Thursday, May 26, 2011

it's good to be a pirate

I still have no idea what "stranger tides" they were talking about. I'm pretty sure it doesn't really matter. There was some nonsense about the Fountain of Youth, but the main attraction was Johnny Depp. I did enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It's only the second Johnny Depp/Jack Sparrow film that I've seen. I saw the first one and liked it, primarily for Depp's drunken rock and roll pirate persona and Keira Knightley's spunky damsel not-in-distress. I never bothered with #2 or #3, as the first one was amusing, and enough for me.

It's good to be a pirate

I do love that Depp loves the character, so I gave this one a try. It was actually quite fun to watch. And the kid liked it, too. Not a great film with a capital "F" surely, but I wasn't expecting great. Or much at all, except watching Depp swagger and sell eyeliner. A Judi Dench cameo was a blink-or-you'll-miss-it pleasant surprise. Geoffrey Rush can do no wrong and was clearly having a blast. Ian McShane started off strong, but the script kind of lost interest in his character. But instead of getting ticked about that I shrugged it off. It's a summer popcorn movie. About pirates. And it has Depp, not directed by Tim Burton. I liked it.

Some high points:

Sparrow finds that Blackbeard has magically imprisoned every ship he has conquered, including his beloved Black Pearl, in bottles. "Ship in a bottle. How do we get it out?"

Keith Richards, as Sparrow's dad asks Jack, "Does this face look like it's seen the Fountain of Youth?"

With Blackbeard

Captain Jack escaping from the King of England's palace, and also later dueling with Angelica (Penélope Cruz).

Sparrow with Barbossa (Rush) on Ponce de Leon's wreck of a ship, and also later the pair's escape from Spanish troops.

The big action sequence of mermaids attacking Blackbeard's sailors.

Depp has gotten to the point in his career when he can work with who he wants to, and on what he wants to and he obviously still enjoys playing Captain Jack. Pirates included many actors he has worked with before — of course Rush and the previous Pirates cast members. But also Cruz (Blow) and Stephen Graham, who is one of my new favorite actors. He was great as Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies with Depp. He's also terrific as Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire.

Captain Jack Sparrow does not convince

The theater where we saw Pirates last weekend was doing a special promotion for the kids and had face painting, balloon squids and swords, and plenty of dressed up pirate actors galore. I've already ranted about the ridiculousness of giving this film a PG-13 rating. It was not only marketed towards kids, but was fine as a family film outing.

Will there be another Pirates movie? Since it has already made almost $400 million dollars world wide before playing a full week — more than likely. Will I see the next one? Only time will tell. But as Depp has discovered, it's good to be a pirate.
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