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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chp 128. Shrek of the Caribbean’s 13

A review of the latest release of Shrek, Pirates and Ocean’s 13.

Caution: May contain spoilers. [That is, in case you haven’t watched them yet (duh), which is quite unlikely as I am only able to publish this post 4 days after I wrote it due to scarcity of internet access here in Mumbai near my apartment]

One of the greatest perks of vacationing with your elder sister is that you get to watch a lot of movies, all free of cost .

And what moment can be more auspicious than these past two weekends which just saw the release of three much awaited Hollywood blockbuster sequels: Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s end, and Ocean’s 13.

Frankly speaking, I was quite disappointed with “Shrek the Third”. Maybe because of all the hype surrounding it or that the previous two parts were just too damn good. Or maybe it’s a fact that the film Industry cannot pull a “Godfather” again, that is, make all the sequels as great as the prequel.

Movies I II III
The Godfather
Pirates of the Caribbean
Ocean’s 11-13

Rating the three new releases, this is my order of preference:

Ocean's 13

Pirates of the Caribbean
At World's End

Shrek the Third

3rd Place: Shrek the Third.

No pun intended on “Shrek the Third” indeed coming third . At the end of the show, one can’t help having that eerie feeling that somewhere out there, the directors, producers, writers and casts are laughing their asses out at us for falling for their sick prank.

The humor in the movie was extremely bland and childish on many occasions. It was nothing compared to the previous two parts, and the introduction of Arthur (voice of Justin Timberlake) didn’t make any difference at all. In fact, frankly speaking, to me it felt as if the twisted plot lines were the result of a strong gust of wind suddenly blowing inside the studio and mixing up all the plot lines of different projects… I mean, mixing up fairy tales with folklores and myths and urban legends? In the previous part, we saw the Fairy Godmother as the main villain. Part one introduced us to the three little pigs, pinnochio, gingerbread man etc. I sincerely felt the writers shouldn’t have brought in the characters of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, the headless horse man, cyclops etc this time.

I think what made it worse was the grand build-up to the movie. With all the hype surrounding it, one automatically goes to see the movie expecting it to be better than or at least as great as the previous two parts. My sense of humor just got slam dunked and all you see at the end of the show were just frowning faces everywhere. The kids loved it though; you could hear them laughing during the entire movie at any damn thing, after all, they are just kids. Even tele-tubbies make them laugh. But for grown-ups, this movie is a complete no-no.

2nd Place: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

We loved it. But then, after a not so great second part (Dead man’s chest), we do deserve to be entertained . Loved the humor, especially the Pirate jokes. And the best part was, Captain Barbossa’s back! Love him. He’s an epitome of all things Pirate .

Keira Knightley’s as dashing as ever, charming her way with her boyish yet feminine appeal right into our hearts. The action scenes were definitely better choreographed than the previous part. And hey, the movie’s almost 3 hours long, but I feel it’s definitely worth your money.

Chow Yun-Fatt was another ingredient to this great blockbuster. Acting wise, I give him a full 10 out of 10. But I was disappointed a bit because the writers did not utilize his full potential as a martial-arts artist. No such fancy trademark moves of his during the rumble. And speaking of Chinese, there was that Singapore bath-tub scene where two hot Chinese babes were “fanning” Chow Yun-Fatt, and when the British soldiers came, one of the girls got shot in the head. The other girl looked up with burning vengeance in her eyes. At this point, I expected her to do some really fancy kung-fu move or something like that. But nah, the next scene, she too was shot. What an anti-climax.

Apart from that, the movie was fantastic. Swashbuckling action and sarcastic humor wise, this movie takes the cake. Plot wise though… hmmm there are a few too many loop holes. Like for example, when the British soldiers were holding Davy Jones’ heart at ransom, threatening to shoot it to pieces if the crew of the Black Pearl disobeyed them, well, knowing the almost-supernatural powers of the human-fish mutant crew, I’m sure they would have secured the heart safely had they rushed the nervous and scared British troops. And then I didn’t get the part about the Calypso at all. So she grew bigger and bigger. Then she turned into hundreds of crabs. Then she created a whirlpool. And then what? That wasn’t what I expected after all the hype created by the pirates about the dangers of releasing her.

And the meeting of the Heads of “their respective Seas” didn’t exactly make me go all “wow”. A meeting of the head of different families of a mafia would make me sit up more on my seat than this (even that music video “…them thangs” by G-Unit (50Cents) with a similar assembly of different head honchos is more exciting to watch).

Anyway, with all the fantastic action scenes and slick Jack Sparrow humor, this movie is worth every penny.

1st Place: Ocean’s 13.

After a rather dull and boring second part, the magic of Clooney and Brad Pitt finally struck again. We all loved the first part, didn’t we? You’ll love this one too.

Al Pacino played out his role perfectly. There was no Julia Roberts this time, but I think its better that she wasn’t. I mean, how corny is it for a movie star playing a certain character to play a part of the actual movie star’s character (in “Ocean’s 12”) even if it means a few minutes guest appearance of Bruce Willis. No wonder the second part was such a flop. This time, the writers have done their homework well, learning from their mistakes. And the result? A fantastic third part.

Just a small suggestion though. They should have written Yen’s Chinese dialogues during the movie with English subtitles. So what if the crew understands Chinese? The audiences don’t. Eventually we get what the little China man is saying because the rest of the cast talk in such a way (subtle repetition of what he said in English under the sly pretext of exclamation) that we can figure out what he said in Chinese. But when the rest of the crew do that too often, the fact that they are trying to translate what Yen said in Chinese to the audiences is pretty obvious and hence becomes quite lame.

Over all, this is the best movie to watch this summer so far. I didn’t like Spiderman 3 at all. And then there is the upcoming sequel of Fantastic Four (Silver Surfer) to hit the silver screen next week. I will be in Delhi with my baby by then, so I guess even if the movie sucks, let’s just say I won’t be disappointed inside the theatre *evil GRIN*


philo said...

Touche! Although i reckon the hype around the sequels pushed expectations beyond the actual delivery. Pirates III lacked the realism of Pirates I as the digital virtuality was rather overdone. A great screenplay though interspersed with biting humor and colorful characters. My personal favourite was Keith Richards as Sparrow's was so him! The mummified mother's head was real dark in its humor. The SHrek and Ocean's sequels seemed to attempt riding the wave of their predecessors and i thought they did a strugglingly vapid attempt at it. The DIe Hard sequel looks to be a stunner...upped its ante on the stunts and in-your-face machoism. I definitely hope your movie experience isnt disappointing...irrespectively! GRIN

Pixie said...

Haven't watched any of them yet!
Will watch Oceans 13 for sure...

thanks for the review though - you helped me make up my mind that Oceans 13 has to be watched!!

illusionaire said...

@ Philo: I agree Pirates 3 wasn't as great as Pirates 1, but it was so much better than Pirates 2 :-)

You said it, Sparrow's father played by keith richard is perfect. And the character is as cool as Jack Sparrow's too. IMHO, I think the problem with Shrek was, they tried to tune into too many different sections of people. A joke for the kids, a joke for the teens, a joke for the adults, a joke for the granpas and granmas etc...

illusionaire said...

Pixie, I sure am glad I was able to help you on which on to watch :-) yay, my post has not been a futile attempt :)