Friday, July 27, 2012

Sharpe's Gold This Sunday on Sharpe Sundays: Aztecs?

Sharpe's Gold

This is one of Sharpe’s most unusual adventures.  Wellington’s cousin from Ireland, Bess Nugent, and her daughter Ellie pay him a surprise visit in Spain. They are looking for Bess’s husband who has disappeared somewhere in the fog of the Peninsular War. Wellington is furious and wants to send them home, but Bess and Ellie are not easily persuaded. Meanwhile an eccentric Spanish guerilla leader, El Casco, wants to trade rifles for British deserters, and Sharpe is assigned the mission of making this happen. Back in the camp,Sharpe and Ellie find they have much in common. Where is Ellie's father, what is his connection to El Casco, and can Sharpe save them all?

El Casco

Please join new and longtime Sharpe fans for the Global Sharpe Watch this Sunday, July 28, 3:00pm EST/US, 8:00pm UK, 9:00pm Continent on Tweet Chat.  For all the details and "How To's" go to  Sharpe Lives Movie Club Facebook Page:

Or to Distracted Musings of One Reality at the link below:

An entertaining video about Napoleon's War Tactics:

From ashieyu66

More Great Interviews Surfacing from Comic-Con - Richard Armitage Talks More About Thorin Oakenshield

Thorin Oakenshield from Artist JBarrero on DeviantArt

More Great Interview Videos Surfacing - thanks to and interviews with Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis.

Below in this video from two wonderful clips of Richard Armitage talking about his character Thorin Oakenshield and working with Peter Jackson.  

Armitage should make a documentary where he talks exclusively about acting. Many great actors can't really explain how they do what they do. Some can talk about acting, but in a way that's unreachable for a general audience. Some get so wrapped up in how great they are they forget to relate to their audience.

Richard Armitage however is a treasure. Not only is he very articulate about his own work, and how actors work, but he does it in a way that's accessible to us all. He also manages to be humble and a true gentleman always. Amazingly he retains his sense of wonder in his work and shares this with us. 

But he's not a naive dreamer. Richard is also very aware of the  irony of the moment, if you can understand what I mean. I do adore his sense of humor and love that special twinkle in his eyes.

He has a great sense of the beauty of words and of creating poetic images with those words. We can feel it comes naturally to him, this is the way he sees the world. In many of the SDCC interviews and also in Video Blog #8 we see beautiful examples of this when he's talking about working on The Hobbit and being Thorin. He's such a pleasure to listen to.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fog and Crimes (Nebbie e Delitti) International Mystery Series

The Italian mystery series Fog and Crimes (Nebbie e Delitti) is based on the popular novels by writer and journalist Valerio Varesi. 

Commissario Franco Soneri is my favorite type of fictional detective. He’s cynical with a "man-of-the world" nonchalance hiding a caring and wounded soul. When we first join Soneri (Luca Barbareschi) in this Italian Television series he is trying to recover from the loss of his wife, the love of his life.  In order to try and get on with his life he moves from big city crime to the provincial and historic city of Ferrara and the Po (River) Valley.

Ferrara is where Soneri spent his youth, and met his wife when both were university students. In the new job as Police Chief he soon meets with an old friend from his youth, Nanetti (Paolo de Vita) who is now the coroner. At different times in the series he talks of old times with his friend and we find out more about his wife and early life. As many of us experience when we try to go back to an earlier and happier time, he discovers things are not always as they seemed when young, and friends of youth may not turn out as we hoped they would.

Soneri is also good at spotting talent, even in the most deceptive of packages. He enlists as his “Watson” young geek detective Juvara  (Gianluca Gobbi) who is more at home in front of a computer with a plate of pasta than with a gun apprehending a criminal. Juvara himself can’t believe he’s been selected, but Soneri knows that Juvara may not have the muscles, but he has the brains. The father and son relationship between the two is one of the charming parts of this series.

Soneri still mourns for his wife, but this doesn’t mean he’s not looking for love. In Series 1 and 2 he finds it with Russian born lawyer Angela (Natasha Stefanenko). This love affair between two middle-aged and attractive people (even if Angela is younger) committed to each other, but also to their careers, is one of the most believable I've seen in this type of crime mystery show.

AnnaValle (new love interest), Natasha Stefanenko, Luca Barbareschi

The crimes themselves, the murders, all explore in one way or another the mysteries of the human mind and how appearances can deceive.  Even those that we think we know intimately can have a hidden inner life and be capable of a horrific crime given the right motivation. The guilty can be found among rich and poor and among colleagues, friends, and lovers.

I've just started watching Series 3 and Soneri has now moved to the bigger city of Torino, after a stint in Rome. He also worked in Torino before and again has come back to old colleagues and friends, and a new love interest. In the first episode Soneri becomes a sort of foster father for a troubled 12 year old girl. I’m not sure about this new direction for the series, but time will tell.

Soneri is played by ruggedly handsome Luca Barbareschi. I was surprised to find out he was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Another man of many talents, he is described as an actor, television presenter and politician. According to Wikipedia in 2008 he was elected a Member of the Italian Parliament at the Chamber of Deputies with Berlusconi's party People of Freedom. But in 2010 he joined the new party "Future and Freedom for Italy". I am not very familiar with Italian contemporary politics, but of course somewhat familiar with Berlusconi and his media coverage. These facts and the story below makes me think Barbareschi  is an interesting man. 

There’s a strange story connected to Barbareschi according to Wikipedia:

“He was one of four actors whom the Italian police believed had been murdered in the making of the 1980 horror film Cannibal Holocaust. So realistic was the film that shortly after it was released its director Ruggero Deodato was arrested for murder. The actors had signed contracts to stay out of the media for a year in order to fuel rumors that the film was a snuff movie. The court was only convinced that they were alive when the contracts were cancelled and the actors appeared on a television show as proof.”

Below is a fan video about the series and a clip from an episode (in Italian, no translation I’m afraid).

From Tura92fe:

In the U.S. Fog and Crimes (with English subtitles) can be seen on MHz Networks. Check their website here for further information, or check with your local Public Television station.

Photos and etc. from various sources including MhZNetworks

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sharpe Sundays: Sharpe's Honour - Duels and Ducos

Sharpe’s Honour

La Marquesa Mendora writes to her husband, a Spanish general, and accuses Sharpe of forcing his attentions on her. Sharpe swears he’s never met her. Her husband confronts Sharpe and demands and apology or a duel. Is La Marquesa telling the truth, or is it part of a plan by Napoleon and French spymaster Ducos to get the British to leave Spain?

Please join new and longtime Sharpe fans for the Global Sharpe Watch this Sunday, July 22, 3:00pm EST/US, 8:00pm UK, 9:00pm Continent on Tweet Chat.  For all the details and "How To's" go to  Sharpe Lives Movie Club Facebook Page:

Or to Distracted Musings of One Reality at the link below:

One of my favorite songs from the Sharpe TV Series is Spanish Bride.  The song is an old British sea shanty also named "Spanish Ladies," or "Farewell and Adieu" and has been traced to the period between 1793 and 1796 in which British ships would dock in Spanish harbors when Spain and Britain were first allies against Revolutionary France. But there's some evidence as well that the song may date to the Peninsular War times of the Sharpe series.    

The version in the video below is an arrangement by John Tams with some of the lyrics by Tams as well.  John Tams is an award winning folk singer, musician, composer, writer, actor who in addition to playing Rifleman Dan Hagman is responsible for the wonderful music for the entire Sharpe series (along with Dominic Muldowney.)

Video by dominusminou

*Screencap of Alice Krige and Sean Bean from

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Memory Lane: Back to the Beginning of Lord of the Rings Media Coverage

Martin Freman, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis at SDCC 2012
From Warner Bros Pictures Website

In interviews during the just ended San Diego Comic-Con 2012, Richard Armitage said (I'm paraphrasing a lot now) how envious he was of the relative obscurity and seeming innocence of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy cast when they were filming in New Zealand over a decade ago.

So I thought it would be fun to go back to some of my favorite interviews of the LOTR cast from those days back in 2001 when a large part of the world had yet to encounter Hobbits, Dwarves, Wizards, and Orcs.

I should also mention, in case you're new at visiting this blog, that I'm a long time fan of Sean Bean and so I followed LOTR news as soon as he was cast. (Sean was in his 20's when I first became a fan, but amazingly I was just a toddler in those days). 

Two interviews from Cannes 2001 when the movie industry insiders and the press got to see 20 minutes I believe of the Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring and marked the start of PR for the film and the trilogy, much like SDCC just marked the start of major PR for The Hobbit:

Sean Bean (Boromir), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) Cannes 2001

Sean Bean on the Frank Skinner Show (Part 1) trying, not entirely successfully, to explain some of LOTR's special effects without giving away any secrets...and can we say "action figure":

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Favorite Hobbit and Thorin Moments from SDCC

Another favorite Photo: The Hobbit Cast at the San Diego Comic-Con Panel 
July 14, 2012

A few more favorite moments from HobbitCon yesterday that are now making their way to the public light. 

I was watching the interview below live thanks to but couldn't hear it well because of the background noise. Among other questions Quickbeam from TORN asks Richard Armitage about Tolkien. More proof from the interviews yesterday, if any is needed, that Richard Armitage is a very intelligent and articulate man. 

Video From Bccmee
Interview from

Our Geek Adonis

I loved that he was having fun too, enjoying the moment, comfortable but reserved as he is by nature. He also had a smile and that mischievous twinkle in his eyes. I would love to know what Richard Armitage thinks about this moment in his career. Hope someone asks him in a future interview. 

From Zimbio

Another view of the panel - not mine of course - I wasn't there. 

Update Jul 20, 2012: Part II of The Hobbit Press Conference (Part 1 above). Good Audio. Thanks to for both parts of the conference.

As a Lord of the Rings film fan, I also so enjoyed seeing Elijah Wood, and Andy Serkis, and Sir Ian McKellen, so united with the new cast, Martin Freeman and Richard.  Loved hearing from Philippa Boyens because we rarely do, and of course, all thanks a thousand times to Peter Jackson. 

I also loved that moment in the interview when the interviewer mentioned Richard III!

Can't wait for the next Hobbit Video Blog! 

RA Photo from Thank you Bccmee for being able to hear the interview video.

Update: Another Angle from the Press Conference, Richard Armitage towards the end:

Update:  A glimpse of Richard Armitage in this Air New Zealand Comic-Con 2012 Commercial:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Favorite Photo of HobbitCon Today So Far... and Video Interviews with Richard Armitage

Bilbo, Thorin, and Gollum

Thanks to Cinerd

and my favorite interview so far from Fandango:

Another lovely interview by Richard Armitage our Thorin:

I really realized today how much I missed listening to Richard Armitage talk about his work. Today has been such a pleasure, and such fun to share with my dear fellow fans. Thanks to for making it possible for all of us not actually there to feel so much part of the HobbitCon experience. 

Update: Thanks to Quickbeam from Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens answer the hot dwarves question:

Sharpe Sundays Episode 4 -Sharpe's Enemy: The Enemy of My Enemy?

Sharpe’s Enemy

Deserters from the French, Portuguese and British have joined together and taken over the Portuguese village of Adrados.  They’ve also taken two women hostage, the English wife of a French officer and the Portuguese wife of Sir Augustus Farthingdale.  Sharpe is sent to pay ransom for the British side but the kidnapers change their demands and keep the women. He also meets his new arch enemy, French spymaster Ducos. Sharpe decides to mount a daring rescue anyway. Will the price Sharpe has to pay to succeed be too much this time?

Please join new and longtime Sharpe fans for the Global Sharpe Watch this Sunday, July 15, 3:00pm EST/US, 8:00pm UK, 9:00pm Continent on Tweet Chat. For all the details and "How To's" go to Sharpe Lives Movie Club Facebook Page:

Or to Distracted Musings of One Reality at the link below:

Pierre Roger Ducos 
(Landais dans l'Histoire)

In this episode of Sharpe we'll meet a character called Ducos. There was also a Ducos, Pierre Roger Ducos, who lived from 1747-1817.Coincidence?

From Wikipedia:

"Ducos was a member of the Council of Five Hundred(1797). At the end of his term, he became a justice of the peace, but after Barthélemy Catherine Joubert's coup d'etat (June 1799), he was named a member of the executive Directory. 

On 9 November 1799, Ducos accepted the coup d'état of Napoleon Bonaparte and was one of the three Provisional Consuls (with Napoleon and Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès), becoming vice-president of the Senate with the arrival of a stable Consulate formula."

Happy Bastille Day - July 14

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Urgent Richard III Archaeology Appeal Until July 20th

Archaeological Search for Richard III

Philippa Langley, screenwriter and founder, in 1999, of the Scottish Branch of the Richard III Society, has sent out an urgent appeal. An archaeological dig is scheduled to take place this summer in Leicester, seeking the last resting place of Richard III, and hoping to find and re-inter his remains with proper solemnity. In addition it is hoped the excavations will be filmed, and then form part of a proposed landmark TV special telling Richard's real story. The project has encountered a sudden and unforeseen shortfall of funds and is in danger of closing down, hence they are appealing for urgent pledges of funds.

Concurrently with this archaeological project, Ms. Langley is preparing a script about the real Richard III which has the interest of Richard Armitage. Please note that Richard Armitage is not involved in the archaeological dig project.

For further information about how to support this project and ensure it is not cancelled this summer visit the King Richard Armitage blog at the link below:

Or fill out the pledge form, link below:

Thank you! 

Comic-Con Live Coverage Quick Guide Lite: Hobbit, Raining Thorins, Dwarves, Game of Thrones, and More

If you are like me, with no possible way to be at the San Diego Comic-Con this week, you want to know the next best thing, how to watch the most of what is going on at Comic-Con from your living room, laptop, PC, Tablet, etc. 

Here is my quick guide on some outlets that will be covering SDCC and you know they will be covering The Hobbit panels and events, as well as the Game of Thrones panel and more. I don't know if all of it is available everywhere around the world, but you can follow the links and find out for yourselves. I'll be glued to SDCC every afternoon from tomorrow afternoon on (I'm in EST time) and I hope all of us fellow fans can meet up on Twitter or elsewhere to share the moments on Saturday especially. 

SDCC Quick Guide Watch:

Our friends at TORn are covering this event "like many blankets". Follow their site and watch live at the link below. Remember their panel is on Thursday:

May I say that I want all of the buttons they will have at Comic-Con, especially one, and I think you all can guess the one:


I have two G4 channels thanks to my Cable-TV provider (and the many hard earned bucks I pay for the privilege). Their SDCC coverage starts tomorrow, Thursday. Now I'm in the US, so I don't know if it is available elsewhere, or through other outlets, but you can all check it out on their Website:

And follow them on Twitter:


Another channel I have on my US Cable-TV. SPIKE will have "Comic-Con All Access Live" starting on July 13. You can all check out their Website to find out the particulars of their coverage:

You can also follow Spike TV on Twitter:

I should also mention that TORn, G4, and SPIKE are also on Facebook. Go to their sites for the information.

In my past experience the major Comic-Con panels are also eventually posted by various attendees on YouTube. I've watched panels from Being Human and Game of Thrones that way in the past. So if all else fails, and it won't believe me, you can watch it on YouTube eventually. (Yes, I am an ancient Geek Lite!).

In case you wondered, no, I have never been to Comic-Con.

I have no doubt that Richard Armitage will be wonderful on Saturday, and I hope it's not all overwhelming to him. 

I do wonder what he thinks of all the Raining Thorins!?


On a very sad note for RA fans this Comic-Con Eve:


Let's have a fun Hobbit Comic-Con time and enjoy everyone.

From First Press Conference for The Hobbit

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gentle Giant and TORn Reveal New Thorin (Richard Armitage) Figure

Another Thorin figure revealed. 

It's raining Thorins!

Figure is from Gentle Giant, another Comic-Con 
Exclusive according to

If you're going to Comic-Con this week, find out by going to the link below how to purchase this collectible:

Apparently they used digital scans of Richard Armitage to make it look the most like him.  I really don't think it looks 100% like him, looks older. That may have been the idea though with Thorin.  What do you think?  I do like the detail in the piece.

Was this the prototype for the collectible above:

There was a rumor at the time, many months ago, that the sketch above was from Gentle Giant. I actually like the prototype sketch or drawing better than the final product, if that's the case. But we may be in for another Thorin figure revelation soon based on the above. Do you think? Raining Thorin's.

What did I say - it's raining Thorin's indeed!

Thanks to MTV and

Saturday, July 7, 2012

WETA Reveals Limited Edition Thorin Figure (Richard Armitage)for Comic-Con

More information at WETA Workshop on Facebook:

Right now only available at San Diego Comic-Con, WETA Cave.
Will be available for wider purchase, without shield, October 2012

By the way, if you have Cable TV (I only know the US, but check out your own TV providers) Spike TV and the G4 channels will have live coverage of the San Diego Comic-Con.(thanks to Ricrar for the heads up)

Looking forward to The Hobbit and Game of Thrones and TORn panels!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sharpe Sundays Episode 3 - Series 2: Badajoz

Sharpe’s Company

It’s now 1812 and the Duke of Wellington is making plans to lay siege to Badajoz.  When a new draft of soldiers arrives from England among them is a dangerous figure from Sharpe’s past in India, Sgt. Hakeswill.  Bad news for Sharpe all around since his commission as a captain is no longer needed he’s back to being a lieutenant and worse yet made Quartermaster. In order to get a promotion Sharpe volunteers to lead the Forlorn Hope, the first men to attack the breach, but Wellington refuses.  Will Sharpe save the day and thwart Hakeswill's evil plans?  

Richard Caton Woodville Jr. (1856-1927)

Please join new and longtime Sharpe fans for the Global Sharpe Watch this Sunday, July 8, 3:00pm EST/US, 8:00pm UK, 9:00pm Continent on Tweet Chat.  For all the details and "How To's" go to  Sharpe Lives Movie Club Facebook Page:

Or to Distracted Musings of One Reality at the link below:

Armand Philippon (1803)

Philippon is a name we'll hear mentioned in this Sharpe episode. Like Richard Sharpe, the real Armand Philippon enlisted as a soldier during the French Revolution and rose through the ranks of the French army (Grande Armée) to become Baron Philippon.He was Governor of Badajoz in 1812 when we join Sharpe's Company in Spain this Sunday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Richard Armitage as Thorin in The Hobbit: New Photo

To see the rest of the Entertainment Weekly Hobbit Gallery go to the link below:,,20483133_20608420,00.html#21179608

Thank you Ricrar for the link. 

Update July 4, 2012:

King Thorin 

Thanks to and Entertainment Weekly

Update 7/8/12:

Have I mentioned that I love!

The TORn staff analyze the Entertainment Weekly Photos (see link). Great post, beware of SPOILERS if you haven't read the book:

A quote from the article that I agree with 100%

MrCere: Is it possible people still don’t get that this movie is about three people moving the action? Gandalf, Bilbo and Thorin are the center of this film. Let me go on record again and say that Richard Armitage is going to be a gigantic star when these two movies are over.

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