2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

With eyes nearly obscured by heavy mascara and eye shadow, sporting a braided goatee, dreadlocks, gold and silver slathered across his teeth, and an outfit so adorned with beads, bandanas, rings, and dirt that it looks like he stumbled drunk into a novelty pirate thrift shop, Johnny Depp is the life of the party in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He plays notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, the one man who knows the location of the secret pirate treasure stash, the Island of the Dead. As played by Depp however, he is also the most flamboyant dandy ever to set foot in the Caribbean.

When the cursed pirates of the infamous ship the Black Pearl, led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), get wind that the last piece of cursed booty they are searching for is in the hands of young English maiden Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) they attack her Caribbean port town and kidnap the lass. Elizabeth’s handsome Royal Navy commodore love interest follows in hot pursuit, but only Swan’s childhood crush Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a mere blacksmith, can save her with the help of the legendary Jack Sparrow (Depp).

Subtitled The Curse of the Black Pearl to prevent confusion between the movie and the Disney ride that provides the film’s inspiration (What? You mean there isn’t a water tour through animatronic pirate-land installed at this theater?), this Gore Verbinski-helmed, Jerry Bruckheimer-produced pirate epic flays all over the place. As far as Bruckheimer films go, Pirates of the Caribbean unfortunately rates itself up amongst his more forgettable adventures (Gone In 60 Seconds, Bad Company, Coyote Ugly) that are often not as bad as his mighty blockbusters (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) but usually not nearly as interesting to watch or bash. With all the swashbuckling fun innate in any pirate story, director Verbinski provides ample evidence that his botch-job on the wonderful source material, Ringu-turning it into the bland American incarnation The Ring-was no fluke; the man sucks nearly all fun out this flick just as he muddled up the thrills in The Ring. Considering The Curse of the Black Pearl contains all the pirate staples, damsels in distress, curses, skeletons, booty, swordplay, gigantic dueling ships, and the always exciting marooned-on-a-desert-island pirate punishment, Pirates inexplicably has no life in it whatsoever. For a man who at least filled The Ring with some stark, startling imagery (who can forget the horse leaping off the ferry boat?) Verbinski shoots nearly all his action here in constricted medium shots, showcasing his actors instead of taking a step back and letting stuntman inject Pirates’ many action sequences with some skill and vitality. Gone is the loose and fun swordplay of previous adventure romps like The Princess Bride and there are precious few shots of mighty galleons sailing across empty seas and desolate, lonely tropical islands that cry out for someone to bury treasure deep in their sands.

While Bloom (hot off his wonderful role of Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Knightley (hot off the disgraceful feel-good hit Bend It Like Beckham) are merely here to provide eye candy for the film’s young demographic, as well as building up a blockbuster resume, the existence of Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Depp and even Jonathan Pryce (in a small role) in such a trite genre piece is indeed curious. Even more curious is what this respectable canon of actors decided to do with their material at hand. While Verbinski seems set to provide the most mundane pirate film yet filmed, his actors run the gamut of possible interpretations of the genre.

The performances of the younger generation, namely Bloom and Knightley, feel heavily influenced by Verbinksi’s decision to play the film as straight and inert as possible, but the older generation clearly understands what kind of film they are in; or at least the kind of film Pirates of the Caribbean should be. Both Rush and Pryce play their roles (as an undead pirate captain and English governor, respectively) gleefully, embodying the extravagant over-the-top outlandishness of good old fashioned pirate mythology. Rush gets a hat three times too big for his head, Pryce gets a wig that goes down to his waist, and both actors do their best not just to overact, but to genuinely try to fit into the roles of classic exaggerated pirate performances.

Their attempts to lighten Verbinksi’s perpetually dull humor would be successful if they themselves were not topped by the Oscar-worthy antics of Johnny Depp. Bobbing and weaving like a drunken boxer and prettied up in the strangest of pirate costumes, Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow will henceforth be recognized as a classic performance of the utmost hamminess. If Pryce and Rush energetically bite in the pirate material, Depp rips right through it and comes out the other side; his performance is bizarre and surreal in an entirely unique way that pushes ham-acting to its max. That Jack Sparrow constantly brings to mind some kind of hybrid transvestite-pirate only begins to describe the kind of nasty-fun goofiness Depp invests into this otherwise completely forgettable summer movie.