Daily Archives: August 19, 2006

Review: Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest

I’m a little hesitant to review this one, because it doesn’t feel like it would be fair to do so until I’ve seen part three and the end of the story. But I’ll put down my initial thoughts anyway.

This is a fun movie. I’m glad I went to see it in the theater, and I’ll definitely go see part three. The special & visual effects were great, especially for Davy Jones and his crew. Exceptional work there. Also had an engaging (if convoluted) plot, and the energy was pretty high throughout the film.

That said, I think it was longer than it needed to be. It seemed like it was trying to reach “epic” status, when “good story” would have done just fine. There was almost no point to the whole cannibals island scene, for example, other than to put the crew together with Orlando Bloom, which could have been accomplished in a shorter timeframe. The first piece with the Carribean “oracle” seemed a bit overblown, too.

Finally, the ending seemed a little flat. Obviously, things are not what they seem, and Jack will somehow escape. No surprise there. I did like the re-introduction of Geoffrey Rush, though they could use a little explanation there. I assume that will happen in the third movie.

One cool thing was the visual homages to the Pirates of the Carribean ride from which the movie is named. There are a couple scenes that incorporate pieces of the ride that were fun to see.

But as I said, the story isn’t finished, and this is decidedly not a stand-alone film, so it’s hard to give it a fair shake at this point. I’ll revisit it next year once I’ve seen PotC III.

Review: Hellboy

I wasn’t feeling well today, and there wasn’t much on the tube, so I tuned in to the only movie playing that I hadn’t seen before: Hellboy.

In sci-fi, comic book, geek circles I had heard that this was a pretty good movie, and from the previews it seemed like it had some decent special effects and some humor in it. It even spawned a cartoon and I think they’re making a sequel. So I had expectations that it would be a fun movie with a worthwhile plot, despite it being about a demon-superhero, a concept with which I have a problem.

It had a moment or two, here and there, but overall I have to say this movie bored me to tears. I almost quit watching it a couple times. If there had been anything else mildly interesting on, I would have switched. The characters were all one-dimensional, the mysteries were unsatisfying, and the battles were all the same. Couldn’t have cared less about a single character, except maybe the doctor. Well, the fish guy was kinda interesting too, but he turns out not to have had too much of importance to do with the plot. He wasn’t even in the last third of the movie.

The plot had aspirations of greatness, with Good vs. Evil, pseudo-religious overtones, and the concept of free will all stuck out there front-and-center, but it never got beyond mediocrity. I got to the point that I kept looking at my watch, wondering how so little could happen in so much time.

It doesn’t quite match the depths of stupidity that Starship Troopers mined – I was actually mad that I paid to see that one – but beyond maybe 5 minutes worth of special effects, there wasn’t much worth watching in this film. I’m glad I caught it on TV and didn’t shell out the rental money.