Archive for August, 2004|Monthly archive page

Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

In TV on August 31, 2004 at 3:33 am


Thanks to some documentary I accidently caught on TV while channel flipping when I was little, the Guillotine became my no.1 childhood nightmare (it was some jerky black and white footage showing the blade coming down and chopped off someone’s head. The sudden jerk and horror expression on that guy’s face still haunts me ^^;;)


Inspired by Blackadder III spoof, I found the DVD of the 1982 British TV movie of Scarlet Pimpernel on Netflix. You can tell from the screencaps that I LOVE it!!! ^_^ It’s historical inaccurate but well-made, well-acted and just pure fun! It brings back so much of my girlhood memories (the type of stories I like to read as a girl). The anime of Rose of Versailles was showing on TV around the same time as I saw that Guillotine documentary…so my interest in French Revolution and Rococo style goes way back ^^;;

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The Witches (1990)

In Film on August 23, 2004 at 10:39 am


My goodness this is one nasty movie: so grotesque and scary for a children’s film…so good! It’s just surprisingly well done all around: excellent dark British humor, amazingly real makeup and special effects, and it featured Rowan Atkinson ;). It is based on a book by the wonderfully twisted Roald Dahl, directed by Nicolas Roeg, special effects by Jim Hensen. Story is simple: an orphan boy and his grandmother stayed at a hotel where a convention for ‘Women Against Cruelty For Children’ organization is held. But it was actually a disguise for a witch convention where witches from all over England met with their leader, the Grant High Witch (played brilliantly by Anjelica Huston). These witches are very normal looking except for these traits: there are errie purple glow in the eyes, square feet, and constantly scratching their head because they wear wigs to cover their hairless head. They schemed a grand plan of putting this new drug at candies that can turn children into mice.

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Something Wicked This Way Come (1983)

In Film on August 23, 2004 at 9:46 am


Something Wicked This Way Come was based on a novel by Ray Bradbury that I’ve always wanted to read (but the book cover is too ugly :-(, hoping for a newly designed edition someday in future). The movie adaptation was made by Disney (uh-oh), so I could only imagine how water-down the final execution was. The story is about a strange carnival arrived at a small American town in the 20s. It has strange power that can grant the town folks’ greatest wishes.

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A Treasury of Royal Scandals

In History on August 22, 2004 at 2:01 am

royalscandal-thumb.jpgA Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors (2001)
by Micheal Farquhar

This is the book I’ve always been looking for. A very enjoyable lite but informative read on the European monarchy and Popes throughout the history. What’s facisnating about the misbehaving royalties is that they are people with unlimited power and an inbred sense of their own superioririty, which makes nowadays modern powerful figures far more pale and dull in comparison.

I like the stories about the sickness of inter-marriage for sake of royal lineage and blood purity, such as Spanish’s Joanna the Mad and Phillip the Fair and their freak of nature generations of royal descendents that inherited their mad & deformed gene. Henry VIII and his six wives (and the follow-up feud between Bloody Mary and Elizabeth) is always a great story no matter how many times it was told. I’m amazed how digest and easy-to-understand the author told the story of the complicated ‘War of the Roses.’ The mishaving Popes were outrageously unbelievable, their wickedness rivaled the perversity and cruelty of the worst of Roman Emperors (but they are worst because they justified themselves as speaking for God and Church). Rasputin the mad Russian monk is one crazy story. The gruesome, and sometimes humiliating deaths of kings and Queens are more specular as well. It is also complete with detailed Family Tree (so you’d never get lost who’s who).