‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ was Great: Don’t listen to the critics, Disney needs to make a lot more Pirate movies

I think if you’ll look carefully dear reader you’ll notice two things about the newspaper reviewers who gave Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a bad review.  They are severe liberals who hate Donald Trump and they are suffering from “daddy issues,” meaning they have some predilection toward not wanting to think about their dads for whatever reason.  One thing that was extremely obvious about Dead Men Tell No Tales—which is a recurring theme in all the Disney Pirate movies, is that the famous Joseph Campbell Hero’s Journey of reconciliation with the father is used extensively.  If there is any fault in the film it’s in that the writers and producers are primitively stuck on that one theme—which for Disney is the formula.  To understand why, just read The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the classic Joseph Campbell work and you’ll understand why.  But other than that, Dead Men Tell No Tales is a great movie that was a lot of fun.  It’ll be a very successful movie and Disney should continue making a lot of them.  Hopefully they will.  The movie remarkably lacked any politics.  Disney wasn’t trying to slide any gay characters under the door and the romance themes were traditional and the whole thing was about adventure and discovery.  It’s one of those movies you leave the theater feeling good about much the way the ride in Disney World feels.  And Disney could continue making Pirate movies forever and people would still see them because they want to feel those things when coming out of the theater in their home towns since they can’t go to Disney World everyday.

But this hatred that reviewers had, particularly at The New York Times and at the ultra liberal Rolling Stone magazine was so pathetic for its desperation.  Their primary premise of hate was that the Pirate movies where the same old story lines—nobody had evolved.  Jack Sparrow’s story arch had no evolution to it—he was the same character that he was in the first movie. Basically, the reviewers have this idea that unless a movie deals with progressive causes like gay rights, feminism, wealth redistribution and plot points where the state takes care of everyone—then any movie is a bad one.  Of course Dead Men Tell No Tales isn’t about any of those things which is one of the reasons its good.  I mean I’ve been very hard on Disney for leaning toward progressivism when clearly their primary audience is Trump conservatives and they have been hurting their own market share by sticking in gay plot points and other acts of lunacy to appease the Democrats who now run Disney as a company.  But that mistake wasn’t made in this fifth Pirates film.  And it’s certainly not a conservative film by any means, but what movie is?  Conservatives are used to being ignored at the box office.  As the weekend numbers came in I found myself happy to see people went to see the movie in spite of the negative reviews showing the big newspapers how irrelevant they truly are in the 21st century.

All these industry people have already put their own nails into the coffins of Hollywood film making.  The grim reality for them is that only movies like Pirates from Disney can really be economically viable in this modern environment where they view the film making industry to be on the solitary mission of spreading liberal causes to the world.  Instead of making a movie that everyone can make money off of from the actors down to the promotional people, these industry idiots provide critics of movies as if the only reason people pay a lot of money to see them instead of waiting for the home market to show them from the comfort of our living rooms is to lectured to by Hillary Clinton supporters who would demand we all be more liberal.

There was nothing wrong with Jack Sparrow or Johnny Depp’s performance.  There’s nothing there to reflect the off-camera trouble of Johnny Depp’s rough divorce or his financial issues.  Anybody who writes anything otherwise is reaching—and trying to make something out of nothing.  If I were to give Disney any advice I would say make more Pirate movies and make them less as giant ensemble pieces and more about the adventures of Jack Sparrow.  All Pirates of the Caribbean movies don’t need to have huge casts like Dead Men Tell No Tales did and they all don’t have to be pinnacles to the survival of the human race to be good movies.  The character of Jack Sparrow is a lot like Bugs Bunny.  People would go see Pirate movies just to see how Johnny Depp’s character would get out of the latest mess.  Watching the execution scene in Dead Men Tell No Tales made this very apparent.  Jack Sparrow makes these movies fun and people would pay money just to see that character survive some new invention of malice, like at the opening of the movie where he wakes up inside a bank vault with the wife of the mayor trying to rob a bank but instead had passed out drunk and in need of escape.  Jack Sparrow could travel the world on such adventures and people wouldn’t mind a bit.  They’d still spend a billion dollars per picture at the box office and Disney could save some production costs.

On that note I think the Pirate films should be more like the new Star Wars movies—a new one should come out each year.  Bring the production costs down into the $150 million range and just let them do their thing.  There was nothing “lazy” about this Pirate movie as reviewers seemed obsessed in disclosing.  It’s not easy by any means to make a movie that looks as beautiful as Dead Men Tell No Tales from the special effects people, to the costume design to the wondrous score this time by Geoff Zanelli using themes created by Hans Zimmer.  This was movie making at its best and every new Pirate adventure doesn’t have to be on the scale of Dead Men Tell No Tales or At World’s End.  Like the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons, we knew and expected the animated rabbit to survive the aggressions of Yosemite Sam and the Martian, but what we wanted to see was how.  Disney has a nearly perfect character for that kind of thing in Sparrow and they should use him more.  Who cares what the industry thinks about milking the Pirate franchise for everything they can?  People in Hollywood want to work don’t they?  I would personally love to see a new Pirates film every year and if they only made $800 million each—so be it.  It would be good cash flow for a company that needs it—everyone needs it.  So why not do it?

Everyone should go see Dead Men Tell No Tales.  Don’t listen to the critics; they have no idea what they are talking about.  Movies are all about the feeling that this latest Pirates films provides—good fun that the whole family can enjoy together.  The correct formula for a motion picture really isn’t any more complicated than that.  I know when I’m having a bad day I put on one of the Pirate movie soundtracks and let the Jack Sparrow theme song cheer me up with his laissez-faire approach to life.  It works, in the same way that the character works in the movies.  I know that may be hard for the Disney Corporation to get their minds around, but all they really need to do is put Johnny Depp on-screen dressed as Jack Sparrow—pick some point on the map  and let the story tell itself.  Add the special effects in post production to fill in the gaps and just pump out as many Pirate moves as you can over the next decade and let movie fans have some fun without the politics.  Everyone would be better off.

Rich Hoffman

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