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MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


Just watched the movie and liked it! I'd agree that Stephen feels a bit off, but his skills as a surgeon and naturalist are shown off enough to get the point across. Crowe played Aubrey perfectly, and the casting for Killick was pretty spot on also. More than anything it's a great visual representation of life aboard a sailing ship and all the battle scenes were solid. Crowe and Bettany had pretty good chemistry, and it was fun to pick out which book this or that line of dialog was pulled from. The movie spent a bit too much time with the young midshipman who lost his arm but by the end I was wishing this had been successful enough to warrant sequels.

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PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Lockback posted:

It'll never happen though. You'd need to spend so much time on a boat to film what you'd want it'd be hugely impractical, and trying to cgi/fake it would look and feel really cheesy. The M&C movie had about 90 minutes on a boat, even an 8 episode season would need 4x that and battles would double what you'd need.
I imagine it's already been posted before, but reading this made me realize I was on... well the HMS Interceptor, in fact, and didn't have a chance to visit the Surprise when I was in town.

Raskolnikov2089 posted:

While Crowe/Bettany may not have been physically cast correctly, their chemistry on screen was such that I think they were perfect for the roles, and I picture them to some degree now as Aubrey and Maturin whenever I'm re-reading the series.
I still can't do it. Crowe just isn't right for the part. The 14--17 stone for starters, the general portrayal of Jack's attitudes. There were moments where it worked; I still watch the movie from time to time; but having Maximus portray a late 18th century British naval captain nicknamed "Goldilocks"... I'd expect a younger Richard Griffiths with long hair.

I admit to have forgotten my original mental image of Killick. I had probably read the series twice before the movie came out. Pullings seemed well cast.

Sax Solo
Feb 17, 2011



Even Jack's maximum 17 stone, 238 lbs, is not that overweight for a fit dude over 6'+. It's like Channing Tatum at prime movie weight +50 lbs. Jack's not really fat as much is Stephen is caustic and PoB English.

thekeeshman
Feb 21, 2007


Sax Solo posted:

Even Jack's maximum 17 stone, 238 lbs, is not that overweight for a fit dude over 6'+. It's like Channing Tatum at prime movie weight +50 lbs. Jack's not really fat as much is Stephen is caustic and PoB English.

Not that fat by today's standards maybe, but they're from an era where starving to death was common. Even being chubby meant you had plenty of food and a non-physical job.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


I have a mental image of Jack as the out-of-shape, in-shape guy. Like he's kinda pudgy but also he can scamper up the maintop as fast as the midshipmen and he's the best swimmer on the boat so he's still pretty in shape.

Crowe was way more buff and generally good looking than my minds eye but who cares. You should cast actors for their ability, not their looks and Crowe nailed the personality and presence of Aubrey. In particular the way he balanced the "I'm part of the crew but also separate from the crew".

uPen
Jan 25, 2010

Zu Rodina!

Everyone on that boat except for possibly Steven is just a mass of scars and holes. Pullings has a tiny scar on his face instead of such an enormous gash across his face that his jaw regularly dislocates itself if he talks too loud.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


Lockback posted:

I have a mental image of Jack as the out-of-shape, in-shape guy. Like he's kinda pudgy but also he can scamper up the maintop as fast as the midshipmen and he's the best swimmer on the boat so he's still pretty in shape.

Crowe was way more buff and generally good looking than my minds eye but who cares. You should cast actors for their ability, not their looks and Crowe nailed the personality and presence of Aubrey. In particular the way he balanced the "I'm part of the crew but also separate from the crew".

There are a couple instances where circumstances make Aubrey lose a bunch of weight - in Post-Captain and Desolation Island - so I'm fine picturing him on that end of the spectrum for the movie. I'm reading Treason's Harbor and watching the movie yesterday hasn't really affected my mental image of the characters but it has helped make the particulars of the ship a bit easier to visualize.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


If there was ever a time for this show to be a huge-budget HBO drama it's... well, not now in the pandemic, but it was after Game of Thrones wrapped for sure. With some adaptive editing the books even break down well to seasons of about 10 episodes each, maybe three per book:

1-3: Introduction, introduction of their romantic partners and their first feud, first major intercontinental voyage and then poor Stephen's heartbreak in the Canaries
(Skip 4, which I think puts Jack in a position of higher authority too soon and which I suspect is the result of O'Brien still not thinking he was going to spend the rest of his life writing these books)
5-6: Desolation Island and the Fortune of War are an obvious two-parter
7-9: European cruising
10: This could easily be a whole season
11-12: Fall from grace, then redemption

And 13 is the next one I need to read, which I understand kicks off a 5-book voyage.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Also speaking of the film, this paragraph which ends the New Yorker's review has stayed with me:

What the novels leave us with, and what emerges more fitfully from this film, as if in shafts of sunlight, is the growing realization that, although our existence is indisputably safer, softer, cleaner, and more dependable than the lives led by Captain Aubrey and his men, theirs were in some immeasurable way better—richer in possibility, and more regularly entrancing to the eye and spirit alike. As Stephen says of the Iliad, “The book is full of death, but oh so living.” Just so; if you died on board the Surprise, it would not be for want of having lived.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/...uling-the-waves

MrMojok
Jan 27, 2011



One thing I felt they changed in the film, was Jack's goofiness. In the books he's a hell of a tactician and sailor, but often fairly incompetent when it comes to actual non-naval relations to other human beings. Always sticking his foot in his mouth, whereas Crowe comes across as quite the debonair social butterfly, IMO.

Book Jack loves awful, awful puns, as an example. He does use one pun in the film, but it's a fantastic one.

I suspect these differences were due to the old Hollywood thing where A-list actor doesn't want to be written as a buffoon, you've got to make him an alpha in all ways.

MrMojok fucked around with this message at 08:06 on Aug 12, 2020

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


I figure that's more because the movie (wisely imo) takes place entirely at sea where Jack is in his element. I'm sure if they had made sequels we would have seen Jack getting swindled at cards or in crackpot investment schemes.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Since I'm the sheriff of this here forum, and since I know most people browse bookmarked these days, I'm going to abuse my mod powers to flog this month's book of the month here:

https://twitter.com/alloy_dr/status...2057544707?s=20

If you like Patrick O'Brian (historical fiction about male friendships and male homo-social environments) you'll probably also dig this, it's a classic.

Sax Solo
Feb 17, 2011



freebooter posted:

What the novels leave us with, and what emerges more fitfully from this film, as if in shafts of sunlight, is the growing realization that, although our existence is indisputably safer, softer, cleaner, and more dependable than the lives led by Captain Aubrey and his men, theirs were in some immeasurable way better—richer in possibility, and more regularly entrancing to the eye and spirit alike. As Stephen says of the Iliad, “The book is full of death, but oh so living.” Just so; if you died on board the Surprise, it would not be for want of having lived.

To me this is like.. the Big Lie of individualism, or romanticism, or something. It's a fine thing to believe, sure.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

Sax Solo posted:

To me this is like.. the Big Lie of individualism, or romanticism, or something. It's a fine thing to believe, sure.

Yeah, agreed. I'm not sure the foremast sailors would agree, especially the ones who were pressed. And even the officers would probably find a rich-rear end life in New York or London or wherever to be pretty compelling compared to the life they lived aboard ship.

There's a compelling and ancient pastoral myth that people removed from us in time were living the "real true life" and we're persisting in a shadow of it. You find versions of that idea as far back as ancient Greece, but I think it mainly reflects the fact that life is always stressful and uncertain and boring and we as humans always search for meaning, rather than any real historical differences.

I think it's interesting that a reviewer took that away from the books & movie, because the period equivalent was Rousseau's idea that life in its natural state is inherently more pure than life distorted by living in modern civilization, and that idea is a regular punching bag throughout the book. Maturin takes every opportunity he has to poo poo on it, and every proponent of Rousseau is shown to be both somewhat evil (in their willingness to use violence without considering its moral implications) and an idealist.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


I'm sure tales about life at sea are a millions times better than the actual life. It's sorta like a military career. The stores are great but because the tedium, cruelty, more tedium, arbitrariness, and tedium are all selectively edited out.

MeatwadIsGod posted:

I figure that's more because the movie (wisely imo) takes place entirely at sea where Jack is in his element. I'm sure if they had made sequels we would have seen Jack getting swindled at cards or in crackpot investment schemes.

Yeah, Jack IS pretty debonair during an officers dinner in general, especially his own officers. Though the movie did show him getting kinda drunk and did have him retell the Nelson "Pass the Salt" anecdote which is supposed to be highlighting his doofness.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Notahippie posted:

Yeah, agreed. I'm not sure the foremast sailors would agree, especially the ones who were pressed. And even the officers would probably find a rich-rear end life in New York or London or wherever to be pretty compelling compared to the life they lived aboard ship.

There's a compelling and ancient pastoral myth that people removed from us in time were living the "real true life" and we're persisting in a shadow of it. You find versions of that idea as far back as ancient Greece, but I think it mainly reflects the fact that life is always stressful and uncertain and boring and we as humans always search for meaning, rather than any real historical differences.

Maybe I'm interpreting it wrong but it's the "entrancing to the eye and spirit" line, I think, that resonates with me?

There's a beautifully written moment in Desolation Island when Maturin sees a blue whale surface alongside the ship just for a moment before diving again, and is utterly enchanted by it. And what struck me about that moment was that they're at the very edge of the charted world, in this cold and distant ocean, and for him to glimpse that as a naturalist is an opportunity he never in a million years could have dreamed of, let alone striven for or organised. Whereas I would go on school excursions as a kid to the maritime museum and see the big life-size plastic model of a blue whale and be like, yeah, whatever, big deal. I've gone whale watching. I've swum with a whale shark. It was great. But, you know, I can look up pictures of it whenever I want and read all about it on the internet. There's another wonderful moment in The Reverse of the Medal, I think, when someone is describing a balloon flight to Maturin, who's enraptured. And it's because O'Brien is such a brilliantly descriptive writer that it works, but also because it throws into contrast how miraculous human flight is when we today take it utterly for granted.

Now it sounds like I'm romanticising the past which isn't what I meant to do... I guess you're right. I am searching for meaning, and romanticising the past.

Phenotype
Jul 24, 2007

You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.



freebooter posted:

Now it sounds like I'm romanticising the past which isn't what I meant to do... I guess you're right. I am searching for meaning, and romanticising the past.

Well, that's the draw of books like this. I don't actually want to spend months sleeping four hours at a time and climbing a hundred feet up in the rain to pull on a rope, but I would like to have that experience of stepping off the ship in a mysterious unknown foreign land filled with people we barely understand and creatures we've never seen.

I can take a plane trip to India and stay at the Marriott, but it's not the same at all.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Lockback posted:

Don't get me wrong, I think the story would be perfect but it'd be a while other tier of expense, time, and actor commitment that I just don't think it's happening anytime soon. When they are able to affordably make a convincing high sea environment with a green screen then maybe, but I've never seen anything like that.

We've some real steps in that direction lately. We used to green-screen actors to put them on a virtual set. The new hotness is putting actors in front of LED walls displaying a virtual set or environment and shooting that so the camera sees the CGI.

The Mandalorian used this, they shot on a 75' diameter sound stage that was all LED wall and ceiling. If you did that for M&C, Jack could turn around and yell at the crow's nest, and the actor would be looking at the actual crow's nest as if he were on a real ship. The Mandalorian did some very impressive environments virtually, including some small-scale ones that you would have assumed on first viewing, as we all did, that it was a normal, dressed set on a normal soundstage. Nope, Werner Herzog's office was virtual, there was some furniture for actors to interact with, but the walls and ceiling were CGI.

All you'd have to do is build and rig a 3D model of a ship, down to the smallest detail, dynamic enough to blow clouds of splinters through it in battle.

'All' doin' a job o' work in that sentence.

Here's a video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUnxzVOs3rk

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

mllaneza posted:

We've some real steps in that direction lately. We used to green-screen actors to put them on a virtual set. The new hotness is putting actors in front of LED walls displaying a virtual set or environment and shooting that so the camera sees the CGI.

The Mandalorian used this, they shot on a 75' diameter sound stage that was all LED wall and ceiling. If you did that for M&C, Jack could turn around and yell at the crow's nest, and the actor would be looking at the actual crow's nest as if he were on a real ship. The Mandalorian did some very impressive environments virtually, including some small-scale ones that you would have assumed on first viewing, as we all did, that it was a normal, dressed set on a normal soundstage. Nope, Werner Herzog's office was virtual, there was some furniture for actors to interact with, but the walls and ceiling were CGI.

All you'd have to do is build and rig a 3D model of a ship, down to the smallest detail, dynamic enough to blow clouds of splinters through it in battle.

'All' doin' a job o' work in that sentence.

Here's a video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUnxzVOs3rk

You wouldn't necessarilly have to build the 3d model from scratch. You could use the existing ship to create a virtual model and go from there.

Fire Safety Doug
Sep 3, 2006

99 % caffeine free is 99 % not my kinda thing

Phenotype posted:

Well, that's the draw of books like this. I don't actually want to spend months sleeping four hours at a time and climbing a hundred feet up in the rain to pull on a rope, but I would like to have that experience of stepping off the ship in a mysterious unknown foreign land filled with people we barely understand and creatures we've never seen.

I can take a plane trip to India and stay at the Marriott, but it's not the same at all.

You can also keep in touch with your family from the Marriott and fly back if there’s an emergency, whereas your average sailor would sometimes spend a year or more at sea, writing letters to the wife hoping she wouldn’t have to turn to prostitution in his absence, and if he had bad luck, get immediately pressed into service upon his return, leading to another year of monotonous food and hard work and high risk of permanent maining or death.

There’s certainly an appeal in the sailing life, especially to a modern-day office drone, but let’s not kid ourselves too much.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


mllaneza posted:

We've some real steps in that direction lately. We used to green-screen actors to put them on a virtual set. The new hotness is putting actors in front of LED walls displaying a virtual set or environment and shooting that so the camera sees the CGI.

The Mandalorian used this, they shot on a 75' diameter sound stage that was all LED wall and ceiling. If you did that for M&C, Jack could turn around and yell at the crow's nest, and the actor would be looking at the actual crow's nest as if he were on a real ship. The Mandalorian did some very impressive environments virtually, including some small-scale ones that you would have assumed on first viewing, as we all did, that it was a normal, dressed set on a normal soundstage. Nope, Werner Herzog's office was virtual, there was some furniture for actors to interact with, but the walls and ceiling were CGI.

All you'd have to do is build and rig a 3D model of a ship, down to the smallest detail, dynamic enough to blow clouds of splinters through it in battle.

'All' doin' a job o' work in that sentence.



Yes but a ship is in motion, which would be glaringly obvious if not everyone was in motion the same way, and it's expansive whereas they tended to film in more tight-quarters for the Mandalorian than a 200' long maindeck. While the Mandalorian was fantastic, there's a certain element of fantasy that can give you more suspension of belief than I think would be appropriate for a historical nautical tale.

I'm not saying it'll never be done but I think if you did it with the current tech it'd still look kinda cheesy.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


I feel like The Terror is proof you can do a good 19th century nautical miniseries with some CGI around the edges. Granted those ships barely moved but if an Aubrey-Maturin series was ever made and it approximated The Terror's production then that's good enough for me.

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




Fire Safety Doug posted:

You can also keep in touch with your family from the Marriott and fly back if there’s an emergency, whereas your average sailor would sometimes spend a year or more at sea, writing letters to the wife hoping she wouldn’t have to turn to prostitution in his absence, and if he had bad luck, get immediately pressed into service upon his return, leading to another year of monotonous food and hard work and high risk of permanent maining or death.

There’s certainly an appeal in the sailing life, especially to a modern-day office drone, but let’s not kid ourselves too much.

Yeah impressment existed for a reason. If a man-o-warsman’s life was actually better than life on shore, I doubt the Impress Service would have been so busy.

Class Warcraft
Apr 27, 2006




Wouldn't the easiest solution to be just film on the actual Surprise and just CGI the background to look like they're not tied up at dock?

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


MeatwadIsGod posted:

I feel like The Terror is proof you can do a good 19th century nautical miniseries with some CGI around the edges. Granted those ships barely moved but if an Aubrey-Maturin series was ever made and it approximated The Terror's production then that's good enough for me.

The Terror's whole schtick was they were completely stuck and you couldn't go outside very often. And I think you could maybe do a mini-series, but that is a whole different beast than a multiple season thing.

Class Warcraft posted:

Wouldn't the easiest solution to be just film on the actual Surprise and just CGI the background to look like they're not tied up at dock?

That's actually pretty reasonable, though trying to shoot around weather and whatnot would be a pretty big challenge. That'd probably the best idea though, honestly.

Class Warcraft
Apr 27, 2006




Lockback posted:

The Terror's whole schtick was they were completely stuck and you couldn't go outside very often. And I think you could maybe do a mini-series, but that is a whole different beast than a multiple season thing.


That's actually pretty reasonable, though trying to shoot around weather and whatnot would be a pretty big challenge. That'd probably the best idea though, honestly.

It’s in San Diego at the moment so it’s sunny like 320 days of the year.

Kylaer
Aug 3, 2007


Big-budget multiseason Aubrey-Maturin series announced

(monkey's paw curls)

as an anime.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


Treason's Harbor ruled. The surprise attack in Zambra Bay came outta nowhere. Rest in piss Old Harte. Some good espionage as well but it seems out of character that Stephen isn't more suspicious of Wray.

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




It really freaks me out every time I remember the current head of the FBI is a Mr. Wray

ChubbyChecker
Mar 25, 2018



Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

It really freaks me out every time I remember the current head of the FBI is a Mr. Wray

haha

Raskolnikov2089
Nov 3, 2006

Schizzy to the matic

MeatwadIsGod posted:

Treason's Harbor ruled. The surprise attack in Zambra Bay came outta nowhere. Rest in piss Old Harte. Some good espionage as well but it seems out of character that Stephen isn't more suspicious of Wray.

Harte's interesting, because you find out later he gave a considerable sum of money every year to rescue christians from slavery.. No one is ever black and white with O'Brian.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


I mentioned a while back that I was surprised nobody's ever done an Aubrey-Maturin re-read podcast, but checked again today and some guys started one in COVID lockdown:

https://lubbershole.podbean.com/

Genghis Cohen
Jun 29, 2013


Raskolnikov2089 posted:

Harte's interesting, because you find out later he gave a considerable sum of money every year to rescue christians from slavery.. No one is ever black and white with O'Brian.

I love that (it's shortly before the spoiler mentioned above). It's not necessarily considered redemption of a thoroughly dislikable character, but I think Jack's slight surprise, because he had known him for years without ever knowing him to do a noble thing, is a great touch.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


Genghis Cohen posted:

I love that (it's shortly before the spoiler mentioned above). It's not necessarily considered redemption of a thoroughly dislikable character, but I think Jack's slight surprise, because he had known him for years without ever knowing him to do a noble thing, is a great touch.

That doesn't quite redeem him for me either, especially considering his insistence on snooping in the bay - even after he was told not to because of the negative impact it would have on the Dey of Mascara - got 500 people needlessly killed. Freeing a couple slaves because of a guilty conscience is pretty paltry by comparison. Still, I was as surprised as Jack when that happened.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

freebooter posted:

Maybe I'm interpreting it wrong but it's the "entrancing to the eye and spirit" line, I think, that resonates with me?

There's a beautifully written moment in Desolation Island when Maturin sees a blue whale surface alongside the ship just for a moment before diving again, and is utterly enchanted by it. And what struck me about that moment was that they're at the very edge of the charted world, in this cold and distant ocean, and for him to glimpse that as a naturalist is an opportunity he never in a million years could have dreamed of, let alone striven for or organised. Whereas I would go on school excursions as a kid to the maritime museum and see the big life-size plastic model of a blue whale and be like, yeah, whatever, big deal. I've gone whale watching. I've swum with a whale shark. It was great. But, you know, I can look up pictures of it whenever I want and read all about it on the internet. There's another wonderful moment in The Reverse of the Medal, I think, when someone is describing a balloon flight to Maturin, who's enraptured. And it's because O'Brien is such a brilliantly descriptive writer that it works, but also because it throws into contrast how miraculous human flight is when we today take it utterly for granted.

Now it sounds like I'm romanticising the past which isn't what I meant to do... I guess you're right. I am searching for meaning, and romanticising the past.

I think there's a real natural tendency to do that, though, because media can really capture and express a sense of wonder that is hard to actually feel in real life. The Handsome Family have an album called "The Last Days of Wonder," which is a line in one of their songs about Nikola Tesla (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6k5BRwIPxk). In that song, they explicitly call out the idea that people were exploring and discovering things back then that they aren't now and kind of imply that the sense of the numinous has disappeared.

The thing is, I think that's more a reflection of two things. One is that you can still do that stuff - you can go explore and experience the world, or become a scientist staking out new areas of human knowledge, or whateve, but it's hard and expensive and most people don't get to. But that's true about back then, too... we just don't hear about the people who didn't. The other thing is that if you get to get out there... if you join the military or are born to a rich family or get a PhD or whatever, in the modern world the actual experience of wonder or discovery is watered down by all the other stuff you're feeling. Like, just like Steven I've been to a Buddhist temple in Java (not one in a caldera, unfortunately) and it was amazing and mindblowing and wonderous but I also remember that my feet hurt and my rear end itched and everything was hot and muggy and I'll admit that watered down the transcendence a little bit. When you read an account from the past the editor can cut all of that out and distill it down to the pure experience.

I think the experience we have of resonating with that is part of our general human call to meaning, and I don't want to poo poo on someone for feeling it... but I also think that it's easy to respond to that by thinking that "those days are different," when instead it can inspire us to go find the modern equivalent. It's probably not going to live up to what's in our head though.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


I think there's a reason I'm more inclined to romanticise Maturin's life than Aubrey's. You're absolutely right of course that being a gentleman naturalist back then was a privilege afforded only to the wealthy, and of course it's a better thing that in the modern world far more people have the opportunity to shape the course of their lives. But there was a piece I was reading about the series and specifically Maturin as a naturalist (which I annoyingly can't find now) which talks about how different it would have been to have been a scientist of the natural world back when the wilderness was "dangerous, not endangered." More exciting, and certainly less depressing. Because one thing that indisputably makes these days different from those days is that we're in the middle of a mass extinction event and a climate crisis on an overpopulated planet. There's something alluring about winding the clock back to the days when you could sail over the horizon and set foot on an unspoiled island, rather than one littered with plastic and with all the coral bleached.

And I realise their time was at the vanguard of that. But it's Aubrey's job which, if you peel back the layers, is ultimately about securing sea routes, colonies, empires and trade; Maturin's natural philosophy is the nobler pursuit.

Notahippie posted:

The thing is, I think that's more a reflection of two things. One is that you can still do that stuff - you can go explore and experience the world, or become a scientist staking out new areas of human knowledge, or whateve, but it's hard and expensive and most people don't get to. But that's true about back then, too... we just don't hear about the people who didn't. The other thing is that if you get to get out there... if you join the military or are born to a rich family or get a PhD or whatever, in the modern world the actual experience of wonder or discovery is watered down by all the other stuff you're feeling. Like, just like Steven I've been to a Buddhist temple in Java (not one in a caldera, unfortunately) and it was amazing and mindblowing and wonderous but I also remember that my feet hurt and my rear end itched and everything was hot and muggy and I'll admit that watered down the transcendence a little bit.

I definitely feel that. It didn't take me very long to realise that looking at pretty temples is very nice in Japan in the snow, but when I'm in Thailand and it's 38 degrees and the humidity is 90%, those things can contains the living Buddha incarnate for all I care, I'm going back to the A/C at the hostel. Also, all those glossy Lonely Planet guidebook photos sure are good at avoiding how much mind-boggling poverty and squalor there is in the developing world.

Sax Solo
Feb 17, 2011



Also, I think O'Brian is not trying to romanticize things much himself. Well, he is, but he is also has no illusions, and I think his attitude is like, "Let us look at this one Goldilocks captain who almost never whips his men, but they love him anyway, on a ship neither too big nor too small, far from the disgusting corrupt societies of land, and maybe we can imagine some romantic beauty and wonder of the age, with these two special friends playing music together by the glorious sweep of stern windows." It's a delicate picture and I think POB is aware of it as a pleasing fiction, and he surrounds it with hard facts and skepticism, which makes it stronger.

The movie's portrayal is not as subtle or fleshed out, but most historical movies are such garbage anyway; compared to Gladiator it's a masterpiece.


vvvvv I agree that Crowe was a better Maximus than a Jack, in the way that Mel Gibson was an acceptable Hamlet, but would be even better as a roll of toilet paper.

Sax Solo fucked around with this message at 05:16 on Aug 19, 2020

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Sax Solo posted:

The movie's portrayal is not as subtle or fleshed out, but most historical movies are such garbage anyway; compared to Gladiator it's a masterpiece.
This six pounder seemed lobbed at me, but it was a lubberly shot because I'll agree that M&C provides a much more nuanced and complete picture of the characters. But one of my topmen sent a round to let you know I still think Crowe was a better Maximus than a Jack.

The Lord Bude
May 23, 2007

I'M DISAPPOINTED THAT CORTANA WILL BE A CIRCLE AND NOT THE ACTUAL SEXY WOMAN FROM THE GAME.


Sax Solo posted:

Also, I think O'Brian is not trying to romanticize things much himself. Well, he is, but he is also has no illusions, and I think his attitude is like, "Let us look at this one Goldilocks captain who almost never whips his men, but they love him anyway, on a ship neither too big nor too small, far from the disgusting corrupt societies of land, and maybe we can imagine some romantic beauty and wonder of the age, with these two special friends playing music together by the glorious sweep of stern windows." It's a delicate picture and I think POB is aware of it as a pleasing fiction, and he surrounds it with hard facts and skepticism, which makes it stronger.

The movie's portrayal is not as subtle or fleshed out, but most historical movies are such garbage anyway; compared to Gladiator it's a masterpiece.


vvvvv I agree that Crowe was a better Maximus than a Jack, in the way that Mel Gibson was an acceptable Hamlet, but would be even better as a roll of toilet paper.

I would not care to wipe my rear end with Mel Gibson.

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Mr. Mambold
Feb 13, 2011

Aha. Nice post.





The Lord Bude posted:

I would not care to wipe my rear end with Mel Gibson.

On a King's warship, you wipe your rear end with a Mel Gibson if the captain says you do!

Isn't there also an archaic phrase O'Brian uses involving wipe to humiliate someone?

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