20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

I’ve been renting quite a few movies lately being stuck at home with a cold. I recently rented “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” which I was told was pretty bad but I was in the mood for a popcorn movie. Anyway, it wasn’t quite as bad as I was lead to believe, probably because I watched with the right attitude but it did raise a few questions.

One was “Who was Dorian Gray”. I looked that up and found the book although I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to actually read it. It sounds very interesting though. The other was, what was Captain Nemo really like. I have not read that book and like many my only points of reference come from the Disney movie.

So, I went to go look it up on Amazon.com but then I realized it’s a friggen old book and should be public domain by now. I searched for it and found it here. Amazon sells a PDF version for $4.95. Why would I want that I’m not sure. I can see paying for a printed version since it’s still easier to read on paper.

But that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is someone went to the trouble to make a computer reading of it here. I’m not sure I could take that type of speech for too long but there are people working on systems that sound more natural.

  • League and Leagues

    Agreed with you on the movie: pretty much watched it with the same negative reviews in mind and found it quite entertaining in the end.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is an awesome book, though it’s got much less to do with fantastic literature or even adventure books as the rest of the characters do, it’s rather symbolic and filled with Oscar Wilde’s notorious wit, so if you like incisive sentences on life and society and dark humour (similar to the movie character to a certain extent, I guess), you might enjoy it. It’s very short, if I remember correctly, so you might as well try 😉

    Captain Nemo comes from the books of Jules Verne, that I used to read a lot as a kid. He can be quite arguably cast as one of the first major science-fiction writers of all times, and the sheer number of crazy ideas and highly developed “pseudo-scientific” technologies in his books make him some kind of a Leonardo de Vinci of the imaginary realm. Among many other things (and from hazy memory), he wrote a story about the first rocket trip to the moon, a trip to the center of the earth, Captain Nemo and his submarine, of course, and tons of other concepts, few people had thought of in the 19th century.

    However, I must say he’s not as entertaining to read as he sound. The ideas are great, but the books are usually overly lengthy, stretched and quite dated. Lots of attention to technical and scientific details, but since they rely on last century’s scientific conceptions, they are hardly convincing anyway.

    Doubt I could take the speech version for more than 10 minutes…

  • keeping
    Nice flick.

    I enjoyed this movie as well.  I suspect the ones who said it was bad are the purists who have read the original comic book series.  There were a lot of changes made to the movie which would have riled them a bit (or a lot).

  • dorian

    I read the Dorian Grey book, because of my name, it was the only other Dorian I had heard of while growing up. It is a dark book, The reason the picture has power is because the painter was in love with Dorian, and captured not just Dorians beauty, but his own way of seeing Dorian. when Dorian sees the picture, he sort of falls in love with himself, and makes a wish that he could stay the same and the picture change.

    He is not how he is shown in  the movie in my opinion, because everyone sees him as nice, sweet and carefree, as he was painted. Its what the picture shows of his soul thats important, not that he retains his youth. 


  • dorian

    from my distant memory, Nemo was never stated to be an Indian Hindu, he had a real grudge against the empires of the world, and it seemed those empires with thier colonial wars were responsible for his families death or somesuch.

    He was supposed to be polite and nice to his prisoners, but willing to kill many in his private war. Basically he was a terrorist, but it explored how he ended up as such, not just a bad man.

  • This annotation site explain why Moore shows Nemo as Indian.


    Go down to the p11 panel 3 says the description is in Verne’s “The Mysterious Island”

    “Captain Nemo was an Indian, Prince Dakkar, the son of a rajah of the then independent territory of Bundelkund and a nephew of the Indian hero, Tippu-Sahib.”

    For an even fuller version there’s a print version (which explains things in the comics frame-by-frame) “Heroes and Monsters” by Jess Nevins