Sunday, February 17, 2008

You Mess With Sharpe, You Mess With Me

Or, IMDbers still annoy me.

On the recent revival of Sharpe, Bernard Cornwell's second-greatest arse-kicking creation (Thomas Hookton is probably slightly cooler) some guy posts a long rant about how it isn't as good as the early ones. Or, rather, how it is different, and therefore is rubbish because he has a Hitlerian phobia of things that are not the same as other things.

Naturally, I stuck around to see somebody own his arse. Then, a reply:

Excellent analysis. I agree with all your points.

Hmmm, it seems I'll need to respond to your posts and insult you on my blog in secret...

I was very much looking forward to seeing how Sharpe got on after 10 years, but it seemed at times like being reacquainted with an old friend I've lost contact with and we both seem to have changed.

...yes. It is completely unrealistic for a character to change after a period of time.

For what it is worth, in his first TV appearance in Sharpe's Rifles, Lt. Sharpe (as he was then) was pretty much a psychopath, perfectly willing to kill any, or even all, of his soldiers, and he was only beginning to soften by the end of the story. In the last of the original series, Sharpe's Waterloo, he places the value of a good soldier's life above all else, setting out to risk his own life for just a shot at getting rid of a criminally incompetent officer.

And a character can go on changing, even when the cameras are off.

I noticed bean's acting limitation here; I always made allowances for him in earlier episodes given his social background etc.,

...somebody from a working class background cannot act?

I'm not going to respond to that. I'll just give Christopher Eccleston your address. I hope you like your ears to bleed...

but here he just seems constantly numb.

...I think I might get some of that vibe in some of the scenes, but those are probably the ones filmed when he was ill from all the Indian food. He has a lot of intense scenes, though - he's disgusting with all of the East India politicking, he seethes that Simmerson has scrounged himself another command, and the fury he directs at Dodd and Biggerstaff is as good as ever.

He doesn't even make use of the french he must have learned during his time in retirement in France.

You. Zarking. Idiot. Firstly, you make an assumption based on your own imagination and then cry like a girl when the production company don't share that view. Secondly, your view is wrong in the first place, as you were clearly too stoned out of your mind to notice that Sharpe learnt good French in the second season. Thirdly, after that one story he just about never spoke French again, leaving the interrogating to Frederickson or Harris, which shows that this is hardly a new problem for the writers. And finally - WHY THE HELL WOULD HE BE SPEAKING FRENCH ANYWAY? Yes, there are two French characters in this story - but they both speak good English! And he is dealing with them when he's pretending to be a deserting soldier - coming out with a foreign language is hardly going to go with the whole "`Ullo, I don' know wot Oi'm doin' 'ere but oi can fire a gun 'n stuff" act, is it?

And the mistakes he constantly makes- why in hell does he actually give his real name when acting as a spy?

It's a little odd, I will concede that, especially as he traditionally adopts the name "Dick Vaughn" when undercover, but nobody was looking for him and nobody would know him in Seringapatam. Possibly you reason that Major Gudan, being French would know about Richard Sharpe, but there's nothing to suggest this - although Sharpe becomes legendary among British officers, only two French officers are shown to know who he is: Major Ducos, who makes it his business to know enemy soldiers, and General Calvet, who makes a note of who the Rifleman is who keeps kicking his arse every time he walks onto the battlefield.

My girlfriend kept rolling her eyes at the constant changes in motive and plot twists that kept the story going.

Fuck your girlfriend. No, seriously, fuck her.

And the way it kept stealing jokes from Ewen Campion-Clarke was outrageous.

Hmm. Didn't notice that myself.

And the idea of meeting Harper and the others in the span of a day in a country the size of India right at the beginning tested my patience from the start.

Tell me where Sharpe states that he's only been there for a day.

And what the hell do you mean by 'the others'? He meets Singh, who he hasn't met yet, Cecilia, who is irrelevant to him at the time, and some redshirt bastard who'll be dead in a matter of minutes. I wouldn't call it the most serendipitous of meetings. You'd prefer it if we got twenty minutes of Sharpe riding around on his horse, not finding anything interesting at all? See, in TV, we like to keep plots rolling along.

To have a motley of soldiers (no tracking shot to show how few extras are actually being used)

Because when there ARE tracking shots like that you and people like you bitch about how "there's only 80 soldiers representing a whole regiment"!

WHY do you want that anyway? WHY?! You KNOW they don't have many extras! See, shooting close is for the benefit of other people... people who know how to suspend their disbelief.

carrying the same East Indian Co. flag as a battle flag as opposed to what by then amounted to a Tesco banner was something else that didn't seem right to me.

I can't even understand what point you're trying to make here as your grammar and communcation skill (singular - you've probably only got one but God knows what it is) are more abhorrent than if everyone on MySpace and everyone who wrote comments on YouTube had kids and gave them megaphones for Christmas.

I was keen to see to former Bond baddies square off but,

You were keen to see to the former Bond baddies when they squared off?

*Gay joke here*

at 140 minutes, it dragged on.

That's why it was a two parter.


Now, I think we shall all agree that this fellow is something of a douche. But how mighty of a douche? At the moment I would not dub him the Dux d'Bag, because he has tried to level some sound criticism, but his problem has been in the absence of faculties to either comprehend what he has seen or to try and voice anything sensical. Nothing spectacular assholish. And there's only one sentence left...

How Sharpe after one beating after another managed to shrug it off when my back puts me out is another stretch of believability.

...

Sorry, can you repeat that?

I said "How Sharpe after one beating after another managed to shrug it off when my back puts me out is another stretch of believability." Is there something wrong with that?

Well... only that you see the fact that a career soldier who is a veteran of Assaye, Copenhagen, Talavera, Bussaco, Ciuadad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Tolouse, Waterloo and even frigging Trafalger (Or 'every historically significant battle in 20 years of history, if you will') doesn't throw his back out everytime somebody pushes him in a queu for the pub toilets like yourself, is a massive flaw in the believability of the story.

Congratulations.



PS: Been away for two days. I'll make a post about that sometime soon (Or, just as likely, I will not) so that's why I haven't been as active as usual.

4 comments:

Youth of Australia said...

Excellent analysis. I agree with all your points.
I have to admit, that sentence scares me. I mean... it implies they haven't really read the analysis, or else completely misunderstand it. In short, that's something a robot would say, not a human being - even if they agreed, surely they'd expand upon such a comment?

And the way it kept stealing jokes from Ewen Campion-Clarke was outrageous.
Great, even imbd are ripping me off now! I tell you, one day they're gonna find the first page of the Bible with "The Adventures of Nigel Verkoff" scribbled out and "The Gospel According To Some Bastard Who's Presumably Responsible" written over the top. In biro.

How Sharpe after one beating after another managed to shrug it off when my back puts me out is another stretch of believability.
Well, filtered through YOA Babel Fish it says either:

"After one beating after another, how Sharpe managed to shrug it off stretches credibility - my back puts me out."

Or else:

"I AM A COMPLETE MORON. WATCH ME DROOL FOR HOURS ON END."

Meantime I'll bask in my own ego as my B7 episode is up on Blisset's site and Martha Jones hand Torchwood its gift-wrapped ass in less than one minute of screentime.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Whoa, whoa, WHOAH!

Niel Blisset updated his site?

Was I really gone for just two days?!

Great, even imbd are ripping me off now! I tell you, one day they're gonna find the first page of the Bible with "The Adventures of Nigel Verkoff" scribbled out and "The Gospel According To Some Bastard Who's Presumably Responsible" written over the top. In biro.

Where would they get the biro from? Hmmm...

Well, filtered through YOA Babel Fish it says

Wow. I must have been acclimatised entirely to this bloke's speech patterns, as I didn't notice what a grammalogical train wreck that sentence is. Jesus.

Maybe Cam could use it as the ultimate "what not to do" example?

"I AM A COMPLETE MORON. WATCH ME DROOL FOR HOURS ON END."

That's the one I'm going with.

Incidentally, that's why I'm posting it here. It's one of those cases where I feel the need to present a rebuttal to the 'argument', but don't want to put up with a massively inept debate.

Youth of Australia said...

Whoa, whoa, WHOAH!
Niel Blisset updated his site?
Was I really gone for just two days?!

I dub thee Rip Van Hansen.

Where would they get the biro from? Hmmm...
Blackadder.

Wow. I must have been acclimatised entirely to this bloke's speech patterns, as I didn't notice what a grammalogical train wreck that sentence is. Jesus.
Took me three readings...

Maybe Cam could use it as the ultimate "what not to do" example?
Can't think of anything to beat it.

Incidentally, that's why I'm posting it here. It's one of those cases where I feel the need to present a rebuttal to the 'argument', but don't want to put up with a massively inept debate.
The Gabriel Chase of imbd, eh?

Cameron Mason said...

I always made allowances for him in earlier episodes given his social background etc.

Is that you Fish face?

How Sharpe after one beating after another managed to shrug it off when my back puts me out is another stretch of believability.

...

There as GOT to be a line or a word or SOMETHING missing as that does not make sense.

I think this person is complaining about Sharpe being able to take several beatings and still be standing, whereas his spine collapses if his girlfriend plays rough with him.

Sharpe is a career soldier who has years of training, which has built up his body strength which gives him a quicker recovery time.

This person sounds like they'd have trouble lifting a one litre carton of milk off the shelf.

People there are two lessons to be learnt from this.
1) Think before you type
2) Read what you have typed before you hit the 'submit' button

Cameron