Monday, March 10, 2008

New Adventures Await!

Ahoy, citizens of Hornland! 'Tis many months' time since last I put proverbial pen to electronic parchment, and you must have been gravely concerned lest this humble Hornblog founder like a Portuguese caravel in nor'-eastern winds. Fear not, for this vessel holds as true to course as ever! Keep 'er steady mates, for a-sailing we shall go!

True Hornies will remember that I recently encountered rough waters while voyaging aboard my '98 Subaru, the Crab. You may also recall that the voyage in question was no pleasure cruise: I was engaged in official at the behest of my employer, Domino's. Upon my return to port I was court-martialed by Phil - my commanding officer, and a knavish whelp at that! As a result, your humble servant finds himself once again on the unemployment line.

But have no worries for the devoted Hornblogger. I shall land on my feet in no time, just as Hornblower so quickly recovered from the grueling blockade of Brest! I recently made an initial foray into job-seeking at the local apothecary, owned and operated by the good sire Walgreen. I will spare you Hornies the gory details but suffice it to say that my interview did not go swimmingly. The powers-that-be took particular umbrage at so-called "inaccuracies" in my curriculum vitae. Apparently, their definition of "Military Service" does not extend to my three years as a broadswordsman at the Renaissance Fair. What rubbish! I grappled toe to toe with the French at Agincourt, and this is the recognition I receive? For shame!

But I digress. Having given you a full report of my activities since our last communication, I must take my leave in order to continue my quest for employment. But news of our hero Hornblower shall soon be forthcoming! Anchors aweigh!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Perilous Voyage!

Friends, countrymen, Hornies, allow me to take a brief sabbatical from news of the hornblowing world to relate a tale of danger and derring-do that your humble Hornblogger survived just this past week. Perhaps you will find, as I did, the parellels between myself and our hero Hornblower to be quite striking...

My adventure began I was traveling aboard the Crab (that's my trusty Suburu Outback, lest you have forgotten!). I was on most urgent business, delivering three pizzas and an order of buffalo kickers to a house on the other side of town. I had made a detour to my local video store to procure a copy of the newly released DVD edition of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and was therefore running late. My commanding officer, an ill-humored 19-year-old named Phil, had already given me a formal reprimand for tardiness. One more customer complaint, and I should suffer the humiliation of having my buttons stripped in front of the entire crew of the good ship Domino!

I was thus making swift headway upon my route when I heard a loud pop from my aft starboard tire. My vessel swerved wildly to starboard, as if ensnared by the turbulent waters of the Maelstrom itself! It was only with the greatest dexterity and helmsmanship that I was able to anchor safely on the side of the road. I had made a narrow escape from the murky oblivion of Davey Jones, at least for the time being! I called the local AAA and awaited my rescue. One hour passed, then two. Twilight had begun to replace the fading sun, and who knew what perils awaited lonely mariners on that desolate interstate! Fortunately, I had three pizzas and a carton of delicious buffalo kickers to sustain myself through those dark hours.

At last, my reinforcements arrived! All was well...or so I thought. My would-be savior turned out to be a most insubordinate young whelp. He gave his name as "John," though such vagabonds often travel under assumed names. He approached his task with the laziness of a French courtesan during the feast of St. Pascal. Were this the mighty Indefatigable, and were I the brave Captain Hornblower, I would have given this layabout 10 stern lashes upon the fo'c'sle, by God! As it was, I contented myself by unleashing a silent torrent of mental criticism regarding his slow pace, slovenly appearance, and snide demeanor.

At long last, "John" finished his work and I was free to make homeward passage. As I maneuvered my vessel onto the highway, I heard a strange, metallic noise. A few seconds later, the starboard side of my vehicle burst into a calamitous uproar of screeching metal! The oaf had failed to tighten the lug nuts, and my wheel had disappeared into the night! For a second time, I desperately swung my ship a-starboard and skidded onto the median. How few seamen are blessed to escape a watery grave twice in one day!

Once again I was marooned along the lonesome highway. I regretted mightily my decision to consume all three pizzas and the entire box of buffalo kickers earlier that afternoon! I passed an hour in hunger and solitude, not knowing what fate the cruel seas held in store for me! Like Hornblower imprisoned in Ferrol, I whiled away the time by agonizing over the mistakes that had led me to this impasse. After that long and dreary hour, I was finally rescued by my ladylove on her way back from her anime voiceover translation class. Though shaken by the events of the day, and though I would most likely lose my commission as Assistant Manager, I was thankful to return safely to my home port.

Not even on his most perilous voyage to the Indies did valiant Hornblower face such danger twice, and live to tell the tale!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Call to Arms!

Good day to you all, my Hornies! 'Tis a glorious week at the humble abode of your faithful Hornblogger, whither gentle thoughts of autumn are carried upon the cool breeze. One can easily imagine the graceful clipper ships of the line returning to the safe waters of Bristol harbor after a long voyage from the Spice Islands. But alas, there may well be dark days ahead...

I happened to overhear a most shocking piece of news this weekend as I escorted my fair ladylove to her fortnightly Rennaissance Fair rehearsal. (Though most days she be my beloved sweetheart and true, on every other Sunday she assumes her second identity as Burmel, the kindly leper.) Upon my return I verified this startling revelation upon the telegraph machine of the modern age, the World Wide Web. Brace yourselves, Hornies, for here comes a swell to the rear:

A dastardly organization of international rogues and misfits called the Napoleonic Historical Society plans to hold a conference in the land of Chicago in a few weeks' time. As their name implies, these scoundrels are united by a common bond of admiration and respect for the most villainous Frenchman the world has yet to see, Napoleon Bonaparte! Who knows what skullduggery will be perpetrated once all of these lowlifes are congregated in one place!! This calamitous convention is scheduled to take place from October 12-14 at the Union League Club.

It is our duty - nay, our privilege - as Hornies to combat the machinations of Old Boney's modern-day henchmen. We shall open the hostilities with a salvo from afar. We must all write to the president of the Union League Club warning him of the dangers he is about to unleash upon the world. Should these efforts fail, I urge you all to take ship poste-haste to the fair city of Chicago to protest this vile perfidy in person! Would Hornblower expect anything less of his scions? Would he expect anything less of himself? Batten the hatches! Ready the cannon! Forward, brave Hornies! Forward for England and King George! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

O Captain, My Captain!

Latest news on the development of Hornblower, fresh from the East India Company's monthly packet (i.e. my email inbox)! Excuse my lack of a formal greeting, but I am breathless with excitement! You see Hornies, for many months the identity of the director of Hornblower has been shrouded in secrecy. Many rumors indicated that Michael Bay would take up the call for King and Country and turn the film into one of his infamous summer blockbusters. But as I knew all along, such whispers were drivel and nonsense!

My source (who is as closely placed as a Spanish spy in the court of Prince Henry of Portugal) has revealed to me that the shadowy figure looming behind the film is none other than Ang Lee! In the opinion of your humble Hornblogger, this is most excellent news! Lee has considerable experience with period pieces (look no further than Sense and Sensibility for proof of this!). His work on Brokeback Mountain qualifies him to explore the complex relationship between Hornblower and his rival, Midshipman Simpson . He has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to craft thrilling action sequences, as evidenced by the underrated Hulk. And my devoted Hornies will certainly recall his most famous work, the epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon!

It is this facet of his style that most intrigues your narrator. He plans to put the mysticism of pre-industrial seafaring back into the Hornblower saga.! He will incorporate surreal swashbuckling sequences into the film that bend the realm of physical possibility. Hornblower's internal struggle to balance duty to his country and personal ambition will be conceptualizedby fierce, magical combat fought upon a spiritual plane. In short, Lee's style is perfect for a visionary, forward-looking Hornblower that will captivate audiences of the 21st century...and beyond! Three cheers for the great Ang Lee! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Uncharted Waters!

While I am sure you are all bursting to hear more details regarding the upcoming production of Hornblower (see my last two posts and their accompanying comments), I fear that for now I must steer you on a new course, which I trust you will find equally as diverting! Trust me when I tell you that this is not the last you will be hearing of the Hornblower cinematic experience. But for now, a new tack it shall be!

Though I consider myself to be Captain of the Hornies, I am far from being the only person on earth with knowledge of the great men who rode the waves in the days of yore! While enjoying a cool draught of mead at the local inn and public house last night, several old salts and I debated over which legendary seafarer would prevail in a contest of swordsmanship, fought fairly under the rules of King Charles, God Save Him! To settle our feud, please send in a comment stating which of the following mariners you think would win in such a duel:

a) Horatio Hornblower
b) Captain Jack Sparrow
c) Blackbeard
d) Horatio Hornblower's ghost
e) Sinbad (the Sailor, not the actor, of course!)

As always, fair winds and calm seas to you, my Hornies!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Shot Across the Bow!

When it rains, it pour with the gale forces of a so'wester off the Barbary Coast! Another post comes your way, Hornies! In the wake of the news so recently posted on this site, esteemed actor Iaon Gruffudd has cast doubts on the ability of young Shia LaBeouf to accurately capture the essence of Hornblower. True Hornies will remember Gruffudd for his role as young Horatio in the regrettably short-lived A&E miniseries Horatio Hornblower. If you are as interested in comic books as I am (and I suspect that you are), you will also know him as Mr. Fantastic himself, Dr. Reed Richards!

Sire Gruffudd is doubly miffed becasue the producers of Hornblower have asked him to appear in the film...but in the minor role of Jackson the irritable coxswain, rather than his accustomed part as the fresh-faced Horatio! The pistols are charged, the steps are paced, and the duel is about to commence! I put the question you : who is the better man to grasp the sword of Hornblower, a veteran Blower like Guffudd, or a fresh-faced up-and-comer like LaBeouf? Keep your responses flowing like rum in the Virgin Isles, my Horned friends!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The News Arrives!

Well met, Hornies! My deepest apologies for the long delay since my last post. I recently completed my long-awaited voyage (nay, pilgrimage) to New Zealand, where I trekked across the wild realms of Middle Earth. Needless to say, my elven cloak had no concealments for such sorceries as computers and mobile phones! I therefore have not had a chance to bring you the most fortuitous news I promised several weeks ago. But anger yourselves not, Hornies - in the days of Hornblower it would have taken two full years for a letter to travel to the American Colonies from the lands of Terra Australis! Without further ado...

My sources in Hollywood have confirmed that Universal Studios will soon be filming the first major motion picture based on the life of our hero in over 50 years, an adaptation of the seminal novel Mr. Midshipman Hornblower!!!!

The title of the screen adaptation has been shortened to the bastardized (yet catchy, nonetheless) Hornblower. Upcoming young actor Shia LaBeouf is in talks to take up the sword of His Majesty's Royal Navy as the young, brash Midshipman Hornblower, while Patrick Stewart is onboard (pun most certainly intended!) as Hornblower's stern yet fair commander, Captain Edward Pellew. Daniel Radcliffe will appear in the role of Hornblower's rival, the diabolically clever Midshipman Simpson. And Jonathan Rhys Meyers will co-star as Old Boney himself, the dastardly Napoleon Bonaparte!

I swear upon the collected works of C.S. Forester that I will keep all my Hornies updated as this project develops. For now, fair winds to you all!