Asta 2

Memorial Weekend Update

I watched 'X-Men', the one that started it all, last night. I know my opinion of the 'The Last Stand' has been more positive than many people, but I think all three hold together fairly well as a trilogy. I can't wait until the DVD release to do a marathon.

Speaking of 'X', I have created a monster with my mother. I've lost count of how many phone calls I've received regarding her questions, theories and updates on box office totals. And she tries to argue her points with me. For example (non-spoilery version):

Mom: Maybe that was...
Me: No, it wasn't.
Mom: Why not?
Me: They don't have that power.
Mom: Are you sure?

Am *I* sure??? OK, maybe I don't want her to start watch 'Galactica' because things could get ugly.

Speaking of 'Galactica' (don't you love all the segues ;), I appear to be at the tweaking stage of my Lee/Laura Fixathon story. Which would put me, the great procrastinator, about three weeks ahead of schedule. It seems what inspires me most is fear. See, both me and my beta have vacations scheduled over the next three weeks, so it was get it done now or have a panic attack on June 16th.

This afternoon I *finally* cracked open my 'Hornblower' boxed set and watched the first two films, The Duel and The Fire Ships. I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone that when I first watched the films my focus was on Archie Kennedy. Now, watching the films for every aspect (I have some fic ideas and this is, in part, research), I found myself liking Horatio a lot more. Not that I disliked him, but I seem to have a growing affection for characters who beat themselves up, often undeservedly. Of course, I do have a hard time buying Horatio's one incredible success after another, but, hey, it's television. ;)

When I originally watched 'Mutiny' I had several issues with Horatio's choices, but when I get to that film again I'm going to keep Captain Keane's advice to Horatio in mind, "Obey orders, do your duty, and no harm will come to you." Being so young, impressionable, and placing so much trust in his superiors I have to believe these words stuck with him and, in some part, always played a role in later choices he made.

I think inlovewithnight has covered the WTF? moments in these films as well as anyone possibly could, but a few things in particular bug me in 'The Duel'. First, there is the infamous Simpson confrontation with Archie right before they leave to attack the French ship. Right before. So why the heck does it look like Simpson has every intention of starting his abuse of Archie again then and there? Did he think the jolly boat would just sit there and wait for them to show up?

I'm also still having trouble accepting that Simpson had the kind of power he did over them all while on the Justinian. It would have been six or seven against one people!

And in Simpson's final scene he says to Horatio, "I'm going to kill you like I did Clayton and your little pal Archie." To which Horatio replies, "Kennedy?" Was there another Archie? And why is he so shocked by Simpson's statement? I was under the impression he already believed Simpson was responsible for Archie being set adrift. Or when Simpson uses the word "kill" in context with Archie does he now think that he murdered him before cutting the boat loose?

Considering 'The Fire Ships' is Bamberless, I'm surprised that I enjoy this film as much as I do. Maybe, as lynnb mentioned to me, it's because we get so much focus on Horatio's character and you can see how much he's grown and matured between the two films. He's much more at ease with himself and comfortable with command. Compare how much more assured he is taking command here (and speaking back to a superior officers) than when he was given command of the supply ship in 'The Duel'. He's gotten so good in fact, he can suddenly speak and read French! ;)

We also see a more humorous side to Horatio, not counting the straw hat :p, when he says one of my favorite lines to Mr Tappling, "I would consider it my duty to help speed your release from this world."

If you noticed I did not post about this week's Doctor Who that should tell you something. I've seen people comment that they liked Rose this week, but I still had some major issues with her. First off, if you suspect the TV is playing a part in the disfigurement, then don't stare at it! And, secondly, I don't agree with her telling Tommy to go after his father. The guy was as an abusive jerk. Rose imposed her issues in telling the boy what to do. All she saw was *a* father. Pete's dead, move on already!

And The Wire annoyed the hell out of me. The whole "I'm hungry!" and "Feed me!" was done on 'Farscape' but much subtler and to sympathetic effect.
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To be perfectly honest, DW put me to sleep this week. Sad.

I also thought X3 was a lot of fun, if not even remotely as good as the first two in the series.
I think you have to compare X3 in terms of other summer blockbusters (Tha Davinci Code anyone?) and take into consideration that it is third in a series (Jaws 3D anyone?). If you do those two things, I think it comes off pretty well. Cold it have been better? Yes. But it could have been *a lot* worse.

At least bad DW I could mock, this was just bor-ing. And this series started off so well. I hope it returns to some sort of an arc soon.
You're the only person I quasi-know who is positive on the X3.

Dr. Who: I don't get it. Ok, they went back in time and just randomly saved all of London? What happened in the time-line before they went back, then? Wouldn't they have remembered some sort of disaster that had happened in the 50s before going? It's one thing when they did the Charles Dickins thing, where the crap going on only affected a small number of people, but.... I can forgive that sort of thing when it's a high drama episode like Tooth & Claw, but when it's a big danger + kinda boring, it gives you time to think about the stuff that doesn't add up.

Rose was *hot* when going on about the Union Jack; I think it's important for her to become as manic as the Dr. I'd like their personalities to be more like a crescendo rather than the familiar yin/yang thing that tv shows usually try to force.
You're the only person I quasi-know who is positive on the X3.

Well, I like to be different. :)

On someone else's LJ I mentioned that 'Who' may be paralleling BSG in that both had strong first seasons/series where each episode connected to every other in some way and built up to a big finale. Then we get second seasons that start out well and seem to be heading somewhere before giving us weird characterizations and standalone eps that seem disconnected from everything else.

The only other 'Who' ep I can think of where nearly everyone in London was affected by a change in history was the ep where Rose saves her father. But, if I remember correctly, once he sacrificed himself and died as he should have everyone forgets about the big flying monsters. I hate to say it, but the writing has seemed sloppier on the show lately.
Just passing through, but I had to chime in with the fact that I am also rewatching the Horatio DVDs! It's like we're the same person! I'm up to Dutchess and Devil. Ah, the love. I must mention that I have dubbed Mr. H's hat in Fire Ships "The Straw Hat of Sassiness." I kept saying that to Stinky over and over while we were watching. He has accepted Horatio as my Imaginary Boyfriend, so I'm quite pleased with the whole thing. I decided I needed some sass myself yesterday and wore my own Straw Hat of Sassiness to the pool. I amuse only myself.
YAY! to rewatching! I was hoping to get in TDatD this evening, but it's almost nine and 'Rescue Me' is on at ten so no such luck.

I love 'The Straw Hat of Sassiness'! It's a perfect description. :) He does seem to be much sassier and confidant (which is funny really because has he looked in a mirror? ;) when he is wearing the hat. And when he wears his dress uniform hat (sorry, no clue what it's really called), which is all messed up, he fails his lieutenants exam! I think there is a connection here.

And you don't just amuse yourself. ;-)
Because I was all about Mr. Bamber when first watching Horatio Hornblower, I never actually watched The Fire Ships, but I look forward to go going back to them someday. I also have to watch post-Retribution still. But there's no Archie, so I haven't been motivated yet.
I ended up watching 'The Fire Ships' originally because a) I happened to catch it when one of the A&E stations was rerunning the films last summer and b) I was curious as to the failures Horatio kept going on about on TDatD. I was shocked when I actually enjoyed it! And while I have issues with some of Horatio's actions in the next four films, I find him very likeable in this one.

Since some very generous and thoughtful people got me the boxed set ;), I'm watching the films in order this time and shall force myself to watch the last two Archie-less films in the series. I've heard they aren't particularly well written and Horatio comes off as an ass. Plus, he apparently has a wife?! That's just wrong!
I need to break open my boxed set for other than vidding purposes. Heh.

Plus, he apparently has a wife?! That's just wrong!

Yeah, that's what I hear, although I also hear that he doesn't love her. How could he, when the love of his life died for him?! Ahem.
You're giving me the yen to watch the HH movies again, not that I need any incentive ;)

I'm also still having trouble accepting that Simpson had the kind of power he did over them all while on the Justinian. It would have been six or seven against one people!

Oh God, yes! I can't believe they couldn't have ganged up on him, though except for Archie and to a degree, Clayton, the others were completely cowed, and by the time Horario came along, it was too late for them to show a backbone. Clayton did, for a minute, then folded.
I think I could have bought Simpson as a sadistic bully if either he was some big, intmidating looking guy or really smart and manipulative and he was neither. I mean, look at the muscle mass Jamie carries. One punch and Archie could have knocked Simpson out!

One thing I didn't mention originally is that Simpson seems to re-target Archie when he realizes that Horatio is 'lost' to him. Horatio has distinguished himself, is a favorite of the Captain, and has seen his confidance grow. Simpson can't touch him now, so he goes after the one he perceives as weak. I only wish Simpson had survived so Archie could kick is ass in 'Mutiny'. ;)
I think it was in a fic I read--the idea that the hold that Simpson has on the men is more a mental one, like that he knows ALL their dirty secrets (he says that in the show, I think). Perhaps he was blackmailing them all with the information. The fic had him privy to the fact that one of the LTs had a gambling debt/problem. I could believe that he knew things about them all and held it over their heads--he had to have some kind of leverage to get away with everything. His advantage was purely psychological.

All in all, I think he was a fabulous villian. Irredeemable from start to finish! No one else in the movies has been quite so black and white.
Simpson did make a comment to Horatio when he had him pinned to the table that he knew all of the Mids dirty little secrets and would find out Horatio's too. And I agree he most likely blackmailed the men to get what he wanted. It makes sense with Archie's remark about Simpson being able to take their clean clothes, get the best cuts of meat, extra liquor rations, etc. But there is also part of my brain that wonders why these men didn't arrange a little 'accident' for Simpson? I'm not suggesting they kill him, but something that would get him permantly out of their way. Of course, they could have feared he'd tell all from the infirmary.

And I recall reading a fic that shed light on how Simpson could have continued abusing Archie as he seemingly did. Basically, he had begun raping Archie at an early age and told him that if he told anyone they'd both hang. A scared child would easily believe that. As Archie got older, Simpson used shame to get Archie to keep his mouth shut as well as force him to continue submitting to him . The 'fits' started as a result of Archie's stress from having to keep this terrible secret. I also think Archie was chosen for that particular form of abuse because, unfortunately for him, he was the most attractive of the men.
There was some cute lines, especially by The Doctor. I think my favorite was when Rose says her mother went out with a sailor and The Doctor replies, "I bet she did."

And Hiiiiiii!!!!!!!