October 27, 2011

EW Review of Controversial Shakespeare Film..Gives it C- + Behind the Scenes Pic from Reporter Embedded With The Hobbit Crew + Peter Jackson Announces THE HOBBIT Will Premiere in Wellington, NZ in Nov 2012 + Do You Agree With These Poetry Choices?

On Twitter, Eric Vespe (@Eric Vespe) has announced he will be reporting from the set of The Hobbit.  Quote: "I am currently in New Zealand on the set of The Hobbit and I will be reporting biweekly from the set. I’m embedded with the crew as they run around the North and South Islands of New Zealand for the next two months on their location shoot and will be bringing you guys reports as we go along." Eric also stated that a video blog from Peter Jackson may be imminent.
Thanks to Musa and http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/latestnews.html for the Vespe heads up.

Here are the tweets from the embedded reporter, Vespe:
Stay tuned for a ton of great looks behind the scenes of The Hobbit. This is going to be a wild ride!
EricVespeEric Vespe
I was playing coy before, but it's true. I'm in New Zealand, on the set of The Hobbit. Here's my proof: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/51748
There are a crazy amount of Richard Armitage fans on Twitter. Calm down, ladies. You'll get some Armitage before my time in NZ is through.
EricVespeEric Vespe
@darkhorizons Ha! Last time this happened was when I interviewed Gerard Butler. Massive rush of new followers
@darkhorizonsGarth Franklin
@EricVespe If Butler fans are Star Wars, Armitage fans are Firefly - smaller in number but so much more fierce in their adoration.     

[R: Fierce?..moi? *teehee*..reminds me of those times dh has told me that one of the things he appreciates most about *us* is my loyalty. As I recall, he said that more than once during a political campaign -  whenever he was yet again misquoted in the newspaper.  I might've emitted a couple expletives in his defense.*blush*
Switching gears(see below pic) Oh yes..I can see this is going to be a fun ride with Mr Vespe...those are his feet pointing toward Hobbiton]

      He just might get competition from someone else's feet...yeah, that's what everyone notices..the feet


Quote from website below: “50 most poignant lines of poetry ever written”..I don’t agree totally with that statement, but have chosen below some I find poignant. Do you agree with them? More to come...


"Life's battles don't always go / To the stronger or faster man. / But sooner or later the man who wins, / Is the man who thinks he can."
If You Think You are Beaten, Walter D. Wintle

"As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, / the movement of his powerful soft strides / is like a ritual dance around a center / in which a mighty will stands paralyzed"
The Panther, Rainer Maria Rilke

Latest issue of EW arrived during the season's first snowstorm.  The most interesting item(out of the usual 3:) was the mag's review of the new film 'Anonymous'.  It follows..
"According to Anonymous, the plays and sonnets attributed to lower-class Wm Shakespeare were in fact written by Edw de Vere, the upper-class Earl of Oxford.  According to Anonymous, Queen Eliz I was a lusty bed-hopper who bore more than one illegitimate child.  According to Anonymous, de Vere was one of the Queen's lovers and also one of her...well, never mind, because Anonymous might just as well also declare that Elizabethans lived in yurts and invented the game of Sudoku, for all the pompous foolishness masquerading as intellectual provocation in this thumpingly silly yet self-serious period-piece what-if.

The movie is a self-described passion project, for Roland Emmerich, the German-born director best known for making end-of-the-world disaster pics, including Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012.  The destruction here is confined to a turgid overload of intrigue concocted in cahoots with screenwriter John Orloff, who fills his characters' mouths with honking declarations of literary ardor along the lines of "My poems are my soul!"  Ifans is honorable and earnest in a star-crossed production; Redgrave does some queenly hamming in opulent costumes that might have been designed by Project Runway alumnus Chris March.  But scholary debate about the Shakespeare Authorship Question has little to do with this tale told by an idio...syncratic moviemaker up to little more than mischief."  EW rating: C-

A tree that looks at God all day, / And lifts her leafy arms to pray; / A tree that may in Summer wear / A nest of robins in her hair; / Upon whose bosom snow has lain; / Who intimately lives with rain."
Trees, Joyce Kilmer

PJ announced from Hobbiton that THE HOBBIT will premiere in Wellington, NZ in Nov, 2012
"When a woman loves a man, they have gone / to swim naked in the stream / on a glorious July day / with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle / of water rushing over smooth rocks, / and there is nothing alien in the universe."
When a Woman Loves a Man, David Lehman

"Hope is the thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / And sings the tune without the words, / And never stops at all,"
Hope Is The Thing With Feathers, Emily Dickinson

"He was my North, my South, my East and West. / My working week and my Sunday rest. / My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song. / I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong."
Stop All The Clocks, WH Auden

"We are the Dead. Short days ago / We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, / Loved and were loved, and now we lie / In Flanders Fields."
In Flanders Fields, John McCrae

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference."
The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. / I love thee to the depth and breadth and height / My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight / For the ends of being and ideal grace."
How Do I Love Thee?, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"I can promise all my heart's devotion; / A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow; / A love that's true and ever growing; / A hand to hold in your's through each tomorrow."
These I Can Promise, Mark Twain

Past Post from Sept 2010..reviews and comments immediately following Spooks 9, ep 1...

Controversial movie - thanks to Sue for the heads up. 
Review of the movie from the NY Times..boils my blood to give that newspaper any exposure considering the negative effect it's paranoid liberal reporters have had on the cultural fabric of the USA.  In this case, the entertainment critic is downright amusing as he skewers the new movie's content while at the same time praising the film's production design and costumes as superb, saying "interiors often look like Holbein paintings".
More quotes from the review:
"As a work of serious history, it is beyond useless."
'Anonymous' is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned)..Swordplay, bodice ripping, bawdy speech and the cold-blooded murder of the truth."


Sue said...


I love the poetry you have chosen, very poignant. I must be an old fashioned gal at heart (although you'd never guess it!)

By the way don't know whether the news has reached America but there is a film about William Shakespeare and the theory that he didn't write what he is supposed to have written. It's called "Anonymous". There have been demonstrations and a public outcry over here in England about it! How dare they say William Shakespeare was a fake! My goodness it's only a film! As Michael Winner once said "Calm down dear".

RiCrAr said...

Happy you agree with the first batch of poetry Sue:)

Interesting about 'Anonymous' - I didn't realize that's the topic of the film. The controversy will attract more viewers to the film. For that reason, any publicity about a movie - whether positive or negative - is considered a good thing.

As far as Shakespeare's writings, every now and then over the past couple decades, I've seen commentary saying certain literary types suspect Bacon might've written some of the pieces attributed to Wm Shakespeare. The insinuations seemed to gain very little attention.

Have the film's financial backers been identified? What might be their motive for stating Shakespeare didn't write the famous plays? Perhaps purely personal avarice or is it something more profound than that?

RiCrAr said...

Sue, you'll find the link to movie 'Anonymous' in above post. It's a Roland Emmerich film. I listened to him give 10 explanations for his skepticism of Wm Shakespeare's identity - he's definitely not British. Does he sound German to you?

Why would he go to such great lengths to denigrate Shakespeare's name? WWII residue? *sniggers*

His most consistent criticism seems to be that evidence shows Shakespeare didn't have the education that's revealed in the content of his plays. For instance, he said it was never recorded that The Bard travelled beyond England yet one third of his plays take place in Italy.

IMO, the term genius is applied to those who do indeed display knowledge far beyond that everyone would generally expect.

If Emmerich's film conclusion is that there were many authors of the plays & sonnets attributed to WS, so what? IMHO, I doubt that's even possible - surely there are scholars in wordsmanship who can detect if the style of writing is consistent in all manuscripts.

Are you planning to go to see the film? I'd be more interested in doing so if it had been a Brit who produced the movie. Since he's not, makes me wonder why he has an ax to grind with the Shakespeare legacy?

I'm still curious who the financial backers for the film were. Maybe deep-pocketed Geo Soros is one of them. Wasn't he charged with insider trading in British courts a few yrs ago?

RiCrAr said...

I've added to post above a review of the movie from the New York Times. Had a few chuckles while reading it. For instance, the reviewer said "it might be a mistake to suppose the director(Emmerich) of "10,000 B.C." should be taken as a reliable guide to history." *haha*

Musa said...

"Hope is the thing with feathers" is one of my favorite poems:

I think we'll never really know the truth about Shakespeare. Sue, thanks for the news that's it has caused an uproar in the UK. I'll probably see the film out of curiosity, but I agree that the fact that Shakespeare never visited the places he wrote about, or was not as highly educated as others doesn't mean that someone else wrote the plays and sonnets. Genius is something we can't fully explain.

Sue said...


I think it sounds like a bit of typical British snobbery. Someone considered uneducated and untravelled couldn't possibly have a brain! It's like saying that the working class are only fit for cannon fodder. I must admit Natasha Richardson (I think that's the right one), daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, was interviewed last night on British TV and it sounds very interesting and looks pretty good.I certainly want to see it.

Vanessa Redgrave plays the older Elizabeth I and her daughter the young Queen Elizabeth. I notice the young actor that played King Arthur in the Camelot series which recently finished is in the film. A bit of eye candy for us girls!

There have been demonstrations at Stratford-upon-Avon of course. They made their objections known by covering the statue of William Shakespeare up with a sheet!Actually the film makes me wonder whether it is possible that WS was a fraud. I certainly wouldn't dismiss the probability out of hand. Of course the tourist trade would suffer if WS was indeed a fake. Does it really matter who the plays were written by? Would it affect whether we enjoyed watching them being performed if it was discovered that he didn't write them? I think not!Either way it makes a controversial topic for a film, which is why producers are hyping this subject up, it's all good publicity for the film after all. There is indeed method in their madness me thinks!

There has been the possibility of a Spooks film being talked about in the Metro newspaper in Manchester today. Now I wonder if Lucas/John could be brought back to life for it? Perhaps we fans could give him the kiss of life? That should be enough to make him get up and run off from that blood spattered pavement! Hoards of females puckering up to an inert Richard lay on the floor!Sounds good to me! I'm willing to give it a try if Richard is!

RiCrAr said...

What a coinkydink, Musa:) that we both chose "hope is the thing w/feathers." *tickle,tickle*

Perhaps the film will have a positive effect, Sue, and trigger more tourists than ever for Stratford upon Avon and other sites associated with Shakespeare.

Isn't it possible for true experts to decipher whether dozens of writings have been penned by a sole scribbler or many? If WS works are really a compilation from different sources, the origins would in that way be similar to the Robin Hood legend.

IMO, we should be careful not to give too much credence to a movie produced by the director of
'1000 B.C.' Afterall, what are his credentials as an expert on Shakespeare and his writings?

That said, the visual aspects are impressive - hope Jamie is better suited to the young Bard than he was as Arthur.

Sue said...


I certainly don't think that the plays were a compilation by different authors otherwise the inconsistencies would be obvious.

By the way it was Joley Richardson I meant to mention not Natasha (I think she tragically died after taking a bump to her head while skiing didn't she? A lesson to Richard if he ever bumps his noggin when skiing).

A film critic has given it a bit of a thumbs down and said the acting is terrible in it. Certainly the actor who plays WS is a bit of a numpty in my opinion. (How about our Richard for the role?He was in the RSC after all - not to mention MacBeth. Ahh... don't say that word outloud it's bad luck!)

Personally speaking if the critics are giving it a bad review it may well be very good. If past experience has taught me anything it's never take any notice of the critics. Usually when they say how great a film/play is it's complete bilge!They certainly don't speak for the common man/woman on the street (and believe me there's nobody commoner than me! Joke!)

RiCrAr said...

Lol...you have an uncommonly clever take on critics Sue:)

I've just posted Entertainment Weekly Mag's review of Anonymous. They gave it a C- and are very negative about the director.

Among his earlier films is Independence Day..he apparently specializes in end of the world scenarios. The mag's reviewer said Emmerich's "destruction here is confined to a turgid overlaod of intrigue.." He ends with "But scholary debate about the Shakespeare Authorship Question has little to do with this tale told by an idio...syncratic moviemaker up to little more than mischief."

The writer says the film portrays Eliz I as a lusty bed-hopper who bore more than one illegitimate child. If true *snort* that would mean the medieval palace propaganda machine did quite a thorough job of cleaning up 'the Virgin Queen's' historical reputation, wouldn't it;)

One thing is for certain, they've managed enough controversy to make almost everyone curious to see the film. In the film-maker's mind, that no doubt spells success. Wonder if it bothers him to see such negative remarks about his reputation as a director.

RiCrAr said...

Curiosity could kill the ricrar...I just saw a pic at Brendan Coyle's twitter page of him holding a newborn with caption "we've got a new starling." I thought Brendan was single?? Is it perhaps a niece/nephew?

go to @brendancoyle99 on twitter - to see BC holding the adorable wee starling.

RiCrAr said...

Musa & Sue, earlier today I noticed the hits this blog was receiving had spiked from an average 500 to over 2000. Musa, of course, you alerted me on twitter that the reason was that writer Anne Rice had yet again stated she would be thrilled if RA played one of her vampires - she then posted a link to this blog, telling her followers they'd find many handsome photos of the actor.

Total hits for the day were 2600 and happy to report we added a couple new members as well:) Anne is welcome to post that link anytime her heart desires.

I suggested it would be great if an RA fan explained to Ms Rice that Richard has a long-time dream for a new adaptation of Richard III. Perhaps she'd drop her fantasy writing style and switch to factual history if that's what it takes to lure a certain TDH actor to her film.

Musa said...

That's fabulous about all the hits Ricrar! Amazing!

Hope Anne Rice reads your suggestions about Richard III for Richard :)