2006 Movie Review Part 2- The Fun Run Part 2

Now for the second leg. To review, these are the more fun movies of 2006, specifically those that came out in the second half of the year (more or less).
Reminder on the rating system- each movie is rated out of 10 Slushees (because that is what makes me happy at the movie theater snack counter).
Here we go!

We're gonna start off on a good note with one of the most entertaining movies of the year:
2) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Very very entertaining. Once again, Johnny Depp steals the show as Jack Sparrow...sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow, once again flailing and slurring his way out of danger. This part of the saga is bolstered by great performances of the new characters, particularly Bill Nighy as Davy Jones and Peter Skaarsgard as Bootstrap Bill Turner. Kiera Knightley is not as good in this one, perhaps distracted by her newfound, Pride and Prejudice-induced stardom *shudder*. But it's easily as entertaining as the first movie. The fight choreography is fantastic, especially the rolling 3-way duel between Jack, Will, and Norrington, but also the fight with Elizabeth and the two stooges from the Black Pearl. It's interesting how the Pirates saga is looking more and more like Star Wars- part 1 is self-contained, and you can't watch part 2 without part 3. Beckie didn't like that, but I'm stoked for the third movie. Oh yeah, best setup (aside from Lord of the Rings) for a part 3 ever.
Favorite Jack Sparrow line: "I love those moments. I love to wave at them as they pass me by."
The Good: Depp, of course. And Hans Zimmer's fantastically entertaining soundtrack (particularly the music playing when the Kraken shows up).

The Bad: The ambiguous love triangle- was Elizabeth's smooch with Jack a) a real kiss indicating that he is, in fact, what she really desires; b) just a quick indulgent of lustful passion; or c) really a distraction to lock Jack to the ship? Hmmm...
The Ugly: The bad guys with crustacean highlights.
Score: 8.5 Slushees
2) Lady in the Water
Though this movie is unique in that it's the only one reviewed which I did not see in the theater, it was hyped enough that I thought it should merit a mention. In short, I wasn't impressed. That I didn't really like it threw me, because I have love all of M. Night Shyamalan's movies previously. I particularly liked The Village, because it really showed Night's penchant for unique ways of telling stories and directing different movie genres. But this one was dissapointing. Paul Giamatti did very well, as did Bryce Dallas Howard, but it just failed to grab my attention like the other movies did. It was unique and the "trademark" twists was interesting, but it just didn't dazzle me like the other movies did. Sorry, Sarah.
Favorite Character Demise: The book critic.
The Good: Giamatti. And Night's trademark cameo.
The Bad: Special effects on the grass dogs and tree monkeys. True, it's a kid's fairy tale, but it was almost comical how the monsters looked.
The Ugly: Bryce's eye makeup. She's beautiful, but looked kinda "ewgh" in the movie.
Score: 4.5 Slushees
3) The Prestige
This movie was...well, magical. Chris Nolan is a directing genius (remind me to spend a 40 page blog talking about how great "Memento" and "Batman Begins" are). The cast is fantastic- from Christian Bale and his chilling personality to Michael Caine as the "mentor" to Hugh Jackman as the obsessed competitor to David Bowie as the eccentric Tesla. The story is engaging and exciting, with twists and turns at every...well, turn. The magic is fantastic to watch, even when you know how it works and you know what's coming. The best part is, you never know what's coming. You expect it, but never get it. Always the master of twists and unexpected surprises, Nolan delivers a masterpiece and a whopper of a surprise ending- it's so good, I honestly saw it coming a long way off and was still surprised.
Favorite Magic Trick: Catching the bullet in the hand.
The Good: Christian Bale's performance as the reckless, ambitious, yet coldy calculating magician.
The Bad: That poor dead bird.
The Ugly: Hugh Jackman's character's darker side.
Score: 9 Slushees

4) Casino Royale
So I'd seen all the Bond movies before this- Pierce Brosnan was the best, followed by Timothy Dalton. Connery fans everywhere have just ostricized me. Nuts to them. When I saw the preview for Casino, I said to myself and anyone who hasn't tuned me out yet, "This is gonna be for the Bond franchise what Batman Begins was for Batman-" a fresh start, a new beginning, a way to escape the bad-ness of the past. And what better way than to get a new, blond, Bond? I liked Daniel Craig as the famed heartbreaker from the start- who cares that he's not the hottie that the other Bond's were supposed to be? He can act, and that makes him a world of difference. The story is gripping, the action intense, yet believable. I like Dame Judi Dench as Bond's tightwad boss, and I like the Bond girl- smooth, not slutty.
Favorite Trademark Bond Car-Chase Scene (without the car): Definitely the awesome foot chase at the beginning- so very intense and so very real.
The Good: Pretty much everything, especially Craig.
The Bad: Many of the Bond movies before this one. George Lazenby, you'd better still be in that cave you earned after giving Bond a terrible name.
The Ugly: Le Chiffre's creepy bleeding eye. And the torture scene. I still cringe.
Score: 9.5 Slushees
Still to come: Serious movies for serious awards consideration.


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