Audiences have always had a fascination with pirates. There is something intriguing (despite the dangers) of throwing off the cape of convention and living by your own rules.
In 2003, Disney released Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, a movie based on the ride with the same title.
Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is a blacksmith who is in love with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the governors daughter. But she is engaged to Norrington (Jack Davenport). When Elizabeth is taken by pirates, led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will must team up with the eccentric pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to bring her home.
This movie is very interesting. Relying on certain traditional character and plot tropes for the genre, this is a movie for the masses. I have two issues with the movie. The first is that for the most part, Elizabeth is nothing more than the traditional love interest/damsel in distress (which was thankfully corrected in later films in the series) and it’s seemingly endless number of sequels. The premise worked for the first three films. After that, the writers and producers seemed to be scrambling to fill the growing plot holes.
Do I recommend this film? As a standalone film, it’s not bad. But as the first in a series of films that get worse with each release, I would say stay away, especially the more recent sequels.
There is a mystique about putting together a Broadway show. It all seems so easy. But in reality, it takes time and a lot of work, both on and off stage.
The 2012 television series, Smash took this concept and put in front of the television viewing audience.
The book writer and lyricist, Julia Houston and Tom Levitt (Debra Messing and Christian Borle) are writing a musical based on the life of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe. Directing is smarmy British director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport). Behind the scenes producer Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston) is doing all she can to bring the show to Broadway. Competing for the lead role is fresh from the farm ingenue Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee) and pulling herself up by her bootstraps chorus girl Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty).
Was the drama a little hyped up? I’m sure it was. Was the writing, especially in season 2 after taking on a new show runner a little questionable? Yes.
But sometimes, we need this kind of television, even if the critics hate it.
The thin veneer of society and it’s rules seem to be an underlying thread in the early 1960’s.
The new mini series on PBS, Breathless is about this veneer.
Otto Powell (Jack Davenport) is the Don Draper of a teaching hospital in London during the early 1960’s. He has a successful medical career, a loving wife (Natasha Little), a young son and a secret. Jean (Zoe Boyle) is engaged to Richard (Oliver Chris). Jean is pregnant before the wedding, but is keeping it a secret from her fiance. Angela (Catherine Steadman) is hiding her own secret while going through a professional and moral dilemma.
Did I enjoy Breathless? The cast is very well chosen. It is a little confusing, especially if your not paying attention. This show requires multiple viewings. But it is enjoyable and I look forward to episode 2.