Archive for the ‘historical’ Category
Filed Under bond, chuck, george sanders, historical, nazis, robert ludlum
James Bond will return
Lots of Bond news lately.
Penguin Books has a whole site devoted to the various Bond novels they’re releasing and re-releasing this year for Ian Fleming’s 100th birthday.
London’s Imperial War Museum is currently running an Ian Fleming exhibit.
USA Today did a feature on Quantum of Solace that I’m not going to read for fear of spoilers. There are a lot of cool pictures there though.
And there are even more cool Quantum pics at Slashfilm.
I didn’t even know there’d been an alternate theme song to Never Say Never Again considered, but Christopher Mills has the link to prove it. I have to respectfully disagree with Chris though: I think I prefer the version that made it into the movie. It’s definitely not one of my favorite Bond themes, but it’s grown on me.
Chuck will return too
When Chuck returns in the fall, it’ll be part of a three-hour genre block on Monday nights with Heroes and Medium. Not that I’ll be watching Heroes or Medium.
And if you don’t want to wait that long (I sure don’t), there will be some short webisodes in July.
Bookgasm has the skinny on a novel about a history professor/cryptographer who begins to investigate a murder and ends up learning some secrets about Christopher Columbus. It sounds very Da Vinci Codey, but the Columbus angle intrigues me.
Man Hunt DVD
Fritz Lang’s WWII spy movie Man Hunt is coming to DVD. Just knowing it’s a WWII spy movie is enough to catch my interest, but having George Sanders in it makes it a Must See.
More Ludlum movies
Denzel Washington is all set to play the spy in the next Robert Ludlum series to hit the screen, starting with The Matarese Circle.
Filed Under historical
This was the first time I’ve seen Elizabeth since seeing it in the theater ten years ago. I bought it back in the day because Geoffrey Rush as Walsingham is one of the coolest characters I’ve ever seen. I just love the idea of the guy who’s willing to get himself filthy dirty to protect someone who needs to remain pure. In this case, it’s his queen and country — he’s James Bond in a frilly collar — but it doesn’t have to work exactly that way and I’m thinking I’ll steal the idea for something of my own.
I also bought the movie because it’s kind of a sequel to Lady Jane, which — like I said — is one of my favorites. The reason I haven’t watched my copy before now is that I got distracted with other things and never felt like I had the time for the double-feature I thought would be fun to try. The release of Elizabeth: The Golden Age gave me the excuse though, so here we are.
And I’m glad I did it. I like making historical connections like how Joseph Fiennes’ character in Elizabeth is the older brother of Cary Elwes’ character in Lady Jane. It was also cool to see connecting plots like Philip II’s wooing Mary in Lady Jane and then attempting the same thing again with Elizabeth after Mary died.
And there are also connecting themes. Like Jane, Elizabeth really wants to be a good, moral queen and do the right thing for her subjects. Fortunately for Elizabeth, unlike Jane, she has some powerful supporters like Walsingham who are going to make sure she gets a fair shot at it.
Even cooler than all that though was realizing that the two major villains in Elizabeth were played by Doctor Who and James Bond. I didn’t know who Christopher Eccleston and Daniel Craig were ten years ago, but if I had, I would’ve been a lot more worried for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth isn’t an historically accurate film, but it is a fun one with all its intrigue and machinations. It’s a pleasure watching Walsingham be three steps ahead of everyone else, especially the sinister Mary Guise up there in Scotland. Unfortunately, Elizabeth: The Golden Age doesn’t have any of that going for it.
It does have Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh, which is awesome, but the story as a whole is a lot darker and disjointed, probably because that’s Elizabeth’s mood for most of it. Elizabeth is about the queen’s becoming accepted by England’s leadership as a viable monarch. In The Golden Age, she has to prove it to her people and the rest of Europe and the effort nearly drives her nuts.
She’s in love with Raleigh and he seems to dig her too, but she can’t have him. Even if he were a realistic suitor, she’s sworn off men, claiming to be “married to England.” But when Raleigh’s attentions turn towards one of Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting, the queen can’t handle it. She’s so trapped in a situation of her own making though that I couldn’t feel sorry for her. I was forced to pity her instead and I didn’t like that after the clever, pleasant, honorable ruler from the first film.
Still, The Golden Age has its moments. Walsingham, though older and more frail, is still a man you don’t want to screw around with (although he makes mistakes in this one that made me sad). The depiction of the Spanish Armada is also impressive and I love the scene with Elizabeth addressing her troops in full armor and long hair flowing. I just wish the whole movie could’ve been like that and included more Clive Owen swinging on ship’s rigging.
Elizabeth gets four out of five killer priests.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age gets two out of five fire ships.
Filed Under historical
Elizabeth: The Golden Age recently showed up from Netflix, but it’s been a while since I’d seen Elizabeth, so I decided to watch that again first. But as the credits were rolling on that, I remembered that I’ve long wanted to do a Lady Jane/Elizabeth double feature since Jane ends with Bloody Mary’s taking power and Elizabeth begins with her losing it. So, I stopped Elizabeth –to the patient indulgence of my wife — and popped in Lady Jane.
I discovered Lady Jane shortly after seeing A Room with a View and becoming obsessed with Helena Bonham Carter. Much to my pleasure, it not only featured prominent roles by Captain Picard and the Dread Pirate Wesley, but it’s a damn fine story to boot.
It has to do with the aftermath of Henry VIII’s reign. Henry of course created the Church of England when the Roman Catholics refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so’s he could marry Natalie Portman. A lot of noblefolk liked that arrangement because it meant they got to keep a lot of land and treasure that used to belong to the Church. So, when Henry died, it behooved the nobility to try to keep the new religion going.
Henry’s son by his third wife was Edward VI (I’m sorry if you don’t find this fascinating, but I really do), but unfortunately Edward was a sick kid and not a long-term solution. The nobility (represented in the movie by John Wood as Edward’s regent, the Duke of Northumberland) kept Edward alive long enough to figure out a way to keep Mary (Henry’s daughter by Catherine of Aragon) off the throne because she was a Catholic and would give the monks and peasants back all their stuff. Elizabeth — as the movie tells it anyway — was never considered because she was the illegitimate daughter of the “traitor” Anne Boleyn. Historically, I think Elizabeth wasn’t considered by Northumberland because she was only moderately Protestant, but Lady Jane really just skips past her without thinking about her too much.
Henry’s niece, Lady Frances, was next in line to the throne, but the movie suggests that she abdicated her right to her daughter Jane because Frances was unable to produce any sons that would solidfy the Protestant rule.
Okay, that’s a lot of history and I’m sorry if it bores you. But if you’re still reading, here’s the deal on Lady Jane. It’s wonderfully acted, very funny in parts (especially Cary Elwes as Jane’s at-first involuntary husband), and covers some amazing themes. It becomes a romance as Jane and her husband fall in love with each other, but the real story is about being willing to sacrifice for what you believe in.
Jane is a Protestant, but she’s not at all like the hypocritical nobility around her. She truly believes that the Catholic Church is corrupt and wrong and is willing to go to great lengths to save England from it. Same goes for her husband Guilford. I’d do the movie injustice to try to describe how this all plays out, so I’ll just say that it’s incredibly powerful and let that be that.
The movie also talks about how Jane and Guilford are two sides of the same coin and complete each other. Not in a sappy, romantic way, but as Jane is a great thinker while Guilford is all heart. They’re totally unprepared to rule the country, but they give it their best shot and make unpopular decisions based on their moral values and — whether you agree with their religious beliefs or not — you have to admire their courage. You really have to.
Lady Jane isn’t an adventure movie and doesn’t really belong here, but it is a wonderful movie and it nicely sets up Elizabeth, which is an adventure film, so that’s why I’m talking about it.
Five out of five Keiras.
Filed Under battlestar galactica, burn notice, chuck, fantasy, giant robots, grey's anatomy, historical, house, indiana jones, jericho, lost, men in trees, private practice, spiderwick chronicles, terminator
Indy’s hat and jacket
IndianaJones.com has a new featurette about Indy’s iconic look and trying to recreate it for the new movie.
Apparently, the teaser trailer for Indy and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be attached to The Spiderwick Chronicles when it hits theaters on Thursday. I also saw something on IndianaJones.com earlier today about the trailer’s TV and ‘net debuts, but I can’t find it now. Either I’ve gone stupid (entirely possible) or the info was released prematurely or is being changed. I’ll let you know which once I know.
Giant Robots are stupid.
According to TechRepublic.
Oh, wait. No, they’re not.
Says Jeremiah Tolbert.
Three Days to Never
According to Bookgasm, Tim Powers’ Three Days to Never contains all of my favorite things: “hidden histories … spirits, spies, talking disembodied heads, dybbuks, time travel, Charlie Chaplin’s quest for magical power, Albert Einstein’s secret doomsday device, and about a million other awesome things.” So totally sold.
Welcome back, TV.
With the WGA strike all but officially over, TV Guide has a new strike chart up predicting when we’ll start seeing new episodes of our favorite shows. Here are the ones that interest me:
Battlestar Galactica: Returns April 4 with first half of 20-episode final season. Production on second half could start as early as March. Airdate for those TBD.
The Big Bang Theory: Expected to shoot 5 to 7 new episodes to air in April/May.
Burn Notice: Production on Season 2 expected to get underway in late April. New episodes could start airing as early as July.
Chuck: No new episodes until fall.
Grey’s Anatomy: Expected to shoot 4 to 7 new episodes to air in April/May
House: Expected to shoot 4 to 6 new episodes to air in April/May.
Jericho: Seven episodes remain. No additional episodes expected for this season.
Lost: Six pre-strike episodes remain. Six additional episodes could air this season.
Men in Trees: Eleven pre-strike episodes remain. No additional episodes expected this season.
The Office: Expected to shoot 5 to 10 new episodes to air in April/May.
Private Practice: Slim chance it could return with 4 or 5 new episodes this season. Either way, it’ll be back in the fall.
Pushing Daisies: No new episodes until fall.
Scrubs: Four pre-strike episodes remain. Four additional episodes will likely be shot; unclear whether they’ll air on NBC or go straight to DVD.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Five pre-strike episodes remain. Future beyond that TBD.
Filed Under adventure, fantasy, firefly, historical, indiana jones, lord of the rings, robin hood, scifi, star wars, writing is hard
- Did you know that while you’re touring the Lord of the Rings locations in New Zealand, you can also stay in a Hobbit motel?
- I’ve already got Disney’s Peter Pan on DVD and don’t care enough about special features to buy it again, but even if I wanted to upgrade, I wouldn’t get this recent version. I’d wait for the next one. (By the way, even if you’re not interested in Pan, that last link is worth reading for confirmation that studios really are actively trying to make you buy the same film over and over again.)
- Did you know that while you’re touring Star Wars locations in Tunisia, you can also stay at the Lars farm?
- Not really scifi related, but Nathan Fillion (Firefly) has a new movie coming out where he gets to hit on Keri Russell (Felicity). Looks pretty good too.
Writing is Hard
- Miss Snark says, “Don’t ever talk about your novel to anyone socially until it’s published. Ever.” Then explains why. I wish I’d learned that lesson ten years ago. I still get the occasional, “How’s the novel coming?” To which I have to reply, “Which one? I’ve discarded and restarted so many over the years that I forget which one you know about.”
- More on how readers don’t know what they want.
Filed Under historical, mystery, to read
You know how I love the historical mysteries, right? Well, this one’s got a swashbuckling hero with connections to Ben Franklin, a cursed Egyptian medallion (won in a card game, no less), Gypsies, spies, scantily-clad women, murder, and world-hopping adventure. And it’s all wrapped up in a package that Publishers Weekly calls “unbeatable.”
Found via Bookgasm.