Friday, July 21, 2006

Best Unexpected Bestness

Something that maybe you didn't know: I didn't see a midnight screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, or even see it on the day it opened, or even the weekend it opened. In fact, I didn't see Pirates of the Caribbean until the evening of July 20th. That gave me plenty of time to hear pretty negative or iffy things about it from my friends and family. In fact, I don't think I talked to a single person that straight-up liked it. And this all seemed so ridiculous to me, that people could dislike the Pirates movie, but these weren't just the usual haters putting the movie down, it was all sorts of trustworthy, respectable folk. So I went into Pirates tonight/last night bracing myself for disappointment (which is different from going in with low expectations, that's what I would be doing if I were even considering seeing Lady in the Water). During the first two acts the movie came close to losing me, but by the third act (and no, I can't tell you precisely when each act began or ended) something clicked and I was digging the movie real hard. So much bravery! So much treachery! So much heroism! So much villainy! Here's a numbered list of impressions.

BTW, I'm just going to assume that I was the last person in the world to see this movie and will probably be talking about all the "spoilers" so steer clear if that's a problem for you.

1) The movie has been universally criticized for its length. Surprise, surprise, I didn't want it to end. It's not like it was a Lord of the Rings movie. But during the middle of the film, when I didn't know that I was going to love it, I really wished they had skipped some of the stuff at the beginning. I imagine a version of this movie where the first time we see Jack Sparrow and his crew is on the cannibal island and everything that happened up to then would be explained later.

2) OH! After seeing Pirates 1 I SO knew that Will Turner's dad was alive. I tried telling people this like a missionary on some sort of . . . uhm . . . mission. Because he was cursed like everyone else! So he was just trapped, undead at the bottom of the sea. But in my version, he had gotten free and walked along the ocean floor to land. And my version of Boostrap Bill was a lot more, uh, dashing?

3) If I had tentacles I would have woken up.

4) The plot stuff that I didn't understand during the movie I'm going to assume was explained too quickly by people with accents or mouths full of water. It wasn't until my third viewing of Pirates 1 that I had a firm understanding of why everything that happened happened and the ins and outs of the curse, so I'm going to assume the same about Pirates 2 until it proves me wrong.

5) There were some incredibly wicked double-entendres in this movie.

6) There was some incredibly great double-crossings in this movie, I mean, come on! Did you know Elizabeth had it in her? Did you really?

7) At the same time, come on, weren't you like yessss (fist pump) when Jack had his change of heart and then what a great shot of him back on the deck of the Pearl.

8) I could NOT believe how Empire Strikes Back this movie was. I mean, if you take Han Solo's twist from the end of A New Hope and then add the end of Empire, you've got the end of Empire Strikes Back.

9) I loved Barbosa's return! And by Barbosa's return, I mean when the monkey found him in the Voodoo Hut. I was just like sweeeeeeeet when I saw that and when he officially returned at the very end I was like "Yeahh."

10) I loved how the monkey was like this little bonus problem that came with reclaiming the Pearl. If you never stuck around for the extra scene at the end of Pirates 1 then you probably had to have the person next to you explain that.

11) I could have done without the necklace of toes.

12) What did the Indian in the other bone ball say to Will that made his ball want to go faster? I didn't hear that at all.

13) Jack escaping from the cannibals and the business with the fruit on his pole almost lost me.

13.5) During the middle part of the movie where I was close to disliking this movie I thought to myself, "What is this, some sort of Harry Potter movie?"

14) Let's hear it for digital effects! I mean, seriously you guys, Davey Jones' beard? Come on!

15) EFY's theme next year is probably going to be "Which Way Does Your Compass Point?" I mean, that's something you can think about in bed at night, if you followed the arrow on Jack Sparrow's compass, where would it take you?

16) That Voodoo Lady. Whoah. Better than the Oracle from the Matrix, that's for sure.

17) What, exactly, was the deal with that dark cliffy castle place at the beginning? I mean, what sort of a place was that? What business were they up to there? I hope this is at least touched on in the next movie. Because, I don't know about you, but I think it was a bad place.

18) I want it to be Jack and Elizabeth together at the end of Pirates3.

I think that's it. If you haven't guessed, that picture up top is of Jack in Pirates 3 (so maybe he isn't dead?). I got it from this forum post. Click around in there, it looks like the bad Asian pirates from Swiss Family Robinson are back at it again!


emily said...

12. he said that you only really need 8 people to man the black pearl, so then they were competing against each other to get there first instead of helping each other

ian said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who actually enjoyed the movie. I just saw it last Saturday and I couldn't believe that I almost let the negative reviews dissuade me. I loved Cthulu Jones, I loved Jack's heroic last stand, I loved the dog, I loved the recurring characters, I loved the Kraken and I loved just about everything else.

And I said the same thing about it resembling "Empire." "The Two Towers" and "Curse of Monkey Island" also sprang to mind...

I'm torn on the whole love-triangle thing however. I don't like Orlando Bloom, though he's impressed me with these films, so I don't really want him to get the girl. On the other hand, I think Keira Knightley (sp?) is too thin and boring as sin, so I can't really get behind your Jack/Elizabeth pairing. Seems to me that Jack Sparrow deserves better!

JayMoo and Stephoin said...

Brig, why do you gots to be hating up on Lady in the Water. I mean, I haven't SEEN it yet, but when a critics only complaint is that "it was trippy and I'm not sure if I caught the vision," then you just got to give it a shot.

I'll keep you posted...but can you really trust a person who loves horror movies to diss on an M.Night film?

Tannerama said...

The "bad place" you referred to was a turkish prison. They mentioned it in like one line of dialogue. He went in there to get the drawing of the key.

I personally really liked this movie. I don't really listen to people's complaints of "oh it was too long." Because I am like you. I generally don't want really good movies to end. I had the same feeling about Superman Returns and Batman Begins.

Davey Jones was a bad mama jamma. I loved his character. I liked how it was more Empire Strikes Backish. I loved Barbosa's return as well. I cheered when the movie finished.

I was calling Elizabeth a slut, skank, ho, et al at the end of the movie. not for the double cross but for what immediately preceded it.

Orlando was a bit more butch this time around. Which is good because I thought he was too femmy in the first one.

My only complaint is the sword fight. Totally awesome set pieces... BUT! I didn't get the vibe that any of the three dudes was really competent with the sword. Unlike pirates 1 with the swashbucklin' in the Smithie's shoppe. Same characters but some how they because shoddier swordfighters.

Twinkie said...

i was one of those people that thought it was too long and just so-so the first time i saw it. but then i went to it a second time with the father, and i loved it! maybe its because i went in already knowing what to expect and i did have my favorite parts that i was looking forward to. i also picked up on a lot more things the second time around. the only thing that bugged me was keira knightley's character. jack could never be with someone so boring.