July 12, 2003

Not A Code Really, More Like Guidelines

Consider Cinecultist gobsmacked and bowed to the juggernaut that is the summer blockbuster. Just when we think we've got the formula sorted ("Movie based on Disneyland ride = Extreme Stinker), Johnny Depp comes along to louse it all up. Pirate cliches be damned, Pirates of the Caribbean is a really fun summer picture filled with spot-on physical humor, charming repeating gags and likeable, over-the-top characters.


As J pointed out after the 133 minutes unspooled, this movie wants to be a lot of things for a lot of viewers. Fantasy. Action Adventure. CGI Zombie Pirates. Love Story. And while in his educated opinion he thought the film couldn't quite keep up with all of these elements, CC thought Pirates held it all together well. The film suffers from that very now delusion that it must winkwink about its genre for the story to seem fresh and while this can make the movie seem busy, it's also very funny. Can a genre movie be earnest these days? Jerry Bruckheimer tells us, hell no.

A word also about Keira Knightley versus Orlando Bloom. Keira has star quality, as evidenced by her ability to glow, tell jokes and sell that swashbuckling. She was just adorable in Bend It Like Beckham, and since then, she seems to be grown up, or maybe this is just an actress inhabiting a new role with new body language. Either way, we see good things for her in future roles. Orlando, despite his weirdo curly hair and wispy beard is a heavenly eyeful. But we haven't seen any of the verve, any of the intelligence that Depp or Knightly exude so easily. Will he be able to shed his handsomeness to do some acting that's genuine? We're not entirely sold. Yet. Until then, CC's happy to drool.

All the boffo B.O. (that's box office grosses for those not subscribing to Variety's odd little e-mail newsletter) that Pirates is sure to get this weekend is heartily deserved. Enjoy it with a side of irony and a very large Diet Coke.

Posted by karen at July 12, 2003 6:21 PM