Armie Hammer, the Cutest Prince Charming Since Dougray Scott

Oh, Armie Hammer, you are simply the best. The best (and the funniest) Prince Charming since Dougray Scott in “Ever After.” But you go one better than Dougray Scott because, in “Mirror, Mirror,” you appear shirtless, in fact several times. And quite a fine chest you have there, sir. It doesn’t even look like a chest that’s been worked over, not like the balloon chest muscles of Taylor Kitsch in “John Carter.” No, that’s a fine, fine chest. Self is quite in agreement with Julia Robert’s Evil Queen that only a “bashful” boy would care to cover that up.

(Eternal thanks to director David Fincher, who dredged you up from that pool where handsome actors languish while waiting to be discovered. When self watched you play the Winklevii in “The Social Network,” you were arrogant and helpless.  Which is exactly why the audience found you so funny.  Which is also why you were the perfect choice to play the Prince in “Mirror, Mirror.”)

Also of note is that your leading lady, Lily Collins, has the fiercest eyebrows since — since Brooke Shields in “Blue Lagoon”? To go along with the brows, Ms. Collins also has the thickest, longest, blackest eyelashes self has ever seen on a living person. Hers are simply tailor-made for sidelong (love) glances. It is also perfectly understandable why she is directing all these glances at Mr. Hammer.

Another thing that is so nice about this movie (which self saw today, in her local Century 20, along with two blonde women, and an elderly man, and some shadowy person sitting in the last row, way behind self) is that it gives her a chance to see that guy from “Master and Commander,” the one who played that tragically inept officer who does away with himself by grabbing a cannonball and jumping off the deck. Since the crew believed he was cursed, he did the noble thing and removed himself from the scene, with the end result that the ship was able to set sail once again, and escape those fearful doldrums.

Anyhoo, since that movie, which was quite some time ago, self has not had the opportunity to see this particular actor in other roles. So it was very nice to see him today, and to see that he did not share the same fate as the character he played in “Master and Commander.”

There is also a scene where Julia Roberts erupts in The Laugh. So rich and unreserved is this actress’ laugh that every time it makes an appearance, it literally lights up the screen! (And this movie actually does make glints of light reflect off Mr. Hammer’s and Ms. Collins’ teeth! Just like those Close-Up toothpaste commercials self grew up watching in Manila!) So, even though Roberts is playing a Bad and Evil Queen, she is also able to rise above the caricature and make the audience feel her character’s humanity.

Self was tempted to see “21 Jump Street” because that movie features another interesting hunk, Channing Tatum, but she’s glad she went for “Mirror, Mirror.” Not only is Armie Hammer appearing at his manly best (not like he was in “J. Edgar,” where — horrors! — he seemed to be wearing pancake make-up!), but the costumes are divine. Self never thought mustard would look agreeable worn as court attire, but here not only is Julia Roberts swathed in it when she makes her first court appearance, but Lily Collin’s cape (which is so ruched and voluminous and wonderful) is also of that same shade (Self did wonder why Snow White was wearing such a cape when she is supposed to be trying to “blend” in with the commoners, who were all in drab and muddy brown or grey clothes.  But fie, self, this is supposed to be a fairy tale!  If Director Tarsem says a princess can blend, even when wearing the only mustard-colored cape in the entire kingdom, she blends!  It’s called suspension of disbelief)

Self must admit, clothesonfilm’s spotlight on the costume designer (Eiko Ishioka) played a not-small part in her decision of which movie to see today. Thanks much, clothesonfilm! It’s sad that the designer has passed away, but if this movie was her last project, it certainly is nothing to sneeze at.

Finally (as if this movie needed any more finalies, but what the hoo), the great Sean Bean puts in an appearance. Self was quite upset with his execution in Season 1 of “Game of Thrones.” The only thing is: why does Mr. Bean have to present wearing something like a white lace doily around his neck? In the first of his two scenes, the ruffle around his neck looks almost exactly like the white lace doilies that self remembers were ever-present in parties back home. In the second scene, he still wears a white ruffle around his neck. Self found this ruffle dis-agreeable and distracting. This is the one and only time she thinks the costume choice was a little off.

When self watched the closing credits (in which Lily Collins demonstrates how well she can belt it out —  even while wearing a sky-blue chiffon gown), she learned that the Director was Tarsem Singh (Now, why did that name sound so familiar?)  A few minutes ago, on Rotten Tomatoes, self learned that Singh is the same guy who directed “Immortals.”  No wonder the costumes and sets were so elaborate!  Singh is a visual stylist like no other.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

April 15, 2012: Check Out The Line To Get Into the House Where President Abraham Lincoln Was Brought After He Was Shot!

Strange synchronicity:  on the morning of Sunday, 15 April, the husband and self were beginning a leisurely walk to the Vietnam Wall.  It was the day after the Edgar P. Richardson symposium at the National Portrait Gallery.  We were in a very relaxed mood.

It was a beautiful day, the sky was blue, there was nary a cloud in sight.

We saw a crowd forming on Tenth Street.

This crowd on Tenth Street had formed in front of the Peterson House, where President Abraham Lincoln was taken after being shot, and where he eventually died, on April 15, 1865.

Of course, self being the nosiest person in the world (which is probably why she and writing are such a good fit), we stopped to inquire what the line was for.  Oh!  It was the line to the tour of the Ford Theater, where President Abraham Lincoln had been shot.  And, it just so happened, the tour included a stop at the house across the street, where Lincoln had been taken after the shooting, and where he eventually died.  On April 15, 1865.  So that very Sunday, when we were walking on Tenth Street, was the 147th anniversary of Lincoln’s death.

Of course we had to stop, right?  And we had to join the humongous line!  But fortunately the wait was only something like half an hour.  And the tour was FANTASTIC.

Afterwards, the husband continued to the Vietnam Wall, and self grabbed a taxi to get to Georgetown, because she was meeting a friend for lunch, and she ended up being 15 minutes late, but that included the taxi driver getting, he claimed, “lost” in Georgetown (!!@@##)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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