Tag Archives: Matthew Goode

One Year Old

Reflections on my first year of blogging

Today is the one year anniversary of The Ugly Bug Ball.  I wasn’t sure I could keep it going, but here we are on post number 95.  100 would have been a nicer number, but I’m not complaining.  Honestly, my only goal a year ago was to find a way to stop driving my boss crazy.  She was tired of all my entertainment chitchat, so I took it online. 

A year ago, I was obsessing over Matthew Goode and Michael Sheen, and I was mourning the cancellation of EastEnders on my local PBS station.  I think I can be forgiven for neglecting Matthew Goode, since he hasn’t released any new movies.  Michael Sheen has been very busy, but I have to confess, I didn’t finish watching A Special Relationship.  All the politics went right over my head.  I still miss Albert Square.

A year ago, I’d never heard of Jonathan Jackson or his band Enation.  I didn’t know I’d be spending every weekday afternoon watching General Hospital to see Jackson as Lucky Spencer.   I was so excited when Enation tweeted links to my blog and even commented on one of my posts.  Now my current obsession is the Les Misérables 25th anniversary concert and some of the West End actors who performed in it.   Who knows what will entertain me next.  I try to “spread the love” by having lots of favorites, so there is always something new just around the corner.

I wish I didn’t feel compelled to check my blog stats so often.  I’m fascinated by how many visitors I get, and what brings them here.  It took me a long time to figure out that a portion of my “visitors” weren’t real, but spam referrers and creepy link posters.  Once I got over that disappointment, I soldiered on.  A dramatic change came a few months after I started, when the UK dating site with the same name was launched.   Suddenly, I had a dramatic increase in visits, but it wasn’t my Bug Ball they wanted.  Google soon sorted them out, although I still get a few strays.  My other wish?  That more people would leave comments.   Even after a year, it’s a thrill to know that people from all over the world are looking at my pages.

 I never really planned to be “Ugly Bug,”  but that’s become my username in various forums and sites that I visit, and when I leave comments on other blogs.  My gravatar photo is a damselfly, and I quite like that for a name, but I never got around to trying it.  It amuses me how some folks are uncomfortable with the word ugly.  I’m usually addressed as UB or Bug, which is fine, too.  I’m fond 0f that old saying, call me anything except late for dinner!

My most popular post this first year is  A Silent Scream, which talks about silent film.  Lots of folks out there are googling “Louise Brooks.”  A surprisingly popular one is All Thumbs, simply because of the photo of Hrithik Roshan’s double thumb.   Another entry that gets a lot of visits is In Remembrance: Armistice Day due to the WWI art.   My Les Mis posts have brought in a lot of new people, too.  I’m not sure how many more screencaps I will add, but at least my photoshop skills keep improving. 

New technology has brought big changes to my blog and what entertains me.  Last summer I got my first mp3 player.  Then my brother gave me my first digital camera, so I was able to start adding fresh photos.  I got a new Epson scanner, so old photos and slides were resurrected and added to these pages.  I learned how to make screencaps using Paint and Photoshop, and I learned that YouTube videos could be converted into mp3s.   Speaking of YouTube, I had no idea until last summer what treasures could be found there.  

Another big blogging milestone was when I started writing about personal subjects.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there.   Writing about my favorite uncle, Dennis Severs, was a wonderful way to share a few memories, and I found it deeply satisfying.   I’ve been neglecting my Stage Door Encounter series, but it’s been a fun way to combine personal experiences with my interest in actors.  

So here’s to one year and counting, and hopefully the best is yet to come!


Filed under Actors, Movies, Music, Television, The Internet, Theatre

Summer Heat

While most of the US is roasting in triple digits, good old San Francisco is cool and overcast.  My google toolbar says it’s 55 degrees (fahrenheit) at the moment.  We may get swallowed up by an earthquake at any moment, but I’m still grateful to be here!  Still, I don’t mind a little summer warmth, so here is my first annual list of Guys Who Are Heating Up Summer 2010 (in no particular order).

Alex O'Loughlin barechested

Alex O'Loughlin

Alex O’Loughlin:  I love this Australian actor, and I sure hope his third CBS series will stick around.  The reboot of Hawaii Five-0 begins in fall, and the trailers look promising.  This summer, both his cancelled CBS series have been airing, Moonlight (vampire in LA) and Three Rivers (transplant hospital).  I’d watch this guy in old reruns over stupid reality shows any day.  I didn’t see The Back-Up Plan in the theatres, so I’m waiting for the DVD release on August 24th. 

Matthew Goode:  Today A Single Man was released on DVD, and I was at the redbox at 8:20am to rent my copy.  I will be happily watching it tonight, as a reward for a full day of errands.  It’s awfully tough sitting here and not watching it right-this-very-minute.  I know Goode’s role in the film is small, but I just love him and Colin Firth (who probably deserves his own place on this list!), and I understand from friends that I will adore Nicholas Hoult after seeing this movie.

Zac Efron:  This cutie’s movie, Charlie St Cloud, opens at the end of this month.  Efron looks great in the trailers.  I read the book this film is based on, and it’s sweet and predictable and unchallenging, so the movie should allow me to sit back and enjoy the sights. 

Taylor Lautner:  See my last post for my impressions of Eclipse, but Lautner is the reason I bothered to see the movie, and he didn’t disappoint. 

Jonathan Jackson:  Not a lot is happening with his character, Lucky Spencer, on ABC’s General Hospital, but that gives me a chance to catch up on his character’s background.  As I said in a recent post, I just started watching GH and listening to Jackson’s band.  I’m responding to his GH character’s sensitivity, not to mention his delicate good looks.

 Joseph Gordon-LevittInception is opening soon, and I’m delighted to see this guy in a big film.  Well, I’m delighted to see him anywhere.  I’m a little worried about his haircut in Inception, but I know I can count on his performance being excellent.  He has never disappointed me. 

Russell Brand:  I’ve read My Booky Wook, and I love Brand’s unique way with language.  He cracks me up, too.  This is a guy who doesn’t have many filters, and he’s excellent at pushing boundaries too far.  I’m watching him with fascination wondering when he’s going to alienate everyone.  He reminds me of Pee Wee Herman, a twisted character created for a certain adult audience who became a mainstream hit, was given a real children’s show (which I never understood!) and then…well, you know the rest.  I’m not saying I want Russell Brand to blow it, I’m just not sure he can resist it.

So, who’s on your list?

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My current obsession with Matthew Goode drove me four blocks to my nearest neighborhood video store to rent Leap Year today.  I have temporarily suspended my Netflix account while I’m short on funds, and frankly, I’m tired of waiting in a long queue for new releases.  I’ve come to rely on the redbox around the corner for new DVDs, a bargain at a dollar a night.  Except the redbox doesn’t have Leap Year yet.  I couldn’t wait.

I should have waited.  No, seriously, a dollar would have been about right.  I didn’t see the film in the theatre because the reviews were so bad, and I hadn’t yet fallen for Matthew Goode.  Unfortunately, no matter how much you like a particular actor, a bad film is still a bad film.   The main problem is the script. It suffers from minimal character development, a complete lack of subtlety, and no logical reason why the two main characters should be drawn to each other.  The Irish scenery is lovely, and so is Goode in his scruffy way.  It just isn’t enough.


This morning I picked up my borrowed copy of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest to begin reading.  (Thank you, Kathryn!)  This is the third book in the Millennium Trilogy, an international bestselling series by a Swedish author who died before the books were published.  That was back in 2004.  It’s taken six years for this final book to be published in the United States, which will be released on May 25th.  My copy was purchased from the UK, where it was released on October 1, 2009.   I’m sure there’s a reason for the long delay, but it seems like bad business to me.  I know lots of people have given their money to UK booksellers instead of US ones because they couldn’t wait that long.

There’s an odd little difference between the UK and the upcoming US versions of this book, and it’s right there on the cover.  It’s the punctuation in the title.  The UK version is Hornets’ Nest while the US version is Hornet’s Nest.  I don’t know enough about the differences between American and English punctuation to explain it.  I hope somebody else will.  My best guess is that Hornets’ is more correct since presumably more than one hornet occupies a typical nest.  Then again, I know less about hornets than I do about punctuation. 

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Matthew Goode Has A Big Mouth

It takes me a while to notice some actors.  Then when I do sit up and take a good look, I wonder what took me so long and how could I be so blind.  This is the case with British actor Matthew Goode.  I’d seen The Lookout and My Family and Other Animals, but he failed to make an impression.  Then, last week I watched Masterpiece Contemporary, which he hosts.  Wow.  He really cleans up nicely!  How did I miss those eyes and that deep, resonant voice?

I’ve been busy catching up, watching his movies and TV work, visiting his fansite, watching his youtube videos.  All the normal obsessive stuff.  This guy is as interesting as the characters he plays.  He’s intelligent, funny, charming, and he gives a good interview…as long as there aren’t any kids around.  Or censors.  Goode is a loose cannon, and he’s been getting into some trouble over his candor.  He told a reporter that his movie Leap Year was “turgid” (yeah, I had to get out the dictionary.  It means overblown and bombastic.)  so he had to makes some quick apologies.  John Preston described it best in The Telegraph:

“In fact, there’s something Tiggerish about him, not only in the jangle-limbed way he moves – he’s 6ft 2in – but also in the way he is utterly confident in his ability to win people over, no matter what he says. Every so often, he claps his hand to his mouth and says: ‘Oh God!’ as if he can’t help himself. Yet at 31 he’s old enough, and bright enough, to know exactly what he’s doing. Partly he’s shooting his mouth off because he believes he has every right to and partly because he thinks he can get away with it. It’s a test of his charm, something of which he has considerable reserves.” (read full article here)

So, I’m intrigued but also worried.  I really feel this guy has reached his Tipping Point–he’s about to be  big.  But has he blown it?  When I go to imdb.com to look up his upcoming projects…there aren’t any.  Are producers unwilling to take a chance on him?  If he’s not in pre-production for anything, it could be more than a year before we see him again.  Sure, he could do some stage work, but my days of flying over to New York and London to see a show are long past.  The only thing I’ve found regarding his future is that he recently auditioned for Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.  (yeah, he’s mocked his physical drawbacks, too.)  

Well, Leap Year comes out on DVD on May 4 and A Single Man will be be released on July 6.   I will be waiting and keeping my fingers crossed.  And watching for upcoming Masterpiece Contemporary broadcasts for my Matthew Goode fix.

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An Invitation to the Ball

I have some really great friends, but lately I’ve been driving them to distraction talking about my passions.  Which they don’t always share.   So I’ve started blogging.  It seems like a good way to make new friends and reach out to old ones.

I love movies.  All kinds of movies.  Silent cinema, independent film, British films, popular Hindi cinema, big budget blockbusters, foreign language films–I love them all.  Lately, the films that have touched me, that ones that I like the best, are the ones that have “heart.”  That’s really vague, I know.  It’s hard to describe but hopefully easy to understand.  It’s not the quite same as “feel-good,” because some of the films I love have sad endings. 

Films that I’ve watched recently that I love:

  • Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont
  • In The Loop
  • In a Day
  • Heartlands
  • The Best of Youth
  • Up
  • (500) Days of Summer

I am currently obsessed with two British actors, Michael Sheen and Matthew Goode.  I think Michael Sheen is a brilliant actor.  Matthew Goode is simply hot.  There will be a lot more about these two and their work, coming soon.

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