I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales five times in a row opening day! Here’s the full video of the day followed by a detailed recap of each screening.
First Screening (10:00 AM)
I did not enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales after my first screening of the day. My biggest issue was that it was just plain boring. If you’ve seen five minutes of one Pirates movie, you’ve seen all this crap before. Which makes sense considering there’s not any rich original intellectual property to work off of or expand upon. This is a movie franchise that has gone five films deep (and grossed four BILLION dollars) based on a fifty year old theme park ride and a pretty good Keith Richards impression. They should’ve never made it into one movie, the fact that we’re in our fifth should come as no surprise to anyone that nothing is surprising and every step forward is a grueling march into the painfully known.
My second biggest issue with the movie is that it’s called “Dead Men Tell No Tales” and the film is nothing but a dead man telling tales. The movie opens with Javier Bardem’s character doing a very hamfisted delivery of the titular line. He clarifies that he’s a dead man and can therefore tell no tales, but he says this IMMEDIATELY after telling a tale! It makes absolutely no fucking sense. He proceeds to tell several more tales throughout the course of the movie, including one full blown flashback tale featuring young Johnny Depp. It was so dumb that I wanted to scream, but I fell asleep for 10 minutes instead.
It was also very obnoxious that people in the movie kept casually saying the word “accord” over and over. It felt like I was watching a bad Honda commercial. And if you came to this movie for the much-advertised return of two fan favorites, you’re shit out of luck. Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, names that hold less emotional weight with me than a truck stop lunch special three hundred miles away, share a combined screen time of less than 90 seconds. But I guess that’s what you get for putting your trust in a mouse and a pirate.
Second Screening (1:15 PM)
I did not enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales after my second screening of the day. I just kept thinking about how crazy unnecessary this movie is. Who asked for this? The fact that I had purchased five tickets gave me an uneasy feeling of anxiety for being part of the box office fueled problem.
There was also the glaring reality that this movie was just re-hashing ideas that were never that great to begin with. Remember when the ghost pirates walked UNDER the water? This time, the ghost pirates are RUNNING and they’re ON TOP of the water! You know how Johnny Depp wears a bunch of dumb shit on his head?!? Let’s tell the origin story of all the dumb shit on his head! Remember when a guy from The Rolling Stones was in one of these movies? This time a guy from THE BEATLES is in the movie! Remember mermaids? Well, now we’ve got GHOST SHARKS! Hard pass. On all of it.
And I didn’t understand why Barbosa had to die at the end. Salazar’s curse was broken, Salazar should’ve been stoked about it and let Jack Sparrow live. But even if he was climbing up that chain at the end to get revenge, Barbosa could’ve just stabbed him and been fine. It was dumb. They were trying to give Geoffrey Rush’s character a grand sendoff, but all they did was unnecessarily make a tiny orphan out of his monkey.
Once again, I fell asleep for 10 minutes. This time during the battle at the end. That’s how low the stakes feel and how poorly they show the action. I had to use the bathroom after the screening and had diarrhea, something I am going to say is a direct result of watching this movie twice in a row. It’s literally so bad it will give you diarrhea. I called a car and headed to my third consecutive screening of the day, this time in IMAX 3D at a theater about five minutes away.
Third Screening (4:00PM)
My third screening of the day was in IMAX 3D and the screen size and quality was awesome. IMAX rules and this movie looked and sounded great in this presentation. But it was still a completely terrible movie. As I said in my video recap, a pile of elephant shit in a Ferrari still smells bad at 200 miles per hour.
I was also very much looking forward to grabbing a drink before this screening, because there’s no way alcohol could make this experience any worse, and was extremely upset to find out the bar at this theater wasn’t yet open at 4PM. Upset really isn’t even the right word, I was somewhere between heartbroken and crushed. I even asked several employees just to be 100% sure nobody could scare me up a beer from the back. But in the spirit of Jack Sparrow, I didn’t let that stop me from drinking in public. I waited until just the perfect moment (right as Jack Sparrow was walking into the bar covered in mud but before the chaotic guillotine scene before the first act break because I wanted to see that in 3D) and ran outside to a liquor store across the street on Hollywood Blvd. to purchase two small travel bottles of vodka. I was not about to let this movie theater’s shortsighted bar staffing schedule tell me how to live my goddamn life.
I was hoping the 3D would make a little more sense of the guillotine scene. Maybe the 3D would clarify, exactly, the physics of that whole blade goof. It didn’t. It was still confusing and bad and I was scared I’d have more diarrhea after this screening.
The fact that our smart female protagonist who understood science was always in a corset with her breasts pushed up to her chin felt like it undercut her character substantially. Her character development was 10% science and 90% corset. And there are multiple jokes about her getting naked or being a prostitute. Like, I get that these are pirates but you can’t really have it both ways and try to play the female intellectual empowerment card and the “what if we almost suffocate her to make her boobs look big as fuck” card at the same time.
The movie ended and my fears were confirmed: I had diarrhea for the second time that day. In a row. In a goddamn movie theater bathroom. Happy Memorial Day weekend.
Fourth Screening (7:00 PM)
My fourth screening of the day was in a special kind of seat called DBOX. If you’re not familiar, these seats are programmed to move forward and backwards and up and down and shake as you watch the movie. There was an intensity setting on the seat and I set mine to the highest possible intensity because I am not a coward. A commercial for DBOX played before the trailers, emphasizing that this technology was immersive and not distracting at all. As my seat jerked back and forth during the commercial, I knew this to be a lie.
I was quite certain this movie was dog balls, and was running out of ways to say that in my video reviews, so I tried really hard to focus on good things about the film. The hair and makeup were great. The costumes were great. I love production and it was evident that a lot of people worked really hard to make this movie happen, but that nicety was dampened by the fact that all these efforts only served to line the pockets of a few people who are already rich and Walt Disney’s frozen head. They’re the real pirates of this story and I can’t knock the hustle.
Johnny Depp is awesome as Jack Sparrow. He really does bring it as this character and has been consistently doing it for years. But unfortunately the character sucks (he’s extremely flat, not dissimilar to a robot in a theme park) and the movie sucks and the story sucks so fuck everything about this movie even if Johnny Depp is very good in it.
One thing that made me laugh out loud each screening was a joke with “Who hurt you?” as the punch line. That’s because earlier that week, when I was still debating whether or not to do this to myself, I put up a Twitter poll and “Who hurt you?” was one of the options as a punch line.
Hi guys! Should I see the new 'Pirates of the Caribbean' five times in a row this Friday for @funnyordie? Ty for your input on the matter— Dashiell Driscoll (@dashiell) May 22, 2017
So as garbage as the writing was, I had to laugh that apparently my writing was just as bad as whoever penned this film. Only I still have to look at my checking account before I buy groceries and also I watch movies five times in a row to pay my rent so it’s clear who the real idiot is. Oh yeah, I also liked when the monkey put his hand over his heart at the end of the movie. It was funny to me they had to train a monkey to do that and it’s supposed to be a somber moment. I no longer had diarrhea, perhaps the moving seats (which were fine, I guess, but right up there on the forgettable scale with this movie) rattled it out of me. It was time for the final screening of the day.
Fifth Screening (10:45 PM)
My fifth and final screening of the day was back in IMAX, this time in 2D. I had originally planned for a Johnny Depp lookalike to join me for one of these screenings, but he unfortunately had to cancel last minute because his schedule got too busy. I was delighted to walk into IMAX and see a random dude dressed up as Jack Sparrow and quickly got a snap of him. He made sure I addressed him as “Captain Jack.” When I told him this was my fifth screening of the day, he said I must be a REAL fan.
I asked Captain Jack if he wanted a drink from the bar which was now open. I got him a shot and asked the bartender if the bar would remain open for the film. She told me it was closing 10 minutes after the credits. I wanted to get into a conversation about how much their bar schedule was letting me down that day, but asked her instead if she could please pour me a triple so I could close this project out. She graciously obliged and it was time for my final screening.
No surprise here, but the movie was awful for the fifth time in a row. I’ve done this series a few times before, and the fifth screening is usually the hardest on my brain. Everything feels like it just happened. There’s an intense sense of Déjà vu. As Captain Jack’s failed bank heist kicked into gear, I couldn’t help but feel like I had JUST seen it five minutes ago. It was weird. It’s always weird. You’re not supposed to see movies this way.
It finally ended and I shot my closing remarks outside. This movie is bad and nobody should see it, not even one time in a row. The IMAX screenings were definitely cooler, but overall this was a wasted 15 hours of my life. I called a car and got the fuck out of there.
I woke up the next morning with the Pirates theme blasting in my head extremely loud. I expected this, the same thing happened when I saw La La Land five times in a row. What I DID NOT expect is the music brought me back to Hans Zimmer’s Coachella set that I saw about a month ago. I was having intense flashbacks to being on the Indio Polo Fields with my friends and that was pretty cool. But still not worth seeing this piece of trash five times in a row. See you next time at the movies!