fh14: (Australia [Hetalia])
fh14 ([personal profile] fh14) wrote2017-05-28 07:55 pm
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A Rattled Binge-Watching of "Pirates of the Caribbean"

I just got back from the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I really liked it.

About 5% of the reason I liked it was because it marked the end of a two-day feverish consumption of media.

I knew I was going to go see the new movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales, at some point. But It was Friday when I made the actual decision to do what I did. The Official Pirates of the Caribbean movie twitter announced that IMAX theaters showing the movie during the first three days would be handing out exclusive mini-posters to customers. Suffice to say, I wanted that free poster. Oh did I want that poster. And I'm now a proud owner of not only one, but two-limited edition posters for a movie that a lot of people apparently did not like.

Watching movies for me is a sliding scale. There's the two extremes: Great Movies that I loved watching and Bad Movies which I hated watching. Most movies fall somewhere in between that, but also with some caveats, as I don't as closely tie whether something to conventionally "Good" with whether or not I enjoyed it. The DCEU films are very bad movies which I had an okay time watching, mostly because I could laugh at how bad they are. The Marvel movies are very good movies which I couldn't get engaged with at all. (I've tried and failed to watch all of Iron Man 2 on three separate occasions). For me, this new Pirates movie was an 'okay' movie that I really enjoyed watching.

Part of why I enjoyed it so much may be because I had a lot of details about the franchise fresh in my mind. Part of the criticism for the latter films in this series is that they have too many characters and are overly complicated. So going into this I didn't have the same issue as someone who only saw the movies when they first came out. (On Stranger Tides came out in 2011 and At Worlds' End came out in 2007). Another is that I don't take the movies particularly seriously. I wouldn't exactly put them on the same level as something like transformers, but the average Pirates movie probably falls somewhere on the level of the Jurassic Park sequels. They are visually stunning - mastering the art of showing darkly lit scenes without making them look like mud (*cough*Batman v Superman*cough*) and showing engaging fight scenes. Though I will admit the latter films do fall to the temptation to make things explode.

Honestly, my only real complaint is that I went into this movie expecting it to be a franchise-ender, and that was only mostly what I got. Dead Men Tell No Tales is a movie built on the loose ends left by the previous two movies and expanded on one, visually fun romp paying homage to its predecessors as it can. Orlando Bloom is barely in the movie but looms large, as does Keira Knightley, who only appears briefly and without any dialogue. (Also with new, darker hair. Would that be hair dye or did the character's hair just naturally darken? Did they even have hair dye back then? Why am I hyper-fixating on this?). After getting material that wasn't exactly earth-shattering in the last movie and the beginning of this one, Geoffrey Rush finally gets some stuff to really develop his character in the latter half of this movie. Mr. Cotton and his parrot were missed, as were Pintel and Ragetti, but the crew from the rest of the films makes a pretty fine showing here.

As far as new characters go, Henry and Carina were fleshed out really well and the actors seemed to be having a lot of fun. Captain Salazar is certainly an original character and not a recycling of Davy Jones and Blackbeard, no not at all. (Javier Bardem is serviceable as always, but in a few of his scenes I couldn't help but ponder on this.) Despite being newcomers, they didn't detract from the story the film appeared to be setting out to tell: 'The Final Adventure'...

Which is where I reach my only major sticking point with this movie. (Well, aside from Johnny Depp being terrible in real life.) As the credits rolled I tweeted about how this movie was very much a franchise-ender, but then that post-credit scene happened. The one hinting at the return of Davy Jones. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean Disney is intentionally setting up for more. While the first and third films has post-credit scenes that would inform future installments, the second was basically a side-gag and the fourth had an hint of things to come with Penelope Cruz's Angelica, who is neither seen nor mentioned in this movie. So in theory, they could construct a half-way decent closer by drawing on the loose ends suggested by the post-credit scenes of both On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales... but that would require certain actors to return in a substantial way. Frankly, I don't know how possible that is. Then again, I never expected Keira Knightley to ever show up again in a Pirates movie, even in a cameo.

So overall, I've found this weekend to be a success in some regard - enjoying a film franchise that, while not perfect, represents a cherished part of my adolescence.

Now I die. Those movies are really fucking long.

Watch Status Roundup:
Digimon Tamers - 12/51
Cardcaptor Sakura - 11/75
The X-Files - 74/210
The Golden Girls Extended Universe - 62/442

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