Archive for the ‘swashbuckling’ Category
Filed Under disney, food, obama, pirates, space opera, submarines, swashbuckling
Yet more evidence that we made the right decision.
The Dashing Dozen
Bookgasm has Michael Chabon’s list of twelve books that influenced his Gentlemen of the Road swashbuckler. There’s some good readin’ on that list.
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of…
Via National Geographic. (I know. I’m surprised too.)
By Jodi Kurland.
Here’s a recipe for Pirate Soup.
And another one for Pirate Quesadillas.
Pappy has the tale.
Mickey Mouse and the Pirate Submarine
Via Golden Age Comic Book Stories.
And if that’s not enough Disney pirates for you
Check out Life’s Pirates of the Caribbean photos.
Filed Under perils on planet x, pirates, princess bride, scifi, swashbuckling, vampires, westerns
By Robert McGinnis. (There’s naked people in that link.)
Also by Robert McGinnis. (Everybody’s got clothes on in this one. And this one. And this one.)
The Princess Bride
By Doug Sirois.
Perils on Planet X
By Eduardo Barreto.
Filed Under dinosaurs, faeries, scifi, swashbuckling
I had a hard time picking one image from the Hollywood Animation Archive’s huge collection of paintings from Swedish Christmas annual, Bland Tomtar Och Troll. This one’s by John Bauer and I found it here, but really you need to browse at least here, here, and here as well.
Carson of Venus
By John Coleman Burroughs.
Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur
By Dan Boyd.
Filed Under fantasy, scifi, swashbuckling
Via Pulp of the Day, so I don’t know who painted it.
Updated: Christopher Mills, who would know, comments that “that cover painting’s by Roy G. Krenkel, a contemporary of Frank Frazetta and Al Williamson. And the author of the book, Otis Adelbert Kline, was probably Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most prolific and shameless imitator.”
Filed Under alexandre dumas, swashbuckling, three musketeers
It had been a while since I watched my copy of the Douglas Fairbanks version of The Three Musketeers, so when The Iron Mask showed up from Netflix I decided to watch it again. It’s also been a while since I read Dumas’ Three Musketeers, but I think I remember enough of it to compare.
Fairbanks is a brilliant D’Artagnan, who’s never been one of my favorite heroes. The literary D’Artagnan eventually grows into a character I don’t mind, but as he begins the book, he’s cocky, unduly arrogant, and quick-tempered. He also chases married women, but Dumas doesn’t portray that so much as D’Artagnan’s particular fault as it is a general failing in seventeenth century French morals. But regardless, D’Artagnan’s rather a lout and Fairbanks plays him perfectly as one.
The movie’s pretty faithful to what it includes of Dumas’ story. It leaves out a bunch of Milady de Winter’s backstory and focuses primarily on the intrigue of Richelieu and King Louis’s trying to catch Queen Anne in adultery with England’s Duke of Buckingham. Anne is portrayed as being loyal to her vows, but interested enough in Buckingham that she gives him a jeweled brooch as a remembrance. When Richelieu finds out, he has Louis demand that Anne wear the piece to an upcoming ball. Constance, Anne’s seamstress, happens to be D’Artagnan’s love interest and asks D’Artagnan to travel to England to retrieve the brooch in time for the ball. When Richelieu learns of Constance’s plan, he sends soldiers to hunt down D’Artagnan and the musketeers while Milady de Winter races to England to try to secure the brooch first.
Which is all more or less how the book goes except for — like I said — a lot of extra details and backstory. And Constance’s husband from the book becomes her uncle in the movie in order to make D’Artagnan not completely irredeemable. Nigel De Brulier is a perfect Richelieu, who manages to come off as simultaneously commanding and weaselly. Barbara La Marr is also suitably charming and dangerous as Milady, and Boyd Irwin is a wonderfully sinister Comte de Rochefort.
The action is all great, and like most of the really physical silent movies, you don’t appreciate how amazing the stunts and fights are unless you stop to think about what you’ve just seen. On the Iron Mask DVD are some outtakes of Fairbanks trying several times to make a particularly difficult jump. It’s a very cool scene in the movie, but the outtakes really drive home how fantastic it was.
My only complaint about the movie is that the ending is anti-climactic. I’m going to say why, so SPOILER WARNING for the rest of this paragraph. My recollection of the book is that Richelieu is thwarted by D’Artagnan and the musketeers, but through a combination of their own cunning and Louis’ protection, Richelieu can’t harm them or their co-conspirators. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that, but it doesn’t affect what I didn’t like about the movie, which is that Richelieu pretty much just concedes defeat and congratulates the good guys for outwitting him. The End. It actually sets up Richelieu’s characterization in The Iron Mask rather well, but it makes for a pretty lame ending to the first movie.
Four out of five scandalous affairs.
The first half of The Iron Mask pretty much picks up where the previous movie leaves off and fills in some of the backstory and completes some of the details from the novel that had been left out, especially the end of the novel and the resolution to the Milady storyline. At the same time, we get some setup for events that are going to take place in the last half of the movie, which is the Man in the Iron Mask plot.
I haven’t read Dumas’ version of the story, so all I have to compare it to is the 1998 version, which I love. I don’t know which is most faithful to the novel, but I like the ‘98 version better because of how it handles the twin brothers and their relationships with D’Artagnan. Also, the ‘98 version tells you a lot more about what Athos, Porthos, and Aramis have been up to since their military days. In The Iron Mask, they’re disbanded by Richelieu (played again by Nigel De Brulier) and inexplicably stay disbanded, even after Richelieu’s death, until D’Artagnan needs them, sends for them, and they show up for one last fight together.
SPOILER WARNING. The Iron Mask ends with the death of all four musketeers, which you’d think would be sad, but is done in a really uplifting, exciting way. D’Artagnan is the last to go and as everyone gathers around his body, his spirit joins those of the three musketeers as they encourage him to join them in continuing adventures in the afterlife. “The Beginning,” the end title says. And we believe it. END OF SPOILER.
I mentioned above that Richelieu’s character is played a bit differently in the second movie , so I’ll finish by explaining that. In Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and pretty much every movie version I’ve seen, Richelieu is a slimy and conniving, but dangerous enemy. His motivation is that he wants to rule France from behind the king. He wants to be in charge and we aren’t told that that’s for any other reason than that he’s a megalomaniac.
I don’t know if he changes through the course of Dumas’ novels, but I really like that The Iron Mask adds another dimension to him. According to this movie, he’s motivated not by his love for power, but by his love for France and his realization that Louis isn’t strong enough to rule adequately on his own. Louis’ bound to be influenced by someone and Richelieu wants it to be by a patriot rather than a foreigner like Anne. Every ruthless thing Richelieu does is for the good of the country and we suspect that even D’Artagnan starts to see that in his later years. It also explains why Richelieu didn’t take revenge on D’Artagnan and Company at the end of the first movie: it wouldn’t have benefited France to lose four such capable men, who were patriots in their own right.
Oh, one more thing. The music in the Kino DVD of The Iron Mask is amazing. The Three Musketeers soundtrack is okay, but it feels a bit generic. The Iron Mask soundtrack was obviously scored particularly for the film and enhances the emotions of the film like you’d expect any good soundtrack to do. It even includes cymbal crashes when D’Artagnan breaks through windows.
Four out of five secret entrances to hidden castle prisons.
Filed Under alexandre dumas, giant robots, green hornet, jesse james, swashbuckling, wonder woman, zorro
Kill All Monsters!-Related
Dude changed his middle name to Megatron.
Dust to Dust-Related
This looks like old news, but apparently Barry Upton and Sam Snape are writing a Jesse James musical.
Today would’ve been Alexandre Dumas’ 205th birthday. Happy Musketeer Day!
When I first heard about Dynamite’s doing a Zorro comic, I had mixed feelings. A Zorro comic should be cool, but I was never able to get into Topps’ attempt at it (though they did have some awesome covers). Of course, Topps didn’t have Matt Wagner writing it.
If you’re having a hard time picturing Seth Rogen as Green Hornet you might like this short, fan film version better. It was made by French guys, but it’s in English. (Thanks to Kevin Melrose for the link.)
Writer Carl Ellsworth and director D.J. Caruso, aka the guys responsible for Disturbia, have been hired to also write and direct the Y: The Last Man movie.
Today is also Lynda Carter’s birthday. According to Wikipedia, she’s 56. Happy Birthday, Wonder Woman!
Filed Under fantastic four, pirates, sabatini, superheroes, swashbuckling
I’m a lazy blogger this week. Mainly I’ve been spending my free time (what little there’s been of it) trying to catch up on news from last week as well as keeping up with my responsibilities to Comic World News and Newsarama.
Couple of things you might be interested in though, as far as those sites are concerned. I did an interview with comics writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti for CWN. He’s one of the creators of the Painkiller Jane comic that’s now become a TV series at the Sci Fi Channel, and he also wrote tomorrow night’s episode (titled “The League”) of the show. So, we talked about that and a ton of other stuff. Fun interview.
If you’re into adventure comics at all, I wrote a review of Graphic Classics, Vol. 13: Rafael Sabatini for Newsarama. There’s even some art from it for you to look at.
What else? I’ve deliberately spared you my thoughts on the Fantastic Four movie, but no longer. Like I said, I’m feeling lazy and this’ll be easy to write about, if not particularly insightful.
My hopes for it went from “high” after seeing the trailers to “dashed” after hearing the initial reviews and learning how Galactus was going to be portrayed. Even with dashed hopes though, I still managed to end up disappointed thanks to several factors. Like the movie’s heroes not contributing to the resolution of the plot in any meaningful way. Or Doctor Doom’s squeaky-voiced reappearance, the incredibly annoying general, and the general’s inexplicable desire to let Doom do whatever the hell he wanted even though he didn’t help out the least little bit. “You’re not producing results, Dr. Richards, so we’re bringing in Doom. No, he’s not going to actually help or even appear in any scenes with you. He’s just going to disappear for a while until he needs access to a deadly weapon that he shouldn’t be allowed in the same country with and we’re going to let him have it out of gratitude for his — I dunno — just hanging around, I guess.”
And, oh yeah, Jessica Alba’s generally looking creepy.
If you want to make Sue Storm Latina, make her Latina. I don’t care. You can even make her a Latina who dyes her hair blonde. That’s cool too. But they went way out of their way to hide her ethnicity with those unnaturally blue eyes and it didn’t work. It makes Sue look either fake or really ashamed of her heritage. I mean, they didn’t try to make up Michael Clarke Duncan to look white in Daredevil, so why is Sue Storm any different? (And don’t tell me it was because the actor who plays her brother is white. There’s all sorts of ways around that.)
But I could have overlooked all of that for a shot of something that looked like this. Actually, I’d have even settled for this. (Thanks to Jamie Baker for those.)
But, no. We got the freakin’ Weather Channel.