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Pirates (spoilers)

 
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Frank_Jewett
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 7:52 pm    Post subject: Pirates (spoilers) Reply with quote

Dr. Frank Swietek wasn't kind to the first two summer sequel blockbusters, but he saved special scorn for "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", and he wasn't alone.

Frank

"The studio has asked critics not to reveal details of the plot in their reviews—a request that’s easy to accede to, since the picture’s story arc is pretty much incomprehensible."
- Dr. Frank Swietek

"Such a tangled thicket of overwritten, labyrinthine mythology, backstabbing betrayals and mixed motivations that a massive chunk of the running time is devoted to characters standing around on boats, trying like hell to explain the plot to one another."
- Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

"A death in this series has no more impact than Daffy Duck getting shot in the face in a Warner Brothers cartoon."
- Phil Villarreal, Arizona Star
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Total Mess Reply with quote

John talked to me on the phone the other night before going to see PIRATES 3 and wanted me to post a review...so this it. The movie is a total mess. Terrible. Worst than 2, which stunk. I love long movie but this would never end. I'm so sick of CG effects. Johnny flys around like spider man.---Yohe
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm mixed on it.

I thought the second one was a bit too much rollercoaster and light on plot. I still found it enjoyable for a variety of reasons (there must be a post somewhere around here on it).

This one was far more plot and a lot less rollercoaster and action. That was... sort of surprising. The first half to 2/3 was light on sword fights and ship fights and... honestly, if you compared the amount of action in this movie with the amount of action in the *first* movie, I think people would be startled by just how much crash-bang & fighting was crammed into the first one. It's pretty surprising that the third in a series offers less action than the first or second. Usually it's the other way around - all a series has at that point is the action, almost getting lost in the punch of it.

So... I sort of liked that there was more plot here than action. One of the issues I had with the last one is that much of the action in the first half of that movie was over-the-top to the point that it lessened the impact of the later action. That wasn't the case here. The action payoff was all later.

As far as the plotting... I really didn't find it complicated at all, nor hard to follow. I do find it odd that so many critics who complain about threadbare plots that exist simply to lead to the next action scene are annoyed by a movie that lays out a plot before getting to the action.

Is the plotting well done?

That may be where I have some issues.

The Nine Pirate Lords could have been explained better. The concept of why they might need to work together could have been better explained, while including the points about them never agreeing on anything other than to stay out of each other's territory.

Which leads to - I wish they could have better explained in Parts 2 & 3 Becket's motivation for getting rid of the Pirates. It's rather obvious - Pirates are a threat to Trade. The East Indian Trading Company is all about Trade, and with the profits being carried back to Europe via sea. It certainly is implied, and perhaps was semi explicit in Part 2... but I just don't recall it. They talk about the world getting smaller, and that time is passing Pirates by... but in just three to four sentences of dialogue, Becket could have stated why it is imparative to destroy the Pirates, and his willingness to use Davey Jones to do it.

We also never clearly had an explanation of what Jack and Becket backstory was - they had prior meetings, and clearly Becket doesn't like Jack a lot. With all the other strands being tied together, one would have thought a line or two would be on that one.

I'm not entirely sure what Calypso did at the end relative to being "released". The storm... and... er... what? It was sort of pointless. I frankly liked her plotline with Davey, and their scene together was pretty decent. But her payback for his treachery was... ? Her payback for the rest of the original Pirates Lords' treachery was... ? And one sort of questions now what Jack's relationship with her was... one did get the sense from the earlier stuff that they banged, but from Part 3 it doesn't seem possible. One also would have liked something more explicit on just what *her* goals were on bringing Barbosa back to life, and in finding Jack. Barbosa and her have some conversations, so perhaps I'm just missing it... but I didn't get the feeling it was every explicit.

I tend to agree with the reviews that commented on the humor. The humor here played more from knowing the characters than simple pratfall stuff. There was a line in here after Jack escaped from Becket where a subordinate said something, and it harkened *exactly* back to a line said to Norington in the first movie. I got a laugh out of it... enjoying the tie in. I doubly liked it since it wasn't one of those Lucas like uses of "I've got a bad feeling about this" and other things being tossed out in the Prequels. This actually had the *right* use of it since Jack just happened to be clever as shit, doubley so if you actually paid attention to what he did.

That said... that weren't a ton of laughs in the packed crowd I saw it with Monday afternoon. The movie didn't really play for laughs, but the moments meant for laughts which typically worked for me weren't working for the audience.

Lots of review comments about the length. What's odd about the length is that it's not due to Jacksonesque stretching out of battle scenes. It's also clearly not do to Part 2 makeing $1B worldwide and Pirates Creative losing their heads trying to cram everything possible into Part 3 - this one was shot at the *same time* as Part 2. This is largely the movie they scripted and shot. It's possible that less stuff got left on the cutting room floor in this than in prior ones due to the success of Pirates 2, but I doubt that's a major reason. It seems to have gone long because they wanted to tie up so many loose ended *and* add new plot elements (like the Pirate Lords). To a degree, that's a semi-noble effort. Rather than sticking with a 120 minute action packed rollercoaster finish to the "trilogy", they actually tried to make a movie.

Executing it however... sort of so-so.

The first remains the best.


John
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The Greatest Man Alive



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 100
Location: Manassas, VA

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Significantly better than 2. Not great, but pretty easy to follow and John did a great job pointing out that the real shortfall was the open ends that were left. The after credits scene did the unbelievable job of possibly hinting at 4, so there may be time for that to be rectified (or adding deleted scenes to the DVD release).
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I left before the after-credits, even though I knew there would be "something" there (there was a nice gag at the end of the last one). Also, pre-closing credits they had the spot between Barbosa's map and Jack's map. So you know the set up is there. It just seems like something they left open for down the road, but are in no hurry to comeback to soon. I give if 5 or so years.


John
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eron



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Greatest Man Alive wrote:
Significantly better than 2. Not great, but pretty easy to follow and John did a great job pointing out that the real shortfall was the open ends that were left. The after credits scene did the unbelievable job of possibly hinting at 4, so there may be time for that to be rectified (or adding deleted scenes to the DVD release).


After X-Men III, I consider all hints at sequels to be nothing but jack offs.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good interview of the writers of the Pirates movies (along with a load of other hits) over at BoxOfficeMojo:

Interview: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio on 'At World's End'

I think their point on "Lost" is a valid one. But there may be a difference between the mediums. Going to the theater, people seem to invest 90-150 in the film and while enjoying twists and turns, having them remember something from a year or three years ago that plays on a plot point doesn't seem something they expect.

With Lost, or Sopranos or other shows like that, the "continuing storylines" are often what people follow through the shows. It's what pulls people back in week after week, and what they constantly talk about during a season.

They make a point about Ragetti's eye. It's a really good point, and one I hadn't thought about before reading it. I'm wouldn't saying what they did with it in Pirates-3 is an example of deep off the charts writing that makes my mind melt now that I better understand it. But it does show that they put a lot of thought into even the smallest things, and much of it ties nicely into other things that have happened in the series.

I think a contrast I might offer is with the coming Die Hard movie. There's a general belief that started almost from the moment it opened that the original Die Hard was one of the handful of great action movies ever made, and that belief seems to be still out there. I wouldn't argue with it.

In that series, it doesn't seem like in the following movies that there was an effort to make them as smart, or smarter, than the original.

The latest one, from the previews on the tube and especially in the theater, seems to be even more over the top in the Crash-Bang side of things. It looks like a spotfest.

Pirates seemed to go in the other direction. That's not always succesful. I'm not sure that many folks think the Matrix series got better than the first movie as it got increasingly plotty. But I do admire that Pirates-2 and Pirates-3 went for a multi-layered set of story arcs rather than just going for high spots that would have made the marks happy.


John
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of John's review & all of the above, I spent another $7 & watched it again. Still not in love with it but I liked it a lot better. I really poped for the one minute spot after the credits. I thought it was really cool & my wife made me leave too early the first time to see it. Nice finshing touch.--Yohe
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JL Sigman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got around to seeing this, and was pleasantly surprised. It didn't drag like Dead Man's Chest did. There were a few too many things thrown at the plot (Norrington's face turn and the whole Calypso subplot), but it told a fun story and everyone ended up OK, so it worked for me.

I got a preview for The Golden Compass, and I'm not ashamed to admit I was nearly weeping at the end of it. I cannot wait for that one.
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