Monday, May 28, 2007
Movie Reviews: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END & NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) boldly goes where no pirate has gone before. Along with Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the unconventional seafarer sails into uncharted waters and meets a new rival, Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat), on the high seas.
Cast Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander (more)
Director(s) Gore Verbinski
Writer(s) Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date May 24, 2007
Running Time 168 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13
The third installment of the Pirates franchise sails into theaters with lots to wrap up and explain from Dead Man's Chest. At World's End can't be accused of being rushed, as it clocks in at nearly 3 hours. The good news is that most of the films run time is fairly enjoyable, if slightly incoherent, summer fare much like the previous 2 installments. The problem is that this film has so many different plot lines going on that the audience should have been given a scorecard along with their ticket. Every player has a different agenda and those agenda tend to change as the movie moves on. Aside from the movies length, the sheer amount of intersecting and conflicting plot lines maybe off putting to some viewers. Depp, Bloom, Knightley, Rush, and Nighy return and most have hit a real stride in terms of playing their characters. Bloom continues his trend of being forgettable and Knightley hits the badass button on her character. Depp is clearly having a blast playing Sparrow again and just revels in this character. Keith Richards cameo is great fun and he and Depp play well off each other, just curious how much or little make up Richards needed for his character. Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy are both standouts in this over populated film both bring so much nuance which breathes so much life into their characters. As an overall film this installment stretches credibility even more than previous films, we get Jack Sparrow now see multiple versions of himself and has little angle/devil arguments and later we get a fifty ft woman. Small complaints aside, the finale is truly spectacular fun, even if it doesn't make complete sense, and is rousing summer fun.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) accepts what appears to be a menial job as a graveyard-shift security guard at a museum of natural history. During Larry's watch, extraordinary things begin to occur: Mayans, Roman gladiators, and cowboys emerge from their diorama to wage epic battles; in his quest for fire, a caveman burns down his own display; Attila the Hun pillages his neighboring exhibits, and a T-Rex reminds everyone why he's history's fiercest predator. Amid the chaos, the only person Larry can turn to for advice is a wax figure of President Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams).
Cast Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Mickey Rooney, Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke (more)
Director(s) Shawn Levy
Writer(s) Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon
Status On DVD
Release Date Dec. 22, 2006
DVD Release Date April 24, 2007
MPAA Rating PG - for mild action, language and brief rude humor.
Night at the Museum, thankfully, has one redeeming factor, it's utterly forgettable. This movie should be mindless fun but ends up being more of a chore to watch and the problem is there could have been some fun live action Toy Story fun to be had. Instead we get a shoehorned message about believing in yourself to make it seem like the rest of the movie might mean something. It doesn't. Ben Stiller mails it in and just makes the same expression he's made in his last dozen, albeit funnier, movies. Dick Van Dyke and Micky Rooney are in it and prove that they are still indeed alive. The sole bright spot for me is the criminally underused Ricky Gervais (The Office UK). The rest of this brain dead movie lacks any real cohesion and in a movie about museum pieces coming to life at night, a scene late in the movie where octogenarians start karate kicking and pile driving people, well let's just say, it loses what little credibility it had. This movie made a boat load of money in it's theatrical run, I just hope no one decides to make a sequel.