Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plundered to Death

Well, we went and saw Pirates of the Caribean: On Stranger Tides.
Did I like it? Yes. Did I love it? No.

I’d not been too crazy about more “Pirates” movies to begin with, to be honest. But the fact is that I love Jack Sparrow to pieces [of eight]. He’s one of the best characters to come along in quite some time, in my opinion.  I figured if they’re going to send more of him our way, then I’d welcome it.

But the truth is my apprehension proved correct. All the time I’d been watching the movie I’d been wondering why I’d been there. Again, it’s not that the movie is bad in the least. Just that enough is enough. It felt nearly forced. I mean, I’d not been entirely keen on the last two. It’s also true that I didn’t dislike nor like them. It felt forced then. So to go on and give us yet another tale... well, I just couldn’t be excited about it.

And the general consensus is that they’ll be bringing two more films. I think I’m going to wait until home video for those.

For the record, I did not see it in 3-D. I had sort of wanted to, just to give it that extra edge since the first three movies had not been. But then, there’s these two factors: When 3-D is post production [a la not filmed/shot in 3-D] it shows. Second, some of the people I went with don’t like 3-D at all. I thought perhaps if I loved the movie I’d go check it out again with the enhancement. But sadly, that’s not going to happen.

It has some great F/X and such I’ll give it that.  The mermaids are very cool!  Although I had to roll my eyes at an aspect of them (hint: teeth) but that's just my personal bias - yet it didn't swim right with Bart either, who adores mermaids.

I’d just not been “on board” - and I had desired to be.

Let this, then, serve as a reminder that it’s entirely possible to push a story too far. Sequels must be done when and only when the story is worth telling for sure. And no, that is not a slam against Tim Powers, whose book they plundered to create this movie. Admittedly I have not read his book, but I’m pretty confident that it has its own flair, not mucked up by the nearly-not-quite-rehashed characters in the Disney movies. For it’s a fine story, to be fair. But coupled with MORE of the SAME, well, it ceases to be a treasure.


Samantha-Ellen said...

The mermaids were my fav bit - when I knew they were coming I got shivers.

I kind of agree with you about the rest - this one really didn't have that sense of awe, for me anyway.

ZZOzturk said...

I am a huge PotC fan, well a huge Jack Sparrow fan anyway, and I still didn't like this film.

There were tons of big mistakes in this film (the massive plot holes, the complete and utter lack of motivation for characters) but mostly it wasn't fun for me because of Jack's lack of involvement the overall story.

Despite claiming to be "hellishly bent" on finding the fountain actually never acted as if he cared about it or the adventure he was on. He was dragged around by everyone else. He never had any reason to be on this adventure. Without Jack working toward some goal, usually contrary to what the rest of the cast desires, it just isn't pirates of the Caribbean for me.

Peter Von Brown said...

Very excellent points, ZZOzturk!
Admittedly I didn't see any plot holes - and usually I look for them. But not holding my breath to begin with for this movie, I didn't really seek them out either. In other words, I just went in to be entertained with no real designs or investment in it. So I just let it sail...

And having heard your observations regarding Jack, I agree. That's definitely one of the factors in why it all seemed lackluster to me. Jack lost his spark... not good!

Oh well. The first movie, at least, is still a masterpiece.

ZZOzturk said...

Oh the first film was the best far and away. This film could have been great too if they had given Jack a reason to be on this adventure. As is it was weak as water.

I would have opened the film with the scene of Barbossa being forced to cut his leg off. That would have made me dislike Blackbeard more. It would have made him a more powerful villain. His death would have been more satisfying then. As is it was "yawn." Who cares?

And Angelica. Hmm... I didn't dislike her but I wasn't sympathetic to her either. She needed more development. I couldn't identify with her cause. Her motivations were blah.

The priest.. more generic blah blah blah. When he couldn't get what he wanted (the freedom of the girl) he gave up on his faith.

Anyway, I could go on a long time about how I would re-write this film.

Peter Von Brown said...

Brava! That's a fantastic suggestion for an opening scene.

Again, all valid points. It seems I just didn't even care to examine it too much... and sort of "forgot" about it after I saw it. [So not true of Curse of the Black Pearl!] I didn't really want another in the first place, right? ;)

Another annoyance for me: Virtually no new soundtrack. I could be wrong, but some of the same exact pieces played in this movie as from others. I listen to the score quite a bit (for/when writing) and it sure seemed like nothing more had been composed other than "Mermaids" and the end credits also seemed to indicate as such.

ZZOzturk said...

I agree with the soundtrack too. I was hugely disappointed! There were almost no new tracks.

Yanno, I have decided to do a super quick rewrite of the film the way I would have liked it. Would you be interested it checking it out when I am done?

ZZOzturk said...

I finished the rewrite. If you are interested, you can read it at http://www.raccoonthief.com/ost_rewrite.pdf