It’s amazing…

…. how after only 4 months in my new job I already feel like there is so much to do that it almost feels overwhelming! I really need to make lists, prioritize and plan. And yet, even with how busy it is, I am truly enjoying it! I have a lot of autonomy, people seem to be enthusiastic that I’m there and the organization is a very interesting one to work for. My 6 month contract that was going to end mid-september has already been extended for another year and my boss is also giving me a pay rise. It feels good to be needed, to be appreciated and to feel like you are making a small difference already. But, I am tired. It’s been a stressful few weeks, with work and with some issues at home that are now finding some resolution. I am glad I only have 3 more days of work left before my 3.5 week summer vacation starts! I am already looking forward to the down time with my family.

With all that’s been going on, what is also amazing is that I have finally been able to make time (and space in my head) to watch Pilgrimage and also Castlevania. I watched Castlevania over the weekend and Pilgrimage on Wednesday evening with my husband.  I won’t go into long reviews here, I’m a little too tired to  write a nice coherent review of both shows. I’ll just stick to impressions.

So, first off, Pilgrimage, a story about 13th century Irish monks who must escort a relic across the land, challenged by danger and menace. Richard Armitage is the baddie…


From what I had read beforehand I was expecting a lot of gross violence and I was dreading watching it. In the end, while it really was grossly violent at times, it wasn’t as bad as I had expected and I felt the violence just fit with the movie. I guess, after watching Inglorious Basterds (which I truly loved, despite the gore!), I know I can stomach it. I really only turned away during 2 or 3 scenes and even those weren’t focussed on too long, I felt. By the time you realized what was really happening, the scene was already moving on. I found Hannibal to be far more disturbing than Pilgrimage.

I thought Richard was really good in his role of Sir Raymond de Merville. The character was somewhat two-dimensional, but even so, he gave it real intensity and presence. When he came up riding in his armour (alas, not a knight in shining armour), just by how he was bearing himself on his horse, I recognized him.

His French mostly sounded good to me and I really liked that original languages were used in this movie. Richard was scowling and very intense, he does intense so well!

He even looked good with a scar…

Richard Armitage - Pilgrimage (5)

The acting by all the actors was very good, the landscapes were so beautifully captured on screen and I liked the gritty look and feel. I did enjoy the movie, yet it could somehow never truly capture me. I guess, I didn’t quite see the importance in moving this relic and when the movie ended in a Shakespearean way, I was left wondering what the message was that this movie had tried to convey. Was it just the coming of age of a young man? Maybe it was aimed to show that in the end violence is pointless? It could even be interpreted that fighting for something you truly believe in is pointless. Or that religion and relics are pointless. I guess I just missed a good ending to this. In the end, I didn’t hate it or love it, it just sat as a medium-rated movie with me. I’m sure I’ll watch it again, more often than I ever plan on re-watching Hannibal. I’ll watch again for Richard and to try and make more sense of it all, but it’s not my all-time fave medieval movie.

And then there’s Castlevania, an adaptation of a video game in animation form where Richard Armitage voices the hero. A short synopsis from Netflix: “A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly creatures controlled by Dracula.” I’ve seen pretty much everyone raving about it from day one, so I was getting quite excited about it!

Castlevania title

Before I say anything else, you should know that I don’t do Dracula stories very well. While I have in the past enjoyed an occasional vampires/mythical creatures/magicians or even zombies movie, mostly I just get impatient with them. It’s just not my genre. Nonetheless, I was looking forward to this because of all the positivity out there. If I could enjoy a movie like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there was a good chance I could enjoy Castlevania as well. So, last Sunday I got around to watching it and, oh dear, dare I say it? I was a little underwhelmed…

I really wanted this to be the best vampire thing I had ever seen but it really wasn’t… I even nodded off here and there… Maybe I was just too tired to watch? That would be highly plausible. In any case, the story couldn’t grip me, this whole vampire alternative universe just can’t interest me. Also, the style of animation isn’t flowing enough for me and in some places the story was really slow, I felt. However… I did wake up every time Richard’s character, Trevor Belmont, was on screen. Not so much for how he looked (although he really is quite handsome, just like the real man behind the voice is), I woke up because Richard Armitage really did do a stellar job voicing the character!

He does world-weary sarcasm so extremely well! It also sounded like he was having a blast acting his lines, some of them made me grin widely. It almost made me think that maybe I should actually try one of his audiobooks after all. Almost. (Regular readers here might already know that I really don’t do audiobooks).

So, while I don’t really like this whole vampire-story thing at all, I am curious enough to see what happens next with Trevor. And with Sypha, I really liked her (and her people) too!

Castlevania season one feels like a teaser series, so season two is welcome (I hear it is already planned)! Maybe I will like that more? I’m sure that at the very least I will really enjoy Richard in it.

OK, yeah, so I’m not 100% in love with these two projects but they do show me yet again why Richard Armitage really is and truly remains my favourite actor! His portrayals have real presence, intensity, depth and soul, and in the case of Trevor, humour as well,  and I just love that. Richard Armitage is amazing.

8 thoughts on “It’s amazing…

  1. Servetus

    Pilgrimage — your paragraph on meaning really puts it well — at the end of the film everything seems pointless. To me that is a key problem of not understanding religious motivations: but the ending felt like a kind of bad sendup of Sartre for me. The film doesn’t really take anyone’s faith seriously, despite repeating the term faith so insistently.

    Castlevania — this doesn’t really feel like the audiobooks. I mean, I’m not a big lover of them either, although there are some I’d recommend — but this is just so ironic. He doesn’t play another character remotely like this, I think. But Castlevania really did make me think he could convincingly do some sort o Hunter Thompsonesque audiobook; that possibility had never occurred to me before and that would appeal to me a lot more than several of the audiobook projects he has done.

    Glad you’re enjoying your job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad too. 🙂

      “The film doesn’t take anyone’s faith seriously” – yes, I think you have a good point there! It feels like the faith doesn’t run so very deep, it’s more external show than internal meaning.

      Oh, well, if the audiobooks aren’t like the Castlevania narration then I guess I will continue leaving them be. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you have a great vacation with your family! Satisfying work is important, but so is taking time to regroup.
    I’m waiting until August, hoping to see Pilgrimage on a big screen.
    With Castlevania, I’m actually enjoying it more on a small screen with earbuds. I’m able to catch more of the dialogue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m totally with ya on needing time to regroup. It’s been stressful on two fronts (work and home) so that takes it out of you… I’m ready for that regroup now! It’ll start at the end of next week! 🙂
      Have fun watching ‘Pilgrimage’ on the big screen! Would’ve liked that myself as well. Mr Esther only watched ‘Pilgrimage’ with me on our TV (he loves medieval stuff); I didn’t even offer to watch ‘Castlevania’ with him as he has even less patience for vampire stories than I do and he doesn’t have the incentive of Richard-love to tempt him. So, I had Richard/Trevor talking into my earbuds as well as I watched it on my laptop, and that truly was a delight. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ich kann gut nachvollziehen dass Du müde bist. Der Job, Familie, dann der Abschluss deines Sohnes, das alles ist super anstrengend. Und es wird auch nicht besser. Wenn man seinen Job mag, dann geht man drin auf und das ist anstrengend und es hört sich so an als ob du deinen Job sehr gerne machst! Ich liege Abends oft nur noch auf dem Sofa und schaue Fernsehen, zu mehr reicht es nicht. Aber ein Job der Spaß macht ist Gold wert und jedes Engagement wert!
    Ich habe leider beides noch nicht gesehen, keine Zeit und Netflix habe ich nicht, nur deshalb will ich auch kein Abo abschließen, irgendwann würde ich es aber gerne sehen,denn eigentlich schaue ich Zeichentrick gerne ❤
    Erhole Dich im Urlaub gut und lass Dich ein bisschen verwöhnen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure we will enjoy it, thank you!
      Yes, we are taking the caravan again, good memory you have there! It’ll probably be the last year, we plan on selling the thing. This year we are taking it on a ferry to England! We’ll be staying not far from Cambride for a week and a half and then on to West-Yorkshire for a week and half there as well. So looking forward to it!

      Liked by 1 person

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