The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)

I tell you I’m in an animation phase…but I’ve acknowledged it so I’ll be heading into the next real life actor movies soon.  I have been watching movies a lot so I have a few reviews lined up to be written over the next few days. I wasn’t too sure about this one though.  I’ve never been one to be in love with the whole clay animation concept (is that how you call it?).  However, this one did get an Oscars nomination for best animation of 2012 so when I could do the Bluray DVD exchange, I jumped at the chance.  I mean, Oscars are the coming Sunday night and I plan to have get to see at least part of it.  I had no idea what to expect for this one though, I’ve seen some good reviews and some bad ones.

the pirates band of misfitsDirector: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt

Cast: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek

Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) with his odd crew has been trying to win the Pirate of the Year Award for the past years.  This award looks at the pirate that has gotten the most booty and this is usually comparable to the wanted level that the pirate in question has.  The value of his reward if he were to be caught.  When he gets made fun of by Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek), Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Peg Leg Hastings, who are his main rivals in the race for the award, he sets out to sea to find the booty.  After several failed attempts, he lands on the ship of Charles Darwin (David Tennant) who was on an expedition to bring back a discovery worthy of making a reputation for himself at the Science Convention in London and to impress Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton).  When Charles Darwin sees Pirate Captain, he notices that the parrot he owns is actually not a parrot but one that could bring them untold riches.  With that, they all set off for London despite the dangers that it holds, especially with the hatred of pirates from the Queen Victoria herself.

This animation is an adventure that is filled with smart jokes and a good dose of silliness.  The characters itself is a whole lot of fun to watch. The plot has its up and downs and climaxes.  I haven’t seen any of the other Oscar nominees for best animation, but I’d say this one is definitely creative and witty enough to be part of it.  However, if this is the surprise pick (was it for those who did see all or most of the nominations), then the rest are quite promising! I’m looking forward to picking up a whole bunch of new animations in 2013.

The Pirate Captain isn't worth too much, eh?

The Pirate Captain isn’t worth too much, eh?

Everything was really good in this one.  It had a crazy amount of funny moments and to me, those are important especially in animations.  The character designs are really cool.  Hugh Grant did a fantastic job at being Pirate Captain.  I think this is his first effort in the voice work domain and he shines.  But then, I personally love Hugh Grant’s voice so this really works for me.  Just the appearance and reactions matched with the enthusiasm in the voice just makes you love watching the Pirate Captain in action.  His crew make possibly the best animated oddball crew ever.  They are an array of different character personalities and they just complement each other so well.

pirates band of misfits pirates crew

One of the best parts of this is the villain.  Queen Victoria is utterly evil. She looks and sounds the part. Imelda Staunton usually does a great job at these mean people/villainous roles, like when she did Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter with her sharp and snobbish voice, but it fits so well here.

pirates queen of england

Another one was the addition of Charles Darwin, young and smitten with Queen Victoria, he becomes a man who experiments the weirdest things.  This leads us to the hilarious addition of his experiment called a “man-panzee” turn butler, Mister BoBo.  There is no voice for him as he only talks with cue cards, but his character was possibly one of the wittiest ones in the Band of Misfits.  The idea of using that was extremely creative.

the-pirates-band-of-misfits-monkey-

Fun and entertaining, quirky and smart are all how I would describe it.  From the first moment to the last, it really takes you on an adventure.  Definitely a pleasant surprise for me.

Christmas Marathon: Serendipity (2001)

serendipitySERENDIPITY

Director: Peter Chelsom

Cast: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven

This movie is set during Christmas season in the beginning when Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) and Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale) meet at a department store both looking at the only pair of black winter gloves left.  They end up spending that night together not even knowing each other’s names.   They both had their own relationships already.  Sara believes in fate and how fate will bring you together if you’re meant to be. Finally they part with only knowing each other’s name and each with their own name and contact information on two different items.  Jonathan’s on a 5-dollar bill and Sara’s in a book Love in time of Cholera.  Flash forward, years later, they both are engaged not to each other, but someone else.  It is then they both believe to see signs and go off for one last search for each other.

This is a romantic comedy set during Christmas in the beginning, however, no part of it relates to it.  I do enjoy to watch it though.  Its not my favorite but its a nice idea they have here.  I believe in fate and that everything happens for a reason.  However, most of the time, reality doesn’t tell you the same thing.  This movie appealed to me as it is a dream I’d like to believe, although I’d say that how I met my boyfriend has a lot to do with it. Other than liking the whole foundation of this movie, I like John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in this movie.  For one, I had seen John Cusack walk right next to me while he was shooting a scene from The Factory. (Side track a little, I just realized this movie was released, and I didn’t even know.) He delivers a great and charming role in a man who thinks leaving your outcomes to fate is ridiculous to someone who has faith and belief in it to run after the woman he thinks is the love of his life.  When Kate Beckinsale isn’t running of the supernaturals (which she does quite often, Underworld movies, Van Helsing), she’s a pretty charming actress as well.  I like the fact that she smiles in this.  Its a fun and silly adventure to search for someone you only their name, and how fate plays these little tricks on you but in the end will always lead you to what who you are destined to be with.

However, I’m guessing this one is affected by how much you believe in this. If you think believing in fate and destiny is ridiculous, my guess is that it won’t be to your liking.  This is definitely not your cup of tea. But, if you do like a cute little romantic comedy, this is fun and delightful.  It has some funny moments, some silly moments, some happy moments and some you just want to cheer either Jonathan or Sara on in their search.

Do you believe in fate and destiny? Is Serendipity something that you would enjoy or have enjoyed? Even if you didn’t, what didn’t you like about it?