Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – #review

This series of films have been getting steadily worse. Since 2003 we have been following the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow despite how ridiculous and abysmal the stories became. Now, we have the fifth, and possibly last, film in the franchise. Does this reignite the excitement from the first film or do we send it down to Davey Jones locker with the other films in this franchise? Let’s dive in and take a look at “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” in this box office review…

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The magic of this franchise is officially gone. There’s a level of charm that still exists but the magic is no more. As a fan of the characters I was let down. The movie begins with the most ridiculous bank robbery and only continues to thread pieces of a story together that never really work. It felt like there was so much more written for this film than what was put on screen. Or there was an idea for more that they couldn’t figure out how to convey so they didn’t. And as such, we are left with a story that was as pieced together as some of the dead shipmates hunting pirates.

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This film didn’t really venture into uncharted waters either. It followed similar plot points from the previous movies. For example, the East India Trading Company was trying to control the sea by owning the heart of Davey Jones in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead’s Man Chest.” We have this same story but with the English government. However, this whole subplot is pointless. Its characters and story should have been left out. When Captain Jack escapes the guillotine on the island, that’s where those characters should’ve been left. Also, the cameo by Paul McCartney was so oddly placed it didn’t even make sense. It was one more thing that could’ve been left out and we would’ve been all the better.

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The entire movie isn’t even really about Captain Jack Sparrow. Up to this point, the franchise is about his misadventures and the folks who are, for one reason or another, forced to go along with him. The writers decided to tie up all the loose ends and give us a finale for the main characters. Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner finally get to be together. Their son, as an adult, finds true love and unites his family. Captain Barbosa finally gets to die with honor and prove he’s more than just a pirate, which has always been his struggle. Captain Jack finally gets the Black Pearl and to be Captain. The entire movie is a resolution for the previous 4 films. The stories are so paint by numbers it felt lazy. Barbosa had the one inspired story but that was not enough to save this film.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is in theaters now! Skip this movie on the big screen. As the title suggests, there’s no tale to be told in this movie. If you’re a fan of the franchise, like me, you’ll most likely be disappointed by how little care was put into this movie. It’s not the worst of the franchise but it certainly isn’t as good as the first two films. There’s plenty of other good films in theaters right now that I’ve reviewed. Go back and read those reviews and then decide which one you’ll see instead of this.

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Beauty and the Beast – Review

I wasn’t 100% on board with this film when I first heard the news that it was being made. I don’t believe the trailers got me that excited either. I debated on seeing an early release as well. I couldn’t wrap my head around how Disney will turn candle sticks, clocks, tea pots, cups and plates into believable characters. I’m not even sure where this disbelief came from! I loved Jungle Book and that entire film was almost all computer generated images. All that being said, I still marched myself into an early IMAX screening. So let’s dive in and take a look at “Beauty and the Beast” in this review…

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This movie did not win me over immediately. In fact, I’m still not entirely sure it has won me over. I enjoyed the characters, both real and animated. I was pleasantly surprised by the talent Disney used for the voices. Also, Kevin Kline is a treasure and if he’s in a film I’m definitely more interested because of his simply being involved. The movie takes chances that work out well. The new songs written just for this film didn’t feel out of place and slipped comfortably into the story. Additionally, the added plot details that dig into Belle’s past and why her father and her live alone in this small town felt natural. It worked.

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I had no real expectation that needed to be met for this film as a whole. I did, however, have an expectation for a single song, that if not met, would have ruined the film entirely for me. I waited and I watched for what I feel is the pivotal song of the musical… Be Our Guest. I knew if this didn’t work for me the film wouldn’t work for me. By the end of that song I was completely on board for the rest of the movie. In fact, after the film I used iTunes to enjoy that song on repeat for the drive home. What a marvelous job was done on this song. The levity, the joy, the enthusiasm, the excitement were all marvelously done for this version of the musical.

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Beauty and the Beast” is in theaters now! I will recommend you get out and see this film on the big screen if you appreciate musicals and/or Disney. This version stays true to the original animated film with some new clever songs and plot details. If you have a girlfriend, daughter or wife this would be a great film to treat them to. Every guy who was in my showing had a wife, daughter or girlfriend with him. And while the ladies all sang along with the tunes and clapped periodically throughout the film, myself and the other gentlemen in the theater continued to enjoy our popcorn and soda’s, or iced tea in my particular case. I saw this on IMAX and it was worth it but you can still appreciate every bit of this movie on a regular screen at your preferred theater. Go check it out.

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Zootopia – Box Office Review

Disney Pictures takes us on an entertaining “whodunnit” crime drama that teaches us that life is more fulfilled when you follow your heart and chase your dreams. Believe in yourself against all the odds and you too can become all your heart desires. The story was cleverly and creatively told. There is also an element of getting to know others and not judging them based on their appearance or preconceived notions. It’s a fun time in the theater with enough jokes for adults and children alike. Let’s look at what made “Zootopia” such a delight…

The attention to detail was incredible. Tiny animals living in tiny cities that were placed within the larger city designed specifically for their abilities and that was such a treat to see. The chase scene where Hopps is chasing Weaselton and they have to venture into the tiny city where mice live was so much fun. Street vendors having options for the taller customers, giraffes, as well as the normal sized animals that frequent their carts was also enjoyable. There was so much thought put into the design of this film and I loved it.

The characters are divided in two groupings within the city but they all live harmoniously together. The predators and the prey. This is important because as the story evolves we realize that simply being a larger, more terrifying animal doesn’t mean you’re a predator. This film exposes how even the quietest, more gentle, animals can be predators as well with potentially more dangerous results. This is at the heart of things the story that drives this animated adventure. Do not judge without first investigating because you never really know someone until you get to know them.

The voice acting talent in this movie was also spot on. There’s so much talent I won’t be mentioning them all individually but if you follow the link for “Zootopia” you’ll be able to see exactly what I mean. I didn’t feel the voice actors just delivered their lines and that was it. It felt like I was listening to characters who had real emotions and were fully formed and not two dimensional. We are treated to characters who are believable in the way that only Disney can deliver.

“Zootopia” is in theaters now! I give this film all the carrots and ice pops requested. It’s a fun family film that will entertain all the ages. This film might not be remembered for the same charming qualities of other Disney Picture films like “Tangled” but it won’t disappoint either. If you have kids, this is an opportunity to spend family time together at the theater sharing some popcorn and laughs. If you have seen the film comment below and if you plan to see this film, come back and comment after you’ve enjoyed it.

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The Good Dinosaur: Box Office Review

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When Pixar announces they are making a new film there’s a certain level of excitement that happens. They have built a reputation for emotionally moving, entertaining and thought provoking animated films that probably make Shel Silverstein jealous. Unfortunately, nobody has a career of home runs. Michael Jordan missed some shots during his career. Even Tom Brady throws an interception from time to time and that’s what I felt walking out of “The Good Dinosaur” this weekend. Pixar tried and failed to meet the level of excellence I have come to expect from their films.

The film opens with a “what if” scenario. What if a comet didn’t strike the earth and eliminate all the dinosaurs? Well, in theory, it’s plausible that dinosaurs and prehistoric man would co-exist, however briefly. This is a solid concept for story telling because it allows the viewer the chance to understand immediately what world we are about to enter. A world where dinosaurs and man co-exist on a prehistoric earth. That’s where it felt like the thinking stopped and the questionable took over.

The creative team behind this film decided that the dinosaurs would all sound like they belonged in a western film. So, the main dinosaur family sounds like cowboy farmers, the pterodactyls sound like stage coach or train robbing buffoons, and the Tyyannosaurus Rex family, led by Sam Elliott, really took the western cowboy rancher sound to the extreme. An odd choice, but they made a decision and stuck it… but they didn’t. For some reason, while every other dinosaur character sounds like a cowboy, the main dinosaur sounds like a normal city kid. Apparently accents aren’t hereditary and dinosaurs are born sounding western, except for one. This is not a learned accent. It’s a birthright and the lead character did not have this pattern of speech even though his family did. Bizarre.

The story is a coming of age tale for the young dinosaur. He must become a grown up dinosaur and face his fears head on. This film details the crucible that he must endure if he is ever to find his family again. He won’t do this alone either. He’ll have a trusty side kick human who acts like a dog. At one point the dinosaur and the kid get stoned on berries and the audience is treated to a weird drug trip montage which felt wildly out of place in a Pixar movie. This film felt like that scene in the movie “Elf” where they ship the children’s book that didn’t make sense because they didn’t want to go back and start over with a story that worked.

Then the ending, the dinosaur finds a family of humans for the kid before he heads back to his farm with the surviving family members that didn’t die (it’s Pixar, someone always dies). I thought maybe we’d have a scene where the kid finds the dinosaur and his family and both families live on the farm and it’s all happily ever after. Nope. The kid goes off with his adopted human family and the dinosaur finds his family on the farm. So, the moral of the story is, have fun with strangers but don’t get too close because you’ll leave them eventually because they’re different? I walked out of that film so confused. The animation looked incredible though. So while I was thoroughly confused I did love how real some of the scenic shots looked.

“The Good Dinosaur” is in theaters now! I give this film the earth destroying comet it deserves so this ridiculous story would not have been made. Let’s leave the dinosaur and human experience to the Jurassic Park franchise. They seem to be back on track finally.

Comment below if you’ve already seen it and share your thoughts! Join in on the fun of movie watching and share this post with anyone who you feel would enjoy another one of my Box Office Reviews.

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