Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not so sharpe, these soldiers

Dark circles under eyes is an odd way of saying something - the lack of 'the' before the 'eyes' gives it a kind of person speaking English as a second language feel. So I'm not sure why a company would advertise themselves with such a link. Mine not to reason why, mine but to do or die, to paraphrase Charge of Light Brigade. (This removal of the the definite article is catching.)

Talking of soldiers charging into battle, I've been spasmodically watching the Sean Bean series, Sharpe, on Prime television over the last few weeks - it's on Friday night, so it tends to come at that time of the week when making an effort to do anything else is wearying. I'm not up with the story enough to keep track of who's who, and quite honestly, only Sharpe and one other character, an Irishman - played by Daragh O'Malley), seem to consistently appear (although I'm no doubt wrong about this).

In last night's episode, as far as I could make out, they were trying to conquer some walled city (in Spain?) by first creating a breech with cannon fire, and then sending in men to scale the broken wall. How anyone was ever supposed to survive these absurd break-ins is beyond me, especially when they had no protection from the gunfire coming from the city walls above them. This type of warfare was still in play in the First World War, when sending thousands of men into battle with no armour was the norm. Even the Romans, way back in the year dot, were far more canny. They used shields against the arrows and spears and other weapons, and had some armour. These guys in Sharpe just run straight into the gunfire, and fall over like ninepins in a bowling alley. Absurd.

Of course Sharpe and his core cast of characters survive everything going - which is just as silly as the way in which the warfare is conducted in the first place. (As was the survival of Pete Postlethwaite in this episode: he played a Sergeant with several screws loose, and managed to get away with nothing more than a leg wound - and that was given to him by that arch sharp(e)-shooter, the Irishman who'd such a marksman normally he should have been able to pinpoint a spot on his head and actually hit it. No doubt Postlethwaite lives to chew the scenery another day and eventually come off worst.

Bean was in the Jodie Foster movie, Flightplan, which we caught up with the other night. It proved to be better than expected, though hung on a fairly thin premise. Nevertheless it made the most of its surroundings, with lots of sinister Hitchcock-like moments, and a bunch of people who seemed perversely inattentive to the problem at hand. The two baddies were suspicious from early on; we just couldn't see why they were suspicious.

Incidentally, the imdb.com has had a facelift. There are plusses and minuses: it looks better, but you have to dig a bit further to find stuff that came up much quicker previously.
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