Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

Pirates of the Carrib...Caribbe...Caribiea....


I'm going to be honest with you. I watched Metropolis purely so I could say I had. Indeed, I can't think of any other reason. No offence to those who think it's fun. I spotted a "free with the Daily Mail" edition in a friend's house, borrowed it and WOW.

I'm going to start with the bad things, starting off with the fact it's not all there. A card flashes up at the beginning of the film and cheerily announces that a quarter of the film is believed to be lost. Now that is tragic - I don't believe anything has upset me that much all year. It's horrible to think that in seventy years time, current films may be similarly fragmented. It didn't spoil my enjoyment of the film, but I just thought the idea was pretty distressing. Somebody evidently had a grudge against the Thin Man, because virtually all his scenes were replaced.

The other flaw was that it was silent, with the foul music that implies. But at the same time, it was also its strength. No speech makes it absolutely compelling watching - if you take your eyes off the screen, you miss what's going on.

Plenty of classics were great and have faded, leaving a hollow feeling that it somehow should have been better. Not so Metropolis. OK, a tad cronky in places but that is far far overshot by the visual splendour.

From that excellent clock at the start (they're missing a marketing trick here!), the dream sequence, those eyes, the Seven Deadly Sins in the cathedral and the horrible images of the flood it's an absolutely visual feast. The city itself is beautiful - to think they'd use CGI these days, think of Coruscant in the latest Star Wars films only much more awe inspiring. Have I mentioned the creepy flood yet? Oh and when the robot first appeared and fact, there are a fair few pretty freaky images in there - several of which won't entirely leave me alone. Now when you think this was made in 1927

Metropolis is hardly "fave film" material. It's not good for watching when upset, ill or otherwise emotionally highstrung. It is, however, a stylistic triumph - absolutely beautiful, and stunning, and weird, and definitely suitable for Terry Gilliam fans. It was disturbing and horrid in the way his films are - make you uncomfortable for no obvious reason. And there's an awful lot of people who won't be able to sit through a full length silent. But if you can, then it's well worth it.

Today I'm just feeling rotten. All my friends have gone on a trip to a nearby island except me, and there's been some very bad news for the entire world, which also has made me extremely upset. And I'm all on me own in the house and I'm basically feeling lonely and crappy. Listening to the Echoes album is probably not helping. I'll probably go off and watch something later.

...hey I just remembered. I went to the cinema last night. I forgot entirely! We went to see Pirates 2, which was very unfairly maligned pretty much everywhere. My motivation for the trip was mainly that I adore Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, the writers. They wrote Shrek, Zorro (the FIRST one mind you, their site has a list of cursed titles including the statement that "Legend of" movies are always bad...that made me giggle...), Small Soliders and Aladdin - an exceedingly good set of credits. They also keep (or kept, it's disintigrating now) a site called Wordplayer which had a whole set of really good screenwriting tricks.

Pirates of The Carib...carribi...caribe...ah stuff it, you know the one I mean

And I'm happy to report that the script was all present and correct. There were a handful of witty one-liners, none of which I remember but all were pretty funny. I remember the chap with the eye had a number of amusing ones. This is all balanced by a great number of visual gags, a fast-paced plot and some other nice things. Some people said it was too long - I disagree. I thought the final set of kraken attacks was unecessary, but apart from's not a kids film to start with, there are a fair number of scary images and one or two things which made me wince.

Good bits included an ingenious escape from dangling hamster balls, and the entire scene on the island at the end - over the top (a three-person sword fight? AND three people fend off an army with only two swords? AND fighting on ruined buildings, staircases, moving objects...oh glorious excess!) but nevertheless amusing.

The joy of it was, at no point did it feel predictable. All these different characters and motives, leading to a pretty big moral mess and potentially, anyone was going to come out on top. And even if you have an inkling the goodies will prevail, to what extent and how?

I've been unwilling to join the cult of Jack Sparrow, mainly because everyone else is in it. But seeing the sequel reminds me why he's been elevated to godhood and placed at the centre of the picture. Answer? Nobody else can act. Now I'd have sympathised with him anyway (self interest, lying and willing to pop other people into tricky situations to get himself out of them? Absolutely! I've said before and I'll say it again - apart from rashness and stupidity, I really admire qualities I don't have. Even if they're qualities I don't want.) Miss Knightly does make efforts to look crushed at the end, but she never really succeeds, and I think I'm finally going to have to admit what I've been denying all along - Mr Bloom is one note and untalented, and not really all that good looking either. Is it any suprise, then, that our Johnny gleams among such company? I think not...on the other hand, he does get the only fun character. How you inject personality to someone as irritatingly good as Will Turner I do not know. But I bet it could be done by a different actor. PS, spoilerness = It's nice to see Elizabeth doing something unpleasant. It made me feel good. Sadistic, but true. She's finally being worthwhile. =end spoilerness. Though to tell truth, Elizabeth is mostly wasted space in this. She can swordfight now, so she doesn't need to be rescued, and yet she isn't given anything to do whatsoever.

Norrington's cool. I just needed to add that. I thought he was sweet in the first one, and I continue to think so. The only entirely unecessary bit was the Matrix-bullet at the end. I mean, why?! Oh and the costumes were nice - special sparkly points go to the voodoo lady for looking cool, even if I couldn't understand what she was saying. And the music remains infectiously exciting, even if it does sound just like the bit from Gladiator. And there's the odd pwetty shot - the dress underwater, and the rain in the teacups. In fact, that opening of the teacups was lovely - I was stuck in the middle of a packed theatre, fretting that no one would shut up for the film (they did, thank heaven), wishing we were seeing Fearless instead and just generally freaking out. And then, the teacups. Soul soothing...

All in all, I'd describe it as mindless fun for the unpretentious. If you think the chase on the cannibal island is silly then leave the theatre because it gets a whole lot better...


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