Monday, 23 May 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean - stylistically bad anyway or is 3D to blame?

Ant was browsing around teh internet blah and came across this:

Tiny details make all the difference

So cinemas may show movies in 2D for those of us with no interest in getting a headache from poorly designed uber dimensional crap, but that doesn't mean they'll bother to take the 3D lense off so you can enjoy all those beautiful colours in all their fantastical glory. That explains Sooooo much. Like why the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie was so drab and profoundly drained of colour it looked like the filmmakers weren't so much enthralled with the concept of magical items that can entend life but probably instead seeing the world so terminally dull you wonder why they wouldn't have already killed themselves.

Don't get me wrong, the movie wasn't great narratively either; the characters' drawn up as main characters to replace the main characters that have gone are not as thought out and multifaceted as before, and where they have been developed it's not in an appropriately fresh enough direction to make you forgot those now gone characters. And some characters are gone and you can't think why. I can't imagine that ALL of the superb supporting cast didn't want to come back, and the film is not the better for their absense to compensate the new characters not being fresh in any good way. They missed the boat on fresh and new, they ignored the boat on old, familiar and loved. I apply that to the lead cast who are recurring. Depp and Rush do good work as always, but in a deeply unsatisfying way. There is something missing out of what is available to work with, a hole somewhere is deep and echoey, and you sense that the leads are phoning it in not because they want to but because of the cavernous hole that they can't do anything about. Personally I can't help wondering if it might have to do with the writers. Not their talent but more a curiousity about the working relationship with the director. The writers and other members of crew have been very vocal about the refreshing working relationship they had with Gore. Specifically that he doesn't shut writers out, they remain on set, working and developing, bringing new things to the shoot as and when necessary or when inspiration strikes, and you can see that in the other movies. Yes, I like them. Not every moment of every one, but I like bits of all three, bits that have a zesty energy and fun that you can go back to over and over again. I like how Knightley goes from being a normal period piece character to a chick who hides massive guns in naughty places. I like light grey rock crabs, and the bit of soundtrack that goes behind that whole scene. I like Naomie Harris and Bill Nighy being a historically tragic and spiteful couple. I like Jack Davenport having something proper to do other than be the guy getting in between the main characters who want to hook up. There's all those other characters who actually get long running jokes and agency, and dimensiality through these beautifully small but potent scenes, like Crook being the one who can free Calypso and the guest spots of the dog. The new characters could hold your attention, and they went to town making most of them delightfully excentric. And I have faith that was in a large part because the writers were heavily involved in the evolving swashbuckley nature.

And the new film is decidedly not like that. It's not a surprise that Depp doesn't want to bother with another one at the moment. Given that his voice in Gore recent animation had more charisma in it than the recent Sparrow have entirely. But when we walked out of the cinema what I was most irritated by was the colour, and darkness. It seemed unlikely any director interested in taking up the fantastical Pirates franchise would be the sort who wants duels in almost total darkness and for the mythical Fountain o Youth to look more like a set about some secreted Aztec spot that induces flesh eating disease so it's been untouched, left overgrown for centuries for fear of spreading an evil pestilence.

Now I'm thinking maybe they left this lil lense on because it's too expensive to bother taking it off, ergo giving the customer what they paid for and what was advertised. When I go see a 2D movie I expect it to look like how it was filmed not how the cinema can be bothered to show it. I'm writing a letter of complaint; just because I don't pay the additional monetary cost you do for 3D doesn't mean I should pay abstractly by having a shit time.



  2. so i didn't read the article you mention but i have worked in a british multiplex cinema in recent history and we had a different projector for the 3D movies

  3. Hey Toby, I'm not sure I'd take working in one company as proof of the practices across all companies. Still be interested in which one you've worked in though.

  4. Brilliant! I do love an anti 3-D rant/post.

    HI Hels and Ant, FRC is back up an running by the way....spreading the love

  5. Hey Scott, glad to hear they aren't still punishing you for being too popular. I was thinking of sending an angry email to them - one thing though, I'm still getting a 'forbidden' message when I try n go on yo site; is it just a temporary glitch? Hope so... x

  6. hmmm `that is strange. It should iron it self out. It takes a few days for the new nameservers for my domain to propagate the entire interweb (apparently)

    Thanks for the letter...That is really kind

  7. is there more than one multiplex chain left in the uk? starts with cine ends with world.

  8. Hey C, glad to see it's back up and fully functional :D Personally I couldn't believe the company would actually want the bad press of suggesting if you have a large audience you should take them somewhere else! P.s. do you ever do Moviebar? xx

    And Toby, good to know, though I saw it in Odeon... and I've been told it isn't shown correctly in some of the independant chains either :/ Hard to prove though.


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