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Ahhh...I finally finished reading through the 14 Pirates-related LJ reviews I had stored up.  On the whole, they're disappointingly...kind of anti-Will/Elizabeth, which makes me a little sad.  Because they're -- they're -- !! *flails wordlessly and points to icon* SO MUCH LOVE.

More importantly, I finished MY review, in convenient bullet-point form.  FYI, it's not really in chronological order, as my memory sucks as far as timelines are concerned.

'The Good
  • Given what a frightening and slightly pervy creep he was in the first movie, I was amused to no end by Barbossa's almost fatherly attitude towards Elizabeth this time around.  
  • I highly approve of Will in the...whatever the you call the wooden yoke thing, especially after being submerged underwater.  As always, you are welcome to smack young Mr. Turner around all you like, so long as you don't go all the way to killling him.  (I will come back to this.)
  • Jack the monkey, and Cotton's parrot, setting off the firecrackers was hilarity to the first degree.
  • Addressing of the Turner/Swann drama left over from last movie: Part of me is slightly annoyed by how indignant Elizabeth sounds when she realizes, "You thought I loved him."   She did have some measure of attraction to Jack going on in DMC, and besides, Elizabeth has kind of a history of running from fiances towards the glamor of pirates, and especially when she kisses one...  But the other part of me is cuddling the fact that her strange attraction to Jack seems to have dried up and vanished; now she sounds quite sure of the fact that no one but Will is that important to her.
    • This does not stop me from getting a little thrill out of how, when she tries to flounce away in a huff, he grabs her arm and forcibly pulls her back.  I wouldn't go so far as to call it violent, but it did make me suddenly acutely aware of how much he's grown from the innocent and naive blacksmith of the first movie, and how much strength and potentially anger he's capable of.  It's a bit of a jarring juxtaposition from the Will who's usually gentle as a lamb where Elizabeth is concerned.  I kind of like it.  There are limits to his patience, see.
  • Best quote ever:
            Jack: Four of you have tried to kill me in the past - one of you succeeded.
            All heads: *swivel towards Elizabeth*
            Elizabeth's Thought Bubble: F***.
  • I love how everybody individually quadruple-crossed everyone else.  Especially the way that most of the time I couldn't tell if they'd planned it out five steps in advance, or they'd gotten caught off guard one of those times, and suddenly started making it up as they went along.  I think visual aids would be handy on this one.  Somebody needs to make a flow chart of all the ways people tricked one another, with additional color-coding to show whether they did it alone or with a partner, and whether or not they were tricking the partner at the time too.

  • NORRINGTON!  *glomps* He was a pompous asshat in the first movie and just gross and dirty and the second, but now I am quite in love with him.  He's all...noble!  And compassionate!  And stricken!  Also, Elizabeth/Norrington kiss > Elizabeth/Jack.  It shall have to be rewound multiple times.
    • No, in all seriousness, for the first time I caught a glimpse of the man who truly thought he could make her happy, who loved her - whereas before, I had always been supremely perturbed by the fact that he'd known her since she was a child just sort of assumed it was one of those "pretty lady + proper social standing = good sensible marriage" things and almost any woman could have stood in for Elizabeth.  What do you call this pairing, anyway?  Because I'm pretty sure I ship it, albeit it only in a context where Will's suffered some tragic death.

  • The Chinese pirate captain.  She was hilariously cranky.  Also, the French pirate captain.  He was hilariously prissy, despite looking like a zombie who'd stepped out of Wade Robson's "Rama Lama Bang Bang" dance routine.  [Okay, maybe not exactly, but that's the first thing I thought of.  And if you haven't seen that video, click, as it is definitely the weirdest, yet strangely compelling, thing you've ever seen.]

  • WOOHOO! The totally inept guards from the first movie are back!  I missed them last time around.  They're so much more entertaining than Pintel and Ragetti.  GIllette is also back.  He, too, is awesome and entertaining.  OOH!  And the doggy is alive and safe and sound!  Phew.  That was the most bothersome loose end from the second movie, I swear. 
  • I have more to say on the subject of Gov. Swann's death later, but I'm listing it under "the good" because it resulted in three separate Moments of Squee: Jack's subdued "Elizabeth," Will's (failed) attempt to reach for her hand in comfort, and best of all, him pulling her away from the side of the boat, whereupon she struggles for about three seconds and then breaks down sobbing on his shoulder.  That last bit, right there, is the highlight of the movie for me.  Well, one of them.
  • This may be the only couple in the world whom I will not scold for gratuitous makeout scenes, no matter how many they have.  Even when they're in the middle of a battle on a ship on a stormy sea, and the kiss lasts approximately 3 years in slow motion and...okay, on second thought, that was just the tiniest bit aggravating.   As was his randomly asking her to marry him in the middle of said battle at all.  But Barbossa made the ceremony quite amusing, so I forgive.
  • Secondary Highlight of the Movie: death scene.  There were so many lovely things about it that I can barely catalogue them all.  Damsel knocked temporarily unconscious.   Looks between Will and Elizabeth.  The stabbing itself, as my mind shall be off and running with AU scenarios in which said stabbing is not fatal, but merely critical.  Jack's look of horror after said stabbing (aha!  Jack really does have a soft spot for the whelp, and no one shall ever convince me otherwise).  Elizabeth crouched beside him, desperately and fruitlessly trying to keep him with her.  (love, love, love; the writers have clearly borrowed my Checklist of Cute and shaped this bit to my heart's desire). 
    • Incidentally, "cute" is a bit of a misnomer since some of the most desirable moments are built around angst and tragedy
  • Continuing on: Jack killing Davey Jones by making Will stab the heart, Will apparently dying anyway, Elizabeth's impromptu fit of hysteria, Jack pulling her away and using some of his usual magic to fashion a parachute to get them both off the ship, Elizabeth's head finally drooping against him in defeat.  (you also cannot convince me that Jack does not have a similar soft spot for Elizabeth, and deep down, a sense of protectiveness - in a platonic way, when it comes down to it, though I doubt his intentions are always pure)
    • Outside the crazy faction of Sparrabeth shippers, see, I really do think Jack and Elizabeth have a wonderfully unique chemistry.  Much like Abby and Gibbs (er, that gets confusing here.  NCIS), it stubbornly defies definition, but I love their little moments as they are, without trying to read anything else into them.  
  • Speaking of gratuitous makeout scenes, which we really were a bullet point or two ago, Epic Kiss on the Beach > Epic Kiss on the Ship.  x1000.  Now see, that's a tiny bit closer to my desired fairy-tale ending.  Absolutely adored this, despite the fact that it was just starting to sink in that she really WAS more-or-less going to lose Will forever, there was no magic fix (*mumble* until I got on the internet), and as a result I was pathetically close to crying...oh hell, I did shed a tear or two.
  • Um.  Will in the post-credits scene, with the headscarf and the half-open shirt and the wind blowing his hair back...I don't usually like to admit such things, but it fully succeeded in turning me into a drooling, glazed-eye puddle of fangirl.  SO GLAD I had the promise of the Turner child keeping me glued to my seat (and forcing my parents to stay glued to their seats), because if I hadn't known that was coming I would have left right away.  I mean, the first two post-credits scenes weren't that great; certainly not worth sitting 10 extra minutes in the theater for.  But this?  Hell yes.
  • By the way, since I can find generous support all over the internet for the Green Flash = Freedom from Dutchman Duty explanation, I am a bit more secure in considering that my personal canon, and my initial rage over the ending has largely dissipated.  It puts my mind much at ease to believe they only have ten years to endure before they get their proper life together.  Ten years is an acceptable delay.  "One day, as in sunrise to sunset, every ten years until Elizabeth dies" is not.  There will be no shaking me from this belief. 
The Bad
  • Most depressing opening EVER.  And also one of the few times in the film I immediately longed for a fast-forward button, as the singing grated on my nerves from the second note.
  • The multiple Jack Sparrow's conjured up by Jack's imagination.  That was not nearly as funny as it must have looked on paper, and made Jack seem less his endearingly quirky self and more a plain old whackjob.  That's not good.
    • Then again, during his sane moments he seemed a good deal more thoughtful, calculating, and sure of himself than before, and that was a welcome change.
  • Speaking of Jack, though, was it just me or did he get kinda shafted on screentime?  Mostly this movie felt like it was all Elizabeth, all the time.  And as my major interest in Elizabeth's is Will's undying devotion towards her and their sparkling chemistry together, rather than anything Elizabeth does on her own merit, I found that disappointing.
  • Sao Feng, who made nearly every scene he was in unpleasant to watch because he was just that vile a character.
  • Keith Richards, who didn't strike me so much as a fearsome pistol-shooting pirate as...Keith Richards trying hard not to grin self-consciously at the fact that he was on camera pretending to be a pirate.
  • Bootstrap, the problem-causing menace.  Why couldn't he have just drowned without delay when they broke the Aztec gold curse?  I felt a little sorry for him in DMC, but after this movie I have no sympathy for him whatsoever, nor is my heart warmed in the slightest by the fact that Will's finally reunited with his father.  Fiancee you've loved for eight years trumps parent you never knew. Especially when parent-you-never-knew is loop-de-loop INSANE by the time you finally get around to rescuing him, and is at least partly responsible for your getting stabbed.  And who kills Norrington in cold blood just as he gets around to becoming a decent human being.  Bastard!
  • The overly dramatic scene where a dazed Beckett walks along his ship in slow motion while things theatrically explode behind him until he FINALLY gets consumed in a fireball.  That was another moment for the fast-forward button.  "OH MY GOD, WOULD YOU JUST HURRY THIS UP ALREADY?!"
  • Throwing Calypso into the already jumbled mashup of various cultures' unrelated legends was just one stretch too many for me.  Can't they just make up some deities?  What was the obsession with crapping all over historical myth?  She added very little to the story, and none of it was interesting.
  • I made a mistake in my earlier description of Davey Jones as "no better or worse than Barbossa."  Once I had them side by side for comparison, it becamse obvious that Barbossa was the greater villain, x1000.  Squidface's tentacles were just gross, especially with  he and Tia Dalma talking about love in the brig.  Fast-forward button!
    • Also, hearing about how everyone else thought it was OBVIOUS, I feel a bit grumpy that I was caught totally off-guard by the fact that she was Calypso.
      • And I admit to having a temporary moment of fear where I thought Calypso had taken up residence in Elizabeth's body, and that the only way to release her would be to kill Elizabeth, or something.  Well, it's not like they've never avoided repeating storylines before!
  • Umm...extended slow leg kiss on the beach.  Didn't really want to see that with Mom sitting next to me.  Didn't really want to see that at all, actually, and was busy having another of my silent freak-outs: OH MY GOD DISNEY MOVIE, PG-13 OR NO; STOP WITH THE DIRTY!  In retrospect, that was quite tame for a movie and I suppose I should be grateful we didn't actually have to see the sex on the beach, but...well, there are ways to make me squee with afterglow scenes, and that is not one of them. 
  • WTF is this nonsense I hear about rumors of a potential 4th movie?  No, no, no, you cannot do that.  You cannot do that because the Will/Elizabeth storyline has nowhere else to go; not only is he assuredly gone for at least ten years, they have a kid to deal with now.  Kids do not fit well into adventurous pirate stories.   Just let me have my visions of domestic bliss in peace.  Anyway, there's a reason Peter Jackson didn't make The Hobbit. 
I know it looks like my list of The Bad is nearly as long as my list of The Good, but please rest assured that I really did love this film, enough to see it a second time in the theater (it will be the third movie to have earned such a distinction in my lifetime).  And I shall be buying it the moment it's released on DVD.  Even though it would make more sense for me to wait until they release some sort of boxed set of the trilogy, seeing as I eventually want to own them all but only have CotBP - on videotape.

The Stuff I Have to Discuss in Paragraph Form
Heh, yeah, remember when I said I hunted down AWE spoilers in July of 2006, where a bunch of random script pages were posted on IMDB, and I immediately registered with the site just so I could read them?  I figured that many pages had to be fake, but I read 'em anyway, just so I could have some picture in my head of how the trilogy might turn out.  Said script pages made mention of Elizabeth being traded against her will, but I thought that was at the beginning, and when it didn't happen in the first scene I relaxed and figured I was right about it being fake. 

Then, upon seeing Gov. Swann go floating by the in the little boat, I was all "Bloody 'ell!  They WERE real!"  Dang.  I'd already come to terms with the possibility of his death, true, but it still kind of sucked.   Not that he was my favorite character or anything, but poor Elizabeth shouldn't have to be an orphan. 
--
Moving on from that, my main issue with this film is Elizabeth's over-the-top "I AM SO AWESOME" role in this film.  This is part of what bugs me about Eowyn in Lord of the Rings, too - where the woman decides that the best way to earn respect is to do everything the men do, only better.  I always hate when I hear actresses rhapsodize about how they had to take lessons in swordfighting or some other kind of weaponry use, because it will inevitably lead to fight scenes that annoy me to no end.

Part of Elizabeth's charm in the first movie was her rebellious little self seeking the thrill of pirates, slipping from the confines of her role as a proper lady for a taste of adventure.  Was hard not to cheer as she changed intro trousers and escaped the Navy ship to follow Will into the pirates' cave, and helped him fight off the remaining members of Barbossa's crew, just as it had been exciting seeing her stand up to Barbossa on the ship, keeping her wits about her and doing a fair job of holding her own until help arrives.  But by the final installment, there's nothing she can't do.  She's adept with both pistol and sword, one or two-handed; she's fully accepted among the pirate crew, she's fricking named Pirate King.  At what point does this become too ludicrous to be enjoyable?

I'm sorry, but she's become too independent.  If I had to choose one or the other, I'd rather she fall more on the damsel-in-distress part.  I like Will's chance to play the hero, be the protector and comforter.  It's nice that she's not entirely helpless, and is able to stand as his equal, but I don't need to see her laying out complicated battle plans and rallying an army and having people actually look to her for leadership, either.  Just...no.
--- 
And finally, because I want to end this on a positive note, um...Will/Elizabeth = OTP!  I'm still kind of blank on  when everyone turned against them, or why anyone would see a reason to complain about the pair at all.  But then, until quite recently I was unaware that Orlando Bloom was not widely considered a fantastic actor, so there you go.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  (Also?  Orlando Bloom IS the most fantastic actor in this movie after JohnnyDepp)    
---------------------------------------
Oh wait, I have other ways to end this on a positive note!  For example, this video.  I'm sure there are better ones out there, but my patience for searching YouTube is exactly 0.  I simply found this one by chance while looking for written reviews, and as it incorporates nearly all of my favorite moments from the trilogy in a convenient five-minute timespan, I am sticking it here.  It's marked Jack/Elizabeth/Will and supposed to have a J/E bend, but as I'm conditioned to think otherwise, I'm not seeing that last bit so much.   Plus I kinda like the song, even though to my chagrin, I discovered afterwards that it's by Justin Timberlake (doubly odd, since it sure sounded like a woman singing on the chorus).
---------------
Want to know what's much better than the video?  This fantastic parody.  *glees* It's the only written parody I've managed to find so far, so if you know of any others, please point me towards them with all possible haste.  For the matter, if you know of any parodies from the first and/or second movie, point me towards those as well.  I have a couple, but I'll bet there are more out there.

Okay, I think I'm all pirated-out.  *sighs in relief*

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
stunt_muppet
Jun. 21st, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
Jack: Four of you have tried to kill me in the past - one of you succeeded.
All heads: *swivel towards Elizabeth*
Elizabeth's Thought Bubble: F***.


*giggle* If I knew anything about icon-making, I would have an icon of that, like, yesterday.

NORRINGTON! *glomps*

A ha! She is converted! My work here is done. And I belive the term for Elizabeth/Norrington is Norribeth.

I don't usually like to admit such things, but it fully succeeded in turning me into a drooling, glazed-eye puddle of fangirl.

Amen. ;)

Sao Feng, who made nearly every scene he was in unpleasant to watch because he was just that vile a character.

Ugh, yes to this too. I wanted to like him, because he's Chow Yun-Fat and Chow Yun-Fat is fabulous, but...nngh. Too uncomfortable. And too long dirty fingernails eww.

The overly dramatic scene where a dazed Beckett walks along his ship in slow motion while things theatrically explode behind him until he FINALLY gets consumed in a fireball.

See, even as a Beckett fan that got on my nerves. He manages to magically avoid the cannonballs and flying debris for that long? Sorry, but no.

This is part of what bugs me about Eowyn in Lord of the Rings, too - where the woman decides that the best way to earn respect is to do everything the men do, only better.

Yes and yes. I am not happy with this trend; it seems that Hollywood at large has forgotten that feminism = "women are as good as men", not "women are better at anything and everything, and if she ever needs help with anything then she's a stereotypical damsel in distress omg SEXIST!"

I'm very happy with a woman taking care of herself; I'm happy with a woman having a fight scene. I'm not happy with any character, male or female, being superior at everything. The road to Suedom is paved with such intentions.
ext_83464
Feb. 14th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
pirates 4?
The first Pirates of the Caribbean was great, not too sure about the other two, tho the special effects were top notch... if they come out with a fourth will it maintain the quality of the first?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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