Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orland Bloom, Keira Knightley

 

Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than Expected

 

Story: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge starts as a young Henry Turner visiting and promising to break the curse on his father Will Turner (Bloom) against his father’s wishes because it means finding Jack Sparrow (Depp).

Move forward nine years and Henry (Thwaites) in part of the British Navy hunting down pirates in search of Jack Sparrow, when his ship heads into the Devil’s Triangle they find themselves attacked by the ghost Captain Salazar (Bardem), a man in search for Jack Sparrow who cursed his crew.

Finding himself locked up, Henry learns he is on the same island as Jack Sparrow and sets out on finding him as well as an astronomer Carina (Scodelario) who gets treated like a witch because of knowledge. The three team up with Jack’s crew to search for Poseidon’s Trident the one object that can break all curses in the ocean.

With Captain Salazar terrorising the ocean he joins the current ruler of the ocean Captain Barbossa (Rush) in the hunt for Jack as the pirates do battle to break the curses over the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Jack is back, but this time we get a mix of what we expect from the style of the character at times being fun and over times feeling like a parody of himself. Captain Salazar is a good additional villain to this franchise because he was once a man doing the right thing but now hunts the seas for any victim. Captain Barbossa does have the best story arc in this film as we see how he has become the wealthiest pirate at sea and always stays one step ahead of everyone else. Henry is good for this film because it brings us back into the original characters origins learning about Will Turner and now his son, even if the character feels just like a copy of his father, Carina is written to be a strong independent woman in the time of the film which she is but she does also turn into the normal damsel in distress when it comes to conflict moments.

Performance Wise, Johnny Depp does feel like he is doing what you expect but does have moments of parody. Javier Bardem is good and enjoys the villainous role. Rush continues to be good without excelling, Brenton and Kaya are good addition but they do feel like they were just creating a new version of Bloom of Knightley.

StoryOne of the strongest points of any pirates movie is being able to tell us a continuing story, Black Pearl entered us into this world very nicely and the next two chapters continued the story along building on the characters legacy, when it came to Stranger Tides things went off the rails and the film came off boring. This story brings us back to the original arcs and continues to build on them like we enjoy seeing. This isn’t the overall best but it certainly isn’t the worst of the Pirates films and if you enjoyed the stories in the first couple you will enjoy this one.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is all fun, we get a couple of rip off ideas from bigger action franchises, most notable the bank heist, the sword fighting is fine but does become inconstant by the end of the film as ghosts can’t have sword fights. the adventure is the highlight here because this time you do feel like you are back where you want to be. The fantasy side of the film continues on nicely as we dive into the myths of the ocean.

SettingsEach setting looks perfect for a pirates film as we can continue to enjoy the visual experience of a pirates movie.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good, I did like how the deliberate slow flow of Salazar’s hair almost becomes a characteristic of its own too.

Final ThoughtsSure this film will get slammed but it doesn’t need to be, if you just go in look for some fun you will find yourself enjoying this one enough.

 

Overall: Sit back, switch your brain of and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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Opinion Battles Round 11 Which Film Should Never Have Had a Sequel?

Opinion Battles Round 11

Which Film Should Never Have Had a Sequel?

We as an audience can find ourselves sitting through endless sequels, prequels and remakes, some we enjoyed others we find ourselves wondering why they made another film in the first place at all. We are going to be looking at the films that should have remained stand-alone movies because the sequels have only ever eaten into the reputation of what was a great film.

If you want to join the next round of Opinion Battles we will be take on our Favourite Performance in a Horror Film, to enter email your choice to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 11th June 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Independence Day

Independence Day is one of the best movies from the 90s and when a sequel was first announced I was thinking ‘No Way How What ERM’ then I saw the trailer and thought ‘Ok this could work’ then I saw the film and thought ‘SHIT’. The sequel completely ruined what was fun about the original that is a film I can pick up at any point and enjoy and a popcorn movie that is fun, action packed adventure that never needed to have a sequel let alone one that was that bad.

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

300

Remember Zach Synder’s 300 which gave us the introduction of slow motion fight sequences wrapped in a magestic testosterone filled era of men that fought for the living and Gerard Butler who lead the 300 to a tragic end but in the proudest way of never standing down and giving it the best chance. How do you make a sequel of 300 dudes who already died? Right, you rewind it back to the simultaneous stuff going on and give it a little mention, except it’s not 300 anymore, right? 300: Rise of the Empire wasn’t all that bad. It was subpar for sure and there are a ton of flaws. The only issue is that it didn’t make sense and for the most part, felt far-fetched and meaningless.

 

Cinema Parrot Disco

The Matrix

 

I can’t wait to see all the answers for this question! There are SO many bad sequels. Look at Speed 2… Holy crap. What the hell was that?! But sometimes the truly bad sequels get forgotten. I never think of Speed 2 when I think of Speed anyway. What I hate even more are the sequels that actually manage to slightly or even totally ruin the original movie in some way. So I don’t think I’m picking the “worst-ever” sequels here but I’d be happier if The Matrix sequels didn’t exist. The first Matrix film is a great standalone movie. The sequels just made the whole thing messy. There was no need for them. So that’s my answer: The Matrix should’ve been a standalone film and I almost wish the sequels were so horribly bad that I could forget about them entirely.

 

Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews

Donnie Darko

 

OK I haven’t actually seen S. Darko, the sequel to the hugely popular cult classic Donnie Darko but I know that it was apparently diabolical, much loathed and should never have been attempted. 

And most importantly, Donnie Darko ended so perfectly that there was absolutely no need for a sequel and since S. Darko was apparently awful, this film would appear to be a perfect example of a totally unnecessary sequel.

 

Damien Riley – Riley Film Reviews

Poltergeist

 

In my opinion, the film that should never have had a sequel is Tobe

Hooper’s original Poltergeist from 1982.

 

This film represents co-writer Steven Spielberg’s eye for originality.

He took a 1970’s/1980’s format and setting and took it into the realm

of horror where it had not gone before. This isn’t the suburban horror

of John Carpenter’s original Halloween, it’s tamer than that. What

makes it really scary though is the idea it could come into your

simple suburban home.

 

Carol Anne is taken by the spirit and then returned. It’s a perfect

ending. In fact, the family is seen screeching down the rad away from

their home in the final scene. Why add a sequel?

 

In the first sequel we meet a frightening old man. This is totally out

of sorts with the first. He talks, he warns, he take the form of a

religious man. I found it all stupid and contrived even as a child.

It’s hard to re-summon feelings of shock. Is there such a thing as a

drawn out shock? If you are looking to create the same ones in a

sequel here, that’s what you have to do and t just isn’t possible.

 

In the case of Poltergeist, they should have stopped with the original

Vote if you agree!

 

John – Johnrieber.com

The Exorcist

The Exorcist” is, arguably, the greatest horror film of all time.  And it ended perfectly.  NO ONE had the question: “It’s four years later…  what does she remember?”

 

Yet that’s the tagline for “Exorcist II: The Heretic” – the woefully misguided attempt to continue Regan’s story, as she continues to suffer from nightmares about her original ordeal.  And Richard Burton is attacked by locusts.  Yes, that is the film in a nutshell. Oh, and at one point Regan is linked by a “synchronizer”—a device used by two people to synchronize their brainwaves.  Yes, they do that as well in the movie.

Exorcist II: The Heretic” deserves special credit for being one of the worst films of all time basd on one of the best films of all time.

 

Rob – Movie Rob

The Matrix

The first film was so perfectly done that any subsequent films just baffled the premise even more than they should have.

Sometimes, mystery of the unknown is more interesting that when they pull away the curtain and you don’t like the ideas presented by the wizard behind it.

 

Things should have been kept as is…

 

Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Grown Ups

My answer to films that should have never gotten a sequel is without a doubt Grown Ups. Anyone who knows me knows I do not like Adam Sandler movies- especially his comedies of the last 15 years. Everything from Jack and Jill to The Ridiculous 6 are some of the worst movies ever made. However, only one of his turds got a sequel- Grown Ups. This original movie wasn’t funny despite having talents like Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Kevin James and David Spade. Most of the jokes were either machismo high fives between the cast or gross out gags. I suppose you could make a funny movie about friends reuniting from high school but this is not it. It’s just awful. 

Grown Ups 2 is just more of the same and still a massive waste of talent for no laughs. Horrible

 

Emma – Emma Explains It All

Crank

 

This should be a particularly interesting round because let’s be honest, there are an awful lot of bad sequels. The word ‘sequel’ itself inspires fear and uncertainty.

I chose Crank and its subsequent sequel Crank 2, because I just remember it being really, really awful. Taking elements from the first film that were fun and worked well, turning them into a terrible parody and making it basically unwatchable. I did turn it off. And I don’t do that a lot. 

Carl Wonders – Listening to Film

The Matrix

Even if you ignore the fact that the sequels are mostly poor and disappointing, The Matrix stands as a movie that functions extremely well on its own and certainly didn’t need any follow-ups from a story perspective. From its opening frames, The Matrix is immediately unique and grabs your attention, and I remember thinking several times “I have never seen THAT before!” In the end, the story is left in a thematically satisfying way that, while open to a follow up, doesn’t need one. Unfortunately, the two sequels simply present more of the same combined with pretentious phiosophy and new characters that are either poorly defined or straight out of the stereotype box (or both!). Should have stopped with the original.

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

Grease

Grease Poster

This is sure to be an impassioned round, but I’ve never felt that strongly about bad sequels, maybe because I either don’t watch them, forget about them easily, or actually like them when most others don’t. One that sticks out, though, as downright poor is Grease 2. I’m not much of a fan of the original Grease, but with terrible acting from non-Travolta Maxwell Caulfield, Grease 2 is an unabashed cheesefest that never reaches so-bad-it’s-good levels, though some think otherwise. My mom actually likes it, and early Michelle Pfeiffer almost makes it watchable, but the very thought of Grease 2 instantly conjures the words BAD SEQUEL in my mind.

War Machine (2017)

Director: David Michod

Writer: David Michod (Screenplay) Michael Hastings (Book)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hayes, John Magaro, Anthony Michael Hall, Emory Cohen, Topher Grace, Ben Kingsley, Scoot McNairy

 

Plot: An absurdist war story for our times, writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) recreates a U.S. General’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody – raising the specter of just where the line between them lies today. His is an exploration of a born leader’s ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly. At the story’s core is Brad Pitt’s sly take on a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good War Comedy

 

Story: War Machine starts as highly respected and inspiration General Glen McMahon (Pitt) getting recruited to Afghanistan to see how the war is going over there, Glen brings his trusted men Pete Duckman (Hayes), Cory Staggart (Magaro), Greg Pulver (Hall), Willy Dunne (Cohen), Matt Little (Grace) and Andy Moon (Cyler) to bring the base together fixing the divide and keep the American side of the war happy back home.

We watch how Gen McMahon looks to recruit enough soldiers to make his plan to stop the problems happening in Afghanistan by using the counter insurgence tactics which have famously never worked before. Glen leads his close-knit group around Europe to find the rest of soldiers required from the allies of the United States as he continues his idea of peaceful removal of insurgence instead of just killing them.

 

Thoughts on War Machine

 

Characters/PerformanceGeneral Glen McMahon is assigned to Afghanistan to finish the war against the insurgence, he is respected and gets results by doing things his way. He wants to change things and make it feel like a war over a holiday image he sees it looking like. Greg Pulver is the loyalist man to Glen, he has been by his side from the start and is a loose cannon at times. The rest of the characters do all include the type of figures you would expect all getting the screen time required for the characters importance.

Performance wise, Brad Pitt is fantastic in this leading role showing us he can do comedy through a straight-faced role. Outside of Pitt it would be fair to say everybody else does a good job through this film fitting the chemistry required for the role.

StoryThe story is part parody and part light-hearted humour of how the war in Afghanistan could look like, more politics than conflict. We do also get the reality of war thrown at us and this shows us just what the problem with the war in Afghanistan. The story does feel long in places as this is two hours long but it is worth it for the reality check it gives.

Comedy/War The comedy comes from the reality check of how naïve the war in Afghanistan was, it’s not a laugh a minute it is a laugh of that was stupid wasn’t it. The war side of the film comes from trying to solve the problem without conflict.

SettingsEach setting looks good for the film and shows us just how this was for the soldiers would have come off comfortable for the soldiers over the previous wars.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that is worth watching, it does have good moments on reality but it also has the moments that show how pointless the battle came off as.

 

Overall: One to watch.

Rating