Tag: Brenton Thwaites

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

It has been six years since we had Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, six years! That was back when my reviews were extremely shitty, not just shitty.

And yet, I still like the original film. The second film pissed me off so much that I didn’t watch the third film. And hey, in these six years, I still have not “gotten around to it”. Fuck the second film.

But again, new people, new pirates, some more Jack Sparrow, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is ONLY a little bit over 2 hours, not a complete marathon like the rest of them. Fine. You have piqued my interest once again, what can you give me? Something good, I hope?

Shit, this just looks like the first movie now…

Before the movie can truly begin, you have to be treated to some weird ass flashback, with a boy named Henry looking for a lost ship. That ship? The Flying Dutchman. On that ship? Apparently an older and crusty looking Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). And this boy is his son, from Elizabeth (Kiera Knightley). I have been told all of this is explained in the third film, but you will be confused as fuck without that knowledge.

Then we get a film really beginning, with Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and some crew (Kevin McNally, Adam Brown, Martin Klebba) robbing a bank! Also in this same town is an older Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), recently arrested for being the only surviving member of his crew. He claims a ghost ship led by a Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) took them out, and he wants to get Sparrow. Also on this island is a “Witch”, aka a girl who knows some science, Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who wants to find Neptune’s Trident thinking it is her destiny thanks to some orphan shit. Oh hey, Henry also wants the trident to free his daddy. And Sparrow wants to not die to a ghost pirate looking thing, great! Team work! Fun!

On that note, I put most of the plot in that one paragraph!

But I left off Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who is basically a pirate King at this point, rich, glorious, no problems in the world. Until that Salazar gets to him and is about to take him out, until he agrees to help him find Sparrow. Turns out Salazar is not a ghost pirate like one would assume, but instead a pirate hunter who was bested by a young Jack Sparrow!

And yeah, Neptune’s trident, that is the goal this time.

Remember, he is not a pirate ghost, he is a pirate hunting ghost.

The last two pirate movies must have started the same way: “Hey, people liked Turner and Swann, let’s bring them back but with younger actors and the same old Jack Sparrow!” Because hey, we got a young guy that looks like Turner, and a girl in a corset dress, so all the same demographics can be met. These films all feel like the same damn thing now. After they introduced tentacle face as a bad guy in number two, it seems like we need a weird and terrifying supernatural villain for anything to work.

And honestly, this movie was putting me to sleep. Dabbed around the movie were a few interesting scenes and shots, but it was an effects driven film with really poor pacing issues and a lackluster plot. If you are not familiar with the third film too well, the beginning will be quite terrible. I mean, I figured it out quickly, but it still started the film on a slow point. The bank heist scene was very similar to Fast Five, with a more comedic twist.

But the villain was, for the most part, pointless. A stitched together plot as a way of giving us a Jack Sparrow origin, which no one is asking for. What’s worst? Their decision to tell of Salazar’s backstory with Sparrow was just SO. POORLY. PLACED. And interlaced with poor Bardem having to awkwardly growl out his lines as a camera moves around his face, while everyone else is on a boat just probably thinking “what the fuck, why are you doing this right now?” He was monologuing to one person, who also gave no fucks.

And finally, when it comes to poor plot, they just had to make everyone related to someone else it seems. Except for poor Sparrow, who just had to be related to whatever actor they got to play his younger self for a few minutes.

As for the Sparrow character, he really sucked in this movie. I cannot tell if he has always been this bad, but in the first film I thought he was a jerk, but charming and really confident in himself. In this movie, he just felt like a drunk fool the entire time.

Okay graphics, bad plot, bad pacing, bad film. I also have realized that this movie is coming out the same weekend that we got Alice Through The Looking Glass last year. That was bad, this is just not good. But they both have a Depp in common.

1 out of 4.

Gods Of Egypt

As a ancient history major, I also love me some good mythology. The stories people used to tell are just as important as what those people actually did. They tell us so much about the culture, how they thought, what they valued, and how they were raised.

Gods of Egypt looks to not celebrate any of this and just go for an expensive CGI fest to tell a bastardized version of the mythology. Now, I have no problem with a movie making up its own stories from actual mythology. After all, if I don’t judge a film based on the book that inspired it, I should also be able to ignore the “real mythology” as well.

It is however quite well known from anyone who sees the trailers that barely any part of this movie is real. Just the actors, and honestly, probably barely at that. It was however one of the first of many new films to film in Australia. It had a budget of 140 million, but apparently thanks to tax incentives and many other offers from the Australian government, it only cost the studio overall 10 million to make. That means they will see profit. Maybe not in week 1, maybe not week 2, but by golly, at least by the DVD sales.

In honor of this film, here is an image that is 100% CGI.

Way back in the day, way back. Pre-Greek stuff. Egypt was a rocking country, parties day and night all down the nile. And Osiris (Bruce Spence), God King of Egypt, was about to pass the kingship on to his son, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), God of the Air. But Set (Gerard Butler), God of the Desert and War and brother of Osiris, showed up a bit pissed off. He wants the crown, so he kills Osiris in front of everyone. He then challenges Horus to a duel, uses a few cheap tricks to win and secure his kingyness. He also pulls out Horus’ eyes, making Horus blind and unable to use most of his powers.

Now, a year or so later, Set is a very bad king. He is starting wars, he has reduced most of the population to slaves, and has changed the way the afterlife works! Under Osiris’ rule, you had to give a token after death to pass into the after life, big or small, it didn’t matter. Set made it so that only he very wealthy could pass on to the after life. Quite a dick.

Which brings us to Bek (Brenton Thwaites) and Zaya (Courtney Eaton), two poor mortals, now slaves, in love. Bek is a quick and nimble thief, Zaya is just smoking hot, but they make it work. Zaya even convinces Bek to break into Set’s palace to steal Horus’ eyes back. She loves the gods and want Horus to make a come back to rule the world. Bek does what Zaya says.

Needless to say, an eye is stolen, Horus gains some vision back, but Zaya is killed in the ordeal. Horus promises to bring Zaya back from the dead if he can get the eye and defeat Set, as long as this spry mortal continues to help him on the quest. But they have a time limit. Zaya is now walking the path of the dead, and if she gets to the end with no gold, her life will be lost forever.

Also featuring Chadwick Boseman as Ttoth, God of Wisdom, Geoffrey Rush as Ra, God of the Sun, and Elodie Yung as Hathor, God of Love. Also Goran D. Kleut as Anubis, Emma Booth as Memphis, Lindsay Farris as the narrator, and minor-ish roles by Rufus Sewell, Yaya Deng and Abbey Lee.

Look! Real people! Or at least I think these are real people!

First I would like to tackle the white washing controversy. A big deal is made about Butler and Coster-Waldau being white people and playing Egyptian gods. Because Egyptians aren’t that white. And that is true, but they are playing Gods, that tower over the regular Egyptian people as completely separate entities. They could all be blue, as it is all completely fictional and irrelevant. Besides, it is a film that is no way historically accurate and based completely on fiction.

They should be mad that Thwaites is super damn white, because he plays an Egyptian unlike most of the cast. None of this controversy affected my rating.

Instead, what affected the rating was the overly bloated film, the over use of CGI, the terrible plot, and the mediocre acting.

My wife asked me how long the movie was, and I guessed that it surely must be only around 90 minutes or so given the trailers. But no, it is 127 minutes long, full of side plots and side characters with barely any resolution being worth your while. Thwaites is playing our mortal lead, who is spunky and surprises all the Gods who think this mortal man is beneath them. He is there to be for the audience to root for, but his character is incredibly one dimensional. His charm is pathetic and most of the audience by the end probably just want to see him get punched in the face.

The main “plot” of the film involves Horus and Bek going on a journey to extinguish the flames of the desert to weaken Set’s power, so he can be defeated. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned, due to character stupidity, and they have to wing it all at the last minute to save the day instead. This is lazy writing. Twists and turns can and should exist in your story, but throwing away what everyone worked towards for bad reasons is only infuriating.

In fact, by the end, none of Set’s motivations make any sense. He wants to be immortal and to live forever. Somehow he will achieve that by ending all life as we know it. Go and figure that one out.

Morphing time
It is like a very CGI heavy Lord Zedd costume.

Anubis was in this movie! He was also the only God to be in his animal-esque form 100% of the time. For whatever reason, the other Gods (only Set/Horus) just change into their animal form when they feel like it, and everyone else is always human looking. So for Anubis they were just lazy I guess, and definitely inconsistent with how every other God acted.

And finally, the CGI. I can’t imagine any scene set on a real stage or outside. Even the desert scenes seemed to be completely CGI. Why the hell are you going to a desert country and not using its many resources? Oh yeah, tax breaks. The animation is bright, flashy, and ends up looking quite shitty most of the time. I enjoyed the giant snakes, if anything. Part of the craziness around Ra was also well done, but everything else is below quality.

Fun fact: Two of the women that Mad Max and Furiosa freed in Fury Road have parts in this movie.

0 out of 4.

The Signal

I actually had the opportunity to watch The Signal in theaters when it came out. For free. There was a pre-screening one whole day before it came out to make you feel special and I had tickets to go. The only issue was it started four hours after I got off of work and I didn’t want to wait around for the random movie. Hell, even the director told me I should go see it.

But apathy took over, and even the random picture didn’t help.

The only thing that drove me to watching this movie at this point was having the time and nothing better to do. (Which is relative. I had less than 2 hours of time and nothing to do. Plenty of other movies I wanted to see above it).

How I picture the face of William Eubank when he found out I didn’t go.

MIT students come in all shapes and sizes. Like Nic (Brenton Thwaites) who has muscular dystrophy, (which chrome wants to auto correct to astrophysics…foreshadowing?!). He is helping take his girlfriend, Haley (Olivia Cooke) to school, along with his MIT friend Jonah (Beau Knapp). Those two are in trouble with MIT because a hacker named NOMAD hacked into MIT servers using their IPs or something, so MIT rightfully assumed it was them.

But outside of that, Nic wants to end the relationship, because long distance + deteriorating disease = not a good time.

While almost to California, they get strange signals in the middle of nowhere Nevada. In fact, they think it is Nomad. They kind of want to show them a piece of their mind.

Next thing they know, people start flying around, darkness, scares, loud noises. Boom. Waking up in a very white room with people wearing protective hazmat suits around them. And at the center of it all is Damon (Laurence Fishburne), who tells them they have been in contact with aliens and need to be studied. Well screw that. They aren’t lab rats. He wants to get out of there. Hopefully he feels less diseased and more powerful after that alien encounter.


Burn Star
“Da fuq mate, don’t come near me with your ectoplasm.”

Sorry director who tweeted me. But I am glad I didn’t waste four or so hours of my life waiting to see this movie and then watching it. It had some unique moments in it, especially near the end. But the first 4/5 of the film just felt so weak and underwhelming. I can blame this solely on the actors involved too. I like Olivia Cooke in Bates Motel, but her character wasn’t given a lot to work with. It was mostly Nic with a lot of Damon and neither of them impressed me. They were pushing me towards sleep almost.

It is definitely unique, in a few ways. Lets not take away that aspect. And it is for sure Science Fiction. Some nice turns along the way and a lot of not nice ones.

It is hard to explain just what it bad about this, outside of just being super boring. The side romance plot was also weak, and the other best friend, he can just get out of this movie completely for all I care.

If you had to see a movie about signals, go see Contact.

1 out of 4.

The Giver

Raise your hand if you never read The Giver?

Since I am writing this before you read this, and it is the internet, I can properly assume no one raised their hand when I asked the question. Seriously. This is one of those books that tends to frequent everyone’s elementary or middle school experience. I know for certain I had to read it twice in middle school thanks to moving in between.

I don’t have an issue with them turning a literary classic into a movie like a lot of weird people do. No. I am just annoyed that this introduces biases to my review. I try my hardest to make sure the movie review only takes the movie into account, not to compare it to the book or whatever. The best way to do this is to rarely read books. Hell, a good friend basically demanded I read Ready Player One, but I knew it was becoming a movie, so I had to decline a few times. But damn middle school. Messing up my biases. At least I didn’t love the book, only thought it was okay.

But turning everyone into a wannabe pirate was probably a good change.

In this future world, the world was ruined by something I think they called The Ruin. Now people live in communities and celebrate samness. They all dress the same, have similar households, age at the same time, all that fun stuff. No one gets extra toys or unique anything. Shit, they all get their bikes at 9 years old.

Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is about to turn 18, and thus find out what his job is going to be for the rest of his life! He has no idea, because he has never really felt like he liked anything in particular. Well, turns out Jonas is fucking special. He gets to be the new Receiver of Memories! Yay!

Yeah, the job title doesn’t sound as cool as nuclear physicist or body builder, but apparently it is one of the highest jobs of a society. After all, his friends Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan) got stuck with nurturer and drone pilot (Wat) respectfully.

The Receiver of Memories is the only person in a community who knows about the world before hand. Who knows about colors, emotions, war, poverty, hunger, love, happiness, grief, warmth. All of this stuff. And Jonas is going to have to experience this all for the first time and become a member of the council to supply a wisdom that everyone else is secluded from. And the guy who previously had the job (Jeff Bridges)? Well, I guess he is The Giver now.

Also, Meryl Streep is the Chief Elder, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes and Emma Tremblay make up Jonas’ family unit, and Taylor Swift is also lurking around.

Yep! There she is! For her minute or so of screen time!

For all those book lovers, loving this book is not a good reason to see the movie. That’s right. It is very different from the book. Feel free to complain elsewhere on the internet, for I don’t care.

What I do care about is a movie telling a good story, even if it changes from the source material. And you know what? This one doesn’t.

First off, the film is rushed. The movie is 94 minutes with credits. That means it is under an hour an a half, and it has to spend time building up a world/society, having a character learn everything is wrong, and of course, try to change things. That is definitely not enough time. Some people say this movie was finally made because of the recent success of other dystopian teen movies. They have various qualities that make them a success, but they are all also well over two hours in order to tell a complete story.

A lot of this movie feels half assed, especially from Streep and Holmes. Apparently Bridges was trying to get this movie made for decades and I guess he was the best part, but he was surrounded by crap. On an overall spectrum, I wouldn’t even put his performance as great.

Shit, even the editing was bad. I remember a scene with the sister after dancing, she says a line but her mouth doesn’t move, only smiles. That was super awkward.

Fans of the book will hate this movie because it is different enough from the book. In reality, they should hate this movie because it is a shitty movie.

1 out of 4.


Ah, another re-imagining. I think the last one recently was Jack the Giant Slayer, but I probably forgot a few other ones recently. This time, Maleficent, we are tackling the Sleeping Beauty tale. Instead of just telling the story a different way, we are getting it from Maleficent’s point of view.

So, at this point, the movie could go two directions. They could show us that Maleficent was really a good/misunderstood character (which is hard, being one of the more evil Disney villains ever), like what Wicked did, or they could give us a movie about a bad ass mother, who don’t take no crap off of nobody.

Do we get the awesome force of evil doing awesome things? Hell no, this is a Disney related property. You are getting a PG movie, Maleficent won’t be evil, tables will be turned. I mean. Wicked did it. Of course it is going the Wicked route.

But now there are some changes.

This film begins when Maleficent is but a young girl. She is also a fairy. Some dumb war between the fairy kingdom and human kingdom going down. She meets a human boy, finds him sweet, they frolic, he leaves to do human things and they grow old apart.

Now, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is an adult fairy, protector of the forest because she is better than the other fairies. The human kingdom is at war now with the magic land. Maleficent pisses some people off. Long story short, a metaphor that strongly resembles rape occurs, and her long lost child hood friend, is now the new King Stefan (Sharlto Copley).

So that curse thing happens, basically just like in Sleeping Beauty. But now, instead of Maleficent searching for Aurora (Elle Fanning) for sixteen years, she finds her like right away and becomes her silent guardian, protecting her from harm. Why? Not really sure.

Then a whole bunch of events happen, nothing at all like the events in Sleeping Beauty, and everyone lives happily ever after.

We have the three fairies again, but they have different names now, for some reason. They are now Thistletwit (Juno Temple), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton), and Flittle (Lesley Manville). We also have Sam Riley as the raven boy thing and Brenton Thwaites as Prince Phillip.

Green Flames
Oooh, there is the Maleficent we know. Even if it is for just a short while.

Here is one difference between Wicked and Maleficent. Wicked, more or less, took the aspects of the original story, kept them all basically the same, and added in a lot of new material and made it great. Maleficent had one aspect of the original story the same (the baby girl scene), then changed everything else about Sleeping Beauty and called it a day.

If it was a “misunderstood villain” story and they actually did it in the context of the original story? Great. If they decide that she is misunderstood because someone told the story wrong? Boring and pathetic almost.

“But movie reviewer! You don’t take the source into context!” Well, that is true. Unless they bring the source material into context for me. Thankfully this movie includes in the actual film one of my least favorite things of the last few years, telling me the story I heard was wrong and this is the real way. Or that I don’t know the truth. It is one of the worst things to hear, and it just keeps happening.

Maleficent had some cool special effects. Her awesome magic powers were vague with what she could actually do. Sometimes really awesome creation magic and spells? Cool! Destruction? Yeah! But that was like, only once, all used for the trailer. Her magic became something that could do basically anything for her, unless it would have made the plot lame. The movie isn’t really dark like the trailer suggests. The middle chunk of the movie is just Maleficent standing around, peering behind bushes while the theater sleeps.

There is a lot wrong with this film, in my eyes. They took a beloved villain and made her a metaphorical rape victim. They made her really powerful, with out displaying any of this power. They made her wear a catwoman like jump suit at one point.

I think that last line really makes my points clear.

1 out of 4.


It has been a long time since I have seen a horror movie in theaters. Literally, this one coming out in April, is the first one to come out since the first week of January. That film was of course Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which literally came out on DVD before the next major horror movie in theaters.

It was a slow year, I guess.

So we got Oculus, a horror movie about mirrors. Cool. I hope it isn’t like Mirrors. I never saw it, but I did see a certain scene with Christy Carlson Romano from Mirrors 2. Okay, so scratch that, I hope it is similar to Mirrors 2.

Evil Starbuck? I guess that’s new. Definitely already scared going in.

Oculus is a hard movie to describe. So let’s just say it involves one family.

This family moved into a new house, but don’t worry, the house isn’t haunted. No, the dad (Rory Cochrane) gets a fancy antique mirror, and it starts to get him sorts of angry. There is a definite aura of bad in their house. The mom (Katee Sackoff) is starting to freak out. Needless to say, something bad happens, and the kids (Garrett Ryan, Annalise Basso) survive. The boy has to go to a mental ward.

Now many years later he is 21 (Brenton Thwaites) and his older sister (Karen Gillan) is glad he is back. Because now they can destroy the mirror. They know that the mirror destroyed their lives, so now they finally want to destroy it so that it doesn’t kill anymore. But first, they also want proof to show to the authorities. So they set up a series of cameras and tests to show the demonic powers of the mirror. No, don’t worry, this didn’t become a found footage film. Just a really fucked up one.

A fucked up film usually features a couple child actors, to maximize the fuckery.

Oculus is a strange movie. Did I already say that? Like, really really weird.

It doesn’t tell you the story in order, no. You get to see the story of the kids and their parents, spliced with the kids older and trying to test and experiment with the mirror.

Because of that, sometimes, it is really hard to follow along with the movie. Constant back and forth. Not to mention the whole point of the movie seems to be to confuse the viewer. The mirror shows you what it wants to show you. So every other scene has something not real occurring, meaning you never really know what is going on.

By the end, you know. Oh yes, you will know by sure. And it is kind of fucked up too. The film isn’t particularly gory and there isn’t a huge cast of characters.

So why the low score? Confusion level. It had an interesting storyline, decent characters, some cool stuff happen. But at the same time, I have no idea what was going on through most of it.

2 out of 4.