Saturday, March 26, 2011

On the verge of Stranger Tides...

.. I started watching a series of movies from the beginning...

I am nearly 25 years old. A sober young man. Single. I have now sat through hundreds of movies alone and with friends. Many of which I have enjoyed. And I am not completely hardened in my sophistication. The opening music to The Lion King brought tears to my eyes even now. But still, these are after all just children's movies. In another life, I would never have seen them. And, really, one can't take such movies too seriously, can one?

And one summer, I dutifully trudged into yet another Disney "adventure" movie. Named after that tired old ride in Anaheim. I mean really, how much can you expect?

And then, it happened. The swirling intoxication. The stunned feeling. What? Who? How? Was this a movie? Or a religious experience? Perhaps more like an addictive experience...

I cannot remember ever willingly paying to see any movie not starring Rajini or Kamal more than twice, and I can count those movies on one hand. I have now seen "Pirates" SEVERAL times. The only thing keeping me from seeing it again is the sense that this whole thing is just getting out of hand. I cannot get enough of it. It's like walking into a painting that you never want to come back out of. My parents ask, with a note of concern in their voices, "So, you really like Pirates of the Caribbean a lot, don't you?"

And Depp!! My God. I never had any idea who he was, but his name sounded like something created for a pubescent cover-boy for magazines published to hook thirteen year-old girls on make-up and bad music.



I am straight. I have few good friends who are gay, but have never fantasized about any gender but the female. But now I understand how women can experience swooning crushes on male film stars. He is simply extraordinary. So sly, so seductive, so canny! I read an interview in which Depp said he went through a slight depression when he had to stop playing Captain Jack Sparrow. I can see why. His inventiveness and sheer pleasure in inhabiting the character come through in every frame.

And, in a time when many big-budget movies are little more than a hodge-podge of loosely- connected "money shots" this movie puts all the pieces together, with a sense of fun and light-heartedness in special effects that are simply dazzling. I find myself laughing with dizzy appreciation when Barbossa barks out, "You'd best be believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner, you're in one!" and the grinning skeletons come into view, with Badelt's pounding score keeping time to the beat of their maniacal deck-swabbing. And then there's the scene of the pirate-ghouls slithering up from the darkened sea on the mooring cables of the Dauntless, like infernal cats stalking their prey.

And now to the music. To me, it is absolutely transporting.

Perhaps I am just losing my grip, having a movie get to me this way. But when those final credits roll, and Captain Jack narrows his eyes and says, "Now, bring me that horizon. Drink up me hearties, yo ho" and the music swells ... it is difficult to put into words the effect it has.

This is not just another "entry" in the blockbuster sweepstakes. It is an exquisite work of fantasy and inventiveness, a true classic, on the order of "The Wizard of Oz", "Indiana Jones", I do hope Depp's performance garners a place in the pantheon, of our generation to show our children and grandchildren like a revealed treasure. I cannot recall any movie having such an effect on me...

Hats off Depp! We love Jack Sparrow! And we want more.. Savvy?

Sunday, March 6, 2011