Pirates of the Caribbean

F/X Oscar Nominations

SCI FI Wire has a list of the flicks nominated for a best F/X Oscar, and I just cannot help but think this was not the best year for SF movies.

Out of the Running

I have to be up front and say that these these films are out of the running because I either have not seen them or do not plan to see them.

  • The Bourne Ultimatum

I liked the first one didn't like the second one,this one is on my Netflix list.

  • I Am Legend

I have a general rule that I will not see in the theater any film starring Will Smith that is based on a book that I like. Even though I like Will Smith, very few good things come from this combination. I may rent it.

  • 300

I liked the comic and have been told that this film will disappoint me more than Doom did, so on advice of friends, I have not seen this one either.

So I am limiting my discussion to the films I have actually seen.

51kAGAPJL0L._SL210_Evan Almighty

Good film, but the F/X were anything but spectacular. They are like the film itself, worthy of cable television, but not up to the standard I expect in a feature film. This is the "man gets hit in groin by football" nomination, except it wasn't a football it was a dog.

The only major effect I can remember is at the end of the film and it brought the story to a proper climax, but is failed to wow me. It felt like something I had seen before, and to me, that is a not Oscar worthy.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

61VqjwC27LL._SL210_The F/X in this flick were extraordinary, but again, they did not wow me. I may have been distracted by Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, and that might have caused me to miss things that I ordinarily might not have.

The biggest thing that this movie has against it in the race for the best effects is that I saw them all in the last two Pirates movies. They were all cutting edge the last time I saw them, but not in this film. I am not sure why it was nominated other than its popularity. That said. I think it deserves the prize more than Evan Almighty.

poster_01 The Golden Compass

This was probably the best fantasy film of the year, and it has some of the best special effects I have seen in a long time. The artistic style they chose for the film worked well and stayed consistent throughout the film, but at no point did I feel they were real.

The Golden Compass felt more like animated film than a live action film. This is the films only real flaw, and the only thing that keeps me from saying it should be the winner. I am if it were not for the successful integration of the actors into this film I would have to object to it being on the list.

Transformers

51xbz6iJJ9L._SL210_ I know what you are thinking, "How could you say that Transformer is worth and Oscar?"

But of all the films on the list, this is the only one that made me believe that the impossible was possible. The robots feel real, and not added to the picture. I have to say even with all of Michael Bay's nauseating jitter cam, the combat and the machines still, what was the magic word?? They wowed me.

I doubt it will win, but of the nominees, The Transformers should win the award.

Review of Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End

61ha9vz6hDL._SL210_This is a wonderful tale much in the spirit of one that would have been told in a sea side pub late in the evening during a round of drinks. Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End is a swashbuckling action adventure fantasy tale and the third in a series. The East India Trade Company under the lead of Lord Cutler Beckett has set out to rid the seas of any pirates. He takes a ruthless approach of total eradication with no mercy for even those who harbor pirates and even goes to the point of hanging a child. This time though Lord Beckett is succeeding where others have failed because he has the heart of Davy Jones and thus command of the Flying Dutchman. With this threat of total annihilation the song of the pirates has been sung and all of the pirate lords must convene a council to decide what to do. I found this film to be incredibly fun and will give it a 9 out of 10

I herd a lot of complaints from other reviews of the film that every character had a plot and it muddled the movie but I would have to disagree. There was really only one plot which was the struggle of all pirates for survival against the East India Trade Company. There are also only two sub plots that being the sub plot of the sea goddess Calypso trying to get free from her imprisonment, and Will Turner trying to free his father from the Flying Dutchman. That being said there is still confusion.

th-p2 The confusion arises because the writers were ambitious with the themes of the movie and they were successful in permeating those themes throughout every aspect of the tale. They were also ambitious by giving many characters a lot of depth and allowing them to act naturally instead of leaving that depth out of the tale.

Problem one, the themes of the movie are what does one desire most, duty and honor, in particular honor amongst thieves. In the normal tales that we are exposed to there are usually only a hand full of desires which are shared amongst the characters in the tale. In this film there are many characters each with their own individual desire and each character acts for their own goal. This lends a chaotic feel to the film because it can at times be difficult to sort out each characters desire but I also found this to be fun because of the complex level of intrigue that arouse out of the complex struggle. This complex pile of individual ambitions was also the key to understanding the other theme honor amongst thieves. Part way into the film you are hit with the terrifying reality that no one can trust anyone else but the hidden message is that you can trust in another to act in a predictable manner to achieve what they desire most and thus can trust only in ones ability to discern everyone's else's desire.

Problem two, every main character, and there are many in this tale, has a desire, a goal and acts accordingly. Because every character has their own goal the tales appears chaotic but I found this actually gives a fun undercurrent to the tale. Once you learn what each character desires most their actions and ambition become predictable and make since. Though I commend and applaud the writers for such an ambitious move it is also why many said that everyone had their own plot for they confused a characters desires and actions to meet those desires with plot.

All in all this was a great action packed tale with tons of exciting fight scenes which were broken with moment of hilarity due to comedic relief from Captain Barbossa two sidekicks, from the monkey Jack, and from the parrot that belongs to the mute that serves on the crew of Captain Jack Sparrow.

I gave this movie a high review mainly because watching it was a fun and exciting experience and that experience was able to move beyond the complex themes and cheesy parts. A great example was the wedding scene which even though I was repulsed by it because it was over the top I still have to tip my hat at it because everything else aside it was still a fun and exciting scene. Kudos!

You can get Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End from: Amazon Two-Disc Collector's Edition, Amazon Widescreen Edition, Amazon Blu-ray, iTunes Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Amazon Digital Download,