Monday, July 14, 2003

So, Pirates of the Caribbean then. Bloody good film, I reckon. It's fun, fast and funny, basically everything a pirate movie should be. let's face it, no one wants a historically accurate pirate film. Nor do they want Cutthroat Island. But I digress.
The strongest part of a strong movie is Johnny Depp's performance. Coming across like a Cockney version of his Fear and Loathing character, Depp almost carries the film by himself. It's to the other cast members' credit that they manage to keep up with him. Keira Knightley shows that there's more to her than Britflicks and being Natalie Portman's double, although Meg rightly points out that Knightley needs to turn in a meaty dramatic performance to truly challenge Portman's strengths. Geoffrey Rush turns in an excellent performance, although I kept seeing Alan Rickman in full Sheriff of Nottingham mode. Still, not a bad performance to mimic, and if Rickman is lost to us forever, then Rush will do nicely. Orlando Bloom does a great job too, although it's inevitable that Depp overshadows him. Everyone else, even down to the bit-players (my favourites being the two bumbling English soldiers, and their piratical counterparts) turns in excellent performances.
Music from a surprisingly large group of composers was superb and the special effects were great. George Lucas must hate the fact that they actually used real ships in this movie, since I'm sure he wants everyone to join the digital revolution, even when it looks crap. When cgi is used, it's flawless. I kept on looking for the join in the pirates' transformations, but I couldn't spot it.
There's a special place in my heart for One of our Dinosaurs is Missing, but this is a worthy contender, and is >whisper< probably a better film.

By the way, the fish and chips were lovely.

Picked up, second hand, the first issue of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Strikes Again, the sequel to the universally praised Dark Knight Returns. It was much derided on its original release, mainly because it is the sequel to the universally praised Dark Knight Returns. I've only given it a quick look so far, but it seems that Miller was actually on to something here. When it came out two years ago, the politics it exposed and criticised seemed to be a quaint memory of times past, a sign that perhaps Miller was losing his edge, and was just cynically repeating his past glories. However, in hindsight, it looks like Miller saw what some of the rest of us missed, sometimes willingly. "Watch out!" he seems to be saying, "America's up to something suspicious". How right he was.

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