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Aislynn Crowdaughter

Hi, AuronLu! :)

It was a good film, although like Jackson's ROTK, I felt that it leaned so heavily on CGI battle sequences that secondary characters, subplot, and meaningful character interactions scenes were nearly lost. After it was over, my first impression was, "My Trek is dead." Mind you, Voyager and Enterprise didn't really work for me, but there were still glimmers of the original Trek I grew up with. (Saturday morning cartoons, anyone?) The reboot feels to me as if the heart and soul of Trek is changed. It feels like "young cast of hotshot ssuperheroes/s renegades saving the galaxy."

Yes, that was my objection to the movie, too. It was fun, it was time for a reboot, the new actors gave it a fresh element - but the soul of Trek is changed, and it feels like the old Star Trek universe I loved is dead. I was a huge fan of Star Trek - TOS, and I liked TNG, Deep Space Nine, and even Voyager (although I thought the concept was pretty wasted by getting the conflict potential between the Maquis crew and Fleet crew stopped at the outset). This - does not feel like Star Trk to me, anymore.

(Then again, the Enterprise series with Scott Bakula did not feel like Star Trek to me, either. I loved him in Quantum Leap, but as Star Trek captain...? Um.)

Thank you for the link to the fan-series, Auron. I shall check those out! :)

ACTING. 101. With. Walter Koenig?!!! Of course, the course catalog had listed the instructor as W. Koenig with no explanation, and the listing was buried in the depths of a hundred-page xeroxed summary of classes. Who would notice? Why did they not mention this in the paper? Possibly I am the only person who would recognize the name, but day-um. I would've taken that class, if nothing else to help with public speaking. Not because he was a Star Trek actor, but because of how much he improved since his Checkov days. His villain role on Babylon 5 was incredible.

Word. When Koening first appeared on B5, I was thinking: what does Checkow do on the Babylon Station?

Now, when I see a Star Trek movie with him, I am thinking: What the hell is Bester doing on board of the Enterprise? Is that sort of a secret Telepath Corps scheme? He was that convincing to me. XD

Now, Acting 101 with W. Shatner -- I'd pay for that! ;)

With the old Shatner. The young always just played himself, I fear.

8/27/2009 #61
hixto

(Then again, the Enterprise series with Scott Bakula did not feel like Star Trek to me, either. I loved him in Quantum Leap, but as Star Trek captain...? Um.)

I had really hoped Enterprise would be able to capture the old magic by going back to the beginning, but I didn't watch more than a couple of episodes. There was no spark there. At least the new movie had that spark.

On another note I saw The Hurt Locker yesterday. It's about a group of soldiers on bomb squad duty in Iraq. It's very powerful and very moving.

8/29/2009 #62
Telcontar Rulz

I didn't see it at the movies and I hope DVD recommendations are all right for this thread.

I just saw Australia and I loved it. The atmosphere was almost fantastical, even though it is set in a real life setting with true historical background, and it was beautifully shot. The acting was wonderful too and the story was touching. Set in Australia at the end of WWII, it's about an upper class English woman who goes off to Australia to bring her husband back and to sell his cattle station. However, when she arrives, she finds out that he's been murdered and his rival was trying to buy his station for a fraction of the price. She resolves to bring the station back to life, but she'd just fired her manager and all the men went with him. Therefore, she strikes up an unlikely alliance with a man known only as 'The Drover' and together with some friends of theirs, they set out, herding over a thousand cattle across Australia to sell them to the British army and break her rival's monopoly in the cattle business. Meanwhile, the Japanese are turning their attentions Downunder.

Here's the trailer.

9/26/2009 #63
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

For Morthoron and anyone else who wants to talk about pretty actors and great films.

'The Lion in Winter' is an acting tour de force. Anyone who says a movie that is 99% dialogue is boring should be required to see this. The verbal sparring between Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn is superb: wicked, humorous and sometimes vicious to the point of being appalling. One of my top 100 movies of all time (and yes, I have a list somewhere).

Let's take this to the Movie thread, because I've seen The Lion in Winter in the theaters, loved it to pieces, and then watched it recently on a video and found it a little bit dated.

Oh, sorry, back to the current philosophical topic, for which I have no interest. ;p

Whereas, I really like talking about movies myself.

As I said, I watched the movie some forty years later and found it just slightly overblown and stagy. Am I correct that it was adapted from a stage play? In a film, you really don't have to play to the balcony.

10/22/2009 #64
Reader's Corner

I watched The lion in winter a few months back- had to read Wiki to understand the reference and history as the movie had left me curious but didn't cover the details about what had happnned to these guys eventually...

Yes. it was theatrical. And no I don't want to see it again. Nothing against the movie itself but, the characters annoyed me- I suspect on sme personal level... I would never want to be part of such a family ever, even if I have to jump from 12th story to escape them.

10/23/2009 #65
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I watched The lion in winter a few months back- had to read Wiki to understand the reference and history as the movie had left me curious but didn't cover the details about what had happnned to these guys eventually...

So it did with me, although I had a pretty good idea about what happened with Richard and John. Anyone who has watched a Robin Hood movie knows all about that. Although anyone who has studied knows that Richard was hardly the hero and John was hardly the villain popular fiction and film have painted them to be.

Yes. it was theatrical. And no I don't want to see it again. Nothing against the movie itself but, the characters annoyed me- I suspect on sme personal level... I would never want to be part of such a family ever, even if I have to jump from 12th story to escape them.

I think the problem was that they all were in love with their own wit too much -- and some very serious things were trivialised. At the end Henry waves goodbye to Eleanor with a wink as if there's was just the greatest love story ever and all is forgiven. Oh, aren't we a whacky but ultimately lovable bunch!

I will say that the history of that family does read like a soap opera just on the bare facts. And if I made a list of famous people from history I'd like to have dinner with, Eleanor of Aquitaine would be very high on the list.

10/23/2009 #66
Reader's Corner

and some very serious things were trivialised.

Yes. It irked me.

At the end Henry waves goodbye to Eleanor with a wink as if there's was just the greatest love story ever and all is forgiven.

I don't even want to comment. I think you understand why.

I'm not much familiar with western history. I read story of Robinhood and as well as Ivanhoe and a bunch of other Walter Scot novels. But, I keep forgetting the details or notes given at the end of the novel.

10/23/2009 . Edited 10/23/2009 #67
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I'm not much familiar with western history. I read story of Robinhood and as well as Ivanhoe and a bunch of other Walter Scot novels. But, I keep forgetting the details or notes given at the end of the novel.

The familiar story is that while the brave King Richard went off to fight in the Crusades, his greedy and tyrannical brother John, as regent, taxed and oppressed England. The truth of it was that John, on Richard's orders, got the money to pay for Richard's adventures. This led to a revolt by the English nobles and the signing of the Magna Carta.

10/23/2009 #68
Aislynn Crowdaughter

As I said, I watched the movie some forty years later and found it just slightly overblown and stagy. Am I correct that it was adapted from a stage play? In a film, you really don't have to play to the balcony.

It is adapted from a stage play, and it also gives a very good idea about that certain family. And being familiar (and fascinated) with the history of the Plantagenets of that time, I loved the movie to pieces when I first saw it, and still love it a lot whenever I see it again.

I never saw it on the big screen, though.

So it did with me, although I had a pretty good idea about what happened with Richard and John. Anyone who has watched a Robin Hood movie knows all about that. Although anyone who has studied knows that Richard was hardly the hero and John was hardly the villain popular fiction and film have painted them to be.

He isn't the popular hero in that movie, either. Nor is Henry. Or Eleanor. I studied the history of the Plantagenets of that time as part of my university exams, although that has been a long time ago, now. Still, it was quite interesting.

But oh, Katherine Hepburn as Eleanor was simply breathtaking! She is a marvelous actress. Always was.

I think the problem was that they all were in love with their own wit too much -- and some very serious things were trivialized. At the end Henry waves goodbye to Eleanor with a wink as if there's was just the greatest love story ever and all is forgiven.

The problem of the Plantagenets were that they were always their own worst enemies, and most of them far too power-hungry for their own good. I think the portrait given in the movie, while a little exaggerated and over-dramatical, was quite to the point. :)*

*Disclaimer: I mean, to the point in how the family used to plot and fight against each other, not necessarily in the historical truth of the events in that play as such, of course.

10/23/2009 . Edited 10/23/2009 #69
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

He isn't the popular hero in that movie, either. Nor is Henry. Or Eleanor.

I kind of like Eleanor. One of the very few women of that time with actual power in her own right. And she used it.

10/23/2009 #70
Aislynn Crowdaughter

I kind of like Eleanor. One of the very few women of that time with actual power in her own right. And she used it.

Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of the most interesting women of the High Middle Ages (that we know of, and who have not been vandalized too much by the sources). She is significant not only because she was first queen of Fance, then England, and pretty actively making politics herself, but also, because she had quite a head and used it, too. She's fascinating.

10/23/2009 #71
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

So far as I know, Eleanor of Aquitaine is the only woman to have been 'first lady' of two different countries. This was mentioned when Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis and there was talk of him becoming Prime Minister (?) of Greece. That would have made Jackie Oh the second, although it never happened.

She certainly didn't knuckle under to the norms of the day, but then again, being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she didn't have to. I still get a smile when I listen to Carmina Burana and hear that line about how the singer would be a happy man 'if only the Queen of England would lie in my arms'. Yes indeed -- that was written about Eleanor.

10/23/2009 #72
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Granted. And I am a big fan of Eleanor, myself. Still, for great women of the middle Ages, there is also her husband Henry II's mother, Empress Mathilde, who wasn't going quietly when her cousin Stephen of Blois usurped the English Throne from her, who was the only living child of former King Henry I, and the legitimate heiress. She is excluded of the list of English monarchs, because her rukle was brief and contested and England ended in a time of civil war; but she was first the co-ruler by marriage of the Holy Roman Empire, and then of England in her own right.

150 years earlier we have Theophanu, who seemed every bit as strong-headed and ruled the Holy Roman Empire for her son for about eight years. And I am sure there are other examples.

It seems, the Middle Ages had their share of outstanding women.

10/23/2009 #73
Clodia

Monarchic systems produce strong women in ways that other political systems don't, necessarily, because when power is held on a permanent basis by a single person or by only a very few people, those who influence the ruler(s) become very powerful; and if that power is transmitted on a dynastic basis, i.e. inherited by the offspring of those who originally held it purely on the basis of shared blood, there's no guarantee that the inheritees will be particularly strongminded themselves, or they may be minors, and in both cases those who can influence them become particularly powerful; or of course you may end up with no male heirs going and only a female to inherit.

/ my unresearched thoughts on monarchy

10/23/2009 . Edited 10/23/2009 #74
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

She is excluded of the list of English monarchs, because her rukle was brief and contested and England ended in a time of civil war;

That's why asking who was the first reigning queen of England is a trick question. You have Matilda who was the rightful monarch by never crowned, and you have Lady Jane Grey whose claim was dubious, although she had a coronation. Most people just answer Elizabeth I.

Remember how I said the history of the family was a soap opera? Matilda was very fond of her cousin Stephen and rather disliked her husband. She spent one Christmas in the court of her father in England -- Stephen was there -- and then suddenly went meekly home to her husband in Anjou, where Henry was born not long after.

Later, when Henry went to war against Stephen, Matilda made some cryptic remarks about fathers not killing sons and vice versa. I'm not pulling this out of thin air -- Thomas Costain says the Plantagenet dynasty was over before it ever even started.

10/23/2009 #75
Clodia

That's why asking who was the first reigning queen of England is a trick question. You have Matilda who was the rightful monarch by never crowned, and you have Lady Jane Grey whose claim was dubious, although she had a coronation. Most people just answer Elizabeth I.

It certainly wasn't Elizabeth I. She succeeded Mary...

(Anyway, claim is always dubious when you're talking about thrones. The real test is who holds the damn thing longer than a year or so, and preferably passes it on to the successor of choice.)

10/23/2009 #76
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

It certainly wasn't Elizabeth I. She succeeded Mary...

Oh, crap -- and it's not like I didn't know that perfectly well. :(

10/23/2009 #77
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

(Anyway, claim is always dubious when you're talking about thrones. The real test is who holds the damn thing longer than a year or so, and preferably passes it on to the successor of choice.)

Well, Matilda couldn't hold it, probably because of the sexism of the time, but she seems to have gotten her successor of choice. As for Mary -- I think she'd rather have left it to Lucifer than to Elizabeth, but she had no say.

10/23/2009 #78
Clodia

Well, passing the throne on to the preferred successor is only optional, really. It's the extended period of reigning that's really important.

10/23/2009 #79
Aislynn Crowdaughter

So, back to movies: how did you like "Elizabeth" and "Elizabeth - The Golden Age"? And how would you think it compares with Elizabeth's portraits in other movies about her rule or about the time?

10/23/2009 #80
Clodia

Unfortunately I saw 'Elizabeth' while I was actually studying Elizabeth I for A Levels and that is never a good idea. The film itself didn't leave a terribly memorable impression, except that it was all wrong, and I never saw the second one.

10/23/2009 #81
Gogol

I only saw Elizabeth, I think. Or maybe it was Elizabeth - The Golden Age without having seen Elizabeth. Either way I distinctly recall being horrified by all the romance.

10/23/2009 #82
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

So, back to movies: how did you like "Elizabeth" and "Elizabeth - The Golden Age"? And how would you think it compares with Elizabeth's portraits in other movies about her rule or about the time?

I never saw either. The last one I saw was Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson. That shows you how much I get out. LOL

10/23/2009 #83
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Well, I saw both movies with Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth, but I cannot recall the other movies I had seen about her. Except there was one I saw when I was a teenager in which Elizabeth was especially romantically involved with Robert Dudley, and somehow, that made a big impression on me, at the time. ;-P

It's probably historically pretty inaccurate, too, but at the time I did not know that.

The last one I saw was Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson.

I fear I don't know that one...

10/23/2009 #84
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

one I saw when I was a teenager in which Elizabeth was especially romantically involved with Robert Dudley, and somehow, that made a big impression on me, at the time. ;-P

Well, she kind of was. There was talk.

The last one I saw was Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson.

I fear I don't know that one...

BBC TV production. It was very good.

10/23/2009 #85
Morthoron

I think the problem was that they all were in love with their own wit too much -- and some very serious things were trivialised. At the end Henry waves goodbye to Eleanor with a wink as if there's was just the greatest love story ever and all is forgiven. Oh, aren't we a whacky but ultimately lovable bunch!

I will say that the history of that family does read like a soap opera just on the bare facts. And if I made a list of famous people from history I'd like to have dinner with, Eleanor of Aquitaine would be very high on the list.

What you have to understand is that there was a streak of lunacy going through the whole line of Plantagenets (that whole inbreeding thing), and indeed Henry II warred with his sons together and separately (Geoffrey was the only son in attendance at Henry's death, which gives you an idea of the dysfunctionality of the family). Imagine a Christmas with the family when they are all indeed conspiring one against the other, with, for and against their mother and/or father, and with or against the King of France. This is what actually happened, save writ in small and in one space of time. As far as Peter O'Toole's portrayal of Henry II, I don't believe anyone could do better; in fact, O'Toole played him twice (as a youthful version of Henry in another great film, 'Becket'). Henry II was an immensely energetic and warlike figure, with a mean streak a mile long (he thumbed his nose at the Pope, and had his archbishop, Beckett, assassinated -- this was amazingly brash in an age when excommunication was disastrous for a ruler). Henry II was eventually defeated by his son, Richard (soon to be Richard I, the Lionheart) and his ally (and purported lover) King Phillip of France.

On his deathbed, with his illegitimate son Geofrey as his only comfort, Henry said that his supposed true-born children 'were the real bastards'. I think the movie portrays this very well, and the film supported the 'Angevin curse', and the 'Plantagenet madness' quite succinctly and with marvelous wit and acidity. In any case, Henry II was one of the few Plantagenets who were actually successful rulers, in addition to Edward I (Longshanks of 'Braveheart') and perhaps Henry V. The rest are a mixed bag of tempestuous warriors (Richard I, who spent perhaps a decade actually ruling in England, Edward III, who squandered great victories at Crecy and Poitiers, and was mentally unstable for much of his later reign, and Henry IV, who eventually succumbed to leprosy and epilepsy), mental misfits (Richard II and Henry VI), and incompetent or detested rulers (John, Edward II, Richard III). This was no normal family -- they assasinated each other, fought wars against each other, and switched sides more often than children playing tag ("No, you're it!"); ergo, the film portrayed a family Christmas that was more an early version of the War of the Roses than a sentimental occasion like in 'It's a Wonderful Life'.

10/23/2009 #86
Morthoron

one I saw when I was a teenager in which Elizabeth was especially romantically involved with Robert Dudley, and somehow, that made a big impression on me, at the time. ;-P

Well, she kind of was. There was talk.

The last one I saw was Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson.

I fear I don't know that one...

BBC TV production. It was very good.

The best portrayals of Elzabeth I I've seen were Bette Davis in 'Elizabeth and Essex' and Judi Dench in 'Shakespeare in Love'. Both captured the imperious temperment of Elizabeth, and both had an aura of regal power that made them...ummm...downright frightening when in a rage; yet there was a pathos in both their portrayals that revealed vulnerability, sadness and loneliness. Blanchett was very good in her first go-round as Elizabeth as an unsure young princess, but the second film was very disappointing. Glenda Jackson just didn't have the spark that made Elizabeth one of the greatest queens in world history.

10/23/2009 #87
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

What you have to understand is that there was a streak of lunacy going through the whole line of Plantagenets (that whole inbreeding thing), and indeed Henry II warred with his sons together and separately (Geoffrey was the only son in attendance at Henry's death, which gives you an idea of the dysfunctionality of the family). Imagine a Christmas with the family when they are all indeed conspiring one against the other, with, for and against their mother and/or father, and with or against the King of France. This is what actually happened, save writ in small and in one space of time. As far as Peter O'Toole's portrayal of Henry II, I don't believe anyone could do better; in fact, O'Toole played him twice (as a youthful version of Henry in another great film, 'Becket'). Henry II was an immensely energetic and warlike figure, with a mean streak a mile long (he thumbed his nose at the Pope, and had his archbishop, Beckett, assassinated -- this was amazingly brash in an age when excommunication was disastrous for a ruler). Henry II was eventually defeated by his son, Richard (soon to be Richard I, the Lionheart) and his ally (and purported lover) King Phillip of France.

Oh, I had no problem with the behavior exhibited in the movie -- they did all of that and more. It was the 'dialog as exposition' which naturally seems to happen in stage plays (and I struggle to move away from in my own fiction) which in places verged on the pretentious: "The night is pocked with stars!" At eighteen, I just thought it was the wittiest thing ever (and it is if you like that Noel Coward stuff) but in my old age I've drifted toward the appreciation of subtlety. That said, I loved the BBC version of I, Claudius, which was pretty over the top too. So go figure!

Interestingly, The Lion in Winter hinted at Richard's homosexuality and his relationship with Philip, but played it down somewhat.

10/24/2009 #88
Morthoron

At eighteen, I just thought it was the wittiest thing ever (and it is if you like that Noel Coward stuff) but in my old age I've drifted toward the appreciation of subtlety.

It is the script and the delivery that intrigues me, whether it's a play that has been filmed, or a film that never escaped the stage. There are more great one-liners in one five minute dialogue sequence than most movies have in their entire script. And Katherine Hepburn certainly was worthy of the Oscar she won. Who else could utter a line like: "I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn -- but the troops were dazzled." And give it such flair and believability? It is one of those screenplays that I mumble enviously, "Damn, I wished I wrote that." "Amadeus" would be another.

Interestingly, The Lion in Winter hinted at Richard's homosexuality and his relationship with Philip, but played it down somewhat.

For a movie made in 1968, it was quite blatant:

King Phillip: What's the official line on sodomy? How stands the crown on boys who do with boys?

King Henry: Richard finds his way into so many legends.

King Phillip: Let's hear yours and see how it compares. He found me first when I was sixteen. We were hunting. My horse fell, I was thrown. It was nearly dark. I woke to Richard touching me. He asked me if I loved him, "Philip, do you love me?" And I told him, "yes. " Do you know why I told him yes? So that one day I could tell you all about it. You cannot imagine what that "yes" cost. Imagine snuggling to a chancred whore...and bending back your lips into something like a smile, saying, "yes, I love you, and I find you...beautiful. "

On review, there is no hidden messages or coded winks at all, is there?

10/25/2009 . Edited 10/25/2009 #89
Aislynn Crowdaughter

On review, there is no hidden messages or coded winks at all, is there?

Just the one that Philipp claims it was one-sided... BTW, that scene always drive a cold down my skin, knowing that Richard is hiding behind that curtain and Philip hurts him deliberately. :(

10/25/2009 #90
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