Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Pirates: Band of Misfits 3D

Laugh Your Booty Off!

Rated: PG Mild action, rude humor and some language
Release Date: April 27, 2012
Runtime: 1 hr 28 mins

Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Writers: Gideon Defoe, based on his books 'The Pirates! in an Adventures with Scientists' and 'The Pirates!  in an Adventure with Whaling'
Cast: Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton

SYNOPSIS: Trying again to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award given out annually on Blood Island by the Pirate King, the Pirate Captain travels the high seas in search gold booty and notoriety to clinch the first place trophy.

REVIEW: Peter Lord, director of the 2000 Chicken Run, takes a break from the drudgery of producing various Walter and Gromit films and Arthur Christmas to return to the wheel to rudder in a new animated kids movie based on the works of Gideon Defoe. Based on elements from Defoe's 'The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists' and 'The Pirates! in an Adventure in Whaling', director Peter Lord takes us on kid-friendly adventure on the high seas.
The Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant, Did You Hear About the Morgans?) has the adoration of his crew, with weekly Ham Night dinners and upbeat attitudes. Since he hasn't yet won the coveted Pirate of the Year award, he believes he is a shoo-in to win this year. Traveling to Blood Island where the annual event is held, he realizes that he doesn't have the ruthlessness of Cutlass Liz (voiced by Selma Hayek, Puss in Boots) or the gold booty of Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven, Entourage) to stand out from the pirate crowd to win. Laughed off the island, the Pirate Captain vows to return with chests full of treasure to win the entire competition. When the Captain and his crew come across Charles Darwin (David Tennent, Fright Night), Darwin makes a discovery that could led the Pirate Captain to win the Scientist of the Year award in London and have enough gold to get back to the Pirate of the Year ceremony to win!

The Pirates! Band of Misfits is a silly, high-seas romp following a group of scurvy pirates with only hope in their hearts and cutlasses in their hands. Following their Pirate Captain into any adventures are his Number 2 man, the Pirate with a Scarf (voiced by Martin Freeman, What's Your Number?), the Albino Pirate (voiced by Anton Yelchin, Fright Night), the Pirate with Gout (voiced by Brendan Gleeson, The Raven), the Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (voiced by Ashley Jensen, Arthur Christmas), the Pirate Who Likes Sunset and Kittens (voiced by Al Roker, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa), and more. With formidable names like that, the Captain and his crew are certainly pirates not to be trifled with. Add in a big boned parrot named Polly, and you have a formula of adventure and high sea hi-jinks.

The Wallace and Gromit type of animation has come such a long way. Still a little choppy and 'stop-action-y', the world that the Aardman Animation studios created is so intricate and detailed. From the opening panning shot of 1837 London that flies over the town, through windows, and chandeliers hanging in Queen Victoria's (voiced by Imelda Staunton, 
Arthur Christmas) dining chambers, the film has more depth and weight than any of it’s style of film produced before. Director Peter Lord is quick to point out the importance of the 300 plus crew members in all aspects of the films design and production. From the beautiful ebb and flow of the CGI ocean tides to the fog banks of Victorian London, The Pirates! Band of Misfits approaches true CGI production quality without sacrificing the three dimensionality of stop action artistry the studio is known for.

What thumps within this pirate's chest of a movie is heart, not gold trinkets. Of course, the Pirate Captain is not that successful in plundering for ample treasure for his crew, but he makes up for it with his crew with fun and planned events. From water skiing behind the ship to the weekly dance-filled Ham dinners, the Captain and the crew are a close-knit family. No matter what obstacles come their way, this seafaring group will stay united. Even Polly the Parrot is considered the heart of the family! The Captain may stray off course with visions of trophies and awards from time to time but we hope, with a little bit of support from his mates, that he comes through in the end.

In the tradition of Walter and Gromit, Flushed Away, and Chicken Run, Aardman Animation studios bring a silly, salty, sea worthy whale of a tale to the silver screen. Hugh Grant voice transforms itself from his usually stuttering, unsure self to a confident cutlass-toting man of the sea. Gleeson, Yelchin, and Freeman are endearing as part of the crew. Gleeson emotes his typical gruff self, Yelchin is as innocent as he was in The Smurfs, and Freeman remains ever even and faithful to his commander. On the other side of the sea, Imelda Staunton commands notice as Queen Victoria. David Tennent plays both sides as the evolutionist Charles Darwin.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits is a funny, creative and daffy look at a life at sea. Full of action and adventure, both on the ocean and on solid ground, the film will delight children and adults alike. Like a captain following the North Star, this animation holds true in its course of humor and message. There may be better and more ruthless pirate captains out there on the ocean, but this Pirate Captain is worth dropping anchor for.

WORTH: Matinee or DVD

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