Hannibal Season 3: The Tooth Fairy is Coming

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My fangirly heart was beating very hard today as I read Empire magazine’s interview with Hannibal‘s showrunner Bryan Fuller and stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. The interview itself reveals nothing completely new – they even talked about King Arthur… again – but it also contains a mention of Richard Armitage and his character, Francis Dolarhyde, a.k.a. the Tooth Fairy. Which is why the upcoming third season of Hannibal has become my most anticipated show in the summer.

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The Week of the Five Finales

Saying goodbye to the best of television… for now!

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Three months ago I never though I would arrive at this point: the week where five of the TV shows that I’m following will have their season finale… Broadchurch. Sleepy Hollow. Marvel’s Agent Carter. How to Get Away with Murder. They are all ending and will soon be leaving me with the biggest post-dramatic withdrawal syndrome ever.

(But I wonder why did they all have to end in the same week. I’m convinced the TV gods are punishing me.)

SPOILER ALERT: This entry contains spoiler of the finales of every show reviewed. Please proceed with caution.

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Optical Illusion: The Eyeglasses of Colin Firth

Colin Firth’s first rate ‘eyeglasses acting’

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So you saw Kingsman: The Secret Service and you decided it was awesome. And Colin Firth rocks as a gentleman spy who kicks ass while wearing posh suits and fancy eyeglasses. If that’s what brought you here… WELCOME!

Welcome, my friends, to my appreciation post for Colin Firth’s excellent acting and his natty eyewear that his roles on movies seem to favor these days. Ever since Tom Ford put him in those vintage glasses in A Single Man, it seems that he’s never without them in the movies. (He probably needs to wear them in real life, too, though.) And as a longtime fan of Mr. Firth and someone with an eyewear fetish, I thank all the costume designers in those movies where he plays characters with eyeglasses.

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Broadchurch Series 2: Yes, It’s Still Worth Watching

It’s not Series 1, but Broadchurch’s Series 2 is not a waste of time

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Yesterday a friend asked me what I thought of the second series of ITV’s hit show, Broadchurch. The question is not out of the blue. I think she probably wants to know if it’s worth watching.

A lot of shows struggle to keep their audience in their sophomore seasons and Broadchurch in particular have been getting some criticism in the UK (I don’t know what these criticisms are – I tend to stay away from any reviews regarding the show for fear of getting spoilers – but apparently critics in the UK have had strong complaints that even one of the cast members spoke out against them.) It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for anyone who watched the first series to get disillusioned by the sequel, so I gave my friend’s question a serious consideration. Whatever her real reason was for asking, though, the opinion I gave her yesterday still stands today. That is, while I understand the concern people might have over Broadchurch in its second series, I say that it’s worth watching.

Mind you, I’m not keen on passing judgment before the second series is over but, yes, I do think that so far Series 2 has been very different from the first series.

The first series was intense: the murder mystery was thrilling with its tight plot and a cast of suspects with their own arcs, and the emotional drama was absolutely gut-wrenching. The entire show had an amazing structure that gripped you for eight whole episodes. The second series, however, is very all over the place. Each episode is well made but to say that they are gripping? That would be an exaggeration. They introduced Alec Hardy’s Sandbrook case here, but there’s barely a connective thread between that to the courtroom drama involving the Broadchurch murder. It’s not that the legal aspect of the story isn’t interesting – I’m highly curious about whether Joe Miller, like Annalise Keating, can get away with murder – but, admittedly, it just doesn’t pack the same punch as the first series’ story.

Furthermore, some of the characters I sympathized with in S1 have become so annoying (Beth, mostly) that I wish that they could just drown in the sea. Ellie and Hardy are still compelling as characters, and I still care a lot about them (and someone better give Olivia Colman every award there is on the planet for being such a marvelous actress), but I could do without the likes of Olly and the priest and those lawyers (or barristers, I should say). Well, I suppose some of them are tolerable but, really, in the end all I really want is for someone to slap Beth and tell her to get over herself.

(Also, I’m sick of the portrayal of unscrupulous journalists by English television in ever But this is a whole different discussion, which I’d rather not get into right now.)

So  Broadchurch has changed a lot… but it’s not that it’s worse than before. It’s just that it’s different. As a series that doesn’t rely on sex, gun fights, forensic science and other ridiculous Hollywood tropes to build its story, Broadchurch still works and is still above par compared to many other filth we see on TV.  Beth may annoy me to death but at least her character has changed and developed somewhat. Claire Ripley and Lee Ashworth might creep the hell out of me but they’re great foils to Ellie and Alec. And Ellie and Alec, again, are still two of my favorite characters in any shows in the world because now we’re delving deeper into their souls. At its core, Broadchurch is still a story about people, about human beings and their flaws, and how they deal with impossibly stressful situations. For that reason, I still love it. I can’t get enough of it. I want to know more about it.

Critics are going to critique, haters are going to hate, and all that crap. I, for one, am going to enjoy it while it lasts. (And so will my mom, actually. She’s become a major Broadchurch fan since I introduced her to it. Now she can’t wait to watch new episodes…) Whatever happens, no matter what the ratings are, Broadchurch still has an audience in the two of us.

Moviegoing 101: Behave Yourself!

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This week I had two bad experiences watching TV in the cinema and both of them had to do with other people’s behavior (or misbehavior) during the movie.

Manners, people, please have them.

On Wednesday, I went to watch Michael Mann’s Blackhat with a friend. We both knew that we were going to be slightly late because we had an appointment with someone else so when we got tickets we made sure to get seats next to the aisle. That way we won’t have to disturb other people’s viewing by trying to get into our chairs in the middle or the end of the row. Nothing is more annoying than people coming in late and trying to squeeze their way in between your knees and the chair in front of you, hitting your bag, stepping on your toes, blocking your vision and loudly saying, “Sorry!” (Or worse, not apologizing at all, which has happened several times!) in the middle of a scene in the movie.

We went in a few minutes late and quickly located our seats. When we got there, there were plastics of food (Shin Lin chicken, the Taiwanese snack, which was so very pungent with all the spices it had on the slab of meat) and handbags on our chairs. When it was obvious that we were going to sit there the people on the two seats next to us immediately cleaned their crap out but my friend’s mood was ruined. I remained calm for a while longer… until these people continued to eat in LOUD noise. Quite honestly, it was disgusting. I have nothing against eating food inside a cinema, but as a rule, I expect those foods to be eaten with mouth closed. It’s utterly disgusting to hear people chewing loudly and talking with food inside their mouths. And these people did exactly just that with that chicken.

During the course of the movie, these people not only ate in a really appalling manner, then proceeded to loudly exclaim and interject comments at every single scene they saw. “Oh look! Chris Hemsworth is in prison!” “Wow, Korea looks dirty… what? Koreatown is not in Korea? Where is then?” “That’s Indonesian dialogue!” “where is this in Jakarta?” “Her make-up makes her look like a ghost!” and so on, all the way throughout the movie until the end. Also, one of them kept checking their smart phones with glaring LCD display, hurting our eyes in the middle of the darkness of the cinema. My friend went, “Could you please turn that off? The light is very distracting.” All she got was a giggling response, “Oh, the movie’s about to finish anyway.” Which is not the point, you rude and mannerless heathen. 

The exact same thing happened at another screening the next day. On Thursday, I went to watch The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death. I expected a noisy cinema – it is a horror movie, after all, and people tend to get shrieky during horror movies, myself included – but I never expected to see or hear people eating a goddamn box of rice (or whatever it was that smelled like a goddamned Padang restaurant, complete with yet again the pungent smell of spices) AND CRACKERS. Yes, they were eating crispy crackers and didn’t bother masking the sound. If you’re ever going to eat something inside a cinema, couldn’t you stick to popcorn and/or nachos? Really.

Those were the people two seats over. The person to the seat right next to mine? Kept turning on his phone and checking messages during scary scenes. Dude, if you know you’re going to be scared inside a horror movie, close your damn eyes.

These incidents got me thinking. They happen so often that I suspect that the majority of people I meet in cinemas really have no basic concept of etiquette. I’m not even being condescending because it just seems like they really have no clue. I’m not expecting people to be all prim and proper as they do at a formal dinner party or anything like that but some things are just so simple that to ignore them or comply with them just show how much of an idiot they are.

1. Be on time.

We have only 3 cinema chains in Indonesia: XXI, Blitz and Cinemaxx.
The time printed on the ticket in XXI Cinema is usually the time the movie starts. They open their door to the screening studio at least 10 minutes before the movie starts. So if you have your ticket, you should know to get into the room before the time printed on your ticket. They also have PA system where they announce door opening and movie starting times. How and why you can be late with the movies with this system, I have no idea.

The time printed on the ticket in Blitz Megaplex is usually the time the door to the screening studio opened. You get another 10-15 minutes (or even longer) to wait inside and watch the trailers and commercials before the movie starts. Blitz Megaplex (or at least the ones in Grand Indonesia and Pacific Place) don’t have announcements from the PA system. You have to manage your own time when watching a movie at Blitz but now that you know this – because I just told you – it’s supposed to be simple to do.

I know nothing about Cinemaxx so anyone who wants to enlighten me, feel free.

2. Be quiet.

Pretty sure people are not supposed to talk inside the screening studios. All cinemas usually warn you of this on their big screens before the movie starts. If you can’t pay attention, then you’re an idiot.
‘Being quiet’ means not only trying to keep your voice low when you address people inside the studio, whether to excuse yourself when you’re going to squeeze yourselves to get to your seat or when you’re asking anyone a question. Reacting to a movie itself by laughing, sobbing, shouting or shrieking might be acceptable to a certain point but, no, people generally don’t need to hear you pointing out what’s happening in every single scene. You think Chris Hemsworth is hot as a convincted prisoner in jail? Fine. Keep your admiration down to a sigh. Just stop making any loud noises that will disturb people.

3. Don’t discuss a movie DURING the movie.

This happens a lot, too. It’s bad enough when people react to certain scenes in a grandiose way, it’s even worse when you hear an actual conversation being carried out during the movie. I’ve lost count of how many times I hear people asking their friends/dates/family members to explain a plot point or what was happening during a scene. It’s so ridiculous that it should be illegal.

You don’t know what an Orc is? Go out and read a J.R.R. Tolkien book before you buy a ticket to The Hobbit. You don’t know what happened to Tony Stark in The Avengers? There are DVDs. You don’t know what a robot is? You poor thing; please open Wikipedia. You don’t know English and the subtitles are not helping you? Don’t watch Hollywood movies and stick to Indonesian films. But please stop asking someone else to explain all these things to you while they – and the rest of the world – are trying to watch something. 

If you happen to be the person someone is asking to explain stuff like these to them, please refrain from launching into a half an hour lecture during a movie just to impress them. Your date is not likely to comprehend your inoheren explanation and the people you’re sitting next to definitely won’t be impressed.

4. Sit on your own seats.

When you buy movie tickets in Indonesian cinemas, you get assigned a seat number. Stick to it. I don’t care if it seems like nobody is coming when the studio lights are dimming and the opening credits are rolling. You bought tickets with seat numbers on it, that’s where you should sit. You don’t sit on seats whose numbers are not printed on your tickets, and then question or complain to the people who do have those seat numbers printed on your ticket.

5. Eat lightly.

Close your mouth when you chew. Popcorn/nachos/chocolate bars/small fried stuff are acceptable, but NOT anything fragrant with spices. NOT crispy cracker stuff. NOT steak or soup or cereal or whatnot that require proper cutleries. And, again, chew with your lips sealed, mouths closed and all that.

6. Lay down your phones and watch.

I don’t understand people’s obsessive need to turn on their phones during a movie. If you’re going to be busy checking your messages, emails and social media accounts, then what the hell are you doing watching a movie in the first place? Unless you’re checking the time because you don’t own a watch, you should NOT be opening your phone inside a movie studio when the movie is playing.

Not putting your phone on silent mode during a movie is not acceptable. Taking calls during a movie is also not acceptable. Playing a game or Tweeting or using social media during a movie inside the studio is not acceptable. At all.

7. Don’t get angry when people remind you to do the stuff listed above.

It’s never nice to be reminded of your shortcomings by people, especially when they act all superior towards you, but the fact is: if you inconvenience people in public places, you’re going to get told off and it’s your own fault. The least THEY can do is be nice and polite to you about it, but if you don’t get their message, don’t blame them for calling you out on it. Most Indonesians are probably too afraid/shy to remind you to stop doing stuff that ruin their movie experience (or they’re clueless about it) but some people WILL. As long as you stop inconveniencing other people, you’ll be okay. Otherwise, these people (like me) won’t hesitate to have you kicked out from the cinema. Believe that.

Favorites of the Year 2014: Movies, TV Series & Books

Every year I make a list of favorite things. It’s fun to review what I watched, listened to, and read all year long… 2014 was a great year of movies and TV series, but not so much with books (although I still managed to come up with a Top 10 list of favorites!)

Here they are, my Favorites of the Year list!

Movies

foty-2014-film-only-lovers-left-alive foty-2014-film-guardians-of-the-galaxy foty-2014-film-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies foty-2014-film-captain-america-the-winter-soldier foty-2014-film-the-grand-budapest-hotel foty-2014-film-book-of-life foty-2014-film-locke foty-2014-film-httyd2 foty-2014-film-the-raid-2 foty-2014-film-into-the-storm foty-2014-film-mr-turner foty-2014-film-chef foty-2014-film-x-men-dofp foty-2014-film-a-most-wanted-man foty-2014-film-paddington foty-2014-film-big-hero-6 foty-2014-film-dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes foty-2014-film-mockingjay-part-1 foty-2014-film-22-jump-street foty-2014-film-edge-of-tomorrow

 

Scene from a Movie

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I want you back, Baby Groot!

Also: Tom Hiddleston’s Adam licking blood on a stick; the Society of Crossed Keys helping out M. Gustive; the White Council storming Dol-Guldur in the most BAMF way; and all the way Tom Cruise lives, dies and repeats.

TV Series

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Fargo was the best because watching this limited series of 10 episodes in which the people in it – with the exception of very few – do some incredibly stupid things, every single time, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my TV watching activity this year. The cast is absolutely stellar (Allison Tolman pretty much wins 2014), not just in reputation but also in performance, and I can barely think of a murder mystery that is so finely done as this one.

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Ripper Street‘s return after its ‘cancellation’ is also exciting. Sorry, Mr. Holmes, but this year I think I like my detectives broody, in awesome hats, and named Bennet Drake, Edmund Reid and Homer Jackson. Plus, this show has Long Susan. That wins the contest from every angle.

AlsoThe Musketeers for all the men and Peter Capaldi in costumes; Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. for Director Coulson; The Strain because it’s from one of my favorite book trilogies; The Fall S2 because Stella Gibson and Paul Spector bring on the creepy all the time; 24: Live Another Day because of the stellar ensemble cast and the addictive feeling it brings; Jane The Virgin for all the hilarity (and the narrator); How To Get Away With Murder because Viola Davis is a goddess; and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey for all the SCIENCE!

Books

foty-2014-books-silkworm foty-2014-books-foxglove-summer foty-2014-books-a-grimm-warning foty-2014-books-blood-of-olympus foty-2014-books-graveyard-book-gc-vol1 foty-2014-books-graveyard-book-gc-vol2 foty-2014-books-guardians-of-the-galaxy-angela foty-2014-books-mm-flight-of-magpies foty-2014-books-mm-bloodline foty-2014-books-the-truth-is-a-cave-in-the-black-mountains foty-2014-books-art-of-film-magic

(Bonus point for anyone who can spot the two M/M novels in this list!)

Talent Interview

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Interviewing Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman and James Gunn made my year. Three incredibly talented people who inspired me so much this year. They deserve all of our respect and admiration… I am so proud to call myself their fan.

Richard Armitage Interview Transcript from The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Photos by Sarah Dunn. Spread from All Film.

Richard Armitage Interview
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Media Junket
September 2014
Transcribed and edited by Amanda Aayusya
Published in: All Film #60

(This is an unabridged transcript of the talent interview that appeared in All Film #60, used for the main article and individual actor’s interview pages in the magazine. Please mention All Film if you’re going to post this transcript, and credit Amanda Aayusya for the transcription work.)

Hello!

RICHARD ARMITAGE: Let’s see if I can get tickets to go and see Kate Bush! Ian McKellen’s going.

Are you a particular Kate Bush fan?

Yeah, kind of, I mean, it’s one of those… I had a sort of flash of, “God, I wonder if she’ll sing the theme song to the third movie…” It’s one of those things…

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