PSA: Dead Man’s Chest a Dud

Filed under:Movies,Reviews — posted by Anwyn on August 20, 2006 @ 11:22 pm

The new Pirates of the Caribbean is a waste. And that is such a shame.

I simply cannot understand how some screenwriters can write awesome first movies and then turn out the worst sequels imaginable. To be fair, there are other writers credited for both Zorro movies and for the story of the first Pirates, but Chest is apparently, lamentably, all their own.

I don’t even have the heart to rev up a full review. Suffice to say that in the first film, Johnny Depp ruled; in this he was a victimized afterthought going through the motions. In the first, the characters’ motivations were made clear and their behaviors compatible with them; in this there were extraneous characters thrown about willy-nilly and supposedly known quantities acting bizarrely contrary to their former natures. The first was sharply sequenced and well paced; this had about five expositions that didn’t give us the information we needed, split the supposed protagonists up into too many parties to reliably keep track of, and spent far too long on meaningless action scenes that weren’t even that enjoyable for their own sake. Interesting side note: the writers evidently love Return of the Jedi not wisely but too well; a few clumsy nods to Lucas & Co. in no way made up for the faults of the scenes they inhabited.

I’m too depressed about the writing to bother scoring off the actors. They just didn’t have enough to work with. When Johnny Depp is phoning it in, you know you have a serious problem. And the worst part of all? **SPOILER** (more…)

Transgenred Fun

Filed under:Cool,Music — posted by Anwyn @ 10:55 pm

Music jumping genres. This is great. (h/t Allah at Hot Air, reminding you that if it’s acoustic, it’s “hippie.”) I suppose it would be funnier if I had known anything about the song or Outkast before I watched it, but since I didn’t, it was more musically impressive than funny, especially since I garnered from the context of the video what he had to work with going in. The original lyrics seem to consist of the idea that love is sex and thus not an exception to the adage “nothing lasts forever.” But since Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker leaves out the overt sex stuff, the song morphs into a lament over being stuck in a relationship that is really over. Better song, to my way of thinking.

And since we’re on the subject, check out my favorites, Nickel Creek, and their stirring rendition of “Toxic,” performed originally, I am reliably informed, by Britney Spears. They did this when I saw them play last winter, too, but I am just too unhip to recognize Spears songs when I hear them and had to ask my neighbor in the audience. Didn’t stop me from enjoying watching Chris shake it, though. This YouTube version was the pick of a bad lot in the sense that it 1) had audio and video tracks synched up; 2) showed all of the band members (I always get a kick out of watching Sean on guitar, solid as a rock, while Chris hotdogs); 3) wasn’t blocked by somebody’s head in front. It’s not as close up as would be optimal, especially if you haven’t seen Nickel Creek before, but … c’est la vie. Enjoy.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace