having seen on more than one occasion the deadly toll they can take and massive destruction they can cause, honestly, a twister movie is generally not my first choice in movie viewing.

But this disaster flick has Richard Armitage. Wet. Fatherly. Heroic. Trying out an American accent for the first time in a really measurable amount.  How can I resist??  A good mindless popcorn movie might be just what I need . . .

 

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So, planning to go and see Mr. A in August? What are your thoughts on the trailer? His accent? Did you notice how great Sarah looked even bedraggled?¬†(Curse her!)¬†Eye candy for everyone in this pic–cute teens for the younger set and hunky and hot adults for the rest of us.¬† As for any of you lucky ducks who will be seeing Mr. A in person in the round at the Old Vic–please let me know about your experience! And now, it’s time to ice the Troublesome Wrist, boys and girls.

 

“Storm”-y silliness and serious stuff; or Help! I’m photo editing & I can’t quit

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Remember tomorrow (Wednesday, June 25)¬†is the premiere online of the newest trailer for “Into the Storm” at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, noon Central and 1 p.m. for the East Coast. In honor of the occasion, I’ve done a few tongue-in-cheek edits of some of the most recent promo stills for ITS. (Aren’t we glad they changed the name? Would hate to refer to an Armitage project as BS . . . just sayin’ . . .) And one more Proctor edit, because I swear that character is haunting me (and I haven’t and won’t see him on stage, unless they do make a DVD . . .) What can I say? It’s the Armitage Effect. ūüėČ And really, would we have it any other way?

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“Lean on me, when you’re not strong . . .” RA, Pillar of Strength.

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It’s 4:50 a.m. on a Friday morning. I woke up abruptly after falling asleep pretty quickly last night.¬† It was a hard day, shooting two separate events, standing on an unforgiving¬†gym floor for several hours before¬†my work day¬†was over. I struggled last night to make it up my front steps and onto the deck.

 

My back is angry with me yet again. Forgive me if this is disjointed and a bit scattershot . . . that’s sort of the state of my brain at present.¬† I am at once so grateful for the work and the fact Pecan Ridge Productions is becoming better known, and so frustrated my body keeps failing me.¬†In three hours, I will be back in town standing on that same gym floor behind a camera. I am beginning to think I should have just slept there. Then again, my back really wouldn’t have liked that!

Benny’s been ill with the type of crud that turns your digestive system inside out.¬† And then he started passing blood, not huge amounts–a teaspoon or so here and there, but enough to be alarming for me. Didn’t want to go to the ER because of the co-pay.¬†The bleeding¬†seemed to stop while I was in town shooting with Harry. Fingers crossed . . .

I haven’t spent much time Armitaging in recent weeks because I have been so busy, so wrapped up in¬†our video production business, up working well into the night on projects, sometimes sleeping, sometimes not. Wanting to make one particular project something really special. It’s our first two-DVD set, with an hour of bonus features, nearly all of those edited by yours truly. And then wouldn’t you know we’d have to miss the big DVD premiere party at the Ritz? I think I would have cried except for the fact I was too tired to squeeze out those tears.10313303_10203182455614555_3652300496810394960_nPOTR cast member and local pharmacist Jimmy Ansley offered to promote the DVD at his business. He has this display on his front counter . . . he snapped this photo and posted it on FB. Good to have a cheerleader for the project.

 

The good news is, the cast and crew LOVED it. We’ve gotten compliments on the editing, sound quality, how the images really pop on the screen,¬† that the¬†bonus features are fun and informative¬†and creatively done . . . so we are feeling good about the response.

I did take some time out to look at the new and new-to-us images of Richard popping up this week. The Sarah Dunn photo is simply gorgeous, but it’s not the one that resonated with me the most. It was that still from “Into the Storm” that really grabbed my attention. Armitage as rescuer, savior, hero. The idea that when the going gets tough, this is the guy you’d want in your corner.¬† He doesn’t give up or give in; I am trying to hang in there, too, and work through the pain and fatigue and know it will all be worth it in the end.

And so I made the little collage you see above. I have leaned on Armitage in various ways these past seven years, through disappointments, humiliation and heartache, through pain and grief. Even when I don’t spent much time “with” him, I always know he’s there, this pillar of strength. This powerful yet gentle man, with his¬†kindly, compassionate¬†eyes and arms that encompass you, murmuring words of encouragement.

“Brave girl, brave girl.”

Thank you, Richard, for once again helping me without any earthly idea you are doing it.

And now, time for half a muscle relaxer with a side order of fuzzy feline . . .

 

 

A test screening audience member’s reaction to ‘Black Sky.’

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This is a review left by z74neo at IMDB after attending a screening of “Black Sky.”¬† Title of it?

“AWESOME.”

So I was lucky enough to catch a test screening last night. An invitation was sent to me to preview an upcoming film called “Untitled Tornado Project”. But I was kinda iffy about it since I hadn’t heard of any tornado film coming out–certainly not this one–it sounded straight-to-video, and they didn’t mention any cast members. Yet I had always wondered if they were ever going to do a Twister sequel (although something kinda cheesy about the idea), and I’ve always been fascinated by tornadoes (I’m actually kinda subconsiously terrified of them while at the same time a “fan”), so I thought I’d check it out. Bless mother nature that I did.

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THIS. BETTER. GET. RELEASED. It’d be an IMMENSE shame if this went straight-to-video or was shelved. People gotta see this on the big screen. If you like Twister, you’ll love this one. Now, maybe because I’m a fan of Twister, I did feel this film lacked a certain charm that Twister had, but there are SO many things this film did BETTER. Of course, for sure, one main aspect being the effects. They said the film wasn’t finished and asked us to be understanding if certain shots looked incomplete, but I didn’t notice anything looking poor.

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If the actual release does look even better, I’ll literally be blown away (pun intended). The film also feels a bit more real than Twister, and doesn’t have as much “yeah, right” moments–although there are a few. More over, there are moments during the awesome climax where you want go¬†“yeah, right”, but you’re just so entranced by ingenuity of the sequence that you can’t help but be amazed (at least, I couldn’t). While still contrived in certain respects, and not a whole lot more in way of a plot, it does have a marginally better story and slightly more interesting characters. And finally, it does feel as though it has a certain relevance today in wake of all the recent tornado tragedies, as well as the advent of our youtube generation. If you like Twister or disaster pics or tornadoes in general, then when this comes out, GO SEE IT. It’s a great ride.

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(Well, we weren’t expecting Shakespeare–it is a found-footage disaster film, after all–but it certainly doesn’t sound as if it’s something of which Mr. A should be ashamed, either. And I suspect I would find a certain character much more than “slightly more interesting” than any characters in Twister. )

Your thoughts?

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My own Photoshop Elements-made fake movie poster for the film. The top photo is one tweeted by Todd Garner, film producer, during post-production.

When will it all get sorted out? ‘Black Sky,’ WB & Rhythm & Hues

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Black Sky producer Todd Garner tweeted a link to this article today:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/warner-bros-disputes-vfx-work-431380#

Sounds as if this could be a drawn-out affair. *sigh*

Thoughts?

VFX studio for ‘Black Sky’ files bankruptcy; film still slated for release in 2013

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Richard Armitage in a scene from Black Sky. Courtesy of Todd Garner at Twitter

Thanks to Awkward Celebrity Encounters for sharing this link to The Wrap at Twitter:

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/rhythm-hues-bankruptcy-status-update-shows-no-decision-warner-bros-films-79841

This could answer the question as to why we haven’t heard much of anything new recently from Black Sky. Looks like there is still VFX work to do on the film, and someone else may have to do it.

I recently read another online article detailing the financial woes of many US-based VFX houses. While places like Weta Workshop in New Zealand are flourishing, others are being forced to close their doors.

Selfishly, of course, I just want to see Black Sky completed and in the theatres (well) before the end of this year. I am eager to Richard on the big screen as more than Thorin. But I also want to see the film completed properly. I want it to be as good as it can be in its genre.

And it just seems as if we’ve been waiting forever. I know,¬†I know. It¬†was only shot last summer and it takes¬†time to finish a film, especially if there’s a lot of FX work that must be put into places. I’m impatient–what can I say?

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Richard Armitage and Nathan Kress in a scene from Black Sky. Courtesy of Todd Garner via Twitter.

41: RA’s climacteric year?

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Climacteric: (noun) 1. a critical period. 2. A year in which important changes in health, fortune, etc. are held by some theories to occur, such as one’s¬†65th year.¬†3. The period of maximum respiration¬†in a fruit, in which it¬†becomes fully ripened.¬† (Also refers to a physiological period involving a decrease in reproductive capacity in men and women, culminating, in women, in menopause).

In 2004, the year he turned 33, Richard Armitage (unexpectedly, it would seem, from the BBC’s standpoint) became something of an “overnight sensation” in the UK after captivating a large contingent of females with his performance as the sober Victorian mill owner capable of a “foolish passion” in North & South.¬† Of course, the man had been toiling for years as a struggling actor, doing DIY work for friends¬†and taking front of house jobs to make ends meet while trying to find that the success that seemed to elude him–therefore “overnight sensation” in quotes.

 

Thornton became an iconic role for Richard Armitage, with many audience members choosing him as their ideal romantic hero.  More television roles came. His first starring role after N&S,  caring air emergency doctor Alex Track in the series The Golden Hour, was short-lived, but he ended up stealing the show as the beautiful, conflicted henchman Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood and making us fall in love with an enigmatic spy named Lucas North in Spooks.  There were other television roles, too, including the charismatic businessman with a dark side, John Mulligan in Moving On.

Then came the tough, yet tender and sexy-as-hell sergeant John Porter in Strike Back, not to mention the various audiobooks, advertisements, TV narrations and other jobs our workaholic fit into his schedule–and his first significant role in a blockbuster, the sinister Hydra spy¬†Heinz Kruger in Captain America.

 

 

His fandom continued to grow and his talent seemed to go from strength to strength. Even when fans hated what was done to some of his character *holds up hand* they rarely faulted him on the quality of his performances and the versatility he continued to show in his roles.

Richard Armitage turned 41 this past August. And he seems to be in the midst of another truly climacteric year–one of gigantic proportions, I suspect.¬† Because he’s about to appear in one of, if not the biggest of the big films this holiday season, helmed¬†by¬†no less than Sir¬†Peter Jackson,¬†beloved director of¬†the spectacularly successful film trilogy LOTR. It’s a¬†film that has its own built-in, wildly enthusiastic audience (as witnessed by Comic-Con). And Richard is undeniably one of its stars, right up there with Martin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen.

 

 

 

The publicity machine for The Hobbit is well underway–and before the film arrives in theaters,¬†we’ve got lots of Richard to look forward to, in tie-in books, in magazine and television interviews and more, a veritable RA/Thorin bonanza. And I am not complaining.

John Thornton was Richard’s first iconic role; surely Thorin Oakenshield, the brave, fierce, charismatic dwarf warrior will be his next, and one viewed by a much, much larger audience across the world.¬† In this climacteric year, Richard Armitage is going to become very well-known, and I suspect many audience members will want to know what’s underneath all that yak hair and makeup.¬† And what else this impressive actor has appeared in. Ah, the pleasures that await them!

And I, for one, am delighted at the thought of it, of the thought of fans of all ages, both sexes, all nationalities, etc. discovering more about our wonderful RA.¬† I see his fan base growing and diversifying with his starring role in The Hobbit. If any actor deserves that sort of attention, it’s Richard Armitage. His talent, his intelligence, his dedication to his roles, his professionalism, the intensity he brings to every project–and the fact he is such a worthwhile human being on top of it all–makes my heart sing with gladness for this man.

I would say year 41 is truly¬†turning out to be¬†climacteric for our beautiful guy. Who will also be gracing screens as schoolteacher Gary Morris in Black Sky¬†in 2013.¬†What’s up next for RA? I don’t know, but I do know I¬†will be along for the ride, come what may.

Vive Richard Armitage!!