Pirates

First of all, an update on the buyout. The buyout failed to materialize this week. However, there is always the chance a major media conglomerate will just swoop down on this thing.

If that happens, you won’t need an update, because you’ll see us riding around in new sports cars. BoJo will have his own iPod. You’ll know when we sell out. We’ll be paying our bills with gold bars. We’ll be tipping with gold bars.

Welcome to B2L2, or “Slate for flyover country” as I like to call it. You want movie reviews? Got ‘em.

Super 8 sucks. So does Bad Teacher.

It doesn’t make me feel good to point this out. When you factor in the high cost of multiplex refreshments (“Free credit check with large drink!”), I dropped about $40 on these two turkeys.

Instead of going to see Super 8, I suggest you try to find an obscure little movie called E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Written and directed by a guy named Spielberg. Thank me later.

Instead of going to see Bad Teacher, just drive your car into the desert until you run out of gas. Then stand in the sand all day long, staring directly into the sun.

There’s no reason to call out these actors, directors and producers by name.

They know what they’ve done, and they are ashamed.

We don’t know the whole story, of course. It’s possible these projects once had some integrity. I mean, nobody starts out to make a dull, cynical piece of crap, right?

I also saw the latest installment in the Pirates franchise. It’s no great shakes, but compared to Super 8 and Bad Teacher, it’s a work of cinematic genius.

Watching Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush phone it in is vastly more entertaining than watching a sci-fi thriller with no thrills or a comedy with no jokes.

Here, Depp does everything but look straight into the camera and shrug apologetically. Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane are new to the series, I think. Cruz and McShane are talented actors, but, like the rest of the cast, they are quickly reduced to little more than video-game avatars.

Yes, Johnny Depp, we feel you, out here in the darkness with our salty, sticky, moneyless fingers. We’re all being mistreated by Hollywood, Johnny Depp.

This is nothing new, of course. But one does feel the common denominators have hit an all-time low.

I know, I know, I know. Nine out of 10 multiplex movies are supposed to be awful. That’s an accepted ratio. And it’s summer, when they really let the dogs out.

Hollywood, please, for the love of all that is good, stop making movies based on video games, toys and comic-book characters. Please, let us grow up just a little bit.

Let the funny people make the comedies. Trust me, sir. If you shoot your comedy like a Lifetime movie, it will look like a Lifetime movie.

Johnny Depp, faire tres attention. You know Bruckheimer will be coming after you to make another Pirates flick. Here’s how you can put an end to this nonsense.

Insist on total creative control. Your choice of director. Heck, direct it yourself. Here’s your story. It’s called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Bloated Shore.

It’s the present day. You, Johnny Depp, are Jack Sparrow, a hapless descendant of the legendary Captain Jack. You live on a filthy houseboat in Key West, and you weigh 230 lbs. (Think De Niro in Raging Bull. Oscar time, pal.)

The houseboat is a rental. Geoffrey Rush is your malevolent landlord. Penelope Cruz is a dope dealer with a heart of gold, and Ian McShane just shows up and scares the bejesus out of everyone like he always does.

Today’s Jack Sparrow is a real loser, see? He’s a barback in a beer dive called The Black Pearl. The house band is fronted by Keith Richards and Flavor Flav, and they play nothing but Earth, Wind & Fire covers.

It’s a redemption story. By the end of the tale, you’ve dealt handily with the bad guys, sobered up and dropped the weight.

You get to marry Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp! How’s that for a Hollywood ending without a trace of originality? Bruckheimer will love it!

This is free advice, Johnny Depp. You don’t have to send me a check.

Of course, if you happen to decide you’d like to invest in a little blog with a heart as big as the ocean, well, we’d love to have you aboard.
______________________

John Hicks paces the foredeck in the moonlight.

John Hicks lives outside the city limits, where eagles dare.

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