Disney Cruise, Disney Fantasy, Movies

Dead Men Tell No Tales: My Review of the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean Film 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of re-living my teenage years as I enjoyed the latest Pirates installment.  I went in super excited because they were finally bringing back Will and Elizabeth! My two favorite characters, and the cinematic couple that set the bar high for all subsequent film kisses and couple chemistry.

Pirates, Ye Be Warned: There be spoilers ahead!  I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, and put them further down this post after a quick review of the plot:

There are several intertwined plots to PotC 5, the most important of which is Will and Elizabeth’s son, Henry Turner, has dedicated his life to finding a way to release his father from his curse so that Will can come on dry land whenever he wishes and not be covered in barnacles, a look that only Orlando Bloom can pull off successfully.  Henry gets in trouble with the law for saving a bunch of uppity naval officer’s lives, runs into a pretty girl who is looking for the same magical artifact he is to break the curse, and together they wind up helping Jack Sparrow escape dead men and Barbossa find the greatest treasure of his life.

Overall, I give the movie a 5/10.  Fun, piratey, a good flashback to my growing-up years, and Barbossa’s character is fleshed out so well that he is now one of my favorite characters in the series, as far as character development goes. Definitely go see it if you’re a PotC superfan.

Okay, leave NOW if you want no spoilers.  If you don’t mind them, read on!

I went into this movie with fairly low expectations, figuring it would be fun, and probably just as bad or worse than the last three movies were.  Because I watched the first one just a few weeks ago, and I saw how good this franchise started out.   Back when Jack wasn’t a drunk idiot, though he enjoyed his rum; he was always clever, lucky, and played the fool often in order to achieve his goals through trickery.  (See the clip below for a refresher.)

The second and third movie weren’t quite as good, but Jack had already begun to devolve into a caricature of himself, with extra waving arms, bulging eyes, and talking gibberish.  Alas, that is all he is in the latest film.  In fact, other than the main “bad guy” having a vendetta against Jack that motivates him to become the villain, the film would happen almost the same way whether or not Jack was in it.   Jack spent most of the film drunk, stupid, and being completely useless to the characters around him.  In fact, I’d say his main contribution was playing matchmaker between the two new young characters.

I kept waiting for there to be a major turning point for Jack, waiting for his “Aha!” moment.  Perhaps when he realized who Henry was, he would get excited about saving Will from his curse, since it’s Jack’s fault for causing the curse that ultimately spared Will’s life (one of Jack’s better moments of character, I think).

Nope.

Jack spends the movie caring about saving himself from the ghostly Captain Salazar (excellently played by Javier Bardem, who delivered one of four main character performances I actually bought as genuine).  I will give the writers credit for showing Jack’s origin story, and reflecting back on his days as a clever sailor, but once that flashback is done, we are left seeing a Jack that’s merely a shadow of his genius character from 2003.

It was a joy to see Will Turner come back, and I was reminded how much I love Orlando Bloom as an actor.  His performance is so heartfelt and genuine that you can’t help but spend the entire movie rooting for him to be released from his curse, even though he’s got under five minutes of screen time.  At least it’s better than what we got of Kiera Knightly’s return as Elizabeth – she wasn’t even allowed to speak one word during her (maybe) one minute of screen time.

The newcomers of the film, Henry and Carina, are fine.  They acted the part that was written for them, and despite the “I’m a scientist and a woman, hear me roar” jargon that Carina was forced to spew every five minutes, the two of them were a decent addition to the cast.  I think they would have been better left as being best buddies after this movie, as there is zero chemistry between the two as a romantic couple, but hey, I guess it’s a pirate story.  The hero needs to get the girl, yada yada.  And it works well enough.

My favorite part of the movie is actually Barbossa’s storyline.  From the beginning of The Curse of the Black Pearl, we know that Barbossa is your standard pirate, obsessed with treasure, having his own fleet, and holding enough power on the sea to stay out of trouble with the Navy (or buying them off).  He’s faced curses, switched sides as it was most convenient for him, and even though he’s often been the bad/indifferent guy, he’s always the character you can’t help but like.  Even in the first movie when he’s the only true villain, you can’t help but feel bad for Barbossa.  He really just wants to eat his apple, not turn into a skeleton, and keep his ship.  His methods are definitely not morally acceptable, but the guy has obviously been through a lot and he still manages to keep a gentlemanly demeanor and attitude towards the people around him, especially Elizabeth.

PLEASE DON’T READ THE NEXT PART UNLESS YOU WANT THE ENDING SPOILER OF THE FILM.  

LAST WARNING.  

DON’T COMPLAIN IF YOU KEEP READING AND FIND OUT SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T WANT SPOILED.

Spoiler alert:

Through the course of the movie Carina’s motivation is following the map her unknown father left for her.  We find out before she does that Barbossa is her father, and that her mother died when Carina was only a baby.  Barbossa knew he wasn’t a good guy and couldn’t provide a decent life for his child, so he left Carina at an orphanage with her book map and a jewel to pay for things in the future.

Up until this point in the movie, we see Barbossa living the dream life of a pirate: he’s got his own fleet, a gilded command ship with gorgeous stained glass and his own personal chamber ensemble, loyal crews, sway over the Royal Navy, his own magician/witch,  and the loyal Monkey Jack by his side.  He’s not one to give up his hat; if there’s a chance to wear a fancy coat, fluffy hat, and gilded peg-leg, he will do it.
I did the math, and we can reasonably assume that he had to leave Carina a short time after the events of Curse of the Black Pearl, after being revived by Tia Dalma.  This would explain his need to always accumulate, whether it be treasure, ships, or fame: Barbossa was filling the void left by his daughter with pirate treasure.  In the end, he not only sheds all of his showy clothes and plumed hat so that he can save his daughter from peril, he also calmly sacrifices his own life to save hers.

Of all the things this movie did, Barbossa was one of the few it got right.  His character arc is so wonderfully constant through the series and now given a reason for being the treasure-obsessed pirate he is, and perfectly completed by not only shedding all of his beautiful earthly belongings in order to save his daughter from peril, but his total sacrifice for his child.
(Let me tell you, this mama bear had a hard time keeping it together in the theater at that moment.  I had a severe case of the sniffles.)

Dead Men Tell No Tales is worth a watch if you’re a die-hard Pirates fan, for Barbossa’s storyline alone.  Will and Elizabeth’s (too-short) comeback is also worth a watch.   Just make sure you stay until the end of the credits for an endearing scene… with just a hint of foreshadowing.  (Because why would you let a franchise die after only fourteen years?)

DFN-140909-MMPirate6x8-12253103_GPR
What would a PotC post be without a shot of myself and the Smuggler meeting Captain Sparrow on the Disney Fantasy?

 

 

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30 Day Challenge, Uncategorized

30 Day Disney Challenge: The End.

It’s obvious by now that I have a horrible time remembering and finding the time to do any kind of “____ Days-Long Challenge.”  (See the Days of Thanks from November if you must… I got to day seven.)

So, since I stink so badly at finishing challenges, I’m going to finish up the 30 Day Disney challenge in this one post.  No muss, no fuss, and I’ll keep the answers *gasp* short.

We left off on Day 21, “An Overrated Movie.”  So now we move on to…

Day 22: An underrated movie.

Winner: Treasure Planet.  treasureplanetvhs If you haven’t seen this movie, WATCH IT.  It is spectacular.

If you think it looks stupid because it’s sailing ships in space, you’re wrong.

Go back, read the original novel, and then watch the movie.  It is an amazing adaption, especially how they re-made all of the characters while keeping true to the original story.

Moving on…

Day 23: A movie that makes you laugh.

Um… All of them?  Nothing is popping immediately to mind…

I guess we will go with

Winner: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

So many gems of lines in that film.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then clearly you’ve never been to Singapore.

Day 24: A movie that makes you cry.

Winner: Inside Out

Different personality lands

I laughed.  I cried (a lot).  It moved me, Bob.

Day 25: Your favorite scene from your favorite movie.

Winner: The lantern scene from Tangled. 

Followed by a close second with this moment:

Eugene rapunze hug

Day 26: Saddest death.

I was about to say Kerchak in Tarzan.  But it goes to…

Winner: Kala & Kerchak’s first baby gorilla.

You thought I’d pick Mufasa, didn’t you?  And watching a beloved character become an orphan after seeing his parent die is sad.
What’s sadder is a baby being torn apart by a leopard and watching the baby’s helpless parents know they can’t stop it.

When you’re done with that visual, we move on to….

Day 27: Your favorite quote.

STORYTIME!!!

So, growing up my family spoke mostly in Disney quotes.  This is probably due to watching SO many Disney movies with my sister, who has autism, and would watch one movie over and over again for a month.

Let me tell you: One month of any Disney movie is one too many if you don’t switch it up.  I could probably write out the scores for several Disney films, part-for-part, with barely a flaw, just because I heard them from my room at the end of the hall SO MANY TIMES.  (I consider it a gift.  I can karaoke the crap out of Disney music.)

If you are a Trekki (sp?) who knows about the “When the walls fell” episode, that’s pretty much how my family appears to outsiders.  I’ve known my husband for over six years now, and sometimes he still thinks I’m being rude or snarky when I’m actually quoting Scuttle, or Flounder, or Lumiere, etc.
It can make life really interesting.

Some family faves are:

“It was all ‘this is this, and that is that…'”

“It’s like he’s trying to speak to me!  Look, you’re really cute…”

There are dozens of other family favorites, but I’m blanking.  So in the interest of speed, I’ll pick a personal fave:

“All at once, everything looks different now that I see you.”
-Tangled

Day 28: Your favorite theme park.

Winner: Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

I’m obligated to choose this one.  It’s where I got engaged.  😀
Plus it’s usually the most peaceful park to visit.  (hint, hint)

Day 29: Your favorite theme attraction.

Winner: Star Tours/Everest.

I can’t choose just one.  They are SO different.  Star Tours made me cry when my childhood dreams came true.  Everest is one of my favorite coasters OF ALL TIME.

Day 30: Your favorite theme park show.

Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom.  

Best show in the parks.  Followed closely by Fantasmic.  But the talent in Festival of the Lion King beats out everything else.  I highly recommend it, especially if Be Prepared is one of your fave villain songs.

Finished!

Or, as Prince James would say on Sofia the First:
BOOM GOES THE CANNON!

(We have a very Sofia friendly household.)

Hope you enjoyed the quickie-version of the challenge!  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Have other “what are your fave” questions?  Let me know!

 

 

 

Fantasy Friday

Fantasy Friday: Pirate Night!

Disney boasts one of the best fireworks shows… while out in the middle of the ocean.  It is so cool!  On our cruise, the fireworks show was on Pirate Night, which ended up being one of my favorite events.

What is Pirate Night, you ask?  Well, it’s the one night that the cruise ship is taken over by PIRATES!  (Don’t worry, the ship completely stays on course, the Captain is still the captain, no one mutinies… for long.)

  DSCN1095

Luckily, all the pirates really want is the ship… And to find Jack Sparrow!

Er, right.  *Captain* Jack Sparrow.
Er, sorry. *Captain* Jack Sparrow.

On pirate night, you are allowed, nay, encouraged to dress as a pirate, which pleased my little wannabe-cosplayer-at-heart so much.  Luckily, my husband and I knew about Pirate Night ahead of time, and we were prepared with old Halloween costumes.

Husband loves being on a boat. He could be barefoot (almost) everywhere!
Husband loves being on a boat. He could be barefoot (almost) everywhere! I opted for fishnets and heels… so pirate-y.

Though the pirate night events began with dinner, with a special menu and the servers all decked out in their pirate duds.  We also pirated up before dinner, of course.

After dinner, we waited on deck for the Pirates on the Caribbean show to begin! (When the above feet photo was taken.)  A bunch of cast members pirates were around to entertain all of us cruisers while we waited for the show to begin. Continue reading “Fantasy Friday: Pirate Night!”

Uncategorized

Into the Woods — Don’t judge a film by its production company

If you enjoy reading online articles and blogs, perhaps you have seen a father’s negative review of Into the Woods.  (You can read the article here.)  He begins by saying how much he enjoyed the first half of the movie, but had been grossly disappointed by the second half, since he had to explain the moral questions and cautionary-tale twists to his young daughters.

Here’s why this has been bothering me: this father, like so many other parents, fell into the trap of “Oh, Disney(or Dreamworks, etc.) made this movie, so it’s ok for my children to watch it without me knowing anything about the story!”

FALSE

First of all, those of us who already knew Into the Woods immediately realized that, despite Disney’s leadership, the play is far from kid-friendly–and honestly, that is part of what makes the musical fun.  It is all the fairy tales we know and love, but are more aligned to their cautionary-tale form; think of the Brothers Grimm originals instead of their Disney-fied counterparts.  Here, happily ever after isn’t what it seems.

Continue reading “Into the Woods — Don’t judge a film by its production company”