Tag Archives: Gore Verbinski

Progenitors: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

A little late on this, but in honor of Tomorrowland, here is another, more successful, Disney attempt to turn a theme park attraction into a live-action film, a success that has haunted their follow-up attempts to this day…

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a little bit of lightning in a bottle. It shouldn’t work; in fact, it didn’t just ten years later – when the principal actor and director teamed up again with a similar tone and dollar signs in their eyes, only to be trounced by generally divested cinema-goers and critics. It didn’t work the half-dozen or so times that Hollywood has tried to return pirates to the mainstream since the end of their heyday ransacking Hollywood way back in the misty yesteryear of the 1930s. And it didn’t work just the same year The Curse of the Black Pearl was released, when Disney took two other Disneyland/ Disneyworld rides and made films out of them, both to negligent box office results and dismal critical failure. Continue reading

Review(s): 2013 Blockbuster Leftovers, the Heavy Hitters

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim has its share of successes. It’s no secret that Guillermo del Toro has enough talent to match his imagination, and that the Hollywood machine can’t completely get him down. His ode to Japanese daikaiju films and the glorious displays of jolly monster action found within is far better crafted than any of those films ever were (although I’m not sure if that’s always a good thing). His characters are caricatures, but they’re surrounded by a certain committed feeling that sells the world regardless of its general silliness. There are wonderful nodes scattered about to society as it exists, but just as the people within are always so anxiously monster-watching to notice those details, del Toro keeps them in the background. There’s a lot of nice lived-in detail that alloys the film with a distinctly loopy sense of personality (unfortunately the de facto comic relief doesn’t work at all, bu they’re not in the film too much).  Continue reading

Wild Wild Jest: Rango

When Rango was first announced, it seemed like a dream come true. An animated film starring a lizard that embraces and likely parodies the Western genre? Now there’s something for you. Unfortunately, there was that whole trailer thing … well, let’s just say the trailers were downright tepid and filled with jokes that seemed more clever than funny, products of a writer hopped up on his or her own ego. Continue reading