Jun. 4th, 2011

heron61: (Default)
So, I recently saw both The Adjustment Bureau, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and both (in very different ways) made me think of the old White Wolf RPG Mage: The Ascension . However, before I go into that connection, I think it's worth mentioning that The Adjustment Bureau is moderately well acted, beautifully filmed, and vacuously empty. The clich├ęd man barging in to see the woman he loves minutes before her wedding, to convince her not to marry the man she is about to marry was old and tired 30 years ago, and now is laughably dull and more than a bit offensive. It has some interesting points, but is mostly dismal and more than a bit offensive in a variety of ways (not least of which being the fact that literally the only woman in the film is the protagonist's love interest).

In thankfully vivid contrast, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is quite a good film. It's also a very odd film, in addition to being the only Disney film I know of where the protagonist a syphilis lesion on his face (or at least that's what Johnny Depp claims the sore is), it's also significantly more brutal than the previous films. Back in the 80s, I read and loved Tim Powers' novel On Stranger Tides and it's my second favorite of his novels (after Last Call). I can also definitely say that with the exception to two brief, but lovely visuals, this film has absolutely nothing to do with that novel. Yes, both are about a journey to the fountain of youth, but the fountain, and everything else are all very, very different. If you see a nifty concept in the film, it came from the people working on the film, not the novel, they are impressively unrelated. It was also a good, if somewhat odd film. Captain Jack Sparrow's motivation was pretty darn murky, but everything else worked fairly well. No, where were not enough women or people of color in the film, but it was fun fluff and avoided being stupid. On to Mage: The Ascension musings: )

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