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Media : That’s a wrap

The low-down on this week’s premieres

So, here’s the part where I thoroughly and irrevocably alienate my audience, and they abruptly stop trusting me (stop?) even to accurately report what’s opening each week, because I’m clearly froth-mawed, bat-turd bonkers.

Ready?

I am in no semblance, manner, or form excited about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which opens this Friday. Because the first one sucked. I literally prefer the eponymous ride. (If you just threw up from a glut/combo of righteous indignation and disbelief, spare me your jeers and attempted kick-swipes to the groin, and turn to page 23 to read how one of our male writers wants to totally park the car and nervously `but tenderly` mug down with that dude from 21 Jump Street — Johnny something.) Look. Here’s the thing. I was all excited about seeing the first one — a pirate aficionado, like all sane humans, I be — until I realized that it wasn’t a sweet historical epic (Master and Commander meets some movie where grubby dudes beat the crap-’n’-grog out of each other, with a little bit of scholarly context and Keira Knightley thrown in), but another half-cocked CGI-fest, in which the enemy isn’t bad-ass privateer Francis Drake (Liam Neeson?) tearing around in the Golden Hind or something, but ... seriously ... effing ghost pirates? Like Scooby Doo, and shit? Come onnn. And one look at squid-faced Davy Jones or whatever this time around ... sheesh. (Bill Nighy, though, is admittedly cool.) But then, I’m not really a Depp guy — particularly not this computer-generated-scenery-chewing version — nor am I quite attuned to the nice-enough Bloom, who I’m sure ties for second-prettiest person in this movie on many lists. I’m gonna skip this one and rent Cutthroat Island. (All right, now I’m not even listening to me anymore.)

Sketches of Frank Gehry opens this week, too, notable if only because it’s Sydney Pollack’s documentary debut. It’s about his celebrated architect pal, who builds him some funny-looking erections. (What?) Our reviewer `read his take, page 25`, though, thinks the just-as-celebrated director (who has helped more actors to Oscar-winning performances than you have toes) scrimps a bit.

OK, whatever you may or mayn’t know about The Celestine Prophecy (the book or the film), let’s get one thing straight: These aren’t the Scientology guys, OK? (At least, I don’t think ... yeah, no. They’re not.) James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy, the novel, was published in 1993 and concerns a man’s trek through Peru in search of nine spiritual insights — and near as I can figure, that’s the movie, too (plus Hector Elizondo). It’s been broadly tagged as a New Age deal: One of the nine insights is that humankind is on a course of evolution toward faultless union with itself and nature, and will, over the next 1,000 years, make of the world a true and harmonious paradise. Rock ’n’ roll, dude — sign me up for some’a that. Peace.

- Brian Villalobos

Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.


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