Tag Archives: pirates

Movie Monday: Captain Phillips

My apologies for a much-delayed post, everyone! We have been gearing towards moving to a different host and spazzing up the website! You will see it soon. However, I wanted to share with everyone a review of the recently released Captain Phillips. We saw a late-night showing Friday night, stocked with popcorn, vitamin water, and Raisinets! Before I start, let me say that we both enjoyed the movie.

This movie is based on real events which happened in 2009. I remember them on the news. Somalian pirates had attacked and taken over a cargo ship near their coast. It was a scary few days, but in the end it was resolved. The problem was, by the time I saw this movie, I had forgotten if Capt. Phillips made it out alive or not (oops). Anyhow, it was surreal watching something from the inside that you had watched on from the “outside” via news sources. I’m not sure how accurate the movie is to the actual event, but still a movie worth watching.

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Instead of painting the Somalians as evil pirates, the audience was given a real-world look on their lives. How they saw piracy as the only choice to survive. It gave a human element to the pirates and made the movie more gripping and complex. People do things for a reason, not because they have black hearts. Still, it was a frightening, hold-your-breath type of movie. The crew of Captain Phillips’ were just average everyday people, as was the captain himself. That brought more tension and anxiety for the audience, as you imagine yourself in the same situation.

The movie was smoothly played out, and it didn’t jump too quickly. However, the tension built the entire time because you knew what was going to happen. I can’t think of a part I would’ve taken out, it all seemed to help paint the picture of reality. It’s easy to see how many people in Captain Phillips’ situation would have buckled under the enormous pressure and gotten either the crew or themselves killed. It added to the strength of the character and pulled the audience to have a closer relationship with the protagonist. The tensions only get raised when the Navy comes in and has a time limit on how long they can let this situation last before they have to terminate it. Capt. Phillips is racing against time and the stability of his captors, and it’s unnerving to think about how it all may play out.

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The stand-out factor for me in this movie was the acting. Tom Hanks did a brilliant job, especially in the last few scenes. He was extraordinarily connected to his character which made it an emotional end. The Somalians, too, did a great job and they weren’t even real actors–just Somalian-Americans from Minnesota. Overall, I give this movie a big thumbs up. Take time to see it! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria trying to escape the bath

Nymeria trying to escape the bath

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Disney’s The Lone Ranger (2013)

Johnny Depp. Jerry Bruckheimer. Hans Zimmer. Disney. $225 Million Budget. 149 minutes.

Pirates of the Caribbean in the Wild West.

None of my movie reviews are the same. I always pick something different to talk about before reaching my closing remarks that summarize what I felt and what I thought. In discussing Pacific Rim, a movie I saw the same day, I spoke very little of the director and nothing of the actors and actresses. I didn’t mention anything about that movie’s huge budget. This review is clearly different.

Pirates of the Caribbean was brilliant, whether you liked it or not. It is loved by people of all ages, it has grossed billions of dollars throughout its four films (fifth coming) and all of Disney’s “merchandise.” It was driven by one of Johnny Depp’s most influential characters. So why has The Lone Ranger received such poor reviews and had such a hard time in the box office? Simply put, it’s not as good as pirates.

The sad thing is that I can’t really tell you what makes The Lone Ranger worse than Pirates aside from the fact that The Curse of the Black Pearl has been followed up by three more movies to strengthen the story set in the first film. I can honestly say I think that it’s impossible for us to see three more Lone Ranger films from Disney, Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Hans Zimmer, and Jerry Bruckheimer. Nevertheless, let’s appreciate this movie for what it is and can be instead of what it’s not.

The highlights are clear to us. Johnny Depp’s performance as Tonto and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack stand out against everything else. The movie discusses strong themes such as the importance of family, the greed of American corporations (funny, eh? I love Disney), the corruption of the government, a sense of true justice, and the ability to forgive individuals for what they’ve done. That last one doesn’t quite make it all the way to the end of the film. I also enjoyed the way the story was told, through the older Tanto talking to the young boy that represented the “American Dream.” Finally, I was laughing a lot and that is a good sign, plain and simple.

Here are the downsides: It was too long! There were a handful of scenes that just didn’t contribute to the plot or character development significantly enough to justify the amount of the time that they took. And I really do try to justify extra scenes going to the point of reaching into my super imaginative part of my brain to do so. The casting was not great. Many of the main performers were convincing but some just didn’t do it for me. It also had a Disney feeling but a few scenes made the movie a little bit too gory for young audiences. I wouldn’t mind but most parents would prefer to not let their child see a man cut out another man’s heart and eat it. Even if they didn’t show it directly, it is easy to see what was going on at that point.

The bottom line: For a prominent series in American pop culture to which I have no personal history or relationship with, the unstoppable team of Disney, Bruckheimer, Depp, and Zimmer brought us a slightly too long Wild West version of Pirates that might not have the magic of their first series, but still portrays important messages in American history while generally entertaining the audience through its sense of hope and outrageous stunts. Even if the movie under-performs and Disney cannot afford a sequel, I would be pleased to see what a second movie could deliver. The Lone Ranger gets a hungry thumbs up!

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