Sunday, May 27, 2007


Today, May 27th, is the first birthday of Mad Jenny Flint's Mad Tales!

Why, you ask, does the blog have such a ridiculously long name? Because I never thought it was going to be a real blog, I was just playing on blogger and that was the first thing that I came up with that wasn't already taken.

So what does it mean? Well, Mad Jenny Flint is my pirate name, as I discovered when I took an online quiz. And, as we all know, if an online quiz says that something is so, that something is most definitely so. Mad tales? Why not? It is a bookish blog, so tales seem appropriate. And, if your name is Mad Jenny, the tales must be mad!

And, why choose to use the pirate name? Well, as I said, I never actually thought I would use it. It was just a name that wasn't my own but was associated with me. Plus, I like pirates.

So how did I celebrate the day? Piratically! Yes! I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End! (forgive the multitudinous !!! but this is a celebratory post!)

I've got to say, it was about a million times better than Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which suffered from middle of a trilogy syndrome though it is still quite enjoyable, but can't quite measure up to Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, which is just bloody brilliant.

In this installment we do have several treats in store, Elizabeth Swann redeems herself for having played the damsel in distress in the last two installments by becoming an active fighting pirate. Yay girl power!

Will Turner has finally grown up enough that his finely chiseled cheekbones and soulful brown eyes have ceased to be those of a beautiful girl-boy, and has bulked up enough that he is now quite lovely to watch as he goes about his piraty business. Yes, I recognize that this was filmed back to back with episode 2. Maybe it is because his character is older? But I finally get what all those Legolas lovers were on about. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it is because he spends a lot of this film dirty and blood-covered. He's got that Aragorn thing going on for him here.

The horribly tentacular Davey Jones is back in all his glory. And, yes, for those who have been biting their nails in anticipation, he does play the organ with the tentacles again. When you've got a gag that good you're not going to lose it are you.

And, I'm not going to tell you why, but there are several scenes where we get to see not one, but many Johnny Depps on screen (bliss!). What could be better than that? And, in this installment, all of our favourite supporting characters are back with their usual comic relief shtick. This is especially true of Jack the monkey, who really comes into his own in this film. That monkey could be up for a supporting actor award this time around.

Not only this, but the ending leaves open the possibility that there could be a fourth adventure for the delightfully fruitily mad Captain Jack Sparrow.

All in all, an excellent day at the movies. And, for those who were hoping they'd have an excuse to go because they could accompany me, but were not part of today's expedition - I will gladly go again! There's nothing like big screen swashbuckling!

Later, to make up for all of that piracy, I dutifully turned my attention to an installment of Horatio Hornblower, which they are currently broadcasting on TVO on Sunday evenings. For those unfamiliar with the glory that is Horatio Hornblower, they are a series of made-for-television movies, based upon the novels of C.S. Forester, with the same titular character. Horatio is everything that a pirate is not. But he still sails the high seas waging war and getting into all kinds of scrapes. He just does it in generally miraculously clean British Naval uniforms of the Napoleonic era. If you have not yet experienced these uniforms, I beg you to turn your attention to TVO next Sunday evening. For my readers who share my love of all things Jane Austen, this is the same uniform sported by Captain Wentworth (be still my beating heart). And, if you have not yet met with Horatio Hornblower, I urge you to direct your attention below. In the series of telefilms, Hornblower is played by the deliciously earnest and beautifully long-lashed and bright eyed Ioan Gruffudd. Come to think of it, many of you do not live in Ontario, and do not, therefore, get TVO. Horatio Hornblower is also available on DVD from BBC or A&E depending on your continent. My library has them, check yours!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C
Sadly I could not find a picture that showed off the true glory of the uniform. Truly though, all those gents running around in uniforms and yelling things like "heave to", "steady on", and in one memorable episode "Fire" again and again, it is quite spectacular. For a humorous look at Horatio Hornblower check out a truly delightful site: The Dilletante's Guide to Hornblower.

When the blog first started it was a simple book review forum. Why? Because I read a lot. In 2006 I read 143 books. At least, I wrote down the titles of 143 books in my reading journal. I can't be sure that I didn't leave something out. And that does not include the hundreds of picture book readings children's librarians inevitably manage in a year. I don't review all of the books I read. I don't even review half of them. But if something is new or particularly noteworthy for being excellent or awful I post a review.

Since then I've branched out a bit, lately I've been accused of turning the blog into an online photo album. But that's ok. Why? Because this is my online journal. I write or post about whatever happens to be interesting me.

Anyway, I would like to thank all of you readers for sharing the last year with me. This year, I hope more of you who visit from around the world will comment. I'd love to know who you all are!


Maggie said...

Happy anniversary! Can't wait to see PoC!!! :D

False Prophet said...

I agree with your assessment of Pirates 3. It was mercifully free of the cartoonish sequences of the second film, although I found most of the action sequences in this film a bit too busy. Also, you cast Chow Yun Fat and he doesn't get to fight anybody? But, a much darker and more complex film than Dead Man's Chest. Still, it couldn't quite capture the lightning in a bottle that was Curse of the Black Pearl.

And thumbs up for the Horatio Hornblower series. I'm saddened that the series is effectively dead in the water since A&E won't fund any more. Ah well.

Happy blogiversary!

Deranged Squirrel said...

Did you say birthday? You know what that means don't you? We must have cake to celebrate! Do you think the blog would appreciate chocolate or vanilla more? We all know my preference.

MadJenny said...

I forgot to mention Chow Yun Fat. I agree about the fight scene thing. You let Geoffrey Rush fight, but not Chow Yun Fat? Come on!
But to me the most distressing thing was that they cast Chow Yun Fat and covered his beautiful face in unsightly scar marks. For shame!

Are you sure about the no more Horatio thing? I though I read somewhere that they'd given the go ahead to a further series.

I'm not sure that the blog can eat cake. But I suppose the blog would say, in its most queenly pinched-nose manner: "Let them eat cake".