If I see films on different nights I usually give them different posts, but I wanted to ensure these two were compared. We saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on the Friday after the Tigertailz gig (see separate post), and fortunately found ourselves available to see a film the night after. This allowed us to wash away the lingering scent of cine-shit with a far superior film.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
“Did everyone see that? Because I will *not* be doing it again.” (I wish this were the case, but I gather there’s at least one more film being made)
See if if you like: watching franchises take not one, but two steps too far and disappear up their own arseholes. Also if you really think that Johnny Depp deserves a new wing on his house in exchange for buggering about on a movie screen without even bothering to make it look like he’s trying.
Plot-in-a-nutshell: Not sure. Fell asleep. Something to do with mermaids.
Good grief, this was awful. Really awful. “Watched two different couple leave before the halfway mark and considered following them” awful. “Fell asleep shortly afterwards and woke to the end credits” awful.
I was looking forward to the film, especially as there was a 2D version so at least I wasn’t forced to pay extra for the privilege of wearing sunglasses and squinting for over two hours. However, I’d happily have worn a pair of Joo-Janta 500 Peril Sensitive sunglasses for this monstrosity.
I’ve read reviews that claim the relationship between Depp and co-start Penelope Cruz “sizzles” on screen, and I’d love to know what version of the film those people saw. It wasn’t a patch on the “will they / won’t they” scenes with Kiera Knightley in the first film. Mind you, this sums up the whole film. Damp squibiness abounds.
I gather Johnny Depp is a nice guy – popping into a local school in full pirate dress for a surprise, and blowing $65,000 on raincoats for the crew. However, it doesn’t excuse a completely lacklustre display of a character well-known for his flamboyance. It just doesn’t look like he’s trying.
The story is apparently based on a book from 1988 with the same title, a book which also influenced LucasArt’s excellent The Secret of Monkey Island game. For your money, I’d say get hold of a copy of that and play it instead. It’s far more entertaining.
“Do I look like I carry a pencil?”
See if if you like: really, gritty, violent thrillers chock full of violence.
Plot-in-a-nutshell: a psycho nutter starts going around London killing police officers. A copper with a dodgy reputation for having slightly violent tendencies is out to get him.
The entire budget for this film would probably just about cover Depp’s laundry bill for POTC4. In exchange you get a movie that’s countless times better, with a taught story, good acting, at least as many amusing quips and far more blood and gore. Plus, there’s no sodding 3D version.
Blitz is also based on a book, also filmed in London – but gifted with a good story, although I did think it ran just a little too long. It kicks of very swiftly, brings you up to speed with the characters and gets quite violent very early on.
The characters are a little “off the shelf” (the good, but violent cop (Jason Statham); the high-ranker nobody else likes (Paddy Considine); the vulnerable female (Zawe Ashton)…) but they fit together well to make a drama that could have been spread over a few weeks by BBC1 in hour-long episodes. Well – it could if the Beeb were OK with the word “cunt” being used less then two minutes into the first act.
What makes this film a little different from most is that the “whodunnit” aspect is done away with very early on. “Blitz” (Aidan Gillen) is unmasked fairly early on so that we can witness his increasingly brutal murders. And they are brutal. Not Saw or Hostel brutal, but personal, close-up and bloody. The woman next to me was visibly shaken by one in particular.
The film then follows the chase and the attempt to build a case up against someone the police are already sure of, while a reporter gets involved and Blitz is still out there.
It’s not often Gillian and I agree on a film so much. Less so that we agree about two on the trot. Be both thought POTC4 was a yawn-fest and we both thoroughly enjoyed Blitz.