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  1. #1

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    EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Story at: http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movi...tes/index.html

    Arrrgh! Sequel a wild ride that leads nowhere


    By Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Entertainment Weekly
    Thursday, July 6, 2006; Posted: 2:22 p.m. EDT (18:22 GMT)

    Entertainment Weekly) -- I was wrong to be so harsh on "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" when it steamed into port three years ago.

    The original is a thing of balletic grace, theatrical richness of character, and self-effacing economy of action when compared with the shapeless, weightless, endless "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." The sequel is a version 2.0 that, in its final minutes, portends a future 3.0 of such necessarily staggering, ostentatious extravagance as to bankrupt all but the most iron-walleted of Hollywood producers.

    Yes indeed, "Pirates" 2.0 is a theme ride, if by ride you mean a hellish contraption into which a ticket holder is strapped, overstimulated but unsatisfied, and unable to disengage until the operator releases the restraining harness.

    The barely intelligible plot hardly matters, except insofar as young sweethearts Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) are once again thwarted from, as they say in classic pirate movies, getting it on. This time what stands between the two photogenic romantic leads is bluster from a new villainous British prig-in-a-wig, some twitty adult who demands that Will do some impossible thing or another to earn his freedom.

    Meanwhile, Jack (the louche weirdness now ratcheted up by the one-of-a-kind Mr. Depp so that jumpin' Jack is an exotic "Cage aux Folles" bird of even fancier lip twitches, wrist curls, and rouged feathers) owes a debt to the underworldly lord of the waterlogged, Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). And Jones commands a ship of dead fools disfigured with pulsating, curling, slimy goiters and squid-like protuberances.

    This army of the deep suggests the very picture of ick by teen standards, conjured through the very fanciest of special effects; the clattering skeletons of the original "Pirates" look positively minimalist by comparison.

    Anyway, as Jack, Will, and Elizabeth work cooperatively, the makers of "Dead Man's Chest" hurl obstacles in the trio's way with the tenacity -- and undifferentiated agitation -- of shipboard monkeys. Clash after calamity after jokey mishap ensues, with time enough for many of the original secondary players to cash their own paychecks.

    But this is where the cheat between sensation and satisfaction comes in, a substitution only likely to become more commonplace as the "Pirates" franchise becomes the very model of modern studio brand extension.

    Without character, where's the consequence? Without consequence, where's the joy? Without an artistic stake in eliciting joy (or sadness, or concern, or something other than a glazed giggle at Depp's finery), there's nothing to keep producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and their screenwriting galleymates from piling on another big false ending, and another, and another, "Caribbean" without end, until a pummeled audience begs for a toilet break and, for mercy's sake, a real conclusion.

    Discounting adrenaline rush, fright, nausea, and relief as evidence of dramatic effect, there are no consequences in a theme-park ride: You get on, you get jiggled, you get off. Maybe you even ask for another go-round, because it feels so good when the jiggling stops.

    The difference is, a ride runs a few minutes, while "Dead Man's Chest" cranks for what feels like an infernal eternity.

    EW Grade: D+
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  2. #2

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Ouch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senator David Wu (D-OR)
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  3. #3

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperbole
    Ouch.
    Tell me about it.
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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    OUCH X 1000! It sounds like it'll really be a stinker.

    Course I'm still seeing it at the El Cap in another week!

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com



    This concerns me, since I usually agree with Lisa Schwarzbaum's reviews.

    Guess I won't be seeing POTC after all.






    Naaaaaaa.

  6. #6

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Are there any critics out there who actually liked the film?

  7. #7

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Well, I'm also taking into account the fact that Schwarzbaum hated the first movie as well. I thought it was spectacular. I'm not worried. I'm still seeing it at the El Cap on Saturday!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Senator David Wu (D-OR)
    Don't let faux-klingons send real Americans to war!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHousingBubbleBlog
    Everyone says that the U.S. doesn’t make anything anymore, but that’s not exactly true. We’re the world leader in the manufacturing of bull****.

  8. #8

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    The Village Voice liked it...

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is even more of a party-hearty-Marty potlatch of silliness than its predecessor.


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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Quote Originally Posted by cellarhound
    The Village Voice liked it...


    There you go...that's what we need to post more of...the good reviews. Everyone is posting all the bad ones... :

  10. #10

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Experiment626
    There you go...that's what we need to post more of...the good reviews. Everyone is posting all the bad ones... :
    Considering the most reputable reviewers (regional, national and trade) are showing that the bad reviews out weigh the good ones by a ratio of 60-40 right now, that would be bad journalism....

    In the mass media (your local newspaper) is serveyed at a 55 - 45 positive rating... the positive nature is sort of a misnomer, because they are saying something along the lines of "it isn't horrable, but it isn't good either"

    So who do you think I am, Pollyanna?!?!?!?
    Last edited by cellarhound; 07-06-2006 at 01:08 PM.
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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    The son of a co-worker works at a local theater and he really liked it. Only thing he said was that the ending was too cliff hanger.....
    "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main ... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life."
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Quote Originally Posted by caamora
    The son of a co-worker works at a local theater and he really liked it. Only thing he said was that the ending was too cliff hanger.....
    Good thing the third film comes out next summer.

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Experiment626
    Are there any critics out there who actually liked the film?
    Plenty. Aint it Cool News liked it, and so did the Hollywood Reporter.

    This link summarizes all 40 positive reviews, and the 32 negative reviews. It has a "56" on the tomatometer, which is not great, but not as bad as some. "Weekend at Bernies", anyone?

  14. #14

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    "Considering that the bad reviews out weigh the good ones by a ratio of 60-40 right now, that would be bad journalism...."

    No they don't.
    Rotten Tomatoes, under their "Date" tab which is updated faster than the Tomato-meter, shows 75 reviews with 42 positive and 33 negative.
    Not quite "fresh", but overall more thumbs-up.
    The thing is these reviews are all over the board. Some say it's better than the first, others say good but not as much as the first one. Even most of the negatives have some good things to say about it.
    Last edited by redcon1; 07-06-2006 at 01:13 PM.
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  15. #15

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    Re: EW review: 'Pirates' a Bermuda Triangle of bad- EW.com

    Rolling Stone gives it raves. From Rotten Tomatoes:

    "It's the triumphant rogue in Depp that keeps this pirate ship afloat and actually makes the third voyage (coming next summer) a trip worth booking."

    -- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

    The critics are pretty divided on it. Heaps of praise or merciless slams--there doesn't appear to be any middle ground.

    I saw a review of "Sin City" once that said, "It's the kind of movie you like if you like that kind of movie." I think that's where POTC is going to land.

    So, anybody here think they'll like the movie?

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