Mini-Reviews, Batch No. 1: Captain Blood, MIB: International, The Princess Bride, 49th Parallel, Spider-Man: Far From Home


Good day!

Originally I planned on including this batch of minis with my Captain’s Log entry last week, but Life had me doing other things which took more time than I planned and so publishing my original Log Entry was out of the question. (Was that sentence too long?) So now, I’ve decided to give y’all this week a treat by including some mini-reviews of newer and vintage films with a boatload of photos for your eyes to feast upon. And sorry for being late, it was some work trying to find the right graphics for this one. I wanted it to be perfect and had to sacrifice “on time.” But I promise it’ll be worth it!

(Alert: Ramblings of a hopeless romantic exposed ahead, or in other words, an INTJ experimenting her shadow functions after a tiring month.)

/ / /

[Nope. Not a horror film at all.]

This is my second watch, and I’m happy to report that I’ve found it improves with each viewing. If you’ve noticed some of my site design updates you’d probably have noticed I’ve been featuring this film on my sidebar with some photos and quotes under “In My Literary Commonplace Book” block.

(For you subscribers who may be reading this in your inbox, please feel free to check out some changes/additions I put on the sidebar. Just click on the either the URL at the very bottom of the email or the title of the post at the very top. 🙂

Classic B&W. Swashbuckler. Which is short in my book for Wit, Charm, and Adventure (including fencing scenes).

It’s about a physician turned criminal/plantation slave (because he was trying to heal the wrong man during an English civil war) …

… turned chivalrous sea pirate (if that’s a paradox you need to see the movie to understand) …

It is not human to be wise,” said Blood. “It is much more human to err, though perhaps exceptional to err on the side of mercy.”

… turned West Indies governor appointed by the King of England (one of the perks of when the King who condemned you is kicked off the throne and a more decent one is placed upon it). OH AND THAT ENDING SCENE IS THE BEST. But it builds upon the entire movie so I can’t really spill the beans for ya.

“He vowed that the thought of her should continue ever before him to help him keep his hands as clean as a man might in this desperate trade upon which he was embarking. And so, although he might entertain no delusive hope of ever winning her for his own, of ever seeing her again, yet the memory of her was to abide in his soul as a bitter-sweet, purifying influence. The love that is never to be realized will often remain a man’s guiding ideal.”
I also seriously like those sleeves. And hat.

There’s also a lovely little ironic subplot thrown in about the girl who bought Blood as a slave and later when she gets to experience the same.

“Goods” inspection No. 1
“Goods” inspection No. 2, I suppose.

It’s such a shame that so many people haven’t watched this.

It’s serious yet filled with ironic little plot twists and humor and I just love seeing Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (Melanie from GONE WITH THE WIND) together in their younger days and before they became iconic Hollywood stars. I know it’s old (and perhaps a wee more melodramatic than today’s “norms” – but still not as cheesy as some TV shows and still less melodramatic compared to Princess Bride) – it’s still a must see.

The original book by Rafael Sabatini published in 1922 is absolutely even more wonderful. Project Gutenberg has a copy for reading/download since it’s in the Public Domain (PD):

Download: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1965

Read Online: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1965/1965-h/1965-h.htm

Pop Fact: Basil Rathsbone (aka SHERLOCK HOLMES OF THE EARLY 1900S) stars as the main villian

Topping to the cake: This story was inspired by TRUE & TRULY BIZARRE EVENTS/PEOPLE. Sabatini did extensively research for this story, and this is a quick 9-minute video from Bookworm History about the real people and events behind the adventure. (Hint: includes something about an Irish captain who stole Crown Jewels?!)

Content: Probably would be considered a PG or PG-13 today, for some non-graphic violence and mild British swearing.

/ / /

I’ve been wanting to watch this one since I saw the trailer last summer. Thor and Valkyrie in Men In Black? Count me in, I said.

I was not disappointed (which is good because I was disappointed with the Hobbs and Shaw action-comedy). Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have perfect chemistry as the new-gen MIB agents H and M (respectively). H is modelled after a James Bond-like equivalent and M is the typical bookish, nerdy newbie girl who admires H (as a mentor? but probably something more as well, ahem ahem). Their characters play off of one another very nicely: there are banter that I couldn’t stop laughing at, and also their characters’ personality and physicality contrasts – making it really fun to watch. There are some great action scenes as well. Throughout the whole viewing, I was either raising my eyebrows or laughing my head off.

[I’ve seen the first MIB with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith and they’re great actors, but I think their characters are not as adorable as the H and M team (as far as I can recall, at least – it’s been years since I’ve seen the first one).]

It is also cool to see Liam Neeson as the mentor/father-figure, T. He also creates a nice little plot twist towards the end.

The aliens are crazy weird sometimes, but I like Pawny.

Is that outfit he has Samurai-inspired or what?

I do.

He completes the trio. I’d love to see them again.

The only thing I have to pick at is Agent M seems a bit too versatile as a newbie – she seems to know too much a bit too quickly. 😛 One of the pros of being a female protag. nowadays, I suppose. Just wished she’d have some more room for growth.

Still, I’d recommend this one if you want a good laugh (mostly clean with a few PG-13 innuendos – nothing explicit, and some mild language).

My updated Top Action-Comedy Movies List:

NO. 2
NO. 1
NO. 3

/ / /

THE PRINCESS BRIDE

This is THE PRINCESS BRIDE. So if you haven’t seen it, go see it. It’s melodramatic and cheesy but also funny and endearing and a family classic and filled with timeless quotables. If you have seen it, you already know what it is.

Life lesson of the week:

And of course

What else am I supposed to say?

I’m going to add to the list below: No. 11: Read my deluxe illustrated book written by William Goldman this year.

Perhaps of interest to you: I found out that there’s a book – As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Carl Elwes (aka Westley), with interviews of the original cast members in a 25th anniversary reunion. Needless to say, I need to get a copy to read or listen to the audiobook version read by the actual cast. Coo, isn’t it?

Content: PG for mild violence and language.

/ / /

Is it too nerdy of me when I say that I actually like to watch B&W British propaganda films from the 1930s and 40s?

Is it?

If you like award rosters, this one won the Oscar for Best Story in 1941. The acting is well-done (Lawrence Olivier was a bit over-the-top, but everyone else – especially Leslie Howard and Raymond Massey were great. I recognized those latter two from The Scarlet Pimpernel.) The Germans are depicted as legitimately intelligent and serious characters – not caricatures. The story premise is interesting: a group of German soldiers land on Canada via a U-boat for the Nazi war effort. Their sub is promply sunk by the Canadian Air Force, so they’re stranded and must get to the 49th parallel/US-Canada border, to cross over to the neutral US before the Canadian government find and imprison them. The film depicts how various locals react/deal with the Germans’ “invasion.” The story’s not true, but it’s rather probable.

The intent of the filmmakers was to target the US audience and get them out of their “neutral” / isolationist position in the War. Evidently it was not quite enough since it still took Pearl Harbor to do that.

Overall, this is not the most exciting film (it’s drama, not really war/action as I was expecting) and I felt it’s a bit slow at times (mostly due to my incorrect expectations). But it’s worth the watch and I’d recommend it. Mostly for educational purposes. Chances are your grandparents or great-grandparents have seen it.

Confession time: I found this title when going through Leslie Howard’s filmography after watching him in Pygmalion.

Content: Probably a PG or PG-13 rating for some light violence and maybe mild language.

/ / /

After Cap, Peter Parker is my favorite superhero. He’s such a great down-to-earth kid trying to do the right thing. And I think Tom Holland is a better Spidey than Tobey Maguire.

I’m going to assume that you’ve watched ENDGAME. If not – you should see it and I have to do this: BEGIN SPOILER. I appreciate this story’s handling of “the world after Tony Stark.” It helped me recover from the epic but also sad note at the end of ENDGAME.

Plus the moral message about made-up “news”/villains is a timely reminder that things are not always what they are “reported”/seem to be. Mysterio had me there, I have to admit. END SPOILER.

I also learned that this is what you look like after you found out that you tried to “bomb your friends on a bus”:

And I really like MJ and Spidey as a couple – totally ship them and I think they win the cutest couple of the decade award. 😀 This MJ is a delicate balance of cute and Gothic, rather original for Marvel to create.

Note: This movie’s DVD release has one of the funniest gag reels I’ve ever seen. So if you get your hands on a copy: it’s worth seeing.

Content: PG-13

/ / /

Whew. The graphics took a couple hours spread over a few days to find/upload. 😛 I’m going to have to consider hiring an assistant – any hedgehogs looking for a part-time job?

Thanks for Reading!

So what do you think? Have you watched any of these I’ve mentioned above? Do you have any movie suggestions you think I’d be interested in? What have you watched recently? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂


8 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews, Batch No. 1: Captain Blood, MIB: International, The Princess Bride, 49th Parallel, Spider-Man: Far From Home

  1. I ADORE The Princess Bride. I love how it’s practically self-aware…(that’s what I call movies that are clever enough to be ridiculous on purpose, like the Muppet movies, Hoodwinked, The Emperor’s New Groove and Sky High… I don’t know why I call them that, but it makes sense to my brain). It’s a style that I find extremely funny.
    I love Tom Holland’s Spiderman as well, though I still have great fondness for Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman. I love them both for different reasons and I won’t choose between them.
    I haven’t seen very many old movies, but sometimes I wish that I had. I know the name Basil Rathsbone though! I think he plays the villain in The Court Jester, which was made much later, in the ’60s I think. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a FANTASTIC and hilarious movie.
    I am curious about the new MIB movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same – I favor clever comedies… somethin’ about them. 😉

      True true. Tobey Maguire (oops I totally mispelled his actual name in my post – will be changing that on Monday) IS great as the original Spidey. I am grateful Tom Holland is able to bring more to the table for the character. 🙂

      YES! The Court Jester (1956, according to Wikipedia)- how could I forget! I really really like how funny and how it played with Robin Hood legend. Danny Kaye is amazing and I saw the movie because of him in White Christmas. Rathsbone is best known for his Sherlock. He’s also in another movie with Errol Flynn (who was a huge name at the time as well) – The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938. He’s also in: A Tale of Two Cities and Romeo and Juliet (1936, the one with Leslie Howard).
      I just have to express how amazing Michael Curtiz is as a director for the Robin Hood movie mentioned above, AND White Christmas, AND Captain Blood, AND The One and Only: Casablanca.
      Oops – sorry for the mini-rant. But in short: I’m so happy you’ve seen The Court Jester, and I HIGHLY recommend you watch some oldies sometime! 🙂 Esp. the ones I’ve mentioned above. Really have to appreciate the mild content objections in those along with great film-making and stories, right?

      Yep. Go see MIB International. If only for the interactions between H and M alone (Hemsworth and Thompson). And you CANNOT miss Pawny. Love Pawny (not as amazing as Groot, but still). 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I already wanted to watch Captain Blood, but this review has increased the intensity of that desire tenfold. And increased my desire to read the book a hundredfold. IT LOOKS SO AMAZING. Sabatini’s writing is great too. And I’m kind of getting “Kidnapped If There Had Been No Alan and No Shipwreck and David Had Ended Up a Slave in the Colonies After All” vibes from it. Which is cool. I always thought that would make a cool story. (Though I’m glad Kidnapped didn’t take that route, of course, because Kidnapped without Alan would be sad indeed. The world needs Alan.)

    MIB looks…great, actually. I want to watch that now too. I don’t watch many movies, so we’ll see if it ever happens, but it looks tons of fun. Stories with mentor-mentee relationships at their hearts have a special place in MY heart.

    Oh, I adore The Princess Bride! It’s hilarious. So delightfully over-the-top. Have you read the book? I don’t actually like the book very much, but most people think it’s even better than the movie, so I’m rather curious about your thoughts…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – yes. Kinda. Except Captain Blood is a fantastic character in and of himself. 😉 Let me know when/if you get a chance to read it and/or watch the film!

      Yes! MIB International IS fun. I appreciate humor well done. (Not stupid or crass etc.)

      I have not read Princess Bride yet, actually. I have it on my list for summer reading. The excerpts I read blew me away, though. I have a feeling that this is one of those rare stories that I love the movie and the book equally (perhaps for different reasons, but still to the same extent). What don’t you like about the book? Anyway, I will be sure to let you know after I read it so we can discuss our respective opinions – since I so thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Ender’s Game with you 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, yes, I believe that. I have full faith in Sabatini’s ability to write great characters.
        I definitely will.

        Oh, cool! I will look forward to that.
        For me, The Princess Bride is the sort of book that I’d LOVE excerpts of (it’s very clever, of course), but all together it’s too much. It’s a personal preference thing; I don’t think it’s a badly-written book in any way. It’s just that…while I love satire, I’m also very, very picky about satire. And The Princess Bride is the sort of satire that I feel is so busy being clever it hasn’t any heart. I hope that makes sense. It’s totally just a preference thing. I want to know what you think when you read it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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