I bit the bullet – Sleepwalker

I’ve been so caught up in work, family and then with Suits and Gabriel Macht in my spare time (I even made a second fan video a little over a week ago) that my focus on Richard Armitage has suffered somewhat. There is Berlin Station that I haven’t been brave enough to wade into yet (I love Richard, but Berlin Station season one didn’t do that much for me and I fear the same for season two) and there is Sleepwalker. I haven’t been brave enough for Sleepwalker either… until today! This morning I decided to bite the bullet and just go ahead and watch it.

The thing with these kinds of movies is that I don’t generally enjoy them. These dark, psychological, almost supernatural kinds of thrillers just aren’t my thing. I have been surprised once or twice, I remember quite liking The Sixth Sense for instance, but generally speaking this is not my genre and I rarely watch movies like these. I feared that I wouldn’t much like Sleepwalker despite Richard being in it… and I turned out to be right!

To me the movie was all dark and weird, somewhat confusing and I even found it convoluted in places. For instance, what was even the use of that stalker character played by Haley Joel Osmond (the kid in The Sixth Sense!) other than him being a scary element in the story? And was the love story element even necessary, did their attraction really have to be consumed? It felt like an unnecessary add-on to me (despite the parallel with the husband that was revealed in the end) and that is saying something coming from someone who loves a love story! I felt that it should have either been left out or developed more. The ending I sort of understood, but wasn’t quite sure, and in honesty, I can’t be bothered to think too much about it to figure it all out. The movie just couldn’t grab my attention or fascination and if Richard hadn’t been in this, I’m sure I would have fast forwarded through most of this.  However I did find two redeeming qualities in this movie and they were Ahna O’Reilly in the lead role, she is a very good actress (I also remember liking her in The Help), and of course it never hurts to see Richard in action! He looked lovely and strong…

Ahna was confused and upset for most of the movie and looked very convincing being that…

The love story I found a bit convoluted but it did give us a few nice almost romantic moments…

… there was a little teacup scene (on the left in the picture below) which reminded me of the North & South teacup scene (on the right in the picture below) …

… and a sex-up-against-the-wall scene that made me think of Daniel and Esther in Berlin Station

… and even a shot which reminded me of the back shots we had of Richard with his dragon tattoo in Hannibal

Richard Armitage - Sleepwalker (74)

These were delectable little nuggets indeed, Ahna and Richard were good, but it wasn’t enough to make me like the movie.

Richard Armitage, I love you and I thank you for challenging me to watch you in things I wouldn’t normally watch but, nope, I don’t think this is a movie I will return to often…


Richard stuff & Gabriel fluff

I have been missing in action on blog and that happened in a time when there’s so much Richard Armitage news! But work’s been busy and then there have been other preoccupations… Still, Richard news has been followed closely! Like the news of him reading Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in a new audiobook (sorry, Richard, can’t follow you there, audiobooks really aren’t my thing despite your wonderful voice)…

Richard doing an awesome 40 minute podcast interview by phone, and yes, I actually did listen to this one, while I was working from home one afternoon: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/followingfilms/episodes/2017-10-29T15_20_30-07_00

There are 5 new Berlin Station episodes that I have yet to see (please, someone, reassure me that season 2 is better than season 1)!

I did like the little Daniel – Esther scene which I still have to see in context:

And of course there’s still Sleepwalker to watch (I still need to get into a weird movie mindset)…

There is some talk of a Urban and the Shed Crew DVD, as mentioned on Servetus’s blog (yay!), although when I looked on the Blenheim Films website this morning, the shop was empty.

Blenheim Films

But in all honesty, while I have partaken of all the Richard stuff, I have been more engrossed with Gabriel stuff and fluff. Yep, I continue to be preoccupied with Suits! And it’s got everything to do with actor Gabriel Macht who plays Harvey Specter.

He looks so familiar to me! And not because I may have seen him in other movies, but because he looks like I actually know him, personally, from somewhere. There is a familiarity to him and I just can’t seem to put my finger on it why that is. His dad is actor Stephen Macht who was also on Cagney and Lacey that I used to love watching way back when…

Stephen Macht Sharon Gless

… but to me Gabriel looks more like his mom than his dad…

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

So, no, I just can’t put my finger on why he looks so familiar, like he could be family, or an old family friend or something. He did dress up as painter Bob Ross for Halloween, which cracked me up (and I remember being mesmerized watching some of his painting programs long ago)…

He was even filmed by his Suits co-star and close friend Sarah Rafferty (she plays Donna) actually giving a faux painting class (there are 2 small videos if you click on the instagram post, especially love the second one when he mentions a happy raccoon at the end)…

While I am still trying to deal with this whole “why does Gabriel seem so familiar to me” scenario, I have after all sourced Suits clips and made a Suits fan video, which ends with the current mid-season cliffhanger…

(also on YouTube, but that got blocked in USA/Canada). Anyway, I hope that this fluff gets some of this Suits/ Gabriel Macht business out of my system for a bit, so I can start catching up on Richard Armitage stuff again…

The Mystery Blogger Award

Herba, on her Unkraut vergeht nicht… oder doch? blog, has nominated me for The Mystery Blogger Award. Thank you for thinking of me, Herba! You can read her contribution to the award (in German) here.

So, what is The Mystery Blogger Award? I didn’t know how it works either, but here are the rules and here is the logo that goes with it:mystery-blogger-award-logo

About The Mystery Blogger Award:

This is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates, it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.

Okoto Enigma is the creator of the award. To motivate the Blogger please do visit her blog.

The Rules of the Award:

– Put the award logo/image on your blog.
– List the rules.
– Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
– Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
– Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
– You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
– Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
– Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
– Share a link to your best post(s).

My responses to 3 things about myself:

Hmmm, 3 things about myself… I could say many things, but I have said a lot of things about myself on blog before so I had to think a bit about what I maybe haven’t said before. Not quite sure if these things are totally new, but hopefully these 3 things about me are somewhat newish…

1.  I never drink coffee, I just do not like it, not even when it’s a tiny bit of coffee with a lot of milk! For years when I went to my parents’ house my dad would always offer, “Esther, do you want a cup of coffee?” It was this little joke between us because I would always say, “Nope, I still hate it!” I do love tea, though, especially herbal teas.

2.  I come from a large family, I am number 6 of 8 children. Half of my brothers and sisters are adopted (two of Palestinian and two of Ethiopian descent). Kids just sort of happened to appear on our doorstep, due to social projects my mother was involved in when we lived in Israel in my youth, and my parents just kept the kids who were alone in the world and adopted them later. 🙂 I have always loved our large, colourful family, warts and all. When I was a pre-teen I read a book called The Family Nobody Wanted about a couple that ends up adopting 12 children of different ethnic backgrounds and I really identified with that, as it was close to my own family experience as well! I still have that book.

All of this made me want to have 8-12 children myself and I wanted to adopt most of them! That idea quickly changed, however, when I got children of my own. I love them, I love having them in my life, but I couldn’t imagine juggling 8 or, God forbid, 12 children on a daily basis! And adoption in The Netherlands? So much more complicated, so many rules, such a long waiting period (up to 5 years!) and more expensive than the way my parents were able to do it in the 1970s… So yeah, I’m just very happy with my 2 kids now and enjoy having a lot of siblings, some of whom look nothing like me.

3.  I am NOT a morning person, I prefer to not go to bed before 1 am. It’s a real struggle getting to bed at around 11 pm on work nights.

Responses to the 5 questions Herba posed:

1. Do you have a phobia?

Yep, spiders!!! I can tolerate mice and snakes and scorpions but I can not do spiders!

2. Are you working in your dream job?

There’s a huge problem with this question: I don’t know what my dream job is! What I want to do changes all the time. Sometimes I want to be a kick ass social worker or children’s psychologist, sometimes I want to be a writer, or a web designer, or I want to go back to librarianship which is what I trained for (after trying psychology and English as fields of study first). I’ve wanted to be a teacher and a translator, I have wanted to be a journalist or a stills photographer on a TV or film set, I have wanted to be an aid worker in a developing country. What I can say is that I always look for jobs in a social field and so far, to my great satisfaction, I have worked for government, education and development aid organizations. Right now I have an IT-related job for an organization that provides healthcare and educational advice for children and youngsters and I very much enjoy it. That doesn’t stop me from still envisioning other career paths, though.

3. As a child, did you have a favourite book, a favourite movie or tv series, and a favourite singer or music group? What are your current 3 favourites?

  • Favourite book, that I read when I was about 9 or so, was a simplified children’s version of Jane Eyre and the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  • Favourite TV series was Little House on the Prairie and I loved the first movie I remember seeing in the cinema, a Cinderella movie called The Slipper and the Rose.
  • I’m not sure I had a favourite singer or group as a kid. I do remember loving ABBA songs and I liked Boney M. My absolute favourite song was Ma Baker by Boney M:

Current favourites:

  • Favourite book: Jane Eyre is still up there, along with Jane Austen’s books Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice, but I think I’d have to go with To Kill a Mockingbird as my favourite. I still remember reading it for the first time, it was almost like a religious experience, it spoke to my very being.
  • Favourite movie – I love so so many but I think my all time favourite still is Roman Holiday. Favourite TV series: I love so many, I couldn’t just pick one. Latest obsession is Suits.
  • I already once blogged about all my musical favourites throughout my life. My current fave for the last few years has been English band Muse. Just for fun, here’s a song I haven’t linked to before in other posts; it’s one of my faves and is called Hysteria. I have blogged about 2Cellos covering Hysteria but here is Muse’s original:

4. If you could walk in someone else’s shoes for 24 hours, who would it be and why would it be that person specifically? 

I had no idea what to answer here so I asked Mr Esther who he thought I’d like to be for a day. He immediately shot out a reply: Colin Firth’s wife! And, oh my goodness, he is right! The man knows me well. 🙂 Livia Firth is smart and socially very conscious, she’s an Eco warrior with her own consulting firm through which she tries to make the fashion world a more fair place and, extremely importantly, she’s married to Colin Firth! So, yes, I wouldn’t mind being Livia Firth for a day and I know exactly on which day as well: I want to be Livia with Colin Firth on Oscar night! They had a great Oscar night in 2011 when Colin won the Oscar for The King’s Speech. They got all dressed up together (click on images to enlarge)…

… and looked quite lovey-dovey and had fun on the red carpet together…

… Colin kissed Livia when his Oscar win was announced. Ah, to be on the receiving end of Colin’s kiss..

… and Livia and Colin had fun together after the win…

So, I’d like to be either Livia on Oscar night, or I wouldn’t mind being Richard Armitage’s make up artist Tami Lane on The Hobbit for a day, specifically this day when these pictures were taken…

5. McDonald’s or Burger King?

I’m not really a fan of either. I think there are more McDonald’s than Burger Kings here in The Netherlands. I never go to Burger King, I think I can count on one hand the amount of times in my life that I’ve entered a Burger King. I do go to McDonald’s and the reason for that is not the food (I rarely eat anything there) but I do love the milkshakes! So, I choose McDonald’s for the milkshakes. Mr. Esther likes the coffee there.

Mystery Blogger nominations and my 5 questions

Nominating others is always a tough one. I’ll just throw a few names out there, but feel free to ignore or jump in, whichever! And if your name isn’t here but you’re inspired to answer, please feel free to!

So, the nominations first (trying to not nominate anyone already nominated by Herba):

Violet | SueBC | Lady Butterfly | Sarah | Gratiana | Linnetmoss | Heather | Obscura | BerLinda | Richard

And my 5 questions:

  1. Your favourite genre of book or movie? Name 3 examples of each.
  2. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life and who should play your partner? (If you don’t have a partner, you can make up a mystery one! Even if you do have a partner, you can make up a mystery one. 🙂 )
  3. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight, or night? Please explain why.
  4. If you won the lottery what would you do?
  5. Tacos for life or sushi for life?

Tag, you’re it if you want to be!

Nobody puts Esther in a corner…

Richard Armitage was at the Paley Fest last night, promoting season 2 of Berlin Station and one of the first things that caught my eye on Servetus’ blog  (THANK YOU for updating us fans so well yet again!) is the link she provided to this tweet:

2017-0916 RA Paley 11 Daniel-Esther tweet

… and I’m immediately thinking: nobody puts Esther in a corner! (Free interpretation of the famous line from Dirty Dancing). Oh, wait, Richard Armitage saying my name and kissing Esther isn’t real life. Must remember that, must remember that, must remember that… 😉

Levity aside, Richard was looking very good again last night (click on images to enlarge)!

And he apparently also said this…

2017-0916 RA quote Brexit tweet

… which reminded me of when we were in Durham this past summer. We were speaking to two volunteers, both pensioners, who were giving out information about the city. After we told them we already knew where we wanted to be in Durham, we got to chatting with them.  One of the first things they did was apologize to us for Brexit! So, Richard isn’t alone in doing that. The one volunteer then went on to tell us that he asked almost every American tourist why Trump had been voted president, he just couldn’t understand it, and that he always received the reply that they hadn’t voted for Trump. I wonder if Richard asks this of Americans too?

Anyway, back to Richard at Paley Fest: he was also having a good time with fellow cast members. Here a little video of them having fun, you just know Richard is making some cheeky comment… I wonder what it was. 🙂

… and some pics of the same event…

And Heather Siemon took some lovely pics during the panel…

It’s so good to see new Richard images again and read some Richard stories! They have made my Sunday morning extra lovely. 🙂

No mp4 of ‘Crucible’ or other plays

We can bury the dream of a ‘hard copy’ of The Crucible or any other plays that are viewable via Digital Theatre. R, the friendly professional support lady from Digital Theatre, got back to me very promptly after my e-mail to her yesterday. Here is what she said:

Good Afternoon Esther, 

You are most welcome! I’m glad to hear that you are feeling better. Our backlog certainly is dropping, so I’m relieved to say that we can once again give our customers the level of care and attention you deserve.

Unfortunately we cannot offer mp4 downloads at this time due to our agreements with the creative owners of the productions and the theatres. However, we would certainly like to offer offline downloads again in the future. 

All the best, 

I’m glad their backlog is dropping, which means that more fans are getting answers; that is a great thing! The “offline downloads in the future” are a bit of a sticky point, however, and I mentioned that to her in my reply. Other than that, this long-term ‘rental’ thing is the best we can hope for, for now. I sincerely hope our trust will not be betrayed in the future. Time will tell.

In the mean time, I am happy that I can still enjoy Richard Armitage in this…

And I still have the stage production of Much Ado About Nothing to enjoy as well…

Now, if only they made actual mp4 downloads or DVDs/BluRays available of these theatre productions, I would totally buy them in the future! For instance, I would love a copy of The National Theatre’s Jane Eyre play as well…

There really is a market for this, if only the theatres, producers and companies would work together and take into account that customers like options and freedom to choose how they want to view and acquire these plays! Of course, I get the need to keep control and to combat pirating, but once it’s out there, you won’t be able to stop that anyhow. Maybe it’s time for some new earning models (don’t know what kind yet) to assure that creative owners and theatres get the revenue they deserve while still giving the audience easier & affordable access to productions that they can actually really keep if they want to. I guess we are all pioneers in a digital world, trying to figure this stuff out.