March 29, 2011

Medieval Rockfest Outline + Lucrezia:The Borgias + Sir Ian Describes His Recent Shave & Haircut + One Year Ago in July + MORE Mystery Photos Provided by theonering Website - Are they yanking our chains?;)


LATEST Journal post:  Today’s news.

It’s now been suggested that the wizard’s wig and beard look too scarily hairy. An aside from me has been noted and so Gandalf in The Hobbit is now going to be bald as Patrick Stewart. So much for the wig. Whether the beard is also to be cut, is not yet revealed.

— Ian McKellen, Wellington, NZ 1 April 2011

Sir Ian quote: “Younger fans of LOTR ask if I grew my hair long specially. No, I didn’t; nor did anyone else in the trilogy, all of us in wigs and/or facial hair.”


Quote from below article:  "Everybody's favorite ring-hording cave-dweller, Gollum"

Past Post of the Day from July 2010 - when we first heard rumors that RA would appear in Captain America but did not have a clue in which role.  There was much speculation on various boards that he might be Union Jack and wear a spandex costume :)  Not exactly accurate.  One year later on July 22 we'll see him as the best dressed German spy in history...

TV is about to rock medieval - entertainment reporter James Hibberd(EW) outlines each show for you:

There are three lavish premium cable drama series launching Apr 1, 3, 17 featuring more scheming, sword fights, ale toasting and bodice ripping than has almost certainly ever graced our televisions at one time. Below is EW’s guide comparing Starz’ Camelot, HBO’s Game of Thrones and Showtime’s The Borgias — three new shows about the struggle to claim (and keep) power in an exotic land. Even if you don’t know mutton from Mordor, this will help you tell the shows apart and you’ll learn which you’ll like best. Fair warning: While there are no real spoilers below, there are basic details about  each show’s plot and characters that some may not wish to know…

1. Camelot    2. Game of Thrones    3. The Borgias

Premieres:  April 1  -   April 17  -   April 3

Based on: 1. Arthurian legend   2. George R.R. Martin’s novels   3. History(sort of)

Setting:   1. England - really long time ago   2. The mythical realm of Westeros, where seasons last for years   3. Rome, 1492: “The Center of the Christian World”

Story starter:   1. Poisoned king sets off power struggle for throne     2. Poisoned “Hand of the King” results in retired warrior being called back into service    3. The pope dies (he’s not poisoned, but don’t worry, somebody gets poisoned)

Seat of power:  1. Camelot!  A castle in ruins on the sea    2. Kings Landing! A sprawling compound on the sea     3. The Vatican! No castle, but lots of rooms that look like they’re in castles

Hero:  1. Young Arthur (newcomer Jamie Campbell Bower), beds ladies in the grass but is destined for greatness    2. How much time do you have?  In this sprawling cast, the king’s friend Eddard Stark (Boromir, er, Sean Bean) comes closest   3. Power-hungry Cardinal Borgia (Jeremy Irons, clearly enjoying himself) plots to become pope

Villain:   1. The king’s scheming power-hungry daughter (Eva Green) spent a decade in a nunnery and came back pissed      2. Scheming power-hungry siblings (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey) conspire against the king’s best interests     3. A conclave of scheming power-hungry cardinals want the Spanish Borgia family dead

Scene Stealer:    1. King Lot (a typically lusty James Purefoy), who teams with the king’s daughter      2. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), a drinking, whoring “imp” who’s always the smartest guy in the room      3. Cardinal Rovere (veteran actor Colm Feore) who sees right through the Borgias' facade

Power Quote:    1. “From now on, everyone will challenge you”      2. “Winter is coming”          3. “What’s Rome without a good plot?”

Spectacle Level:    1. Medium. Gorgeous English countryside, horses     
2. High. Shot on location in Northern Ireland and Malta, looks like it cost a fortune      3. Medium. Neat architecture and costumes, plus CGI

Geek Level:    1. Low. As easy to follow as the jousting at Medieval Times  
2. High. Should come with a map, glossary and cast of characters     3. Medium. There are some papal terms, but you really should know them anyway

Incest Level:   1. Low. Sibling heirs try to win the crown, not each other
2. High. There are two pairs of siblings who are way too familiar with each other
3. Medium. Siblings enjoy close gazes, cuddling, and bedroom spying

Magic?:  1. Merlin can perform shapeshifting, but he’s not fighting orcs or anything
2. We’ll meet the zombie-like White Walkers, but most characters don’t believe in them 3. No magic (unless you count how Romans in Hollywood always magically sound British)

Violence:   1. Relatively family friendly: A swordfight, a massacre site      2. A gory beheading, dismembered bodies      3. Lots of stabbings and poisonings

Watch if you liked:    1. Excalibur, A Knight’s Tale      2. HBO’s Rome, AMC’s The Walking Dead       3. Showtime’s The Tudors..

More mystery pix at theonering.  Either the actors have been provided with hooded coverups for walking about outside the set(Miramar) OR they're having some fun teasing the hungry Hobbit fans.  One person does look as though it could be James Nesbitt wearing a skull cap and dwarf ears...:(  Hope Thorin doesn't have huge ears as's difficult to look hot w/humungous ears...*chuckles*  Looks as tho' security is saying Gotcha! in last photo.

First pics are thought to be Martin Freeman wearing his Bilbo costume and a cover-up hoodie....see what you think

What's your initial reaction - could the tall, slender man at THE HOBBIT makeup trailer possibly be you know who? - with lighter haircolor, which could easily have been done for Thorin related purposes...

hmmmm, after enlarging the pic must say there's not too much resemblance is there?
This one is identified as Andy Serkis preparing for Gollum role...

This is so clever plus a great idea...

Found a topical treasure trove of wedding traditions and advice.  As far as how reliable the advice might be, ancient warning says "marry in May and you'll surely rue the day." :)  My older sister was married on May 27 and they've been married over 30yrs--therefore, take following direction w/huge chunk of salt...

CHOOSING THE DAY: Although most weddings now take place on a Saturday it was considered unlucky in the past. Fridays were also considered unlucky particularly Friday the 13th. The famous old rhyme advises a wedding in the first half of the week:
Monday for wealth
Tuesday for health
Wednesday the best day of all
Thursday for losses
Friday for crosses
Saturday for no luck at all

Advice on which month to marry in is given by the following rhyme:
Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true.
When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.
Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden and for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you'll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bread.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see
Marry in September's shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.

Marry in May and you'll live to rue the day  --  May has been considered an unlucky month to marry in for a number of reasons. In Pagan times the start of summer was when the festival of Beltane was celebrated with outdoor orgies. This was therefore thought to be an unsuitable time to start married life. In Roman times the Feast of the Dead and the festival of the goddess of chastity both occurred in May. The advice was taken more seriously in Victorian times than it is today. In most Churches the end of April was a busy time for weddings as couples wanted to avoid being married in May. Queen Victoria is thought to have forbidden her children from marrying in May.
Marry in Lent, live to repent

Week 2: Kirstie Alley on DWTS.  Dance this week was the quickstep - one that looks like great fun to do but not that great to watch.  As you know, part of the shows format is to visit the couple in rehearsal during the week - they're expected to provide entertaining interaction (least fav part of the show for me) and Kirstie as a long-time, well experienced actress excels at keeping her audience involved in her story.  She mentions her quest to gain high marks for her dancing in order to be motivated to lose more weight.  This past week she also expressed a wish for more personal confidence.  In other words, the woman knows how to gain everyone's sympathy and turn otherwise passive viewers into her cheerleading squad:)  Here's one convinced audience member -  Go Go Kirstie! Rah!Rah! ;)
Really enjoy her sense of humor.  After her partner reminded the actress she'd expend so much energy doing the Quickstep that she'd lose 20lbs, she replied Yes! "W-i-n-n-i-n-g!"  hahaha  That was Charlie Sheen's favorite one-word signoff during his recent week of living dangerously.. 
p.s. Her dress -- bodice style is attractive on her but, IMO, if the skirt was a deeper shade of peach than the top it would've also enhanced her outline.  Lighter colors add, while deeper shades subtract.  It doesn't need to be black...any deep, darker jewel tone has a complimentary effect..

March 27, 2011

Sweet Things from Leicestershire + Sexy Back 3 by HeathRA + Richard Armitage Pix: "Da first of many"

Funny headline: “Twitter Trends: OMG! The Oxford English Dictionary Includes LOL!”

Past post of the Day:  THE HOBBIT casting announcement and we wonder about SB2, etc..

Woo Hoo! - Sexy Back 3 by HeathRA

Another coincidence - Lucy Griffiths has also recently won a starring role, which triggered renewal of the Guy/Robin squabble at the bbcA website;)

This tangent is all Sue's fault for telling me that it's traditional for a Leics baker to provide royal wedding cakes...:)

Warning: simply clicking on the following link will add 5lbs to your hips ;) it’s the confectioner that will bake the royal cake..
A second dessert requested by the groom will be a refrigerated cookie cake..

See a future Lucretia Borgia peeking through :) as John Standring and his bride kiss...

Quite a journey for both of them.  Richard from John Standring and other characters to Thorin in The Hobbit.  For Holliday from the unfortunate little 'sister' (avoiding spoiler:) in Sparkhouse to the magnificence of the elegant Lucrezia Borgia costumes...

Details about flowers chosen to decorate Prince William and Kate's wedding cake...

How sweet it is – a multi-tiered, traditional fruitcake will serve as a centerpiece of the wedding celebration of Prince William and Kate Middleton. on April 29, it has been announced.

A British "floral theme" will adorn the creation baked by Fiona Cairns, who started her business around her kitchen table 25 years ago. The cake will also be decorated with the couple's new cipher – most likely made up of their initials – which will be unveiled on their big day.

Also on the refreshment menu for the reception: a chocolate-cookie cake, made by Royal Appointment after sweet-toothed William, 28, specifically asked for it. The McVitie's biscuit company is producing the dessert, made from a favorite recipe of the Windsors', for the party.

At her bakery in Leicestershire, Cairns explained that each of the tiers of icing-covered, brandy-flavored fruitcake will have a different theme. Detailed piping is being used to make 3-D scrollwork, flowers, leaves and other decorative touches, while the flowers of the four corners of the U.K. will be represented by the English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh daffodil and Irish shamrock.

Cairns, 56, sent samples of different fruit cakes to William and Kate, who chose their favorite, and she has now started baking to allow the cakes the necessary four weeks to mature.

Cairns also reveals that Kate is in the driving seat as far as the planning is concerned. She met the princess-to-be at Clarence House, in London, six weeks ago. "She has guided us right from the beginning and has quite strong ideas," Cairns says. "That makes it much easier than a bride who has absolutely no idea whatsoever, which has happened in the past."

But Kate has clear ideas about the 16 different blooms – including one called 'Sweet William".. She adds, "There is the bridal rose, which symbolizes happiness, the oak and acorn – which is an architectural detail around the room where the cake will be – symbolizes strength and endurance. There is a lily of the valley, which symbolizes sweetness and humility, and ivy leaves, which symbolize marriage."

March 25, 2011

Look Who's All Grown Up & Starring in The Borgias - Holliday Grainger of Sparkhouse and Robin Hood III

Below are RA fans watching him for first time in 3D on July 22..:)

After seeing this portrait of the real Lucrezia Borgia, the striking similarity in bone structure, and huge almond shaped eyes, made it perfectly clear why a casting director would find Holliday perfect for the role...

Not only grown up but a fashion diva as well...lovely..

The Borgias start Apr 3 on Showtime...Episode titles follow, and a gorgeous slideshow of Renaissance interiors - plus all sorts of interesting information at the website:
The Borgias Episode Titles
»The Poisoned Chalice [1x1] and The Assassin [1x2]: PILOT(Will air on: 2011-04-03)
» The Moor [1x3] (Aired: 2011-04-10)
» Lucrezia's Wedding [1x4] (Aired: 2011-04-17)
» The Borgias in Love [1x5] (Aired: 2011-04-24)
» The French King [1x6] (Aired: 2011-05-01)
» Death On A Pale Horse [1x7] (Aired: 2011-05-08)
» The Art of War [1x8] (Aired: 2011-05-15)
» Nobody [1x9] (Aired: 2011-05-22)

Sincere merci beaucoup to Musa for reminding me of the following interview - Richard was asked which historic figure he'd most like to take out for a drink, his reply was Lucretia Borgia...

Is the following news additional evidence that sweet things come from Leicestershire?;)  Fruit cake??..wonder if that's considered a traditional wedding cake.   Splendid idea to have the 4 national flowers of the British Isles as cake decorations. 
My niece's wedding will have an Irish theme - must ask if her baker will make tiny green-tinted-frosting shamrocks sprinkled among the other flower designs.  Her bridal dress is snowy white with a lovely shade of green embroidered down the center of her laced back, flowing into a delicate green design on the chapel train.  Bridesmaids wearing black column floor length dresses(it's an evening wedding) with a matching band of green along the strapless bodice.

March 23, 2011

MTV Mentions RA in CA Analysis + The Hungry Eyes Poll + Richard Armitage as Heinz Kruger + Dominion Post Reporter Promises to be Persistent + Capt America Trailer WORTH Watching + Fascinating THE HOBBIT Timeline + Answer to RA's Youthful Reading Habits


 1.  JT's heated gaze..

2.  Guy's devouring eyes..

Coincidence:  News from Armitage country -- the Coventry Telegraph reports re an upcoming Robin Hood celebration. 

Thank you to for Kruger screencaps below.

Cap asks Heinz "who are you?" Kruger replies:  "Da first of many" -- Watch closely toward the end.  You'll see RA first in sub then flat on his back being harrassed by Capt America..(usually I'd approve of that:) finally shooting from car. 
Bit of trivia--they appear to have used footage of the Stealth bomber - it and the Harrier jet are so super modern looking that even after all these years they're still considered hi-tech enough to include in new movies.  We've seen the Stealth at air shows - it's actually flying away from you by the time you realize the sleek sliver of black has already flown over your head...

Fire in the eyes reminds me of another baddie with anger issues...

The following recently published on-line article is topical and convenient for an explanation of a recent poll query at this blog.  You were asked which author was not mentioned by Richard when in 2009 he was asked to list writers he read as a child.  The choices are/were Stephen King, Bernard Cornwell & JRR Tolkien.  So far, over 70% of respondents voted King as the one RA did not mention.  Actually, the correct answer is Bernard Cornwell.  Here's RA's answer to the interviewer at Vulpes Libris:

RA: "Tolkien - Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit; Roald Dahl - Danny the Champion of the World, James and the Giant Peach; Steven King - IT; CS Lewis."

The article that triggered this post:
Dear Hollywood: 5 Remakes of Bad Stephen King Adaptations That Should Get Fast Tracked

Right now, studios are attempting to tackle an adaptation of the Stephen King fantasy series Dark Tower (which will include three movies and a television series) and a big-screen remake of the thousand-plus page epic The Stand. These ridiculous projects got me thinking: instead of attacking windmills, why not remake some of the total clunkers were based on King’s stories?

If we’re going to be inundated with remakes, it’d at least to be nice to see movies that make good on potential where others failed. And I’d certainly prefer these remakes to new versions of all of my favorite ’70s horror movies.

Fortunately, Hollywood and I are on the same page. Sorta! Several of these projects are already somewhere in very early development. So drop the inevitable Rosemary’s Baby remake, Hollywood, and get going on these.

[Note: I purposely left off movies which not even a remake could save. Hence, no Dreamcatcher (which is perfect in its own special way) or Maximum Overdrive (which was already remade anyway).]

**5. It
The original TV miniseries inspired weeks or even months of nightmares in small children thanks to Tim Curry’s terrifying portrayal of Pennywise, the shape-shifting, child-eating clown. Then the ending (spoiler alert) where he just turns out to be a stupid, giant spider out of a 50’s B-movie quickly ensured that all children could sleep soundly again. To actually make a faithful adaptation of the novel, this would probably work better as an HBO miniseries. Which would be great! But even if the studio could deliver something as slick as the first hour and a half of the original that doesn’t peter out at the end, It could become a potential horror classic.
Status: In the same place as Pet Sematary… with the same screenwriter.

Other 4 suggestions:

Tolkien artist Jef Murray's oil painting titled 'Hobbiton'(see link below to other works)
Informative timeline of history of movie THE HOBBIT(just ignore the last smart-aleck sentence:)  Many films have had major delays in the past - it's not unusual)

Laura's adieu "going back into my cave" made me wonder whether she'll happen upon Bilbo's friend.  Following was created by Peter Jackson's crew to thank MTV for the award...


Interesting article by a reporter who says he'll be aggressive in gathering information.  Mentions the only thing in Wellington in 1999, that signalled filming had begun, was a black medieval saddled horse representing a blackrider(see sketch below)...

Dominion Post EXCERPT: "The closest visible evidence we got to knowing this was Middle-earth was a horse decked out in a medieval-style saddle and black armour. Only later were we told they were shooting the scene where the hobbits hide under the roots of a tree from a nasty Nazgul."

Past couple seasons of Dancing with the Stars there were usually at least a couple duos who looked interesting.  Unfortunately this season's lineup doesn't instill much enthusiasm.  The only one who might be fun to watch for the next few weeks is a formerly very famous actress named Kirsty Alley.  She  starred with John Travolta in those Look Who's Talking comedies.  In recent years Kirsty has battled a weight problem and show biz tabloids have crucified her for it.  However, being a woman with the necessary strong armor to survive in her rather shallow profession, she had the backbone to accept an invitation to participate in DWTS.  Kirsty said immediately prior to this week's first performance that she had already lost two dress sizes in rehearsal.  Good on ya!  You go girl!  Might be fun to watch her progress..keep in mind as well that she's 60yrs old--she and her partner (who's quite nice to watch;) do the cha-cha-cha...