Sunday, May 27, 2007

"...drink up, me hearties, yo ho."

In one of the Ain’t It Cool News reviews, the word used to sum up Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End was “plotty”. I’m a big fan of making up your own words, adding phrases such as “ish”, “ness” and “-y” to the end of things, so if I had to choose a word other than “complicated”, it would most definitely be that. There is so much going on during the first two hours that you need a flow chart to keep track of it, and not in the entertaining way. Getting inside Captain Jack’s completely insane head? Very good. The entire Calypso storyline that took up a good half hour and didn’t add anything to the movie except a way of getting a sweet whirlpool for the final battle? Completely and totally unnecessary.

Maybe it’s my total lack of interest in anything Orlando Bloom does or how I can’t imagine Keira Knightley choosing him over Johnny Depp (the Elizabeth/Will relationship was frigid the entire movie until they decided to get married), but I just don’t enjoy Legolas Turner all that much. On the other hand, the Captains Sparrow, Barbossa and Jones were so enjoyable it made up for any disappointment from the other leads. Add the “Depp, Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy” combination to list of “Groups of People I’d Watch In A Movie Just Hanging Out On A Weekend”. The only thing perhaps more unnecessary than the entire Calypso thing was Chow Yun Fat’s role. Um, what?

I’ve read a couple places that the movie is much better the second time around, and I hope so, because while I enjoyed it, it certainly was far from great. At some point in time I want to get into the similarities between Pirates and Star Wars, as even the little stuff like the East India Trading Co.’s armada appearing out of the fog resembling the Star Destroyer Fleet closing in around the Rebel forces above Endor makes me think there’s some intentional paralleling going on.

Still, if they were to make a Pirates 4 and they brought back Rush and Depp, I would be there on opening night, no questions asked. That being said, sequel fatigue already has started to set in this summer as the Pirates 3 numbers did not – as projected here! – meet Dead Man’s Chest or Spiderman 3.

Also, if you went to see Pirates 3 and did not stay until the end of the credits like us, here’s what you missed.


Thankfully, even though Pirates 3 wasn’t a total success, it’s summer. That means we can already start preparing for this weekend’s big release, Knocked Up. Just in time to get the hype started this week is a New York Times Magazine piece on Knocked Up, Superbad, 40-Year Old Virgin, Anchorman and Talladega Nights helmsman Judd Apatow (Credit to Rob for being all over this last night). It’s a bit long for HTML reading, but well worth your time. You can’t help but root for Apatow, who did this after hearing another one of his critically-adored, executively-abused and audience-ignored shows was about to be cancelled:

The following year, Apatow created “Undeclared” on the theoretically more teenage-friendly Fox network. Again, a network moved around an Apatow show from week to week and sent it on monthlong hiatuses. If anything, this time Apatow was even more combative with the network brass. The Fox executive who canceled “Undeclared” happened to be the man who pulled the plug on “The Ben Stiller Show” a decade earlier. Apatow was reading a lot of Ayn Rand at the time, and he responded as Howard Roark might have if the architect could communicate using only the seven words you can’t say on television, attaching the NC-17 note to a glowing review of the show and sending it to the offending executive. Apatow’s agent caught wind of his client’s folly and managed to intercept the package before delivery, but the story spread across Hollywood.

Wow, FOX mishandled a quality show? You don’t say. I mean, I’m still not bitter about Arrested. Or The OC. Or The Loop. Or even Kitchen Confidential (Now available on DVD!). I’d also really, really question their decision to put House on after next year’s Super Bowl. Really, what do they gain by that? House is already loved by critics and fans with ratings equal to, and on a few occasions, even better than American Idol. What do they gain by promoting one of their three shows that doesn’t need any more promoting? Just stupid.


Despite my prior claims, I’m still watching the NBA playoffs. It’s not appointment television, but if I’m just hanging out in the evening, it gets flicked on because I can’t resist basketball, even if it’s crappy. Hopefully the Jazz can pull three more out against the Spurs, but if they can’t, I can at least take solace in how lame those “great San Antonio fans” really are:

For the first time in the five-year history of the AT&T Center, the Spurs didn't sell out a playoff game.

The Spurs listed their attendance as 18,300, about 500 short of the 18,797 capacity.

One section in the arena's southeast corner was nearly empty at tipoff and the top two rows in the north end zone also looked empty. They filled in somewhat by game's end, but not to capacity.

If everything about the Spurs organization is “the right way”, then should other sports teams start leaving parts of their arena vacant to show support? I mean, that’s how San Antonio does it.


The overlapping part of the Venn Diagram between “People Who Listen To Country Music” and “People Who Would Understand Literary Criticism” is probably pretty small, but I think a few readers of this site my qualify for it. Considering that’s the case, take a gander at “Why is country music so in love with cancer?”.


At some point in time I’m going to write an apology to Lost fans for making fun of their show, which by nearly all reports regained a lot of momentum at the end of this season and even implemented an exit strategy, but I still enjoyed this news. I’m in firm agreement with the line of thinking that goes something like “Yeah, the writers might not know what they’re doing, but as long as it’s entertaining and isn’t completely disappointing at the end, that’s great”. One concern expressed after the finale: You best hope Lost doesn’t turn into its totally bombed lead-out, The Nine.


This and that:

New Smashing Pumpkin song (Agreement from Tillett and I: Not too bad.)

First look at your Heath Ledger version of the Joker. I’m not quite sure what to think, but in Nolan We Trust until proved otherwise.

Hilarious Hills news item of the week: Heidi and Spencer are engaged. There’s literally a gazillion jokes to make here, ranging from sex tapes to recording contracts and everything in between. Fantastic. Trip down memory lane to our current Link of the Year leader.

Fun cinematic YouTubing. (HT: ALOTT5MA)

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