No I’m not talking about the original UK version of the Snickers bar! I’m talking about a three movie stint I had at Reading Oracle’s VUE cinema. I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five and Thor, over a day and a half. If X-Men First Class had come out a day earlier, it would have been four movies. So, I thought I’d give you a lowdown if you haven’t already seen the movies, before I start talking about other stuff.
First off, Pirates 4 is based on the novel, On Stranger Tides, which I haven’t read but its reviews suggest it was good. The previous POTC movies built up the plot around Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan’s love story, which created a constant thread to keep us anchored through the crazy shenanigans of Captain Jack Sparrow. That relationship is clearly absent from Pirates 4. Instead we get a ghost of Sparrow’s implausible romantic side and an underdeveloped romance between a priest and a mermaid. Black Beard is supposed to be the worst villain yet, ‘the pirate that all pirates are scared of’, but he fails to inspire fear. He burns a small boat with a crewman on board, does a little voodoo and threatens to kill his alleged daughter. That’s it. It’s a watchable movie, but didn’t deliver as well as the originals, yes, even the third one.
Fast Five, another franchise movie, has pretensions of being a heist movie rather than a car movie. The previous films touch on aspects of the street racing culture (Tokyo Drift did this best, even if its seen as one of the worst of the five), Fast Five instead tries to be Ocean’s Five, with Vin Diesel as Billy Ocean. The cars are present and exquisite but aren’t the stars of the film. However, there is one very compelling reason to go watch this movie, Diesel vs the Rock. Enough said.
Thor is the harbinger of a summer full of superhero movies. Its engaging, colourful and fun. The only bugbear I had was that it didn’t spend much time on Thor earning his hammer back. He drinks a few bears with an old scientist, chats up Portman and scribbles on her notebook, helps make toast and eggs in the morning and offers himself as a sacrifice to save his friends. That’s it. Job done. Here’s your hammer, now go act hard but at the same time be a sensitive brother to Loki.
In other news, I bought a stack of books from Waterstones, P V Brett’s Painted Man and Desert Spear, I Am No.4 (yes it was a book before it became a movie) and Amongst thieves. They’ll go on my bookshelf until I finish the humongous Wheel of Time series. I also managed to catch the first seven episodes of The Game of Thrones on repeat. The casting is brilliant, it follows the main plot as close as any fan of the books would want, but its got almost more sex in it than the Spartacus tv series. That’s a shame, because a lot of teens are going to miss out on watching it for that reason.
The only other big news I have to share is that I’ve started writing the sequel to Adventures of Some Kid (which is currently being read by a couple of writer buddies). The working title is Some Kid Has Another Adventure. Cheesy, I know.

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