No. 2 & White Boar & heraldry

I just now opened Netflix and I see that Stay Close is number 2 in The Netherlands today!

Although this is not my favourite Richard Armitage project (see my previous post), I am pleased that it is proving to be successful for him, a nice little boost for his career.

Another boost in the news is Richard’s ‘White Boar Films’ production company going live online. See the website HERE. It sports a nice picture of Richard too…

I’ve heard rumours of the Annie Thorne and the D.I. Jackman projects before, looks like he’s serious about getting those made. Good for him! And maybe they could also produce something Richard III related in the future, as Armitage has been wishing to do for ages?

Yesterday, while Mr Esther and I were out alone for the afternoon, I told him that Richard had started a production company called White Boar Films. I said no more and didn’t need to as Mr Esther, who is an expert on heraldry, instantly grinned and said, “Hey, that’s from the coat of arms of Richard III! It makes sense as Armitage is from Leicester as well.” He remembered that little fact from our summer holiday a few years ago. So, yes, White Boar Films making a Richard III movie would be really cool as well and in a way connects my favourite man with my favourite actor. Let me tell you how I envision that.

Should Richard Armitage ever make a Richard III movie with his production company, they just need to make sure the heraldry for that is right because, according to Mr Esther, heraldry is rarely used properly in movies. For instance, the De Merville coat of arms that Richard had in Pilgrimage had all sorts of things wrong with it. Don’t ask me exactly what, as Mr E is the expert, but from what I understand it was not correct for the time, had all the wrong embellishments and would never have been worn on clothing like that.

Mr Esther is a board member of a heraldic organization, so I hope White Boar Films will consult him, or someone like him, if they ever do make a Richard III film. It’s especially important as the production company is named for a coat of arms, so if they ever use heraldry in a movie, they need to do so correctly. But all of this is just speculation and wishful thinking where I’m imagining sitting in on numerous production meetings between Mr Esther and Richard on heraldry… Not a bad vision, right?

Wishful thinking aside, I wish Richard all the very best with his new production company!

I binged Stay Close

Warning: minor spoilers ahead (including spoiler pictures)!

I wasn’t going to, but in the end I did and I binged all of Stay Close on New Year’s Day. Apparently it was number 6 on Netfix in The Netherlands yesterday.

I won’t go into a very detailed review here because, in honesty, that would mean spending a lot of time on something I don’t feel like doing. I also won’t spoiler plot here but what comes next does have a few minor spoilers and I guess even some of the pictures might give something away, especially if you don’t want to know anything in advance. So, progress at your own caution!

I’m starting with lots of screenshots of Richard as I liked him in the role of photographer Ray and he is what I liked best about Stay Close. Here’s the first batch (click on images to enlarge), there’s some really nice cinematography in many of these…

So, let me cut to the chase: Stay Close was not my favourite Armitage project. It has nothing to do with Richard, though. He is good at playing a tortured soul and Ray is just that. I really felt for him, trying to piece together what had happened in his past. The other actors were good too. Although I felt a bit iffy about the Megan/Cassie character, I thought Cush Jumbo did a really good job with what she had. James Nesbitt as detective Michael Broome, Sarah Parish as Lorraine and Youssef Kerkour as Fester did great jobs as well, as did Jo Joyner as detective Erin Cartwright. I got a kick out of seeing Jo act a few scenes with Richard again, it was a little North and South reunion of the Thornton siblings!

There was even a little N&S dialogue reference between the two when Erin mentions to Ray that her husband “dabbles in photography”. It’s such a pity Ray did not respond with “I’m not sure I’d know how to dabble” as John had done in N&S. Nonetheless, I was just grinning from ear to ear at that little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference. And seeing James Nesbitt and Richard reuniting again after their roles as dwarves in The Hobbit was also nice.

For all the nice acting, the story was… meh. Just like in The Stranger, I felt there were too many characters and too many storylines and some of them felt very contrived. The central hook of Megan not wanting to expose her former life as Cassie wasn’t that strong to me either and I wasn’t too fond of the messing with timelines. Also, again like in The Stranger, I felt a little too manipulated by all the story threads that turned out to be not so important after all or some character backgrounds that had no real pertinence to the story at all. I guess that must be the Harlan Coben style of storytelling?

Murder mysteries aren’t my preferred genre to watch anyhow unless the characters are really appealing and in this series I just couldn’t care so much for many of the characters or the outcomes of their stories. I admit to a little fast forwarding here and there. Maybe I would have liked it better if it had been, say, four episodes, with only half the characters? Basically, I only watched this for Richard and he was a joy to see in a new role, so I don’t regret watching this. Ray was one of the few characters I could root for. I just don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to watch it again.

Here are some more screenshots, because Richard was so lovely and the camera sure liked him in close up as well.

All in all, if I had to give Stay Close a star rating, I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not so great but also not too horrible, with some good performances and some nice Richard Armitage screen time.

Still wishing…

Two years ago today the announcement came that the excellent Anne with an E was cancelled. The cancellation still is definite, and yet I still wish for that fourth season, even if there is no real hope for that left…

Even The Guardian, in an article from only two months ago, regrets that there is no season four. The petition to renew Anne is at over 1,5 million signatures…

I’ve made fan videos, I still return to bits and pieces of Anne and I still try to stay abreast with what the cast is up to, in the hopes of hearing some unexpected good news. Two years without Anne is far too long, so on this sad anniversary let me just call yet again on the powers that be to renew Anne with an E! Not that the powers that be ever read here, but I can at least put it out there, maybe it can help create some positive karma.

One more…

I seem to be on a posting spree this past week (this is the 10th post in 8 days!) and even I am getting a little tired of hearing myself talk. Just this one more thing before I head to bed that I need to get off my chest: I made a second video for Bobby (Peter Krause) and Athena (Angela Bassett) from 9-1-1. This one’s a joyful one, it certainly cheered me up while I was making it…

Two videos for one show means that this warrants 9-1-1 having its own fan video page in my fan video corner on this blog. 🙂

Speaking of 9-1-1: seeing Peter Krause in action so much recently has also brought me back to his real life partner Lauren Graham again, whom I loved as Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls.

It reminded me that I have been meaning to read her book of biographical essays that she published a few years ago called Talking As Fast As I Can (which is what she did on Gilmore Girls – that show had really fast paced dialogue). I figured I’d put it on my Christmas wish list but then when I saw the e-book for only €2,-, I couldn’t resist and went ahead and bought it…

I haven’t touched my e-reader in eons, so needed to charge it first but I’m all set now. It’s just after midnight as I hit publish, I never really sleep before one am, so just enough time to jump into bed and get started! It feels good to find the motivation to read something again, I hope I like it enough to stick with it.

Like I’m going to lose you

Almost lunch break and time for a quick post. Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) and Athena Grant (Angela Bassett) from the TV show 9-1-1

…have inspired a fan video that I finished making last night.

This song feels tailor-made for them, I couldn’t rest till I had sourced clips and made this video. Not that many good Bobby and Athena (#Bathena) videos out there, so I may just have to make a few more in the future to satisfy my hunger for #Bathena content.