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A & E's Hornblower


mike_h
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Anybody catch the new Hornblower movies yet? Anybody else been following them? If you like the sails and swords genre of Master & Commander, you'll dig these -- though the Hornblower stories tend in the direction of Star Trek: bold commander who personally gets the crew out of terrible fixes at the last possible minute, even as he ascends the ranks. In fact, Gene Roddenberry originally pitched Star Trek as "Horatio Hornblower in Space," but I never got around to reading C. S. Forrester's pulp fiction series til after A & E started filming them with Ioan Gruffudd as the protagonist in a series of made-for-cable movies in 1999. Great vacation books, and terrific tv adaptations -- though, in general, the plots are probably less memorable than the atmosphere -- late 18th century naval adventures with dashing hero, evil villians, and colorful supporting characters. The two new films are being screened again on A & E on Dec. 19th.

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I caught the two recent numbers first time around the first week of this month. They are indeed excellently done, despite obviously low budgets. My one complaint would be that Hornblower has a charmed glow about him and always inadvertently does the perfect career advancing thing. And yes, the Star Trek connection is a good one. Gruffudd lacks the the over the top self importance that would cement the connection, though.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I've been hooked on the A&E adaptations since the start--maybe it was just Ioan Gruffydd, who is adorable. :wink:

I never read the books, and don't plan to, but I recommend these film versions to all my friends and relations.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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