Benz Eye View: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pros: 

1.) It feels like a long time since we have seen Jack Sparrow back in action, and it is surely nice to see him again.  Out of all of the characters in this movie (other than Barbossa), Jack Sparrow easily stands out over everyone with his witty and weird characteristics (something unusual for a pirate), which it is to be expected since he is by far the most compelling character you have ever seen throughout the series.  He is the one character that holds this franchise together after all.

2.) There are some good character arcs that follow through this movie.  Admittedly, they are just adequate, but a big improvement over the forgettable On Stranger Tides.  The character who has greatest arc over all the other characters is Hector Barbossa.  Not going to spoil why, but let’s just say he has the best emotional weight for the movie.  Overall, the characters and their arc are more compelling than its predecessor.

3.) The main antagonist, Captain Armando Salazar and his crew are fearsome.  Remember Barbossa and his crew when they were cursed and their true forms are revealed under the moonlight, and Davy Jones and his crew with their Kraken?  Those guys were truly a force to be reckoned with, and Salazar and his crew are no exceptions.  It was what’s missing with Blackbeard on On Stranger Tides: not only are these guys extraordinarily threatening (and well-designed monsters), but they are also interesting.  They may be somewhat typical, but at least interesting enough over a legendary pirate with a magical sword who wants to live longer.

 

Cons: 

1.) There are some other antagonistic forces in the movie: The British Royal Navy, and these guys are a bunch of idiots.  (SPOILERS) They are only in half of the movie, and they are easily dealt with by Captain Salazar. (END SPOILERS)  There is very little use to these characters, so they might as well write them off since there is little use of their existence in this movie.  There is even a witch character that seems important, and she only appears twice for a few minutes.  They are just pointless, and I will not be surprised if no one remembers these people other than they are the descendants of the Stormtroopers.

2.) I rewatched all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (even On Stranger Tides) before watching this one, and I noticed some story continuity errors.  Saying all the ones I noticed will spoil the movie, but if you are a Pirates fan, you will notice it as well.  One example is that some of major crew members from the first three movies mysteriously returned despite suddenly disappearing in On Stranger Tides.  I thought they were killed by Blackbeard, but they are back apparently…

3.) …Including the two British Navy soldiers/goofballs from the first and third movies, and these are characters who overstayed their welcome.  They are examples of the third con for this movie: the comedy is poor.  There are some moments where I found amusingly funny, but I felt that the comedy bits are written by an amateur, which it is not, because it is written by Jeff Nathanson, who also wrote Rush Hour 2, and I found that film to be hilarious.  All I can say is better luck next time, because he can write comedy better than that.

 

Overall: 

Who would have thought that a movie franchise based on a ride would do so well?  The Curse of the Black Pearl was a surprising hit that nobody thought would do well.  Dead Man’s Chest was a step down from its predecessor, but it still holds some value if you overlook its flaws.  At World’s End has numerous problems with few things holding it together.  On Stranger Tides…wait, there was a fourth movie?  Jokes aside, that movie was so forgettable, I do not think anyone would notice if it was wiped from existence.  After six years of rest, does this movie at least surpass its forgettable predecessor?  It sure does, but it does not really share the same amazing heights as Curse of the Black Pearl.  The charm of these movies may have dissipated throughout the years, but I can tell the filmmakers are trying to make a good movie with elements like Jack Sparrow, the supernatural antagonists, and the incredible music.  It will impress the fans of the franchise, and newcomers will have some enjoyment.  I can honestly say that it is great to see the great Captain Jack Sparrow back in action after all these years.

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Although, you are going to have a bit of a competition if you want be top dog in Disney again.

7/10

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Benz Eye View: Alien: Covenant

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Alien: Covenant

Pros: 

1.) Throughout the first act, the movie does a good job on its world building.  It gives us how the world works, what the group wants, and the atmosphere/tone of the movie.  It may be pretty slow, but Ridley Scott still knows how to create magnificent-looking worlds with their own feats and fantasies.

2.) I believe that the most stand-out performance in this movie easily belongs to Michael Fassbender as Walter and another certain character that appears in the movie that I will not spoil.  Even though he can appear in bad movies,

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Yes, even that.

Fassbender can still act well, and this movie is no different.  Playing an emotionless yet dutiful android that will help his comrades no matter what also makes him stand out from all the other characters and actors.

3.) The movie looks very creative with a combination of both sci-fi and ancient sets and designs.  It has unique visuals that combines sci-fi and fantasy elements, and it is a nice refreshing take in the genre as far as I know (other Aliens vs. Predator, but we are not going to talk about that)…

 

Cons: 

1.) …Speaking of visuals, the CG and special effects are not really impressive.  I will admit that I am bit spoiled since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has great CG lately.  That being said, the CG in this movie is a bit abnormal.  They do not look that real when compared to actual living actors onscreen.  It has been a while since I have seen the Alien franchise, but I recall that those films manage to barely show the Alien itself with certain shots, quick-cut editing, and low lighting, and those creatures look great.  In this movie, you can tell that it is CG, and it shows the Alien plenty of times.  It looks wrong for some reason, and it ruins what made the Alien great in the first place: terrifying when you can barely see it.

2.) Since this movie is a sequel to Prometheus, it touches upon themes of existentialism and creation.  However, the movie gives you questions that they are not really going to answer.  Remember how Prometheus made a big deal about who created the human beings on Earth?  They quickly gloss over the theme in this movie, too.  If you are going bring up certain themes, then go explore these themes instead of doing a repeat of the original Alien except bigger, or in a worst-case scenario, Fant4stic.

3.) The characters might as well be wearing red shirts, because they are a bunch of idiots.  Granted, some of their actions do have some good reason, but they even point out how risky and stupid those actions are at times.  There is also the typical horror cliché of one person going alone in an area that they REALLY should have someone with them when they are dealing with a monster that is out there trying to kill them!  Have these people ever seen horror movies in their lives, especially since this takes place in the future?  Not to mention that a certain twist that happens that these people should have seen coming, but they did not bother to think about until much later.  Overall, these guys deserve to die.

 

Overall: 

I admit that I am not an Aliens fan, but I do understand its appeal (especially the Alien Xenomorph itself).  Alien was a great sci-fi horror film.  Aliens went up to the next level with its suspenseful action.  Alien 3 was not really up in par with the previous films.  Alien: Resurrection…well, let’s not talk about that.  Prometheus was an interesting turn for the norm, but it falls apart the more you think about the movie’s structure.  Now, we have the sequel to Prometheus and the prequel to Alien: Alien: Covenant.  I have been hearing that Alien fans are not really happy with this movie.  For me, I can see why, but I do not hate it.  Maybe it is because I am not really that attached to the franchise, and I am more interested in other things.  In any case, Aliens: Covenant tries to be deep with its themes of existentialism like in Prometheus, while satisfying the Alien fans by having the Alien Xenomorphs this time around.  However, it fails on both accounts.  I say if you are an Alien fan, you will find yourself disappointed.  If you have nothing else to watch, this movie will have to do for any regular sci-fi fan…or just watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

6/10

Sorry that it has been a while since I made a review.  I was having some personal things to deal with, but now I am back.  I will make it up with an upcoming review of a media that I have not done in a while, which it is coming soon.  For one, I really wanted to review this.  For another, it is because of a calling card that I just got.

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Huh, I didn’t see that coming…

Benz Eye View: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Pros: 

1.) All the characters have such great chemistry with each other.  What this film does is pair each of them with certain characters that work opposite to the other, and play with that (i.e. Rocket with Yondu, Gamora with Nebula, Drax with Mantis, etc.).  It makes their conversations natural and funny despite the characters being complete opposites at times.

2.) Even though it is pretty obvious at times, the CG looks great.  It may be thanks to the last MCU film, Doctor Strange, but it seems like Marvel is improving on the computer graphics department.  Especially on action scenes, the CG is bright, colorful, and amazingly well-done (there are a few glaring errors, but not enough to fully distract people).  It is actually an improvement over many of previous MCU films:

3.) Considering that this is a sci-fi film, the costume, alien, and environmental designs are awesome.  It is hard to be creative, because…I am Groot.  Seriously, it reminds me of many other sci-fi films (i.e. Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who) in a good way, because it shows how creative the filmmakers when making this film (which helps since this is based off of a superhero comic book series).

 

Cons: 

1.) There are a few jokes that I did not expect in this film, because they are way too adult.  This is not part of the Marvel Netflix series that is aimed for older audiences, it is part of the MCU which is aimed for everyone.  They do not belong, and many family members will be caught off guard with these lewd jokes.

2.) The central plot is not really clear until near the climax.  There are several different subplots that could be considered as the main central plot, but it is not clear since they get equal amount of time (most of it, but I will get to that).  As a result, it is kind of confusing which to truly follow, because many of these subplots are different from each other, and do not really come together until the climax.

3.) A few of those subplots are pretty forgettable, because it gets easily glossed over with the more important subplots.  Not going to lead to any spoilers, but let’s just say that certain characters that were written to be a big deal easily get forgotten with a much bigger threat.

 

Overall: 

Continuing with the MCU, we get the sequel of the Guardians of the Galaxy.  When that group was announced to be part of the MCU a few years ago, I was with everyone else and thought, “Who in the world are the Guardians of the Galaxy?”  When the movie was released, the small-known superhero group became a huge success.  Now, we have the sequel of a successful superhero group that has improved from its predecessor, but lacked in other areas.  Characters are great as usual, but the narrative is a little jumbled up until the climax where the fun truly begins.  Some of the new characters are great on their own, but there are others that are either underused (which it is a shame, because they got some great actors like Sylvester Stallone to be in this film) or kind of a joke.  Either way, this film will please Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy fans since it is so much as they intended it to be: a fun ride.  If you are one of those fans, you will be glad to see the next film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

8/10