Posts Tagged With: My Opinion

Jas, The Anti-Fan

It’s Christmastime (Advent if you want to get technical) and for me that always means baking and candy making. This morning I’ve been working on Paleo peppermint patties. So, so, sooooo good! But anyway, while I was making the candy I had time to think. This post is basically me thinking aloud. I just need to think this through and in the past this blog has been a good place to do that.

So, the other night my good friend Snickers’ Mom sent me an email after a discussion we’d had saying that I might soon be the anti-fan blogger. Dear Judiang protested, “But I’m the anti-fan!” Love ya, Judiang. In response I told Judiang that the difference was snark versus legitimate anti-fan feelings.

Judiang told me she thinks I’ve moved into the disillusionment phase of fangirling. That I’ve gotten to the point where Richard Armitage is no longer some godlike creature on a pedestal to me, but a real person. So instead of just rolling with whatever he says or does, it gives me pause when something doesn’t sit quite right with me. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days and while I get that that is a legitimate stage of this whole crazy fan experience, I don’t think it quite fits where I’m at for a couple of reasons. For one, I’ve never really had him on a pedestal. He’s always just been the smokin’ hot guy who has the sexiest voice I’ve ever heard and is also an amazing actor. I’ve never been delusional about him lacking flaws. Secondly, Judiang pointed out that she thinks RA is trying out a new persona. I won’t say anymore about that in case she wants to blog about it, but I think the new persona has more to do with my “anti-fan” status than disillusionment.

The anti-fan feelings started with my take on a couple of interviews where RA seemed dismissive of book fans to me. (I don’t want to rehash that, especially after another blogger informed me and all of her readers on her blog that she knows the subtext of my thoughts better than I do). I wouldn’t even class this as anti-fan, because while I didn’t care for what I perceived, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I certainly wasn’t angry just somewhat disappointed.

But then I saw the Cinemax interview. I don’t want to lay out what in the Cinemax interview made me angry, yes actually angry, with him because I don’t want to draw attention to something that might hurt a certain segment of fans if their interpretation matches mine. One friend felt as I did about the interview. A few others whose opinions I value thought he was joking.  If that’s the case, the joke was in poor taste…

…kind of like one of those photos that Josh Horowitz tweeted yesterday of himself with Richard. While that specific photo didn’t stir up painful feelings for me, I was seriously unhappy about how it affected at least two people I care greatly about in this fandom. In general, I support Richard’s right to say and do whatever the hell he wants. If he pisses me off that’s my problem not his. I wouldn’t go so far as to call that photo malicious, but certainly incredibly thoughtless and in extremely poor taste. I’m aware that Richard isn’t the first and he won’t be the last to mimic hanging himself with a tie. Another friend pointed out to me that Richard can’t possibly know what will trigger negative feelings from fans. In general I would agree with her. Anything could set anyone off in some way. But, and this is a big but, he’s a smart man. He should know that pretending to hang himself with a tie would be problematic and even hurtful for a lot of people.

I mentioned to Snickers’ Mom last night that part of me thinks RA is trying to emulate Martin Freeman, at least partially. It appears he might be trying to crack jokes and be more lighthearted and it just isn’t working quite right. I really hope that’s the case, because otherwise there have been some other unkind words thrown around about him in private that I won’t repeat here.

For the most part I really enjoyed the PR blitz this go round. But unfortunately the last few days have seen things that have stolen the joy from fangirling over Richard for me. Someone shared a new pic with me that I hadn’t seen yet last night and there were absolutely zero of the euphoric feelings that always come with  seeing a new pic of the man.

I find this all to be quite the dilemma. I’ve always said that I just want him to be free to be himself. I still want that for him and the more I think on this the more I realize it’s true. For his own sake he needs to be the person he wants to be and is. But it saddens me that it might come at the cost of my enjoyment in this fan thing.

Who knows, maybe by the next PR blitz he’ll have worked out the kinks in this new persona, if that’s what it is. But for now, here I am…Jas, the (very, very reluctant) anti-fan.

 

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Simplistic Armitage

I’m back. At least for a minute. And yeah, not to talk about how gorgeous Richard is, although boyfriend has been working it on this PR tour. Nope, I’m here to pick a bone with the guy.

I know you’re probably wondering what in the world I could have to be annoyed by. So let me tell you: it’s his simplistic division of those who will see The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. I’ve watched two interviews* with him so far where he divides viewers into those who are just along for the ride and those who only want to see the simple book brought to life just as it is from the page.

I get that this is probably a little thing, but as someone who has been a Tolkien fan for much longer than an Armitage fan, it doesn’t sit well with me. The guy has a movie to sell, that’s his whole role in the PR blitz. I get that. But were I not already his fan, it would not endear him to me. Because here’s the thing, it way too simplistic. It basically puts all the blame on the fans who love the books if they dislike parts of the movie, rather than putting any of that responsibility on the filmmakers for possibly having fucked up a beloved story. Oops. Did I just say fuck? Yes, yes I did.

This probably gets to me more, because I was and still am excited about some of the changes we were told early on were going to happen. Tying in parts of the Appendices to make the films more cohesive with LOTRs? Bring it on! Reintroduce Legolas, since the elvenking was his father? Awesome! Most Tolkien fans I know felt that way too.

But then we get reviews from people like  Quickbeam that indicate major changes to the plot. Some of Quickbeam’s spoilers sound like PJ and company decided they’d just substitute fanfic for Tolkien’s work in this expensive flick. Changes like he’s talking about are not something that only diehard purists are going to be upset by. Even those of us who are willing to see the story stretched and expanded upon aren’t going to be cool with such changes.

So yeah, Richard’s simplification of the types of people who will see the film and what their reactions will be is frustrating. And his seemingly dismissive attitude towards purists is to be honest, obnoxious.

Dude, I get you only have a few minutes with these interviewers, so you have to condense your thoughts. But give the book fans a little more respect. They aren’t all already your fans like I am.

*I didn’t save the links for these interview and couldn’t even begin to tell you which ones they are. If anyone knows feel free to drop me a line.

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RA as Batman?

My Tweetdeck is full of links to articles which include Richard Armitage in various lists of those best suited to play the next Batman. I’m actually kind of excited about the prospect of a Superman/Batman movie. And the logo that’s been revealed is pretty freaking awesome:

Image Courtesy of Newsarama

That said, I have some serious reservations about Richard Armitage in this role. I saw where someone mentioned that Batman did great things for Christian Bale’s career and I’m in full agreement there. But the Batman franchise had no where to go but up when Christian Bale took on the role. The previous live action incarnation of the character was played by George Clooney in the much maligned Batman and Robin–a film which audiences gave only a 25% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. When fans are that harsh, you know a film is awful.

Richard Armitage or anyone taking on the role now, is stepping into a completely different situation. Now we’ve had three Batman films staring Christian Bale and directed by the amazing Christopher Nolan. Not only did fans love the films, but critics did as well. They’ve set a precedent for what we expect when we go to see a new Batman flick. And to be honest, although I like Zack Snyder’s films (300, Watchmen) I don’t know that I trust him to bring it like Nolan did when it comes to Batman.

So here’s my vote for what it’s worth (which I know isn’t much):

The Dark Knight

I hope Richard Armitage steers clear of this role. There are plenty of interesting characters out there to play and I strongly suspect that his portrayal of the character would always be compared to Bale’s. Of course, if he does end up playing the Caped Crusader I will be in the audience. But here’s hoping he goes another direction.

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The Hobbit: 3 not 2…Cool

So, by now we’ve all heard that the rumors are true. Peter Jackson confirmed via Facebook that The Hobbit is now going to be three movies instead of two. I for one am excited by this news. The expected complaints have already been flung all around the web and people are certainly entitled to their opinions. The “more money to be made” issue is certainly a huge factor for anyone who stands to benefit from the sale of movie tickets, DVDs and Blu-rays–heck, even movie posters. However, there are a couple of reasons that I think this is a good thing.

Firstly, if you are the kind of person who reads books before going to see a movie, you are also probably the kind of person who knows that the movies never–or to be fair, rarely– live up to the books. Given the length of Peter Jackson’s previous movies, I’m guessing that this gives him somewhere around three more hours to flesh out the story. Yes, even a book that is only 3oo some odd pages could benefit from the extra time.

Then there is the fact that Tolkien wrote The Hobbit before The Lord of the Rings series. Where The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King are incredibly detail oriented, The Hobbit is a much simpler story. He did write it for his children after all. But, then he moved on to LOTRs, developing his fictional world and its history even more. That is where the appendices come in. We’ve already been told that PJ and the writers were incorporating the appendices into the movies. This takes that 300 some odd pages of The Hobbit and adds hundreds more pages of source material.

A third reason I’m hopeful about this development, is that I’m hoping that the addition of this third movie will provide a nice segue into the LOTRs trilogy. After all, there were something like 50-60 years between the stories. This kind of makes me think of what Richard Armitage said at the Dwarf press conference when he said, “Would you like to be a little more specific? I’ve got 40 years to talk about.” Fifty to 60 years is a long time, and a lot took place.  Since I’m incapable of summarizing this well, I’m going to quote from a great website I came across:

The years between Bilbo’s return from Erebor and the events described in The Lord of the Rings were years of cautious but open expansion by Sauron and slow but continual decay on the part of his opponents. Just ten years after Thorin’s quest, the Black Lord declared himself openly and set out to rebuild his great fortress of Barad-dûr. He also sent his agents, the Nazgûl, to reoccupy his former stronghold, Dol Guldur in Mirkwood, from which he had been driven the year of Bilbo’s adventures.

At the same time, cracks were beginning to show in the ranks of Sauron’s foes. The White Council, an organization of the Eldar (elven lords) and the Istari (wizards), had been watching for the reappearance of the Great Enemy for years. The Council included both Gandalf and Elrond, but its leader was the most powerful of the wizards, Saruman the White. Saruman had made the study of the Rings of Power his specialty, and after many years he came to desire possession of the One Ring himself. He made no sign of this to his fellow council members, but quietly watched for the discovery of the lost Ring. In 2953, the White Council met for the last time. Here Saruman reported that the Ring had been washed to sea, lost forever. Meanwhile he fortified his dwelling place at Isengard and accelerated his own search for the Ring.

Gandalf was next in power to Saruman, so he attracted the traitor’s jealousy and fear. All his movements were watched by Saruman’s spies. In the years that followed, Gandalf kept a lively interest in hobbits in general and Bilbo in particular, for he had always doubted Bilbo’s tale of winning his ring as a prize. Thus Saruman’s attention was also attracted to the Shire.

By now Saruman had been overcome by his own lust for the Ring. Daring to look into one of the Seeing Stones of Gondor (the palantíri), he was ensnared by the more powerful will of Sauron, who also possessed one of the stones. It was in this way that the Dark Lord probably first heard of the Shire. Gandalf, in turn, began to fear for the safety of the Shire, and so he persuaded the Rangers of Arnor, descendants of the kings, to keep watch over the borders. The chief of these Rangers, Aragorn, was the heir to the thrones of both Gondor and Arnor, and had become a close friend of Gandalf.

That, in and of itself, is enough story to make an entire movie! Don’t mistake me, I don’t think PJ and company are going to dedicate and entire film to the between years. But surely part of it. Again, more reason to think a third film isn’t a bad idea or that there is a lack of story to tell.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts. I’m just a simple fan, not an expert. But in my book, if they want to go with three movies instead of two…right on!

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