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Pirates 2 Review

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Well ... interesting film. I honestly think it's a mixed bag of bad, good and really amazing.


Length: C
First off, the movie is way too long. By the time we get to the amazing spectacle of the last hour, we've been desensitized and the 'wow factor' is somewhat played out. The pacing is off in the first act, and the plot is somewhat confusing and some things are just overplayed too much. This film could easily have been 120 minutes. Instead, we're cruising past two and a half hours.

Ciematography: A
Great cinematography takes some of the pain of the long cut away. This film is sweeping, epic and visually stunning. Whew! But, it still can't save it outright and there's just not enough action sequences to keep me interested. But oh when they come, they're absolutely amazing - in the meantime I'm bummed by long setups and wayyyy to much story. This is a summer spectacular, kill me with the action, baby!

Acting: B+
Captain Jack Sparrow is now more feminine and drunk than ever - and sometimes it's over the top but he is a scene stealer. I love his pithy phrases, people were saying 'oh bugger' as soon as we left the theater. I did think that perhaps some of the funny moments were misplaced, or maybe that's Pirates charm and I just missed it. Kiera Knightly is sadly underused, not believeable as a paige boy stowaway and the love-triangle at the end utterly confused me. What? Isn't this whole thing because of Will Turner's love for her? Of course, she left her lover in the first film for him, so perhaps she's doing the same again. Most of the characters are pretty one-dimensional - so I'm hoping this is just setting up the 3rd film where we'll appreciate more nuances of the writing and characters.

Action Scenes: A
As I mentioned that are far too few, but truly stunning. Or maybe there are enough, it's just that the first 1.5 hours of the film don't contain any of them. Yes, that's it.

Visual effects: A
Industrial Light and Magic (of Star Wars fame) have really created some amazing special effects here. There are scores of fantastic digital characters, complete with the main villian of the film Davy Jones. This is some stunning stuff you've never seen before! I can only remember 2 scenes that looked somewhat fakey (both involving the Cracken, which had to have been the most difficult scene to make believable). GREAT work.

Sound effects: A
Great sound effects - I especially love the sound of Captain Davy's octopus beard. There's plenty to see and hear - it all fits nicely, well done.

Score: A
Sounded a bit Gladiator-esque, but I loved that film and score, too. It seemed to fit really well.

Overall: B-
Overall the film was great, just needed one more critical edit. More Kiera Knightly, more action and I'll be ready for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End next summer.


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:16 PM |

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At 7/17/2006, Blogger Courtney said...

You said nothing about how 1970's the Cracken was when it was swallowing up the boats...I laughed out loud.

At 7/17/2006, Blogger P-Rob said...

Agree with most of your comments. Score on the first 'Pirates' sounded a lot like 'Gladiator,' too; would have enjoyed some newer themes. The first act definitely was slow. Love triangle? Sounds like 'Empire Strikes Back,' when we all thought Luke would get the girl, but didn't in the end. Hmmmm....

At 7/17/2006, Blogger Joshua Griffin said...

Interesting ... it DID feel from time to time like ESB (not nearly as good, mind you, but similar). This is the quintessential 2nd act of any movie. Everything that can go wrong does ... setting up act 3 where then the heroes win in the end minus 1 or 2 expendable crewman.


At 7/17/2006, Anonymous MJ said...


did you catch that Sparrow called Bootstrap Bill Uncle during their conversation in the room with the rum?

also did you catch the locket on the Voodoo Lady's table? it shows up embeded in Davy Jones' organ, it is the same design as the music box, AND it is the same design on the chest.

theories: keep in mind that these were thought up by 2 really tired high schoolers at 1 in the morning during PDYM however it makes sense to us.

so it goes something like this...Davy Jones fell in love with a woman this woman is Jack Sparrow's mother (Empire Strikes Back much?) the locket belonged to Momma Sparrow and ended up as Jack's and this is the locket he bartered for the compass. Although Keith Richards is set to play Daddy Sparrow we believe he will be "daddy" sparrow and Davy Jones is actually Sparrow's father the reason for the locket design showing up everywhere? simple it reminds him of his lost love

there ya have it


At 7/17/2006, Blogger Joshua Griffin said...

Crew or equipment visible: When Jack Sparrow falls into the grave, the print of a modern shoe can be seen clearly in the dirt at the top of the grave.

Anachronisms: In the scene where Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth and Norrington are arguing on the pier in Tortuga, the hull of a ship can be clearly seen behind them bearing a Plimsoll line, which wasn't used until the late 19th century.

Continuity: When William is talking to Cutler Beckett after being arrested a fishing ship is seen out on the ocean not moving. In the next shot the ship has disappeared.

Revealing mistakes: On the sand during the sword fight after the Chest is found, a shot from above shows the three men having two shadows each.

Continuity: When Gibbs is describing Davy Jones to Will Turner on the trip up the river, his forehead is clear in the first shot, then a tangle of hair has fallen down, then in the next shot has again been swept back.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: At the beginning of the film when caskets are being thrown into the water, the first casket makes no noise of any kind when it hits the water.

Continuity: When watching Will, Jack, and Norrington sword fight on the beach, Elizabeth's nose and cheeks are slightly sunburned. When back on the ship, they're only tanned, and no longer burned.

Continuity: When Norrington is running from Jones' crew and falls, the letters of mark fall to the ground, as seen lying next to the head of the crew member he throws the chest at. In the next shot, they are gone and Norrington somehow gets them back.

From IMDB - JG

At 7/18/2006, Blogger P-Rob said...

Hmm, if there really is a "Luke, I'm your father" moment in Pirates 3, Josh will totally freak out...


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