Wednesday 13 December 2017

Film Highlights Friday

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)


RTE One, 6.30pm

The world might not have been crying out for a fourth instalment, but 'On Stranger Tides' turned out to be a lot sharper than either Pirates 2 or 3.

Gone are the drippy, lovesick characters played by Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, and as a result Captain Jack Sparrow is pushed centre stage. Depending on who you believe, Johnny Depp (above) was paid anything from $35 million to $50 million to reprise his most famous role, and thank God for that because as ever it's Captain Jack who makes this yarn a little more than bearable.

Jack is in London when he hears that a person posing as himself has been recruiting a crew. The imposter turns out to be Angelica (Penelope Cruz), an old flame of Jack's who is planning a voyage to discover the location of the legendary Fountain of Youth.

She tricks Jack, and he ends up being pressganged into service on board the Queen Anne's Revenge.

Director Rob Marshall keeps things moving along nicely, but it's Depp who makes the whole thing work, assisted by able lieutenant Geoffrey Rush. Enchanted (2007)


BBC1, 2.35pm

Picture the classic Disney film and you think of twinkly-eyed princesses whose endless warbling conjures up herds of adoring birds and small animals and of course her square-jawed and puffy-sleeved prince.

All of these elements are present in 'Enchanted', but not in the way you might expect. Because this 2007 film turns the cherished Disney clichés on their head to create a movie that will appeal almost as much to world-weary parents as kids.

Amy Adams (below) is Giselle, a comely cartoon maiden who's due to marry the dashing Prince Edward when his jealous mother, the evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), pushes her down a magic well and into the real world. Her unshakeable optimism and sickly-sweet manner are sadly out of place in the Big Apple, but she's taken in by a single father (Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter. And while Prince Edward comes to Manhattan to rescue his bride, she begins to fall for Dempsey.

Well written and beautifully made, 'Enchanted' has enough magic to keep the kids happy and is extremely funny to boot. And Adams is quite superb as the insanely optimistic Giselle.

Irish Independent

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