February 21, 2011

Richard Armitage Reads Sylvester(excerpt) + Results Crooked Smiles Poll + You Can Leave Your Hat On by tuttiatavalo + 6.3 Quake Hits Christchurch, NZ + Not Grim Enough to be a Dwarf? Huh? Since When? + On His Knees :)









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EARTHQUAKE HITS SOUTHERN NZ... Map:
Massive damage reported - collapsed buildings:
                                           http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4688398


Feb 22 tweet from Sir Ian says he today saw Bilbo in 3D..nothing else, short but sweet.. 
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CASTING THE HOBBIT:(link below to entire article)
While casting good-looking chaps and chapesses might be fine for slushy teenage vampire flicks, it seems the world of dwarfs and dragons is a very different kettle of fish. The line-up for Peter Jackson's forthcoming version of The Hobbit is slowly taking shape, with the welcome news last week that Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum respectively. The roles of each of the 13 dwarfs accompanying Bilbo on his merry little quest have finally been filled. But the news that Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of this vertically challenged company, was to be played by an actor with a not-that-appalling appearance, sparked minor fury in the fan ranks.

"So far, the biggest controversy among fans with the casting of The Hobbit has to be the casting of Richard Armitage as Thorin," says Pat Dawson, a senior staff member of the Tolkien fansite TheOneRing.net. Armitage, best known for a major role in the BBC spy drama Spooks, is considered by many to be a somewhat handsome gentleman, and certainly not "grim-faced" as Tolkien described his dwarfs. And it's this that is causing the upset.


"It would, quite frankly, ruin the movie if the dwarfs are portrayed as anything more or less than what they are: short, strong, muscular, slightly over-weight, bearded and 'grim-faced'," one commenter on the site exclaimed. "Authenticity is very important."

There were similar murmurings of disapproval when The Lord of the Rings was in pre-production, when Elijah Wood was cast as Frodo Baggins, but then it was regarding the actor's age rather than his attractiveness. "Many fans thought from the beginning that he was too young to play Frodo," says Dawson, pointing to the fact that in the books he celebrated his 50th birthday shortly before setting out from Hobbiton with his all-powerful piece of jewellery. "While 50 is relatively young for a hobbit, Frodo being played by a 20-something was too much of a stretch."


Thankfully, the performance by Wood, along with most of the cast, was enough to win over many. Fans were particular delighted with McKellen's Gandalf, Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn and Serkis's Gollum. And in The Hobbit, while the addition of an attractive dwarf in the party might upset some, the lead character is already exciting many.

"Martin Freeman is perfect for the role of Bilbo," says Dawson. "He's been a fan favourite from early on in the rumour cycle because he not only looks so 'Hobbity', but he's an accomplished actor in his own right." While Dawson suggests that most fans prefer relative unknowns, to avoid being "jarred out of the film by recognising a big-name actor 'playing' a beloved character", she says that so perfect is Freeman that almost everyone will be able to overlook his recognisability from The Office, Love Actually, and numerous others.

One thing fans haven't complained about so far is size, and it's not purely because they've been casting diminutive actors.

"With special effects the directors have more freedom in choosing their talent," says the Los Angeles-based casting agent Victoria Burrows, who was heavily involved in the casting for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. "In the case of The Lord of the Rings, we did veer towards shorter actors as it made production work better, but if we loved an actor, they were hired." Alongside helping cast Wood, Mortensen and Sean Austin, Burrows brought into the fellowship John Rhys Davies, who managed to play the three-foot dwarf Gimli despite being over twice that height in reality.

In fact, Rhys Davies's height actually helped the filming process as he was in good proportion to the hobbit actors, who were around 5' 6". Had he been shorter, shots of the entire fellowship would have required three camera passes rather than two.

In 1999, when discussing his coming three-part epic, Jackson said he didn't want to go down the route of casting authentic little people. "We are casting normal-sized actors and using prosthetics, computer tricks and other less-complicated trickery to reduce them in size." Among this "less-complicated trickery", the simple act of kneeling down proved extremely useful. (link below to entire article)

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/film/casting-the-hobbit
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Congrats to the 42% of respondents who answered Marian's crooked smile occurred at Locksley Manor...you'll see it at the very beginning of the following clip(about :10 or :12)...RH2, Ep 3..

                                


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THE HOBBIT: Need to lighten up after all that grimness :) so here's an interesting blog by a NZ Lord of the Ring tourist guide.  Keep in mind that his intention is to drum up new business with his remarks:)  Actually, he's quite straight forward about 'name dropping'...
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Didn't realize when typing the above remarks that things in NZ would get quite grim...Following explains why they've experienced many earthquakes..

>New Zealand sits on the Pacific "ring of fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching from Chile in South America through Alaska and down through the South Pacific. It records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year — but only about 150 are felt by residents, and fewer than 10 a year do any damage.<
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_new_zealand_earthquake;_ylt=AvfYLe.zFBHcq6zwGVqZ12Os0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNwNTZiYXE1BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMjIyL2FzX25ld196ZWFsYW5kX2VhcnRocXVha2UEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMzBHBvcwM5BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawN

             

UPDATE #2: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7782946/65_known_dead_in_christchurch_new_zealand.html?cat=8

UPDATE:  OMG..it's true that both RAs are in NZ at same time.  A truly amazing coincidence:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/4685610/Need-to-beef-up-World-Cup-security

Excerpt from today's NZ news report:  >Campbell said the heightened US presence at the partnership forum was a nod to New Zealand's leadership role in the Pacific.

"We're sending a very clear signal that we need to step up our game and we're stepping up with New Zealand and supporting New Zealand in that role."

The partnership forum follows a historic visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during which she signed the "Wellington declaration", committing both countries to closer co-operation.

Her visit also marked a return to regular military training and exercises between the two countries. Foreign Minster Murray McCully spoke yesterday about the co-operation that was already taking place between both countries.

He praised close and habitual cooperation between the New Zealand navy and US Coastguard as being responsible for the rescue of a Kiribati family lost at sea, but said more needed to be done.

"I believe the time has come for New Zealand, the US and Australia to dramatically step up our collective surveillance activity in the region, to provide a comprehensive assault on illegal activity within our region."

The call comes as key US figures, including former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, call for a return to a military alliance between New Zealand and the US. < (read entire article at above link)

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If the following is true it's an unbelievable coincidence that both the US Richard Armitage and the UK's were/are in NZ at the same time.  Not certain if it's fact or someone's sorry idea of a joke...very sorry indeed if that's the case.  Series of recent tweets by US ambassador to NZ.  Timeline reads from bottom up...

DavidHuebner David Huebner

Thanks to all who responded re Armitage whereabouts. Has been picked up and is en route to muster/shelter site.

10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

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DavidHuebner David Huebner

First bus has arrived at our muster/shelter site at Antarctic center. Sending bus back into city for others.

10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

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DavidHuebner David Huebner

Those calling Emb: muster/shelter site remains Antarc ctr near CC airport. Leave CBD to avoid complicating rescue effrts

11 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

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DavidHuebner David Huebner

Econ Off Mike Layne remaining at AMI for stragglers. Auck Consul Dana Deree is leading convoy to Antarctic center.

11 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

DavidHuebner David Huebner

Having difficulty locating former Dep Sec of State Richard Armitage. Please advise if have info
http://twitter.com/#!/DavidHuebner

4 comments:

Musa said...

What a coincidence to have both of the Armitage's in NZ at the same time. Unbelievable.

Wellington seems to have felt the quake, but no real damage. Will still worry about our RA while in NZ given the seismic activity in the area.

RiCrAr said...

Yes, Musa, could not believe my eyes when US's Richard Armitage was mentioned in today's NZ newspaper article. They were discussing security concerns in the region.

It dawned on me a short time ago that the quake could easily effect the start date for TH. Suppose it depends on the initial locations. Maybe they'll adjust the shooting schedule and work on completing in-studio scenes rather than, as Richard said, "getting out there in nature" as early as they'd planned.

Musa said...

I've been looking for news on The Hobbit filming, but what little I've found seems there won't be any delay.

About all the criticism that he's not grim enough for Thorin, I agree! It shows they know little about him as an actor and may have only seen a few photos of him. He's not exactly known for playing light and fluffy characters-LOL.

RiCrAr said...

True Musa, that was my point by posting oh so many rather grim expressions for Lucas, Guy and even Porter. although the latter character didn't display the emotional inconsistencies of morally conflicted GoG & LN. He was nonetheless a pretty grim character when confronting today's evil terrorists. In fact, really appreciate Porter's moral clarity and lack of emotional confusion once he was set loose to do his professional thing.

I'm about to post a vid showing some of the Chch damage without exploiting the unfortunate victims. The courage of the Kiwis is truly amazing..one womanin the midst of some rubble(different vid) told the reporter it felt as though she was watching 9/11 footage...surreal.