ARR! Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End hits this week and as the third second sequel to hit this summer it’s got some stiff competition. Nice to see though that they’ve made sure it beats Spider-Man 3 in at least one respect, in that at 2 hours and 47 minutes long, it’s a good half hour longer. It’s nearly as long as Inland Empire (which is finished at the Royal now, so we promise we won’t mention it again) and apparently, almost as confusing. Reviewers have mostly come to the conclusion that they didn’t have a clue what was going on, but we think NOW’s Deirdre Swain put it most eloquently: “It would take the sharpest sword in the armoury to cut through this sailor’s knot of a plot; I couldn’t explain it if I wanted to.”
Much like Shrek, we enjoyed the previous two films hugely (yes, we genuinely enjoyed the sequel) but we hope that, unlike Shrek, we won’t be utterly unimpressed by the third in the series. Please don’t go and see Shrek The Third, readers; it’s incredibly boring, making us laugh only once. You’ll only convince them to make Shrek Goes Forth, which is the title for the fourth film that we [alright, our girlfriend] came up with on the way home.
Moving on, most of our esteemed Canadian movie critics are at Cannes right now (you know, the poor man’s Toronto International Film Festival.) While there isn’t much worth us recounting third hand, there’s a fair bit of comment going on over taking Michael Moore to task on his rosy view of Canada’s healthcare in Hey, Guys, American Healthcare Sucks (otherwise known as Sicko.) As Eye’s Jason Anderson, The Star’s Peter Howell and others have reported, the film briefly shows some people in London, Ontario, getting speedy emergency room treatment for free (as you do) and uses it to say “Canadian healthcare is the greatest thing since sliced bread. In Canada, Stephen Harper will personally check you for testicular cancer with his tongue, and if he finds anything, he shoots out the cancer with the lasers from his eyes.”
Which is patently not true. People might say Stephen Harper sucks a lot of balls but…we’ll let you finish that pithy comment yourselves. In general, we agree with Jason Anderson’s appraisal, “This is why Moore’s films can be so frustrating—it’s difficult to square up our admiration for his intentions and goals and our misgivings about the distortions, evasions and fudges that he uses to accomplish them.”
Also out this week: Odd “low-key musical” Once, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Bug, and ¿¡Revolución!?, which should win an award for most frustrating title to type ever, and Fay Grim, Hal Hartley’s follow up to 1997’s Henry Fool. Not reviewed favourably, it features James Urbaniak and, apparently, brief flashes of Parker Posey’s inner thigh. You know, like in this image. Here. To the right. That seems worth the price of admission to us, yeah.
In festivals: Torontoist’s Johnnie Walker keeps us updated on the Inside Out Festival, but there’s also the European Union Film Festival and the Toronto-Hispano Film Festival now showing.