Joanna said something along these lines recently (meaning, I think, that we’d decided his American accent was convincing) and I found myself musing about what an American hero is. Is Gary Fuller (formerly Morris) an American hero?
Can Richard Armitage be an American hero?
I know that that term will mean…
A huge special thanks to @DanniWarp for providing us this wonderful review from an advance screening of “Into the Storm!”
On Wednesday, July 23, I had the opportunity to see an early screening of the movie Into the Storm before its official release on August 8. Here’s my—mostly spoiler-free—review! (I say “mostly” only for the folks who aren’t too familiar with the basic plot line. I don’t give anything major away, I promise!)
Be sure to check it out when it comes out in theaters near you. :)
(Shoutout to @kresssingtons for winning the tickets and bringing a fellow Kresser such as me along!)
Fans who have been eagerly anticipating this movie, I’m sure, know the basic plot summary by heart. The movie hones in on a group of storm-chasers in the small town of Silverton. Catastrophe strikes when a tornado (or, to clarify, a whole series of tornadoes) unlike anything ever seen before in history threatens to ravage the town. The numerous movie trailers only give us just a small peek into this disaster of epic proportions. And that’s saying something, considering that the trailer showed us the jaw-dropping scenes of a fiery cyclone and a tornado strong enough to pick up massive airplanes and hurl them around!
What the trailers don’t focus on as intently, however, are the characters having to go through the calamity. It’s a group of extremely different people—two teenage brothers, a single father, and a group of professional storm-chasers—all tied together by this insane natural disaster. It’s a matter of life or death. They all realize that they can’t go about this situation alone; working together is essential, so each character undergoes significant character development to save not only themselves, but each other as well. It’s definitely one of those instances where you can’t possibly come out of it not having been changed in a huge way.
Wash every dish and empty out the rack.
Fold or hang each garment with the care
that it prefers. Tell yourself the air
is sweet to your skin. Exercise the knack
which you attempted to abandon. Crack
an egg and eat what it becomes. Wear
a pendant. Clean the bathtub. Wash your…
TORn is live streaming pieces of San Diego Comic Con. The schedule is here. The big day is Saturday, with hopes that the new teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies will be shown at the Hobbit panel in Hall H. TORn won’t be able to stream the panel live, I believe, but there are always people who manage to catch the panel on vid, as here(from 2012 — Jackson et al. did not present…
Wow, it’s been two months. Sorry. Continued from here.
Used to be: OT, collateral attractions, and things I think about. Chat, add your own favorites in the comments.
- Why is the 2014 summer box office yield so disappointing? Women now make up a majority of the film-going public and no one bothered to consider our tastes.
- Lucy Griffiths leaves Constantine.
- Pictures from the Guardians of the Galaxy…
Source: William Kircher on Facebook. Click there to send him some “Bifur love”!
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Performed at the Old Vic Theatre, London
23rd July 2014, Matinee
It seemed like a lifetime ago when I studied the Crucible, a play set during the Salem Witch Trials in 1690s Massachusetts, briefly just before GCSE Drama, when in reality it was just over five years ago. I also thought I would never have the opportunity to see the play being staged in the West End, but I was lucky enough to see this particular production, directed by the award winning Yäel Farber and being staged at the Old Vic Theatre in London.
For those who are not familiar with the plot of the Crucible, a rather extended metaphor for the McCarthyism the United States was suffering during the time Miller was writing the play, I shall explain – it centres on a farmer, John Proctor (Richard Armitage in this production, best known for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s the Hobbit), after his former lover Abigail Williams (Samantha Colley) points the finger and declares his wife Elizabeth (Anna Madeley) to be in league with the Devil and being a witch.
What first struck me when sitting in the theatre waiting for the show to begin was the minimal use of stage space and scenery - it was being performed in the round, which would ultimately make the play far more immersive, and only using the bare essentials for the show – chairs, a bed, a table and a couple of other things – really made the audience focus on the performance rather than having their minds wandering, going “oooh that [bit of scenery] looks pretty”, and it worked incredibly well by the time the show had actually started. Everything was Spartan, fitting in with the Puritan religious undertones of the time –the costumes, the set, the props – nothing felt unnecessary.
It jilted me at first, but the director’s choice of not having the actors speak in an American accent was surely a creative choice – the Northern accents made the whole play feel closer to home for a British audience and thus giving more of an impact towards the subject matter. We had our own witch trials here, and I almost forgot that it was set in Salem, if it was not for the infrequent references to the town itself.
The acting itself, was on the whole, absolutely fantastic. The standouts had to go to Richard Armitage – I’ve always deemed it a pleasure to see him act on screen every time, but to see him on stage after a ten year absence was certainly something else -, the young Samantha Colley, fresh out of drama school, Anna Madeley who brought a tenderness to a character I never cared for when reading the play, and also Adrian Schiller (Reverend John Hale) and William Gaunt (Giles Corey). The acting by the ensemble of twenty-four was raw, visceral and the physicality of the possession scenes especially were absolutely terrifying – it could have looked as if it had come from a horror film. Which I see as a good thing – the Salem Witch Trials was a terrible time, with numerous innocents dying and the physicality really got that tone right for it. However, I felt that Michael Thomas – Reverend Parris – could have been better, despite myself recognizing that Reverend Parris was quite a weak character to begin with. Natalie Gavin (Mary Warren) was a bit too quiet for us up in the Lillian Baylis Circle, but I am sure the audience in the lower tiers would have been able to hear her fine enough.
One thing most people have complained about is the three-and-a-half hour run time, which can feel like it can drag, especially when you consider how quickly something such as Les Miserables, at three hours can pass by. I do not see it as a problem though – it means there is a proper devotion to the source material and it means it is not completely cut down to the bare bones – I would not however, recommend this particular production to anyone who has short attention spans, as it certainly is a play where you need to pay attention throughout in case you miss something. The only thing I can really complain about is the amount of shouting there was – it makes watching the production quite tiring sometimes, and the sheer volume can unfortunately take away some of the words – some words and phrases were lost on us because we simply could not understand what they were saying because they were shouting; it was a consistent problem, but to their credit, they did not have microphones like they do for musicals.
Overall, this is an incredible production and a spectacular piece of theatre. I predict that it will do very well during the theatre awards season – potentially seeing several Olivier Award nominations to Ms. Farber, Mr. Armitage, for Best Play (I believe the biggest rival will be Richard III, currently at the Trafalgar Studios and starring Armitage’s Hobbit co-star Martin Freeman) and possibly for Ms. Colley. If you want to see a production that has all the intensity of the source material, I would look no further, as this really does do justice to such a dark and harrowing text.
No because I saw the matinee, and since they only have about an hour and a half between the end of the matinee and the beginning of the evening performance, they don’t come out of the stage door.
However, the show was absolutely incredible. Minimalist staging, props, costume. Very raw and physical and intense, especially during the trial when all of the girls become possessed - very Exorcist like. Richard was absolutely spectacular - I smell an Olivier nomination at the very least, and Samantha Colley was brilliant as Abigail Williams - seeing her in the Crucible really, really makes me want to see her playing Cathy Earnshaw in an adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
I did think however, Michael Thomas, who played Reverend Parris was a little weak in contrast to some of the others. Anna Madeley - Elizabeth Proctor - played her role beautifully. I nearly cried at the end actually.
Overall, Yael Farber has done an amazing job of getting the Crucible to the stage, and the casting overall was on point. I’m glad to have seen one of my favourite plays having justice being done to it, let alone how lucky I feel about seeing it at the Old Vic with Richard Armitage. If anyone’s in London and can stomach a 3 1/2 hour run time, then they should DEFINITELY see it. A spectacular piece of theatre.
[Our very own Kathy Jones has braved not only the smelly hallowed halls of San Diego ComicCon but has also taken it upon herself to attend the preview screening of Into The Storm. This is her review, or in her own words her “impressions of the movie, as a fan girl”.]
Primus inter Pares? Armitage as part of the ITS cast. Image: Warner Bros.
Richard Armitage does not blow you away in his…
My darling 10 year old daughter just made me a Lego John Proctor. She knows me so well.