Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Kiss of the Pirate Man

I've gotten really interested in manga and will probably do a posting on it in the next day or so. However, since today's Sunday, I'm taking a break to talk about the last movie I saw: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Things you need to know: Johnny Depp kisses Keira Knightley, the film is long (150 minutes), it's definitely not for small children, it pays homage to about ten other movies, Johnny Depp kisses Keira Knightley, its ten-day total box office take stands at $258 million dollars, and Johnny Depp kisses Keira Knightley.

I actually liked this film more than I did the first one, which I thought was way too repetitious. I was so tired of the fight scenes in The Curse of the Black Pearl that I was ready to scream by the time the credits finally rolled around. Although this film is seven minutes longer than the first, it held my interest much better than The Black Pearl did.

This film also bears the burden of transition; it must act as a bridge between the first and the last. You'll definitely enjoy this one more if you've seen the first one because they don't explain anything. Without having seen The Black Pearl, you'll miss some of the gags. For instance, when Captain Jack Sparrow initially sees Elizabeth, he says, "Hide the rum," a reference to her destroying his entire cache of rum in the first film.

Dead Man's Chest has its own charms. Disney spared no expense in the making of this film. The CGI makeup of Davy Jones and his scruffy crew is absolutely fantastic. And they brought back the Kraken, the sea monster from The Clash of the Titans (1981), although in a different form.

Warning: There isn't much original material in this movie, and the critics will probably damn it for being far too derivative. However, I found it way more humorous than the first film. And my friend and I had fun throughout, naming the movies from which various scenes were taken (like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Moby Dick, Jaws and Star Wars).

I suspect director Gore Verbinski must have been scared by a gerbil as a child (there were two sequences eerily familiar of the toys in a gerbil's cage: the round ball and the spinning wheel).

Johnny Depp's performance wasn't quite as on target as it was the first time, but--come on--it's Johnny Depp. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom weren't required to do much more than look beautiful. My favorite two performances were Bill Nighy as Davy Jones (he of Locker fame) and Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma, a swamp witch. Both will be back in the third film, I'm certain.

Be sure to stay through the closing credits. My friend and I were the only ones left in the theatre when the credits ran. I was complaining bitterly about wanting to know the fate of one of the characters when a final sequence popped up, answering my question.

If you go, plan to be entertained and not too critical and you'll enjoy it. Have fun!

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