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May 31, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) --- "... I Spoke Too Soon. This Is The Strangest Tide Yet and There Is Still One More To Come."

Plot Summary
Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC): Dead Men Tell No Tales is the finale (as far as we know) and most recent addition to the POTC franchise with directors Joachim Ronning (Kon Tiki) and Espen Sandberg (Kon Tiki) at the helm. While screenplay and story writers, Jeff Nathanson (The Terminal) and Terry Russo (POTC films), remain true to the original humor and whimsy of the POTC franchise as they propel our story into undiscovered seas of family and redemption. As always the production designs (Nigel Phelps – Troy, World War Z) are impeccable, the cinematography (Paul Cameron – Westworld, Collateral) is beautiful, the action is fun and exciting, while the comedy is suitably witty. Although the CGI is excellently done, at times it felt a bit overloaded. There is a scene in particular, from the trailers, involving the flashback of a young Jack Sparrow (Anthony De La Torre) which has small cause for concern. I knew that his face was going to be CGI but I did not expect it to be that obvious. It was obvious more so when he spoke, as the effects looked like they had been done by a Face-Swap App rather than by someone with a degree or experience. The music score was reminiscent and roused memories of the previous films but there were moments when it appeared to be a bit repetitive.
     Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland) reprises his role as our star Captain Jack Sparrow with aloof perfection and age. Jack embodies the amusing dim and stoned rock star for most of his screen time but when he is needed most (or when he discovers a most opportune moment), Jack fights valiantly for the cause and saves those he cares about (even if he won’t admit it). In this film, his character appears to be a cross between Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter, the former because he seems to be more mad/crazy. However, if you pay attention you will notice why this is so. Jack is experience a mid-life crisis. The Black Pearl is stuck in a bottle so he has no ship, what’s left of his crew is sad, and his compass can no longer help him obtain what he wants most; the Pearl. So now, he is even more of a drunk and pretty much has nothing left to lose. Kaya Scodelario (Maze Runner) as Carina Smith and Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, The Giver) as Henry Turner, Will Turner's son, are fantastic as new heroes who fight for love and family. Javier Barden (Skyfall) as the vengeance seeking Captain Salazar is as disturbing as he is evil but in a good way. Geoffrey Rush (POTC film, Shakespeare in Love) returns as Jack’s rival Captain Barbossa and the small peak into his past life offers a new light on his character.
However, despite all these praises, there are a few downfalls. First, while the story starts on a good tone, mid-way through the story splits apart and both sides move at two completely different beats. While all the new characters and returnees are great, most of the time they aren’t actually doing much other than debating over a map or whether someone will admit their wrong. Two, though Jack Sparrow’s return was pleasing and anticipated, for the most part, he is either wasted drunk or telling jokes that are not worthy of such a character. This is largely due to a somewhat poor script and while the script is better than On Strangers Tide, it is by no means the best script in the franchise. Three, the return of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom - Troy) is essentially good as it gives an explanation for Henry’s motivation to find the Trident of Poseidon. However, his character was severely underused and it would have been nice if his character got to partake in a little bit of the action. Finally, Barden is a good villain but I am not sure if he tops Bill Nighy’s, Davy Jones.

     Overall, Dead Men Tell No Tales is visually stunning and entertaining film with a touch of humanity filled with poignant sadness and exultant victory. Perhaps this is not the end of the POTC franchise but merely the beginning of a new adventure with a new generation. An adventure based on family, love, perseverance, courage, and new discoveries. Is this film the best in the series? No. It is the weakest? Certainly not. If this is not the end of POTC then I recommend that there be more character development on the new characters and a better fulfilling script for both the story and the dialogue.

“Find Jack Sparrow for me and relay a message, from Captain Salazar. Tell him: death will come straight for him. Will you say that to him, please?”
- Captain Salazar

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).

Movies Similar 
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
National Treasure (2004)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
Pan (2015)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides (2011)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Sahara (2005) 

Cast & Crew
Writing Credits:
(Screenplay) Jeff Nathanson.
(Novel) Tim Powers.

Produced by 
Jerry Bruckheimer               ---   producer
Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr.     ---   executive producer
Chad Oman                          ---   executive producer
Melissa Reid                         ---   associate producer
Terry Rossio                         ---   executive producer
Brigham Taylor                    ---   executive producer
Mike Stenson                       ---   executive producer

David Wenham                        ---        Scarfield
Johnny Depp                            ---        Captain Jack Sparrow
Kaya Scodelario                      ---        Carina Smyth
Javier Bardem                         ---        Captain Salazar
Brenton Thwaites                   ---        Henry
Orlando Bloom                        ---        Will Turner
Golshifteh Farahani               ---        Haifaa Meni
Geoffrey Rush                          ---        Barbossa
Stephen Graham                     ---        Scrum
Kevin McNally                          ---        Gibbs
Goran D. Kleut                         ---        Pirate Broom
Martin Klebba                          ---        Marty
Adam Brown                             ---        Cremble
James Mackay                          ---        Maddox
Alexander Scheer                   ---        Young Captain Teague
Robert Morgan                        ---        Grimes
James Fraser                           ---        Young Greenhorn
Angus Barnett                          ---        Mullroy
Lewis McGowan                      ---        Young Henry
Danny Kirrane                         ---        Bollard
Rupert Raineri                         ---        Officer Santos
Sean Lynch                                ---        Liam - British Soldier 4
Juan Carlos Vellido                ---        Lieutenant Lesaro
Stephen Lopez                         ---        Officer Moss
Rodney Afif                               ---        Officer Madga

May 29, 2017

Baywatch (2017) --- "This Is What Happens When You Replace Pamela Anderson With A Rock And Whole Lot Of F-Bombs."

Plot Summary
Lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and a brash new recruit (Zac Efron) uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay. (1)

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WARNING: This film has a MPAA Rating of for a lot of crude sexual content, language throughout, and some graphic male nudity.

NOTE: I did not know how risqué this movie was until I saw the film.

Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     I have never seen the original Baywatch TV series but I do know that it was popular, not because it was a good quality show but because it was trashy and filled with scantily clad supermodels running in slow-motion. Baywatch (2017) holds some of those qualities. While the film delivers some action and comedy it is just barely enough to keep the film from moving at a reluctantly slow pace. From the trailers, it is clear that the film attempts at comedy which is funny but most of the time it’s the crude and stereotypical sex jokes with more than a few shots of the genitalia parts. The dialogue was clever when filled with the right jokes but those joke quickly led to overused and pointless cursing that has now become quite cliché. The plot was good but at the same time, it was predictable. The characters were funny but their backgrounds were given very early on and all at one time.
     Now the question is what’s the point of the film? There isn’t one because it’s Baywatch. Although it tries to follow in the footsteps of Fast and Furious where silly humor and gut action lead the way but there's a big difference between the two. In Fast and Furious It's funny because the characters are trying to be serious rather than trying too hard to be funny, there are a certain flow and easiness to the humor. In Baywatch, the characters act like and appear to be a ridiculous comedy where at any moment they’ll either wink at the camera or start narrating to the audience (like in, Robin Hood: Men in Tights). In addition, since this is a reboot of the TV show then there is bound to be at least one (in this case two) cameo of David Hasselhoff. The cameo was a bit cheesy but at the same time it fit in with how the rest of the movie was going.

     Overall, Baywatch is an entertaining, shallow comedic, and sometimes clever film with actors that are used more for their looks than their brains. If you can overlook the crude jokes, sexual innuendos, and one particular scene of nudity then I believe that you will this film to be just as entertaining. If Baywatch (2017) decides to do a sequel then they are going to have to really focus more on witty humor and less on sexual innuendos, as well as finding the right tone or perfect niche. You won’t exactly be wasting your money on this movie if you choose to see it in theaters but I do recommend that viewers wait until this movie comes out on Netflix or Redbox.

“Am I the only who thinks this is clearly a job for the police?”
- Matt Brody

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  2.9 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Baywatch (2017).

Movies Similar 
21 Jump Street (2012)
22 Jump Street (2014)
23 Jump Street (2017)
Chips (2016)
Central Intelligence (2016)
Get Smart (2008)
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)
The Other Guys (2010)
We Are Your Friends (2015)
War Dogs (2016)

Cast & Crew
Directed by: Seth Gordon

Writing Credits:
(Screenplay) Damian Shannon and Mark Swift.

Produced by:
Ali Bell                       ---   executive producer
Michael Berk            ---   producer
Michele Berk            ---   executive producer
Gregory J. Bonann   ---   producer
David Ellison            ---   executive producer
Beau Flynn               ---   producer
Dany Garcia              ---   executive producer
Hiram Garcia            ---   co-producer
Dana Goldberg         ---   executive producer
Don Granger             ---   executive producer
Dwayne Johnson      ---   producer
Joe Medjuck             ---   executive producer
Tom Pollock              ---   producer
Ivan Reitman           ---   producer
Mary Rohlich            ---   executive producer
Louise Rosner          ---   executive producer
Eli Roth                     ---   co-producer
Douglas Schwartz    ---   producer

Alexandra Daddario               ---   Summer Quinn
Dwayne Johnson                     ---   Mitch Buchanan
Pamela Anderson                     
Zac Efron                                   ---   Matt Brody
Kelly Rohrbach                        ---   C.J. Parker
Priyanka Chopra                     ---   Victoria Leeds
Ilfenesh Hadera                      ---   Stephanie Holden
Charlotte McKinney                
Ana Flavia Gavlak                   ---   Lifeguard
Angelique Kenney                   ---   Surfer beach babe
David Hasselhoff                     
Brandon Larracuente            ---   Skateboarder #1
Hannibal Buress                       
Izabel Goulart                           
Oscar Nuñez                             ---   Councilman Rodriguez
Rob Huebel                               ---   Captain Thorpe
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II         ---   Sgt. Ellerbee
Maegan Vogel                           ---   Bikini Model
Jon Bass                                     ---   Ronnie
Haviland Stillwell                    ---   Allegre

May 26, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides (2011) --- "The Strangest Tide We Have Been On So Far..."

Plot Summary
Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past (Cruz), and he's not sure if it's love -- or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.
- Written by Walt Disney Pictures 


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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC): On Stranger Tides does have a point to the story but it does suffer a bit. The plot was good but some of the plot lines or one-liners were not up to par in comparison to the first three installments. Perhaps it is because the writers borrowed far too much information and ideas from the novel, the pace and theme being far different from the POTC franchise. They failed to understand that what made The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) – and the following two films – great was the fact that the plot was simply, simple. Aside from all this, the film was still entertaining to watch and the theme was good; following a variety of people searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth.

May 24, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007) --- "Is The End Of World Near? And Is Saving A Loved One Worth Being Separated From Them For 10 Years?"

Plot Summary
After losing Jack Sparrow to the locker of Davy Jones, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swan, and Captain Barbossa make their final alliances with the pirate world to take on the forces of Lord Cutler Beckett and his crew, including Davy Jones, who he now has control over. It's not going to be easy, as they must rescue Sparrow, convince all the pirate lords to join them and defeats Beckett, whilst each individual pirate has their own route which they wish to follow. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     A great film trilogies/series is a rare thing, especially when it has proven to be difficult to carry the same quality throughout the series – Star Wars and Lord of the Rings being rare exceptions. Most trilogies/series have one film that is way below standards – Indiana Jones for example – while some start off on bad note – like Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief (2010). An even bigger rarity is when the third film, in a trilogy, surpasses the previous two. At World's End is up to the standards, if not better, than the original. Now while the beginning of this movie was gloomy, much gloomier audiences could have imagined, it was refreshing to see a Disney movie that did not follow the standards of a Disney movie, filled with rainbows and bunnies. Perhaps one of the most outstanding aspects of the film is that it manages to be both dark and funny; one could even say it is so out of the entire series. I did not laugh as hard in the previous two films as I did in this one. However, I will state that in order for viewers to understand and enjoy this film, they must have a good sense of observation and a small measure of intelligence.

May 22, 2017

Deepwater Horizon (2016) --- "Oil Rig + The Ocean = A Big Spill."

Plot Summary
On April 20, 2010, the United States experienced the single largest oil spill in the history of the industry when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico. 87 days later it was finally capped; after causing billions of dollars in property damage, claiming 11 lives, and making an immeasurable impact on the environment. This film follows Chief Electronics Technician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) and his colleagues on that fateful day as they find themselves fighting for survival. As the heat and the flames become stifling and overwhelming, everyone must band together, using their wits to make it out alive amid all the chaos.

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Not many filmmakers manage to tap into real-life events and adapt them admirable to film, effectively balancing true accuracy and gripping emotions. Director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Friday Night Lights) is one of those rare filmmakers – including Clint Eastwood (Sully), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge, The Passion of the Christ), and Martin Scorsese (Silence) – and in Deepwater Horizon he delivers an action-packed blockbuster and an honest depiction of the worst oil disaster in U.S. history; about the BP oil rig that exploded and contaminated the Gulf of Mexico. Deepwater Horizon further expands Berg’s ambitious gift in adapting terrifying events to film in a way that shines diligent with realism and offers a respectful tribute to the men and women who either suffered or lost their lives in this tragedy. Berg directs the sequence of events by making smart choices in story flow, creating possibly the most immersive disaster in cinema history, and avoids preaching environmental messages or regurgitating on tired disaster clichés and artificial sentimentality.

May 19, 2017

A Space Between Us (2017) --- "Apparently Being Born On Mars Makes Vacationing On Earth A Challenge."

Plot Summary
 In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet - never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot - an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he's never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he's eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars - from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner's organs can't withstand Earth's atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team of scientists and joins with Tulsa on a race against time to unravel the mysteries of how he came to be, and where he belongs in the universe.
- Written by STX Entertainment

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
      The Space Between Us is a well-written sci-fi teen romance about outcasts with the touch of a love story. Since Gardner’s habitat on Mars only stretches a few square miles he decided to turn to the internet where he meets Tulsa (Britt Robertson); a foster kid that’s a bit rough around the edges and continually stuck with crappy foster parents. When Gardner is granted his wish to go to Earth, Tulsa agrees to help him find the father who he believes doesn't know he existed.

May 17, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) --- "Fast Conversations, Magic Dreams, and Epic Fight Scenes. Everything You Could Want In An Heavily British Film."

Plot Summary
Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not.
- Written by Warner Bros. 


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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a cross between Lord of the Rings and Kingdom of Heaven (minus the religion aspect). Since this is a Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holms, The Man from U.N.C.L.E) film viewers can expect and adventure centered around a boat load of stylized fighting and the occasional addition of important dialogue. Ritchie uses techniques reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes – descriptive montage and antiquated jokes, the former tending to be mind reeling and the later being historically distracting.