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Pop Culture Roundup

Okay, here’s the docket for today: Item 1, Pirates of the Carribean: We Made Another One. It was confusing, mostly because they really made it feel like you were dealing with pirates, who were constantly backstabbing everyone. It was tricky to keep up with who was working for whom when. Plus, the just-in-time nature of their plot-device introduction grew a little thin. On the other hand, I went to go see it with my good friends, and we made constant jokes, which made the whole experience approximately a jillion times better. I wasn’t sad I spent my money, although I should have known better than to follow the crowd out at the end, because once again, there’s a little surprise at the end of the credits, or so I’ve read. Also, it seems the franchise has economical merit that it’s almost guaranteed to continue into a few more sequel; they even threw in a plot hook at the end for more. It was a night well spent.

Item 2: Vin Diesel. I just saw Chronicles of Riddick Monday and, hot damn. I’ve not seen anything like it: a solid sci-fi kick-ass action movie with just enough over-the-top that you know everyone working on it cracked a smile at least once. I mean, seriously. Riddick, a stone cold killer, wading through a crowd of Space Romans with his “Space Kukris” flashing, and not having any of them touch him because, well, he’s Vin Diesel. I’m not sure what any negative critics were thinking in voting this one down, and I hope they make a sequel to this before Pirates because Pirates clearly takes itself far too seriously. Plus Riddick could cut Jack Sparrow into thirteen pieces before Sparrow could espouse a witty one-liner. And, of course, Riddick would use a one-liner of his own over Sparrow’s body in the vein of, “Plot device this.”

Item 3: Pan’s Labyrinth. I also saw that Monday, and I’m conflicted on this one. In a shallow sense, it’s an excellent movie. Very good production values, excellent acting, all of it. But on the other hand, it felt like it needed more a longer director’s cut to really flesh out some of the plot. It wanted to be both a story of a magical kingdom and princesses while also being about Spanish commie rebels fighting against Franco’s fascists. It really told the latter story and made that one really pull at you, but the fairies and princesses stuff seemed kinda second-tier. I feel like there’s something there that the director really wanted to show us, but couldn’t find the time.

Item 4: Anime. I spent this past weekend at our local Anime con, Animazement, and there were some interesting surprises. For example, every year, there’s one anime that’s really heavily represented by cosplayers, usually it’s one that’s gained recent popularity in the states; it’s never been Mario or Dragonball Z because those have both been around for ages. In the past, it’s been Trigun and Naruto, but this year, it was pirates. Uncapitalized, unitalicized, pirates. There were probably half a dozen Jack Sparrows and others just dressed as generic pirates. I can safely say I didn’t see that one coming.

Other interesting costumes included Jewish Wolfwood. He’s a character from Trigun who walks around with a giant metal cross as tall as he is that serves as a weapons rack for practically unlimited firearms; he usually keeps it covered with cloth to hide its purpose. He’s a common cosplay subject because all you need is a suit and a cross-shaped something, a bedsheet, and some belts. But this fellow actually was walking around with a Star of David covered in the cloth and belts, which was immediately amusing to anyone familiar with the anime. Also of note was the girl walking around in the torn and bloodied Union Wells High School Cheerleading uniform. Oh yeah, and some idiot who looked like Sylar had taken a crack at him.

Categories: Real Life
  1. June 3, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Did you miss “Pitch Black”? “Chronicles” is a sequel.

  2. Ruth
    June 4, 2007 at 7:57 am

    The day after my birthday you post that my favorite movie series is “taking itself too seriously.” Just no. I hate to sound like a snoby film buff, but you just don’t get it.

  3. Ruth
    June 6, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Please read the above comment in a snobby voice. It didn’t come out the way I meant it.

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