Wednesday, August 9, 2017

by the way, that won't work

I have a goal for today. I want to like Cutthroat Island. Despite all of its flaws, I mean. Despite it's simplistic, plot-driven structure. Despite it's excessive length. Despite its unmotivated characters. Despite its generic script. I have my work cut out for me.


I suppose there's charm to these opening titles, all the overlaid old maps and maritime illustrations, like the movie really wants to be the definitive pirate movie...

And then I'm reminded of The Pirate Movie, and I love that movie. That movie has charm, taking The Pirates of Penzance, already good in its own right, and updating it for the 1980s with a bit of parody to it, with just the right balance of cheese and earnestness. This movie could use a little less earnestness, a little more lightheartedness. Instead of this faux gravitas between Harry (Harris Yulin) and Dawg (Frank Langella). Or, instead of Renny Harlin and Geena Davis getting the studio to basically fund their honeymoon (they married just before production), how about a film about the Adams brothers before all of this, before they turned on each other... or make this story of that turning about them instead of about Morgan (Davis).

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe it just needs a different editor. Like, cut the length of all these chase scenes, all these establishing shots, move things along fast enough that we don't notice the lack of motivation. I mean, instead of paying attention (which I am trying to do), I get involved in a conversation about acting, theater versus movies, and our kids as actors especially, with another parent. (We're on the set of a pilot for a web series.) There was also a long conversation about the difference between a middle school and a junior high school. But now, the kids are filming, and I'm going to try to focus on the movie.

But then I want to complain about how that chain around Morgan's neck should have at least left some serious bruising, if not kill her outright. Or how this tavern is really well lit for having just a few stray candles and a fireplace for light.

 

 

 

 

 

To be fair, the plot is coherent, unlike the later Pirates of the Caribbean films. Mostly though, that might be because everything takes so damn long, it's hard to miss anything.

That's almost positive.

 

 

 

 

 

And then I'm reading the script for this pilot instead of focusing on the movie. It just never grabs you. It's far better acting than, say, The Room or Troll 2, even better than Howard the Duck, but it's just so boring, and the characters just... exist to service the plot.

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