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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. A lot of pasticheurs have Mrs. Hudson uproot herself from London to follow her exasperating tenant to the Sussex Downs to keep house for him there, but although this is an appealing idea, I don't think that's what Conan Doyle intended. Mrs. Hudson is a lady of property in London and as such is rather well-off. She could of course have sold up and moved to the country because she felt bereft of being abused and taken for granted by Sherlock Holmes, the big slob. But it seems more likely that Mrs. Hudson retained her place and standing in town, and some local lady looks in on Sherlock Holmes daily and cooks his meals. Doubtful she would live in in a tiny cottage. This begs the question--what *did* happen to 221A and B Baker Street after Sherlock decamped? I favor the theory that Mycroft bought Mrs. Hudson out so that the site could be kept as a perpetual museum to his little brother and also used as an MI:5 safe house/place for top secret meetings. Plus Sherl would have needed somewhere to crash on his occasional jaunts to London in service to His Majesty's Government. His continuing involvement in the shadow services while ostensibly tending bees in retirement on the Downs was a closely-held government secret. After the death of the Holmes boys, 221 Baker Street must have disappeared like Brigadoon, to materialize again when, and only when, another worthy occupant appears. Mrs. Hudson retired to Italy and there, late in life, found amore again with a passionate younger Italian man who owned a vineyard. That is how I like to think of her anyway. And I think of her resolutely as "Martha".
  2. For indeed, "Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of Sherlock Holmes, was a long-suffering woman." She not only had to put up with "the very worst tenant in London" but a physician, who, in his writings, treated her like an extra in her own house. Poor Mrs. Hudson. In the uber-masculine milieu of Conan Doyle's Victorian London she is treated with about as much consideration from her bachelor tenants as the furniture, notwithstanding that Dr. Watson often expresses appreciation for her solid Scots cooking. As the landlady, she's in a bit of a strange position. She serves her tenants, cooks for them, clears up after them, worries about them and announces their callers, at all hours and at no small inconvenience to herself. But at the same time, she's much more than a skivvy -- they are living in her lodgings by her leave and they are expected to pay her every month for the privilege (plus extra for all the damages, I imagine.) Mrs. H. is house-proud and works hard to keep a respectable establishment despite Sherlock Holmes's best efforts to foil her. She is incredibly indulgent toward him, even though he deserves to be booted out onto the street for his cavalier treatment of her rooms and dismissive to downright insulting treatment of herself and her staff. She probably was a young widow who got into the lodging business, or the 'Mrs.' could have been an honorific title, as was the custom for single women in business so they would be accorded more respect than a 'Miss'. I like what Mofftiss have done with Mrs. Hudson, giving her an entertaining backstory and making her a fully-fleshed out character in her own right. In 'The Murder of Mary Russell', Laurie R. King envisions a provocative alternate version of the landlady of Baker Street. I myself did not much care for her idea of Mrs. Hudson (whom she has given the unexpected name of 'Clarissa'), but it was certainly imaginative. In King's version, Mrs. H. meets the 19-year-old Sherlock Holmes as a femme du monde in her early 30s--*not* the grandmotherly prototype we have been conditioned to expect.
  3. Better late than never . . .Happy Birthday, Mr. Brett. https://www.ihearofsherlock.com/2019/11/remembering-jeremy-brett-on-his-86th.html#.XcG1lppKiUk
  4. Dame Jean Conan Doyle hand-selected the 8 people that make up the Estate before she passed away. There are three family directors, comprised of a step-niece/distant cousins, I think. Of Arthur's four surviving children by two wives (2 girls and 2 boys) none of them had any children. The two girls never married; the two boys did but died quite young and without issue. So I should rather say that while there are family connections by blood or marriage, none of them are actually of Arthur's line. The eighth person with no tie to the family must be a lawyer.
  5. Condon may have had a loophole to wiggle through since a Holmes at 93 was well beyond the purview of any post-retirement stories which Conan Doyle ever wrote. Holmes was sixty in the last story. I could understand the Estate's ire if people were reworking original stories in this period without paying the proper obeisance--at last check a $5000 'licensing fee' for every single occurrence of a post-retirement Holmes appearance. Maybe the Condon team paid them off to go away. The Estate must have similarly hassled the author of the source novel upon which the movie is drawn--A Trick of the Mind. Just a few more years to go and that particular income stream will dry up. The country of publication also matters. The movie is entirely set in Sussex, so the cottage and beehives and everything Sherlock did in retirement is front and center. But I think the production was British and the script was produced in Britain by a Briton and the property of a British company, so take that, Conan Doyle Estate. David Marcum, editor of the collected New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, is constantly soliciting manuscripts for new volumes, and he releases 1-2 of these a year. Sometimes three, depending on the material he gets. He started in 2015 and is up to Vol. 15 or 16 by now. These are published by a British publisher, so I think the Conan Doyle Estate can do nothing about that except gnash their teeth. Good. Les Klinger and Laurie King ran afoul of the Estate in 2014 because the project by Americans was being put out by an American publisher . . who pulled the book for publication rather than take on the Estate. But Les (a top copyright lawyer by day) took the Estate to court and prevailed, so the book was allowed to go forward. I think the Estate will try and get as much money as it can during the 3+ years it has left, though. Rather telling that the Estate contributes nothing to the restoration/upkeep of Undershaw, former Conan Doyle home and current home of the Stepping Stones School for special needs students. David Marcum's project is a labor of love entirely in support of the school and its preservation as a Conan Doyle museum. Of course, none of the Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. are actually family. Rather telling where their priorities lie, and their priorities all go 'Cha-ching!'
  6. I enjoyed "Mr. Holmes" very much, too, though it was tough to see the Great Detective depicted as so frail. Truly the loss of his intellect would be a fate worse than death for the Great Detective. A former correspondent from the Amazon Movie Lounge declined to watch it owing to the 'decrepitude of the icon' which it depicts. Sherlock Holmes remains so popular 132 years after his creation because he's the original superhero, defying time, age and the limitations of the human body. Sherlock Holmes accepts no limitations and defies Death to its face and spits in it! (This despite abusing his instrument pretty grievously--Superheroes are Teflon.) Laura Linney playing the uneducated lower-born housekeeper was droll, because Ms. Linney is very smart and usually plays very highly articulate, educated and competent types. Nicolas Rowe (Young Sherlock Holmes, as was) turned up in the 'movie within the movie' as "Sherlock Holmes' and the first time through, I didn't recognize him straightaway, but that long face just looked *so* familiar! Kudos to Bill Condon for that little tie-in to a Sherlock interpreter of the past. I don't think Mr. Rowe turned up at the audition entirely by coincidence. Nic is still in work, most recently appearing as Winston Churchill's secretary, then Queen's equerry Jock Coville in 'The Crown'. Since the whole principal cast have been replaced for the upcoming seasons, I don't know if we will see him again in that project or not. The Estate of Conan Doyle Ltd. kicked up a fuss over this screenplay and sued Bill Condon and the production, owing to the depiction of a retirement-era SH still being protected by copyright in the United States until 2023, I believe. Since the movie went ahead, I can only assume the Estate lost their suit. Perhaps Condon and Co. sicced Leslie Klinger on them! A friend from high school is currently caring for her 77-year-old mother who has dementia and rarely recognizes her loved ones any more. My friend gave up her apartment and moved in with her sister's family so that someone would always be on hand to supervise Mom. This sweet lady had already been though so much,; widowed young, raising four children on her own as a single mother. She was a college professor, which makes her affliction all the more ironic and sad. She's younger than my mother, which just makes me realize how fortunate my sisters and I have been that our Mom is still independent and firing on all cylinders. It's a cruel thing to be taken away from your loved ones and even yourself before you are actually gone.
  7. Oh, my birthday was a month ago today. That month just whizzed by! It was beautiful for the first bit and then we had a blizzard on Halloween. It might be downhill from there. Last winter was historically awful; I hope we aren't due for a repeat. It's not the cold I mind as much as the early darkness. It's really knocking me for a loop!
  8. With the passage of time, this seems to be increasingly unlikely, sadly. If he'd survived to a venerable age like his co-star David Burke (still with us), I imagine that the appropriate organizations would have been shamed into awarding him such. It would have been so interesting to have Jeremy's take on his successors, including Cumberbatch, and just the pleasure of his company for all these years. I think Rupert Everett's sole Holmes outing in The Case of the Silk Stocking is more Brett than Cumberbatch. It's so delightfully snotty, I love it. I think it's the best work Rupie ever did. Pity there wasn't more while Everett still had the looks. Ian Hart was a great Watson, also. Michael Fassbender had an early role in this 2004 movie. Michael is in the Sherlock aesthetic himself. Maybe he should have a crack at the Great Detective. Playing young Magneto must be getting boring by now.
  9. I have been away from the site and this thread for a good while and I find that I've stumbled into a quagmire I didn't even know existed. Hate crimes against asexuals? I know asexuality is a real thing--I have been part of the public llibrary world for over 20 years now and I have met a large number of individuals of both sexes which I would place in this category, though that's mostly through personal observation and not really though any discussions I've had with the individuals concerned. So I might be wrong. It is a truism that my profession boasts a very high percentage of Introverts, and I suppose those with an I disposition are more statistically inclined to also identify as Asexual. It's hard to fathom people getting so incensed at others who choose to *not* have sex. That seems like the most neutral and non-objectionable position imaginable, unless of course some of these attackers are mad because they wanted to have a physical relationship with an Ace and were rebuffed. People as a rule are made very uncomfortable by individuals who buck 'the norm' for whatever reason because that might lead to uncomfortable self-analysis about their own knee-jerk conformity. Lashing out is the easier course than introspection, and they can always tell themselves that it's righteous anger as guardians of 'the normal' they are using to justify their rage. I"m not asexual, but for practical purposes, I might as well be. If my internal orientation matched my external circumstances I would no doubt feel a lot more content with my life. Having just recently celebrated another birthday which shoves me further into my middle age, I am basically accepting now that singlehood is, barring some miracle of God, going to be my perpetual state. Asexuality is really a blessing if it allows a person to be free of constantly yearning for a partner who is not going to materialize. When I was younger, I used to pray to meet somebody, but I have shifted my focus into a more useful channel: How can I make the most of my life by myself? If someone else comes along to share in it, that would be great, but I no longer expect that to happen. I can't wait until I'm coupled to start experiencing my life fully, whether it be traveling certain places by myself or saving up to buy that comfortable sofa or 'good' towels/TV/laundry machines, what have you, for myself to enjoy alone. I'm in a sort of maudlin/introspective place on account of it being now just over two years since I joined this community (October 31, 2017) and I'm in a taking-stock mood. My own personal New Year has always tended to be at my birthday rather than January 1st, a time when I have to face up to the inevitable reality that i have once again disappointed myself by my progress through the year. The weather at present is not helping me feel more cheerful. The extra hour of sleep I got yesterday was appreciated but not so much when the bill--darkness at 5:30--comes due. I'm going away now and coming back when I feel more positive about life! The windows are getting smaller for that.
  10. I looked at this set when it first came out. As an inveterate Collector, I had to at least look. Apart from the engaging cover, there wasn't much to recommend this book to me as a purchase, especially since the commentary by Mofftiss was very sparse. As a first purchase, it would be all right--if one was satisfied to have all one's Conan Doyle curated for them by Mofftiss and had no intention of going any further into the Canon. As a fanboy/fangirl purchase of show-related merch, it taps all the buttons. Nineteen stories are a fairly generous amount. But all of this material is available for free on the Internet and/or in significantly cheaper editions, so the selling point is the amplifying material by the editors and they were a bit stinting with that. But what a shame it would be to stop there. If one is sufficiently interested in the source material that inspired Moffat and Gatiss for their passion project, how much better to press on and learn even more about the Great Detective in his natural habitat (Victorian London). This is a decent launchpad but there are deeper and more satisfying waters than this to dive into in Sherlockian literature. I can also recommend the essay collection About Sixty which is comprised of an essay each on all of Conan Doyle's works and why the author has selected it as 'the best'. Some of the authors are very well-known, but they all are extremely active in the Great Game. A very useful road map to what can feel like an overwhelming prospect--60 stories! That said, if I could find a copy for $7, I'd buy this for the cover of 'our guys' alone.
  11. Missed every time I think of him, which is often. I hope he has found peace.
  12. Hmm. I can't say that I ever found Cary Grant ever remotely like 'an ordinary fellow' in his movies, even if that's what the script said. Cary was just a cut above ordinary mortals even when he was doing those slapstick comedies in the 1930s. I have only seen NbNW once, and I can't recall precisely what Roger gave as his autobiography. He starts off as sort of a louche playboy type but gets sucked into perilous situations with bad people and gets to display derring do, physicality (even if it was mostly choreographed) and his romantic hunk side. All the elements of Bond, really. If Sean Connery had not existed, Cary Grant probably would have been my image of 'James Bond'. Rufus Sewell, another smoldering brunet said that Cary as Thornhill was his inspiration for his detective Aurelio Zen, the epitome of Italian suavity in three films for the BBC. Rufie was leaning insouciantly against a pillar in Rome while he said this, looking very Grant-esque. Let's just thank our lucky stars we didn't get Fleming's choice for his signature spy, bandleader Hoagy Carmichael!
  13. I had read this before but I double-checked myself. This info is available on the JamesBondfandom.com/Wiki/Cary Grant site. >>>>Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli was a close friend of Grant's and was the best man at his wedding. In the early 1960's when the Bond series was rolling around with their first film, Grant was the first person producers considered to play as the first James Bond because of his role as Roger Thornhill in Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest. Cary Grant had accepted the role, but he had wanted his contract to included only one film due to his old age of 58.[2] This caused producers to drop him and Sean Connery ultimately took the role as the first James Bond in 1962. Trivia James Mason, the person who had co-starred with Grant in North By Northwest, was also considered for the 007 role, but he had wanted his contract to include only two films.[3]<<<< Cary would have been smashing, but he was right--58 was too old to shoulder a franchise out of the gate. That was the same age that Roger Moore retired the role after 11 years and 6 films. Roger Thornhill is an alternate Bond and he's fab. The investment in Sean Connery certainly paid its dividends, but at the time, Cubby was taking a big gamble on a virtually unknown former lorry driver with one Disney credit (Darby O'Gill and the Little People) to his name. Cubby's second choice after CG, Roger Moore was otherwise engaged as Simon Templar on his hit show The Saint. Good news for Connery. Of course the Bond brass ring came 'round again for Roger after George Lazenby crashed and burned after a successful first at-bat. And Pierce Brosnan was the heir presumptive for Moore, but ABC refused to release PB from his contract for Remington Steele despite tanking ratings. PB would have to wait 12 years for the brass ring to come 'round his way again. In Pierce Brosnan, I feel that EON got the Cary Grant vibe, '90s edition. PB was a worthy successor to both the lighthearted wit of the Moore incarnation with the grittier action aspects and Celtic flavor of a Connery. Now that Dan Craig has brought Bond to retirement and his call sign has been reassigned to a black female, where do we see the franchise going? Will James Bond return, as he has been for almost 60 years, or are we at the end of the road? Discuss!
  14. Herlock, thanks for turning us onto the 'Sherlock Pod'. That was a great interview with SF and I look forward to diving into all the episodes. Guess this means I have to subscribe to the d@mn Tweetie as Craig Ferguson used to call it.
  15. After seeing Downton Abbey last week, I was feeling like I wanted to stay in the 1920s awhile longer. So I queued up a golden oldie, just to see what my feelings about it were some two decades after I watched it the first time CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981) This Oscar winner for Best Picture follows (with considerable dramatic license) the path to the 1924 Paris Olympics for two rival track stars from Britain who, despite sharing a similar athletic gift, down to the same events, couldn't have been more different. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross, aka Spock's father in the JJ Abrams Star Trek for anybody here under 40) arrives at Cambridge University with a gift for running fast and a huge chip on his shoulder; as a Jew, and a small minority in a sea of white Anglo-Saxon culture, he both studies for the bar and runs out of the intense need to prove that Jews are not an inferior race. He's a talented man, but not a happy one, nor especially popular, except to his best mate Aubrey (Nicholas Farrell), who functions in this story as the nominal narrator at times, in the manner of Nick Carroway to Jay Gatsby, his more enigmatic friend. As Abrahams and other members of the future British men's track and field team make their undergraduate progress through Cambridge, the narrative switches over to the Highlands of Scotland, where we meet Eric Liddell, aka, 'The Flying Scotsman' (Ian Charleson), the China-born son of Church of Scotland missionaries, whom God has blessed with a sublime gift of speed. Young Liddell is on his way to becoming a master orator as he prepares for a career in missionary service back in China, but he is persuaded to use his gift to represent Scotland at the Games. His form is all his own, but he runs for the sheer unadulterated pleasure in running well. "God made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure," he said. In Paris, these two men and their diametrically opposed philosophies of running will collide, and their showdown is meant to be one of the highlights of these Games. Until, on the steamer over to France, Eric discovers that the heats for the 100-meter dash, his signature event, will be held on a Sunday. He takes a stand for his faith, and . . .the rest is history. ******* Is it a worthwhile view? Yes. Just don't expect it to move fast except for the parts where people are actually running. The pace is very sedate, but if the iconic scene of young men at the peak of their powers running in barefoot slo-mo on the beach to Vangelis's equally iconic score doesn't stir you, you should check your pulse. Ben Cross has remained active over the years; Nicholas Farrell is a familiar face as a frequent guest star in British TV dramas--he was the baby of this group at only 26. Sadly, Ian Charleson passed away in 1990 from complications of AIDS, virtually the first celebrity death in Britain attributed to the epidemic. Before his untimely death, he'd had a triumph on the stage as what many critics consider to be the definitive Hamlet. Learning of his death puts me in mind of the A.E. Houseman poem that has stuck with me since senior year of high school. "To an Athlete Dying Young" The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stood cheering by, And home we brought you shoulder-high. Today, the road all runners come, Shoulder-high we bring you home, And set you at your threshold down, Townsman of a stiller town. Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay, And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. Eyes the shady night has shut Cannot see the record cut, And silence sounds no worse than cheers After earth has stopped the ears. Now you will not swell the rout Of lads that wore their honours out, Runners whom renown outran And the name died before the man. So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot on the sill of shade, And hold to the low lintel up The still-defended challenge-cup. And round that early-laurelled head Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead, And find unwithered on its curls The garland briefer than a girl’s.
  16. Saw DOWNTON ABBEY over the weekend. Written by show creator Sir Julian Fellowes, the film is a lushly photographed, beautifully scored parade of costumes and setpieces and very little else. In endeavouring to include all of the characters audiences are expecting to see, the result is that all but a few characters get very little more than a cameo. Matthew Goode, for example, playing Mary's husband, literally arrives at the very last minute and gets exactly one scene, though he's in the main credits with everyone else. With pruning, this could have made a great one-hour episode of the series. As it stands it's more than a little thin for the running time, but it looks and sounds fantastic. It's 1926, a year after our show closed (three years in real time) . . and Downton is aflutter with the news that they will be receiving a royal visit from their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary (the current queen's grandparents) during their royal progress of Yorkshire. The bulk of the action is spent in the preparations, giving more meaty roles to the belowstairs contingent than to the up. The movie ties up some plot ends from the series. I was gratified to see Branson (Allen Leech) get a second chance at love, after grieving Sibby for the last seven years . . and I was REALLY gratified to be reminded that second daughter Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), after years of being abused by her sister, the snotty Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), who acted like the sun shone out of her backside, is now a Marchioness, the rank of nobility second only to a Duchess, while Mary has settled for being the wife of the local car dealer. It's a successful enterprise, but still . . .score major points to the younger sister. The standout of the entire thing is ex-footman Moseley (Kevin Doyle), once again pressed into service for the great occasion, and Moseley gets so excited he entirely forgets his station while serving, with hilarious results. Verdict: A pleasant diversion for 2 hours, but really only for the hardcore Downton Abbey enthusiasts. If you haven't seen the entirely of the series, you will be hopelessly lost. There's no time for character introductions or backstories, as it is assumed that the core audience are all conversant in DA lingo and personnel. If you have not caught up on your Downton Abbey and have no desire to, I recommend a viewing of Gosford Park instead. You'll get your complement of Maggie Smith quotations without needing a scorecard.
  17. I guess I can see Edward Hardwicke as a Hobbit. He was a somewhat roly poly not terribly tall man. Nigel Bruce was, I believe, quite a large man in both girth and height. He might have made a good Bombur. Frankly, I can't see David Burke as a Hobbit. To me he represents the older version of Jude Law's portrayal, the vigorous soldier, just in midlife. Nigel Bruce and Basil Rathbone were my reference points for years with these two characters. Then I read the Canon and saw how woefully mistreated Dr. Watson has been on film. You are not the first person who has said that Jude Law doesn't seem like Watson to you, despite his remarkable resemblance to the Paget illustrations . . maybe it's because his Watson is so competent, it throws viewers who've been accustomed to seeing Watson exploited as the buffoonish comedy relief, taking pratfalls in buckets and so forth? I feel protective of Watson, who is not a buffoon in any sense. He's not as smart as Holmes, but I'd wager that he's the smartest man in a room that does not contain a Holmes. He's a skilled surgeon, not a dummy. I think Jude portrayed this very well. Smarts, athleticism, courage, and a magnetic draw for the ladies . . Jude ticks all the boxes. Nigel, God bless him, doesn't tick any of them. Sherlock Holmes would never have condescended to hang out with such a dolt, would he? The Doctor tends to be very self-deprecating as he narrates the stories, downplaying his own role and contributions, and so the mythos of him as a genial idiot has sprung up, despite the fact that Holmes would never have tolerated such a person. Colin Blakely from TPLOSH might have passed as a Hobbit, though I see him more Dwarflike . . Thorin, perhaps. Sir James Mason . .definitely not Hobbit material. It helps to be really short, and only Martin Freeman fits that bill.
  18. I have not seen Cool Runnings for some years, but I remember it as being charming and funny as we accompany Jamaica's first-ever bobsled team on their Olympic journey. Bobsled is now a proud tradition in Jamaica and I think they have improved exponentially since 1988. They are always crowd favorites. IIRC, Eddie Edwards was paired in some promotional events with the Jamaican bobsledders as sort of a 'Hopelessly Inept at their chosen Sport but Having a Great Time at the Olympics'! Tour.
  19. I read reviewers online that said that they had a hard time seeing 'Bilbo Baggins' as John Watson, having seen The Hobbit before BBC Sherlock. I can't comment on how I might have reacted, seeing as JW was first and then Bilbo for me. Martin Freeman is perfect for both roles. We couldn't say that about just anybody. Can you see Jude Law as a Hobbit? Obviously not. Just as Ian Holm was a perfect Older Bilbo, Martin embodied Bilbo in his prime absolutely brilliantly. Having enjoyed the animated Bilbo from the children's animation in the 1970s, I always pictured a live-action Hobbit as somewhat hairier, perhaps, but along with all the Hobbits from Jackson's LOTR trilogy, MF was perfect Hobbity casting. He was fortunate to have the concurrent job already well established, as well as a significant body of work behind him as an actor. I think the younger guys who played Hobbits at the relative start of their careers have struggled a bit in their post-Hobbit roles. Dominic Monaghan was fortunate to get LOST and Hetty Winthrop Investigates . . but we don't hear terribly much from Billy Boyd or Elijah Wood or Sean Astin, relatively speaking. They will always be 'the Hobbits' from LOTR, whereas Martin will be at least equally known for Sherlock and the Office, among other.
  20. I see your worship and I accept it. At first, it just seemed coincidental that Martin Freeman was playing two, what seemed to be completely disparate characters . . but upon reflection, I realized that the two, one man, one Hobbit, have so much in common. Perhaps having Martin portray both of them got me thinking along those lines which I hadn't before. Watson seems the more naturally courageous type, opting for soldiering and the rough, adventurous life-threatening dangerous life by choice. Bilbo got dragged unwillingly into his . . though in the final analysis, he *was* willing, after all. One can make the case that it required greater courage to be a Hobbit, not necessarily in fighting trim, with no training in martial arts, and smaller than everyone else to become a brave warrior. Watson started out as a brave warrior and suffered a crisis of confidence after his injury and losing his soldier's identity. In both cases, each discovers his purpose when paired with his 'leader'. Both enjoy a good pipe and a good tot as well. Both love a good waistcoat. Both get adept at sleeping rough but neither really likes it much. Both have arch-nemeses . . Smaug, Moriarty . . both bad, bad dudes. The willingness to lay down his life for his friend is their salient characteristic in common.
  21. But Bilbo Baggins IS John Watson, and not just because Martin Freeman plays both . . think about it. Bilbo is the Watson to Thorin's Sherlock, the authoritarian leader-figure with the inner darkness. Both Bilbo and Watson will fight to the death for their friend/leader/brother-at-arms. Both are jerked rudely away from a comfortable middle-class life and respectability into life threatening adventures, which exhilarate them to their own great surprise. I will welcome being called Bilbo Baggins . . .if I can be Bilbo AFTER his Adventure. The pre-quest Bilbo was a stick in the mud. The Bilbo who came back was forever changed, like a hobbit who had faced down death in Afghanistan and then met consulting detective who was more than a bit Wizard-like.
  22. It reminded me quite a lot in spirit of "The Cutting Edge", if you enjoyed that film. "Eddie the Eagle" is not a romantic comedy, unless we count Eddie's decades-long romance with the Olympic Games. There has been a lot of dramatic license taken to turn Ed's story into a feel-good movie. The man himself is a very positive individual, but his road to the Olympics wasn't all peaches. He lived in a mental hospital in Finland at one point during his training because he couldn't afford other accommodation. I remember Eddie's story and I watched him in action during the Calgary Games. He always looked middle-aged even then, but he was only 23 at the time, or two years older than me. The movie depicts his working class parents as split in their support of Eddie's dream; his mother was for it, but his father (Keith Allen), a plasterer by trade, wants his only child to stop dreaming and settle down to a 'real' job. 30 years on, Eddie looks largely the same as he did back then, with the same irrepressible energy and smile. He has cobbled together a post-Olympic career of some stunt/daredevil type work (he holds a record for jumping over parked cars, apparently), some voiceover work and dribs and drabs. I don't think he ever went back to plastering. Taron Egerton has impeccable physical comedy timing which has come in handy in all his roles. The role went to him after production delays meant that first Steve Coogan and then Rupert Grint were attached and then had to pass. I think it was for the best that the project was delayed for nearly ten years--they found the right actor for Eddie, and Taron would have been too young and obscure if it had come around earlier. I'm not sure how many movie-goers under the age of 40 would remember 'Eddie the Eagle' but he certainly was a breath of fresh air during those Olympics . . exemplifying as he did the spirit of the TRUE amateur. He did not start ski jumping until a year before the Games and made up for in fearlessness and grit what he lacked in experience. I'm amazed that he didn't kill himself! When Hugh Jackman appears, playing a real-life washed up boozy former ski-jumping prodigy driving a snow machine, I immediately thought "Wolverine!" Calgary Olympics, how appropriate. Hugh is a very large and somewhat hirsute guy even when he's playing a normal human. He and Egerton make a good team.
  23. A recent view on DVD: "Eddie the Eagle" (2016) Taron Egerton, who gave an Oscar-worthy performance as Elton John earlier this year in "Rocketman" first dipped a toe into biopic of nerdy-looking English celebrities three years ago with this film, detailing the rise of Michael 'Eddie the Eagle' Edwards from the most unlikely Olympian ever to national folk hero overnight after his appearance at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. As a youth, Eddie required surgery to correct knee problems. While he was laid up, he read a book about the 1972 Olympic Games and from that point forward, announced to his parents that his chief ambition in life was to be an Olympian. With thick glasses, and not naturally coordinated, this seemed a foolhardy ambition. None of the track and field events seemed a good fit, and he gravitated to skiing, at which he was better. Not good enough to qualify for the men's downhill team, however. By exploiting a loophole in the rules, which stipulated that he only had to qualify at one major international competition, Eddie became the sole member of the British ski jumping team. Britain had not fielded ski jumping since 1928. The fact that he came in dead last in both of his jumps did not diminish his cult status. Someone will always come last, but Eddie Edwards was anything but a failure, having worked doggedly and resolutely for his dream since childhood. Also, in the process of finishing last in the field, Eddie still managed to hold the British ski jumping record for six years. His humble and humorous manner and genuine delight in being at the Olympic Games was infectious. His presence at the Games exemplified the motto, as stated by the father of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, "The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part." Eddie's extreme popularity was not enough to erase the embarrassment of his low finish in official quarters, and in 1990 the IOC instituted the 'Eddie the Eagle Rule" which stipulates that a competitor must finish in the top 30% or top 50 competitors in his/her sport in order to qualify. Sadly for Eddie, he failed to qualify at the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Games due to the new regulations. He was delighted to have his life story sold as the basis for a film, and until Edgerton and director Dexter Flecher got it made, it had been in development limbo for more than a decade. Despite its formulaic 'sports underdog triumphs' script, the humor and heart, not to mention the perfectly-selected 1980s soundtrack makes it a feel-good experience you won't be sorry you took the leap on (pun!) Hugh Jackman co-stars as Eddie's initially unwilling coach, Bronson Peary.
  24. I might wish I was more Sherlockian, but I recognize the inevitability of my nature and accept that I am a Watson. I love words and stories. My impulse is to romanticize antiseptic 'facts' whenever possible. Makes for a better story that way. I am not immune to Logic, but I am and always have been, a Romantic at heart. Secretly I yearn to be a Bohemian and have grand Adventures, and even wouldn't mind learning how to shoot a revolver, but I desist because my hand-eye coordination stinks. I love to eat, and can wax rhapsodic about meals I have eaten. Creature comforts are important to me. Money problems, chiefly the lack of it, are constant. I don't gamble; I buy books and craft beers instead. Of all the sciences, Biology was the one I liked the best. I like to think I am strong at the sight of blood and can be efficient around wounds, but then, I have never had to see a man's intestines hanging out of his body or anything really gross. I consider myself to be an absolutely loyal friend, so long as one does not violate my trust too many times . . or the law. Ways in which I am like SH: Love for music and being a slob. If I had to pick a Sherlock to represent myself . . ? Probably Basil Rathbone. Jeremy Brett and Robert Stephens's Sherlocks are too energetic.
  25. Are these supposed to be tests for color blindness? I see a gold and white dress and a pink and white shoe. Passed my color perception test at the eye doc which I take twice a year recently with good results. The color quality on both photos isn't great, but unless the photos have been digitally altered on purpose to create eye teasers, either a shoe is pink and white, or it is blue and grey . . both of them can't be correct.
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