PC2: Dead Man's Chest

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My reward for completing round 1 of the tenure process, the compilation of materials for outside reviewers, was to get myself down to the local megaplex to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (IMDB). And get there I did. And see it I did.

The first movie was something of a surprise to me. Basing a movie on a circa 1970s amusement park ride did not strike me as a particularly interesting strategy, I must confess. But I saw the movie, and was really pleasantly surprised by it. It's hard to find the right balance among all the different elements, and the first movie really seemed to manage it nicely.

That said, it was hard not to go to the second one with high expectations. I've seen split reviews--some say it wasn't as good as the first, other say it was better--and I would have to place myself in the former camp. It's enough like the first one that lots and lots of people will enjoy it, but at a number of different places in the movie, I kept getting the feeling that Verbinski was working from a list of characters, situations, and touches that worked in the first movie, and saying to himself, "Now I need to do the same thing, only more!" In other words, it was almost too much like the first movie for me to think that it was as good, since so much of it felt derived from it.

Which isn't to say that there weren't some fun parts, some rollicking action, some Sparrowesque amorality, and killer effects. All of that is as true of this movie as it was of the first. But there are places where the "just like the first only more!" strategy kept me from immersing, and that was unfortunate. For example, the movie is simultaneously more graphically violent and more cartoonish in places--neither is necessarily bad, but both together work against any kind of consistency.

Ah well. It was a strong matinee, and for a lot of people, worth full price, I suspect. It wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped it would be, but that'll teach me to expect so much. I'll still see the third one on the big screen.

That's all.


I don't know if I'm in either "better" or "worse" camps, but I did enjoy it (as did the Mrs. and the child). I do wish I had seen the original again before I had seen this one (a lot of references to the first one I had forgotten), and I do wish people would remember it's a freakin' pirate movie, and one based on a ride. I've seen some critiques on the web about how it isn't "historically accurate" for this and the other reason. Give me a break....

Yeah, I enjoyed it too. I've seen the first recently enough to compare, and it felt a little like they were too conscious of the fact that it would be compared, but otherwise, it's a fun movie.

Historically accurate? Well, it's true that undead monkeys were extinct by the time the EITC ruled the waves...heh.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on July 15, 2006 12:37 AM.

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