TDH in the past few days

Luckily not everything has been doom and gloom of late – to cheer me up from depressing world news there have been some Tall Dark Handsome people to really enjoy looking at!

Starting off with Richard Armitage and a second short video interview about the Wolverine podcast (I mentioned the first one on blog here). I still haven’t listened to Wolverine because of reasons, but the behind the scenes still looks good.

In the other post, I put many images of Richard talking with his hands, which is fascinating to look at, here are a few more screencaps I made from this second interview. He doesn’t only talk with hands, he talks with fists as well!

RA Wolverine Podcast 4-5-2018 (3)And he’s expressive when moving around (click on images to enlarge)…

The most evocative shot that I really fell for was this following one of him. In the first video we’d seen a close-up of him on the floor. This time we get the full body shot of him sitting on the floor, with legs pulled up, one crossed over the other. The other guy on the couch is watching him be the picture of focus and concentration, with Richard lost in his Wolverine world on the tablet; I just love that…

RA Wolverine Podcast 4-5-2018 (6)

Here, a closer look…

RA Wolverine Podcast 4-5-2018 cutout

I really like those boots too!

Moving from one tall, dark, handsome man to the next: Colin Firth and his wife Livia were at the recent Met Gala. They are embroiled in a legal battle with Livia’s ex-lover right now but they have been forming a united front lately and are going everywhere together, including the gala. They looked very handsome and very elegant!

colin-firth-livia-firth-met-gala-2018

I especially loved this profile shot of them, with Colin’s hand resting lightly on his wife’s back!

colin-firth-livia-firth-met-gala-2018-02I really hope they get through this difficult time well together…

Speaking of the Met Gala, I have seen pictures here and there of people all dressed up in the Catholic theme of the gala. I don’t intend to show all those images here, except for the dress of one person, that really struck me. Zendaya, who did such an awesome job in the part of Anne Wheeler in The Greatest Showman, came looking like Joan of Arc. I found it a stunning look!

She certainly looked tall dark and handsome and gorgeous and should there be a new Joan of Arc movie in the works somewhere, I recommend they look to Zendaya for the title role!

Speaking of tall dark handsome and The Greatest Showman: on his instagram Hugh Jackman posted a lovely pic of him and his wife Deb all dressed up, ready to go to the Met Gala…

Hugh Jackman & Deb Instagram

He’s also been promoting his ethical coffee company called ‘Laughing Man‘.

Yes, Hugh Jackman makes me smile!

And finally, nothing to do with the Met Gala, but all to do with tall dark and handsome and making me smile: Pierce Brosnan who shared some lovely images on his instagram in the past few days. First, he shared a picture of himself with full beard for a role he has been playing. The man ages so beautifully, he’s become even more interesting to look at over the past decade or so! Anyway, I find him drop dead gorgeous here…

Pierce Brosnan instagram 01

… and then he shared a picture of himself with his paintings. I have seen paintings of his in the past before and I really like his colourful style! He’s pretty good at it. He has painted since 1987 since his first wife started fighting ovarian cancer (she died a few years later). The painting has apparently been very therapeutic for him and he still loves doing it…

Pierce Brosnan instagram 02

Apparently he is running out of storage space for his paintings…

If he needs space, I wouldn’t mind a Pierce Brosnan painting donation for my living room! Interesting to look at and the colours can lift my spirits… 🙂

Advertisements

Martians – I did it! Wolverine next?

Anyone who has been reading this blog regularly may be aware that audiobooks and I don’t go together that well. I have listened to parts of Richard Armitage’s audiobooks and, even though I love his voice, I just can’t enjoy them and so have given up on them. It’s not Richard’s fault, it’s audiobooks in general. I don’t enjoy the reader making up all sorts of voices that often don’t quite gel with what I have in my head; I prefer to read the books myself, with my own tone in my head. I like to skip through bits if necessary or linger on bits that touch me or make me think, all at my own pace. Even as a child, I didn’t that much enjoy being read to, I have always wanted to read myself and savour a story in my own way. So, I prefer reading the books myself or seeing movies of them (sometimes) as opposed to only hearing them.

Cut to Richard and all that audiowork he’s been doing of late. I am skipping the Wanderlust audiobook and The Tattooist of Auschwitz as well. I’m definitely going to read The Tattooist, something I’d like to read anyhow whether Richard was involved or not, but I don’t think I’ll be able to bear the audiobook (for reasons mentioned above, especially with regards to this topic). However, two other audio projects of Richard’s have piqued my interest and I think the reason may be that they are audioplays rather than audiobooks. Richard only has to stick to voicing one character, which I prefer, and there is a bigger cast involved, which makes for greater diversity when listening.

So, I attempted the first audioplay, The Martian Invasion of Earth, which I finished this week. I listened to the first half while folding laundry and the second half during my commute to and from work yesterday. To actually stick to audiowork like this for more than 10 minutes is unique for me!

Verdict: I really enjoyed it! I love the Jeff Wayne rock musical War of the Worlds and thought I’d be comparing this to that all the time. To my surprise, I didn’t! I got caught up in this tale all on its own merit. I loved Richard as Herbert and I also loved Lucy Briggs-Owen as his wife Amy. They played off each other so well! The other characters in this were really good as well and I could see the story come to life in my mind’s eye. In fact, by the end it almost felt like I had seen this as a movie. Actually, come to think of it, I would quite enjoy seeing this as movie, with the same cast in it. 🙂

Despite this positive experience, I don’t think I’ll be listening to many more audioplays, I still prefer the visual form of film or reading. If it has Richard in it, however, I will give audioplays a go! So, next on the list is Wolverine, which I am curious about anyhow because I have previously enjoyed Hugh Jackman in the role of that tortured soul.

The first 2 episodes have been aired and I understand from Servetus’s blog (with spoilers!) and Perry’s blog (without spoilers) here and here, that it takes a while for Richard to appear in the episodes (and he only has 1 line in the first one). In gearing up to signing up to Stitcher and listening for myself, I came across this on my Twitter timeline this morning, where Richard speaks about recording Wolverine.

I find this little video absolutely wonderful! The way he speaks about the project, the gesturing, the concentration, the dedication and professionalism just shine through. And he looks good, too! I think I like this quiet, concentrated image best…

2018-03 RA reading Wolverine 01

… but then there’s also this…

2018-03 RA on Wolverine (8)2018-03 RA on Wolverine (7)

… and the talking with his hands…

… and these…

… and this little gem that someone on Twitter made a gif of!

If I weren’t already curious about this, I am now! Richard Armitage audioplays – I’m there!

Music to my ears… partially…

So, there’s lots of audiowork from Richard right now…

First off, he narrated a very iffy romance called Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely. When Richard speaks about this project, it does sound interesting in theory…

… but in practice I remain sceptical. Also, it’s an audiobook, which I’m generally not into anyhow. Perry was kind enough to listen to it so that I don’t have to and share her thoughts. Thank you for that! And yeah, I’m convinced more than ever that this is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a good romance but this doesn’t sound good to me at all… Sounds like more sex than plot & character, and while I don’t mind a graphic scene or two, I hate when there’s too much of it. It’s basically why I skipped through 80% of Fifty Shades of Grey and never bothered with the two sequels. I’m not sure I want to listen to some guy or girl masturbating on tape and, really, I mostly only like to hear dirty talk from my husband anyhow… So, yeah, I’m skipping this one, this project is not music to my ears.

The other project, the Wolverine one, IS music to my ears, as I already posted about here! It’s the first audio project of Richard’s that I am actually looking forward to! He’ll be on a panel at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas on March 11th, talking about Wolverine. Here’s also a press release about that. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what he says there, hope some fans can go and report back!

A third audio project that Richard narrated was released yesterday and is The Martian Invasion of Earth which I understand is a retelling of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. This could possibly be music to my ears, even though it is an audiobook! I don’t think I ever read the actual book and the movie with Tom Cruise was alright but not great. The adaptation I have always really loved of this book, however, is the rock musical Jeff Wayne made in 1978, narrated by none other than the late and great Richard Burton (that man had a great voice)!

Richard Burton

It’s the only audiobook of sorts that I’ve ever really enjoyed. What I love is the combination of Burton’s voice, the manner of narration and the great music that gives this an extra dramatic character.

So, I’m curious about the adaptation Richard A. has done and whether it can live up to the Jeff Wayne / Richard B. version. Richard A. is following into some big footsteps!

Martian Invasion Richard Armitage

The bits I have heard do sound promising, so I am going to try this despite it being an audiobook. Here’s hoping this will become music to my ears.

Yesterday news also came that Richard is filming again, this time a horror picture. “Noooo!”, was my first thought. Guess he changed his mind about not wanting to do horror. This is definitely no music to my ears. If there’s one genre I really can’t do, it’s horror. He’s filming something called The Lodge now.

Yeah, I can’t follow him there, I don’t think. I was only just about able to bear Hannibal, and admittedly, I think he did a great job there! However, it’s not something I can revisit and watching more horror is not something I can do… probably…

This horror movie and the sex book job sound like odd choices to me and it has me wondering whether he actually wanted to do these, or whether he was just obligated to do them, or whether he still feels like he can’t refuse stuff during down times even if they are iffy, or whether he finds them to be new challenges that somehow give him something, or whether he’s just a workaholic. I hope the answer is about new challenges and I hope he enjoys them…

Anyway, quickly shaking off this ice cold horror vibe that just ran down my spine from the horror movie choice, let me move on to another piece of audio. This time no Richard, but Hugh Jackman (yes, I know, him again). I was driving to work yesterday morning, listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack yet again and having such a blast with it, I decided to film the experience on my way home from work. This is what came of it… It’s my current fave song from that soundtrack, called ‘From Now On’.

And while I have Richard and Hugh in one post yet again, here are two more pictures of these two dashing gentlemen. I saw this picture of Hugh…

HJ

…. which somehow made me think of this picture of Richard, one of my faves ever of him…

richard_2a-20161016

These are not music to my ears but a feast for my eyes to end this post on instead. 🙂

Wolverine

So, a first trailer has appeared of the upcoming Wolverine podcast where none other than Richard Armitage will be voicing Wolverine. Here’s the trailer, Richard can be heard several times, the first time at 1:01 minutes…

I’ve gotta say, to me he sounds better here than ever before. Depth of voice and such intensity… I think he’ll do great as Wolverine! I don’t do audiobooks well (or in this case, podcasts) but for the first time I am thinking I might actually listen to his audiowork on this all the way through for a change!

As I am very much into catching up with Hugh Jackman right now, I was also just now listening to a podcast Hugh Jackman did for Empire magazine this past December about The Greatest Showman. Then close to the end, unexpectedly and to my great delight, Hugh gets asked about Richard Armitage playing Wolverine and what he thinks of someone else taking over his role! Have a listen (from 18:25 minutes till 20:05 minutes)…

Hugh Jackman brilliantly played Wolverine for the very last time a year ago in Logan (watch the great trailer here – in my humble opinion Hugh was robbed not being nominated for an Oscar for this!). He leaves a great challenge for anyone to follow in his footsteps. Yet, going by what I heard in the Wolverine podcast trailer above, I do believe that Richard can deliver the intensity needed.

So, intense Wolverine/Logan played by Hugh…

… will be followed by intense Wolverine played by Richard! As I hear him as Wolverine, with above intense images of Hugh in mind, I think of Richard doing The Crucible with the same intensity…

Hugh says he is excited to see what other people will do with ‘his’ Wolverine and I’ve gotta say I am quietly getting exciting for Richard doing this now too!

Falling in love with Hugh again…

I have always liked Hugh Jackman, ever since I saw him in Kate and Leopold and in that first X-men movie back in 2000. He’s very much my ‘tall, dark, handsome’ type but while I always really liked him a lot, something held me back a little from absolutely loving him. Maybe it was the Wolverine thing. I really like the X-men movies, I think I’ve seen all of them, including the Wolverine ones, but Jackman was mostly an action star from my perspective and that’s not usually what I go for.

Then I remember seeing him presenting the Oscars in 2009, doing the opening number. I can tell you, I was blown away by that. Up until that point I had no idea he could even do that (silly me, if I had cared to look, I could have found out that he’s won Tonys on Broadway!).

I fell a little bit in love with him that evening. I have rewatched that opening sequence countless times since and I still love it! I started paying a little more attention to Hugh after that but still didn’t watch everything (there were more X-men). Then he did Les Miserables and he blew me away in that too!

He got nominated for an Oscar for the role of Jean Valjean, but alas lost out to Daniel Day Lews in Lincoln. My admiration has been growing for him since then. Then last week, I went to see The Greatest Showman.

Reviews for it have been so-so, I didn’t expect that much. There had been such a hype about La La Land last year and, though alright, I didn’t really like that movie that much. So, with the so-so reviews, I thought this would be in the ‘just OK’ category as well. The movie has Hugh Jackman, however, so my friend and I decided to give it a shot and we were not disappointed! It’s not a true portrayal of P.T. Barnum’s life, it’s rather a fairytale interpretation, but I have to say I loved every second of it! The acting and singing and dancing was great, the music was totally awesome, it was upbeat, happy, had a message of tolerance and inclusion, I left the cinema with a huge smile on my face and Hugh Jackman finally, totally won me over! I am so going to go see this one again… Here’s a video of the final song of Hugh’s in the movie, taped during a private performance to get the filming greenlit…

In a later interview I saw, he said he had popped a few stitches in his nose after doing this performance (he had just had cancerous tissue removed from his nose). Here is another clip from that same session, of the song This Is Me from the movie, which garnered an Oscar nomination yesterday!

Alas, that’s the only nomination this movie got, which I think is a shame (especially compared to La La Land last year!).

After seeing that, I remembered that I hadn’t watched Logan yet, which was released early in 2017 and which is the absolute last movie in which Jackman plays Wolverine. I had heard good things about it, that it was grittier and different from other Wolverine movies, and so I finally watched it last weekend.

OK, so this remains a superhero movie, but my goodness, it really was different! It was more real than any of the other movies ever felt, and yes, gritty. Wolverine is weary and battled and scarred and very touchingly cares for a very old and fragile Professor X (Patrick Stewart being brilliant again) and the young girl that comes into Wolverine’s reluctant care (played by Dafne Keen) is also excellently played! Wow, this really was a great, gritty end to the Wolverine saga, with the message that a life of killing really has it’s price… The screenplay for Logan was nominated for an Oscar yesterday as well, and I think that’s the only Logan nomination, which is really a huge shame! To me, Hugh Jackman should have received his second Oscar nomination for this!

When I think of these two polar opposite roles Hugh plays so extremely well, one right after the other, I have to say that I am blown away by this man’s talent! The man really is being robbed by not being recognized with at least an Oscar nomination for one of these two movies…

While I was catching up on Hugh Jackman movies, I also watched the movie he did in 2016 called Eddie the Eagle where he plays a down on his luck ex-Olympian ski jumper who coaches a hopeful Olympian (based on a true story). In that movie he was excellent as well, in a more supporting role!

In this movie he also reminded me of Richard Armitage more than ever before. Here he is in the movie with sunglasses…

Hugh Jackman Eddie the Eagle

… and here’s Richard with sunglasses…

I can understand how people mix them up!

Oh, and Hugh Jackman has another huge thing going for him: a very happy marriage for over 20 years to his wife Deb, who is 13 years his senior.  He still seems head over heels in love with her (he mentions her constantly, lovingly, in interviews)…

… and adores the two children they adopted together…

This man is maturing so very nicely and doing such great things with his career right now! I’ll be following his projects more closely now and have just started dreaming about seeing him live on Broadway one day… 🙂