July 17, 2006

Also, if you must rip off a James Bond movie, don't make it the worst one ever


Based on the sinking box office numbers, it's probably safe to assume that if you haven't seen Superman Returns yet, you're not going to. I'm one of the few people who saw it after opening weekend, so this warning is coming a little late, but please: avoid this stinking hunk of craptonite [hat tip Jake]. Somehow the critics were largely suckered into thinking that slow and boring equals thoughtful and grown-up, but in this case, nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, it's not as bad as the the painfully frenetic Fantastic Four — possibly the all-time worst comic book movie — if only because you won't actually leave with a headache, but Superman -- well, I was about to say it fails on every level, but it doesn't even try hard enough on any level to actually fail. Is it an homage to comic books? To the 70s movies? A love story? A social commentary? A Christ allegory? An action movie? A comedy? It just sort of throws out elements of all of those and then lets them sit there lifelessly. They shoulda called it Stuporman. No wait, Pooperman. Um, Superscam...

So tell me, trusted readers. Do I need to see that pirate movie? I liked the first one quite a bit, but from the moment I heard that the plan for the sequel was to make the comic relief the main character, I've been suspecting nothing but the worst, box office records be damned.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Big, extravagant, more of a setup -- which isn't saying much -- but much, much less of a punch than Superman. Not boring, exactly, but long and you feel the length. Bigger plot holes, even if it seems more intricately plotted. If you liked the first Pirates, you might enjoy this one; there's no question it's a worse movie, but they do bring back, oh, every character from the first one, and the general feel of the movie is the same. Artistically shot in black and blue, that sort of thing. And it can be enjoyable to watch. But then, I also thought Superman was enjoyable to watch. I don't regret having seen either movie -- they were nice nights out with friends.

Maybe this is a better way to put it: Austin Powers is one of my favorite movies ever. Hilarious. And Austin Powers 2 was unquestionably worse, a total ripoff of AP1, but you know what? The first one was good enough that a diminished ripoff of it still wasn't bad. If you liked Pirates 1 enough that you think the same dynamic would apply, by all means see this movie. You'll have some gripes about it, but it still might be a nice night out.

I've been tempted to chain myself to the cineplex doors to keep people from seeing Pirates 2. It's one of the dreariest movies I've ever seen in a theater; I was depressed afterwards. (Okay: I was depressed beforehand as well.) Now: I'll concede that it might be a little bit better than Congo. (remember Congo?) On the other hand, Pirates 2 doesn't have midgets in monkey suits, like Congo did. (Remember? The -- the midgets? And the monkey suits with the, the, the zippers visible in the back? No? This isn't ringing a bell?) Actually, the best point of reference is The Phantom Menace (or Attack of the Clones -- take your pick). And I love trashy blockbusters, by the way. I loved Cars, Mission Impossible 3, The Devil wears Prada, etc. The Pirates sequel isn't any kind of guilty pleasure or "mindless fun." It's cynical . . . unimaginative . . . and even the special effects look awful. So frickin' boring! God, I hate this movie.

Not boring, exactly, but long and you feel the length.

Now that you mention it, that's exactly why Routh got the job!

What's the emoticon for spit-take?

Maybe (and this is probably going to get mangled by the non-monospaced font):


Have to echo My Man Godfrey. Why do I live in a world in which I saw both of these wretched films? Saw the pirates while stranded in Amarillo, Tex. Aside from a few entertaining set-pieces, the whole thing was a long, boring, mess. I remember fretting to myself: I saw the first movie, why do I have no idea what in the world is going on here? Not funny, not entertaining, prompted much watch-inspecting.

Superman? One word. Blech. Further confirmed my belief that Superman is the most boringest superhero of all time ever.

And note to Hollywood producers: Isn't 2.5 hours a tad too long for disposable popcorn entertainments. Damn you, Peter Jackson!

Rent the first Pirates or catch it on TV somewhere. Then go to a matinee, but bring a magazine. After about an hour, wander into the theater. Don't pay any attention until Jack Davenport makes a wordly-wise comment to or aims a knowing look at one of the main characters. Throw in your favorite movie snack and you might make out alright.


not as good as my ex-super girlfriend. kind of fun.

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