Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Seriously? THIS is the best they could come up with?

A bunch of pirates racing to find the fountain of youth? If pirates wanted to live forever, wouldn’t they take better care of their eyes and teeth? To be fair, it does pick up right after the third one left off, but still…

Was anyone surprised that losing Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley had no effect on the franchise whatsoever? No one ever gave a shit about their characters anyway, they were just filler. It was odd that the filmmakers didn’t even bother to allude to them, then again, their lives in between conjugal visits would be pretty boring…

I don’t particularly care for Penelope Cruz, mostly because she is not Salma Hayek…but also because she always looks like she is smelling a fart. Honey, that look is not sultry…it’s stinky.

I’ve got to mention the evil mermaids – they freaked my four year old’s shit OUT. She’s going through a mermaid phase right now, between her Mermaid Barbie and some movie with Dora saving mermaids that she’s watched no less than 300 times. She kept asking if those mermaids were mean. I wanted to tell her that they’re pissed off that they have to be in this stupid, shitty movie, but I restrained myself. Being a good parent is hard.

My husband thinks that this one was slightly better than the second and third ones, but I’m not so sure about that. The plot was only slightly less confusing, or maybe I was just not paying attention while playing Words with Friends on my phone. I’m sure I will pay just as little attention to the fifth one when it comes out…

Honestly, I’ll watch and somewhat enjoy pretty much ANY movie that has Johnny Depp in a cool costume. On Stranger Tides was at least less tortuous than The Astronaut’s Wife or The Ninth Gate.

   

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Three hours of my life that I will never get back. At least I broke it up into an hour apiece on three different days.

It’s like they decided what special effects they wanted to do and then pieced together a plot to string the special effects together. Compounding that, it’s been so long since I saw the second one, that I could barely remember what the hell was going on anyway. Every one kept double-crossing each other to the point that I couldn’t figure out what the fuck was going on. That’s the point I realized that it didn’t matter what each pirate’s personal motivations are – my job as the viewer is to sit there and look at the pretty pictures.

I had an uncomfortable “Don’t be THAT guy” moment last week. At a party, friend (Justin, late of the legendary 8 nevers was considering watching At World’s End, based on the appearance of Chow Yun-Fat. My response was, “Don’t bother, he dies.” Oh my God, I’m an asshole! In my defense, I was fairly drunk off my ass – but still no excuse for revealing plot points to the unwilling. I can’t feel too bad though, maybe I did him a favor if he never has to waste three hours of his life watching this dumb pirate movie. In any case, karma got me back yesterday. My cousin accidentally told me that it was a computer doing it in Eagle Eye. [EDITED TO SPOILORIZE – SORRY SCOTTICUS]

By the end of the film, every time Johnny Depp was on screen, my son would point at the screen and say, “Mommy, there’s my favorite pirate!” I guess I should be proud – I’d be worried about him if his favorite pirate was Orlando Bloom.

I finally realized why Keira Knightley is in these films – she looks like she has scurvy!

The good news is that it’s not any worse than the second one. The bad news is that it isn’t any better either. So I guess they’re making a 4th movie about the Fountain of Youth? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

This is a stinky movie, full of stinky pirates, stinky villains and a stinky plot to boot.

The first one wasn’t a bad film. Making a movie out of a Disneyland attraction was a novel concept back then…before Haunted Mansion and The Country Bears. Johnny Depp was still best known for his role as Edward Scissorhands and did not have an Oscar nomination, Orlando Bloom was typecast as an elf and no one cared how skinny Keira Knightley was. The success of the first film irrevocably mandated that not one, but two sequels be made simultaneously and as quickly as possible. Pirate mania struck the nation and Disney had to cash in on it…well fuck Disney right in their ass. This movie made me unhappy and angry. It’s not that I can’t follow a convoluted plot – I understood Lost Highway, dammit – but it was just convoluted for the sake of making the movie longer. I could have done without the whole Captain Jack is King of the Natives part. It was just an excuse to put silly makeup on Johnny Depp – it didn’t add anything but the same tired cannibal jokes that haven’t been funny since Bugs Bunny did them.

Halfway through film, Elizabeth forgets that she is in love with Will and starts getting all horny for Captain Jack. This was basically the point in the film where I said, “Fuck it, this is stupid.” Of course, I would pick Johnny Depp over Orlando Bloom any day of the week – but in terms of character development – it didn’t make sense at all. I understand that she only made out with him to save the rest of the crew – but honestly, that would have worked just fine without her doubting herself with the compass.

Why is Davey Jones a squid? In fact, I assumed that the undead monkey’s name WAS Davey Jones – because really, isn’t a monkey named Davey Jones funnier than a squid named Davey Jones?

Soooooo long and soooooo boring, this movie could not end quickly enough. I will watch the sequel only for Keith Richards’ performance – not because I think I will enjoy it.

 

The Pirate Movie

I brought the newly released DVD with me on my most recent trip home. My sister and i asked my mother if she wanted to watch The Pirate Movie with us. “The one with Johnny Depp?” “No, The Pirate Movie.” “The one with Kristy McNichol? Ohhhh….”, she replied, almost crestfallen. Well, who doesn’t prefer Johnny Depp to that dude from The Blue Lagoon? That’s totally beside the point!

Even though this was one of my favorite movies growing up, it had been at least a decade, decade and a half since I had seen it. I certainly was not prepared for how cringingly bad The Pirate Movie really is. After less than five minutes, I couldn’t stop myself from yelling at the TV, “This is so fucking gay!” Seriously – Richard Simmons would call these pirates a bunch of faggots. Even so, I kept on watching, relishing every bad joke, every homoerotic pirate moment. One by one, they fell asleep – my mother, my sister, my father – until only I was left. (Actually, I’m not sure if my dad was asleep or in a state of suspended animation – he has this weird ability to avoid any ‘offensive’ TV selections by pausing whatever he’s doing and falling into a slumber-state that can last seconds or hours, only to pop back into consciousness and pick up right where he left off when the credits roll. Thank god he quit smoking in the house.) I felt bad about making my very manly father sit through the gayness that is The Pirate Movie for about 5 minutes – that is until I recognized the movie he selected to watch after I went to bed. Expecting the usual Hitler Channel bullshit, I was very surprised to hear Bjork coming from the other room – he was watching Tank Girl. I can only assume that he was only watching it for the tanks?

Gayness be damned, this is still a kickass movie. Admittedly, I now mean that ironically, whereas I recall actually thinking this was a good movie back in the day. But what does a seven year old know about camp? Why don’t people dress up and perform this movie like Rocky Horror? I admit, Christopher Atkins isn’t much of a gay icon – but how about Kristy McNichol? Didn’t she come out of the closet?

Knowing that I was going to be writing a review of this movie as I was watching it, I tried to cast a critical eye, while keeping my memories in mind. A few things jumped out at me. First off – this is one of THE worst edited films I have ever seen. Seriously, the continuity fairy was nowhere to be found on this movie set. Second, I still can’t figure out if Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol did their own singing. I’m fairly sure that they aren’t doing their own singing – but then again, wouldn’t they have hired better talent if that was the case? And what was with the random underwater animation sequence? Dancing fish – what the fuck? Another nagging question – was I imagining the homoerotic subtext of the pirates? They seemed intentionally gay, but then again, I think ALL pirates are, by definition, gay. Finally – why the heck did they get married at the end? They didn’t even know each other! AND WHY DIDN’T ANY OF THESE THINGS BOTHER ME BEFORE? WAS I RETARDED?

And for those of you keeping score in the ongoing Ninja vs. Pirate discussion – these totally gay pirates totally kick some Ninja ass – see, I told you so! Advantage, Pirates…

Now that I own The Pirate Movie on DVD, my only wish is to own the soundtrack. You bet your ass I’d sing along to it in the car.

The Goonies

For some reason, I have this uncontrollable compulsion that causes me to watch The Goonies every single time it’s on TV. I’ve watched it on HBO and I’ve watched it cut to hell on USA and even on the crappy local station. I’ve even watched it on Telemundo, which makes the scene with the maid a bit surreal. I wonder if it’s just me that’s burdened with this weird affliction? Or is there a whole cadre of Gen X-ers completely incapacitated every single time The Goonies is shown on television?

In any case, I’ve had that stupid Cyndi Lauper song stuck in my head for several days since my last viewing of The Goonies – did I mention that I still have the Goonies single on 45? Catchy as it is, it’s not a song that you’d want to be stuck in your head for days on end…because along with that song comes images of professional wrestlers trying to act in a shitty music video. Who wants Captain Lou Albano dancing around in their head for three days straight? I’ll also pass on trying to explain the relationship between a group of misfit kids and a bunch of greased up, middle aged men in underoos who tackle each other for a living.

The plot is simple – the Goonies are on a quest to find hidden treasure to avoid the foreclosure on Mikey’s home. It sounds retarded now as an adult, knowing what I know about mortgages and banks and how worthless “treasure” is, since it always ends up in a museum, with the finder getting jack shit. To a kid though, the Goonies had set upon a most noble quest, nobler still when you consider they were being chased by a bunch of murderous Italians.

Did Joe Pantoliano ever have a full head of hair? No? Okay then, carry on.

I love all the Goonies equally – except Andie. I hate Andie. Her screeching was annoying and I get totally skeeved everytime she makes out with Mikey. I mean, come ON – he’s 12!

Everytime someone in the movie says “One Eyed Willie,” I giggle like a schoolgirl. Why? Because I have a very juvenile sense of humor. Funny though – I didn’t think of a penis when the movie first came out…Maybe only adults are capable of being that immature?

Sooooo…I’ll bet you were expecting a continuation of my Corey Feldman rant, weren’t you? Sorry to disappoint, but I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Corey here. Even though it can likely be attributed to the Chris Columbus’ writing, somehow Feldman ended up with the best character out of all the Goonies. He’s got the best one liners and the best comic delivery of any of the kids. His hair looks kind of fucked up throughout the whole movie, but that’s the worst thing that I can think to say about him in this context. Plus, he hadn’t met Corey Haim yet, so I cut him a little slack.

One last thing…I am SO glad those talks of a Goonies sequel are over and done with! I was horrified, yet intrigued when the rumors started making the rounds several years ago, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be like copping a squat on John Matuszak’s grave. Just because most of the cast has nothing better to do doesn’t mean that it should be done. Gosh!

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Contrary to popular belief, it’s PIRATES, not NINJAS, that are so totally sweet that you’ll crap your pants.

I’ve always loved pirates. Well, ‘always’ stemming back to when I first saw The Pirate Movie. I loved that movie so much that I started trying to watch other pirate movies – because I thought they must be just as cool. Unfortunately, most other pirate movies suck. Maybe if I tried to watch Roman Polanski’s Pirates! again, 20 years later, I would be more impressed than I was then…not fucking likely though.

In any case, Pirates of the Caribbean is no Cutthroat Island – it’s a bloody entertaining film. (Not literally bloody – British slang bloody!) It was far more action-packed than I expected, which is a pretty tall order for any film over two hours long. There really weren’t any draggy bits. I fully intended to only watch half of it one night, then watch the rest the next day, but I found that I really couldn’t just turn it off in the middle.

For the life of me, I can’t think of any film that Johnny Depp has ever been bad in – or even so-so, for that matter. No one else could have been Jack Sparrow, that’s for damn sure. Everyone else in the cast was fairly interchangeable – I could have enjoyed the film just as much with Kevin Spacey as Captain Barbossa, Jake Gyllenhaal as Will and Kristin Kreuk as Elizabeth. The rest of the cast didn’t matter at all – just Johnny Depp. Other reviews have said all kinds of things about Depp’s performance – gold teeth, gay pirate, Keith Richards impersonation, “swishbuckler,” blah blah blah – the only thing that matters was that he was entertaining to watch. He was nominated for an Oscar, wasn’t he?

As a matter of fact, any scene without Jack Sparrow was as boring as Hell. Scratch that – any scene without Jack or that little monkey. It goes without saying that a sequel is already in the works – not sure how they’ll make it new and exciting without treading over the same ground – what are the odds that there’s yet another haunted pirate ship roaming around the Caribbean? I don’t care as long as the monkey gets a role.

Throughout the whole thing, I couldn’t help but think to myself – “Gareth has a wooden eye!” and “I wonder if Gareth’s the Team Leader of the pirates?” Those of you familiar with The Office will get what I mean.

As it’s fairly unlikely that I will ever be able to force myself to sit through The Country Bears or The Haunted Mansion, I’ll make the assumption right now that Pirates of the Caribbean is the best film ever made based on a Disney Land ride…although I’m holding out on final judgement in the event that Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride makes it to the big screen.