Will Turner Is Trash And Other Pirates Thoughts

This week, drowned in Cinco De Mayo Tequila and Boredom and sadness that I wasn’t in Disney World as planned, I made a decision. It might not have been a great decision, but that decision was to watch the Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl. 

That wasn’t the mistake, that movie is great. It’s fun, and funny, and effects are cool, and the performances are great, and it has my second favorite sword fight in any movie ever.

The mistake came when after watching The Curse Of The Black Pearl, I thought, “I wonder if the sequels are as bad as I remember.”

And in truth, the first three sequels, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End and On Stranger Tides are not as bad as I remember. They’re still fun to watch. But that fifth movie, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is possibly even worse than I remembered it, when I reviewed it here.

But here are some things that came to mind, watching the series again.

  • Boy, after that first movie, Will Turner sucks. Not Orlando Bloom’s performance which is always a little bit dull but fine. I mean the character as written. The creators got it in their heads that Elizabeth and Will were going to have a tragic star crossed romance no matter how much it ruined Will as a character. He backstabs everyone and everyone is still like, “Will’s the good guy!” NO! Will is not the good guy! Will sucks.
  • In On Stranger Tides Ian McShane plays Black Beard and if you punctuated each of his lines with “Cocksucker,” “son of a whore,” or any of the other colorful profanity of Deadwood it would basically be the same performances Al Swearangen and I am 100% OK with it. Ian McShane chewing scenery is the best.
  • People think that Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is what’s great about these movies. And it is an incredible performance, but what makes them great are the supporting cast, which is why the last two movies are not so good. Jack Davenport, Kiera Knightly, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally, Tom Hollander, Naomie Harris, Lee Artenberg and Mackenzie Crook and Jonathan Price, are what made the first three movies really really special. The sequels loses these actors and characters and are poorer for them. (Except Rush, but they kind of run Barbosa into the ground)
  • I am particularly obsessed with Jack Davenport as James Norrington and I hate that Mary was right about this because he was always her favorite. I didn’t make the connection about him being great until I watched Smash where he played the awful director Derek Wells. (TEAM IVY!)
  • It is incredible how Jack goes from an actual performance to straight schtick. It’s also really annoying.
  • Kiera Knightly is super cool.
  • Barbossa is even worse than Jack when it comes to an interesting performances becoming Schtick. It takes a little longer, Geoffrey Rush makes it through the first three movies, but by the fourth, there’s nothing left in the tank.
  • I am, as it turns out, much more attached to these movies than I thought I was. I think it’s because that first trilogy came out while I was in high school and they were like Acceptable? nerd movies. I didn’t have to pretend I only liked them because of Hugh Jackman.
  • In retrospect it is incredible how necessary Will and Elizabeth are to the plot and spine of the films. Part of what hurts the last two m”ovies is that you lose them and their naivete and sense of discovery about the world and none of the characters brought in to replace them quite hit the right tone.
  • I still love Brenton Thwaites, even though that fifth movie sucks. He’s still Dick Grayson
  • The whole Mermaid subplot in the fourth movie adds absolutely nothing
  • Will Turner only came ashore 1 of the 2 chances he had to see Elizabeth, which again, links back to the title of this post he is straight TRASH and she is THE FUCKING PIRATE KING, (and it is, it is a glorious thing) and she deserves better than his ambivalent complacent ass.
  • The fifth movie totally wastes Javier Bardem and that should be a goddamned crime. Nothing about his character makes any sense.
  • Johnny Depp is likely a terrible person, I don’t feel like passing judgement on that here.

ANYWAY! I’m really excited that I got five posts in this week, and I’m already on my way to three for next week, so we’ll probably get five in next week too. YAY!

 

The Dead Rule The Sea

pirates 2

Once upon a time, a fourteen year old girl who thought she understood how the world worked rolled her eyes at the prospect of a movie based on a Disney ride.

Now, it’s 15 years later (gross) and that girl thinks that that movie is great, it’s just that the things that came after aren’t so much?

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl is a really good movie, and there’s hints of that greatness in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but only hints.

There’s a decent ghost story at it’s center, which echoes it’s origins. A pirate hunter drawn to his doom by Jack Sparrow’s shenanigans returns, determined to have his revenge. This message is carried to Jack by Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, which is a decent way to start fresh while connecting to the old story (spoiler, this movie kind of squanders that chance.) Henry is determined to find the Trident of Poseidon, a mystical maguffin that breaks sea curses or something and would free Will from his vow to serve as the captain of the flying dutchman. (The bargain Will made in Pirates: At World’s End still stands and Henry thinks it’s bullshit. So do we, Henry, so do we.) They’re joined due to plot shenanigans by Carina Smith, an astronomer who everyone thinks is witch for some reason. (She doesn’t even get weighed with a duck, so like, I don’t know how they tested it.) Oh, and Captain Barbosa, because sure, whatever.

There are some decent set pieces and Captain Salazar, the bad guy, is pretty freaky, and played by Javier “I Can Out Weird You In My Sleep Depp” Bardem. Brenton Thwaites looks eerily like Orlando Bloom, who basically looks the same as he did when he first stepped into The Council of Elrond. ( Depp sleepwalks through the movie, which is too bad, because 14 years ago, Jack Sparrow really was an interesting character. Hell, 6 years ago, in On Stranger Tides he was at least entertaining. But it’s pretty played out by now. Kaya Scodelario is lovely as Carina, though she doesn’t get much to do, and as compared to Elizabeth she’s pretty thin as a character. (Kira Knightley pops up in the last 20 seconds of the movie, and mostly I was annoyed that you know, the consumate badass Elizabeth became is flat disregarded.)

Overall, I will probably watch the movie again when it inevitably plays on cable on some sleepy Sunday, probably in marathon with the other 4 movies.

Pirates could have returned to the surprising fun of the first film, the potential is there in the bones of this movie, but it simply doesn’t deliver.

Rankings

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  2. King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
  3. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers:

Transformers: The Last Knight: 
Me: See, Optimus has a sword now, and I think he’s the bad guy this time.
Mary: That’s stupid, Optimus isn’t a bad guy.
And thus the spell this trailer seemed to have over me is broken. Thanks sis!

Cars 3: I don’t think that I ever saw Cars 2 when I think about it, but this one appears to be paying tribute to Rocky 3 so, I’ll probably see it.

Blade Runner: 2049: Mary again, “That looks cool, too bad I hate Blade Runner.” I haven’t watched Blade Runner since freshman year of college, so I need to watch it again before this comes out. I don’t remember liking it much, but you know, Gosling and all.

6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast

through the looking glass

Special Movie Season Saturday Post!

Before I full on review Alice Through The Looking Glass, I need to make it clear, Mia Wasikowska is a treasure, and we, the consumers of genre cinema, do not deserve her. We must strive to deserve her by all admitting that Crimson Peak is the best, and that she’s the one who holds this whole Alice business together and it has very little to do with Johnny Depp.

With that out of the way, Alice Through The Looking Glass is pretty good. It has a couple of conceits that are irresistable to me, time travel and punching the patriarchy in the dick, so you know, I was going to like it.

Alice has returned to England after exploring China as a ship’s captain, on The Wonder, which she inherited from her father. Once home she learns that her mother has sold her shares in her father’s company and they’re going to have to sell the boat to keep their house.

Because this is a stressful situation, Alice does that thing where she goes to Wonderland, or Underland as it’s called here. She then learns that The Mad Hatter is not doing well, due to realizing that his family, who he thought long dead, might not be after all, and this messing with his sense of self.

Alice steals a time machine from Time Himself (Sacha Baron Cohen, the best I’ve ever seen him.) and goes back, learns the origin of the conflict between the two queens and saves the Hatter’s family and then goes home and starts a new business with her mother, while laughing at the various bearded obnoxious men who try to stop them.

The movie is visually great, the performances are steady and the plot simple enough that the flights of fancy seem organic. Alice Through The Looking Glass isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it’s a nice pleasant glow. And that’s worth something.

Rankings!

  1. Captain America: Civil War
  2. Alice Through The Looking Glass

Trailers:

Nine Lives: Nope. I will not be seeing this.

Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life: This I might see, on a slow weekend. It looks super cute. And it has a butt load of my favorite sitcom actors as the teachers.

Sing: Again, looks real cute.

Me Before You: It looks pandering and kind of annoying, but stars Khaleesi, Clara Oswald and Mr. Bates, so, I think I’m like required to see it. Also, I’m pretty sure Emilia Clarke smiles more in that trailer than she has in six years of Game of Thrones. 

Pete’s Dragon: *sings* I’ll be your candle on the water…my love for you will always burn…

I was disappointed that we didn’t get Beauty and The Beast, as I’d held off watching it on a computer to watch it on the big screen, I’ve now watched it. It’s perfect, it’s beyond perfect. It’s everything it possible could or should be. Just wow. Way to go.