Replacing Gore Verbinski at the helm is Rob Marshall who IMHO has done a great job to bring Captain Jack Sparrow back to the big screen in the 4th instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The movie picks up from At World’s End with Captain Jack Sparrow in search of the fabled Fountain of Youth.
On Stranger Tides is huge step up from the last movie and I enjoyed it tremendously. There was just enough reworked mythology to make this foray a welcome one. The cast is just as interesting this time around and it’s great to see Blackbeard come to life in the capable hands of Ian McShane. As always, the world of Pirates has a supernatural slant to it and the makers interpretation of the Queen Anne’s Revenge (Blackbeard’s galleon) is an interesting one.
As always, Johnny Depp is perfect as Jack Sparrow and he’s the main reason why I like the series. Kevin McNally’s Gibbs complement’s Depp’s Sparrow and I can’t imagine a Pirates movie without the both of them. Penelope Cruz isn’t too bad which is a good thing cos’ I don’t think anyone should overshadow the more important members of the cast (Geoffrey Rush’s Barbossa included).
If you’re planning to watch the 3D version of the movie; DON’T! The only reason I watched it in 3D was cos’ I couldn’t get tickets yesterday. I personally feel 3D works a whole lot better for animated flicks so my take on 3D is quite clear I guess. Perhaps the next instalment of Transformers will change my mind.
I give Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides a solid 3 out of 5.
I’ve been behind on my movie reviews so here’s a quick round-up of all the movies I’ve caught in my birth-month of March!
Rango was a pretty good watch! I didn’t like the art-style when I first caught the trailer but I’m glad I caught this one with my colleagues cos’ it definitely surprised me. The script and the plot was smartly-written story and Johnny Depp is a hoot as the title character. The movie’s on its final leg at the cinemas so don’t miss it. I give Rango a 5 out of 5.
World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles
The special effects are amazing in this one and I was pleasantly surprised to find Aaron Eckhart in the lead role. It’s standard cinema fare with the U.S. Marines winning the day with predictable American bravado. If you go in with no expectations on a good story but are looking for action then World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles is the movie for you. I give it a 2 out of 5 just for being entertaining and action-packed at the very least.
Liam Neeson’s latest movie is not too bad but the ending turned out to be quite predictable. I figured out stuff by one-third into the movie (which I usually try not to do). I’ve always liked Liam Neeson so I’m kind biased. It’s a not too bad tale and some of the supporting characters are pretty cool. Look out for the retired ex-Nazi spy cos’ he’s my favourite character. I give Unknown a decent 3 out of 5.
Visually-stunning but other than that Sucker Punch doesn’t have much going for it. The plot’s just a skeleton from which Zack Snyder pushes fantastical scene after fantastical scene. The women are HOT but other than that there ain’t much going for this one. It’s worth a watch in the cinema but watch it just for it’s visual beauty and you’ll do fine. I give Sucker Punch a 2 out of 5.
I managed to catch Alice in Wonderland yesterday and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it despite some of the bad reviews that it has received. It’s very much derived from Lewis Carroll’s two books and Tim Burton does a great job at taking the story further from where the books left off. It’s a Tim Burton movie through and through; featuring his favourite leading man Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and his wife Helena Bonham Carter playing the Red Queen.
Visually the movie is a trippy experience with wild colours and creatures that can only come from Burton’s imagination. It’s not a kids’ movie really cos’ the themes are very adult and having read the books before I’d say that Carroll’s work is definitely off the beaten track; which is captured perfectly in the movie. It’s a tale of choice really with Burton’s version of Alice (played by newcomer Mia Wasikowska) an adult now at 20, returning to Underland (or Wonderland as she knows it) with a prophecy of sorts that heralds Fabjrous Day; the day Alice is destined to kill the Jabberwocky.
It’s a story of self-discovery and self-exploration in a sense. I won’t spoil the rest of the plot for you but I’d catch this one and judge it for yourself. It’s a great Tim Burton movie with the usual dark edge. The cast does a great job and the special effects are pretty cool. I didn’t catch it in 3D so I really don’t know if it’s worth the extra dough to go into the 3rd dimension. I heard that the move was converted from 2D to 3D so it might not be that great a 3D experience. Nevertheless the option is available to all of ya.
I give Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” a solid 4 stars.
I couldn’t resist catching this one late Thursday night but I must say that I am sorely disappointed by Terry Gilliam’s latest adventure. Perhaps it was caused by the untimely death of Heath Ledger, or perhaps the story in itself wasn’t well-crafted but I really didn’t enjoy Dr Parnassus.
The cast did a bang-up job in their individual performances but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. I particularly enjoyed Christopher Plummer in his role as the immortal Dr Parnassus and Tom Waits who played Mr Nick (a.k.a. The Devil). It was really good to see Heath Ledger and the movie is a tragic reminder of the loss of a great actor. Johnny Depp, Jude Law & Colin Farrell are all great in their individual performances but like I said, even with all the heavyweights there wasn’t enough in the story to hold my attention.
On the positive side of things the movie does display Gilliam’s vivid imagination and the main theme about making choices does stand out; of which I must give credit to the movie even though the plot felt very half-baked on the whole.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was a disappointment and not a very great way to start 2010 with at the cinema. If you’re thinking of hitting the cinema this week I would definitely recommend Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes which is a much better watch IMHO.
Here’s a list of movies that I’m looking forward to as we enter a glorious new year (in alphabetical order).
Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland should be a blast. I’ve always loved Tim Burton’s stuff ever since he his take on Batman with Michael Keaton back when I was a teen. Johnny Depp looks creepy as the Mad Hatter but I’ll still catch this one.
The Clash of the Titans remake is something to look forward too especially since I remember the original Clash of the Titans in it stop-motion glory. Sam Worthington is definitely making his mark in Hollywood as he makes his 3rd biggest role after Terminator Salvation and Avatar. I’m sure he’ll do better than Harry Hamlin. Heh.
Angeline Jolie’s upcoming actioner Salt looks quite exciting. I’ve seen the trailer once or twice at the cinema and even if the story’s crap it should be a thrill-fest much like Wanted was. Keep an eye out for this one.
Shrek returns in a brand new one with Shrek Forever After. I’ve heard that it features Shrek in an alternate dimension. I’ll have to check out the trailer after I’ve finished this post. Mike Myers is always a barrel of laughs and Shrek has never disappointed me so far. I don’t expect this 4th instalment to be any less.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus! Terry Gilliam is quite the genius. The first time I ever heard of Gilliam was his 1988 epic The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I’ve only seen two of his movies so far (12 Monkeys & Brothers Grimm) but suffice to see I like his style. It’s out now in the cinemas so I’ll have to catch this one a.s.a.p. before it disappears at the box-office.
Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones is gonna be a real treat. I’ve seen the trailers and I have a great vibe for the movie. It has supernatural elements mixed in with a who-dun-it thriller edge. Conceptually its nothing new but Jackson is such a great director and I don’t think he can do wrong in this one.
I’m still scouring Apple.com for movies of note so do keep a look out for add-ons to this list in a future post.
Happy trails and have a great time at the movies this year!