Summertime priorities

I say, “Fie on you, Superman Returns.” I’ll probably go see it if it shows up here in Morris, but otherwise, Jesus in spandex has little appeal to me.


The only summer blockbuster I care about is the one with the pirates, and most importantly, the villains based on marine biology.

It takes a tortuously long time to get all the narrative plates spinning, but things fall into place once the real villain of the piece is unfurled. This is Davy Jones – of locker fame – and if that sounds like a cliché too far even for a camp pirate flick, Jones, played by Bill Nighy, and his crew are to this film what Depp was to its predecessor. They’re like a bad acid trip at the sealife centre. They sail in a living wreck and have bodies composed of aquatic lifeforms: one has the head of a hammerhead shark, another has cheeks like a pufferfish, and Jones himself has a giant lobster claw for a hand, and a wonderfully slimy octopus head with a prehensile beard of tentacles, through which he barks the fruitiest Scottish brogue this side of the Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie. It’s a triumph of special effects that this cephalopod creation is both unnervingly freakish, yet unmistakably Bill Nighy.



  1. Grumpy says

    …Jesus in spandex has little appeal to me.

    How about a gay Jesus in spandex?

  2. Grumpy says

    …By which I’m referring to Superman’s recent elevation to gay icon in addition to his four-color Messiah status.

  3. SEF says

    I don’t know about Bill Nighy, but that’s the sort of effect I was going for with you PZ – though with glasses, greener round the gills and having slightly shorter tentacled beard.

    So why didn’t you get that with the facial recognition site? And, feeding that image in instead, whom would you get out?!

  4. M says

    Fer chrissakes…

    Superman is not Jesus! He’s Moses!
    Not least relevant to that assertion is the fact that both of his creators were JEWISH!

  5. says

    I saw it the other night, and the crew of the Flying Dutchman, especially Davy Jones, stole the show.  I can’t believe how well designed and executed the effects for most of the crew were.  The only disappointment was Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd’s appearance, and that’s because he needed to be more human-looking and was plastered in makeup instead of being created out of CGI.

    It’s amazing to me that CGI can now be *more* convincing than properly done makeup and prosthetics.

  6. bad Jim says

    I just saw the show, and I’ll second Dayv. I couldn’t take my eyes off Davy Jones’s crew.

    More problematically, the afterlife was not only taken as given throughout, it was a major plot device (in a film with a number of major plot devices). Even worse, most of the characters tended to be violently averse to cephalopods.

    In other words, a film certain to be enjoyed by anyone who reads this.

  7. Judith in Ottawa says

    Oh, definitely the coolest science fun I’ve ever had at the movies*. Can’t wait for the DVD and some stop-action classification. A marine biologists’ geek fest!

    * Only thing that ever came close was the all-shattering belly laugh I got seeing the trailer for “The Core”, described (if you’ve managed to put it out of your mind) as, “A team of “terranauts” is recruited to drill down to Earth’s core and set off a series of nuclear explosions hopefully to restart the core’s rotation…”