The Ninjafied ROSSMAN
Back in 2003 I went into a movie theater not knowing what the fuck was going to happen both on the screen and to me in the following 2 hours. I had no idea if I would be mildly amused, laugh my ass off at the stupidity of it all, or have my socks rocked off by pure amazement -- after all, I was going to see a pirate movie (which up till that point in time only meant "shit on a reel") based on a fucking Disneyland ride. Yes, that movie was Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and yes again, it did indeed rock my fucking socks off.
Anyway, the first Pirates movie shivered me timbers, made me walk the plank of awesomeness, and fucked me with a cheap pirate hooker all before the closing credits rolled. The visuals, the music, the Jack Sparrowness of it all... Really, I hadn't had that much fun in a movie theater since Rebecca fell for that "hole in the popcorn bucket" trick that my cousin taught me. Beginning with Johnny Depp, as Captain Jack Sparrow, sailing into Port Royal at the top of the mast of a sinking ship, I knew that... You know what, no matter what I write here it's going to sound uber-fanboyish and way gay. There's something that I've noticed about the differences in sucking a niche-movie's cock and orally satisfying a big-budgeted Hollywood movie. When one loves a huge Hollywood flick one's usually thought of as a sellout. But when one professes one's undying lust for a foreign film, or a cult movie, it's actually EXPECTED for the reviewer to verbally or textually gizz all over his review. But, you know what? Fuck it. I'm going to cream all over all three Pirates movies because that's how I truly feel. I would sail off with Jack Sparrow, swashbuckle with Barbossa, or impregnate Elizabeth Swann if I could. This is how I feel. This is who I am. Arrrrrr, you faggoty ones who defile the names of pirates by shittin' on these movies, fuck the lot o' you!
So, as I stated before, I was totally hooked by Curse of the Black Pearl the moment I saw proud Jack step from the mast of his sunken boat right onto the dock of Port Royal, Jamaica. His swagger and strange mannerisms were so fucking peculiar at first that I don't think I quite got it. I didn't understand his character's pure brilliance until his first encounter with Elizabeth and Commodore Norrington after he had just pulled Liz from the sea. But since that point I have declared it to be the greatest pirate performance ever. Think about that. Greatest... Pirate... Ever. Jack Sparrow doesn't even utter one "Arrrrr!" or "Bring me treasure, me hearties!" And yet he's still the greatest drunk/drugged-up/fetal-alcohol-poisoned swashbuckler of all time. Yes, future included.
The rest of the cast is either pretty damn good or okay as well. Will and Elizabeth are okay, as are the rest of the Brits and the rest of Barbossa's pirates. Barbossa, on the other hand, is almost as good as Jack. Yeah, he's more the typical pirate than Sparrow, but Geoffrey Rush plays him with such gusto and greed that it's forgivable. Plus, if there was nobody in this flick who talked like "Arrr, you been lookin' for me, and me Black Pearl, haven't you, you scurvy dog... Well have at ye, and taste the end of me blade! Arrrr! I step on kittens for fun too," you'd be pretty disappointed. Oh, and most of Jack's new crew is pretty damn good too: the midget pirate, the guy without the tongue whose parrot talks for him, and Gibbs. Class A piratin' all around.
Now, onto the stories. Curse of the Black Pearl is all about Cap'n Jack getting back his cursed ship and enacting sweet, sweet vengeance on those who mutinied against him and left him on a deserted island to die. Classic piratin' tale to be sure, but it's also the small things that the writers added that make this first venture so fresh and so fun. For instance, the mutiny has happened long before the movie even begins and isn't featured in the film, the pirates in the film (Barbossa's crew) aren't looking to plunder any treasure (the plot of pretty much every pirate movie previous), they're actually looking to return a treasure, and they're not just regular pirates but pirate ghosts. Or ghost pirates... I forget which describes them best, but whatever.
So Jack has to first find a boat and a crew to hunt down Barbossa, steal back his ship, the Black Pearl, somehow end Barbossa's curse (which turned both he and his crew and monkey into undead and unfeeling damned souls), and use his one and only shot in his pistol to kill his mutinous ex-first mate. With the help of sword smith Will Turner and hot-ass Elizabeth Swann, and through the course of many a backstabbing and shady deal, Jack triumphs. And there was much rejoicing.
Then, we pick up a while later with Dead Man's Chest where we find out that the Black Pearl was first given to Jack by another cursed pirate (the squiddy Davy Jones, commander of the seas and the haunted ship the Flying Dutchman). Due to the conditions of the deal struck to raise the Pearl for Jack's use, Jack is due to start 100 years of service to Jones aboard the Dutchman, where he'll slowly become one with the ship until he forgets who he even is. Jack isn't really up for all that though, and so through the help of his crew, a Creole-like voodoo priestess, and Will and Elizabeth, he sets off to evade or stall Jones from collecting his debt long enough to find and control Jones' heart (due to a lost love, the man cut his still beating muscle out of his own body and sealed it away in a treasure chest, which he then hid). With Jones' heart Jack could then make the cursed pirate lord do his bidding (like keeping Davy's pet Kraken from devouring him body and soul).
Things are complicated due to all the lies, doublecrosses and deceiving being dished out by all parties, but eventually Jones' heart is found and handed over to the East India Trading company (who wishes for nothing more than an end to piracy in the world, and more profit from its commerce). At the end of Dead Man's Chest, Davy Jones becomes some pompous British man's bitch, Jack is sold out to the Kraken, and the remaining Pearl crew head back to the voodoo lady's swampy hut to regroup. It is there that Tia Dalma (the voodoo skank) tells the survivors that they can bring witty Jack back if their hearts are in it, and with the help of the *gasp!* newly resurrected Barbossa.
It is then that we jump forward a bit to At World's End. The East India Trading company rules the seven seas with an iron fist, thanks to Davy Jones and his Flying Dutchman trampling any pirate they come upon. The remnants of the world's pirates are starting to go into hiding, but Elizabeth, Barbossa, Will and the gang track down Chow-Yun Fat in order to get a map he has in his possession that shows where numerous amazing treasures and locations are, so that they can rescue Jack from Davy Jones' locker (for all you complete retards out there, that means "the afterlife"). When they finally reach Jack he's gone even more mad by his isolation and his ship being landlocked in his own private little hell. After that, and since if everybody was stuck in the other realm that would have made for a really shitty movie, soon the Pearl and Jack (and everybody) are resurrected in a cool sequence, and the uber quadruplecrosses, back-knifings, and gigantic betrayals continue -- the deceit that goes on in At World's End puts the other two movies to pirating shame, I tells ya.
Then the pirate lords gather to confront the EITC one last time, and the huge finale occurs in which things don't play out even close to how you'd imagine they would. And I love it for it. And one of the best parts, the part of the movie that just made it beyond great and utterly fantastic is the epilogue. Jack's final bit with the rum and the compass sure, but after the credits...
And it's not just the swashbuckling, the duels, the piss-your-pants humor and giant sea battles that made me fall in love with these movies -- its all the little touches and all the things that you have to truly pay attention to in order to get. Like after watching through all three you fully understand all the hints that were thrown your way about how Jack was in love with Tia, what that meant and how she tried to kill him; the constant cameos of the dog with the keys; the dead body of Barbossa in the back of Tia's shack early in the second movie; and the many uses of an undead monkey. Each movie is so packed full of information and secrets that I learn at least three new things each time I watch one; and that's not just 'cause I have a hard time remembering things after the incident with that thing... to my head. And each movie is so crammed full of stuff that I see and hear at least five new things each time I watch one. I want to marry Johnny Depp. Wait, or did I mean Keira Knightley? No, right, Johnny Depp.
I honestly can't suck these movies off enough to show my complete pleasure with them. They deserve so much more for not only bringing the (long dead) pirate genre back to the world of the living (which Cutthroat Island originally killed), but for making me giddy with anticipation for a movie's release again. I had not been so excited over the opening weekend of a flick since Return of the King. And as with RotK, At World's End delivered on its promise of awesomeness with nary a crack in its perfect hull. Pirates deserves a shrine, or a temple built to it in order to honor its glory... Something people can visit and be taken away to that special time and place where Jack rules the seas and is never without a cunning plan or a piquant reply... If only we could build some place like that. That would be magical...
Anyway, the worst criticism I've heard from people who disliked any of these films is "Durrrrr, the story were too hard to follow... Poopy pants!" Yeah, I know just what they're tal-- wait, what? How fucking dense are you? The hardest part to follow is who's sticking the sword in whose back at any given moment, but all the betrayals are made perfectly clear by the end of each movie. The special effects (especially in 2 and 3) are the finest I've ever seen; Davy Jones himself is spotless (FX-wise), even in all of his close-ups -- nothing to bitch about there. The characters are superb; the stories are fresh and ever-flowing and changing, never ending exactly how you think they will. So what, it takes a little bit of brain power to keep up with all that's going on on the screen? Ugh, just go back to your Police Academy marathon. To the rest of you guys and gals, if you ever want to watch all the Pirate films back to back to back, give me a call. I'm listed. Under McLovin.
Perhaps the best part of these movies though is that I was able to do something I've wanted to do for years, but really hadn't had the chance until now. Just like Homer Simpson when he left the theater after watching The Empire Strikes Back on opening day, and he mentioned in passing "Woooow, who would have thought that Darth Vader was Luke's father..." in front of the huge line of people still waiting to get in to see it, I wanted to leave my mark on the poor fucks in line for the showing following mine. I was going to say, "Man, I can't believe they actually killed (NAME OF CHARACTER) at the very end like that," but I chickened out. Instead I just said, "Man, who would have thought that Barbossa was Jack Sparrow's father..." I got some groans from the line trying to get in, but I really could have blown their minds with my original spoiler. I'm such a nice guy.