Avast all these negative reviews! The critics are scallywags! Aye, if you’re a swashbuckler yourself then I’ll stake my last swig of rum that you won’t be disappointed in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Grab your wench and make way for the theater!
The fast paced, action packed opening scene includes Captain Jack Sparrow salivating over a pastry. Pirates eat pastries, and wash them down with rum it’s simple as that. They also get advice from Keith Richards, and yes, he’s back! Depp is also back in top form as Captain Jack Sparrow, a character I never get bored of watching. This time the journey involved the fountain of youth, and standing in the way is Blackbeard (Ian McShane). On Stranger Tides allows Sparrow to be funny, heroic, and yet still underhanded because after all, he’s a pirate! I even drew a comparison to Teen Wolf of all films. Sparrow balanced atop moving carriages through a town during the opening sequence just like Styles did on top of Howard’s Hardware van. Styles was a bit of a pirate wasn’t he?
In a twist that I found pretty damn cool, we find out that Captain Jack corrupted a young girl while she was in a convent years back and now she’s out for revenge. Penelope Crews plays the spunky Angelica, a fiery female pirate who was once spoiled by Sparrow. Depp and Crews chemistry was the highlight of the film and I’d like to see more of it in this series. With Depp pushing 50 and Crews pushing 40, both actors look like they went through a real life fountain of youth. Crews was a perfect casting choice to help extend this franchise and I do hope to see her in future installments. HINT: If you wait until after the credits role you’ll see a clip featuring Angelica and who she might set her eyes on in the next film.
Entertainment Weekly reviewer Owen Gleiberman writes in his review that he had began to wish that “…Russell Brand had been handed the role of Jack Sparrow.” Wow, what a moronic comment. If you want a movie that’s a total mockery then you can get Brand. Swapping Brand for Depp is an insult. Depp is an infinitely skilled actor while Brand is a decent comedian who only half of the U.S can tolerate.
I don’t know what critics are expecting out of these movies. I got everything I expected and more out of the film. They’ll rant and rave about how amazing Toy Story 3 was, yet pan an adventurous and highly entertaining Pirate film with Johnny Depp. Doesn’t make sense. Will the Pirates franchise ever release another film as good as the first one? I doubt it, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a close second, which is what On Stranger Tides is. And for those critics who complained that it was too much like the other films, I disagree. There were so many aspects of this installment that set it apart from the rest. First off, the mermaids were ridiculously awesome and their scenes will take you by surprise. These are not the Daryl Hannah type of mermaid you’re accustomed to. All the excitement is accented by the outstanding musical score. I didn’t think it was possible to improve upon the rousing musical score of these films, but they did. Hans Zimmer contributes another stellar soundtrack.
Darius Whiteplume from one of my favorite blogs, Adventures in Nerdliness gave me the hot tag on this one. The Dino Lounge started the meme and Retrospace aided and abetted. I’m supposed to tag some other bloggers now:
I went totally overboard. According to the title of this borderline fruitily titled meme, it’s intended to be limited to 20 men I admire, but once I started thinking about who I’d like to put on the list I wound up coming up with so many more. They aren’t listed in any specific order.
1) My Dad – He put up with all my bullshit for so many years. He’s taken me to countless wrestling events, KISS concerts, and cheesy movies. He’s supported me, shared in my enthisaism about stuff he probably really doesn’t care about, and always makes sure I have enough food in my fridge. When I was a kid the stuff he did seperated him from my friends dads and other father’s I came in contact with because he would go the extra mile. Every Friday night he’d bring me home a Super hero toy or an LJN wrestling figure and after dinner he’d spend the rest of the night playing action figures with me. On Saturday mornings he would even go so far as to be skeletor with the evil side of the power sword to my He-Man. The best times I shared with my dad were the times when we’d go on a trek to the comic book store, and then I’d help him pick up some groceries. It was simple but we’d talk about everything from The Beatles to the art of pool chlorination and filtration. My Dad is the man. Like Will Ferrel says at his wedding in Old School “…I love you Dad!”
2) Hugh Hefner – Sure it’s nice to have sex with thousands of the most beautiful women on earth at your whim, but there’s another aspect of Hugh that I respect even more and that’s his career. He completed his mission…OK well YES, he did complete his “mission” several thousand times but as far as journalism goes, Hugh is a legend. He transformed a periodical that was deemed pornographic and lewd into not only a worldwide multimillion dollar company, but what people forget is that Playboy is a serious magazine. It’s the pinnacle. I don’t write that to be tongue in cheek, I mean it in the way that Edgar Frog told Sam in The Lost Boys that Batman #14 “…is a serious book man.” Any aspiring journalist would shave their eyebrows and punch themselves in their ball sack for a chance to have even a minor blurb published in Playboy. Tons of men and women read the magazine. It features original fiction, serious news articles, and the BEST interviews you will read ANYWHERE on the planet; they’re better than any interview you’ll see on television or radio. Hugh has lived the life every man has dreamed of, and he’s lived the life every aspiring journalist has dreamed of to infinity.
3) Butch Walker – Butch had his 15 minutes of fame, or should I say 45 minutes of fame in the bands Southgang, Marvelous 3, and The Floyd’s. After going solo several years later he created his own independent label to release his music so he doesn’t have to deal with typical record label bullshit. Butch’s music has never received the accolades it deserves but he keeps doing what he’s the best at. He can write hit songs, play multiple instruments, and perfectly produce music. He’s in control of his own music which means his brilliant music can now be released from his brain to Pro Tools straight to his fans. Butch is also an highly sought after producer and has worked on albums with Avril Lavigne, Pink, The Donnas, All American Rejects ugh…Fall Out Boy, and literally a slew of others.
4) Kevin Smith The goal I had since I was about 8 years old was to become a film director. Once I got past filming a feature about a teen with alcohol addiction, and several years of backyard wrestling events, I moved on to making actual no-budget films. The majority of the shorts and features were comedic but I also made a thriller. During this time, Jersey guy Kevin Smith was hitting big with Clerks, and Mallrats and he reinforced my crazy idea. I thought maybe my aspirations weren’t as ridiculous as they sounded. Smith worked with a low budget on most of his films, put his friends in his films, and created his own View Askewniverse. My friends and family began to think I had more of a shot. Almost 15 years since Clerks, Kevin Smith is only getting better. If you haven’t seen Zack & Miri Make a Porno then GET IT! It’s hysterical! It hits stores on 2/3/09.
5) Johnny Depp – the best person to exist in the universe. I appreciate all of his performances: Jack Sparrow, Ichabod Crane, Cry-Baby, Glen Lantz, Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka…etc.
6) Rob Zombie underneath his badass rock star disguise, he’s really a geeky horror movie lover. I’m anxiously awaiting his films Tyrannosaurus Rex and Halloween 2 and the White Zombie box set.
7) Slash – A couple of years after I stopped pretending I was Alex P. Keaton and Marty McFly, I began to go into “Saul Hudson” mode. I would put my GNR t-shirt on, (which I still have) and throw a black t-shirt over my head and pretended it was his hair. I didn’t have a top hat, but cut me some slack…I was 7. While everyone loved Axl and wanted to slink around like he did, I wanted to be the “guitarist with mystique” = Slash. You should definitely read his book if you are at all interested in hard rock from the ’80s.
8) Andy Samberg – Any sketch or digital short or musical piece he’s involved with usually amuses me to no end. Samberg’s Hot Rod gets frequent airtime on my iPod Classic.
9) James Franco – To say James Franco is talented and versatile is an understatement. He is a star. He’s the type of person that I admire because he’s just a laid back kind of guy. He’s hysterical in Pineapple Express, on SNL, and his skits on Funny or Die yet he can be very serious in films like Milk, James Dean, and the Spider Man series.
10) Sebastian Bach – When promoting his starring role in Broadway’s Jekyll and Hyde Sebastian always said he went “from Skid Row to Saville Row.” After Skid Row kicked him out or they broke up, Bach went out on his own. I consider his latest CD Angel Down one of the best hard rock/metal records in the past several years. I saw his performance in Jekyll and Hyde 3 times and it was literally enthralling. If you felt that Heath Ledger embodied the Joker in The Dark Knight, then you would definitely agree that Bach lost himself in the dual role. Bach even won CMT’s Country music competition “Gone Country.” Bach has a big enough name and such a superior voice that he calls the shots in his career. He doesn’t need Skid Row at all. I could care less if he acts like a big dork, he’s a real guy, a major fanboy, and he also lives in Jersey!
11) Seth Mcfarlane – a master of two of my favorite things: animation and voice acting.
12) Barack Obama – no matter your ethnicity or political party, Barack exhibits a natural demeanor, intelligence, and superior speaking skills that may help him go down in history as one of our great presidents.
13) Danny Devito – He’s f’n hysterical whether I’m watching Taxi or Always Sunny. Maybe not so much Tim Burton’s Penguin but I’ll forgive him on that one. Devito is from Neptune, New Jersey.
14) Jon Stewart – All news broadcasts should be cancelled and every channel should simulcast the daily show. It”s like Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. Stewarts humor and cool attitude make news more palatable. You can learn about the serious issues in the world while laughing your ass off.
15) Bobby Ewing – I’m not sure if fictional characters are allowed in this list but who cares?Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) from Dallas was the classic good guy. He was smart, physically fit, and fiercely loving to his family. As perfect as he seemed, I always appreciated that his character was never without flaws. Bobby was a loose canon and would knock a guy out if he looked at him the wrong way. Most of all, he scored Pam who was super sexy fine.
16) Peter Billingsley – He went from shooting his eye out and wearing a pink bunny suit to producing, directing, and acting in a bunch of big hit movies. You’ll probably be watching him for 24 hours every year on Christmas for the rest of your life.
17) Lorne Michaels – Genius producer and former writer of SNL, (among other movies and television shows).
18) Brian De Palma – In a way, I consider Jersey guy De Palma a revivalist filmmaker. I appreciate his suspenseful tension build ups and how he creates an eerie atmosphere in some of his films. Rather than turn his back on us, he embraces his Jersey roots unlike so many others who “went Hollywood.”
19) Nikki Sixx – The epitome of rock star. He did so many drugs that he died for several seconds, came back, and rocked even harder. He wrote his own book and started several side projects such as Sixx A.M. Sixx has his own clothing line and has scored hot chicks like Donna D’errico and presently Kat Von D.
20) Ted McGinley – The most underrated actor ever. I wish Ted McGinley started to get leading roles in major motion pictures. Just like Tarantino revived Travolta’s career, I plan on morphing Ted into a phoenix.
21) Walt Disney – Disregarding the cash machine that Disney films and theme parks have become, Walt’s original vision was that of childlike wonder. A personal touch was always given by Walt when he used to introduce his own TV shows. He made you feel like you knew him personally. It’s truly amazing how his dream is still being carried out today. I doubt Disney will ever be the company it once was, but Walt’s genius and creativity will resonate forever.
22) Quentin Tarantino – I can’t say I live and die by his films, and I wouldn’t consider him an idol or anything, but I admire Tarantino for his “this is my film and I’m going to make it exactly the way I want it” attitude. Regardless of the fact that he makes films that may not be box office hits, he makes the movies HE WANTS TO SEE. That’s every filmmakers dream. His style and trademarks are borrowed from other eras but when you’re watching one of his films you know it’s Tarantino.
23) Jeff Hardy – It seems to be the time for hardcore fans to finally get their shot at the real deal. Jeff and his brother Matt grew up as hardcore wrestling fans. They wrestled non stop in their yard, cut promos, and filmed themselves. Once they made it to the big time it took several years for them to finally gain the respect they deserve. Jeff is presently the WWE champ and his brother is the ECW champ. From fans to backyard wrestlers to jobbers to WWE champs. It’s the new kind of “Do it yourself” fame. Hard work and dedication actually do pay off.
24) Dane Cook – Same goes for Dane Cook. I got to see him several years before anyone knew his name. Myspace didn’t even exist at the time. He promoted himself and he was in touch with his fans. He gave Hollywood and the media no option but to take notice of him. Through relentlessly touring comedy clubs all over the country and furiously gaining friends on Myspace, Dane carved his own place in comedy history.
25) David Robinson – One of my first real life heroes. David Robinson was a different type of player. He spoke eloquently, he was extremely intelligent, humble, and a standout center for the San Antonio Spurs. He wasn’t a cocky jerk on the court and he was very passionate about his family and religion. It seemed like David could’ve succeeded at anything. He’s retired now, but for many years he was a major role model of mine and even though I shot hoops every day of my life, I would never be a quarter as good as the admiral.
26) Howard Stern – The most influential personality in my entire life. When I was a kid, I would stay up late to watch the channel 9 show and used to record the radio broadcast when I was at school. He was a true inspiration for a radio geek like me.
27) Vince McMahon – The mad genius of the wrestling business. Think what you want about him, but know that the majority of people in the country would have no idea what WWF was if it wasn’t for Vince, his father’s vision, and his partnership with Terry Bollea in the early ’80s.
28) Gene Simmons – I know it’s the most unpopular answer since everyone thinks he’s such a heel but if you think about it, he’s pretty much one of the coolest guys on the planet. His character of the Demon has permeated every facet of pop culture. Should we really fault a guy for his maniacal business savvy? If people keep buying, he’ll keep selling. Don’t you think we’re the culprits?
29) William Zabka – You know him to show “No Mercy.” He’s been called Johnny Lawrence, Greg Tolan, Chas, and Jack from European Vacation. Zabka’s one of the most notorious jerk in all of movies, perhaps only 2nd to Spader.
Others that would’ve made the list if I the title was 50 Men I Admire: Will Ferrel, Michael J Fox, Frank Lloyd Wright, George Carlin, Judd Apatow, Michael Keaton, Mickey Rourke,Bruce Springsteen, Sylvester Stallone, Stanley Kubrick, Bruce Willis