Thoroughly enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean at the movies last night. It’s a soundly fun swashbuckling movie, that moves slowly in some places but makes up for it with cartoony action and pirate antics (“cartoony” doesn’t quite do some of the action sequences justice; several set pieces are pretty thrilling). Although I’m not sure I’m ready to endorse the entire genre of movies based on amusement park rides, this one is fun.
What bothered me tremendously, however, was the anti-piracy op-ed that preceded the film. Delivered seriously by a set painter who suggested that piracy really hurts him and the legions of non-millionaire film workers, the promo is heavy-handed and seems ridiculously out of place shown in the theater. I’m already in the theater, for god’s sake! I paid for a ticket, not a lecture about piracy. The ten minutes of ads that now precede the film are on thing; self-serving editorials are just insulting and patronizing.
And that’s another thing. Did somebody, somewhere, think it would be clever to insert an anti-piracy op-ed into a film about piracy? “Piracy is bad.” “But pirates are clever, handsome, and exciting!”
Moving on, Pirates reminded me of Wyvern, a gigantic pirates-and-sorcery adventure that I read years ago. It’s by A. A. Attanasio, author of The Last Legends of Earth, perhaps my favorite all-time science fiction novel. Attanasio has a talent for epics, and both books fit the bill rather grandly. The books are hard to find these days, but are worth searching for.