rinse & repeat

They say the duration of a celebrity crush usually lasts around 3 to 4 years, which also tends to be the time frame for most movie franchise trilogies.

I became a Ewan McGregor fan just as the first Star Wars Prequel movie was gearing up. he sustained me through all three movies, before my attraction started to wane.

 

I experienced a resurgence of affection for former teen crush Christian Bale during the release of the second Batman movie, The Dark Knight. the third movie in the trilogy was released four years later, but by that time my attention had moved elsewhere.

 

I became a Robert Pattinson fan during the DVD release of the first Twilight movie. when the saga was over, four movies later, my interest had been transferred to Richard Armitage in the first Hobbit movie. he carried me through the next two movies of the franchise, before I became restless once again.

 

 

I became a Jamie Dornan fan after discovering the second season of the serial killer series The Fall. I stayed captivated through the third and final season, until I became a Dan Stevens fan during the first season of the Marvel television series Legion. I stayed consumed through two more seasons, until my attention started to wander again.

 

 

I became a fan of Ansel Elgort six months after the DVD release of Baby Driver. he shared my attentions with Joe Keery over the next year as Stranger Things was gearing up for it’s third season. Stranger Things has one more season in the works, which will probably be released sometime next year. Baby Driver is rumored to have a possible sequel in the future but no concrete confirmation as of yet.

 

In the lead up to the final Star Wars movie release, I did a rewatch of all eight movies in the saga and rediscovered my love for the Prequel trilogy. this time my attention wasn’t on Ewan, but Hayden Christensen instead. Hayden is rumored to not only be a part of the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi television series with Ewan in 2022 but possibly other connecting Disney+ Star Wars series as well.  although I would like Hayden to do things other than Star Wars, I really hope he does Star Wars too.

 

and that he draws that franchise out…

 

 

is it ever gonna change
am I gonna feel this way forever
are you gonna be around for me to count on
[song lyrics from 4Ever by Clairo]

The Need for Speed

LAS VEGAS – JULY 26: Actor Hayden Christensen arrives at the Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace for a party on the fifth pit stop of the eight-day New York-to-Los Angeles Bullrun automotive rally July 26, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In 2005 and 2006 Hayden Christensen flexed his racing chops by participating in the Bullrun Rally. Bullrun was a cross country car race taking place over seven days and 3,000 miles across North America. it was by invitation only, costing upwards of $14,000, where participants drove exclusive sports cars to several check points throughout the day, never knowing where they were headed until handed their navigation cards. Hayden took part in the rally first in 2005, where he raced basketball star Dennis Rodman. Hayden got a little too cocky and nearly lost control of the car on the slippery Salt Flats of Bonneville, Utah.

Hayden and the Lamborghini Muricelago

In the 2006 rally, an older and wiser Hayden drove a silver Ferrari Modena, equipped with radar detectors (the rally is infamous for the hefty fines it’s participants end up paying in speeding tickets, as the local police get much pleasure out of pulling over the speed demons). this time he had a good natured rivalry going with Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis:

this rally also gave a peek into Hayden’s dry but playful sense of humor.  he claimed his 17th favorite speedway is the Shelby Motors test track, his 4th favorite city in California is Los Angeles, and his 2nd favorite auto shop is located in Lake Bluff.

Hayden deserved to have a bit of fun, considering that the rally didn’t start out so good for him that year. on day one, just hours after the rally began in New York City, Hayden’s car got stuck in second gear.

cue the ‘Little Nash Rambler‘ song…

he called a local towing service to drive him and the car the eight hours to Toronto, where the car was fixed and he was able to get back into the race. the tow truck driver didn’t know he was sitting next to Darth Vader until some members of the border patrol asked for his autograph. Hayden then graciously spoke to the driver’s two kids, who were Star Wars fans, over the telephone.

“he seemed like such a nice fellow, so down to earth. when I shook hands with him, I could feel the warmth.”

 

to learn more about what the Bullrun Rally was like, you can read the experiences of participants Nicholas Frankl (2005 rally) and Sam Mitani (2006 rally).

 

(video clips from Bullrun: Cops, Cars & Superstars 2/3)

villains, though.

“I think villains in general provide better, more epic romances because they’re allowed to go to extremes. they’re allowed to put their love over the greater good. they’re allowed to be selfish. the best a hero can offer you is number two, because their duty comes first. villains, though. villains will burn down the world for a last kiss goodbye.”

[source]

Virgin Territory

Virgin Territory is a 2007 romantic comedy that takes place in medieval Italy during the plague. it follows the love story of Lorenzo (Hayden Christensen) and Pampinea (Mischa Barton), who live in the same village, she being the daughter of a wealthy merchant and he being a bit of a rogue.

Lorenzo fancies the fair Pampinea but feels that she is out of his reach, while she secretly admires him but is engaged to a foreign Count, whom she has never met.  her father unexpectedly dies and Gerbino (Tim Roth), the local scoundrel, swoops in and tries to get control of her money by claiming that her father was in debt to him. Pampinea flees to a rural convent to hide from Gerbino and his nefarious advances. Meanwhile, Lorenzo has also run afoul of Gerbino and while on the run, happens upon a man at the side of the road who is carting a dead body. he learns that the body is that of the former gardener of the convent, who pretended to be deaf and mute, and in turn enjoyed his fair share of sexual exploits with the residents of the convent, under the assumption that he couldn’t divulge their scandalous actions. this sounds like a sweet deal to the devilishly good looking Lorenzo, so he hides from Gerbino in the convent while playing the same role as the deceitful former gardener.

Pampinea becomes aware that her secret crush is living in the convent with her and is less than thrilled with his behavior. she keeps her face hidden so that he doesn’t recognize her, as she witnesses just how often her beloved is sought out by the young nuns, and even the Mother Superior herself. Lorenzo is aware of the nun who always stays hidden behind her veil and doesn’t vie for his attention like the others, and is curious about her but continues with his exploits, until she comes to visit him in his quarters. she blindfolds him so that he can’t see who she is, and then she kisses him, leaving before he can recover his senses and remove the blindfold.

Lorenzo is greatly affected by the kiss, as is Pampinea which is why she can no longer watch him gallivant with the other women and so she reveals his true identity, getting him kicked out of the convent. they both end up back in the village again and over dinner with Pampinea in her father’s house, Lorenzo confesses his love for the unknown nun that he kissed at the convent. Pampinea is secretly pleased that the kiss affected him as much as it did her.

Gerbino shows up again and imprisons Lorenzo, forcing Pampinea into marriage with Gerbino in order to save Lorenzo. she agrees and Lorenzo leaves town, where he then meets the foreign Count (Matthew Rhys) who has come to marry Pampinea, unaware that the scoundrel Gerbino is forcing his intended to marry him instead. Lorenzo and the Count work together to defeat Gerbino with some swashbuckling sword play

and thus the original wedding is back on. only there’s been a bit of a mix up, with the Count mistaking Pampinea’s friend, whom he previously had a tryst with in the woods, for the woman he was engaged to. upon this discovery, Pampinea stops the wedding and runs after Lorenzo before he is able to leave, imploring him to agree to a kiss. he reluctantly accepts, holding steadfast to the notion that he is in love with the mystery nun. upon kissing Pampinea he realizes, with shock and awe, that she is the bearer of the unforgettable kiss.

 

The comedy in this film wandered into bawdy territory often, leaving me feeling like I should be rolling my eyes at the suggestive humor, but I found myself laughing more often than not. I greatly enjoyed the sword fighting (I happily spotted a few of Hayden’s Jedi moves in the choreography) and the insulting banter between Lorenzo and Gerbino.

I also found the narrating character of Tindaro (Craig Parkinson) amusing in his pretense as a priest. the plot included other characters who filled up a good portion of screen time but the most straightforward storyline was that of Lorenzo and Pampinea.

[fanvid that tells the story of Lorenzo & Pampinea]