I found “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” – the fifth film in the franchise – a relatively pleasurable experience. Perhaps it was because watching the third and fourth iterations made me feel like I was being bludgeoned.
The new one uses Johnny Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow as more or less comic relief. He wanders through the proceedings trying to find his sea legs, even on land. Captain Jack is mostly peripheral to the plot, which involves a couple of attractive young people (Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites).
They meet on their separate quests to find a mysterious object that they both hope will explain their something about their origins. The pair soon find themselves having to deal with Sparrow’s old nemesis, the pirate Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and along the way become enemies of the ghostly buccaneer Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), known as the butcher of the sea, and his ghoulish henchmen.
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” doesn’t rise to the enjoyment level of the first two in series, which feature some cool set pieces by director Gore Verbinski, but it passes harmlessly enough.
‘A Ghost Story’
As much as I respect “David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” it was too strange of a premise for me to be engaged.
Lowery uses one of the oldest Halloween costumes ever – a bedsheet with eyeholes – to show the specter of a ghost. He is played by Oscar-winner Casey Affleck. Before he died the phantom was an unnamed musician who lived with another unnamed character played by Rooney Mara.
We meet the couple long enough to see their bucolic life – she goes off to work, he stays home and writes songs and tinkers with sounds. Then he passes, but his spirit remains, and he haunts the house, unable to communicate with his significant other.
We find out some other ghosts can, though, but one thing the otherworldly figures have in common is that they are all tied to a certain space. “A Ghost Story” has its moments, there are…