Swanner: In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) is trying the save his father Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) from the curse of The Flying Dutchman. They meet Carina (Kaya Scodelario), a young woman who claims she has a map to the trident of Poseidon, the only thing to break the curse of the sea; unfortunately, Henry and Carina find out that they’ll need Captain Jack Sparrow to get them there. While all of this is going on, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), a ghost captain who is after Jack Sparrow for cursing him to Devil’s Triangle, escapes the triangle to seek his revenge.
As you can see there is a lot of cursing going on in this, the fifth, and what they say the last, of the series. IMDb shows Pirates 6 coming out in 2019/2020. Either way, directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg keep the action sequences big and fun, while screenwriter Jeff Nathanson tells more story than I think this film needs, but at leasts it’s complete. We get new characters and closure with old characters. It feels like the end of the franchise but of course, if the box office is big, a sequel will be made.
If you’re a fan of the Pirate films then you should enjoy it. It has all the usual suspects and the action is never ending. Bardem makes a great new bad guy, and Geoffrey Rush is back as Captain Barbossa, always in the way of our heroes. For someone looking for something different… You won’t find it here. It’s just another episode of “What’s Jack up to now.” As summer movies go, it’s a much better choice than most of the current selection. The film has a 3D option and, although it’s really good at times, the film is dark and dark does not make for the best 3D effects.
Swanner: 3 stars
Swanner: In this latest version of the King Arthur story, Director Guy Ritchie gives us a new take in this prequel. Following Arthur as he’s left orphaned after his father Uther (Eric Bana) is assassinated by his brother Vortigern ( Jude Law) in order to take the crown. I was having flashbacks of The Lion King. On becoming an adult, Arthur must reclaim Excalibur to avenge his father and reclaim the crown that belongs to him.
Judd: I like Guy Ritchie, but I hate medieval period movies. Kings, dragons, and wizards hold absolutely no interest for me, so I went into this not knowing what to expect. The first 30 minutes of the movie features Ritchie’s signature editing and quick dialogue, with Arthur being a smarmy peasant. Just when I was starting to like the movie, Ritchie abandoned all that makes his movies fun, and goes forth to make another boring, obnoxiously long Castle Caper.
Swanner: At least you like Ritchie’s movies. He’s not one of my favorites for all the reasons you like him. I also don’t care much for the Camelot story no matter what form it takes. I’m not a fan of the musical, the animated film or any of the endless reimaginings of the story. I did like the look of the film, even though it’s dreary as can be. The cinematography, production design, costumes and editing are great. Even though the audience seemed to like like the film, I could never really commit.
Judd: The whole movie has a very bland grey palette, which goes with the current trend of making “serious” movies boring to look at. Much like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Arthur fails when Ritchie is trying to be serious. I don’t understand why he can’t embrace his style and evolve it, much like Tarantino, Burton, or Del Toro have done, for better or worse. If he thinks he can be a Jack-of-All-Trades like Danny Boyle, he is seriously mistaken. Audiences like Guy Ritchie movies for their Ritchie-ness; take away that element, and his movies become bland and undistinguishable.
Swanner: I totally agree with you on how audiences like the Ritchie-ness his smaller films possess. If you look at the Sherlock Holmes films as well, you see the same over-done, special effects oriented, big budget mess. As I said, I’m not a fan of his films, but the when you look at his films like Snatched, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and even Rock n Rolla you see true, raw filmmaking, where here, you see some guy trying to make a big budget summer movie. Ritchie doesn’t wear that so well. With another Sherlock Holmes movie and a live version of Aladdin as his next two projects, don’t expect to see that Richie-ness anytime soon.
Judd: The movie is written by Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, and Joby Harold. Ritchie and Wigram have been writing together since Holmes. Joby Harold wrote and directed Awake starring Hayden Chistensen and Jessica Alba. (I know what I’m hate-watching this weekend!) In addition to the lack of visual panache, the all-too-serious script is an additional drag on the movie. It’s too bad that something that could have been fun and fresh ended up being “just another” King Arthur movie.
Swanner: 1 ½ stars
Judd: 1 ½ stars