Tag Archives: Benedict Cumberbatch

Don’t Get Too Excited, Oh Who’re We Kidding

Sherlock Season 4 is filming! I know, I know.  You’ve seen Setlock pictures online.  You’ve seen Gatiss teasing us. (Did you expect him to resist?)

Now, I don’t have cable anymore, BBC doesn’t have a streaming service, and I’m not willing to wait until long after the internet has spoiled all the good stuff before I watch it.  I must discover a way to watch it as soon as it is released.  Fortunately, I have some time to figure this one out.  Fortunately?  Who am I kidding.  The Christmas Special just whetted or appetites.  I need more Sherlock!

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Doctor Strange Teaser Trailer, Finally!

Did you catch the Doctor Strange teaser trailer yet?  Well then, please allow me to share it with you.

Not only is it a new release from Marvel, and they’ve been on a roll with their movies.  (Okay, I haven’t seen Ant Man, but that’s more of a time constraint issue than a lack of desire.)

The cast looks great.  Of course, I love Benedict Cumberbatch (shocking, I know) and he’s reunited with Chiwetel Ejiofor from 12 Years A Slave.   Mads Mikkelson creeped me out in Hannibal.  The happy list grows with Rachel McAdams from Sherlock Holmes and Midnight in Paris, Tilda Swinton from Constantine, Only Lovers Left Alive, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the list of impressive actors just keeps going.

I’ve actually read a few of the comic books. (Wow, I realized the only other comic book movie I’d read any of the books before the movie was Deadpool.  Times, they are a-changing.)  I like the story line for Doctor Strange, and the only thing holding me back from reading more has been a lack of free time to drive to Mammoth Comics. They introduced me to Doctor Strange in the first place.  (It is only 15 minutes from my house, but work & homework overflow!)

I want to love this movie.  I really do.  The story, the cast, even Marvel’s track record all make me want to be jumping with joy over this film.  Something about this teaser makes me nervous for the movie though.  I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but it is there.

What do you think?  Did you get the same vibe?  Am I imagining things?  Lack of sleep could totally be messing with my mind.  Let me know if my mental acuity has been compromised by too many nights with too little sleep.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. The sleep thing may actually be a factor since I just second guessed myself about the definition of acuity.  I actually looked it up…in a dictionary…when I’m on a laptop with the whole internet at my disposal.  Maybe I should be afraid.  Anyway, off to work I go!


Missed Me?

Moriarty? No?

Sorry, not actually Moriarty, but with with announcement that the Christmas(ish) special of Sherlock will be released in cinemas worldwide, I couldn’t resist.  Of course, we’ve missed Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman!  I’m not even going to mention the rest of the cast, because it would just take to long.  However, you have not been forgotten (as all the weird stuff posted on the internet will let you know), your loyal audience has missed you!

When will we get to see the dynamic duo in action in the 1890’s no less? (not that dynamic duo, the other one)  We’ve no idea.  They’re keeping that close to the vest, but lets face it, when don’t they?  Gatiss and Moffatt love their secrets like they love…well, Sherlock.

As for me, hopefully, I won’t give you quite as much of a chance to miss me from here on out. Maybe it took the impending long-awaited Christmas-y special to bring me out of my cave, but here I am.  I can’t have you thinking of me as the bad guy now, can I?

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Boston: Part Five – Food!

Okay, so maybe this is a bit extreme, but in addition to the NE Aquarium, Freedom Trail, Salem, Fenway, and Sam Adams Brewery I had to tell you about the food (and beer). One of the great experiences of any vacation is trying out the local cuisine.  Coming from a landlocked state, I jump at any chance for fresh seafood, but all the food was excellent.

We started every morning at City Feed in Jamaica Plain (well, except for a morning we went to Whole Food to pick up some groceries).  Most days we just got coffee or tea, but the first morning I got a prosciutto scone.  I’d never really eaten savory scones before, but this is something I’m definitely going to have to try.

On the recommendation of our host, we also checked out Strega in Boston’s North End.  I had the most amazing dish of pasta with scallops, shrimp, spinach and their strega sauce.  Oh my gosh…delicious.  I still feel bad that my friend has a mild allergy to shell-fish, so she could only eat a bite of mine.  She said her pasta with eggplant was good, but not nearly as good as my pasta.

 

Union Oyster House Boston MA

Union Oyster House

Union Oyster House takes its place as my favorite for the week, though.  Although the restaurant was founded in 1826, the building has been there for 250 years, and it played its own part in the founding of the United States.  The first paymaster for the Continental Army, Ebenezer Hancock.  At that time it was Capen’s silk and dry goods store.  The wives of Adams, Hancock and Quincy often sat here, sewing and mending clothes for the colonists.  A future king of France lived on the second floor in 1796.  Exiled from France, he taught French to Boston’s fashionable young ladies.  Louis Phillippe later returned to his country and served as king from 1830-1848.  The building later came to be called Atwood & Bacon, an oyster house, and some of Boston’s greats came to dine at the fabled semi-circular Oyster Bar, including Daniel Webster.  The Kennedy’s were also frequent customers, and there is a booth dedicated to the memory of J. F. K.  The Union Oyster House  has only had three owners during its long history. (All historic information comes from Union Oyster House website under “History”.)

The history of the establishment is not as impressive as its food, and that’s saying something.  Our first visit, I had baked haddock filled with seafood stuffing, roasted potatoes and asparagus.  Now, anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I consider potatoes to be their own, essential, food group.  The fish was so tender and flavorful, that I skipped the potatoes in order to be able to eat more fish…yep, that good.  Our second visit, I had lobster ravioli.  Succulent, creamy and delicious…I didn’t bother ordering any sides or even a salad.

One of the first things a friend of mine, a Boston native, told me was that I needed to get Monkfish Marsala at The Daily Catch.  The North End location is tiny, and seats maybe 15 people total.  At first, I thought we weren’t going to be able to get in.  Every time we walked by their location there was a line down the street.  However, we managed to get there during the week for an early lunch, and there were two seats left.  Now I’ve never had monkfish before, but I swear the next time I had lunch with the friend who recommended it, all I could think about was that tender fish and savory/sweet sauce.  How am I supposed to go back to eating frozen seafood after this?

We couldn’t escape the North End without trying a couple of the Italian bakeries there.  Bova’s was first on our list.  Their eclairs and Boston Cream pie were as beautiful to look at as they were to eat.  A mad dash through the pouring rain didn’t even deter us from trying their pastry.  We also got a mini-cannoli to share.  That bite convinced me, I was going to need to explore further.  My favorite may have been Modern Pastry.  This is where I really got my first cannoli, and tried macaroons for the first time too.  You pick out your shell, filling and toppings and they make it for you right there.  I chose a crisp shell, dipped in chocolate with a traditional ricotta filling.  I’m going on a hunt for cannoli in Tulsa, but I’m afraid I’ve been spoiled.  Before trying the cannoli in Boston, I thought they were kind of like a cream horn that are readily available in bakeries here.  I’ve never been so wrong.  Instead of the overwhelming sweetness I was expecting, these were creamy but not quite as rich as a cream cheese filling and barely sweet at all.  They have a great balance between that crisp shell, light creamy filling, and dusted with powdered sugar for the perfect amount of sweetness. (now I’m hungry).

BostonGreenDragonTavernI can’t leave out the taverns.  We stopped for a beer at the Green Dragon, which was established in 1654.  Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Daniel Webster were all frequent customers.  John Hancock’s brother actually lived next door.  The plans for the invasion of Lexington and Concorde were overheard here, so this is really the beginning of Revere’s historic ride.  It gives me goosebumps every time I think about it.  Paul Revere and John Hancock discussed the ride in the same tavern I enjoyed a Sam Adams Summer Ale.

We also stopped at Bell in Hand, which boasts its status as the oldest tavern in America.  It was built in 1795.  When we dropped it there, it wasn’t what we expected.  It was more dance club than tavern, with flashing lights, loud music, and a plethora of twenty-somethings crowding up to the bar.  It reminded me of college.  We didn’t stay long, but we did have a beer there.

Of course, this being Boston, there was no shortage of Irish Pubs to be found.  Our first evening in town we stopped off at The Black Rose for a pint or two before heading back to the condo.   Like most Irish pubs, it didn’t disappoint, dim but warm atmosphere, a good bartender, and a group of drunken revelers made for an entertaining evening.

‘Til next time,
Jessica

P.S. I discovered when we got home, that Benedict Cumberbatch arrived in Boston the week after we left…he also enjoyed cannoli at Modern Pastry.  Really?  A week after I left?  Well, Benedict, I hope you enjoy Boston as much as I did!


Khaaaaaaaaannnnnn!

Here’s a little feature on Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness

‘Til next time,
Jessica

Any Idea When We’ll See Sherlock’s Season 4?

I got all excited about a headline I saw today.  Sherlock Season 4 “Closer”!  Did they really mean closer to release?  Did I miss something? Nope, but Mark Gatiss tells Radio Times that they’re closer to getting a date to start filming.

This is the problem with a show with fantastically talented and popular creators and actors.  Between Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss working on Doctor Who, Gatiss’s own acting commitments, and Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch’s television and film projects, well to say that scheduling is “challenging” is a vast understatement.  Personally, I’m just glad I’m not responsible for figuring out how to get all these awesome people together…wait.  Who am I kidding?  I would love to be responsible for getting all these people together (Bonus points if I can be there when they all are in the same place together).

We need Sherlock Season 4

This is how I know it is too late.

Normally, I would say “be patient”.  However, I know it is already too late.  The fandom went mad before 1900, and it doesn’t show signs of changing.    Truthfully, we wouldn’t have it any other way (Okay, we’d take more Sherlock.  I thought that was a given though.) Scarily, I nearly scrolled by this one with out noticing anything had been changed.

‘Til next time,

Jessica


The Fifth Estate

TheFifthEstateYes, I had to wait for The Fifth Estate to be released on DVD & Blu-Ray before I could watch it.  Unfortunately, the run in theaters here was incredibly short during a very busy time for me, and I missed it.  Thankfully, the wait for it to arrive on DVD wasn’t too long.

The Fifth Estate is the story of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Daniel Domscheit-Berg.  Before this movie, most of what I knew about WikiLeaks and its founder came from American media, so pretty much nothing positive.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this film, but I’ve come to trust that Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t choose crappy roles.

Originally, my review of this film centered around the similarities and differences between the men portrayed in the movie, but I realized (after I was about 700 words in) that these are real people.  I’m not a psychologist and I don’t know these people or their history.  Everything I know about them comes from the media or this film.

However, I couldn’t let this film pass by without writing about it.  This is one of those that made a lasting impression.  The Fifth Estate makes me think, long after the credits rolled, about information and power.  Who has the information?  Who decides what is important for the public to know?  Who has the power?  Who feels powerless?  Who actually is powerless?  All of this has been swimming around in my head.  It started long before The Fifth Estate hit theaters, but the movie definitely helped coalesce some of these thoughts.

I began to watch and read the news in a new way, looking for the truth, seeing what stories weren’t being aired or were being glossed over, digging through the internet to find more information when something caught my attention.  Trying to find more to base an opinion on than what the biased mainstream media offered.  There’s a lot we never hear or read about.  A lot of that is important stuff too.  Logically, it isn’t hard to grasp, but the reality is a lot bigger than I realized.

In the end, what I can say is that while I disagree with where Assange ended up, I do believe that it all started as a good idea.  Exposing corruption, revealing corporate and political deceits is important, because when these things are shown in the light, they do change the world.  Making it safe for someone to come forward with this information is important too.

Knowledge really is power, and individuals know they aren’t being given all the information.  Maybe this is why so many people I know feel like they can’t make a difference.  They don’t vote on Election Day, they don’t speak out, and they don’t get involved.  Is this because they are aware they aren’t getting the whole story?  Do they feel powerless because they know that the really important stuff is hidden away and they don’t know where to begin to find it?  Do they fear the consequences?  I don’t know.

Truthfully, I don’t have any answers after watching The Fifth Estate.  What I have are questions, lots and lots of questions.  There’s a line between safety and deceit when it comes to disseminating information.  How do we determine when that line’s been crossed?  What is too much information?  Who do we let decide?

The Fifth Estate took on a difficult subject with, admittedly, biased source material and crafted a story that raises more questions than it answers.  I think that’s the point.  It doesn’t pretend to have the answers and it doesn’t pretend to be the definitive source for all things WikiLeaks.  That has caused some people to rain down a torrent of negative reviews.  Respectfully, I disagree.  I think The Fifth Estate did exactly what it set out to do.  It sparked conversation and debate.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Assange, done without the benefit of in-person interviews (Assange refused to meet with him), takes a person the media cast as a villain and shows us a man, a man who began a quest with good intentions.  Daniel Brühl, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci and the rest of the cast performed beautifully, but I’ll admit my eye was on Assange (I mean Cumberbatch playing Assange.  That guy does it every single time.).  Being from Bradley/Chelsea Manning’s home state, the media coverage of the events was particularly damning, and seeing the passion and initial purpose behind the WikiLeaks’s conception gave me an incentive to find more of the story on my own.

The film sparks curiosity, debate, thought, and interest in a topic that deserves discussion.  Just as the true purpose of WikiLeaks was to provide the public with the information to draw their own conclusions, The Fifth Estate does the same.  What do you think?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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Kubla Khan Read by Benedict Cumberbatch

I recently posted that Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan is my favorite poem.  Then I found this clip of Benedict Cumberbatch reading it.  Although the cadence and pace are not the same as the way I typically read it, which is really similar to the way my college professors did, the change in pace shifted my focus to words and phrases in another way, emphasizing different imagery and motion, especially in the middle.  Its interesting, I like it.  Have you ever been to a poetry reading?  I think it might be fun.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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Ode to A Nightengale

Keats read by Benedict Cumberbatch…poetry month. (Yep, that’s the only reason I found this…poetry month.)

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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August: Osage County: A Film Review

August: Osage County began life as a Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning play written by Tulsa’s own Tracy Letts.  Letts also wrote the screenplay, so I had no worries about the continuity between the play and the movie.  The cast is absolutely stellar, and there was no doubt these actors would pull the best from the script.  The whole movie is set, and they filmed, less than an hour from my home.  The excitement of a film of this quality showcasing the natural beauty of Oklahoma outshone my vague sense of dread after reading the summation of the play’s plot.

Set in rural Oklahoma, the story features an alcoholic father, a drug addict mother, a suicide, a marriage ending, racism, and the lasting damage people inflict on each other.  The description of the film as a “dark comedy” is certainly apt, and I knew without a doubt that the cast would deliver.  Seriously, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dermont Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale…what couldn’t you do with that kind of cast?

The cast delivered the performances I knew they would, each actor disappearing into amazingly well-written characters.  Characters that, I think, are universally relatable.  No matter their specific story, seeing something of yourself or someone close to you in them wasn’t a stretch.  Although, for those of us who drive these roads, shop at these stores, and are intimately familiar with the trappings of the film it may have been even a bit easier to relate. (When you’re fairly certain you shop at the grocery store some of the props come from…it is definitely close to home.)

Having heard English actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, with a convincing American accent in The Whistleblower, I didn’t wonder if he’d be able to pull off sounding like an American, but the man exceeded my expectations and sounded as  if he grew up down the road, mastering the particular accent and cadence of speech of Oklahoma without flaw.  Actually, all the actors did an amazing job with this.  Julia Roberts’s character had moved away from home to Colorado, and like many of us who have done this, lost most of her accent…except in times of stress when the “okie” slipped fleetingly through.

They did a lot of the filming locally, in Bartlesville, OK, and the film does a wonderful job of showing off the things I love about the local landscape.  The area is both stark and beautiful, miles to drive without seeing more than scattered farmhouses, not always in the best state of repair, and huge round bales of hay, and gently rolling hills.

AugustosagecountyThis script is funny in places, but it is truly the “dark comedy” it professes to be.  Although there are brief moments of levity, the overall feel of the movie is…downright depressing, be warned.  If your family is in any way, shape, or form dysfunctional (and really, whose isn’t?) this movie will pick at the scab.  Tracy Letts has done a phenomenal job with pulling the audience into these characters’ lives, and when I watched it, the vast majority of the audience in the theater stayed seated through the credits to collect themselves before leaving in virtual silence.  Honestly, it took a couple of days before I was really able to shake the contemplative mood that August: Osage County engendered, and it actually inspired a few changes in my own life…mostly in an effort to never become anything like the characters portrayed in the film.

Confession time. I’ve sat on this review for…a couple of months.  This is not an easy film for me to review because, while August: Osage County certainly deserves recognition and awards for the stellar quality of the film, there is no doubt about it.  This is a great film in every technical aspect I can think of.  Acting, cinematography, script, and I would never steer anyone away from watching it, but it also hit a little too close to home in places…a lot of places.  Be prepared, when you watch it, come armed with good, funny, friends…and puppies for after (who doesn’t smile at puppies?)…you’ll need it.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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