YAAAAAARRRR! Trust me on this one: SCREW THE CRITICS WHO PANNED THIS MOVIE. Some of the best two and a half hours (yep, go potty before the trailers) I've spent in a movie theater. This is the very essence of a fun summer blockbuster - it ain't The Manchurian Candidate. It's better: IT'S PIRATES! But first the TRAILERS!
Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. August 4th. Will Ferrell. There's not much more you need to know, except go potty first and keep beverages to a minimum to reduce laughter spewage. I told my husband last night that I would leave him for that man. It's not for you to understand!!! *weeps* It's just how it is, people. Funny men make me happy.
"Somebody better get these muthafuckin' snakes off this muthafuckin' plane!" I will be there for Samuel L. Jackson, as well. Wait, what am I doing here?
PIRATES!!! I don't care that they had a bloated budget, thin script, and The Jaw. Gore Verbinski makes gorgeous movies. The actors are OBVIOUSLY having fun. And for those of you who aren't in the fandom, you are missing one of the sexiest fandoms around. (I mean, there's subtext for EVERYONE. Everyone! Possibly even Mr. Cotton's Parrot and the Ghost Monkey!)
One problem I have, and I know I have KK lovers on my flist: her "Elizabeth" is OOC for a woman of the 17th century. Yeah, I know they're trying to make her modern, but it would have been MORE CLEVER to have her do it within the time frame. As in: Elizabeth Bennett, thank you Jane Austen. It's like how Winona Ryder (*shudder* - FUCK, I hate The Sinus) ruined "Little Women" with the same mistake. She's a virginal lady of society in the 17th Century, and yet she can seduce Jack Sparrow? I was squirming in my seat during that scene, and not in the good way, because HELLO! Your fiance that you risked life and limb over is RIGHT THERE. (And her talking about "having" Will already and her FATHER is behind him. Haha, right. And come on, people.)
I mean, I get why anyone would want to make out with Johnny Depp/Sparrow. I GET IT. But we're working within a story, people! And how much do I love Norrington's line: "your latest fiance." Hahaha! NORRINGTON. I have been trying to tell you people for a year that he's the most well developed/layered character in the whole damn thing, and you'll see. YOU'LL ALL SEE! My husband grinned when That Voice was heard and you knew he was coming. Guh. He's fantastic.
Quick point to make to those on the PotC comms: that WAS his wig he used to scrub the deck! I specifically looked for it, and it seems they cut the scene short, but that was his wig. hahahaha! (Mr. S turned to me and said, "Hey! His wig is important, just like in your fanfic!" *beams*)
STORY ARCS: 1) Will Turner. Okay, NOW I get it, fangirls. I couldn't stand him in the first one, but he wasn't dependent on just looking Orli-ish with a hat in #2, they gave him DEPTH. And I bought it. One review I read mocked the reunion with his father, and I have to say I thought those scenes were touching. He didn't do his "Joey Tribiani fart" look, or look like he was mentally trying to locate his keys, so yay, Orli! He's the Luke Skywalker of the piece - and we all know that once Luke dropped his "But, Uncle Owen!" whining, he became more interesting. Just. Like. Orli.
2) Norrington! Oh, let's hope the Norrington saucing it up and growing more and more angry on Tortuga fics come rolling in. The smirking! The sneering! Dear god, the puking over the rail while covered in muck! (I gasped when he was tossed in with the pigs - Norrington! Oh, Commodore.) And how hilarious is it that Sparrow continued to call him a version of Commodore? That's right! He still commands attention! I look forward to the deleted scenes with the Commodore: I have a strong feeling that some were cut out to show that he's not evil, as they tried to hint at in this piece, and his little hurt-heart moment at Will/Lizzie's reunion! OH! (Because he was imagining himself kissing and stabbing Sparrow, that's why!)
3) Sparrow!! Best way to leave us with a cliffhanger with this character. No character development with Sparrow, as per usual. Which I don't have a problem with. He is who he is, and it's a fantastic character, so *shrug*. Bring on more Captain Jack. I cracked up at every long shot of him running. Heeee! The fact that he admitted to reading tales of gay, debaucherous pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries to flesh out Sparrow makes me love Depp all the more. HAH! Gay pirates are CANON, people!
4) Ragetti. I love Gareth. (Forever Gareth from The Office to me.) Mackenzie Crook is a fantastic character actor. I love how Ragetti's an idiot, but would toss out lines of complexity and deep philosophical meaning on occasion. One of the first rules of comedy, people: have idiots say something brilliant, and be shocked at their own words. See: Jim from Taxi.
5) DAVY JONES. (Ru, I don't even want to hear it.) For the first half hour, I was just fascinated by the CGI and how NON-CGI it looked. Amazing. But Bill Nighy really comes through all that makeup-animation. He's a unique character and just chews up the scenery in a fantastic way. Little personal movements show through - which is mind boggling, given the amount of CGI on the man. Bootstrap Bill as well has some great moments that pull you away from the CGI. And given the FANTASTIC EFFECTS of this movie, that's saying something.
SPECIAL EFFECTS: Here's a little something about me: I love big, showy summer movies with great special effects. This movie has mind boggling special effects. Remember those Disney films where they would have cameras under the sea, and they'd pan over a huge field of sea anenomes, and they'd all suck back in, then slowly creep out, tentacles waving? Now, imagine that happening on a PERSON. Little barnacles and sea slugs and coral reefs etc. etc. The crew of Davy Jones' Leviathon was absolutely astounding. They become one with the ship, too, and there's a brief scene that illustrates this with a fantastic (and oogey) effect. If I was a 10 year old boy, I'd want all of the action figures NOW.
The Kraken is possibly the most awesome creature on screen EVER. (Mr. S and I kept doing impressions of Phil Hartman's speech impedimented captain of "20,000 Leaguesth Under the Sthea." Anyone? Just us?) Although I'll say that Harry Potter's Prisoner of Azkaban did the whole "tentacle-like hold on a person, waving them about in a menacing manner" well enough, that I could have done without the Kraken doing it several times in this movie. (Um, I was referring the the Whomping Willow, if you didn't catch that.) And I wondered if the scene with the Kraken's tentacles pulling the ship (The Il! Oh, The Black Pearl...) into the sea wasn't inspired by Ursula's death scene in The Little Mermaid. What?! That's a great movie, and she's a fantastic villain! :)
SWORD FIGHTING: Are you KIDDING? A three-way (ahem! I told you there was subtext) sword fight with Will, Norrington, and Jack is fantastic. Then they take it to the giant water wheel, which I will be watching over and over when the DVD is released, thank you. And Lizzie stomping about (god, she was DRIVING ME CRAZY with all her bellowing. Show me the FIGHT, not her COMPLAINING about the fight, fuck!) and commenting on their need to "slap their swords against each other..." Ahahahaha. What do we get when we re-arrange subtext? And again, Norrington reigns supreme in that whole act. I love that character SO MUCH.
In conclusion: will be seeing again. Well worth the price of admission, absolutely fun to movie to watch, and I cannot believe I have to wait an entire year to get some resolution. Okay, I enjoy the anticipation, but STILL. Don't expect Polanksi - expect Verbinski! (Beautiful, fun, lots of effects.) And how much do I love that Jack Davenport went on record as saying this was their " Empire Strikes Back?" Is there ANY DOUBT why I love the man??
Back to painting! [ETA] And if some of you are FINALLY starting to see the light re: Norrington, and are looking for some GOOD fic recs (I'm talking - mind blowing writing, etc. etc.) I can point the way. *hums the Love Boat theme*