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: Dead Man’s Chest
Viewed: 7:15pm 06/28/06
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Price
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Disney Official Site of the movie
Ok. This movie came out over a month ago and the big box office gods tell me that everyone who’s going to see it has already seen it. So in this review - I’m talking spoilers. Trust me, without full use of spoilers this review would be a lot of “you know who does you know what.” And that would get annoying fast. So forgive me just this once, those of you who have not seen the movie. It is certainly worth checking out. For everyone that has seen it…
Killing Captain Jack Sparrow was an unoriginal, melodramatic slap in the face. Perhaps that’s not the best place to start things off but as the single moment of the film that is supposed to have the most lasting impact, it left this fan of the franchise, fan of the characters, and fan of creators, bitterly upset at everything having to do with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. But it’s not the act of Jack’s death itself that bothers me as much as how it’s built up to and what it represents.
It’s built up to by erasing every character element developed for Captain Jack in the first film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. In Pearl, Jack is a dastardly backstabbing scoundrel, but a loveable one. He has characteristics of true heroism established right alongside his irresponsibility and greed. Established to the point where it’s a plot point in the movie (referred to as the pirate code). In Chest, any and all of that is forgotten as Jack’s “darker side” (For the record that’s the 1st official Star Wars metaphor of the review) takes full control and he consistently turns his back on anything that doesn’t benefit him.
A wiser critic would recognize Jack’s actions as those of a true pirate and simply dismiss it. “Sure he essentially signs the death warrants of everyone who’s ever put any trust in him, but it’s Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s supposed to turn on people. He’s an adorable scoundrel.” Complete crap. Part of the charm of the character in Pearl was that he was a pirate in every sense of the word, but deep down he was a decent guy. Deep down, you could count on him.
So with that Jack’s unpredictability and unaccountability becomes the major focus of character development in Chest. Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) spends the third act of the film trying to convince him that he has the potential to be good. She even goes as far as to initialize one of the most awkward love triangles of movie history which, in my opinion based on her behavior, was half genuine, half trickery, and all gross. Not gross because two very attractive people (albeit one completely skanked out) were locking lips, but because of (you guessed it) what character points were established in The Curse of the Black Pearl!
The love between Will (Orlando Bloom)and Elizabeth was always so pure. To taint it with a kiss is either a brilliant plot device to usher in the third chapter or a clumsy mistake to get two hot people together on screen. Personally I’d never be satisfied with the Elizabeth/Jack coupling unless it’s revealed that Will and Elizabeth are brother and sister (2nd reference) and that Barbossa is their father. (3rd)
I’m going to get a few e-mails telling me I’m too attached to the original and that I would have enjoyed the movie more if I’d opened myself up to change, but I cry foul. If Pirates is anything it’s a continuation of the larger story and I see no use in throwing away half of your set-up just so you can retell it in a different way. Why not just introduce new characters?
What Jack’s death is supposed to represent is the ultimate change in his character. The point where he comes to grips with his fate and is willing to sacrifice himself to save his “friends”. But for me it was too little too late. From the character perspective, this sacrifice met up fine with the “hero pirate” of Pearl but contradicted everything laid out in the previous two hours of Chest. It was like they couldn’t make up their minds. But that I’m ok with. What really dug into my skin was how his death was dramatized and overdone.
Did Jack look scared as he leapt into the mouth of the Kraken? No, and not because he’d accepted his fate, but because he knew he’d be ok. Everyone knew it. No one in the audience thought for a second that Jack Sparrow was actually dead or that if he were, it would be long before he was back. That knowledge sucked all the drama and power out of the moment.
What followed were the awkward scenes of the people he had doubled crossed mourning his death. Followed by the even more awkward exchange where they vow to do ANYTHING to bring him back. Seriously? Anything? The ends of the earth you say? Remember when he tried to kill you? That was awesome. But perhaps I’m being too literal in my interpretation of the scene. Will had an air of rage in his eyes as he swore to do anything to bring Jack back. Perhaps he’s more interesting in killing the old pirate himself, after witnessing the kiss.
As you can see, I’m pretty passionate on how they’ve muddled up the characters, but I have little else to complain about in Dead Man’s Chest. Some more sword fighting would have been great but the stuff there is a lot of fun. Not as strong as Pearl but I appreciated what was going on in that water wheel sequence that made it unique. It was a great touch having the key as a forth player in the game. Them running after it was actually more interesting than the rehearsed clanking of the swords. I could have done without the bumbling pirates though, but every movie needs its comic relief.
The special effects are out of this world! Davy Jones’ tentacled head is an Oscar-worthy achievement on its own. You can see all the thought and effort put into the new characters including the great devour of ships – the Kraken. It really brings a lot to the movie. My only complaints with the effects are that there are moments where some of the finer work felt washed out by the darkness. I found myself wanting to pause the film so I could admire the effort. Also the Kraken makes a handful of appearances, but I never felt like I got the whole picture of the beast. They better be working on a big reveal for Pirates 3, and it better not be Keith Richards’ head just under the surface.
Not seeing a giant squid is forgivable and honestly as much as the unforgivable things mentioned above really bothered me, Dead Man’s Chest achieved its ultimate goal. It made me excited for Pirates 3. I want to know what happens and I think a lot of people do too. That’s a huge success for a movie that doesn’t come close to delivering a full story. They made hundreds of millions of dollars and all but pre-sold the same amount in tickets for the final chapter. As angry as I was leaving the theater I have to give it to them for that. The third movie has a lot to deliver but I’m pretty sure they won’t have a problem pulling it off.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Really worth seeing, and it may piss you off but in the grand scheme of things I think the movie will hold up. It’s transitional which is frustrating now but once the third film hits, there will be little to be upset about. Still, I took off two points out of sheer annoyance.
I’m not thrilled about the movie right now but I know a second viewing would go much better and eventually some moments I found frustrating will, in the big picture, become classic. Plus the first Pirates DVD, although a much better film, was given FANTASTIC DVD treatment with tons of extras on a double disc set, at a good price. If they follow through on Dead Man’s Chest then I’m all for it. Of course the die hard fans are going to want to wait for the trilogy collection with the bust of Captain Jack and a letter opener shaped like Wills sword, or something equally as bizarre.
Trailer Hitch: Night at the Museum
A Night at the Museum
looks like fun. It looks like Jumanji
but still a lot of fun. Ben Stiller
plays a night security guard in the National History Museum and finds that when the museum closes, everything comes to life. So you’ve got Dinosaur bones and wax statues of Theodore Roosevelt canoodleing with diorama miniature figures and a cowboy played by Owen Wilson
My first reaction is that it seemed like a good idea but a weird fit for Stiller. It’s a different kind of humor. It’s pretty much a kid’s movie and I think as long as I perceive it that way I’m likely to enjoy it. This isn’t due until the holidays and I think it has a lot of potential to be a big hit.
If You liked this movie check out: The Empire Strikes Back
Come on. Jack is Han, Will is Luke, Davy Jones is Jabba the Hutt… I’ve been thinking about this for days and Dead Man’s Chest is certainly doing their own thing but there are more than a few similarities.
Beyond those cosmetic likenesses Dead Man’s Chest has made use of the cliffhanger, a storytelling technique that Empire pretty much defined. So which one works better? Both end things on a pretty low note but Empire’s is legendary. Vader is Luke’s father, people are losing hands and turning into carbonate and Billy Dee is backstabbing stabbing people! Up is down. Left is right.
Dead Man’s chest has too many unresolved issues. Too many unanswered questions. At the time it was frustrating. As frustrating as I’m sure Empire was when it originally hit theaters, but a couple of days later I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea and excited about the follow up. That’s really the point isn’t it?
Non Movie Related News
Here’s a 3rd Jam Comic from Wizard World. I know. They just keep getting weirder. Here are the other two just for comparisons sake. There are two more that I’ll unleash tomorrow in a Wizard World wrap up. See you then!
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