Well, the third in the Pirates of the Carribean series (At World’s End,) is in theaters and I figured it was high time I watched it. I absolutely loved PotC 1 (rating it a 9 out of 10 stars), was a little less impressed with PotC 2 (8 out of 10), and the trend continued with this third installment.

potc3h.jpgThe thing that jumped out most was how Johnny Depp‘s Jack Sparrow character morphed from a great character in the first film to a horrible caricature of said role by this version. Geoffrey Rush was the sole bright spot in this dimming franchise. His Barbossa was the only real pirate-like character in the bunch.

Yeah, it was still fun to watch, although the number of laugh-out-loud moments was much fewer than the other films. Yeah, the special effects were a blast, although the mini-Sparrows on Jack’s shoulders looked very CGI. Yeah, the action was spot-on. The real problem was the overacting by everyone except Rush, the weakest storyline of the franchise, and clear effort to overwhelm the audience with special effects. It left me a bit sad to see how far the subsequent apples had fallen from the original tree.

Oh yeah, Chow Yun-Fat did a fine job as well.

RATING 7 out of 10

lkosamin2.jpgI also saw The Last King of Scotland this weekend with no real idea what to expect. The whole story of Idi Amin Dada has been one of those periods of history that I always found interesting. The Raid on Entebee is one of my earliest world event memories. At just 13 years old, I was amazed that this made-for-TV movie depicted real events and I consider it one of the seminal events leading to an interest in things outside of my immediate surroundings.

With all that pressure on the film, it came through with flying colors. Forest Whitaker‘s take on Amin was brilliant. His Oscar was well-deserved. The angle taken by the film was interesting, and held my attention throughout. From the beginning, history takes a back seat to the personal story of Amin’s fictional Scottish physician, and the interplay of real events with his own journey kept either from getting boring.

Another shocker was Gillian Anderson (Scully from X-Files.) I had not heard she was in the film and was blown away to see her in long, dirty blonde hair. I never understood the fanboys that drooled over her as Scully, but yowza… she has aged very well and looks great with the new ‘do.

RATING 9 out of 10