Tomorrow: Flauti's monthly Spanish film recap!


The Bounty (1984):

There have been several well-known film versions of the mutiny on board the HMS Bounty during the return portion of an expedition to Tahiti in 1789. Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutineers, has been played by such screen legends as Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, and Marlon Brando. This particular version of the story features Mel Gibson in the Christian role, and Anthony Hopkins as William Bligh, the legal commander of the ship. The impressive supporting cast also includes Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson.

Ambitious? You bet. It not only features big stars, but a big story as well. The historical details of the story are so complex that Nordhoff and Hall required three books to tell the whole tale. The first volume told of the actual mutiny. The second recounted Captain Cook's sail to safety in an open launch after he was set adrift from the Bounty. This was one of the most miraculous acts of seamanship in history. Bligh managed to traverse 3600 miles of open sea in an overcrowded boat, with nothing but a sextant and a watch, and he lost not a single member of his 18 loyal crewmen at sea.  The third Nordhoff/Hall volume followed the fate of the mutineers after their insurrection, including the establishment and ultimate failure of their new society on remote, uncharted, unpopulated Pitcairn Island.

The 1984 film uses as a framing device the hearing in which the Royal Navy examined Bligh's responsibility for the loss of his ship. Various and assorted admirals and other stuffy old bewigged fellows huff and puff about while Bligh pleads his case. This hearing was not based on a presumption of irresponsibility on Bligh's part, but was an automatic proceeding under British law, and Bligh was ultimately exonerated of any wrongdoing after he told his story, which we see in flashbacks. Somehow we also manage to see something of Fletcher's men post-mutiny as well, although Bligh could not be narrating their story to the court. The story ends with the mutineers burning the Bounty, symbolically separating themselves from England forever. Their ultimate fate is not addressed, not are the fates of the other men, loyalists and mutineers alike, who stayed behind on Tahiti to face their eventual courts-martial in England.

This version is generally believed to be the closest any film has come to the historical truth. The earlier versions of the story were based to some degree or another on the Nordhoff/Hall works, and those tended to portray Bligh as a ruthless taskmaster in contrast to Christian the compassionate hero. That inaccurate perspective is basically the result of Christian's brother having won the public relations battle with William Bligh back in England. Although the courts sided with Bligh, and he is considered to have been a fair man and a rather lenient disciplinarian by the standards of the day, he was an acid-tongued individual with few friends while (as the Wikipedia entry states) Edward Christian was a "celebrated barrister and brother of Fletcher. He wrote an impassioned screed defending his brother and had it appended to the court-martial proceedings of the 10 prisoners from the Bounty that had been captured in Tahiti and brought to London for trial. Although Bligh wrote a defense of his character supported by statements from crewmen on the Bounty and other vessels, Bligh lost the public opinion war. Thus was created the popular myth of the villainous Bligh and the noble Christian." In reality, Bligh was not only acquitted by the hearing, but went on to a long a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, eventually rising to the rank of vice-admiral!

The 1984 film is not based on the Nordhoff/Hall books, but on a 1972 account called "Captain Bligh and Mister Christian," written by Richard Hough. Lacking the "Christian as hero" conceit, the film takes a very unusual approach to the central character of Christian. It turns him into a virtual bystander. He rarely speaks. (I wonder if this always part of the character, or whether it was changed to accommodate Mel Gibson's uneasy British accent.) While the other Fletcher Christians of cinema have been tortured souls (Brando) or men of derring-do (Flynn and Gable), Gibson is simply a man of derring-don't, an enigmatic and taciturn figure guided by inertia, a reluctant leader who seems to offer his men neither leadership nor counsel, and never offers us a clear idea of why he chose to betray his friend, a man he had sailed with twice previously without incident. In fact, Christian was Bligh's protégé, and gladly signed on for the third voyage, during the early part of which Bligh promoted him over another officer to second-in-command. It seems to me that any version of this story needs to offer some explanation of how their friendship could have turned around so quickly.

Richard Hough's source book does offer that explanation, but the movie dropped it. Hough hypothesizes that Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian were really gay lovers, and that their intimate relationship explains why Bligh was so jealous of Christian's love affair with his Tahitian girl, why he rode Christian so hard after they sailed from Tahiti, and why he was in such a foul mood in general from the time Christian took on his native lover. Although that hypothesis supplied the motivation which the film was lacking, I'm glad the screenplay dropped the homosexual angle, although I have to admit that it might have been entertaining to see some sex scenes between Mad Max and Dr. Lecter. It is, however, quite interesting to watch the film after finding out that the source book had posited this theory, because there are some sequences that make more sense if you accept the gay subtext. In particular, there is a long sequence in which Bligh fidgets, fusses, and sleeps fitfully on the ship while Christian romps with his native lover, and the sequence could easily be interpreted to imply that Bligh is thinking of Christian and missing him romantically, although one would not draw that conclusion without knowing the theory in advance, or at least I didn't when I first watched the film. I assumed that Bligh was worried that his friend was "going native" and would be hard to re-civilize, and I felt that Bligh was perhaps a bit jealous because of his own seeming inability to enjoy his stay in Tahiti while Fletcher was just having such a good time.

Although the script didn't make Fletcher Christian gay, it did make him a bit of a weakling and so passive as to be virtually non-existent, and that makes the film uninvolving. As you watch this, you might share my strong dislike for both men. You may also feel that too much of the film's running time is occupied by spectacles which do not advance the story: the long, long greeting party in Tahiti; the long, long native ceremonies; the long, long period of storms wracking the ship as it tries to sail around the Horn. And after all that, the film still seems to end in the middle of the story.

The Bounty splits critics and audiences. Critics loved it. Roger Ebert and the BBC gave it perfect scores. 92% of the reviews linked from Rotten Tomatoes are positive. Yet the film opened on a weekend with three other big releases, and finished last among the four. It also lost out to some carry-overs. When the smoke had cleared, the total gross was a mere $8 million, despite the superstar cast. Critics may go to the theater for a history lesson, and may view a balanced and accurate film positively, but very few moviegoers give a whit for accuracy. Hey, I know the Gable/Laughton version was bullshit. But very entertaining bullshit. The main question moviegoers tend to ask is this: is the story fast-moving and involving enough to entertain? Based on the box office, this one was obviously not. 

IMDb says 6.7. I'd say that's quite fair, in that it recognizes the film's excellent production values and brilliant cast,  but also acknowledges its limitations

Miscellaneous useful links:


Film clips:


Tevaite Vernette



various women





Bill Maher - New Rules: America Isn't #1


Brian Atene today

  • Remember the guy who did the audition tape for Kubrick? Well, this is supposed to be him today.
  • You know that the real Atene has to surface soon (assuming the original tape is genuine, which is a big assumption)


Excerpts from Lynne Cheney's SISTERS, as well as her interview with the Wolfman.


Cheney Furious Over Release of Sex Tape ... Calls Timing Politically Motivated


"Japanese competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi will try to defend his title in a Tennessee hamburger-eating contest in which he is undefeated."


9 Reasons Not to Upgrade to Firefox 2.0

  • The techno-nerds are basically advising to stick with 1.5. Unfortunately, I upgraded yesterday!


Slashdot Discussion: "'The FBI has raided the home of Christopher Soghoian, the grad student who created the NWA boarding pass site. Details can be found on his blog including a scanned copy of the warrant. "


Zombies are real in New York - dead voters continue to cast ballots, eat brains.

  • "A new statewide database of registered voters contains as many as 77,000 dead people on its rolls, and as many as 2,600 of them have cast votes from the grave."


Legends in local advertising: Rochester's Jim "The Hammer" Shapiro. I LOVE this guy. Check out the fourth one down.


Legends in local advertising: "Norton Furniture in Cleveland, Ohio. His name is Marc, and you can count on it!"


"Lucy Liu does a little 'European nudity' for new horror flick"


Master of sleight-of-hand, street magician Cyril Takayama manipulates a cigarette


Top 10 Scariest Video Games


Today's kids today are much harder to scare.

  • Oh, those kids today with their fancy-schmancy serial killer movies and their MTV and their CGI. Why in my day, nobody went to any trouble to scare us. We would just go to an empty theater and try to scare each other by hiding behind the seats. Sometimes we would go see Mike Dwyer's Uncle Sean, and get scared by his goiter. Occasionally, for a really good scare, my mom would cook.


Weekend Box Office Results for October 27–29, 2006

  • The top twelve were just about even with last year. They were actually up by $2.1 million, and that was completely accounted for by the difference between Saw 2 and Saw 3.
  • Saw 3 opened with $34 million, compared to $32m for its predecessor, and $18m for the first one in the series. Saw 3 and Saw 2 were virtually identical in the "average per theater" column, but the latest one was in 200 more theaters.
  • Scorsese scored well again. The Departed held on to the #2 slot, and dropped only 27% despite losing a few theaters.
  • In a week in which the carry-over films had generally small drops, Grudge 2 was an exception, dropping 60%, presumably because it faced direct competition for its target audience from Saw 3.
  • Running with Scissors did well in limited distribution, and actually finished second in the "per screen" column to climb to tenth in aggregate revenues
  • Catch a Fire couldn't have done much worse. It barely crawled to $2m, which was less than half of expectations. And expectations were low to begin with!


Urban Legends Reference Pages: Halloween Legends


Second Lady Lynne Cheney Vehemently Denies Repulsive Charges That She Writes Hot & Heavy Lesbo Smut

  • "It's just absurd, thinking that I would ever write or even think about the fragrant, hirsute folds of sweet, honey-flavored vulvas!"


"Six More Commonly Believed Things That Are False "


Harry Houdini - murdered spy???


Nicole Richie Celebrity Death Watch



Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.







Dirt Merchant (1999)

Dirt Merchant is a comedy that went direct to late night cable and is also available on DVD. This is clearly a very low budget effort, despite a familiar cast, with names like David Faustino, David DeLouise, Julie Benz, Anthony Michael Hall, and porn star Jenna Jameson.

The film opens with Danny Masterson, as the title character, announcing that he just completed his first big case as a private investigator. He came to LA to join some school friends and make his name in the music business. He wanted to be creative director when he was hired as gopher by a one artist label. When he wandered into an investor meeting, was asked his opinion, and gave it, he was fired. After wallowing in self-pity until he was dead broke, he landed a job as a process server. Meanwhile, he ex, Julie Benz, has taken the job he wanted. When he finds the label's artist dead in the process of serving a warrant, he must solve the case to clear his name, with the help of his room mates. Along the way, he hooks up with the singer's girlfriend, Holly So Tightly (Jenna Jameson), a porn star who wants to make it in the recording industry.

It is probably not possible to judge from the above if this film is worth watching or not. It would be all in the execution.  The film is loud and disjointed, there is nearly constant narration, and very little character development. And the music was definitely not my cup of tea.  Breasts and buns help... but not enough.

Generously, this is a very low C-.

IMDb readers say 4.5.



Jenna Jameson













Today is a "Babes in Bondage" doubleheader day.

From "The Creeps" we have caps of Rhonda Griffin (sadly no nudity).


Also from "The Creeps" we have "Caps & Clips" of Kristen Norton as a "Damsel in Distress," who loses her top to the Creeps. (Two .wmvs zipped together)







Notes and collages

Pia Zadora in "Butterfly"

...if you have not seen this film then I would be cheating you by explaining this collage.

...on a tangent Pia was married to a very wealthy person who was able to get her film roles of which this is one...

Personally I see her as a major cutie (and I like this film.)










Martina Gedeck  in Elementarteilchen. That blue pic is hot!

Lenka Kripac in Lost Things.

Alex Vaughn in Lost Things

Nicki Aycox and Cathryn de Prume in Over There

Per Zoo magazine, England's "Top 20 Models" of 2004, all naked together

Caroline Chojnacki in Live Feed: Unrated

Charlene McCulloch in Live Feed: Unrated

Linda Stang in Live Feed: Unrated