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Is it safe to say they've jumped the shark?

I have a friend who was in the first three installments (minor character) and she and I had a long discussion before she opted out of this sequel. She's artistic but did the first three movies to try to get a door opened for her in mainstream Hollywood. After the Pearl, she was happy to be in the films.

She reviewed an advance of the script for this, and turned it down, in large part (as she put it), "I didn't want to be in a tits-pic".

Which was really all I needed to hear to know I can take my time going to see it.

actor212 more thing:

It sounds like they’ve turned Jack Sparrow into an 18th Century version of Indiana Jones Han Solo.

Imagine "A New Hope" told from the vantage point of the pilot of the Milennium Falcon...


I have to say, I mostly end up tuning out the special effects, which, for me, is saying something.

What they do do well - besides casting Depp - is over-the-top fight scenes. I have a friend who can't see, so when we watch movies, I will help by narrating the action. These movies are FUN to describe when they shift to fight-scene mode. Monsters skulking wetly about, not so much. Romantic scenes, not so much.

They need more fight scenes.


I must have been eight or nine when I first saw Lancaster's Captain Vallo. We were pirates for the next year.

I would have loved to be eight again and be Jack Sparrow.

El Jefe


Ah, Captain Vallo. Even though I first saw him on basic cable at the front end of the Eighties rather than on the big screen, good times.

actor & Lance,

Once again since it deals with Jack Sparrow and Han Solo it feels like this riffs off the Bogart post. But: I'll guess you are both aware that when Lucas took his CGI crayons to his own movies in the late Nineties, he fiddled with the Greedo scene to make it look like the bounty hunter unhitched his holster under the table, which destroyed the whole character development of the moment. There's a fine line of T-shirts (at ThinkGeek or Cafe Press, can't remember which) which says "Han Shot First." Seems to me that's much the point about Jack Sparrow -- the one Lance made so well -- and about how he, Han, and Athos are all reimaginings of that template character the Free Lance. That character is a reminder that the qualities in them that could be rendered as highly-concentrated hero could, without our pretty assumptions about how heroes work or what Poirot once called "the little policeman in our head", give you a character who's either a ruthlessly unstoppable borderline sociopath or an agent of total chaos. Athos has wandered farthest into the dark, and Ollie Reed did that brilliantly. I love those movies, deeply love them out of whack with any more reasoned judgment about how good they were, in part because of that very tension between naive Michael York and Reed/Athos who has so much darkness in him while still trying to find a way to be on a side whose work lets him sleep at night, at least once in a long while. And if Lucas hadn't been such a world-historically hamfisted script writer we might have gotten more of that out of Han Solo. Ford certainly tried to inject it into the first two movies, the first especially.

To me, while I'll probably see it in the end, it's downright tragic to think what you could have done if you just allowed Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Ian **********ing McShane ferchrissakes to make a proper pirate movie like the first one. I would sleep on the bench outside the theatre to get back in when the matinees started next day.


I've seen only the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and I couldn't enjoy any of it because of the awful score. It was like Hans Zimmer recycled Gladiator music, but it was not meant for a pirate movie. Where's Korngold when you need him?

Best pirates? Douglas Fairbanks Sr, Errol Flynn, and Burt Lancaster. Crimson Pirate delighted me when I was a kid, and I've had a huge crush on Burt ever since.


When I was a kid, I had a huge love of pirates. Blackbeard, in particular, was my favorite pirate, and my favorite ride at Disney World was Pirates of the Caribbean. That said, I only went to see On Stranger Tides because I was curious to see how much they took from the book. Well, the book has Blackbeard, The Fountain of Youth, zombies, and voodoo, and the movie has Blackbeard, The Fountain of Youth, zombies, and voodoo. That's it.

I found the movie to be pretty ho-hum, but I do recommend the book.

El Jefe

I'd pick on only one thing in the piece -- I don't think Bill Nighy was entirely wasted simply because all that rubber and 21st-century greasepaint showed off something that you can miss when you've got Nighy's long sigh of a face and pursed mouth in front of you, namely that he really does most of his work with the contents of his eyes.

Looking very much forward, though, to what you'll make of the new Muppets movie, besides the fact it's great that Gonzo is back from space (although I liked his relatives) and Amy Adams is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy (and spend lots of time looking at Amy Adams which will make us more happy.)

Kevin Wolf

The first Pirates movie was a pleasant surprise, despite being overplotted and overlong by my thinking. Depp, of course, stole the show. The second was watchable if completely unnecessary and the third should have been sailed right off World's End rather than shown in theaters. When I heard Ian McShane was going to play Blackbeard, I had some hope for the fourth flick, but reviews dashed them. I suppose I'll get around to it, someday. Meantime, as you and your correspondents mention, Lance, there's always the old "real" pirate movies to watch. I love 'em.

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