Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

We’re at the third part in my series of “Pirates of the Caribbean” reviews! If you haven’t read my reviews of the first two movies, you can easily find them here on my blog. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s just get into the review.

Ladies and gents… “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s end”.

(Spoiler alert for the end of the previous movie) After Jack’s (Johnny Depp) death the hands of the Kraken, he has been cursed to be stuck in Davy Jones’ locker. So now we find Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), and Will (Orlando Bloom) going to great lengths to get Jack back, because they apparently need him to take on and hopefully stop the evil Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). And now we have our bloated pirate adventure. I don’t necessarily have any problems with long movies as long as they’re well paced, but this movie meanders a lot to stretch out that runtime (two hours and forty-one minutes!). They’re also going a little overboard (HAHA!) with the overall plot, having so many plot-threads going on to the point where nothing feels truly fleshed out. There are moments in throughout the runtime that show great promise, making me actually go “Now, that’s some good storytelling”, but the overall thing (while pretty fun) feels bloated and messy.

The characters in this are for the most part pretty entertaining, though most of them are kind of uninteresting, mainly because they get no real development. Johnny Depp is still good as Jack Sparrow, though he’s also getting up to a few too many silly antics throughout. What was a charmingly unpredictable character has become kind of a buffoon (more than he already kind of was). He has some good moments throughout, though he feels more like a parody of Captain Jack rather than the original Captain Jack. Elizabeth Swann, she’s still a great character, a tough and clever woman who still shows that she isn’t perfect. And Keira Knightley is once again great in the role, even getting a very emotional scene in the moment that kind of got to me. Will Turner, generic handsome hero-guy who overall is kind of a dull character. The only thing making the character watchable is Orlando Bloom who gives a charismatic enough performance. Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, once again a fucking blast to watch, he’s amazing. Jack Davenport is once again great as Norrington. Bill Nighy, once again kind of hammy as Davy Jones, but it still works perfectly for the character. Jonathan Pryce, once again great as Elizabeth’s father. Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook came back as Pintel and Ragetti, and they’re both still pretty fun. Kevin McNally, once again good as Gibbs. Stellan Skarsgård is once again great as Bootstrap Bill. Tom Hollander once again was geat as the smug asshole known as Cutler Beckett. Naomie Harris was kind of goofy but still really good as Tia Dalma. Chow Yun-Fat was good as pirate captain Sao Feng. We also got a fun little cameo in here from Ketih Richards, playing captain Teague (and if you don’t know who he is then 3, 2, 1) AKA Captain Jack’s dad. Yeah, it’s a good cast.

The score for the movie was (like in the previous movie) composed by Hans Zimmer and it was really good. Big, epic, fun, and just great. The only part about it that bugs me is one track called “Parlay”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, it’s a good track. What bugs me about it is that is rips off Ennio Morricone’s “Man with a Harmonica”. As I was watching the movie as preparation for this review I sat there thinking “I- is that Man with a Harmonica?”. Seriously, listen to both tracks and compare them. Other than that, the score is great.

As with the previous two movies, “At World’s End” was directed by Gore Verbinski and I think he does a really good job. There are some really great shots in this movie, in particular there is one where the stars are reflected on the water, it’s pure eye candy. And the shots where this movie doesn’t feel like blowing my mind, they look good too. Verbinski really has a good eye for visuals. Speaking of which, I don’t think I ever mentioned in my previous reviews (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) that the sets in these look fantastic. Also, the costumes and such… great! And the CGI looks great once again, especially of course on the crew of the Flying Dutchman. And the action scenes, while bloated and kind of dumb, are quite fun.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 45% rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 50/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best makeup and Best visual effects.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is a mess but it’s also pretty fun. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, really good directing, and great visual effects. My problems with the movie come from the messy plot and a good amount of characters not being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *Yarr*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is a 7,78/10. While quite messy and bloated, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is now completed.

One more movie in this damn review series left…

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

As promised (thanks to a twitter poll) I am bringing you reviews of all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies because the new one which can’t choose a fucking title is out. I already reviewed “Curse of the Black Pearl”, so now I am bringing you a review of the second movie. So let’s just get into it!

Me mateys… “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”!

Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) are about to be married, but their wedding gets interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) because they helped a certain pirate in the previous movie. To redeem them, Will has to find Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and fetch his compass for Beckett. And while all of this is going on, Jack is getting into even more trouble when he finds out that legendary pirate Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is coming for him. So we have a lot of moving parts in this, and question is… does it work? For the most part, yeah. While there are a lot of things going on, it only borders on feeling convoluted. Really, the plot for the most part works. I say “for the most part” because about 20 minutes into the movie we get a section that has no real bearing on the rest of the plot. Sure, there’s some fun to be had, but it has no real purpose other than extending the runtime, which actually kind of messes with the overall flow of the movie/plot, and that kind of bugs me. So while I don’t mind most of the plot, there’s that section around 20 minutes in that brings it down for me. Again, kind of fun, but overall has no real purpose.

The characters in this movie are all entertaining and for the most part quite interesting. Johnny Depp is once again really good as Jack Sparrow, even though he’s up to a few too many silly antics in this movie… most of them around the dipping point I mentioned earlier, hmm. But he’s still fun. Keira Knightley is once again great as Elizabeth Swan. What I liked the most about her character is that she got to do a lot more in this movie, and be a more active part of the cast, showing what a clever character she is. Orlando Bloom once again played Will Turner, the generic handsome hero guy. But you know what, I appreciated his character a bit more in this one because they start introducing things relating to his past, giving him some more weight and making him a slightly more interesting character, and Orlando Bloom is really good in the role. Kevin McNally returns as Jack’s right hand man, Gibbs, and he’s once again good in the role. Jack Davenport returned to play James Norrington, this time stripped of his fancy fucking title and wig, and instead becomes a more compelling and also rugged character. Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook return as comic relief characters Pinel & Ragetti, and they’re once again pretty fun. Jonathan Pryce returns as Elizabeth’s dad, and he’s ocne again great. Now, on to the newcomers! Tom Hollander plays Beckett, the man who sent Will to find Jack’s compass, and he’s just the most smug dick I’ve ever seen in a movie, and Hollander does a great job. Bill Nighy plays Davy Jones, the legendary pirate who also happens to be a squidman. And while there’s ham in Nighy’s performance, I feel like that’s the only way the character could be played, it is really the perfect performance for the character. We also got Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap Bill, the father of Will Turner, which is what made Will’s character more compelling. And Skarsgård is great in the role. Really, there are a lot of solid performances on display here.

The score for the movie was composed by the great Hans Zimmer and he did a phenomenal job with it. Sure, there’s some of the familiar tunes from the first movie, but he also created some original pieces that were big, loud, epic, dramatic, haunting, and just plain awesome. And I have to mention it, the track called “The Kraken” is the best track to come out of this franchise. That’s right, the middle child gave us the best song, whoop-de-fucking-do.

Like the first one, this movie was directed by Gore Verbinski and I think he once again did a really good job. The shots look great and he just has a good sense of scope. This really is a beautiful movie, and I’m not just saying that because of the tropical locations, this is a good looking movie. And the action, while really fucking ridiculous at times, is really fun. And the CGI in this movie… fantastic. The way that Davy Jones’ crew looks, with all of them being part man, part sea creature, it looks amazing. And when they choose to introduce the Kraken in the movie, holy shit, it’s badass. It’s a big and fancy effect that looks great. Really, from a visual standpoint this is a great movie.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 53/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best visual effects. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best art direction, Best sound mixing, and Best sound editing.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is a good follow-up to the awesome first movie, even if it isn’t as good. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, really good directing, and great visual effects. My flaw with it is that dipping point around the 20 minute mark. Time for my final score. *Shoots undead monkey*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is a 9,23/10. So while it’s flawed, I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is now completed.

2 down, 2 to go.

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen! Recently I put up a poll on my twitter (@TheMarckoguy, if you’re not already following me there) asking if you wanted me to review the first four “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies since the new one is coming out very soon. After 24 hours the poll was over and a majority voted “Yes” on it, so I’m gonna bring you reviews of all the “Pirates” movies leading up to the new one. So here we go with the first part in this new review series.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”.

When his long time friend and love interest Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) gets kidnapped by a gang of seemingly undead pirates, blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) has to team up with the very eccentric pirate captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to find the bad guys and stop them. That’s it, a simple swashbuckler plot with a supernatural twist… and it doesn’t really need more than that. It’s a fun plot featuring pirates and some supernatural bullshit. And to be honest, while the supernatural stuff isn’t necessary to make a good movie, I feel like it really added something to the plot here, deepening it without going (pun intended) overboard. It’s an interesting world they set up and they make a fun adventure happen in it.

The characters in this movie are all interesting and really entertaining. Jack Sparrow is a selfish jerk who also happens to have his heart in the right place, and Johnny Depp is great in the role, playing him with a lot of fun energy. Elizabeth Swann can seem like a bit of a damsel in distress at first, being kidnapped by the undead pirates and all, but she’s actually a tough and stubborn young woman that I enjoy following, and Keira Knightley is really good in the role. Will Turner is the generic handsome hero guy who you see in a lot of these adventure movies, so while he is a very generic character, I still think Orlando Bloom does a really good job. Captain Barbossa is the leader of teh undead pirates and he’s a vile and menacing man, and Geoffrey Rush is fantastic in the role. Then we have commodore Norrington, a man determined to catch/stop any and all pirates out there, and Jack Davenport is great in the role. Tons of great actors/performances in this movie… too many to mention.

The score for the movie was composed by Klaus Badelt and it is really good. It’s fun, energetic, bombastic, inspiring, and perfectly fits the swashbuckler vibe that this movie is going for. Really, it’s just great.

The movie was directed by Gore Verbinski and I think he did a great job. The shots look great and there’s a lot of energy in his directing. Especially the action scenes, they’re a lot of fun to watch, especially if you have a soft spot for swashbucklers like I do. Also, the visual effects in this movie look great, in particular the look of the undead pirates. Sure, some of the CG hasn’t aged the best, but for the time combined with the overall design of them, it looks awesome. I just love the look of them.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10 and is ranked #249 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 5 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Depp), Best makeup, Best sound mixing, Best sound editing, and Best visual effects.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is an incredibly fun swashbuckler adventure. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Yarr*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is a 9,86/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is now completed.

One down, three to go… ahoy, me mateys!

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” trailer

Hello there, my friends. It is I, Captain Markus Guy and I’m gonna stop doing that because that was just dumb. Yeah, let’s talk about a new trailer.

So we have a trailer, or at least a teaser for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, the fifth installment of the movie franchise that got it’s head more and more up it’s own ass with every installment. Let me put it like this: I love the first movie. The second and first are very bloated but still very enjoyable. The fourth is one of the most forgettable movies I have ever seen… and now you have my thoughts on the series. So what is this new thing then? Well it’s a new movie where Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has to find a magical thing… again. Same plot, new coat of paint. But I’ll give it this, the trailer doesn’t really give us any Jack Sparrow at all. Sure, he’s name-dropped and talked a little bit about by Brenton Thwaites and the always awesome Javier Bardem (who’s looking very spooky in this). And that’s about it. Not much to say since there’s not too much shown. We get some basic stuff combined with what we kind of know already, like the fact that Orlando Bloom will be making his return in this movie. So yeah… I don’t really have anything to say. I’m not really excited about this movie, though I am somewhat curious to see how it might turn out. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is set to be released in late May 2017.

So what are your thoughts on this? Are you excited for this new “Pirates” movie? And what are your thoughts on the franchise in general? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer.

Movie Review: Black Hawk Down (2001)

black-hawk-down--i645910

*Ron Perlman voice activated*. War… war never changes.

Ladies and gentlemen, we got a… “Black Hawk Down”.

In 1993, a band of American troopers were sent in Mogadishu, Somalia to try to take down a local warlord who is the cause of a civil war. However when one of their Black Hawk choppers crash in the city they have to fight for survival against essentially everyone in the city… or at least a lot of heavily-armed Somalis. And while the story doesn’t have a lot of cultural empathy, it’s still one hell of a ride. What we have here is a really intense war story and how it affects different people in this situation. And it was all very riveting. There is rarely a calm moment in this movie, so when there finally is a bit of calm you never really take it for granted. But I have to say that it was really interesting, intriguing and pretty well handled.

The characters in this movie are nothing to write home about. They are all bland and never really develop at any time. And I know that you might be sitting there like “Come on, they’re in a war, there is no time for character development”. Three words: “Saving Private Ryan”, a war movie that is just as intense but takes the time to develop it’s characters and keep them interesting. The only reason you care for the characters in this movie is because the movie makes you root for them but introducing them in the beginning and making sure you don’t completely hate them. The only one I actually still really cared about was Josh Hartnett’s characters, but that’s really only because he gets the most space out of everyone. That and his performance is pretty great. That is something positive I can say: while the characters are bland and such, the acting is still fucking phenomenal, great work by everyone in the movie.

The score for the movie was composed by the ever so masterful Hans Zimmer. It is tense, emotional, big and badass. I would really say that it perfectly fit a war movie of this size and scope while also working very well musically overall. I also like the good mix of licensed tracks in the movie because they all worked really well in my opinion.

“Black Hawk Down” was directed by Ridley Scott who I am a huge fan of and once again, he delivered. First off, the movie is masterfully shot and directed and never really has any of that terrible shaky-cam bullshit. And the action scenes are very well handled too. They are both masterfully crafted and plentiful, so anyone in need of realistic war-action, look no further. I will just say that at one point there was so much intensity going on that I thought I was gonna get a heart attack from this damn movie. Thankfully the movie felt like quieting down for a bit around that time so I could catch my breath.

This movie was well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best film editing and Best sound. It was also nominated for an additional 2 Oscars in the categories of Best director and Best cinematography. 

“Black Hawk Down” is a really intense war movie with an engaging plot, bland & uninteresting characters, great acting, great music,  great directing and excellent action. Time for my final score. AAAAAAHHHHH. My final score for “Black Hawk Down” is a 9,38/10. I would say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Black Hawk Down” is now completed.

Only the dead have seen the end of war.