Sunday, May 28, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | That's a wrap, folks.

*cue the inclusion of Robin Hood farewell gifs*

Somebody -- I can't seem to find who! -- started off one of their posts with this
 at some point during the week, and I decided to steal their idea. :-P

Well, Robin Hood Week has drawn to a close.  Everyone, thank you sooo much for all your enthusiasm and participation.  You guys really made this week fun -- *I* sure enjoyed it, and I'm proud of what we did here. ;)  I loved reading y'all's posts -- looking forward to reading the rest of them! -- and just had a great time overall. :)

Now for the very long list of the aforementioned posts, in random order.  If I missed anybody's post, please let me know and I'll try to add it!  Also, I'm sorry if some of the titles don't match up perfectly with the post titles. 

Hamlette wrote:

Natalie wrote:

Ruth wrote:

Rachel wrote:

MovieCritic wrote:

Art3mis Took wrote:

Éowyn wrote:

Meredith wrote:

Ivy Miranda wrote:

Catherine wrote:

DKoren wrote:

Eva wrote:

Mary Katherine wrote:

Miss March wrote:

Livia Rachelle:

WOW!  That's a bunch of posts, people -- go, us!

Don't forget that Hamlette's giveaway is still open through this evening (she'll be announcing the winners tomorrow), so if you haven't entered yet, now's your chance!

I'm hoping to be able to wrap up reading/commenting/responding in a few days, and then "I regret I must leave you," as I'm departing on a vacation with the fam for a while.  However, I've several post ideas "in the works," so hopefully they'll stay with me and I'll get them done at some point. ;)  

Thanks again, everyone!!!  
Have a fantastic start to your summer. :)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Thoughts on a few different Robin Hood portrayals.

On this last full day of the party, I wanted to talk about some of the different Robins I've seen: basically, determining which characteristic of the Robin Hood legend I think each actor brings out the most in their role -- or which characteristic leaves the greatest impression on my mind -- and reflecting a bit on each role in general.  We'll see how it turns out. ;)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ Stuart Wilson {Disney's Princess of Thieves} ~

The shortage of pictures of this show is, as Rachel Lynde would say, perfectly amazing.

I think I've always liked Stuart Wilson's Robin . . . although, to be frank, I'm sort of wondering why after re-watching the show a few days ago for the first time in several years!  (Nah, just kidding.)  This Robin is older and trying to juggle raising a daughter (or, rather, trying to have her raised safely, since he's absent most of the time), fighting in various crusades, and now having the responsibility of bringing King Richard's rightful heir, Philip, to the throne before Prince John gets to him first.  Excusably, all this pressure creates a rather crusty exterior, and his relationship with his daughter, Gwyn (the heroine of the movie), has become strained.

But, as I said, I've always kind of liked him.  I guess just because he obviously does care about Gwyn, regardless of his inability to express it well?  And he grows some over the course of the movie, so yeah.    Also, he clearly has a very strong sense of patriotism, and hasn't decided that he's "given enough" and is entitled to retirement yet.  All in all, I like him. :)

Take-away characteristic:  { patriotism/loyalty }

~ Timothy Hutton {TNT's Leverage} ~

Hehe.  He counts as a Robin Hood, doesn't he?  He's sure called one enough during the show.  ;-P  

Nate Ford is historically not my favorite Leverage character (my least favorite, actually, but there are only five main characters, so let's be fair), but he has his moments.  He loves his team fiercely, and I think he kind of strikes the right balance between letting them know and trying to seem reclusive and independent.  ;-P   He's had a major tragedy in his life, but he manages to press through and try to use it to help other people.  (Now, he does this using methods "of . . . questionable legality," but still . . . )  This Robin is highly intelligent (duh, he's literally "The Mastermind") and seems to always know how to find a loophole in his opponents' schemes.  (Which can get a little annoying sometimes, tbh.  But mainly it's okay, since it means the team basically always comes out all right.)  He also tries to grapple with his drinking problem, and though I can't say that he was super successful, at least he got it under control, right?  (Was that a spoiler?  If it was, I am sorry.)

He definitely has his flaws, though.  For one, he seems a wee bit self-satisfied at times, and can be rather close-minded to the ideas and wishes of his team.  He also gets missile-locked on less-than-healthy goals now and then.  

However, he is overall a very decent fellow and I do care about him a little.  (Just not as much as the others on the team. ;)  But he's okay.)

Take-away characteristic:  { intelligence }

~ Sean Maguire {ABC's Once Upon a Time} ~

*Spoilers for seasons 1-5 of Once follow!*

Robin has never been one of my favorite characters on Once.  I'm not really sure why.  I guess, for the most part, I liked him well enough, but he was just sort of . . . there.  A nice guy, don't get me wrong, but for some reason, something about him seemed to get under my skin somehow.  Plus, there was the whole issue of the Regina/Marian thing, and regardless of how that worked out . . . he still didn't know that it wasn't really Marian, so it was still kind of adultery.  Anyway.  *steps off soapbox*

So yes, Robin hadn't been one of those characters to whom I was particularly attached.

Howevuh.  Then I watched that latterly episode in Season 5 where *BIG SPOILER* he dies, and I was sort of shocked!  I mean, not my favorite character, as I've said, but still!  I had no wish to see him die, especially like that -- without even the possibility of the underworld and a subsequent rescue therefrom. *MORE SPOILERS* But, although I have not yet seen the sixth season, I did read something that gave me hope that he might be reappearing on the show at some point?  I'm not sure, but I'd love for there to be some sort of loophole like that.  (His funeral made me feel like crying inside. :'(  And poor Regina!)  

Okay, done with the little fangirl rant.  Sean's Robin is very, very kind.  Compassionate.  You know, he tries to see the best in everybody.  All that good stuff.  :)  He's very devoted to his son, Roland (WHO IS BASICALLY THE MOST ADORABLE PERSONAGE EVER), and seems to always be open to developing friendships with any and everybody.  So, although he does some things that I disagree with and just isn't my favorite in general, he's certainly a nice Robin Hood.

Take-away characteristic:  { kindness/caring }

~ Jonas Armstrong {BBC's Robin Hood} ~

WELL.  *sobs buckets*  Where does one start?

I'm a bit biased towards him out of all the Robin Hoods I've seen, for obvious reasons. ;-P  For one thing, since I've spent 39 episodes with him, I've probably gotten to "know" him the best.  

I like how this Robin seems to be just a normal person, cliche as it sounds.  He doesn't know how to handle life all the time.  He makes mistakes on a regular basis, sometimes out of stubbornness and sometimes purely by accident.  He's a good leader (albeit a tad cocky *ahem*), and he's committed to helping his fellow countrymen as efficiently as possible, but he's still just human.  He's still vulnerable, like any other person.  He loses his head sometimes when the safety of the people he cares about is threatened.

Like all the Robins in this post, he's got his flaws.  He struggles with ulterior motives at times, such as revenge, bravado, and the desire to be loved and appreciated by the people he helps.  *SEMI-SPOILERS* He comes very near to giving up, particularly after the death of one of the people he loves the most. *END OF SEMI-SPOILERS*  He even still has some class prejudice lingering in him, apparently, if we are to believe that second-to-last episode in S2 (with Much).  

But he does keep going, through all these issues.  *SPOILERS*  He forgives Guy, which is h.u.g.e. *END OF SPOILERS*.  He takes care of his gang and is willing to ask other people for help when he needs it.  And, obviously, he sacrifices greatly for his country.  

Yes, I love him a wee bit. ;)

Take-away characteristic:  { relatability }

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wrap-up is tomorrow!  Don't forget to leave links to your own RH posts HERE

Friday, May 26, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Music Videos

I am about to emotionally abuse you.

Those of you have seen BBC's Robin Hood, that is.  The rest of you -- blissful, heart-whole people that you are -- may not be able to sympathize with us in our pain.  (Maybe you will.  I don't know.  I feel like it'd be pretty hard to be unaffected by the "I Dreamed a Dream" one.  But for anybody watching who hasn't seen the show or is in the midst of watching the show, these music videos do contain major spoilers, so watch at your own risk.)

. . . Actually, though, I'm going to be nice.  Only like four of these (there are ten total) are really tragical and feels-y and heartbreaking.  The rest are relatively happy and/or humorous. :)  However, those four tragical ones are really tragical and have been known to seriously mess with my coping mechanisms.  So if you're just coming off of watching the show, I might stick with the happy ones for now, since the sad ones might actually be a bit too much.  (I'm serious -- I speak from experience and tell you this because I love you.)

Also, we can all thank Natalie -- who actually wrote a very similar post! -- for most of these, as she is the one who introduced me to a lot of them.  {THANKS FOR THE HEARTBREAK.  (No, kidding.  I love you.  And I'm actually very grateful for them.  You know.  We've talked.  Plus you've also sent me lots of happy ones. :))}

OKAY!  To business.

Let's start with a lighthearted one, yes?  (Seriously, this is awesome.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Okay, now for a sad one.  (And I mean a really sad one.  It kind of destroys me, actually.  So yeah.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

*hands you tissues*  I'm sorry, I'm sorry!  Here, this'll make it better.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

And another funny one:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I hadn't seen this one before, but I was quite impressed.  It's sad but also not, if you know what I mean, and I thought it was really well-done, especially as it includes other couples.  (PLUS THEY HAVE KATE AND ALLAN TOGETHER.  AS IT SHOULD BE.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

This.  What.  x'D  (It's funny.  That was a crying-with-laughter face.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

DEAD.  THE TEARS.  (But in a good way.  It's super sad but also super beautiful and it kind of breaks my heart but also makes me hopeful and gives me closure . . . ish.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Okay, a double-whammy: two really hard ones back-to-back.  I've showed you guys several that make me emotional, but this one actually makes me cry.  Like, physically.  (That is, I'm holding back real tears.)  And that's about the highest praise and best intro I can give it.  Definitely one of the top five best RH videos I've seen, and I've seen quite a few.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That was the last sad one, yay!  This one cracks me up from the moment Robin's mouth starts moving and Spongebob's voice comes out.  It is gold, I tell you.  ("BOMBS!"  x'D)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And I close with an adorable and precious and sweet and HAPPY Rarian video.  :)

Don't forget to leave links to your own RH posts HERE. :D

Robin Hood Week | | In which I impress you all with my extensive knowledge of history.

Hello, my pretties!  I remembered that I did a presentation on Robin Hood for school back in 2015, and so I decided that I might as well turn it into a post, right?  Quick and easy, and it changes things up a bit. :)

Basically, I'll just copy my final draft, which discusses some of the (very scanty) historical background for the Robin Hood legend.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The name of Robin Hood has been calling to mind dusty books, bows and arrows, ballads, greenwood trees, and suits of Lincoln green for over six centuries. The notorious “righteous robber” legend has captivated audiences through song, literature, movies, and even television series.

The earliest mentions of Robin Hood are found in medieval ballads and festivals, and he rose to cultural prominence mainly as a result of Sir Walter Scott’s 1820 novel Ivanhoe, which featured Robin of Locksley as an important secondary character, and Howard Pyle’s book, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, which was published in 1883.

It is unknown whether an individual called Robin Hood ever existed. Historians speculate that the popular image of Robin of Locksley may have come about through the amalgamation of various folkloric entities, and while the legend has changed—in some ways drastically—since the earliest ballads mentioning Robin Hood, most renditions have a common theme in that Hood is supposed to have been an English yeoman, Crusader, or outlaw in the medieval time period.

Surprisingly, popularly beloved cohorts of Hood’s, such as Maid Marian, Allan-a-Dale, and Friar Tuck, did not appear in the initial records—and neither did his famous mantra of “robbing the rich to feed the poor.” Instead, they gained a spot in the story of Robin Hood centuries after its first appearances. Also, despite the fact that many of us were probably first exposed to Hood through Disney’s happy, humorous, and popular animated classic, many of the older, more traditional renditions of the tale end in a bittersweet tragedy. However, other characters and themes that most of us “love to hate”—including the Sherriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gisborne—were attached to Hood practically from the beginning, as was his believed locale in Sherwood Forest in the shire of Nottingham, England. 

Confirmed evidence for the elusive Outlaw of Sherwood is frustratingly scarce, but whatever the strict historical facts, the idea of a forest-dwelling, altruistic outlaw boasts an almost unprecedented appeal to worldwide audiences. The subject of over fifty film and television adaptations, the legend of Robin Hood and his Merry Men continues to this day to be one of the most enduring tales in popular culture.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hope you all enjoyed that!  Don't forget to leave links to your own RH posts HERE.  :D

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Appreciation for the 1973 Disney film.

~ the nostalgia of all of it the opening sequence ~

~ the amazingly atmospheric quality of the whole thing ~

~ the unforgettable villains ~

"AH-ha, AH-ha!"

{I once made the mistake of saying that "no one will ever be as Prince John-ish as Toby Stephens," and I would like to formally recant that dreadful statement.  Toby Stephens' P.J. is wonderful and all, but I cannot imagine how I finagled myself into neglecting Peter Ustinov's performance.  Let the record now state that I believe that no one will ever be as Prince John-ish as Peter Ustinov and Toby Stephens.  Okay.  Good.}

~ Maid Marian ~

~ the animation ~

~ the joy and fun and whimsy ~

~ Friar Tuck ~


~ the "Not in Nottingham" sequence ~

{I have a strange infatuation with that song and that scene.}

~ Kluckie ~

~ the quotability ~

{"Hiss, you deliberately dodged." ~ "Oo-de-lally!  A crown!  How exciting!" ~ "Crime-a-niddly, Nutsy!" ~ "Forgive me a cruel chuckle . . . " ~ "HISS!  You're never around when I need you!" ~ "WAAAAAAHN o'clah-ahck, an' AAAAAALLLL'S WE-OHLL!"}

~ the fact that all the characters seem like old friends ~

~ the "Phony King of England" dance ~

~ Skippy & his gang ~

~ the jailbreak scene ~

*Spoilers . . . ?  (I'm pretty sure y'all could see this coming, but just in case. ;))*

~ the deliciously happy, satisfactory, storybook ending :) ~

Don't forget to leave links to your own Robin Hood posts HERE! :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Why I Love . . . {BBC Robin Hood}

*grins*  Yes, it's that post.

To those of you who have seen the show, I apologize for all the feelings contained in the pictures and gifs that follow.  To those of you who have not, I admit that in including this somewhat overloaded stream of visuals aids, I am partially motivated by the hope that if you see enough you will want to watch it.  (Which is kind of mean of me, given the circs.  I mean, it's a damaging show, what.)


As you all know, I'm a big fan of the BBC's Robin Hood.  But why is that?  What is it about the series that so latched onto my heart?  

After all, it's not the highest-quality show (at least, so I assume).  The sets aren't the greatest, I get the feeling it's rather corny (I'm kind of a bad gauge of corniness, having a somewhat high tolerance), it could be accused of being melodramatic and even soap-operatic, and the costumes are inaccurate, to say the least. (Though I think the costuming inaccuracies may have been intentional?  Reading this -- the paragraph under "Styles" -- made me wonder.)

To be clear, I still think it's a GREAT show, one of the best things I've ever seen.  (Others would probably just disagree with me, and perhaps with good reason.)  But why, in particular, do I think that?  I was ruminating on this the other day, and the answer suddenly came to me. 

It's the characters.  

Whatever their faults, whatever the faults of the show, I just really love these people.

I love watching them live life.  I love learning their personality traits, their strengths and weaknesses, the unique ways they handle crises, their relationships (THEIR RELATIONSHIPS <3 <3 <3), their quirks and signature mannerisms/sayings, etc.  I love the fact that I Strongly Dislike even my favorite characters at least once during the show, but I still end up Passionately Loving and Rooting for them to come out all right at the end.  (Whether I get my wish in that is a topic for a whole other post, but *AHERM* we won't go into that.)

I love how even the characters I don't like very much (*cough* lookingatyouArcherandKate *coughcough*) generally manage to worm their way into some corner of my caring. 

I LOVE LOVE the way that characters who started out as enemies end up as partners and even friends *Semi-Spoilers* (yes, this is basically only Robin and Guy, but still -- THAT'S A BIG DEAL <3 <3) *End of Semi-Spoilers*.  I love how all the peeps work together -- the way they aggravate each other and love each other and all that good stuff.

I love that the villains are lovable but also hate-able.  (You know.  The whole "love to hate" thing.)  Vaisey is a big source of comic relief, but he's also evil.  You know that underneath his humor and his usual playfulness, he's really pretty wicked deep down.  {But then there is that whole thing with his sister.  "One does not know what to think" in that episode.  (But then again, that's the only episode like that.)}  Guy is a little bit more complicated *ahem*, because we all want to love him in spite of his Rather *cough cough* Significant Issues. (BUT THEN THERE'S THE THIRD SEASON WHICH IS A WHOLE OTHER CONVERSATION, TOO. *sobs*)  Isabella is really rather disturbing, honestly.  Especially because I actually do have sympathy for her -- I mean, life has been a bit unfair to her (*cough* speaking of Guy's Rather Significant Issues *cough*), and I think in the beginning she really just wanted love.  Sad face.  And then there's Prince John, who's basically fabulous despite his evilness. 

I LOVE THE ROMANCES.  A LOT.  THEY MAKE ME HAPPY.  (Except when they tear my emotional stability to shreds and leave me unable to think of anything else, that is.) 

And I refer to the REAL romances -- not things like Kate/Much, Kate/Robin, etc.  No.  The real deals. I refer to Marian & Robin (no, really, you?), Djaq & Will, Kate & Allan *Semi-Spoilers* (THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN A TIHNG) *End of Semi-Spoilers*, Guy & Meg (*sobbing*), etc.

I love the friendships.

I love the sad parts.  {That sounds super twisted.  (Probably because it is super twisted.)}

I love how even the characters who don't have super close relationships to other characters still care intensely about their wellbeing (think Djaq, S2 finale *sobs again*).

I love Marian.

I love Allan.  

(I love a bunch of the other characters, too, but one must pick and choose who -- whom? -- to mention specifically.)

I love how even after the season two finale, the characters *Semi-Spoilers* who are left *End of Semi-Spoilers* still manage to make us care about the third season.  They even manage to give us moments of humor and happiness and all that, despite the heaviness of the season in general.  (They just also tear our hope apart dish out plentiful servings of Pain, Rage, and Tears, too.)

I love that there's so much redemption available for the characters (*AHERM* GUY AND ALLAN). Going back to the whole villain paragraph, I love that there really aren't that many villains.  It's mainly the good guys, and they really kind of outnumber the bad guys, even though it doesn't always seem that way.

BASICALLY THERE ARE JUST LOTS AND LOTS OF THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THIS SHOW, OKAY?!?!  It's beautiful and amazing and heartbreaking and good.  And you should watch it. Because of reasons.



All of that is why I love BBC's Robin Hood.  

(Don't forget to leave links to your own Robin Hood posts HERE!)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Robin Hood Week | | Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves {1991}

(FYI:  Hamlette is hosting a giveaway for the week!  Thank you so much, Hamlette!  Hop on over to her post and check out all the Robin Hood-themed goodies! :))

I liked this movie much more than I thought I would.  Having read some reviews, seen snippets, and watched the parody, Men in Tights, I was all set to be underwhelmed.  I had this nice, cutting review forming in my head, complete with reaction gifs, but then I actually watched it.  And liked it.  So that was a bit of a bummer. ;-P

No, seriously, though, I did enjoy it.  It's a good movie, on the whole.  There are several little moments that one could nitpick, but, again, it's very good overall.

Yes, Kevin Costner's English accent -- or lack thereof -- IS quite irksome (Cary Elwes' dig about it in Men in Tights is well-deserved), but then again, how do any of us know that we'd do any better?  And he also brought a kind of boyish bashfulness and playfulness to the role that was rather adorable.  I did find him endearing, I'll admit. ;)

Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham is, of course, quite popular, and deservedly so.  He's really good at portraying pure evil, you know?  He is fun to watch and acts his role very well.  (One quibble I have, though, is that some of his *ahem* characteristics -- shall we use the word lasciviousness? -- are portrayed as humorous, when they're really not humorous.  But "that's a minor thing," I suppose, especially as I'm sure the makers weren't really trying to downplay the seriousness of his wickedness.)

I was especially looking forward to disliking Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's Marian, but found I could not.  I saw one part near the end a while ago, so when I read a review that labeled her as lapsing into a "damsel in distress" role by the close of the film, I was prepared to agree.  However, having watched all of it now, I think that label is unfair.  (I mean, in that situation at the end of the movie, we'd ALL be damsels in distress, quite seriously.)  Lucy Griffiths' Marian will probably always be my favorite, but I felt like Mastrantonio's Marian was more accurate to the time (not surprisingly).  Also, I was surprised -- and somewhat disappointed -- to see how it seemed that the BBC show may have taken some ideas from this version. That disguise Marian is in the first time we see her is basically the Night Watchman outfit, and there were a few other parallels I noticed.  But p'raps it was incidental. ;)  Anyway, yes, I liked Marian in this version, too.

The whole thing with Will Scarlet was good, too -- plot twists for the win!  

I liked Morgan Freeman as Azeem, too.  You could still hear his American background when he spoke, but I felt like his accent attempt was more of a success overall. 

Honestly, I mainly just found myself feeling rather sorry for and amused by Guy of Gisborne.  I'm not really sure why. XD  Maybe that's just one's automatic response to any other Gisborne after seeing the BBC's?  Hehe. ;-P

Another aspect of this movie that I particularly enjoyed was the humor.  Seriously, the movie is legitimately funny, which was a delightful surprise and took the edge off the heaviness of the other subject matter.

In terms of content, it's not too bad.  The Sheriff is pretty promiscuous and it's clear that he's using several castle girls.  *semi-spoilers* He also tries to rape Marian at the end of the movie. *end of semi-spoilers*  Aside from the Sheriff, there are scattered innuendos and references, and a scene where Robin is skinny-dipping.  There's a lot of violence, but I wouldn't call it gruesome.  As for the witch, I looked up some pictures beforehand, so she actually didn't freak me out too much.  But we fast-forwarded most all of her scenes, so I also didn't really see a lot of her.  I'd still definitely recommend caution with, as they say, the younger viewers! ;-P  Also some language, including the Lord's name in vain and one usage of the F word.

All in all, I found this a really enjoyable movie that "I should not be sorry" to watch again sometime. ;)  Of course, it was a bit of a challenge to take it seriously, what with having all the quips from Men in Tights running through my head (i.e. when Duncan came out blinded -- WHICH ISN'T FUNNY -- all I could think was "'Ey, Blinkin!"), but if you can get past that, you can appreciate the movie for what it is -- a mighty fine adaptation of Le Hood. :)

Don't forget to leave links to your own Robin Hood posts HERE! :)