Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The New Yorker is quite possibly the last person on earth to see the full length Pirates trailer, but she loves every minute of it…

I’m not sure why, but it’s taken me FOREVER to watch the full length trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest. For a while there, I was trying to access links that wouldn’t work, or trailers that wouldn’t download properly. But yesterday, at long last I saw it, and feel confident in saying without a doubt:

Pirates will be the biggest movie of the summer.

Now this might be old news to many a geek and movie buff out there, but there have been some other prime contenders for this top spot this season. Besides Pirates, I’d say the other three competitors for THE blockbuster summer movie of the season were/are MI3, X-Men3 and Superman Returns. Yeah, Snakes on a Plane has a ton of buzz, but it’s more a B movie triumph than a blockbuster affair.

MI3 failed to really thrill, both at the box office and with the fans. It was a fun, enjoyable movie, but it didn’t have that special something that drives the geeks back a second and third time. So far X-Men 3 is not getting much love from the critics , mostly, it seems, because of the R (Ratner) factor. As for Superman Returns, I think it looks fantastic, but everyone else I know is yawing at the trailer. What’s the one movie that seems to unite disparate groups of audience goers? Parents and children, men and women, geeks and non-geeks? Pirates. I’m not exactly sure what it is about this movie (well, actually I have an idea), but Disney and Bruckheimer have really struck gold (pun intended) with this one. Pirates achieves this fairly unique tone, unmatched by most other films out there. It’s a fanciful blend of genres, a comedic pirate fantasy movie. Like Indiana Jones before it, it took an antiquated genre (for Indy it was the adventure serials of the 30’s, for Pirates, it was the swashbuckling films of the 40’s and 50’s), and revamped it for a new generation. Now, I’m not saying Pirates has achieved Indy status, at least not yet. The Indy movies were incredibly tight and sleekly done, there wasn’t a moment of dead time. The first Pirates, however, could have afforded to trim the fat a little bit, but there’s definitely a similarity in tone between these films. Pirates also reminds me of one of my father’s old favorites, that I watch repeatedly as a child --The Crimson Pirate, starring Burt Lancaster as a jolly, mischievous pirate with a comedic sidekick.

Based off the trailer, Pirates 2 looks to be just as enthralling as the first, if not more so. Once again, it (naturally) takes place in the Caribbean, and I’ll take a moment here to point out, that another wonderfully refreshing element of this franchise, is the location. So often I think pirates and battleship epics have been associated with Europe and other cold climate destinations. But there’s something about the fact that these fantasies unfold over turquoise waters with palm trees and white sandy beaches in the background, that adds to the visual beauty and lively tone of the films. Johnny Depp seems as loopy as ever as he reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, seems to have picked up a bit of girth, looking even manlier for the second time around. It seems that Elizabeth (Keira Knightly) has decided to try her luck at the Pirate career path, which is an idea I’m fond of, and I’m pleased that Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook (the two wacky pirates) have returned for the fun as well. It’s certainly impressive that Disney has been able to keep everyone on board for all three installments of this trilogy. Not only does it have gangbusters casting, but Gore Verbinski has returned to direct, and Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio wrote the script as well. Elliot and Rossio’s scripts are great pacey fun with imaginative set pieces that don’t leave their characters in the dust in the process. I think Davy Jones and his sea creature minions look great; wonderfully detailed and inventive. I also love the fact that some sort of enormous octopus is involved in this film; the shot of the ship ensnared in the tentacles of the octo-monster is amazing.

Only forty three days and counting!


Anonymous crazymonk said...

Didn't Da Vinci Code make a bucket of cash?

5:39 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

It definitely made a lot of money at the box office, but for some reason I forever think of it as a Christmas release because of its genre and subject matter.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Daddy Background said...

I remember when I watched the trailer in the movie house that the unique sword fight on the rolling wheel looked fairly thrilling.

Good comments, insightful comments on the built-in mass appeal as well as the positive impact of the tropical location.

There were some moments in the trailer where I kind of grimaced a bit over the campiness (Captain Jack's watch-that-last-step fall into the pit; Captain Jack yelling "Let's go!", Legolas in no rush until the sudden reveal of a maurauding pack of pursuing bad guys, NOW Legolas is in a rush).

What made me roll my eyeballs will undoubtably be delightful for millions of young'uns. So, yeah, expect big audiences to lap it up.

5:52 AM  

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