Park City and Pirates

Haven't posted in quite a while. Not all that much has happened to talk about, I guess. I did take a trip to Park City over the weekend for the annual Eliason side of the family get-together. All the regular characteristics were there -- pool table, video games, screaming little kids, good food. The trip has just felt increasingly different as I get older, though. I don't really know how to explain it. I think that it used to be a lot bigger deal to get all the cousins together, especially with aunts and uncles and everyone. Aunt Becky and Uncle Randy aren't around anymore, and that changes things, I guess. Mostly I guess it's just that life is changing around me.

The weirdest thing about the weekend was that it was the last time I will see my brother Dave and his wife Jessica for who-knows-how-long. They left straight from Park City to get on the road to Indiana, where Dave will go to graduate school at Purdue. It was very odd saying goodbye to them. I haven't hung out with them all that much, I guess, even though they were living quite close. Most of the time they enjoyed being a couple by themselves, or with a couple of close friends. I've really grown to love Jess, though -- I hope I can find someone half as cool to marry me. I'm going to miss coming to her with girl troubles, and sharing movie opinions with them, and playing music together, on the rare occasions that our band got together. (Clark, our guitarist/Dave's best friend, is still around and I have the feeling that he'll be hanging out a lot more with me as a sort of surrogate Dave. Suits me; he's cool.)

Our family is just really growing up and getting older, and it's a tough change. Not to mention that Meagan has spent the last month in London (which I'm just really jealous about). Actually, it seems like life is changing for just about everyone but me. I seem to be stuck in something of a rut -- I don't feel that much older right now than right when I got home. I dunno. Maybe the fall will bring change.

I don't think I ever talked about taking a girl in my ward out to dinner and to see the new Pirates movie. First, the date. It was pretty good. We had decent conversation, and she's a fun girl. I just didn't sense ANY sort of motivation from her to ask her out again. Definitely seemed like yet another one-and-done date. I still may ask her out again at some point, but I really don't think she's interested. Whatever.

So, the movie. (By the way, I've started a site where I review everything that I feel like reviewing. I call it "Two Shums Up." You can find it at There's nothing really there yet. I plan to copy and paste this review of Pirates over there. More will be coming.)

Anyway, so I think I'm one of the few people hereabouts who didn't absolutely adore the first Pirates movie. I thought it was an enjoyable popcorn movie. I enjoyed Johnny Depp's character, Geoffrey Rush was brilliant, I thought Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley acquitted themselves well, the action was fun, the production values excellent, the music stirring -- but I felt it was overlong, a bit repetitive, and definitely not overly intelligent. A decent film, worth owning but not worth worshipping. Still, it knew its limitations and stuck to what it was good at.

Trust Hollywood to go too far and sequel a perfectly decent film to death. The sheer wonder and fun of the first movie is gone in the second. If I felt like the first was overlong, this one was almost sleep-inducing (clocking in at over two and a half hours is not permissible unless it's the Lord of the Rings). The characters and acting remain solid, if familiar, the sets and costumes are still incredible (big props to the costumes of the damned crew of the Flying Dutchman, especially) and the action scenes are very enjoyable (with the fight between Will, Jack and Norrington in the rolling wheel thingy the highlight).

I think the thing that really broke the movie for me was the melodramatic and unnecessarily convoluted plot. The revelations about Will's father aboard Davy Jones' ship were boring, the actual terms and cause of Jack's debt incomprehensible, and the attempt at making Elizabeth fall for Jack simply ridiculous. (As if it's not enough that EVERY WOMAN IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE already swoons over Cap'n Jack, now we've got to have Elizabeth go all fluttery over him too? Lame.) And Jack's death at the end of the film was weightless, because everyone knew it was hardly permanent, as the ending set up yet another cash cow... um, I mean, film, in the franchise.

I dunno. I'm probably being too hard on poor Pirates 2. But it really didn't do that much for me. There were funny parts, yes, but they seemed to rehash those from the first film. (The rum's gone again? Tee-hee!) There were action parts, but none seemed as epic or fun as those from the original. And it didn't help that I couldn't understand a dang word that Davy Jones guy was saying. Add in the length, the cliffhanger ending, and the whole thing just didn't satisfy me. I won't see it again in theaters, unless it's at the dollar. One Shum up out of two.

I could write more, but it's really late and I think my internet connection is being dodgy anyway. So I'll leave it here for now.

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