Monday, April 30, 2012

Great Game of Thrones Art from Anja Dalisa

Beautiful Game of Thrones portraits by artist Anja Dalisa on DeviantArt some by way of Geek Tyrant

 I'm a "Stark Bannerman" so of course I had to feature The Starks today, but there are more beautiful portraits to enjoy at 
Anja Dalisa's Gallery at the link below:

Friday, April 27, 2012

US Public Television Station Launches All UK Channel: WETA UK

Washington DC Metropolitan Area Public Television WETA launches an All British programming TV station, WETA UK on June 2.  This is very exciting news for DC Area Anglophiles. 

What is even more exciting for this Anglophile is that in the preview videos, you can see one by clicking HERE  and the other  below. 

I caught glimpses of the Sharpe series starring Sean Bean, and MI5 (Spooks) and Robin Hood starring Richard Armitage.

In their press release and website WETA says it will be different from BBC America (BBCA) because it is not affiliated with just one UK Television provider but will show programming from all UK television networks. I also hope that WETA UK will show programming that BBCA has neglected because of their need to show growing ratings and attract the 18-35 year-old demographic in order to charge and attract advertisers. WETA is supported by audience donations, foundations, US Government funding, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS) and not dependent on advertising dollars. I hope donations do come in to make it possible for WETA UK to purchase rights to new and exciting UK programming. 

MI5 (Spooks)

Right now looking at the  lineup for this 24- hour seven day a week channel the program lineup is made up of what PBS calls "classic" programming that we've all seen for years and years. Though I love my classic UK TV (see Sharpe, MI5, and Robin Hood note above), I really hope this new channel becomes what many of us hoped BBCA would be. 

I do wonder if this idea of an all UK TV channel will catch on with PBS (US Public TV) networks across the United States, or at least in major TV markets. Many of us pay a premium to our Cable TV stations or other providers so that we can watch BBCA, but the PBS stations are "free".    

Oh, and by the way WETA UK, how about showing North & South with Richard Armitage on the new channel! Richard Armitage will soon be starring in The Hobbit and featuring this great series may mean a new and growing audience for WETA. You may start another innovative trend across the PBS universe by doing so. 

I'll be watching WETA UK starting on June 2 and will report back from time to time on what I think about the new channel and on any exciting UK shows we may have the good fortune to see in the DC Area.  Thank you WETA and Happy 50th Birthday!

To read more about it, click HERE. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Behind-the-Scenes: Sharpe Pointe Interview with Lyndon Davies - Rifleman Perkins

Daragh O'Malley, Lyndon Davies, Sean Bean

If you are a fan of Sean Bean than more than likely you are a fan of the Sharpe Series. One of the best loved characters in the series, and the youngest, was Rifleman Perkins played by Lyndon Davies.  In a rare interview Davies talks to Sharpe Pointe about his career, Sharpe times, and working with Sean Bean.

Lyndon Davies from

To read the interview go to Sharpe Pointe  or click on the link below:

Some of you may also know Lyndon Davies from the UK series The Singing Detective (1986) with Michael Gambon.  Below is a clip of a scene with Lyndon as the young Philip Marlow:

To read the interview, and much more about the Sharpe Television series, go to Sharpe Pointe HERE.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Silent Hill Revelation 3D Set for Halloween Release in October

Sean Bean on the set of Silent Hill Revelation

Ned Stark and Jon Snow will be reunited this fall. 

Kit Harrington and Adelaide Clemens in Silent Hill II

Well, not quite, but Sean Bean and Kit Harrington will for Silent Hill Revelation 3D. Great that they are both in the same film.  This is Sean Bean's second Silent Hill experience since he was in the original film. For the entire article about the release of the Silent Hill sequel see link below:

Sean Bean in the first Silent Hill Film (thanks to Bean Daily)

I must admit that I didn't like the first Silent Hill film, but I saw it because Sean Bean was in it. It's just not my type of film. However, I'm sure both of them will be great in the film. I will eventually see Silent Hill Revelation because Sean and Kit Harrington are in it, just not at the movie theater. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Sean Bean - April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Sean

Wishing You A Wonderful Day

Below is a recent interview during his visit to Los Angeles for the premiere of "Mirror,Mirror

Sean Bean answers questions from fans around the world 

Join the Rock, Paper, Cynik Campaign to Save Sean Bean in Films- Click on Link:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Would You Have Richard Armitage's Signature Tattooed On Your Arm?

Since I haven't been out and about this weekend my mind has had time to wander and ponder. I saw an article recently about a Billy Connolly fan who encountered the man himself in New Zealand (together with Peter Jackson and Stephen Fry) :

"After attracting Mr Connolly's attention, the star stopped and posed for photos and signed autographs.

Mr Harley said he'd been a fan of Mr Connolly "for centuries" and after getting his autograph on his arm made it permanent by having it tattooed."

(To read the entire article click HERE)

Made me wonder if I were to accidentally run into Richard Armitage in NZ or elsewhere, and he autographed my arm, whether I would have his signature permanently tattooed so I could have it forever.

Now, I don't have any tattoos right now, and have never really had a hankering for one. I will admit that I've admired tattoos in others:

Richard Armitage

Sean Bean

But I don't know if I really want one on me, even if it's the Armitage signature. 

If he autographed my arm and I didn't get it tattooed it would eventually wash off. I think I would try to get RA to autograph something I could frame on the wall, even if only a napkin! 

But what if nothing else was available but my person, would I let this moment pass to get his autograph and immortalize the moment.

Maybe if I could get him to autograph a more hidden part of my anatomy. A place only I, or someone who would know me very, very, very, well could see. Oh many choices. Now a tattoo of the Armitage signature there may be OK in that case come to think of it.  

So what would you do? Would you have the Armitage signature tattooed on your arm? Or elsewhere?

 (pics thanks to Richard Armitage Online and Japanese Tatoo blog)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review of Shadow of the Sword (The Headsman) Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

I recently read an interview on Winter is Coming with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (NCW) and found out he made a movie some years ago called Shadow of the Sword. (Nikolaj plays Jaime Lannister in HBO’s series Game of Thrones.)  The reason I was so taken by the mention of this film is that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (from now on I’ll refer to him as NCW) is wearing medieval garb, carrying a sword, and riding a horse. There’s nothing that I enjoy more than a handsome man in a period film with a sword. 

I was also curious to see NCW in something other than Game of Thrones.  I will admit that I saw both Kingdom of Heaven and Black Hawk Down, but since I didn’t know who NCW was at the time, I really don’t remember him. (Make a note to re-watch both films soon).  So this weekend I settled down to watch Shadow of the Sword (The Headsman) (2005). 

The film is set in what seems to be Northern Europe during the 16th Century’s Inquisition seen through the story of the friendship between two orphans, Martin (NCW) and Georg (Peter McDonald). The film is also about the horrors of religious fanaticism.

Peter McDonald and NCW

Martin and Georg meet as orphans in the local monastery and one day when they are considered old enough are taken away to separate locations by the Archbishop (John Shrapnel).  We meet them again as adult men when Martin is now a soldier and Georg a priest.  Georg is the Prior of the monastery and town and Martin an officer in the military.  While camped outside the town Martin comes to visit his friend and falls in love at-first-sight with Anna (Anastasia Griffith), daughter of the town’s executioner. The executioner is employed by church and town, but considered and outcast along with his family. One thing leads to another and Martin has no choice but to become the town executioner to stay with his lady love. As for Prior Georg, let’s just say… 

“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” But they come to town anyway.

Martin and Georg find themselves on opposite sides of the religious persecution issue, their friendship is tested and their lives are in danger.

The film is successful in setting the right look and atmosphere for the times and the story.  The contrast between the dirty streets and equally dirty people, and the tidiness and sumptuousness of the church and the priests is very well done.  Some of the scenes are shot in beautiful locations that also contrast with the darkness of the tale.

The success of the look is deceptive because however ambitious the story, it just isn’t there in the script.  The friendship between Martin and Georg as children is never really told, so later when they meet as adults it’s hard to know what keeps these two very different men involved and concerned for each other. There’s a start of an interesting character arc with Anna as a woman ahead of her time, but that story is dropped into nothing shortly after.  Martin is clearly the hero, but we know so little about his character that the revelations that come later in the film fall flat.

What happened with the villains in this film?  Seemed at times that this group of good British character actors were at the edge of playing their roles for laughs.  Steven Berkoff channels his inner Dracula as the Inquisitor. John Shrapnel seems to be twisting an imaginary mustache as the Snidely Whiplash of Archbishops.  And Lee Ingleby and Eddie Marsan are the most repulsive of repulsive villains. (Lee Ingleby has perfected the art of being “weasely.”)

Steven Berkoff

I liked the performances of the lead actors. Though he’s not helped by the script, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau does his best and gives a heartbreaking performance as Martin.   He also looks good despite the stringy hair. There’s a charm about NCW that shows through in the quiet and romantic scenes. Anastasia Griffith plays a low key Anna and is believable in her romantic scenes with NCW.  Peter McDonald as Georg gives the best performance in the film and his character of the one time good priest fighting his own interior and exterior demons is the most developed.  

I think my expectations were too high for this film and this led to my disappointment with it. The cast is impressive and the story of the Inquisition and the darkness of the soul promised great drama. But the film is far from a great historical drama. It’s more an action/adventure/horror film that seeks to entertain rather than enlighten. 

I enjoyed watching Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and learning a bit more about his career, and that was really my objective in watching this film.        

There a few extras on the DVD.  There’s a “Making of Shadow of the Sword” that’s really a bad home video of the filming of one scene with bad background music. But I really enjoyed watching the mini-interviews with the cast.

Warning – the film has some very graphic violent scenes.

The film was nominated for the Grand Prix des Amériques at the 2005 Montréal World Film Festival, Director Simon Aeby

Director Simon Aeby

Photos from and Google Images. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Vanishing of Pato (La Scomparsa di Pato) - An Italian Period Film Mystery

 On Friday April 6 MHz Networks will premiere the Italian film The Vanishing of Pato.  The film takes place in the Sicilian town of Vigata in 1890 and is based on a book by Andrea Camilleri. Fans of Camilleri's popular fictional detective Montalbano are certainly familiar with the fictional town of Vigata in more modern times. 

The story deals with the disappearance of bank-teller Pato after his mock hanging in the town's Good Friday production of the Passion Play. Pato seemed to be a man above reproach, but as we all know appearances can be deceiving.

Maurizio Casagrande and Nino Frassica

The investigation is headed by Neapolitan out-of-towner Inspector Bellavia, played by Maurizio Casagrande. He is assisted by local Sicilian Carabineer Giummaro  played by Nino Frassica. According to reviews of the film and the novel, the detective story serves as a frame for social commentary on Italy's class system and politics. The fun is in the relationship between the Neapolitan Bellavia and the Sicilian Giummaro as a simple case of a missing person turns into a complex web of intrigue. 

Below see the official trailer for the film (in Italian):

Nino Frassica was born in the Sicilian city of  Messina and is known as a comedic actor. He's also a regular in the mystery series Don Matteo that can also be seen on MHz Networks. 

Maurizio Casagrande was born in Naples and is part of an illustrious acting family. He has starred in many films and won several acting awards during his career. 

Below we have the English language (narration and subtitles) preview video from MHz Networks:

Check the MHz Worldwide website HERE to see if it's playing in your area.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Film Delayed for One Year?

There was an announcement yesterday that Kenneth Branagh's film starring Kate Winslet based on the popular The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book will be delayed for one year.

Now, I don't want to engage in fruitless speculation, but a few things about this bit of news grabbed by attention. The reasons given for the delay were:

"...continued casting and timing issues", according to a representative for Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Department.

Producer Paula Mazur:  "It really is important to get the right cast on board,"


In the meantime Richard Armitage is in New Zealand still filming The Hobbit. The first Hobbit film premieres in December of this year, and the second film premieres in December of 2013.  In between of course we know that Armitage will have to be out there doing PR for both films. Something all his fans are very much looking forward to.  

Casting and Timing Issues???

Now many fans have long discussed that one of the main characters in the book, Dawsey Adams, would be a perfect role for Richard Armitage. Since we have a year to wait for the Potato Peel Pie Society film to start filming, why not go over and join the fan campaign Richard Armitage for Dawsey Adams at the link below:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Game of Thrones Day

Tonight at 9:00PM EST in the US 

and April 1 also HBO Caribbean and Brazil I hear

For the more contemporary version of a "game of thrones"
Mad Men at 10:00pm EST on AMC

Big TV Night Tonight

April 2 is Game of Thrones Day in the UK

Ned will also be watching. 

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