Sunday, June 22, 2014

Catching Fire and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

At the end of the Hunger Games, I didn't really think that it needed a sequel. It felt more like a standalone book than the first part of a trilogy. That being said, if it required a sequel this is the one it needed. I've heard some people talk about how long it took to get to the Hunger Games part of it, but I liked how it was paced. If it had moved faster it would have seemed insubstantial, and if it moved slower it could have been boring. What I like about it is that everything in it has an impact on the characters, and they all have some kind of personality that's easy to relate to, rather then project onto.
As I said in the Hunger Games review, they actually feel like they could be actual people. I liked how it acted out the interactions of all the characters. Not much to say about it that I haven't already said in The Hunger Games review, so I guess I'm just gonna talk about why I like it.
Catching Fire is a book from 2009 that's a sequel to The Hunger Games. It's not as visceral as The Hunger Games, but it's still a good read. It doesn't really feel like it hurts you as much as The Hunger Games does, and as such it's a decent break from the hard-core survival in the first book.

 In a lot of ways it reminds me of Back to the Future II, only with political intrigue and love triangles.
Now, I probably shouldn't address this, but the triangle in this actually has some kind of impact on the situation the characters are in, as opposed to simple teenage politics with bastardized werewolf and vampire lore surrounding it. The thing is, in a world like the Hunger Games, where public image is everything and appearance keep people alive, there's actually some potential impact to it all, as opposed to the real world with a few random supernatural creatures running around because Buffy and Dante forgot to kill some stuff.
All in all, it was a tad less excruciating than the prequel, but still fairly hard on the characters.
I give it a 9.4* rating.
Now that that's over with, I might as well review a movie since this is a little too short.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is eleven years old, and I like it. It's a fun movie to watch, and the funny moments are great to keep the pace up.
I was gonna say that I don't know why it's good, but I can tell you why it's good. Amazing choreography, stunning special effects, and a story that nobody cares about, but has some really cool turns to it that work well if you're paying attention. It's got some good characters in it that are as timeless as the seas, the set-pieces are amazing, and I just like watching it. Johnny Depp is great as Jack, you never know what he's going to do. He works well as Chaotic Neutral. I like Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, he does a good job of bringing forth a sense of bravery and nobility, and Keira Knightly isn't the greatest, but she's pretty good as Elisabeth Swan. Geoffrey Rush is great as Barbossa. It's hard to tell what his motivations are. It would seem like simple greed and selfishness, but at the very end he felt somewhat sympathetic. Not greatly so, but still not totally and completely despicable. All in all I guess I don't really know what all I like about it, but it's a nice film to watch. I give it an 7.98* rating.
Bloody hell, that's two different ends of the serious spectrum ain't it?