Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Happy 60th Birthday Sean Bean

Sean Bean at work as Ned Stark  - Game of Thrones Pilot Episode

Sean and I are of the same generation, and I say to him that 60 is now the new 40!! 

Happy Birthday Sean

Friday, March 29, 2019

Auf Wiedersehen Berlin Station

Berlin Station was cancelled after three seasons:

For me it wasn't as as sad as it could have been.  I had said "adios" to Berlin Station already, after they killed  Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage) at the end of Season 3.  

I started watching Berlin Station because of Richard Armitage, so once I knew he wouldn't return for a Season 4, I wasn't as interested in paying the extra for a subscription to Epix.

I am one of those viewers that liked Berlin Station.  I liked the complicated plot twists and blind alleys. I loved all the great Berlin locations.  But I didn't like that Richard's character, Daniel Miller, was an underdeveloped character.

In many ways, and not just because of what happened to Daniel Miller, Berlin Station lost its way in Season 3. 

The mystery of Berlin Station is how did a series with an excellent cast never quite live up to it's promise.  It was a good series, a solid spy series.  But it could have been an excellent and groundbreaking series. 

I read/listened to several of Olen Steinhauer's books.  I didn't care as much for All the Old Knives, but I loved his Yalta Boulevard books series, and still think it would make an excellent series. But caution to the producers, just don't hire the writers from Berlin Station if you do make the books into a series.  But now I really don't have any desire to read any more of Mr. Steinhauer's books. 

It was a treat of course to watch Richard Armitage again in a regular series.  I cared for Daniel Miller, but his story as the lead character could have been so much more intriguing for us to watch and for Richard to play if only they had hired better writers.  

I greatly enjoyed all of Richard's interviews related to his series, and the times he shared Berlin and Budapest, and other locations with us on Twitter and Instagram.  

Daniel (RA) and Esther (Mina Tander) will always be one of my favorite TV couples. 

Michelle Forbes, I was already a fan since her Star Trek days.  And I also already knew Rhys Ifans, Ashley Judd, Tamlyn Tomita, Caroline Goodall, and others. I will miss them all.  I had never watched Richard Jenkins before, though of course I knew about him. And I enjoyed watching for the first time KeKe Palmer, Ismael Cruz Cordoba, Brandon Spink, and many others. 

I'm also grateful that the series introduced me to wonderful European actors that I have since watched in other TV series, mostly on MHZ Choice.  I'm now a fan of them all (see link below):

I'll have a separate post soon about some great shows you can watch on MHZ Choice with some of my favorite European actors from Berlin Station.

I do have a very special mention to a wonderful actor and lovely man, Leland Orser.  Especially in this last Season 3 he became the soul of Berlin Station for all the fans of the series. I wasn't really a member of the "WhiteTShirtGang" but I enjoyed following all the tweets, and even tweeted myself sometimes. Yes, I'll miss Robert. 

 I'll continue to follow Leland Orser, and Michelle Forbes, and Sabin Tambrea, and other Berlin Station cast members  on Twitter. 

We'll always have Berlin πŸ˜”πŸ˜Ž

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Five Films ?

This was a difficult Twitter challenge - and I've given a lot of though since he posted the question. So below are the five titles to introduce someone to my taste in movies:

Persuasion (1995)

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Roxanne (1987)

The Guardians (2017)

Good Bye Lenin (2003)

The challenge is movies, so I'm restricting the list above to movies, no TV shows sneaking in there. That would be a different list.

If I only had a choice of five movies to show to someone what kind of movies I like, the above would be my list. 

But I'm going to cheat and include two other categories of movies and try to select five titles in each to introduce someone to my taste in those particular categories of films.

Classic Films:

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Now, Voyager (1942)

West Side Story (1961)

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Seven Samurai (1954)

When other kids of my generation (baby boomers) were watching cartoons, I was watching what today we call Classic Films.  Before cable TV, and streaming, and the Internet, we had only a few channels we could watch on TV.  And in the late morning and afternoons one or two of these channels would show wonderful classic films with the greatest movie stars in the universe and amazing character actors.  

Fantasy/Science Fiction

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Star Wars (A New Hope) (1977)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

I will confess that compared to some fantasy and science fiction fans who are experts in these genres, I fall short.  But I do have my favorites and I'm easily lost in other worlds.  

What are your five films?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Audiobook Challenge Update - #7 On the List

A short update on the 2019 Audiobook Challenge

I'm now listening to a second book by a narrator I haven't listened to before, #7.   

The book is The Stranger by Harlan Coben, narrated by George Newbern.  First time listening to Mr. Newbern.  I like his narration, I find he's more of a "reader" than a "performer".  But his voice fits the scenes and he knows how to keep the suspense of the plot.  I'm enjoying The Stranger, my first book by Harlan Coben. 

Will I be able to stop and not read the last two chapters, as Richard Armitage has suggested? Time will tell, I'm on chapter 32.  I'm very curious how they will transfer the setting of the book from New Jersey, US to Manchester, UK.  And yes, I can see Richard as Adam Price.  

The Stranger, starring Richard Armitage, will begin filming March 5.  See link below for more about the series based on Coben's book.

Next up I'll tackle #6 on the challenge, once I finish the two books I'm listening to now, The Stranger, and the new Jackman and Evans (Joy Ellis, narrated by Richard Armitage).  

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor, narrated by Richard Armitage

Yes, I like mysteries and thrillers, but horror-thrillers are not usually my genre.  Once again, RA is leading me to read a book I would not have selected on my own.  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day 2019

Happy Valentine's Day to my two favorite actors, Richard Armitage and Sean Bean. I'm happy that 2019 has started with great projects ahead for the two of them.  Can't wait to see the results of their hard work later this year.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Listening to Audiobook Challenge #1 and #7

So I am now balancing two of the Audiobook Challenge challenges.  

I am counting The Other Queen as my challenge #1 with a cast of three. (See my previous post). I have the audiobook in CD's since it's not available on Audible with Richard Armitage as one of the cast. Luckily I have an old car that has a CD player. (That's how I first started to listen to audiobooks in my car many years ago, before Audible).  

But at home, with my Audible app, I've also been listening to The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, narrated by a narrator whose work I haven't heard previouslyJane McDowell.

I like her narration very much so far, and can relate very much to the main protagonist of this book, Ruth Galloway.  I'm just a few chapters in, but there are are moments I feel Ruth Galloway is me 😊 especially at parties!

This is not that common with me, as I may like and admire many female characters in fiction, but not that frequently do I relate to them as much as I am now to Ruth as a person.  I'm sure that will change as I read/listen to more books in the series, but so far Ruth is #1.

Now Mysteries are my favorite genre, but I have a confession that I started listening to The Crossing Place  again because of my book guru, Richard Armitage.   No, he's not narrating any of the Galloway books, but the author, Elly Griffiths, has mentioned several times that she wouldn't mind if Armitage played the police detective in the book,  DCI Harry Nelson.  So I reached a moment when I just had to find out who is DCI Nelson. 

It seems the Galloway books have been "optioned" by the BBC or some other TV company for a series.  How about it BBC?

Listen to us BBC, Richard Armitage needs to play either Jackman (Joy Ellis' series) or Nelson. Make it happen.  Or why not both! 

Just to prove I'm not making this up, here is a link to an interview with author Elly Griffiths:

Lynne:  If the series was ever picked up for TV, who would you like to see playing Ruth and Nelson? And maybe Cathbad?
Elly:  A TV company has an option but everything is moving extremely slowly, it’s even slower than archaeology. But, of course, I’ve thought about the casting. Ruth Jones or Eva Myles as Ruth. She would have to become Welsh but it would be worth it. I’ve always thought Richard Armitage for Nelson (I can dream can’t I?). Cathbad is the most difficult. Maybe David Tennant with long hair?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The 2019 Audiobook Challenge from AudioFile Magazine and Challenge #1

Here we are first day of 2019.  I think I'll give this new Audiobook Challenge a try.  No promises that I will get to #12 by the end of this year.  (And I might skip around!).

I have my own personal audiobook challenge I've followed now for several years, and that is listening to all the books narrated/performed by my favorite actor, Richard Armitage.   Armitage is always goal #1.

Tomorrow,  January 2, I go back to work from my holiday break πŸ˜’and I know just what I will be listening to for Challenge #1.

Update on 2018 Audiobook Challenge

Audioobook Challenge 2018 Details

  • Runs January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2018 than you did in 2017.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.
  • Updates plus a giveaway will be posted twice during the year. First update in June 30, 2018 and last update in December 15, 2018

So last year, 2018, I joined the Audiobook Challenge (see above)and challenged myself to listen to 12 books.  I ended up listening to 16 by the end of the year. Right at the end on December 30 I finished my 16th book, The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo, performed by Richard Armitage.

I listen to audiobooks on my commute to and from work, and sometimes on the weekend at home when puttering around the apartment. 

My Updated List - Audiobooks I listened to in 2018:

The Christmas Hirelings - narrated by Richard Armitage

The Snowman (by Michael Morpurgo) - narrated by Richard Armitage

Heads you Win - narrated by Richard Armitage

The Man from St. Petersburg - narrated by Richard Armitage

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - narrated by Jeff Woodman

The Lizard's Bite (Nic Costa Book#4) - narrated by Saul Reichlin

The Sacred Cut (Nic Costa Book #3) - narrated by Saul Reichlin

Their Lost Daughters (Jackman and Evans series) -narrated by Richard Armitage

The Murderer's Son  (Jackman and Evans series) - narrated by Richard Armitage

The Fourth Friend   (Jackman and Evans series) - narrated by Richard Armitage

A Season for the Dead (Nic Costa series) - narrated by Sean Baker

The Tattooist of Auschwitz - narrated by Richard Armitage

The Martian Invasion of Earth (adaptation of The War of the Worlds - audio play) - performed by Richard Armitage and Cast

Wanderlust - narrated by Richard Armitage and Grace Grant

The Bloody Chamber (Angela Carter) - narrated by Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox

The Villa of Mysteries (Nic Costa series) - narrated by Christopher Kay

A Quiet Flame (Bernie Gunther series) - narrated by Paul Hecht

The One from the Other (Bernie Gunther series) - narrated by John Lee

I ended up listening to 18 audiobooks by the end of 2018, exceeding the Audiobook Challenge goal I had set for myself of 12-15.  

I've chosen to highlight the narrators on the list for 2018 because as I listen to more and more audiobooks I'm more and more aware of the difference a good narrator can make.  Especially if, like me, you're listening to books from a book series that have different narrators, as I am with the Nic Costa series (by David Hewson) and the Bernie Gunther series (by Philip Kerr). 

I want to thank my Book Guru and favorite actor and narrator/performer ("fantastic audiobook performer" Richard Armitage for guiding me to discovering two now favorite mystery/thriller writers, David Hewson and Joy Ellis (Jackman and Evans).

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