shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
One of my favorite men singing one of my favorite songs!

shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Just watched the long BBC Shakespearian series "The Hollow Crown," which covers the buildup to the War of the Roses period in British history:

--the weak-willed King Richard II (played by Ben Whishaw)
--the military usurper King Henry IV (played by Rory Kinnear, then Jeremy Irons)
--his playboy son, King Henry V (played by Tom Hiddleston)
--his morally righteous son, King Henry VI, who married Queen Margaret (brilliantly played by Sophie Okonedo) who became a crazy military powerhouse
--the person who took the crown back from him, King Edward IV
--and his brother King Richard III (wonderfully played by Benedict Cumberbatch), who had a hunchback and killed lots of people to become king, including his two young nephews in the Tower of London
--ending with the rising of King Henry VII (who is the father of the famous Henry VIII)

Those who supported the original line of Richard II were the house of York (white rose), and those who supported the usurper line were the house of Lancaster (red rose).

The whole series was excellent, each one building on the last. The last two were particularly great episodes, and Benedict of course stole the show with his evil campaign to become king. The Richard III episode was tonally different from the rest and much more exciting. In the Shakespearian play, Richard III is so evil, and here he's played so well with lots of winks and soliloquies directed to the camera that you start actually rooting for him and wanting to see what horrible thing he will do next. It's brilliant and highly recommended!

P.S. Andrew Scott is also (briefly) in the series!
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Finally got to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet in the movie theater and really enjoyed it!

Benedict shines as the lead role in this fantastically accessible (and abridged, even at 3 hours!) adaptation of Hamlet, screened by National Theatre Live to movie theatres around the world. The gloomy, atmospheric setting within a dark Victorian mansion is a gorgeous stage for this tale of grief, murder, and insanity.

Like with all his roles, Benedict throws his soul and body completely into the character and actually does so in a way that make Shakespeare’s timeless words seem fresh and relevant, lending poignant or funny new insights with a pause or a turn of phrase—silence often speaks louder than words here. His Hamlet goes on a character journey from depression to pretend madness to actual insanity and all the way back to having his reason returning when it’s too late and his and his uncle’s destructive actions have unraveled everyone’s lives.

I appreciated his takes on the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy, the “Alas, poor Yorick” scene, and especially the surprisingly moving scene where he says to Guildenstern, “Do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?”

All the cast was great (like Ciarán Hinds as Claudius), but particular standouts to me were the female characters (Gertrude and Ophelia, played by Anastasia Hille and Siân Brooke), whose stories are given weight and solemnity as they are subjected to tragedy due to the men in their lives.

An amazing performance, and I’m so glad they broadcast it so I and others not in London could watch it!

More reviews of BC's films here.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
I just saw the movie Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, and Benedict Cumberbatch, all of whom were excellent. The movie doesn’t cover much new ground but really showcases Johnny Depp’s amazing transformative abilities and star power; he has so much charisma that it was hard to take my eyes off him.

This was not your typical gangster movie but rather a relentlessly dark psychological portrait of James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious South Boston criminal, and the way he successfully manipulates the FBI for years starting in 1975. Johnny Depp looks amazingly different (as always with Mr. Chameleon!), with the balding hair and these ridiculous light-blue contacts, and his looks really accentuate his ice-cold demeanor, which gets colder and more murderous as the movie goes on. But for all that I knew his character is evil, I really couldn’t help but be fascinated by him. The tension in some scenes is just off the charts because you never know if or when he will turn the tables on another character, and the stakes are so high. It reminded me more of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy than Goodfellas.

Benedict has a small but powerful role as Whitey’s younger brother, state senator Billy Bulger. While his character is quite subtle and understated with his JFK-like Bostonian 1970s accent, I liked the small moments of clever wickedness that shone through, where you can see some similarities between the brothers. It was intriguing watching how Benedict’s character manages to deliberately steer his life around having an older brother who’s quite literally a murdering psychopath kingpin. I'd have loved to see a movie just about the brothers' complex relationship. Benedict’s last scene with Joel Edgerton was one where the sparks really flew and you could see his quiet menace.

All in all: definitely recommended!

More reviews of BC's films here. :)
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)


Please watch this video about child refugees, with an introduction by Benedict Cumberbatch. Donation information is at this link.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Happy New Year, everyone!

After months of agonizing waiting and trying to ignore other people’s reviews, I fiiiiiinally got to see The Imitation Game!!! The theater were in was sold out and had a line out the door (we had to stand in the cold to get tickets!), and even though we arrived very early, we had to sit on the third row because the theater was so full. Whoa, so much interest in this film!

Spoilery discussion and review )

My other Benedict Cumberbatch reviews can be found here. :)
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Because The Imitation Game isn’t in theaters for me yet (*cries* I’m so jealous of those of you who have seen it already!) but I still need my Benedict Cumberbatch movie fix, it’s off to see the animated penguins for me!

I’d had pretty low expectations for the movie but was actually very pleasantly surprised! This was a really fun movie; I laughed aloud in the theater quite a bit. And as a Benedict fan, I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth, as he was in this a lot! Probably the third-most amount of lines, after Tom McGrath’s penguin leader Skipper and John Malcovich’s scheming octopus Dave. Wow!

Click for more! )

By the way, I got a tumblr here (shadowfireflame, same name as my LJ) because it's so easy to keep track of fanart there, so please add me if you want! :)
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
...to Sophie Hunter! AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! She is a theater director. :)

They look really cute together; I'm so pleased he found someone he loves enough to marry. :)

And they announced it by putting out a small ad in The Times newspaper in the "Forthcoming Marriages" section--how classy is that?

Now I really have to see Burlesque Fairytales, which apparently has both Sophie and Benedict acting together.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
For those like me who were unable to travel to the UK to see Martin Freeman in his performance of Richard III and yet are dyinggg to see it, please consider signing this petition to record/broadcast the production. At the very least, it will allow the studio to see the international interest in the play! Plus, I want to be able to compare Martin and Benedict's performances of Richard III once Benedict's is recorded!
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
...after having had quite a few drinks, he admits.



I'm crying with laughter. I suppose he and drunk!Sherlock are not quite that different, hahaha. Sherlock slurs more, whereas it seems Benedict just loses track of his thoughts and talks faster. Video is also here. Definition of adorkable. :)

EDIT: Oh, and then there's the aftermath, in which it looks like Dan Stevens (Benedict's good friend who presented him the award; he played Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey) is taking care of an overheating and silly and adorable Benedict. *squishes them*

Very well deserved, as always. (Is The Imitation Game out yet?!?!?!)
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Ah, this is glorious. Sherlock: "His Last Vow" has won seven Emmys, including 3 Primetime ones and 4 creative ones. To put this into perspective, Sherlock won more awards than any other show (the runner-up was Breaking Bad). And Benedict finally gets an Emmy for this show, after being a three-time nominee for Sherlock. :)

Primetime:

Lead Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch (one of the other nominees in this category was Martin Freeman for Fargo!)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie
Martin Freeman (yay!!!)

Outstanding Writing in a TV Miniseries or Movie
Steven Moffat (finally!)

Creative ones included: Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie; Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special; Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special; and Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie.

(The episode was also nominated for Outstanding TV Movie and Outstanding Directing in a TV Miniseries or Movie in the Primetimes.)

It's a crying shame the categories don't work for the entire show or series to be nominated and that it instead has to pick just one episode in the TV Movie Category. This is especially crazy because this one episode is occasionally nominated against entire series (like Fargo or Luther or American Horror Story: Coven). And I probably would have put "The Sign of Three" up instead of "His Last Vow" this year (especially since all three of the writers worked on it), but I think they just always submit Moffat's episode.

However, it's always nice when what I consider the best thing on television I have ever seen—a show that has brought me at this point years of joy and intrigue and speculation (I have read meta after meta and the onion still has more layers)—finally gets its due. Well done, team Sherlock.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
OMG, one of my favorite fic authors wrote a novel, and I bought it and adored it!! (Not sure if she wants her fandom identity linked with this, so I won’t tag her, but that’s how I found out about her novel and what really motivated me to read it ASAP!)

In this young adult fantasy novel, Selkie Stewart thinks she’s a normal Boston teenager…who is being raised by her eccentric aunts because her father is in a mental institution and her mother abandoned her on the doorstep when she was a baby. When she turns seventeen and goes searching for her long-lost mother, though, is when things really start getting weird, and Selkie discovers her connection to a magical world of faeries, ogres, wizards, and the dreaded Seelie Court. And meanwhile there’s a hot and very special boy in her life…

This one took me a couple of chapters to sink into—a bit too much Bostonian history at the beginning, as well as Selkie’s understandable confusion about the faerie world and frustration that no one will answer her questions. But once it got going, I was so hooked, and it’s partially because of the fun, deceptively straightforward world-building, but mostly because of the two wonderful leads.

It’s great to see the narrator, Selkie, evolve throughout the story. While at the beginning she’s naturally bewildered and lost, once she gets her bearings, she’s brave, resilient, and determined—and delightfully stubborn, a particularly magical trait of hers (as you will see!).

And then there’s Ben, who’s just swoon-worthy: attractive but so vulnerable and with lots of secrets. For those of us who mentally align Benedict Le Fay with the looks of a young Benedict Cumberbatch, he is even more of a treat (Le Fay is tall and thin and graceful with dark curly hair and changeable blue/green/gray eyes and he does the nose crinkle, and it’s just perfect and so enjoyable). I fell in love with him pretty much instantly and loved him more with every scene. My favorite part is how the book starts off with him protecting her but then quickly moves to her doing her best to rescue him. Their touching loyalty to one another is what really drives this novel.

The sequel, The Boy with the Hidden Name, is expected to be published December 2, 2014, and I really can’t wait!

EDIT: The sequel is out, and I reviewed it at this link.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Yay yay yay, Benedict Cumberbatch has taken the MLS Ice Bucket Challenge:



It starts out normal, but then it very quickly gets hysterical. Thank you for nominating him, Tom Hiddleston and Juno Temple and Adelaide Clemens. I love you all. :)

You can learn more about ALS here and donate at their website.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Holy shiiiiiiiiit, the trailer for The Imitation Game is here!!! And it look amaaaaazing, seriously. OMG, the part with the wheels had me on the edge of my seat. Really can't wait!!!

Perfect belated birthday present to Benedict Cumberbatch (who turned 38 on July 19!). :)

In other news, the Madame Tussauds in London is in the process of making a wax figure of Benedict as well, haha. They are measuring him carefully. ;)

“Finally I can photobomb myself!” joked Cumberbatch. “What a weird and wonderful compliment to be included in the ranks of talent already committed to wax. I've been accused of being wooden in my work but never waxy!”

BENEDICT YOU DORK.

Ben Sweet, our General Manager, commented: “...Our guests made it very clear they wanted to see him in the attraction, and we can’t wait for them to meet his figure later this year.”

LOL I BET THEY DID!! Can you imagine how many fans demanded that Benedict be included?! I would be one of them had I visited recently!

I remember visiting the wax museum in London with my dad and having so much fun posing with the pretend celebrities. As I recall, my favorite one was with the figure of Andrew Sachs (who plays Manuel from John Cleese's Fawlty Towers) because his figure was holding a tray of drinks and suspended in time while kind of falling backward. Fun pictures. :)

Now I have another great reason to visit again (if I can find the funds and time, lol)!
shadowfireflame: (dragon)
Short version: aaaaaaaahhhhh, omg, this was sooooo much fun. I really enjoyed the first one, but this was was even better, and that’s rare for a sequel. Non-stop action, great character moments, and fabulous acting by both Martin and Benedict. Go, go, go!

And now the super-spoilery rambling version:

Please don’t read until you’ve seen the movie! I don’t censor myself at all! )

Can’t wait for the third movie!

Related reviews: (The Hobbit part 1 and part 3), (Martin Freeman’s filmography), (Benedict Cumberbatch’s filmography)
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Oh my god, you guys, there is a livestream from The Hobbit premiere right now. Apparently Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Orlando Bloom, as well as other actors, are going to be there!!! *excited*

EDIT: All done now, and it was great! Benedict wore, like, a red velvet tux that was great and perfect for the dragon Smaug! :) I'd recommend this clip where Benedict pinches Martin and then flicks him off to say hi. Their chemistry continues offscreen, clearly, ahahaha. :D
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
With some notable exceptions, the acting in this movie is fantastic. Likely this film will garner tons of awards, and for the most part they would be well-deserved. However, I had a few misgivings.

Spoilery review; please don’t read until you’ve seen the film. )
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
OMG, PEOPLE!!! So much news! *squeeing*

PBS has confirmed that the American premiere for Sherlock series 3 will be January 19, 2014!!! Which is really not that far out, considering how long we've waited already... So excited! And that's the U.S. release, so perhaps the BBC one will be earlier? Or on the same date? Either way, I'm very pleased.

If you are an Andrew Scott fan, I would recommend his responses to this fan-sent questionaire. Sweet, amusing, and actually a little revealing about Andrew Scott ("I'm always embarrassed filming," poor baby... *hugs him*). Contrast with Benedict's amusing Reddit AMA answers, lol.

Benedict Cumberbatch movie news:

--You can pre-order Benedict's short film Little Favour on iTunes for just $2.99 for HD (or $1.99 for SD), which seems like a great deal.

--I forgot to mention a while ago that you can also rent his movie Burlesque Fairytales at that link on Vimeo for $7.00 for 24 hours, so I will try to do that this weekend or so.

--By the way, BC fans, please go see The Fifth Estate if you haven't already! :)

--And Twelve Years a Slave will be released soon where I am, so I'm excited for that as well! Lots of things are happening right now!
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock)
Short version: go see it; if nothing else, it’s thoughtful and informative and needs your support. And is an absolute must for Cumberbatch fans.

Longer version:

Spoilery thoughts. Please see the movie before reading. )
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock)
So, some news!

—Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, and Sue Vertue are at Comic-Con talking Sherlock series 3 (recap here)
—We got a trailer for Twelve Years a Slave
—We got a trailer for The Fifth Estate
—Benedict is in Japan wearing a yukata (yum)
—Benedict was nominated for a Best Actor Emmy for Parade's End (woot!)
—It's Benedict's 37th birthday (born July 19, 1976)!!

And then there's this gem. Laughing until there are ACTUAL TEARS:



Benedict, you dork. (And does anybody else think Martin looks a little like John Lennon with those glasses and that hair?)

It is a good day to be a Sherlockian. :)

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