Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Sony Pictures

Once upon a time, Johnny Depp was a reasonably sane actor with only a few zany hats in his personal collection. Once upon a time, the name “Pirates of the Caribbean” conjured up animatronic seafarers, skeletons guarding plastic treasure and that skipping track playing “yo-ho yo-ho” over and over in a dark tunnel until it was time to leave and get a delicious churro. That all changed in 2003 when Disney realized turning their park rides into movies was a valid business venture (thanks for the Haunted Mansion memories, Eddie Murphy), and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was born. Four movies — and Depp staggering around doing his best Keith Richards impression (and an actual Keith Richards eventually too) — later we can now look forward to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. It’s certainly about time that they used that phrase, isn’t it? It’s the first warning you get while taking your dingy down the river into the tunnels of Disney’s most treacherous ride, and it’s definitely worth heeding. And now, the person likely to be putting that motto into practice for Captain Jack Sparrow in Depp’s fifth go-round as the drunkest, cunningest commander of the high seas, is noted portrayer of villains, Javier Bardem.

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delays

Hollywood has loved franchises and sequels for quite a while now. But it’s seemed like ever since pre-planned trilogies like the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings movies were successful, the industry has been in sequel overdrive. Probably the peak of this success came when Marvel was able to weave all of their individual properties together in order to team them up and make about a billion and a half dollars with The Avengers. That was some good franchising. Making sequels and setting up franchises hasn’t always worked out so great though. Sometimes studios will keep churning out movies long after every drop of creative juice has been drained from a franchise (Pirates of the Caribbean), just because international audiences are likely to line up for a brand name they recognize. And sometimes something that shouldn’t be turned into a movie at all gets adapted anyway (Battleship), just because it’s got a name that the public might already recognize, and that could mean franchise potential. Heck, sometimes movies that didn’t even do that well get sequels (Percy Jackson), because the studio thinks that once the name gets out there in the culture, audiences will be more likely to line up at the theater for the second go-around. A couple of movies that were planned to be entries in big franchises just got delayed and possibly even cancelled right at the same time though, so we could be seeing the first signs that the studios’ over-reliance on sequels […]

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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