July 17, 2006


As noted Friday, we did indeed go see Pirates of the Caribbean--The Empire Strikes Back this weekend.


Well, a nasty turn of events--our lovebirds (Legolas and Princess Leia) have been ordered to be arrested by some mincing ponce from the East India Company who comes in to take over the island's governership from Leia's daddy, who, although he wears a big wig, is not a ponce. The usurper's actually after something else, though--Edward Scissorhands, and not just Edward Scissorhands, but actually his compass, which points to something even MORE specialler, a box that contains something VERY valuable--the beating heart of Davy Jones, and NOT the one from the Monkees! Once Nancy Boy has this, he figures he can rule the world's ocean trade, and crush the Rebel Alliance. So he gives Legolas some get-out-of-jail-free cards for him and his new almost-wife IF he goes and finds the right combination of playing pieces from McDonald's.

Then, all sorts of things happen.

In the end, Han Solo winds up frozen in carbonite, but in this version, the Ewoks are cannibals, and not cute and furry.

Did I like the movie? Yes I did--it's exciting and visually impressive, and full of swordplay and buckling of swashes and all that junk. But it left me somewhat miffed, which is why I keep going back to the Star Wars allusions. It doesn't stand on its own. The first movie would work just as well if another one was never made, but the second one's only purpose seems to be to set up the third movie. I understand why, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

It's still exciting, though. As for scary stuff, there is some, so it's not for little kids. Catherine made it through fine, but she's generally pretty fearless. Stuff I could have done without? The pipe organ scene by Davy Jones--a little too Captain Nemo-ish hokey, and not in a good way. He's better on the maracas, anyway. The giant squid, however, is MUCH better and more frightening than the one Kirk Douglas fought. The undersea rogues and monsters--when they manage to find themselves ashore, they look like something from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. And again, not in a good way.

Puzzling things? One scene has Captain Jack looking through a telescope at Will being captured by Davy Jones. Jones turns, sees Jack, and suddenly is standing right in front of him with a bunch of other of his sea critter crew. Now, I have to ask--if he can magically teleport, why on earth does he need a ship to sail around in? Why not just teleport to wherever he wants to go? Second, in another one of those 20,000 Leagues deals--the ship he DOES have can also work like a submarine. But why would you want to do that, since pushing a sailboat UNDERwater would be awfully difficult, given all those sails holding you back. Seems like it would be better anyway if he had one that could fly, like Captain Hook's. (Not to be confused with Dr. Hook.) Anyway, none of that really matters that much, nor does it when Elizabeth threatens the Poncey One with a pistol that is cocked in the beginning of the scene, and then after he tries something shifty, they insert the sound of the pistol being cocked, even though she doesn't move her fingers. It's a single shot black powder pistol folks--if it ain't cocked, he wouldn't have been nervous in the first place, he would have just grabbed it from her.

Is it worth seeing? I think if you liked the first one, you'll like this one, but if you're like me, you might be disappointed that it's quickly become a franchise-type event. It's still expensively well done, but it seems less about making a good story and more about perpetuating the brand image. Let's give it 8 out of 10 curly possum tails and be done with it until the third episode.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 17, 2006 09:32 AM

Exactly my thoughts, more eloquently expressed. The story was exciting enough but it didn't stand on its own. And I thought Disney's snide expression of counting their profits- out of our pockets, for the next movie was just rude. I hated the ending and the trickery of a story improperly ended for future profits. I couldn't give it more than 5 or 6 curly tails myself.

Posted by: Nate at July 17, 2006 10:30 AM

I just hope they don't do a prequel trilogy...

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 17, 2006 10:35 AM

I don’t think they covered much of this in the history channel program on pirate tech. That program was OK, especially for me since a guy from church was interviewed. He is an archeologist at the university. It was a bummer for them not to list where people were from. Maybe you can see it in reruns on your next vacation.

Posted by: jim at July 17, 2006 11:05 AM

I have never seen the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie--but oddly enough we did see a Johnny Depp movie this weekend via DVD: "Finding Neverland." A fictionalized biography (is that what "inspired by actual events" means?), it was actually a quite good movie. The young actor who played Peter Llewelyn Davies, Freddie Highmore, did a heck of a job, and Johnny Depp played the part of J.M. Barrie much more understatedly, yet sympathetically, than I would have thought possible. But I'll end this as, after all, this is POSSUMblog.

Posted by: Stan at July 17, 2006 11:19 AM

I tell you one not to see--Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Depp's creepy on way too many levels in that one. ::shiver::

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 17, 2006 11:31 AM

Lady Spud liked Depp's Charlie and wants me to see it. Sounds like it may be a good idea to pass on that one.

I did not like PotC 2. Most of it was boring, and the "swashbuckly" parts were so unbelievable as to make it unwatchable. Some folks enjoyed the action. Ehhh.

The whole Davey Jones thing just did not make sense. If you had a ship that could submarine, why not just sneak up on someone underwater, come up and ram them? It did not look like you could kill them either, so I guess you had to wait for them to go back to the bottom of the sea (hopefully without you).

I just watched PotC 1 last weekend (on cable) and it confirmed how much better the first was than the second. Knightley was much more prominent in #1, where in #2 she was more of a prop (except for near the end).

Posted by: Marc V at July 17, 2006 02:17 PM

Well, if Lady Spud likes it, you might have no other choice EXCEPT to watch it, but I'm just not a fan of creepy, silky-smooth-faced, pageboy-haircut-wearing guys who like to hang around children.

I go back and forth about the "realism" thing--some of it's fun--the Buster Keaton moment with the runaway water wheel was one of them--but others just make me want to slap someone. Hard, with an herring.

As for Miss Knightley, no matter how skinny she gets, I still have a hard time seeing how anyone could mistake her for a boy. (This is especially true in her first swashbuckler movies, Princess of Thieves.) Or maybe some people just aren't as attuned to silky-smooth-faced, pageboy-haircut-wearing types as others.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 17, 2006 02:45 PM

Potsie 1? Potsie 2? I must have missed those shows, Fonz.

There are few things on Ms. Knightly more prominent than her ribs. Which is not my idea of pulchritude, I must say.

Posted by: skinnydan at July 17, 2006 03:26 PM

She could use a couple platesful of barbecued ribs. And some white bread. And some corn on the cob. And a big glass of sweet tea.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 17, 2006 03:52 PM

I'll just bake her a nice cake.

Posted by: Sarah G. at July 17, 2006 06:34 PM

Might want to go ahead and make her a couple, and a pecan pie.

Well, okay--the pie's for me.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 18, 2006 07:51 AM