Posts Tagged ‘Movie Review’

Short Review: Dolls

July 22, 2011

One thing sorely lacking in the 21st century is films about killer toys. A few turn up here and there, but most are extensions of the Puppet Master franchise. So we must turn to the 80s for our killer toys fix, and 1987’s Dolls doesn’t disappoint. It’s also one more film which validates my theory that Charles Band (Puppet Master) is a much better producer than a director.*

As the story goes, two groups of people find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere during a heavy storm, and take shelter in a mansion occupied by an elderly couple… and a massive amount of puppets. In typical fashion much of the group takes advantage of the situation rather than be grateful. Unfortunately for the guests, the puppets are alive and don’t appreciate how their owners’ hospitality is disregarded by thieves, punks, and all around rude people. As always, chaos ensues, and Dolls is not a kids’ film.

Sure it has its flaws, but Dolls is one of the most unsettling films I’ve seen in a while, and it has an ending which would make the Grimm brothers proud (Matter-of-fact, they’re given special thanks in the credits). I recommend giving it a watch, and as of this writing Dolls is available for streaming on Netflix. So if you have an account, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a chance.

Dolls is written by Ed Naha (Troll) and directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), with Charles Band as executive producer. Its runtime is a short and sweet 77 minutes, and again, I advise against letting your children watch it.

*No disrespect to Band, he wrote and produced some really good films in his early days. But the only saving grace behind The Gingerdead Man is Gary Busey, who can’t not be awesome.

Short Review: Brain Dead (2007)

July 5, 2011

I don’t even know where to begin. Films are often so bad that they’re amusing, but rarely so bad as to be good. For much of Brain Dead, I strongly considered switching films for its entire duration, because it is that terrible. But this film is so terrible that it shoots the moon, and I was in awe at how entertaining it is. Brain Dead is the textbook example of “so bad it’s good”, and here are my thoughts.

This is no accident. No sir. There is every type of human deprevity and degredation in this room tonight. Atheists, fornicators, murderers–

–Lesbians.

As the story goes, two convicts (Joshua Benton & David Crane) take refuge in an abandoned cabin after escaping police custody. Out of pure coincidence, two hikers (Sarah Grant Brendecke & Michelle Tomlinson) join them… Followed by a reverand (Andy Forrest) & the girl God sent to relieve him of his throbbing (Cristina Tiberia). But that’s not all. As luck would have it, a sludge-like parasite from outer space that zombifies its victims, also manages to find its way to the (now not so) abandoned cabin. And into a girl’s vagina. Hoo boy.

Brain Dead is written terribly, is directed terribly, is acted terribly, and the special effects are done terribly. But with class, almost every woman in this film drops their top at some point, and at the most random of times. This is honestly so terrible that it’s worth a go. And as of this writing, it is available for streaming on Netflix, so if you have an account, give Brain Dead a shot.

Hat tip to writer Dale Gelineau & director Kevin Tenney for creating this glorious trainwreck.

Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

July 2, 2011

First there was Transformers, which was bearable. Next came Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which sucked. And now Michael Bay and his team gives us Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is more of the same, but without Megan Fox. However, with a slightly better cast than the first two films in the Transformers franchise, and with Michael Bay slightly less incompetent, this film might be worth your time.

As the story goes… Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeuf) is a jobless loser, living off of his Megan Fox replacement girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), until Jerry “Wang” (Ken Jeong) approaches him in a bathroom stall, at which point havoc begins to ensue. Transformers: Dark of the Moon features a lot of badass Autobots (Good robots) and Decepticons (Bad robots) fighting, conspiracies, explosions, and Patrick Dempsey as a bad guy. Frances McDormand and John Malkovich are additionally notable new cast members.

I noted above that Michael Bay, this film’s director, displayed a little less incompetence than he had previously in the Transformers franchise. Credit where credit is due, there is a decent amount of good in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starting first with the cast.

The addition of Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Ken Jeong, alongside the return highlights (John Turturro, Alan Tudyk, Kevin Dunn, Tyrese Gibson) goes a long way. There even is a great Bill O’Reilly cameo, which is highly amusing as O’Reilly mocks himself. Sans Megan Fox (Who I actually like in certain roles), every other mediocre actor from the previous films persist, Shia LaBeuf at that helm. But again, credit where credit is due, the new cast additions are very good.

On top of that, the special effects are phenomenal. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the film which makes it evident that video is no longer enough proof for any phenomenon. From this point onward, I can witness a supernatural event, catch it on film, but be laughed at as good with special effects. The Transformers, both Autobots and Decepticons, are pretty kickass. However, Tyrese Gibson says a line which I agree with wholeheartedly.

How come the Decepticons always get the good shit?

Seriously. Although Optimus Prime defines awesome, I’d feel much safer with Decepticons on my side.

Finally, the story isn’t all that half baked. Hat tip to Ehren Kruger to for writing the darkest film of the Transformers franchise. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is significantly darker than either of the previous two, and there is a lot of death. Parents need be forewarned before taking their kids to see this film. Chaos and death aside, there are a host of jokes throughout. Most fall flat, but the genuinely funny ones are spread thinly enough in the 2.5 hour runtime to keep my attention. Again, credit where credit is due. That said, I also believe in discredit where discredit is due. Enter the bad half of this film.

While the robots look amazing, most of their dialogue is exceptionally poor. It is all very adolescent. The robots used slang terms more than any of the humans. Words cannot express how terrible the robots’ dialogue is, it’s absurd. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for any of the human characters.

In the name of freedom…

Says Optimus Prime, who, instead of immature, is extremely patriotic with his words. Which is almost as bad as the adolescent dialogue from the other ‘bots. Transformers: Dark of the Moon would be a much better film if the robots had no dialogue, which is an unfortunate thing to say.

Another massive problem: The Angst!!! The drama between Shia LaBeuf’s character and Megan Fox’s replacement is borderline unbearable. That shizzle needs to be banned from cinema, but unfortunately, filmmakers believe that angst and/or drama is a requirement in every single film. It isn’t, but even then, it reaches a new low in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. On Megan Fox’s replacement, she has abnormally poofy lips, which I think might be the most distracting thing in this film. The bad kind of distracting.

And lastly, the soundtrack is a disaster. Almost no song matched its corresponding scene. Whoever is behind this soundtrack should hang their head in shame, and Michael Bay should hide under a rock for letting it slip by under his direction. It really is that bad… If not for the quality of the special effects, I’d guess that Transformers: Dark of the Moon was put together by interns.

So my advice? This film is slightly passable. When I say slightly, I mean a single hair above the line which separates avoid and see. It’s difficult to recommend Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a standard popcorn flick, due to its oft-dark nature. So see it, but be prepared to dislike this one if you intend to be judgmental. Otherwise, there are better films in the wild worth more of your time.

Short Review: Mega Python vs. Gatoroid

June 29, 2011

One has to wonder if anybody can tackle the “Creature Feature” subgenre with as much finesse as the Syfy Channel folks. Release after release, giant CGI animal after giant CGI animal, the various people behind Syfy Original Movies fill a niche that no one else dare attempt. With Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, Syfy takes TV-cinema to a new high (or low depending on perspective) by having Tiffany and Debbie Gibson represent maneating alligators and pythons, respectively.

As the story goes, officer Terry O’Hara (Tiffany) of the Florida Everglades presides over a dwindling alligator population, as the alligators are eaten by giant pythons. To combat the problem, Terry feeds the remaining alligators steroids to put them on top of the food chain again. Dr. Nikki Riley (Debbie Gibson), an “environmentalist” rises to defend the pythons, and per the usual, chaos ensues. Contrary to the usual, however, is Tiffany and Debbie Gibson at war with each other alongside giant reptiles, with environmental scientist Dr. Diego Ortiz (A Martinez) caught somewhere in the middle.

One doesn’t need to be a film expert to comprehend how terrible Mega Python vs. Gatoroid really is, however, that isn’t the point. No reasonable producer would pick up a script like the one for this film, but the Syfy channel is home to producers, directors, writers, and actors prepared to keep Creature Features alive no matter how crazy. To live and die by giant CGI maneating animals, I say –

Viva Syfy.

So my advice? See this flick if you’re a Creature Fan, absolutely. Alternatively, no matter who you are, if you want to have a good time some Saturday night, I imagine this is a fun one to watch drunk. And nevertheless, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid is available for streaming on Netflix, so this lacks financial regret if you have a Netflix account. :-)

Hat tip to Naomi Selfman for writing Mega Python vs, Gatoroid and Mary Lambert for signing on as its director.

(Also, the pairing of Tiffany to alligators and Debbie Gibson to pythons is genius.)

Update: Here are YouTube links to two singles, Serpentine by Tiffany, and Snake Charmer by Debbie Gibson, each written and recorded for use in this film. Check ’em out.

Review: Cars 2

June 25, 2011

In many circles, Cars is regarded as Pixar Animation Studio’s worst feature film – Not bad, but not up to par with the remainder of the studio’s titles. Having seen every Pixar film except Cars, this is not a point I can verify, but a subject I can add to. If you wander over to RottenTomatoes.com you might assume that Cars 2, the sequel to Pixar’s least loved film, is abominable, and I have never been as disappointed in the mainstream critics as I am today. Perhaps I haven’t done this shizzle long enough to become an egotistical snob, but I fricking love Cars 2 and here’s why.

As the story goes… In a world populated with living cars instead of people, Lightning McQueen (Voiced by Owen Wilson) accepts an invitation to race against the world’s fastest cars in the very first worldwide Grand Prix. Tow Mater (Voiced by Larry The Cable Guy), who is Lightning McQueen’s best friend, tags along for support but stumbles upon a conspiracy by Big Oil, and per the usual, chaos ensues. Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer co-star, among others.

From the opening Toy Story short to the final scene of the feature, Cars 2 kicks butt and takes names, with a soundtrack that keeps the film perfectly paced. I could comment on how amazing the animation itself is, but I can’t say enough to do the animators justice. Additionally, the voice acting is perfect and, while this may be painful to read, Larry The Cable Guy did a good job as Tow Mater, something I never imagined saying. Michael Caine & his character Finn McMissile kick serious amounts of ass, and I could watch a spin-off film based around him alone.

Back on Larry The Cable Guy, it should be noted that this film surrounds his character. Fortunately (fortunately) his obnoxious style of comedy is kept to a minimum, and I counted two jokes in the entire film that had to do with bodily functions. The filmmakers at Pixar aren’t dumb, and they wouldn’t write Larry The Cable Guy’s comedy into any animated flick, so I reiterate, you need not fear Tow Mater’s leading role in Cars 2.

Scene to scene, Cars 2 is beautiful in both style and substance. You would be doing yourself a disservice by not seeing this if you enjoy animated flicks, or just want a good time at the movies. To put my money where my mouth is, I will be seeing this film a second time. Tho not in 3D – While the 3D in Cars 2 is fine and one of the better implementations of the technology, it isn’t a necessary moviegoing experience if you want to save a few bucks.

I struggle to think of anything wrong with Cars 2, which is why its ratings issued by the critics make no sense. This film has a highly obvious anti-oil message, which might tick off some Republican critics. Some critics might not be able to stand the idea of Larry The Cable Guy in a good film, even just his voice and without any of his ridiculous comedy. I know there exist people who have a disturbing desire to see Pixar make a bad film, with their minds made up prior to entering the theatre.

But according to my Twitterfriends, Cars 2 is receiving negative ratings because it isn’t as good as Toy Story 3, which to me is absurd logic. If we compared every film to Toy Story 3, almost every release would be garbage, and I would hope the critics judging Cars 2 with this reasoning go back and update their reviews for every animated flick they’ve reviewed. Every film should be judged on its own merits, and if you don’t judge one film that way, then you should judge no film on its own merits.

My general reaction to the critics’ reviews for Cars 2 [YouTube link]

Review: Super 8

June 12, 2011

Initially fate tried to stop me from seeing Super 8 by distorting my senses and leading me into X-Men: First Class, then the following two days life intervened and I wasn’t able to see Super 8 until last night, the 12 of June, at 10:40pm. Finally, I am able to write and publish a review… But what I don’t understand is why fate tried so hard to prevent me from seeing Super 8, when it didn’t raise a finger to me seeing Red Riding Hood.

Super 8, by my friends on Twitter, have been described as a cross between E.T. and Cloverfield, which I think is a solid description. After a train is derailed in Lillian Heights (a fictional town in Ohio, yet filmed in West Virginia), numerous citizens disappear, presumably obliterated. As members of the U.S. Airforce patrol the town, nothing but chaos ensues. Per the usual, it’s up to a group of kids who know what is destroying the town, to save the day.

The entire cast is great, surprisingly the kids, most I haven’t heard of. The little protagonists play amateur Horror filmmakers, and they consist of Joel Courtney as Joe (Makeup/Special effects), and Riley Griffiths as his best friend Charles (Director). Gabrielle Basso plays Martin (Actor), Zach Mills as Preston (Actor), and Elle Fanning is Alice (Actress), the love interest opposite Joel Courtney. Though my fave kid is Ryan Lee, who plays Cary, the group’s pyro that sets everything on fire. The two most notable adults are Kyle Chandler who stars as Joel Courtney’s father & town deputy, and Ron Eldard who plays Elle Fanning’s father & a drunk jerk.

(Wow, that was a mouthful. Be aware, I might change that paragraph if I can think of something better.)

For the most part, the story is great. As mentioned above, the performances are. All great, and to be honest the actors make Super 8 what it is, the story is supplemental, as good as it is. The ending, however, is exceptionally cliche and doesn’t live up to the precedent set in the rest of the flick. However, the song at the end of the end credits is My Sharona by The Knack, which more than makes up for the ending. :-)

While the young cast members play… young cast members, Super 8 is written & directed by J.J. Abrams, and produced by Steven Spielberg. Considering J.J. Abrams produced Cloverfield and Steven Spielberg directed E.T., is it really any surprise that Super 8 is a cross between those two? On paper it might not seem like the best idea, but it works, despite the ending of course.

The last alien flick to hit theatres was Skyline 2 Battle: LA which I thought was okay, however Super 8 blows it out of the water and is better than Battle: LA, in every conceivable way. The alien in Super 8 kicks ass, its space ship kicks ass, the story kicks ass, and every actor, young & old, bitch slaps every performance in Battle: LA. Summer flicks are supposed to be inherently bad, but so far the Winter & Spring movie seasons of 2011 have paled in comparison to just the first month of the Summer movie season. It’s almost like something out of the Twilight Zone, this role reversal.

Review: X-Men: First Class

June 4, 2011

It seems as if every week in Summer of 2011, a new blockbuster film gets released to theatres. There have been very high and very low points thus far, and I went into X-Men: First Class with a hint of skepticism since every trailer left me wanting. Surprisingly, at more than two hours in length, the film itself left me wanting another two hours. I enjoyed the first three “X-Men” titles, but this prequel is out of bubblegum and kicks ass [YouTube Link]. Continue reading this review only if it won’t make you late to one of its showings.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, X-Men: First Class is a prequel, but not necessarily to the first instalments in the franchise — It’s how the X-Men became “X-Men” (If you don’t know who or what the heck X-Men are, read this). The first bit of the film surrounds the backstories of Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), with the majority focused on the beginnings of the X-Men. Kevin Bacon stars as Sebastian Shaw, a wicked villain set on initiating a third World War. Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, and others co-star, and no one is safe as chaos ensues.

The most amazing thing about this film is the casting, which couldn’t have been more perfect. Between James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Kevin Bacon, X-Men: First Class is one of the most perfectly cast films I’ve seen in a long time. The aforementioned three are outstanding in their roles, and I can’t profess enough love for Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Magneto. Kevin Bacon inparticular was amazing as the bad guy — Truth be told, I think that Bacon should stick to playing roles as villains. He’s perfect as a bad guy no matter what the film.

That’s not to say the remainder of the cast weren’t good, I reiterate, all the casting was done perfectly. To nitpick tho, Jennifer Lawrence (who plays Raven/Mystique), as great as an actress as she is, doesn’t perform as well as the rest of the cast. Her character just doesn’t seem to fit as well as the rest, however that’s like saying tangerines aren’t quite as good as naval oranges. In other words, this point can be easily ignored.

The exact running time of X-Men: First Class is two hours and eleven minutes, which can seem like a long time, but I didn’t look at the time once. I honestly could have watched another two hours, because I was that drawn into the film. I was so drawn in, infact, that I didn’t manage to jot down a single note, and this review is being written with only my memory as a source. I can’t think of anything negative to say, other than my Jennifer Lawrence nitpick.

As of today, X-Men: First Class has thirteen showings from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM at the little movie theatre I go to (It kicked out a lot of films), so I’m sure, especially at bigger movie theatres, you can leave your home right now and catch a showing. It’s something that I suggest you do.

One last thing…

I apologise for this review being slightly vague… With this film inparticular, I don’t want to give too much away, you should experience what you can in first person. However, be forewarned, this is not a kids film. A lot of people die, and there are plenty of dark moments to go around. Proceed with caution if you’re considering taking young children to see this with you. Hire a babysitter. You’ve been warned. :-)

Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

May 28, 2011

The weekend of May 27th, 2011 will be remembered as the weekend where the only two wide release films to hit theatres are sequels to films that never warranted them. Faced with the dreadful choice of The Hangover Part II or Kung Fu Panda 2, I of course put my money on Jack Black as an animated panda in 3D. I think I made the right decision.

It was Summer 2008 when the first Kung Fu Panda hit theatres, and it ended with no hint of a sequel. Additionally, I didn’t like it as much as I could have, so when I saw the trailer for Kung Fu Panda 2 at a MegaMind showing, my reaction was a yawn. Fortunately today I can retract that yawn, as Kung Fu Panda 2 is awesome in more ways than one. This film is directed by Jennifer Yuh and here are my thoughts.

Kung Fu Panda 2 continues the story of Po (Jack Black), a chubby panda who was thrust into the legendary position of Dragon Warrior in the first installment. Returning are his teammates, the Furious Five (Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, and Angelina Jolie as a tigress. Rawrrrrr…) and together they must save China from an evil Peacock, Shen (Gary Oldman) & his army of wolves. Hilarity, sadness, and (as always) chaos ensue in a ninety minute runtime that goes by way too fast.

The animation is beautiful. It isn’t up to par with most Pixar flicks, but it’s gorgeous to look at. It’s set in China and the array of colors artfully crafted are a visual feat. Perhaps it’s easier to create stunning imagery using animation than it is to capture it with a camera, and that is a valid argument to make. But, even through cheapo 3D glasses, I had a blast watching every scene and I think it’s fair to say that other people will too. Further, Kung Fu Panda 2 is more than just a visual treat, the story is very capable of standing on its own.

An observation I made in the theatre is that almost every audience member was an adult. I counted five kids total, which is stunning considering Kung Fu Panda 2 is supposed to be a kids flick. But in my opinion and from my observation, this film has a great deal of adult appeal (heck, a group of adults even cheered the film when it ended), but not in any type of crude sense—More philosophical, if I may use that word. This film is entertaining to kids and adults can find an understanding in the messages conveyed. If you’ve crossed Kung Fu Panda 2 off of your “watch” list thinking that it’s for kids, please reconsider.

Jack Black does not have a solid track record of films under his belt, particularly lately. It’s easy to watch School Of Rock, and then watch him as a loud drug addict in Tropic Thunder and wonder to yourself “What happened?” Black has talent, but in recent years he’s been handed next to nothing but purposefully annoying roles. I hate saying it, but in my opinion, he should stick to animated roles or fire his agent. Jack Black is genuinely good as Po the panda, he’s calm, funny, and endurable for more than five minutes. It’s a genuine shame that doesn’t translate into his live action roles.

Setting aside Jack Black, the remainder of the voice cast does a very good job. Notable people I haven’t mentioned are Dustin Hoffman, James Hong, Danny McBride, and Michelle Yeoh, all of which are excellent in their roles. Just a thought, I have to wonder when (when, not if) animated films become the mainstream over live action. Every year animation itself advances, and voice acting techniques are becoming a skill that filmmakers are mastering. And, to your dismay (potentially), animated films are easy to turn 3-dimensional. Hint, wink. ;-)

In conclusion, why are you still here? Get out and see Kung Fu Panda 2 and if you already have, see it again! I do my best to avoid opinions of films until I see them, but it’s been impossible to avoid the hate-stream The Hangover Part II has received. Whereas, to the best of my understanding, Po the panda is getting lots of well deserved love. :-)

Edit: And nope, you don’t need to have seen the first Kung Fu Panda to see this one. It doesn’t hurt for the backstory, but Kung Fu Panda 2 works standalone and is a superior film.

Short Review: King Cobra

May 25, 2011

When one talks about films of their childhood, what’s discussed is typically children’s classics. While I too saw those, the defining films of my childhood are about giant snakes that eat people. King Cobra is one of ’em, for better or worse. To this day I will gleefully watch any movie with giant snakes and my adoration for Anaconda is the Achilles heel of my credibility. Embrace that and read further.

Getting right into it, King Cobra is about a 30 ft, genetically altered King Cobra/Diamondback Rattlesnake hybrid that kills a lot of people (even eating one whole!) in a small town. The town’s only hope is a small group of doctors and scientists—Among them, Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi!) as a badass snake expert. The plot is thin, the acting is voided, the special effects are phoned in, but this film is awesome for the avid giant snake fan.

Really I can’t say much more about King Cobra… I could, but it would just be rambling, since the previous paragraph is really all one needs to know. It’s a ridiculous film and if you don’t have an attachment to all things giant snakes, this is to be avoided. If you’re like me, watch it and love it. If you have a Netflix account you can easily find it for viewing on demand there. :-)

Now, time for an Anaconda(s) marathon… (Even the 3rd & 4th, gasp!)

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean 4

May 21, 2011

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl is what The Haunted Mansion wasn’t—An awesome film loosely based on an amusement park ride. And if recollection serves well, Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl didn’t end to yield a sequel. Money spoke, however, and two lackluster sequels followed. And if you stuck around to the end of the end credits of the third in the franchise, you might have believed that it was over. Nope. You may now enter Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack Sparrow with his drunk pirate voice, which Penelope Cruz has a love/hate relationship with. Geoffrey Rush returns with one leg and Ian McShane plays the magical Black Beard. Forbidden love between a missionary (Sam Claflin) and a mermaid (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) is also featured. This isn’t a movie, this is a sitcom! Funnily enough, the audience with me laughed as if it were a sitcom, and with every joke I felt as if a laugh track button was being pushed. Fortunately my aura is viral and the person sitting next to me laughed two times less than I did.

All that said, as the story goes…

Captain Jack Sparrow is either searching for or has given up on searching for the Fountain Of Youth (It isn’t made clear). Due to some unfortunate events, however, Captain Jack is forced into locating the Fountain Of Youth for the legendary Black Beard pirate who can manipulate objects with his hand, sword, or ship (Another thing not made clear) and can level a ship with its crew in a minute. All the while both Spain and England are in pursuit of the Fountain Of Youth, and of course chaos ensues. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides also features zombie pirates that aren’t really zombies, some pretty wicked mermaids, and Keith Richards sports a very random cameo as Captain Jack’s father.

This film has no focus, which is slightly better than the negative amount of focus in Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End, but still not good. This film wants to be a dozen things it isn’t, and to try and make it so, the runtime is an excruciatingly painful 2 hours and 17 minutes. From start to finish, I wasn’t sure if Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is meant to be an action film, a drama, or a comedy starring Johnny Depp. There is very little action, the romance is forced, and the jokes are only funny to people that will laugh at anything.

Further, most of this film is nothing but dialogue between characters. And Johnny Depp was present in all but maybe one scene. The only reason it isn’t titled Johnny Depp Is A Drunk Pirate is because that would only have niche appeal. More than two hours of Johnny Depp talking in his drunk pirate voice, which we enjoyed in the first film of this franchise, put up with in the second, and endured in the third. Tim Burton even had him carry that voice over into Alice In Wonderland, and I think we’ve had enough of it. Unfortunately, some producers disagree, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides features more than two hours of Depp talking to other actors.

Oh dear, must I mention Penelope Cruz? I think the woman has talent, but whatever talent she has is nullified here. And she is the love interest opposite Johnny Depp who, like Depp, makes her way into almost every scene. Her acting is terrible, the dialogue she has to work with is terrible, and her character’s back story is ridiculous at best.

One thing that highly amuses me is one scene, which exists so that Sam Claflin, the bible toting mermaid loving missionary can remove his shirt. I’m not kidding, the rest of the male cast is either too old or too ugly (Johnny Depp is not issued attractive makeup) for a topless scene, so one for Claflin was worked into the script. I have to wonder if a topless male is a requirement for Summer blockbusters. So far this year it’s three for three, and I’m just waiting for boobs to become socially acceptable so us dudes can pull some enjoyment out of PG-13 films. ;-)

(Send a letter to the MPAA asking why Titanic got a free pass.)

Walking out of the movie theatre, I thought to myself that Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is worse than the worst film this year, Red Riding Hood. Dwelling on it, this one is only slightly better, but not by much. If at least thirty minutes were cut, the romance was toned town, and there were more clarity & more action, I might have thoroughly enjoyed it. Until then, wait for the extended cut on DVD + Blu Ray. (It’s gonna happen)

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