Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

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Jul 172006
 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestJack owes an unpaid debt to Davy Jones and his army of sea-phantoms…his soul. Now, he must find a way to save himself from becoming one of them, and suffering forever.

Directed by
Gore Verbinski

Genres
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Cast
Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Kevin McNally, David Bailie, Stellan Skarsg?rd, Tom Hollander, Naomie Harris, Martin Klebba, Alex Norton

Lay and I went to see this movie Friday night. We’d been waiting for the crowds to be a bit smaller before we went. We watched the first movie Saturday evening.

I will make my comments without spoilers so that people who haven’t yet seen the movie can read it.

One of the worst things that can happen in a sequel to a successful movie is that audiences will feel like they’re seeing the same movie again with slight variations on the theme. Dead Man’s Chest gives us all the characters we loved in the first movie, but puts them in a refreshingly original movie. The action sequences will keep you on the edge of your seat. And there are more laugh-out-loud moments in this movie than in most comedies. I felt entertained from the beginning right through to the special scene after the closing credits.

Dead Man’s Chest does the right thing as a sequel: It maintains the same carefree spirit of the original and creates an even more fitting story to the whole Pirates lore. After narrowly escaping the gallows–with the help of his friends Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley)–and reclaiming his cursed Black Pearl, it still seems Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has a few more fish to fry. More specifically the barnacle-encrusted undead on board the ghostly Flying Dutchman, lead by Mr. Octopus Face himself, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). Jack apparently owes a blood debt to the inky captain and if he can’t find a way out of it–namely locating the secret contents of Jones’ famed locker–Sparrow will be doomed to eternal damnation and servitude in the afterlife (insert Jack Sparrow’s face of disgust here). Making matters worse, Sparrow’s problems manage to interfere with the wedding plans of Will and Elizabeth, who are forced to join Jack on yet another one of his misadventures.

This is the most fun I’ve had in the cinema in the longest time. I can’t remember the last time I was so entertained. Although it is a bit slow at times, and a bit predictable (although fun in it’s predictability), it hardly lets up and continuously entertains.

If you loved the original, you will DEFINITELY love this film. The ending not only makes you laugh, it makes you think “What the hell?” and will make you eagerly anticipate (major understatement) the third installment. There are some great lines, the same fun characters, an inventive and fun story, and some brilliantly staged action sequences.

In summation: SEE IT! See it on the big screen. If you miss it, you will surely regret it.

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Weather Man, The

 Culture, Humor, Movies, Society  Comments Off on Weather Man, The
Oct 312005
 

The Weather Man (2005)

A Chicago weather man (Cage), separated from his wife and children, debates whether professional and personal success are mutually exclusive.

Directed by
Gore Verbinski

Genres
Comedy, Drama

Cast
Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Gemmenne de la Pe?a, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Rispoli, Gil Bellows, Judith McConnell, Chris Marrs, Dina Facklis, DeAnna N.J. Brooks, Sia A. Moody, Guy Van Swearingen, Alejandro Pina, Jackson Bubala

Lay and I went to see this movie Saturday night. I liked it, and Lay thought it was OK, but not great.

This movie was not at all like I was expecting. The Weather Man is crass and silly, but it’s also extremely dark and sad. David Spritz (Nicholas Cage) is a sad, lonely man who’s trying to reconcile with this ex-wife and get his family back together, but despite his best intentions, things just never work out the way he wants. More than anything, he wants to prove to his dying father that he can be a great man too, but time is running out. This is not your typical comedy. It’s not easy to watch sometimes, but according to Robert Spritz, “Easy doesn’t enter into grown-up life.”

Don’t expect to be “entertained” necessarily…expect to be challenged. It didn’t have the prepackaged bombs and special effects. Instead it had one of the most touching and intelligent scripts in the last year. “The Weather Man” deals with real issues such as insecurity, love, and trust. It presents scenarios where the audience might become uncomfortable looking at an aspect of their lives they might not like. Here is a parent who is challenged by his inability to connect with his own children, who appears to have unsurmountable challenges dealing with a spouse, and who is now not very sure his job is truly what he always wanted.

Nicholas Cage does an outstanding job moving between the various worlds in which his life plays out, and Michael Caine once again shines in his supporting role as the father who can’t communicate with his son, and has now pressing issues to deal with before it’s too late.

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