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Author Topic: Just Saw "Pirates 3"
Greg B
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The amount of detail and design in these Pirates movies continues to amaze me.

The engineering, the sound, just astounding.

I'm not going to criticize this third outting as it's not as bad as the other two 'Thirds' big budget movies that came out in the past month.

It's just so spectacular in it's overall vision that the only, only critique I can give is it bounced around too much twixt comedy, drama, horror, romance. We spend so much time in one area we forget the multiple subplots going on so for most of the movie we kept going " Oh, yeah, that's right, that's also going on!".

Even though it bounces around so much the horror is HORROR, the suspense is SUSPENSE and so on.

There's actually some dang good filmmaking going on at the core which made this foray more like a cinema lesson.

Oh, Keith Richards is freakin' hilarious in this movie.

I do however see a big opportunity for Pirates 4...

Not a cliffhanger, just a big tease.

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Steve Schnier
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Listen, I love movies. Whenever I walk into the theater, I want to LOVE the movie I'm about to see. Having said that --

Two hours and forty five minutes of my life THAT I'D LIKE BACK!!!

First half hour was interesting - then WTF?
Not even a renter.
Be warned.

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Greg B
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BTW ya gotta watch the end credits to the end cause there's a teaser.

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Mr. Fun
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As always, I managed to find a way onto the set when they were filming "Pirates 3" on the Disney lot.

Sure wish I had been there the day they were filming Keith Richards.

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Steve Schnier
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quote:
BTW ya gotta watch the end credits to the end cause there's a teaser.
After Pirates 3, I don't think ANYTHING could tease me for Pirates 4. Lotsa luck!

Mr. Fun - the best thing about Pirates were the sets and costumes. Now THAT would have been a cool set to visit. Too bad about Keith - but he was under-utilized too.

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OFFBEAT
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I liked the first 2 pirates movies.. The 3rd one they just tried to cram too much stuff into it.

I was entertained enough to keep watching.. but I was directing in my head during the first pass.. which is a sign of a bad movie for me.

There wasn't a 'flow' to the story.
When you have a ton of 'money shots' into a movie.. then there are none.

If you take the Raiders of the Lost Ark, for example...

Every 15-20 minutes there's an action scene.. each scene more exciting than the previous one.

So.. if you were to number your action shots in the order of excitement 1-5

Pirates was more like 4-2-3-5-1

Casino Royale did that too. where the first couple of action scenes were more exciting than the finale.

When they do that, it's like riding a roller coaster backwards. Or it's like a roller coaster with 1 big drop, and then 200 feet of straight track with a couple of bumps.

I was a little let down.

Don't get me wrong.. A LOT of beautiful imagery.. great shots.. great action.. just no flow.

Oh.. and btw.. did we forget to mention Calypso? Oh yeah.. she's the most powerful character in the movie who was this character in the first two movies...

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Greg B
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It cost $300 million to make Pirates 3???

What the hell is costing so much to make movies nowadays? Spidey 3 cost $258 mill and Shrek 3 cost $160 mill????

By Cracky, I remember in MY day when a big budget movie cost $50 million and would bring in $400 million. Where's the profit margin with today's movies? I thought the CG special effects were supposed to lower the budgets??? Most actors work in green screen so what, the color green has gone up in market value to the tens of millions???

As for story, yes, it pales in comparison to #1 but so did #2. Maybe the novelty wore off and storytelling isn't Hollywood's forte'.

We have to realize that storytelling is the rarest of commodities in American entertainment. It used to be a staple but has fallen off over the decades. Story isn't important, agendas and propogandizing and advertising are.

Movies used to rely on acting and directing primarily. There used to be a time when good storytelling was common but so was bad acting.

I will never forget my first foray into comics. I was so concerned with style and this and that but the thing that got me hired was ability to tell a story. I had no idea how rare a commodity it was. To me, telling the story was a given not a challenge. I watched guys suffer through telling a story where to me it was a breeze. I chalked that up to just common sense. I was fortunate to have been exposed to great storytelling in various mediums from radio to comics to movies etc.

Pirates and Shrek and Spidey have momentum from their first movies. People don't have to work as hard to keep up the story quality. They can parlay the following films til eventually the fans will get pissed and then leave.

Pirates 3 would have made an easy $200 mill the four day weekend had the story been more entertaining. It was passing but the special effects and comedy carried it through.

btw, how come that chick Knightly's makeup stayed on throughout the movie and why did she and Bloom become the only people with brushed teeth?

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Greg B
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Oh yes, major blooper in the first scene of Pirates 3.

In the hanging scene they close up on the boy to be hanged. when he starts singing I noticed he too had rotten teeth like everyone else in the movie except Knightly and Bloom.

Then I noticed something else about this boy...

He's wearing braces! The makeup didn't cover up his braces. I'm sure pirates were to busy yo-ho-hoing on a dead man's chest to go to the nearest dentist and get high tech braces.

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Sketchpad
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What the hell is costing so much to make movies nowadays? Spidey 3 cost $258 mill and Shrek 3 cost $160 mill????

Maybe lack of a real story? [Wink] [Gary]

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SoleilSmile
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Pirates had a flow problem, but I still liked it. Captain Jack's personal hell of having the spend an eternity with himself was hilarious. Great intro to actor must of us came to see.

As for art direction and story sequences, I kinda like how they took a nod from The Adventures of the baron Munchausen, as a method of getting to the end of the earth.

As for potential teasers, if they are going to do Pirates 4, couldn't they have saved some of this material for that sequel? There were SO many subplots to tie up in this one! Save some of that for the 4th! Perhaps, there was no green light for a fourth chapter, since Hollywood is following the trilogy trend, and the director had to squish all of the story lines in the same chapter. Pity.

With so many subplots to cover, does anyone have the feeling that Harry Potter 7 is going to suffer the same fate as well?

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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quote:
Oh.. and btw.. did we forget to mention Calypso? Oh yeah.. she's the most powerful character in the movie who was this character in the first two movies...
For what it's worth, that character did not appear in the first movie. She got introduced in the second movie.

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rdelgado
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I thought that it was a mediocre ending to a trilogy with a cool first act. The singing bit was ridiculous, as was all of the hallucination scenes. The calypso thing took the whole story into a realm of silliness that compromised the tone completely. That thing should have been edited down by at least an hour.
Is that the best you can do with those characters? Will Turner's character plays out like the world's biggest chump. Davey Jones' character, who could have been a memorable villain on par with Darth Vader in Star Wars (1977) turns into a muddled mess of silly, chick-flick emotions. IS he villain or not? Barbossa was a villain in the first one , a good one, and now we're rooting for him? There's fun stuff to look at and excellent art direction, but I was bored halfway through. Keith Richard's bit was silly, contrived, and reeks of self-indulgence on the part of the film makers.

I'm sick of the whole 'the audience is looking for us to go in this direction, so let's surprise 'em!' sentiment. Just give me a good story that builds to a great ending. Three act storytelling structure! Is that too much to ask? Clear character arcs, with a fun twist or two. It's not that tough. Having said all that, the scene where the cast discovers Jonathan Pryce's character's death was cool and poignant. I just wish the rest of the movie would have been that.

Ricardo Delgado

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monkeydad
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I saw it yesterday. Not as bad as I expected or read. Standard summer movie fare. Probably won't own it though.

As a longtime Stones fan, I loved Keef's part, and I busted out laughing on the closeup of his skull ring. He's been wearing that thing for 30 years!

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SoleilSmile
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quote:
Having said all that, the scene where the cast discovers Jonathan Pryce's character's death was cool and poignant. I just wish the rest of the movie would have been that.
My heart cried like a baby at that scene. There just something about the love between a girl and her daddy.I also like how his death was not shown. Just the foreshadow and the result. He looked so lost too. Almost as if he never knew what hit him...

As for the Calypso subplot, I liked it but I was secretly hoping it would fail, because I have a similar goddess in my comic called Xiomara who rules the Bermuda Trianlge and Middle Passage and I did not want anyone to think I ripped her off of this film to be perfectly selfish. So, good. I'm glad it failed according to you Mr. Delgado.

Davy Jones, however, was never a villain to me. He had his heart broken and he needed to be healed on order to regain his humanity. He eventually became one with maelstrom he loved so much again and I can only wish for his happiness in his afterlife.

In terms of the "true villain" argument. Th true villain was Beckett and I don't think there are villains in the world of Pirates. We are supposed to sympathize with them anyway. They are all scalawags, so their world is all in shades of gray and therefore, they deserve the dirty tricks that they play on each other. The fun part is watching them get out of their predicaments!

Yo ho, me hearties. Yo ho!

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Greg B
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Another thing that confuse me was who was dead and who wasn't???

In the first movie if the moonlight hit a ghost you would see the ghoulish corpse. So was Sparrow dead or not? Who was a ghost or not?

It just got so jumbled it was more like "let's confuse people so they'll come back and buy another ticket" thingie.

The maelstrom scene is what attracts me. That was fun.

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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quote:
Who was a ghost or not?
The only character who still had the undead-curse from the first film was Jack the monkey.

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Patty B
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-I felt the whirlpool this was way too long.
-I liked the more transparent look of Davey Jones' skin from the second film.
-How did the giant octopus creature (can't think of the name right now) from #2 end up dead and how coincidental that the Black Pearl should land there for fresh water.
-Did Calypso truley love Davey Jones but wanted revenge in the end--why not just wipe him out with a water spout or something?
-Why all of a sudden Becket who seems cool as a cucumber just freezes up in disbelieve like that in the end? -Why didn't anyone take over from him and call a charge? It was anticlimactic to just see him walking around in a daze like that.
-The nine pieces of eight that really aren't pieces of eight but junky stuff--cool--but why then the pieces of eight we keep seeing.
--The young boy sings the song--"the song has been sung"--I didn't catch on to this until my man told me. I was wondering why Beckett said "finally" when he was told they starting to sing. I expected to see the barrel the boy was standing on go bouncing across the ground after he was hanged.
So now that they sang, is this why the govenor was no longer needed and killed? What was this thing they were talking about when discussing killing the govenor about needing a heart to replace Davey Jones'?
..........
You know what--I have to see the movie again to get some of these things straightened out.

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Greg B
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Patty B,

You've made my point exactly. You've gotta see the movie again to figure out what was what.

That's bad storytelling.

There are movies whose plots and dialogue etc. are so sound you don't need to see the movie twice or thrice. You get it the first time.

These movies usually get the honor of 'Best Picture'.

There's a good reason for that.

For example, "Gladiator". I don't need to see it twice to get what happened. "West Side Story" one of the greatest films ever made. No second guessing.

I reason that if you have a budget as huge as these movies nowadays, one could invest in something simple as telling a story.

It's what classics are made of.

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Patty B
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Oh yeah and...
--If the Chinese pirate was one of the pirate 9--how was it that he did not know that Elizabeth was not Calypso because it was the 9 that emprisonned her in a human's body.
I expected her to look TOTALLY different as Calypso than from her human form--maybe more mermaid like but then again she couldn't stand on the deck like that (haven't seen a 40 foot woman in a movie in a looong time!)
Crabs--they used that effect twice in the same movie.

Can someone tell us what the teaser is--I doubt we will be going back to see it. Does it have anything to do with tying up what Elizabeth is up to in the end since they didn't really wrap her up. Is she prego?

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Paka
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Yeah Patty, she had a son and the stinger scene consists of her and the boy ten years later, waiting on the shore as Dutchman cap'n daddy comes home to see them for a day. [Razz]
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Greg B
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I'm confused again. The period of the movies is the early to mid 1700s when piracy was in bloom?

If the teaser of Jack looking at the map of Ponce De Leon is an indicator could the group be headed for the Americas? Who knows what further adventures they'll come up with.

Bottom line for me is this movie had a monkey, monster, and explosions. That's 3 out of the top 5 of my movie making kudos list.

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rdelgado
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Greg B and Patty just made some great points about clarity. The third act is where all of the crisis/climax stuff is supposed to be settled, with a downward spike in intensity afterwards to examine everything. You walk out of GLADIATOR or ALIEN and all of you questions are answered. Look at the murder mystery story as an example, where somebody will sit in a room full of people and explain it all. Davey Jones does some pretty heinous things in these stories, and I must judge a character by his or her actions, not by what they say, and while Jones pined for love, he sure didn't mind sending sailors to their death, even when they were wearing a Christian talisman. That's a villain.

And again, I really felt the sniffing nose, the rock crabs, the multiple Sparrows and the pulling of the ship really stunk. The only reason that a scene needs to be in a story is to either further the story or develop the characters, and those scenes did neither.

Think about it, could you have cut all of that and still had the same story? I think so.

Having written all this, my son Ricky is eleven and loved it and thinks his dad is nuts.


Ricardo Delgado

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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quote:
-How did the giant octopus creature (can't think of the name right now) from #2 end up dead and how coincidental that the Black Pearl should land there for fresh water.
-Did Calypso truley love Davey Jones but wanted revenge in the end--why not just wipe him out with a water spout or something?
-Why all of a sudden Becket who seems cool as a cucumber just freezes up in disbelieve like that in the end? -Why didn't anyone take over from him and call a charge? It was anticlimactic to just see him walking around in a daze like that.
-The nine pieces of eight that really aren't pieces of eight but junky stuff--cool--but why then the pieces of eight we keep seeing.
--The young boy sings the song--"the song has been sung"--I didn't catch on to this until my man told me. I was wondering why Beckett said "finally" when he was told they starting to sing. I expected to see the barrel the boy was standing on go bouncing across the ground after he was hanged.
So now that they sang, is this why the govenor was no longer needed and killed? What was this thing they were talking about when discussing killing the govenor about needing a heart to replace Davey Jones'?

I saw the film Saturday night. Here's what I remember:

  • The Kraken's death: before the body is discovered by Our Heroes, there's a moment where Beckett visits Davy Jones to confirm that Davy understands who's boss. Beckett tells Davy, "I thought we made this clear when I had you kill your pet." That's when I knew ILM got spared the effort of delivering Kraken VFX for this picture.
  • Yes, Calypso both deeply loved Davy Jones and wanted to kick his ass after finding out he betrayed her. Calypso initially wanted revenge upon those who bound her in human form, but she never knew who told them how to pull off that trick. Right before she resumes her true form, Will Turner reminds her that someone tipped off the Pirate Lords on how to imprison her, and reveals that someone was Davy Jones -- that Davy Jones betrayed her. The next thing you know, the angry sea tries to kill both the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman by drawing them together and slamming them into each other.
  • I don't know why Beckett froze up. The only thing I can figure is that he's an inflexible thinker, incapable of thinking on his feet.
  • Someone did take over for Beckett and told everyone to abandon ship. By that point the ship was getting flanked on either side by two sets of cannons -- the ship was going down.
  • The pieces of eight: at one point Barbosa tosses a piece of eight at Chow Yun-Fat and intones: "The Song Has Been Sung." Chow holds the piece up to his ear and hears it sing an eerie tone. This scene occurred after the boy at the gallows turned a piece of eight in his hands and sang the tune that came out of Davy Jones' music box.

    From those two events, I conclude that the pieces of eight were a magical Emergency Broadcast System for pirates. Turn the piece of eight, sing the death-song, and hundreds of leagues away another pirate's piece of eight would go off with a ring, warning that pirate of dangerous times.
  • The governer revealed the motive for his death as he floated on past the Black Pearl -- "I discovered that if you stab the heart, you must take Davy Jones' place. It seems such a silly thing to die for..." I'm guessing the Powers That Be didn't want this bit of info getting around, so they killed the governer.

I'll probably go see Pirates 4 when it comes out. I like the characters. [Big Grin]

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Jessie
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Gladiator is NOT fantasy and Alien is Sci fi - these movies want to project some degree of realism in them and they've succeeeded. Pirates is fantasy so therefore, almost anything goes but, you're right-- the story still should be coherent. Return of the King is also fantasy yet, you can sort of follow what's going on. I go to these type of movies like Spiderman purely for enjoyment, I wouldn't really dissect the story as much. Since nothing made sense in the first place--- it'd be almost a "bonus" if they get the story/plot/characters right but, most often they don't…… too bad , Pirates 1 & 2 worked though!!!

Perhaps, there's a curse in Part 3 movies; Godfather 3, StarWars 3, Terminator 3, Matrix 3, X 3, etc….

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monkeydad
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A pirate curse? [Wink]

The Endeavour had three banks of cannons, rolled out and ready to fire, where the Pearl and the Dutchman had only one bank each. Had Beckett given the order to fire (or if his first officer had taken over sooner than he did), Endeavour would have made kindling of the other two ships. But that wouldn't have supported the story point they were trying to make, I suppose...

The pirate lords did trap Calypso in human form, but it wasn't necessarily THOSE pirate lords. Remember, the reason they went after Sparrow was because he hadn't passed on his "piece of eight" to a successor. Chow Yun Fat was a pirate lord, but he may not have been the one to participate in the Calypso trapping. Still, you'd think his predecessor would have passed on that little bit of important info...

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Greg B
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Sooo, is Jack Sparrow a ghost pirate or not?

What happened to the moonlight exposes the dead thingie?


Yes, some movies are just eye candy but to me it's a tragedy when so much time is involved in trying 'not' to tell a story. If you're not telling a story you're doing something else I don't want to say here.

Think of it using the 'Campfire Tales' analogy.

Think of a movie. Any movie. Then sit a few friends down and tell them the STORY of the movie, beginning/middle/end.

Could you do it and keep their interest? Did they ask umpteen questions breaking your narrative?

If so, you didn't tell the story good or you didn't have a story to tell.

In Africa there are men called Griots. Since the beginning of recorded time people like them had one job. Telling stories. The oral tradition continues to this day.

In Ireland you've got storytellers. Highly prized folks for their ability to spellbind an audience of tales of history, supernatural, hunting, romance.

You'll find similar folks in other cultures too.

That's a director's job. To tell that story, not 'almost' tell a story with strung together gags and scenes of things unrelated to the story's core.

At a minimum a movie nowadays should tell a great story.

When I want to hear a great story I tune into one of the old time radio programs that run the serials like The Shadow or something. Just brilliant stuff.

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rdelgado
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Whatever the genre, a story is a story and when I plunk down my hard-earned money I EXPECT to be treated to the best effort a studio can give me, and make no mistake about it, the studios want your money but many times are more concerned with getting the product out there than to care about the story itself. On another forum at this website I have lauded the new transformers trailer, but when I sit my butt down and the theater darkens, I EXPECT a well-told story for my money, and more improtantly, my time. The studio has employed 1500 people to make this picture, spent the sconomy of a third-world nation and crammed advertizing down our throat, then the least I can ask for is a well-told story with drama and emotional investment. I have been there when film makers have said, "Ahh, who cares? We'll open big!" and letting them off the hook by saying that you don't ask much of summer blackbusters is playing into their greedy hands. I was moved emotionally by the blockbusters in the late 70's and early '80's and still expect that for the price of my ducket.


Ricardo Delgado

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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quote:
On another forum at this website I have lauded the new transformers trailer, but when I sit my butt down and the theater darkens, I EXPECT a well-told story for my money, and more improtantly, my time.
Transformers is a Michael Bay movie. I expect kickass explosions and robots, but nothing more. If it does deliver a well-told story, though, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

If you're looking for good stories that came out in theaters recently, I strongly recommend Hot Fuzz and Pan's Labyrinth (now available on DVD). I also have high hopes for Paprika this weekend and Ratatouille this summer. I'm not expecting the same from Fantastic Four 2 and the other upcoming blockbusters, though.

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Patty B
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I love movies you have to think about and remember things and slow reveals and twists and turns---I really don't want a movie to just lay things out in front of me, not so much predictable but to leave hints everywhere is cool and even cooler when seen again and you catch all these points and hints.
I did initially enjoy the film except when I was taken out of it by wondering what it was that I got confused or mis-heard --there is soo much going on and I am sometimes guilty of writting the story ahead of the film in my head.
And I gotta say it is a beautiful looking movie.
In as much as I won't go to the movies to see this again I do know I will see it on DVD about a hundred times coz the kids just loved it--hangings , kissings and all.

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SoleilSmile
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This is a post I was supposed to send yesterday, but failed due to a network glich.
Anyhoo...

The filmmakers broke a rule of show it not say it.
At the sedond half of the forst act, Beckett monologued to Davy Jones stated that he made Davey "kill his pet".

Davey looked so hurt. You knew he was a puppet after that barb from Beckett. Davey is my favorite character after Captian Jack Sparrow, so I was paying close attention to all things concerning him.

Beckett in a daze. Becket had a false strength which relied on control. When he realized he lost control of the Flying Dutchman-the most powerful ship and force ( hat he knew of) in the sea, he knew his power had faded and his destruction was eminent. He was dazed because he was at a loss.

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monkeydad
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I'll second the Pan's Labyrinth recommendation. Not at all what I expected from the trailers, but completely engaging.
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Greg B
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rdelgado, my sentiments exactly.

It wasn't til I was first into the comics business that I realized how difficult it was for people in all mediums to just tell a story. I had always thought that was the easiest thing to do.

I used to have people and still do, beg me to do breakdowns for them for their comics. It was a total bowl over for me to find out I had a rare commodity that even many of my heroes in the business didn't possess. I pondered this for a while and noticed that most people can't think or apply their thinking in this regard. Having studied psychology in college I figured it had to do with just basic communication but other things come into play. Something on both a very basic level and advanced cognitive level. I even wrote my final psychology paper in college on it. Got a great mark for it if I recall.

There are two types of storytelling. Fact and fantasy. Making fiction seem like fact and making fact seem like fantasy. There are two targets, the ego/superego and the ID. The ego/supergo question and analyze. The ID only understands symbols and actions. You need to know both to balance or one overwhelms the other. You as the storyteller now has that power to let one or both into the picture.

Lack of storytelling is due to incompetence, laziness or outright attempts at control. Some directors have lots of 'mood' in their shots. So much mood you get sick of it after a while. Think of how a fine meal is prepared by a master chef. Sure peppers are fine but smother the desert in them?

I see this alot in the film students/film geeks turned filmmaker. They spend all day talking about such-n-such a shot and such-n-such an angle. Money shots. Things that elicit a known response. One can string alot of these together and get 'responses' but you're just tickling the caveman. ( great title for a book eh? )

That's what happens when you watch tv commercials. They control you to do something. Lazy way to do things instead of presenting what the product really does.

Ever see an old movie where the female lead is awash in gauze/vaseline on the lens to make her look beautiful? Sure it works once but every shot it gets tired. Some directors just don't think. They use so many techniques done by others without looking at 'why'. Cavemen behind the camera is what it is.

Dialogue does not a story make if you're using VISUAL mediums to tell a story. You must SHOW it to some degree like a fluidity or the unconscious or conscious mind has to fill it in and you lose continuity. Sometimes it's good to have the mind fill things in like when a Hitchcock movie does. He got away with terrifying 3 generations of people and still does with mere suggestion! Your imagination can never be equalled to scaring you with special effects. We designers can get your attention but what you do with it is something no one can best.

So when you see a major film that can't tell a story realize you're in one of two dilemmas:

1.) Someone incompetent is at the helm and you're getting ripped off for your hard earned dollar.

2.) Someone is trying to hypnotize you to do or agree to something you normally wouldn't.

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rdelgado
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With regard to Transformers: I do not back off of my previous statements. I thought the trailer was great, but my expectations are high anytime I go into a theater, and I will go into that screening expecting a top-notch experience, of which the main component is story. I have not seen a Michale Bay film since the wretched one he made about the comet hitting the Earth, but I like giant robots enough to go see it, yet I still want to see a solidly told yarn because, in theory, these are professionals, and if you go in just for a laugh, that's when the slimy producer or film executive wins, because your standards will match his or hers.

I worked on a mediocre film called Star Trek-First Contact, which upon reading the script labeled as a rip-off of ALIENS, and in a production meeting one of the producers asked for a spheric design for the new Borg ship. WHen said sketch was produced and a comment was made that it looked a little likethe Death Star, he casually said that no one would remember that picture. So as soon as our standards drop, then the garbage that is supposed to pass as summer fare will drop in their standards even more.
Check this list out:
Jaws (1975)
Star Wars (1977)
Superman-the Movie (1978)
Alien (1979)
Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Return of the Jedi (1982)

The weakest link in that chain is the last film, and even that picture looks like Shakespeare compared to Revenge of the Clone Phantom Sith or whatever those pictures were.

All I ask is that I be taken somewhere I've never been, and moved emotionally. That's all I want from a summer film, and to a large degree, I am no longer moved when I watch these things.

I just spent waaay to much time on this post, but I've worked on some of these pieces of recent garbage and I get pissed when the reason I got into this business are given a free pass by easily-impressed consumers.


Ricardo Delgado

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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quote:
Check this list out:
Jaws (1975)
Star Wars (1977)
Superman-the Movie (1978)
Alien (1979)
Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Return of the Jedi (1982)

You list the cream of the crop, the wonderful films that people actually remember decades after they were made.

Those were not the only films released between 1975 and 1982, however. A lot of other films got released between 1975 and 1982, too, but no one remembers them.

Anyone here remember Damnation Alley (1977)? Fox had hoped it would do better than that other sci-fi movie on its release list that year -- Star Wars.

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Matt Wilson
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I really enjoyed the film and thought it was the best of the 3. All of the betrayals, backstabs, epic pirate fights... it actually felt like there was pirating going on in the midst of all the supernatural hocus pocus. The final fight was massive and I was just really fascinated by the whole thing. I don't think there's anything I would change about the movie -- and I realize my opinion is different on a lot of things, but I felt the film was perfect, and enormously better than the mediocre second film.
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Jessie
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Yeah, that's the spirit! Some people are just hard to please. Those above mentioned movies; Jaws and the lot ... when I watch them on tv now, I'm not that much impressed in them visually anymore. They felt good in the visceral sense but, the puppets (or muppets), the glass shots, rear projection, cheesy efx, makeup, webs, etc.. almost everything looked outdated, and the pacing were so slow!... nevertheless, they're still great movies! It's really the story, the character acting that glued them and set them apart.


Today, it's the reverse-- 99 percent FX-- story-- non existent to nil.

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Greg B
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Look, the best storytellers in movies and comics are two Japanese men.

Akira Kurosawa and Dr. Osamu Tezuka. I grew up on their works. They're the few visual storytellers that you can turn down the sound and watch and get the power and emotion and story without further explanation.

The Adventures of Tin Tin by Herge' is another example. Just superb.

Need I mention Asterix the Gaul? I used to read those stories when they were in French and I was taking French class. I got the stories even though I didn't know how to fully read French at the time.

Don't even get me started on Moebius or Barry Windsor-Smith's works.

These people know how to get the message across without pretense and never talk down to the audience. These people understand people.

Now when it comes to movies,

West Side Story
Maltese Falcon
On The Waterfront
Psycho
African Queen
Metropolis

Anything from Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont and the Twilight Zone crew.

I could go on and on. Classic is a title of great honor meaning a work that transcends time. A story worth telling again and again. Now that's what it's about!

Pirates 3 was fun to look at and seeing the cast again as they're actors we enjoy. That Geoffrey Rush never ceases to amaze me. Naomie Harris just blew me away with her performance too.

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Steve Schnier
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Damnation Alley? I loved that hunk of junk. What a load of crappy fun! Bad FX. Crappy story. Lousy acting.

But it had THE LANDMASTER!!! And nothing beats THE LANDMASTER - which was kinda like a Winnebago with extra wheels.

Now THAT was a flick!

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SoleilSmile
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I watched JAWS a few weeks ago and I thought it was a darn good movie. I watched it for story breakdown as mentioned in the book Making a Good Script Great by Linda Segar.


I wasn't watching it for the shark anymore. I was watching it for the characters. Good acting and story hands down in my opinion.

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Greg B
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Yes, Spielberg knows the basics of storytelling. That's why he's been so successful. He knows what to do and why to do it. He could make a movie about snot running down your nose and it would be entertaining.

I remember as a kid watching an ABC Movie of the Week if I recall. It starred Dennis Weaver as a driver being chased by a truck. It was tense, thrilling and all around entertaining. Folks talked about it the next day. I remember seeing that surname Spielberg and wondering if he was one of the guys from the neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan.

He had what it takes then and now. Sure he's made some big blunders in some of his recent stuff. Sometimes it looks like he slept through the directing. Whenever he's passionate it shows.

Close Encounters is a masterpiece. Schindler's List is brilliant. Time will tell if it's a masterpiece. It should be as it's a brilliant and moving story. I can't watch it twice. That's my biggest tribute. A movie so powerful that you get it the first time and it doesn't let you go. I'll never forget Schindler's List.

There are so many, so many fine works of storytelling in films I can't begin. Unfortunately the majority of them are prior to 25 years ago. Sorta like what happened to country movies and newspapers, the industries got whored out.

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