REVIEW: THE BOOK THIEF

CAST

Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Sophie Nélisse (Close)
Emily Watson (War Horse)
Nico Liersch (Blackout)
Ben Schnetzer (Pride)
Heike Makatsch (Love Actually)
Barbara Auer (Jonathan)
Roger Allam (Mr. Holmes)

In February 1938, a voice representing Death tells about how the young Liesel Meminger has piqued his interest. In one of the opening scenes, Liesel is traveling with her mother and younger brother on a train. On the way, her brother dies and is buried next to the tracks. Liesel steals her first book, titled The Grave Digger’s Handbook, when it falls out of the gravedigger’s pocket. Liesel is then brought to her new home in Munich, where she meets her new foster parents Rosa Hubermann and Hans Hubermann. Rudy Steiner, a boy who lives next door, accompanies her on her first day of school. When the teacher asks Liesel to write her name on the chalkboard, she is only able to write three Xs, revealing to her classmates that she is unable to write. She is taunted by her schoolmates who chant “dummkopf” (“dunce”) at her. One of the boys, Franz Deutscher, challenges her to read just one word to which Liesel responds by beating him up. She impresses Rudy, and they become fast friends. When Hans, her foster father, realizes that Liesel cannot read, he begins to teach her, using the book that she took from the graveside, and a giant chalkboard. Liesel becomes captivated with reading anything she can.Emily Watson, Nico Liersch, and Sophie Nélisse in The Book Thief (2013)Liesel and Rudy become members of the Hitler Youth movement. While at a Nazi book burning ceremony, Liesel and Rudy are harassed into throwing books onto the bonfire by Franz, but Liesel is upset to see the books being burned. When the bonfire ends and everyone leaves, Liesel is still there and she grabs a book that has been only singed. She is seen by Ilsa Hermann, wife of the burgermeister (mayor). When Rosa asks Liesel to take the laundry to the mayor’s spacious, gated house, she realizes that the woman who saw her taking the book is the mayor’s wife. Instead, Ilsa takes her into their library and tells Liesel she can come by anytime and read as much as she’d like. One day Liesel is found reading by the mayor who not only puts a stop to her visits but dismisses Rosa as their laundress. During Kristallnacht, Max Vandenburg and his mother, who are Jewish, are told by a friend that only one of them can escape, and Max’s mother forces him to go. Max’s father had saved Hans’ life in World War I, and hence he goes to the Hubermanns’ house where Rosa and Hans give him shelter. Max initially stays in Liesel’s room while recovering from his trip, and they begin to become friends over their mutual hatred of Hitler. World War II begins, initially making most of the children in Liesel’s neighborhood very happy. Max is moved to the basement so that he can move around more, but it is cold and Max becomes dangerously ill. Liesel helps Max recover by reading to him books “borrowed” from the mayor’s library with every spare moment.Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nélisse in The Book Thief (2013)One day while “borrowing” a book from the mayor’s home, Liesel is followed by Rudy. He discovers the secret of Max, whose name he reads on a journal Max gave to Liesel for Christmas. Rudy guesses that her family is hiding someone, and he swears to never tell anyone. Franz overhears Rudy’s last words of keeping it a secret and violently pushes Rudy to reveal the secret. Rudy throws the journal into the river to keep it away from Franz. After Franz leaves, Rudy plunges into the icy river to rescue the journal, and Liesel realizes that she can truly trust him. Soon, a local party member comes by to check the Hubermanns’ basement, and they have to hide Max. While working, Hans sees a neighbor and friend named Lehman being taken away by the police because he is a Jew. Hans tries to intervene, telling the officer that Lehman is a good man, but Hans’s name is taken by the soldiers and he is thrown to the ground. Hans realizes what a mistake he has made, since this has made his family visible. He tells the family, and Max realises he must leave in order to protect them. Hans then receives a telegram that he has been conscripted into the army and must leave immediately.Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse in The Book Thief (2013)On the way home from school, Liesel believes she has seen Max in a line of Jews being forcibly marched through town, and she begins screaming his name, running through the line. She is thrown to the sidewalk twice by German soldiers and finally gives up when Rosa picks her up and takes her home. Hans returns home after being injured, and the family is reunited only for a short time. One night the city is bombed by accident, and the air raid sirens fail to go off. Hans, Rosa, and Rudy’s family are killed in the blast. Liesel was spared from the bombing because she fell asleep in the basement while writing in the journal given to her by Max. She sees her foster family on the ground, dead, she cries and hugs them. Neighbors bring Rudy out of his house, barely alive. He begins to tell Liesel that he loves her, but he dies before he can finish the sentence. During this scene, Death is heard speaking again about how he received the souls of the dead. Liesel passes out, and one of the soldiers carries her to a stretcher. When she wakes up, she sees a book among the rubble and picks it up. She then sees the mayor and Ilsa drive up. With Ilsa being the only friend she has left, Liesel runs up to her and hugs her.Ben Schnetzer and Sophie Nélisse in The Book Thief (2013)Two years later, after Germany has fallen to the Allies, Liesel is working in the tailor shop owned by Rudy’s father. Max enters. Overjoyed by his survival and return, she runs to hug him. The final scene is Death speaking again about Liesel’s life and her death at the age of 90, mentioning her husband, children, and grandchildren, as we look over her modern day Manhattan Upper East Side apartment with pictures of her past and a portrait of her, upon which the camera lingers. The narrator does not state whom she married but implies that she became a writer.Nico Liersch and Sophie Nélisse in The Book Thief (2013)I had very high expectations going in and honestly, from the trailer, I was prepared for a let down. Nothing of the sort. The scenery was breathtaking and captivating, and I felt transported, insulated from the realities of a terrible war in a terrible time by the endearingly human performances of the actors and the depth they lent to their characters.

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REVIEW: MINIONS

CAST (VOICES)

Pierre Coffin (Brad & Gary)
Sandra Bullock (The Heat)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Steve Coogan (Night at The Museum)
Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous)
Geoffrey Rush (Quills)
Steve Carell (Evan Almighty)
Katy Mixon (American Housewife)
Hiroyuki Sanada (Life)
Lori Alan (Family Guy)
Mindy Sterling (Drop Dead Gorgeous)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)

Minions are small, yellow creatures who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from yellow single-celled organisms into beings which exist only to serve history’s most despicable masters.[14] After rolling their leader T-Rex down a volcano, getting their caveman leader eaten by a bear, crushing a Pharaoh under the pyramids while his people survive, burning Dracula on his birthday party, and accidentally firing a cannon at Napoleon, the Minions are driven into isolation andstart a new life in a massive cave in the Arctic. After many years, the Minions become depressed, restless, and unmotivated without a master to serve. To regain their dignity and sense of purpose, Kevin, one fearless Minion, decides to set out to find a new master and asks for help. Stuart, a musically inclined Minion, and Bob, a young and inexperienced but enthusiastic Minion, are recruited.The trio journeys to New York, where the year is 1968. After spending the day attempting to blend in, the Minions end up in a department store for the night, where they discover a hidden commercial broadcast for villains advertising Villain-Con; a convention for villains and supervillains in Orlando. The trio hitchhikes a ride with the Nelson family and impress them with their accidental villainy. At the convention, they see Scarlet Overkill, the first female supervillain, who hires them and takes them to her home in the United Kingdom.Scarlet explains the plan to steal the Imperial State Crown from the Queen of the United Kingdom and promises to reward the Minions if they steal it but kill them if they do not. Her husband Herb supplies them with inventions to aid in the heist, but they are nearly caught when they break into the Tower of London, which leads to a chase that ends with Bob crashing into the Sword in the Stone and pulling it free, removing the Queen from the throne and becoming King Bob. Enraged, Scarlet confronts the Minions, so Bob abdicates the throne in her favor. Undeterred because she feels betrayed, Scarlet imprisons the three in a dungeon to be tortured by Herb before her coronation, but they escape with the intention to apologize to Scarlet.Making their way to Westminster Abbey, the three of them interrupt the coronation by accidentally dropping a chandelier on Scarlet, who orders their execution. Dozens of villains chase them and Bob and Stuart are caught, while Kevin finds his way into a pub. He sees Scarlet on a television, promising that she will kill Stuart and Bob if Kevin does not show up by dawn. Kevin sneaks into Scarlet’s home to steal weapons but inadvertently triggers a machine Herb was building and enlarges himself. He tramples through London, rescuing his friends just as the other Minions reunite with them. Scarlet tries to eradicate them, but Kevin swallows a massive missile she fires at them. Scarlet and Herb attempt to escape with her rocket-dress, but Kevin holds onto it. The missile detonates, causing it to explode. After the Minions briefly mourn him, Kevin returns, having returned to his normal size.The original Queen from the earlier part of the story receives her place on the throne and crown back and rewards Bob with a tiny crown for his teddy bear and Stuart an electric guitar, and she knights Kevin for his heroism. She suddenly realizes that her crown is missing, and Kevin leads a chase after Scarlet and Herb, who survived the explosion and are fleeing through the crowd with the bejeweled crown until they are suddenly frozen in place by a young Gru, who steals the crown from them and takes off in a rocket-powered motorbike while the Minions stare in awe. Bob gives his crown to the frozen Scarlet, and the Minions see Gru as their new potential master and give chase to follow him home.Very enjoyable and amusing film for both kids and adults.

REVIEW: HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1999)

CAST

Geoffrey Rush (Shakespeare In Love)
Famke Janssen (X-Men)
Ali Larter (Heroes)
Taye Diggs (Basic)
Peter Gallagher (American Beauty)
Chris Kattan (Undercovr Brother)
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras (Billy Madison)
Max Perlich (Blow)
Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator)
James Marsters (Caprica)

Still from House on Haunted Hill (1999)

The head of a now abandoned asylum, Dr. Richard B. Vannacutt (Jeffrey Combs), once performed grotesque experiments on the patients, killing many in the process. The hospital was closed in 1931 after the patients escaped from their cells, killing the entire staff (except five who were not present) and setting fire to the hospital. Vannacutt had rigged the building with numerous iron gates, activated by cranks and levers that cannot be reset for twelve hours, to keep patients from escaping. He closed the gates during the fire, dooming the patients and himself to death. Decades later, during reconstruction of the facility, several unexplained deaths result in the building being dubbed “The House on Haunted Hill”.
Still from House on Haunted Hill (1999)
In 1999, Evelyn Stockard-Price (Famke Janssen), a spoiled trophy wife, is in a disintegrating marriage with Steven Price (Geoffrey Rush), an amusement park mogul with a wicked sense of humor. Price leases the house from the owner, Watson Pritchett (Chris Kattan), for Evelyn’s birthday party. Evelyn gives Price a lengthy guest list; he shreds it to spite her and then creates one of his own. Five guests arrive for the party – Jennifer Jenzen (Ali Larter), Eddie Baker (Taye Diggs), Melissa Margaret Marr (Bridgette Wilson), Dr. Donald Blackburn (Peter Gallagher), and Pritchett himself. The guests are not the ones Price invited—neither Evelyn nor Price know who they are. Despite this, Price continues the party’s theme, offering $1 million to each guest who stays in the house and survives until morning, with any person not making it having his money added to the pot.

The security gates are tripped, locking everyone inside. After finding some hand guns, Jennifer, Eddie and Pritchett decide to take one of the guns. Meanwhile, Price scolds Carl Schecter (Max Perlich), a company employee – who has developed a series of harmless traps to scare the guests— for not letting him know he planned to pull a stunt like closing the iron gates. When Schecter states that he is not responsible, Price believes Evelyn is responsible. Meanwhile, Pritchett, Eddie and Jennifer go into the lower levels to find a way to open the gates. As Eddie and Jennifer explore the dungeon-like basement, Jennifer confesses to Eddie that her real name is Sara Wolfe, and that she’s an out-of-work assistant to the real Jennifer Jenzen. And that she attended the party in Jennifer’s place because she needed the prize money. However, the two are separated, and Sara is nearly drowned in tank of blood by a ghost impersonating Eddie. Though the real Eddie arrives in time to save her.

Melissa disappears when she wanders off in the basement, leaving behind a massive trail of blood. After Melissa’s disappearance, Price goes to Schecter to accuse him of faking the killing and hiding her; when he turns the seat around Schecter is found brutally murdered. Price sees a doctor walking through the room with a bloody knife on a surveillance monitor and fruitlessly chases after him. Shortly after, Evelyn dies in front of the others, when they find her mysteriously strapped onto a hypercharged electroshock therapy table. Furious, Price pulls a gun on the guests, demanding to know which one of them killed his wife. Sara nearly shoots him, but Eddie knocks him out before either one can kill the other. The remaining guests lock Price in the “Saturation Chamber”, an archaic device that Vannacut used to treat schizophrenics. Blackburn volunteers to stay behind to guard Price, while the others search for another way out. Seemingly clueless as to what the machine is or how it works, Blackburn turns the chamber on with Price still inside, and leaves him trapped. The chamber bombards Price with moving images and ghostly hallucinations until it drives him catatonic.

Meanwhile, Sara and Eddie find Vannacut’s office. Inside, they find a portrait of all the head staff, most of which have their last names, as well Price’s and Evelyn’s maiden name, on a staff picture from the asylum. Pritchett explains that that the spirits themselves created the guest list specifically to include the descendants of the five members of Vannacutt’s staff who did not die in the 1931 incident. The only exception is Blackburn, whose name does not appear amongst the staff.

Blackburn is revealed as Evelyn’s lover and they are working together to kill Price. Evelyn, who was brought back to life by Blackburn, kills him and uses his body to frame her husband. Sara, who heard Melissa moaning in the basement, comes across an incoherent Price in the basement, still delirious from his “treatment” in the saturation chamber. Believing that he is Blackburn’s murderer, shoots him as he begs her to help him. After the others return upstairs, Evelyn approaches Price to gloat, and Price, protected by a bullet-proof vest, attempts to kill Evelyn. The two scuffle before Price throws her through a decaying door. Inside the rotting room, the two realize they just stumbled upon the evil core of the house. The Darkness – a dark, shape-shifting creature composed of the spirits in the house – awakens and begins to take form. Evelyn is captured by the Darkness, which assimilates Evelyn into itself, killing her while Price watches in horror. The Darkness emerges in front of Price, revealing that it is composed of “everyone who died and is responsible”. This force begins to pursue Price. Pritchett is killed by The Darkness, allowing Price to evade it. Price tells Sara and Eddie that “the house is alive” and deduces that the only way to get out is through the attic. The three flee as The Darkness begins to seep through the house, manipulating the walls and shattering the floors as it chases them.

As they flee, Sara trips, and the Darkness uses Melissa’s form to try to lure her to it. Price activates a pulley that reveals an opening in the window of the attic. When the Darkness seeps into the attic, Price sacrifices himself to give the others time to escape, but the Darkness reactivates the iron gate after Sara escapes, trapping Eddie inside. When The Darkness confronts Eddie about his ancestor’s actions, it takes on several forms of all the guests who died during the party. Eddie screams out of desperation that he was actually adopted. As the Darkness prepares to assimilate Eddie, Pritchett’s ghost appears and opens the iron gate. The Darkness is distracted by Pritchett long enough for Eddie to escape out the window to Sara on an outside ledge. Pritchett’s ghost and the Darkness then both fade away. As Sara and Eddie watch the sun rise, they notice an envelope on the ledge. It contains all five $1 million checks, made out to cash. After the credits, a black-and-white film shows the patients torturing Evelyn and Price in the afterlife.

Overall the film starts like any other Hollywood horror but the clever direction, creepy music and imaginative visuals of Dr Vannacutt all create a creepy feel to the film that is better than the gore that also comes. The final section slides back into standard fare with the old CGI evil coming to get us – but up till then it’s surprisingly good stuff.

REVIEW: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE (AKA DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES)

CAST

Johnny Depp (Blow)
Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
Geoffrey Rush (Quills)
Brenton Thwaites (The Giver)
Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner)
Kevin McNally (Entrapment)
Golshifteh Farahani (Exodus: Gods and Kings)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Stephen Graham (Blow Dry)
Martin Klebba (Men in Black II)
Orlando Bloom (The Lord of The Rings)
Keira Knightley (The Hole)

Three years following the post-credits scene of At World’s End, 12-year old Henry Turner boards the Flying Dutchman to inform his father, Will Turner, that the mythical Trident of Poseidon is able to break his curse and free him from his ship, and of his intent to seek Jack Sparrow’s help to find it. Will does not believe the Trident exists and orders Henry to leave his ship and never come back.Nine years later (and five after the events of On Stranger Tides), Henry works on a British Royal Navy warship. While chasing a pirate ship, Henry realizes they are sailing into the Devil’s Triangle. The captain dismisses his concerns and has Henry locked up for attempting mutiny. Upon entering the Triangle, they come across a shipwreck, and are attacked by Captain Salazar and his undead crew, who slaughter everyone on board except Henry. Salazar sees that Henry is searching for Jack, spares his life and asks him to tell Jack that death is coming his way.In Saint Martin, a young woman named Carina Smyth has been sentenced to death for witchcraft because of her knowledge of astronomy and horology. She escapes her cell and briefly runs into Jack, who is fleeing with his crew with a vault from a bank they have just robbed. Jack and his crew evade the British Army, but realize the vault they stole is empty; Jack’s crew abandons him for letting them down. Carina later meets Henry, who is awaiting execution for his actions aboard the ship, and says she knows of a way to find the Trident. Carina helps him escape, but is caught by the British Army.Disheartened after losing his crew, Jack goes to a local tavern and gives away his compass to pay for his drink. By forsaking the compass, however, he unwittingly unleashes Salazar and his crew from the Devil’s Triangle. Shortly after, Jack is caught by the British Army. As he and Carina are about to be executed, Henry helps them escape with help from Jack’s crew, and together they sail away on Jack’s ship, the Dying Gull. Carina reveals a map that will lead them to the Trident, and reluctantly decides to team up with Henry and Jack in order to achieve their goals. While searching for Jack, Salazar and his crew roam the seas and destroy ships in Captain Barbossa’s fleet. Barbossa meets with Salazar and offers to help find Jack in exchange for sparing his fleet. Salazar explains to Barbossa that he and his crew once sailed the seas hunting and killing pirates, and had nearly cleansed the seas of piracy before they ran into a young Jack Sparrow, who tricked them into sailing into the Devil’s Triangle, where Salazar and his crew were cursed to remain undead.When Salazar’s ship finds the Dying Gull, Jack, Henry and Carina escape on a rowboat while the crew remains on board to cause a distraction. Salazar and his crew chase Jack, but upon arriving at a small island, Jack realizes Salazar’s ghost crew can’t step on land. Barbossa arrives at the island and allies with Jack, restoring the Black Pearl, which had been trapped in a bottle in Jack’s possession, to its original size. With Jack’s compass, which he obtained from the sea-witch Shansa, Barbossa takes command of the ship and lets Carina navigate them to the island. During the trip, Jack and Barbossa realize that Carina is Barbossa’s long lost daughter. Barbossa tells Jack that he left her at an orphanage with his diary to make sure she lived a better life, never imagining that he would see her again.The Pearl narrowly escapes a British Navy warship, which is destroyed by Salazar’s ship. Jack and Salazar’s crews clash. Meanwhile, Jack and Carina manage to activate the island’s magic, which parts the ocean to reveal a hidden path along the ocean floor. Salazar captures Henry and possesses his body to pursue them. Jack and Carina locate the trident, but Salazar intervenes, fighting Jack and seizing the Trident. Henry, now free of Salazar, realizes that destroying the Trident will break all curses upon the sea and shatters it, returning Salazar and his crew to life. As the divided sea slowly caves in, the Pearl attempts to rescue Jack, Henry, Carina, and Barbossa, lowering the ship’s anchor into the narrowing trench to pull them to safety, but—still intent on killing Jack—Salazar grabs the anchor as well. Carina notices a tattoo on Barbossa’s arm, matching the cover of her diary, and realizes that he is her father. After proclaiming his love for her, Barbossa sacrifices himself to take down Salazar and his crew and save Carina and the others. Following Barbossa’s death, Carina changes her last name to Barbossa.Some time later, Henry is joined by Carina, as they watch his father finally set foot on land again, no longer bound to the Flying Dutchman. As Henry and Carina kiss, Will is reunited with his wife Elizabeth. Watching from the deck of the Pearl, Jack sails away with his crew, opening up his mystical compass to reveal their next heading. In a post-credits scene, Will and Elizabeth are asleep when their bedroom is entered by the silhouette of an apparently resurrected Davy Jones. Just as Jones raises his clawed arm to strike at the couple, Will awakens and assumes this to be a nightmare, oblivious to the presence of barnacles on the floor amid a small puddle of seawater.Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is an amazing film. The acting is spectacular. The Visuals are splendid and the story is very impressive. I loved the film, my one complaint would be that Barbossa Dies.  The film was a great fun-filled ride and i personally can’t wait until the next one.

REVIEW: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES

CAST

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Penelope Cruz (Grimsby)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Kevin McNally (Valkyrie)
Sam Clafin (The Quiet Ones)
Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (I Origins)
Keith Richards (The Simpsons)
Stephen Graham (Gangs of New York)
Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter)
Judi Dench (Skyfall)
Gemma Ward (The Great Gatsby)
Luke Roberts (Reign)

After a failed attempt to rescue his first mate, Joshamee Gibbs in London, Captain Jack Sparrow is brought before King George II. The king wants Jack to guide an expedition to the Fountain of Youth before King Ferdinand and the Spanish Navy can locate it. Jack’s old nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa, now a privateer in service to the British Navy after losing his leg and ship, the Black Pearl, which he says was sunk, is heading the expedition. Jack refuses the offer and escapes. He meets up with his father, Captain Teague, who warns Jack about the Fountain’s rituals. Jack learns someone is impersonating him to recruit a crew to find the Fountain. The impostor is Angelica, Jack’s former lover, and the daughter of the ruthless pirate Blackbeard, who practices voodoo magic and wields the mythical “Sword of Triton” that controls his ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. While Jack is shanghaied aboard Blackbeard’s ship, Gibbs escapes execution by memorizing and destroying Jack’s map showing the Fountain’s location, forcing Barbossa to take him along.

Meanwhile, after a failed mutiny aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Jack is forced to guide the crew to the Fountain. Blackbeard seeks the Fountain’s power to circumvent his predestined fatal encounter with a “one-legged man”, who happened to be Barbossa. Jack must find two silver chalices aboard Juan Ponce de León’s missing flagship, the Santiago. The Fountain’s water must simultaneously be drunk by two people from the chalices. Drinking from one chalice containing a mermaid’s tear will extend life; the second person dies, their remaining years of life transferred to the other drinker. Jack also discovers that the Black Pearl was captured and shrunk before being added to Blackbeard’s collection of other shrunken ships in bottles.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge heads for Whitecap Bay to find and harvest mermaid tears. A mermaid named Syrena is caught, but Philip Swift, a captive missionary, falls in love with her. Reaching Ponce de León’s ship on an uncharted island, Angelica and Blackbeard coerce Jack into retrieving both chalices. Jack locates the grounded, decaying vessel, only to find Barbossa there. Both claim that the Spanish have taken the chalices, after it was nowhere to be found on the vessel.

Jack and Barbossa team up to sneak into the Spanish camp and steal the chalices. Barbossa reveals he only wants revenge against Blackbeard for attacking the Black Pearl, and his leg being amputated. Jack and Barbossa escape with the chalices. Meanwhile, Syrena, reciprocating Philip’s love, is tricked into shedding a tear. Blackbeard collects it, leaving her to die while Philip is forced to go with them. Jack returns with the chalices and bargains with Blackbeard for Angelica’s safety, Jack’s confiscated magical compass, and Gibbs’ release. In return, Jack vows to give Blackbeard the chalices and lead him to the Fountain; Blackbeard agrees, and Gibbs is set free with the compass.

At the Fountain, Blackbeard’s crew are confronted by Barbossa and his men and they battle while Barbossa and Blackbeard fight. The Spanish suddenly arrive, intending to destroy the Fountain, believing its power an abomination against God. When Barbossa stabs Blackbeard with a poisoned sword, Angelica pulls it out but is cut and poisoned. Barbossa obtains Blackbeard’s magic sword and gains control of the Queen Anne’s Revenge and her crew. Philip is mortally wounded, but he returns to free Syrena. She retrieves the missing chalices and gives them to Jack, telling him not to waste her tear. Syrena goes back to the dying Philip. She says she can save him if he asks her to. When he asks for her forgiveness, she takes him underwater.skeletyi-v-shkafuWith Blackbeard and Angelica both nearing death, Jack wants Angelica to drink from the chalice containing the tear. Instead, Blackbeard drinks it, asking his daughter to sacrifice herself. Angelica agrees and drinks from the second chalice. Anticipating that the self-serving Blackbeard would sacrifice his daughter, Jack lied about which chalice contained the tear to save Angelica’s life and Blackbeard’s soul. Angelica’s wounds are healed as the Fountain fatally consumes Blackbeard’s body. Although Angelica claimed she loves Jack, he distrusts her intentions and strands her on a cay. Now wielding Blackbeard’s magical sword, Barbossa captains the Queen Anne’s Revenge and returns to piracy.  Jack finds Gibbs, who had used the compass to locate the Revenge. He reclaimed the shrunken Black Pearl and the other conquered ships in bottles, carrying them in a gunny sack. The two leave, hoping to revert the Black Pearl to its original size. In a post-credits scene, a voodoo doll of Jack crafted by Blackbeard washes ashore and is found by grinning Angelica.On Stranger Tides is not a perfect film, but as an installment to a decent enough franchise it is a more than worthy one. I’m pretty sure if you’re looking for a good time going into it, you will have fun.

REVIEW: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END

CAST

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
Orlando Bloom (Lord of The Rings)
Keira Knightley (Atonement)
Jack Davenport (Flash Forward)
Bill Nighy (Wrath of the Titans)
Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones)
Lee Arenberg (Once Upon A Time)
Mackenzie Crook (Solomon Kane)
Kevin McNally (Valkyrie)
Stellan Skarsgard (Avengvers Assemble)
Tom Hollander (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation)
Martin Klebba (The Cape)
Naomie Harris (Skyfall)
Chow Yun fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden tiger)
Keith Richards (The Simpsons)
Marshall Manesh (How I Met Your Mother)

To control the oceans, Lord Cutler Beckett executes anyone associated with piracy by ordering Davy Jones to destroy all pirate ships in the seas. Condemned prisoners sing “Hoist the Colours” to compel the nine Pirate Lords to convene at Shipwreck Cove to hold the Brethren Court. Captain Jack Sparrow, one of the Pirate Lords, never named a successor. Captain Barbossa, along with Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Tia Dalma, and the crew of the Black Pearl, plot to rescue Jack from Davy Jones’s Locker. Travelling to Singapore, the crew meet Captain Sao Feng who owns navigational charts to the Locker. Beckett’s soldiers invade, but the crew escape. Feng and Turner make a deal to give Jack to Feng, so he in turn can use the Pearl to rescue his father Bootstrap Bill from the Flying Dutchman. The crew travels to the locker and rescues the marooned Jack. They find themselves trapped, encountering dead souls, including Elizabeth’s father Governor Swann. They learn the Dutchman must have a captain. Returning to the living world, the Pearl is attacked by Sao Feng and Beckett’s men. Through a complex series of deals, Elizabeth is handed over to Feng under the belief she is the goddess Calypso, while the rest of the crew make for Shipwreck Cove aboard the Pearl, though Jack later throws Will off the ship as part of the plan to seize control of the Dutchman. Sao Feng tells Elizabeth that the Brethren Court bound Calypso in human form after she betrayed her lover, Davy Jones. He plans to release her to defeat Beckett. Davy Jones attacks Feng’s ship, but Feng appoints Elizabeth his successor as Pirate Lord before dying. Admiral Norrington frees Elizabeth and her new crew from the Dutchman, but is killed by a crazed Bootstrap Bill.

The Black Pearl arrives at Shipwreck Cove where Barbossa attempts to persuade the Brethren Court to release Calypso. Jack’s father Captain Teague and Keeper of the Pirate Code, informs the Court that only an elected Pirate King can decide. A vote is taken. To avoid a stalemate, Jack casts his vote for Elizabeth, making her King. Davy Jones visits Tia Dalma in the Pearl’s brig, revealing she is Calypso, and they promise to be together again.

The Brethren Court and Beckett’s fleets emerge for war. On a sandbank, Elizabeth, Jack, Barbossa, Beckett, Jones, and Will parley, trading Will for Jack, and Barbossa steals Jack’s piece of eight, all of which are owned by the Pirate Lords and required to free Calypso. Barbossa frees Calypso, but when Will reveals it was Jones who imprisoned her, Calypso vanishes and summons an enormous maelstrom.

The Pearl and the Dutchman battle in the maelstrom. Elizabeth and Will are wed by Barbossa before swinging over to the Dutchman to aid Jack. On board the Dutchman, Jones and Jack engage in a duel, with Jones gaining the upper hand. Jones stabs Will with a sword, but Jack and Elizabeth have Will stab Jones’ heart. Jones dies, and falls in the maelstrom, free for all eternity. Will succumbs to his injuries. Jack and Elizabeth escape the Dutchman as it is sucked into the maelstrom. As Beckett’s ship, the Endeavour, approaches to destroy the Pearl, the Dutchman rises, now captained by Will, and the crew free of Jones’ curse. Together, the two pirate ships destroy the Endeavour, with a stunned Beckett going down with the ship while his army retreats. With Will now bound to escort souls lost at sea to the next world for ten years, Will and Elizabeth consummate their marriage before he departs on the Dutchman.

Jack and Joshamee Gibbs discover Barbossa has stolen the Black Pearl again, but Jack planned ahead and cut out Sao Feng’s navigational charts, departing from Tortuga alone to track down the mythical Fountain of Youth to become immortal. Ten years later, Elizabeth and her son watch from a sea cliff as Will returns aboard the Dutchman.

At World’s End is a great film, making superb use of its immense budget and wowing audiences with incredible set-pieces and climactic action.  At World’s End is a solidly entertaining film, held up by brilliant action

 

 

REVIEW: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST

CAST

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
Orlando Bloom (Lord of The Rings)
Keira Knightley (Atonement)
Jack Davenport (Flash Forward)
Bill Nighy (Wrath of the Titans)
Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones)
Lee Arenberg (Once Upon A Time)
Mackenzie Crook (Solomon Kane)
Kevin McNally (Valkyrie)
Stellan Skarsgard (Avengvers Assemble)
Tom Hollander (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation)
Martin Klebba (The Cape)
Naomie Harris (Skyfall)
Derrick O’Connor (Alias)
Reggie Lee (The Dark Knight Rises)

The wedding of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann is interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company, who has arrest warrants for the couple as well as for Commodore James Norrington, for allowing Captain Jack Sparrow to escape execution. Norrington’s whereabouts are uncertain, as he resigned after his obsessive pursuit of Sparrow resulted in the Navy’s flagship, HMS Dauntless, being destroyed in a typhoon. Elizabeth is imprisoned, but Beckett promises to free her if Will tracks down Jack and brings Beckett Jack’s magic compass which points to whatever the holder wants most. Shortly after, Governor Swann tries to escape Port Royal with Elizabeth but is captured. Elizabeth negotiates with Beckett to let her escape to find the compass herself, and she hides aboard a Scottish merchant vessel, the Edinburgh Trader.
On the Black Pearl, Jack reunites with Will’s father Bootstrap Bill, who reveals he is a crewman on the Flying Dutchman, captained by Davy Jones, whom Jack previously made a deal with to raise the Pearl from the depths. Jack must join Jones’ crew or be dragged to Davy Jones’ Locker by the monstrous Kraken. Will eventually finds Jack’s crew on an island ruled by cannibals, from which they escape. The crew meet voodoo priestess Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris), who tells them Jones’ weakness is his heart, locked within the Dead Man’s Chest. Locating the Dutchman, Will is shanghaied into service while Jones sends Jack to bring him one-hundred souls so his blood debt can be paid. On the Dutchman, Will meets his father, and learns that the chest’s key is in Jones’ possession. After playing a game of liar’s dice against Davy Jones, Bootstrap helps Will escape with the key, but Jones sends the Kraken after him, sinking the Edinburgh Trader.
In Tortuga, Jack hires a new crew, including Elizabeth, and Norrington, now a drunk. All parties arrive on Isla Cruces where the chest is buried but a three-way sword fight breaks out between Jack, Will, and Norrington who all want the heart for their respective goals: Jack wants to call off the Kraken, Will wants to rescue his father, and Norrington wants to regain his life. In the chaos, Jack obtains Jones’ heart and hides it in a jar of dirt, but Norrington secretly steals the heart and runs off pretending to lure away the Dutchman’s crew. Jones attacks the Pearl with the Kraken, which devours most of the crew and destroys all but one of the Pearl’s lifeboats, but Jack, who briefly fled, returns and wounds it with a net full of explosives.

Jack orders the survivors to abandon ship, but Elizabeth manacles him to the mast so that the crew can escape the Kraken. Jack manages to break free, but is dragged down to the bottom of the sea by the Kraken. Jones discovers his heart is missing and rages. In Port Royal, Norrington approaches Beckett and gives him the heart and Letters of Marque meant for Jack, allowing him back into the navy as well as allowing Beckett to gain control of Davy Jones and the seas. The Pearl’s crew take shelter with Tia Dalma, where they all agree to rescue Jack. Tia Dalma introduces the captain that will guide them: the resurrected Captain Barbossa.Yes it is darker, much darker than the original. But I think the darkness only adds to the film. It makes the film more credible, rather than a children’s story.