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Basil (1998)
Interesting movie, very enjoyable. I would recommend it.
3 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Basil, based on the Wilkie Collins novel, has little of the novel in it. In the novel, John Mannion is a man in his forties who is completely calm at all times and intrigues Basil, as a mystery. Basil's brother, Ralph, is an ambassador and quite a playboy. Clara is Basil's younger sister. The Julia character, called Margaret in the book, is an innocent, but spoiled girl. Basil has finished college and is of age. The agreement with Mr. Sherwin is to keep the marriage a secret for a full year.

The book is generally regarded as a classic Victorian pot boiler. It may be, but I prefer the movie.

I like the inclusion of Basil's imaginary masked man stories as a child. In having already exiled Ralph, we see clearly what the father will do if he finds out about the relationship between Basil and Julia. Mannion here is a worldly, genial friend to Basil, introducing him to smoking cigars and talk of sex. He seems to be Basil's salvation. Clara being a child taken in by Basil's parents rather than a sibling seems contrived only for one scene, but it doesn't detract that she is not his sister.

Basil, being only 20, and still at college, makes it far more believable that he would not suspect those around him of being anything but honest and honorable. The idea that the relationship must be kept secret for only three months makes the story move along faster and is more believable.

The incident Basil sees as a child, involving his father, makes his Father's talk of family pride ring false. In the book Basil insists that his father is a good man, though blatantly classist, and cold to his children. In the movie, we know that he is not as good as he wants people to think.

Basil's having to do manual labor, and being shocked at the pittance he gets for it is still a social issue and one Collins did not address.

The inclusion of the child shows Basil to be a much more honorable, moral and principled man in the end than his father ever was.

It's an interesting movie, the acting is suited to a Victorian drama, and I enjoyed it very much.
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Warehouse 13: 3... 2... 1 (2011)
Season 3, Episode 5
H.G. and Wolly were the highlight
9 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and the only reason it fell one star short of 10 is that it seems entirely implausible that one little boy could keep the horn for so long without disintegrating himself or someone/something else, thus causing attention to fall upon him. Also, the whereabouts of the horn while he, Daniel Varley, was institutionalized are a mystery.

And the absence of Steve Jinks.

The main point of the episode however, H.G. Wells and her Victorian adventure with the horn, was superb! I liked her partner Wolcott very much and the two actors seemed to have excellent chemistry. The fight scene was well-choreographed and executed. It's good to know that the agents of Warehouse 12 could kick ass! Her brother, Charles, was wonderfully vain and vapid and could be used for comic relief when needed.

H.G. was much more likable as a trustworthy character, and yet her brilliance and sense of humor still shone through.

I think that H.G., and most especially H.G. and Wolcott, could easily carry off a series of their own, and with the steam punk elements and Victorian comedy of manners it would be sufficiently different from the present day Warehouse 13 to be a hit.
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