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Discuss this week's Joe Loves Crappy Movies here!

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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Naomie Harris, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Yun-Fat Chow, Keith Richards

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Walt Disney - Official Site of the Movie

Discuss Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End on the boards!

What’s your favorite pirate movie? I bet it’s one of the three Pirate of the Caribbean movies because… there’s not really that much else to choose from. I suppose if you’re a romantic (The Princess Bride) or a child at heart (Goonies) there might be a different pirate movie that is close to your heart, but for a traditional, old school, pirate adventure, this modern trilogy is hard to beat. If you’re over 50 years old you might have fond memories of heading down to the theater on a Saturday afternoon and paying a nickel to see Captain Blood or Treasure island, or any of the classic pirate tales that helped build early Hollywood. But for us young wiper snappers, our first real exposure to this long dormant genre was Johnny Depp’s drunken stumble towards the ghostly damned. He shuffled into battle and right into our hearts.

In modern cinema, these are the best pirate movies, but it’s not like we have anything to compare them to. One day after decades of cowboys and spaceships and buddy cops, Disney came along and decided that pirates should be big again. Thankfully they didn’t just throw money at it to make it successful, but were smart enough to get a good script and some real talent involved. Because of that I have no complaints about the first film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a thrilling story that made it cool to be the bad guy again. But even if I did have complaints about it, I’d have nothing to compare it to. It’s the best modern pirate adventure because it’s the ONLY modern pirate adventure.

The second and third Pirate films, Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, were not so lucky as to have nothing to compare to because even with fresh locations and exciting new characters, both feel sloppy and unfinished following the complete and fulfilling original film. At World’s End especially considering it should be the epic grand finale that these films have been leading up to for four years.

The movie picks up in Singapore where Elizabeth Keira Knightley and Will Orlando Bloom are tracking down a map to the end of the world so that they can bring Captain Jack Sparrow back from the dead. With the help of Captain Barbossa, the mysterious voodoo lady Tia Dalma, and the Pacific’s pirate lord, Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat) the two are able to continue their journey and find their missing friend. But is he their friend? The second movie leaves things so open-ended and you soon learn that each character has their own agenda. Let the backstabbing and secret deals begin!

The movie is then about everyone’s agenda unfolding. Will desires to free his father from his dept to Davy Jones, Elizabeth wants to avenge her father, Jones wants to be free of his service to the East India Trading Company, Barbossa just wants his ship back, and despite all the effort that went into bringing him back to life, everyone wants Jack dead. It’s busy but not impossible to follow even though you’ll find yourself reviewing the details as characters go back on promises and literally switch sides mid-movie. It’s crazy, but hey – they’re pirates.

I hate to bring up Spider-man 3 as a comparison, but critics and fanboys spent so much time complaining about how crowded that movie was when Pirates 3 is just as busy and handled way worse. We get plenty of Jack but everyone else is fighting for screen time, and I can’t think of one good reason why a villain with a squid for a head, and Barbossa Geoffrey Rush, arguably the best movie pirate of all time, should be shifted to the back so that we get more of the crazy Voodoo Lady. (There’s a reason she’s featured, but it’s not a great reason.) Rush and Bill Nighy (the squid for a head, Davy Jones) are both fantastic with what time they have. Even with the heavy and amazingly done CGI work it’s thrilling to see Nighy’s eyes shine through making a potentially wooden character oh so real. Amidst the final battle there’s a wedding scene (I won’t tell you which one the tramp picks though!) that was on the borderline of being ridiculously sappy before Barbossa enters as the ships captain to perform the ceremony. It was the perfect boost of levity to lighten the mood and make the scene work. That’s exactly the kind of professionalism we got from these performers in the first two films, and I can’t imagine why we couldn’t have more of that.

I feel even worse for Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook, the two bumbling ghost pirates that brought so much humor and charm to the first film. With such a crowded cast they’re bumped down to being glorified background actors who apparently are only in the movie because they were contractually obligated.

The visual effects in the film are amazing, but I’m not sure there were any real challenges in this movie on scale with the Kraken from Pirates 2. That was a revolutionary moment in computer graphics. Can we say the same for a whirlpool and a giant sea goddess? Meh. Not that it looks bad, none of it looks bad. In fact I think there’s something to be said for the way Davy Jones and his crew with their detailed fish faces blend so naturally into the crowd, but there was no one effect that really blew me away.

While I can’t say that At World’s End was a completely satisfying experience, I will say that I’m pleased with how each character’s story wrapped up. We’ve been through some amazing adventures with these pirates and I’ve come to love the heroes and villains alike. When everything was said and done I can honestly say that I was happy where Will ended up, and I was happy with Davy Jones’ character arc, and so on to everyone. Except Norrington Jack Davenport, A character who like any good pirate, battled throughout the three films with where his allegiances truly lied. His story is ultimately a good one, but its conclusion comes far to soon.

So why the high rating? Well, like any movie, I could pick apart its problems all day long, but if you’re willing to forgive it for its faults, At World’s End can be a pretty fun experience. It’s long as hell but keeps a brisk pace mixing in a lot of humor and action with its convoluted story. So I can’t say I was pleased with the movie but I can’t say I had a bad time either. It’s still Depp acting wacky, true love winning out and swordfights in the crow’s nest. This is one of the best pirate movies of my entire lifetime! Then again… what do I have to compare it to?

Rating: 7 out of 10 - It’s no surprise that a big part of the reason this movie works is because of Johnny Depp. The man is committed to the character and is clearly having a lot of fun with good old Captain Jack. There have been rumors for months about Depp returning for a fourth movie, which At World’s End certainly leaves open. To that I say, “Hell YARG!” After years of hearing complaints from Hallie Berry in X-men and Michael Chiklis in Fantastic Four it’s so refreshing to see an actor who enjoys the character as much as his fans do.

The only thing I would say to a sequel is that it should focus on Jack. I wouldn’t even call it “Pirates of the Caribbean: blah blah blah”, I would start fresh with “The Adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow”. As for bringing back the other characters, I wouldn’t frown away from a cameo, but after seeing two very busy movies, I’m eager to see some focus.

Well that’s kind of a complicated question isn’t it? Last week, before seeing At World’s End, I buckled and bought Dead Man’s Chest. Even though it was a movie I found endlessly frustrating I bought it because I wanted to be fresh for the new release, and there were some fun, unique action sequences that I remembered fondly and was eager to revisit. The fight on the water wheel, Jack’s escape from the cannibals, the Kraken battles, any scene featuring Davy Jones… that’s all great stuff despite being part of an incomplete film!

But I can’t really say the same for At World’s End whose action scenes all felt washed together and unoriginal. As epic as the final showdown is between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman, it didn’t have nearly as much charm as half of what was going on in the first two Pirate movies. So there’s no big draw. There are no memorable moments that are going to have me needing At World’s End in my DVD collection.

The only chance this movie has is if a fourth movie is made and I get Pirate fever again, because we all know there are only two ways to cure the Pirate fever – buying an overpriced DVD or walking the plank!

Confused by what’s going on in the Pirates universe? Don’t be ashamed, there’s a lot going on and with all the side swapping, back stabbing, and people trying to get with Miss Swan it can get a little baffling. The Official site for At World’s End is kind enough to offer a timeline detailing and connecting the events of all three films with spotlights on the key players involved.

And for those of us intrigued by the introduction of the 9 Pirate Lords, there’s a world map that gives a little background on each of them including original concept sketches and the territory they plunder. Just looking at the conceptual drawings it’s easy to see that these characters were thought out well beyond the limited screen time they’re given. Some comic book prequels giving us a little back story on these characters would have been a terrific tie-in. Though, because of the sheer number, it would have most likely been quite pricey and not a guaranteed success. Would anyone even buy the French pirates book?

When I originally came up with the joke I thought it would be so much fun to fill the audience with a ton of famous movie pirates. The problem is that I couldn’t really come up with that many. We don’t live in an age of pirates and I soon found that with all my favourites I could only fill up a couple of seats.

So who did I use? There were three Captain Hook’s to choose from (four if you count the one from Shrek the Third, but it’s too soon for him to be classic). Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal in Steven Spielberg’s Hook was good, but the movie still leaves me sour. I loved Jason Isaacs in the more recent Peter Pan but how could I not go with the classic cartoon version from Disney? Hook is checking his clock in the first panel because the movie is late.

Let’s see… That’s Wesley, the Dread Pirate Robert from The Princess Bride in the front row, Steve the Pirate from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story on the far right, and if you look between the two speaking pirates in panel 2 you can make out the bones and “rich stuff” of One-eyed Willie from The Goonies. So who’s the naked guy? Well, I knew I wanted to use someone from the Chris Elliot movie Cabin Boy even though it’s only barely a pirate adventure. The only problem is that my favorite character from that movie has always been Chocki, the fabled half-man/half-shark warrior of the sea. So humor me a little and let me have my freak of nature.

Other than that I couldn’t think of another really cool movie pirate. One of the Muppets from Muppet Treasure Island or Han Solo maybe. I was watching that Discovery channel special on Star Wars last night and they described him as a pirate. That could have been cool.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Teaser Trailer) - Oh, I was a giddy little school girl once I recognized that the opening trailer for the evening was for National Treasure: Book of Secrets, the sequel to one of Nic Cage’s better non-pretentious popcorn action flicks. Cage plays the game of Hollywood very well, bouncing back and forth between Oscar worthy, character driven stories, and crowd pleasing, dumbed-down but highly entertaining, big budget fluff. With National Treasure Cage hit the nail on the head in an exciting, smart, historical adventure reminiscent of the glory days of Indiana Jones.

This second trip seems to be more of the same as Cage and crew (minus Sean Bean this time but with Ed Harris and Helen Mirren as able replacements) encounter new clues, historical locations and treasure maps to explore. The Book of Secrets refers to the diary of John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln. When he was captured that diary was missing 8 pages and the adventure focuses in on what secrets those pages were hiding.

As much as I love the concept I’m seriously afraid that the set-up and trailer are alluding to the vilification of Lincoln. Something almost unthinkably unpatriotic. I’m sure that it’s not the case but with what little we have to go on and a release date over 6 months away, we’ve got nothing but time to think the worst about everyone’s favourite crazy hat wearing president. I hope it’s not true but if they bring the same level of excitement and adventure that they did the first time around, evil Lincoln will be the only thing I have to complain about.

Wow, big thanks to anyone that took the time to read through the long comic as well as the long review. It must either be a very slow day at work or you’re a glutton for punishment. Either way, thanks for taking the time. As I apologize for this reviews length I’d also like to apologize for its delay. I had hoped to get it done and posted over the Memorial Day weekend but hit some not-so-awesome pit falls. I lost a credit card, destroyed my cel phone and fought with some family members. Just another Memorial Day!

But here it is, and I’m eager to move on to Knocked Up, the first non-sequel major release of the summer. I’m very excited about Judd Apatow’s latest film, but I admit I’m somewhat nervous. Check out this post I made on the boards as well as the trailer review I did back in February with Norbit. I’m sure the movie will be hilarious, but will it connect with audiences the way 40-Year-Old Virgin did and be able to take down the summer sequels?

A quick shout out to Hobotrashcan.com who spotlighted an old interview with me and were kind enough to mention the new Turtle vs. Bunny comic. Thanks, hobos! The editor over there, Joel, has become a good friend and has even commissioned a ton of work for his site. If you look around you’ll find some original Joe Dunn art in different places at Hobotrashcan.

Ok, I’m done jabbering. Se you soon!

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V

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