Pirates of the Caribbean 3

May 28th, 2007 by Potato

I saw the latest Pirates movie tonight, and quite liked it. I’ll talk about it in more detail after the spoiler warning. First I’ll talk about the theatre itself: the London Silvercity is the biggest, newest, and most conveniently located theatre around us. The movies themselves are always shown well: they don’t usually have problems with reel changeovers, scratched film, the sound is usually not too loud, yet never too quiet, and the airconditioning is usually comfortable — like many theatres it can be a touch chilly in the summer, but it’s never made me so cold I looked for my jacket before leaving (true story: one time at Empress Walk I was so chilled by the AC that, even though it was spring, I got confused and thought it was winter and spent a few minutes looking for my jacket before coming to my senses; I think this effect was helped by the fact that whatever movie I was watching was set in the wintertime).

However, the service there has always been sub-par. While the staff has never been rude, they’re very slow. The box office line can get fairly long at times, and it’s not usually because there are a ton of people, it just seems to take them a long time to move them through (perhaps this isn’t the staff’s fault though: the credit card machine could be slow, or perhaps customers are chatting them up or taking a long time to make up their minds, because we usually get our tickets in fine time once we finally get to the head of the line). The concession stand is much worse. The staff there are downright lethargic. Today, we lined up with only two people in front of us, and it took about two whole minutes to get to the front of the line. That’s with one person’s order already in before we lined up, and the next person only wanting a drink refill. Two minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but for what got done in that time it was just ludicrously slow. The workers never seem to know their tills or how to count change, and are slow in all their actions to boot, as though everything behind the counter was happening in slow motion.

The staff there also have very strange habits when it comes to getting popcorn. Even if there’s a popper spewing forth fresh, hot, delicious popcorn right behind them (and when the lines are short, we’ll often pick which till to go to based on which one has fresh popcorn bubbling out), they’ll walk away, past the next popper and around out of sight (the concession is set up in the big round dish form) to get it. That, of course, adds significantly to the service time. Also, they’re really bad at popcorn management in general, often letting batches burn for a while before finally dumping them, and being downright neglectful in starting new batches during busy periods. Perhaps its because their concession has something like 6 poppers (at Cineplex we only had 3, and for all but the busiest opening weekends we would only run one or two), but they often let some run completely out before bothering to pop more — we always had to be one the ball, quite often putting in another batch as soon as the current one was dumped. In fact, it seems from casual observation as though they only have a few people “designated” to start batches. The popcorn is never very good there: quite often we get stale bags, batches without the proper amount of salt (generally not enough rather than too much), many batches with small, broken bits (which also comes from packing), batches where the taste is fine, but the texture is just completely wrong… and even when a bag of popcorn is generally good, there are always one or two pieces that are just rotten and make you go “blech!” We should probably complain to a manager at some point, but haven’t yet, although we have taken advantage of the free refills (on larges) and dumped a bad batch before. I find all of this quite bizzare, because the theatre makes most of its money off the popcorn: if it’s not constantly popping, people are less inclined to buy. If it’s not consistenly tasty, people are less inclined to buy. (We buy partly because Wayfare is a popcorn fiend, and partly because we almost always use “Night Out” passes that include a free popcorn). Even when they’re not very busy, they should consider keeping the poppers in use more, even if they have to close down part of their concession ring (we generally only go to “event” movies now, but even on weekdays they’ve got at least 3 poppers open — having just 1 or 2 open but constantly popping might work better for them), or pop half-batches so they don’t end up with too much excess. Finally, the seats there are not fantastic. They’re fairly comfortable for someone my height, but even just a little shorter (like Wayfare), and the shoulder support becomes a neck-wrenching headrest. The floors today were quite slick, and I couldn’t keep my feet in a civilized position, they kept sliding out in front of me, and I accidentally kicked the seat in front of me a few times when my foot lost traction.

Anyhow, on to Pirates:

Spoilers follow.

I really didn’t like the second movie — I saw it in the theatres, but even though my family has it on DVD, I’ve never watched it a second time (at least, not all the way through). A lot of the sequences were just way too ridiculous (Jack falling down the cliff while tied to the pole, the whole waterwheel 3-way swordfight), and really the whole thing was just the first act for this movie, right up to the (lack of an) ending. Plus everyone seemed to recognize the East India Trading co guy (Lord Beckette), but even checking IMDB I don’t think he’s in the first one. He has some sort of history with Sparrow, and it’s implied in this one that he betrayed Sparrow at some point (in fact, they may even have been partners in the distant past), but it’s never fully explained in this one.

This one I found a lot better: partly because it has an actual ending, partly because when the sequences get ridiculous, they’re kept shorter, and partly because Geoffrey Rush’s return brings the series up a notch. Not only does it add some more tension aboard the Pearl, he just simply looks like he’s having a blast in the role, which brings back some of the fun from the first one (the second really took itself too seriously for the amount of ridiculousness in it). This one had a few neat twists in it — I’ll give a second spoiler warning first — for instance, I never expected Will to take Davy Jones’ place, even when he was half dead. I thought Bootstrap would, especially in the seconds before it happened when he looked at his knife, or Jack, or even Elizabeth (who would follow him into death rather than waiting for him on shore for decades at a time, unaging).

I didn’t really care for the explicitness of Jack’s delusions (or the strange fascination with the peanut and licking things), especially since it was inconsistent in its lack of delusions right when Jack made his final decision not to captain the Flying Dutchman. I mean, the first one with him trying to captain the copies of himself in the Locker was ok, but I got really annoyed when he started talking to the miniature selves poking around his dreadlocks while everyone else was around.

Finally, one detail confused me at the end: Will proposed to Elizabeth during the battle, but didn’t the second movie open on their wedding being interrupted by East India/British troops?

2 Responses to “Pirates of the Caribbean 3”

  1. netbug Says:

    I loved it.

    But I liked the second one too.

    The sheer amount of crossover action that was going on in that final fight sequence was mind-boggling.

    And Davy Jones was friggin amazing.

    I figured that the wedding was just kinda called off after the disasters that occurred in the second one.

    One thing I would have liked to have seen was more of the Kraken, kind of a cop-out to just see it on the beach dead.

  2. Potato Says:

    kind of a cop-out to just see it on the beach dead.

    I agree!