Friday, May 25, 2007

Shrek 3 & Pirates 3

Yep! We went to see them both! Yesterday they had a special deal on tickets - 3.00 off per person all times & shows! Since they applied it even to Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End it was definitely the day to work both in. I have never seen a premiere showing of a big movie on sale before.

If the theater was trying to offset the penny-pinching effect of the gas prices with this deal - they succeeded! Movie lines were out the door - especially for Pirates 3. We ended up standing next to the costumed group while waiting to go back in for the premiere. I was next to Cap'n Jack heh heh. We got decent seats too!

Both movies were great fun.

Shrek 3 kept my respect by remembering where the characters were when Shrek 2 left off, and not retreading old ground. It was great to see the relationships progressing in their amusingly surreal fashion. Shrek & Fiona were now confident with each other as a trusted spouses. Puss in boots & Donkey are beginning to get along.

Donkey loves being a father. Loved how they played Merlin. 'A hug is the best magic. Want one?' (because he didn't want to use his abilities) LOL

The only glaring flaw was in the ladies in waiting/shower scene. The movie series seems to be forgetting that Cinderella & Snow White are supposed to be happily married - presumably having families of their own? It is definitely a flaw to have the wicked stepmother hanging in the bar from the ending of Snow White's story - with Snow White awake - and dwarf friends -but no husband around. hhmm... (They didn't imply anything stupid had happened. They just didn't cover it.) That said, when they ladies finally decided to break bad on the invaders, they were hoot! Overall Shrek 3 manages to be just what you want when a really good sequel ends - another visit with your favorite characters right where you left them. It was like reading the next chapter of a decent humor-fantasy book. Excellent continuity. Much improved CG work. Full marks from us! :-D

Then it was time for a different journey.

We read the reviews on Pirates 3 before leaving home, so we were prepared for a darker, wilder, complicated CG-enhanced experience - & for more Monkey Island touches. The first part was there in spades. The special effects were amazing! Didn't see as many MI ripoffs tributes this time. Didn't know whether to be sad or glad for that. The most Monkey Island aspect of the whole film was the fact that concentrated ship battles are in part 3 of the games & that the voodoo lady is once again a big part of the story. ...okay, and the main villain was easily as mean as Ozzie Mandrill & had a similar goal of putting an end to the small pirates. (when, oh, when are they going to directly point out the piratical tendencies of those old 'official' organizations? Its not like anybody much knows who they became, is it?) That bureaucratic head honcho seemed far more evil by the end of things than Davy Jones himself. I guess they just couldn't work in the attack duck. Too bad. I would have liked to have sicced it on the bad guy ;-)

As it was, the MUCH more original, extremely complicated script had all it could handle trying to close loose ends and make sense of off-hand comments from the first two films. The movie was nearly 3 hours long. The reviewer felt that was too long. I didn't. Anything shorter would have been unsatisfying with so much material to go over. Could have been cheerier without hurting things imho. There was too much 'rise of Mordor' for my taste. Not every movie needs such overwhelmingly bad odds to make things interesting! This series did fine with a smaller scale of events imho. It was good to think Jack had somewhere else to go in the world. I hope they will lighten up on this aspect. At times the feel was positively soap opera-ish. (for ex: Elizabeth's rapid rise to ultimate pirate power was ridiculous!) PoC would have done better to have avoided going there so often, but it was still fairly well-written, twisty, fun journey into the impossible (with frequent sidetrips to the improbable.) There were still quite a few humorous moments & you enjoyed them all the more for the relief they gave. Performances were quite good given the over-the-top script they had.

The end sure was a surprise - as was the voodoo lady's motivation for bringing Barbossa back, but I won't spoil it for you. I am still disappointed in the decision to make Will & Elizabeth less honorable characters as the series went on, pirates or no, but at least Captain Jack, Barbossa, & Norrington came up a bit, which gives hope for any further installments. & They were wise enough to protect most of our favorite 'second string' characters. (this includes: the goofy former-zombie pirates, the mate Gibbs, the midget, the monkey Jack, the guy with the parrot, the dog with keys, the silly soldiers Jack Sparrow outwits in Pirates 1...) I will tell you that now so you can have some confidence when you see all the 'long-range' carnage.

Speaking of which -- the gore in Pirates of the Caribbean 3: World's End was actually restrained for most of the movie. People get pierced by swords, hung, blown across the screen by cannon fire and more - but the bloodshed & bits were very limited - until the last 30 mins or so - especially after Davy Jones gets 'free' -- the death of the villain's right-hand man was particularly bad. I kept looking away and still saw far more than I wanted to!

Oddly, I didn't find Pirates 3 quite as grim overall as part 2 (PoC:Dead Man's Chest). Maybe because I was expecting it this go round? PoC:AWE was a worthy effort, but I hope they make a lighter movie next time.

Hey, want to see some real pirate-era maps of the Caribbean?

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