Where is the rum? Captain Jack Sparrow's wobbly entrance into popular culture in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) remains an indelibly magic moment in film history. It left millions upon millions of moviegoers drunk with pleasure (myself included). The two follow up films were little more than aggressively dull hangovers, the kind that make you question if you really had such a good time at that party. On Stranger Tides is more satisfying and complete than the lazy place holding of Dead Man's Chest and the incoherent CGI spazzing of At World's End, but it doesn't quite justify the need for further adventures. Hope springs eternal even if youth doesn't so a fifth and six film in the series are on the way.
Johnny Depp was once the life of the party as Hollywood's most inventive entertainer/actor. In his best moments in Tides, where he's free to amuse with a funny line reading, facial tic or odd gesture, he's still able to make you smile. But after so many Tim Burton oddities and Jack Sparrow reprisals, that once-intoxicating originality has all but evaporated. Depp needs to sober up with another Donnie Brasco real soon.
Woody Allen's MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams and fantastical happenings at that titular hour was heralded at the Cannes Film Festival as a return to form. Even people who won't go that far call it "charming". (In other words, it's probably as good as Vicky Cristina Barcelona). Jodie Foster's third directorial effort THE BEAVER, about a mentally ill man (Mel Gibson — typecasting!) with a mouthy hand puppet expands into more cities. And SPORK (pictured left), a transgendered musical comedy which recently won Best Feature at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, opens in West Hollywood with plans to expand to other cities soon.
If you're through with Jack Sparrow, perhaps a classic silver screen pirate will do on DVD.
Which will it be: swarthy Tyrone Power, acrobatic Burt Lancaster or dashing Errol Flynn?