Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (3D) – Jack Sparrow and Barbossa set sail for the Fountain of youth, but have to outrun Blackbeard and the Spanish. The story gets from A-Z coherently enough, but clunks from segment to segment, with very little flow. Being the 4th film in the series, the old-fashioned adventure feel of the original is all but gone – drowned out by big/loud CGI. The one thing that does remain impressive is the original score, which is about the only fully effective aspect of the film’s components. Cast-wise, the mammoth franchise reels in some equally big names, and while they all earn their money you get the feeling that they’re nobody’s really trying any more – there’s also the most gratuitous Cruz cleavage since Volver. The 3D’s pretty sharp & impressive, and more subtle than other recent flicks. In the end, Pirates 4 is passable, but not much more than a quite boring, overlong money spinning, summer blockbuster.
The King’s Speech: after becoming King by default George VI must overcome a vicious stammer and his fear of public speaking. I was really looking forward to writing up an “It’s not perfect” review, but read Colin’s one at (Pick ‘n’ Mix Flix) covers all my points and reads better too – I feel redundant! Anyway, here goes… I can’t believe all the hype is focused on Firth when Rush absolutely blows him – and everyone else – out the water; his performance is criminally overlooked and under-publicised. Not to take anything away from Colin however, as he was still really good. Guy Pearce on the other hand easily walks away with worst actor in this picture. For such a grand, big film it seemed to lack a cinematic feel, landing in big budget TV territory for me (Hooper is a TV director after all). It was surprisingly funny given the somewhat mundane subject matter too. My biggest gripe was that this is 100% unashamedly Oscar bait, what with someone overcoming an affliction, an unlikely friendship, fly on the wall Royalty insight, and being an Historic piece… It’s a good film, but everything is way too safe and it plays to the crowd a little bit too much.
The Warrior’s Way: Seriously, $42M spent on a film that has ninjas, cowboys, guns, swords, circus freaks, dynamite… and it’s still this boring? With almost nothing physical to film +85% of the buildings, scenery, props and even people are CGI. Because of this it looks pretty dreadful and feels cheap. The trailer suggests a fun action-fest, yet there’s around an hour of awful character building – this is not the type of film in which I wish to invest in characters!! When the action finally rolls round it’s emotionless, over-styled, plagasised, dull, vague, and edited to within an inch of its life to preserve a 15 certificate. The main guy (Yang Dong-gun) is a total vacuum; with almost no lines he tries his best to convey mystery and enigma but ends up just looking confused. The Leading lady (Kate Bosworth) looked good, but was the human version of Jessie from Toy Story – down to the bad accent. The script is riddled with clichés, there’s corny narration, an unforgivable pseudo-Asian soundtrack, and a heap of ‘cutesy baby’ shots!? I can only
imagine hope this will be Sngmoo Lee’s first and last time behind a camera. I walked in to the cinema yearning to like this but there wasn’t a single scene where I thought “That’s original” or “That’s cool”. 100% stick to The Good, The Bad, The Weird as it’s not an Asian stereotype and actually has story, acting, exciting action, a proper ending, Even Sukiyaki‘s worth your time, but not this – ever…