Friday, May 25, 2007

Reviews Beware - It's Rant Time!

It's Pirates 3 weekend and the kids are literally chomping at the bit to see what happens to Captain Jack and the crew next. They have been running around the house, all hyper (two plates and one cup down) and ready for the weekend. Even me and Mrs G. are quite looking forward to it. However, I have to say that I always find my enjoyment of these things marred by my nemesis... the film critic. I know, I should just look away. Turn the page in the newspaper. Walk on by and let them do their job. But I can't. They just make my blood boil.

I've never really forgiven them for the condemnation of Pirates 2. You see, I quite liked it. The kids LOVED it. We watch it on DVD pretty regularly, probably more than Pirates 1. However, it is universally condemned as being too complicated, too slow and coming to an abrupt end with no conclusion.

Hello? Are we all a little too young or too cool to recognise a direct Empire Strikes Back rip off?

To summarise, Will Turner is Luke Skywalker (common lad drawn into adventure by beautiful woman with a hidden (pirating) past). Elizabeth Swan is Princess Leia (aristo lass in love triangle and not afraid of a fight). Captain Jack is Han Solo (swashbuckling buffoon with a heart of gold, in the end.). Barbaosa is Lando Calrissian (Former owner of ship, appears at the end of the second film to fly... sorry, captain it). The First Mate is Chewbacca. The comedy pirate duo (the bloke from the office) are R2D2 and C3P0. The guy from the East India Company is the Emperor, Davy Jones is Darth Vader, Jack Davenport's English officer is Boba Fett and the Voodoo Momma woman is friggin' Yoda!!

Put it this way - if P3 doesn't have Ewoks, I will be mightily disappointed! Criticising Pirates 2 for not having a conclusive ending is like pulling the various Harry Potter movies apart because the scamp hasn't graduated, boned Hermione and WTFPWNd Voldemort at the end of each one! They are set-ups, cliffhangers, steps through a larger story. A long winded throwback to the old days when every weekend kids would see the Flash Gordon cliffhanger at the flea pit theatre on the corner.

No, they are not arty. No they do not tackle subjects like a orphaned half Liberian victim of dissentry trying to make their way in life as a plumber in darkest Kyoto, through the lens of a passing caterpillar (which, btw, is apparently the touchstone for a five-star review in Metro). And yes, they do use .... CGI!!

Now, here's a thing. Did I miss a memo? When has the use of CGI suddenly become a heinous sin, contributing, apparently, to the downfall of the worlds eco-system, racial tensions in sub-saharan Africa and the lamentable state of Newcastle's defence? Some of us were talking recently about the propensity of films nowadays to do 'real time' superfast action scenes (eg the Transformers Yahoo trailer) which make it very difficult to see whats happening. We realised that 'bullet time' had become almost extinct as a photography method now because of over-use. However sometimes a little bit of slow-mo is a good thing. Similarly, you simply CANNOT film a massive fleet on fleet battle of crusty, fantasy ships blowing seven colours of crap out of each other without the aid of the computer. Well you could, but it would either look dreadful or cost an even more obscene amount of money.

All of this leads me to my final rant, to the editors of these drivelling pieces of shite called reviews. Please PLEASE stop sending arts critics to summer blockbusters?! Please PLEASE stop sending people who have no children along to see animated movies aimed at .... kids! It hurts me, physically, when I see what is probably a perfectly decent movie being shredded in the papers by somebody who appears to have a marking scheme of 'I start at Citizen Kane and work down....'. Indeed, I wonder if anyone can truly enjoy a film if they have been sent to find holes in it and write something interesting about it - we all know that bad news sells better than good. No incentive to like things too often.

Right. Sated. Phew.



Anonymous said...

I can agree with you about reviews, in that at times they seem to have the up front criteria wrong.

At the same time though, the second Pirates movie was pants. Looking forward to the third one though.


Anonymous said...

If you didn't like the second I can't see you liking the third. I thoroughly enjoyed both.


Vodkashok said...

I believe the Family Gow may be having a Pirate Day on Sunday. Starting early in the morning with P1 and P2 and then a Pirates Tea and then P3. GHAAAAAARR!!!!!!

Oh the excesses that having kids allows a grown man!


Anonymous said...

Possibly. It depends on what I didn't like about the second doesn't it?

I thought the first one was brillaint, so you never know.


Anonymous said...

The second and third are essentially the same film cut in half. Albeit the third is weirder.

Matt said...

You need kids? I have Pirate day when training at work. It's a scream!