Tuesday, December 31, 2013

'Tis be a mighty month o' movies in the life o' this ol' salt, and it only behooves me to share it wi' me loyal mateys what waits so long fer their cap'n to return from the sea. But I hae nay shame, for I be a shameless cur. Aye, a shameless cur what loves himself a fine bit o' cinematic diversion, harrrr.

Me month o' joy does begin her quest wi' a visit to the future world o' Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Malark. Me always respected a wee wench what can 'andle a bow, and we see Katniss's bow skills in their full glory in the newest Hunger Games, Catching Fire. Me hates to be a spoiler, as they says in these modern movie parlance, but I t'were a tadly bit disappointed that in spite o' the title, there were nary a fire to be seen in the whole bloody well movie. I were lookin' aforward to two hours o' conflagratin' destruction, and aside from Katniss's gown, I nay recall one inferno. But I forgive them their misleadin', because there were plenty o' death and non-incendiary destruction. I were there wi' a slew o' Hunger Games ignoramuses who had nary e'en seen the first movie, so they was inflamed by the fact that the show just ended wi'out a conclusionary end, but I just tossed their complainin' carcasses to the briny deep, an' all were well. Me gives Catching Fire an 'earty parrot's beak up. And an upward beak, as well, to the wench what plays Katniss, speaking of folk who be catchin' fire.

Yon I went to envision the second Hobbit movie, and let a weary cap'n say that although this be The Hobbit number 2, 'tis anythin' but number 2. Please pardon the potty humor, but when a ship's stuck fer months on end in the doldrums, and yer floatin' amongst the Admiral Brown, a wee bit o' scatological 'umor be all one can muster. Me loved the Hobbit Number 2 a spell more than the Hobbit #1, for it delivered a goodly dose o' action from the likes o' everyone's favorite elf Legolas, along wi' a comely she elf, and a bit o' mixed romance a'tween the she elf and a strangely fetchin' dwarf. Me wee wenches was put off by the romance, because they be racists, and because 'twere nary in the book. But to a man who were once betrothed to a manatee before me crew got 'ungry and ate her, I were not put off by a bit o' commingling between a she-elf and a dwarf. Fer this installment o' the Hobbit, I give an enthusiastic peg leg raised to the sky.

Me final review be the tale of a frozen land what warmed the cold, black heart o' this ol' pirate. 'Tis a Disney movie, Frozen, about two princesses in Scandinavia. When me crew asked me to pillage a copy o' this movie and show it aboard the Sea Monkey, I were a bit skeptical, for 'tis a cartoon, and me thinked it were about a reindeer and other talkin' woodland creatures. Be nay deceived. I can love a cartoon about talkin' woodland creatures as much as the next ol' sea dog, but I were not in the mood for such. As she turns out, 'tis nay a talkin' reindeer or woodland creature (though there be a talkin' snowman). Frozen be all about the two princesses, and the tragedy the sad circumstance o' one havin' the magical power to freeze things. Me ol' sea mate Walt outdid hisself on this one. The music had me crew a hummin' fer leagues, and the story'll change yer life. I 'tis ain't been the same man since. One o' the princesses is even Veronica Mars doin' her own singin'. Who knew she could parlay a tune? Nay I. If ye only see one movie all year, then me sympathize fer ye. But all the same, make it Frozen. A giant bowsprit up on this'n.

And that be the latest installment from the sea. Me next movie promises to be what be considered the greatest Bollywood movie of all, Jab We Met. O' course, the greatest Bollywood movie of all time be akin to sayin' the best smellin' pirate o' all time. But me's sure I shall love it anyway. Till we sail again, be vigilant, me mateys. Harrrrrrr! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

'Tis been too long, matey.

Me jist paid heed to the troublin' fact that 'tis been near a year since I last set sail.  Harrrrr, what an outrage.  But me ship arrived in the form of an endless night o' anguish and boredom, and there be no more excuses to be mustered, so I hath no choice but to cast off and share me cinematic wiz'm wi' me mates.  But doubt nary that I's set me withered eye upon some most enjoyable treasures o' the silver screen.

I begin with a little ditty I like to call The Hobbit, which is a good thing, because that be the name o' the movie.  Me's looked forward to this tale of adventure since I were a wee'n.  Twas a time when I envisioned meself as a lovable hobbit out to save the world.  But then me discovered the fun to be had in pillagin' and burnin', and there were no lookin' back. Me found this tale to be less rich and powerful as the Lord o' the Rings movies, but there be moments o' nobility that leaves a lump in the grommet.  The Cap'n would love to find that mountain full o' gold, and when me does, I's going to buy a herd o' them giant eagles to tow me ship.  And when me do, they'll give a big beak up fer this wee movie.

Now I'll chatter a wee bit upon a recent DVD enjoyed by yer dear ol' Cap'n.  Because sometimes, Admiral Brown keeps me from sailin' far afield fro the watchful shores o' me home port.  So I were to rent Trouble wi' the Curve starrin' the ancient mariner Clin' Eas'woo'.  After the terrible things he said about thar scurvy pirate O'Bama, the Cap'n has made a blood oath to watch every movie he make.  O' course, I were a bit confused by the title, originally thinkin' it to be Trouble wi' the Scurve.  Now thar be a movie me and me one remainin' tooth can really bite down on, so I were a wee bit disappointed when me see'ed twere not about bein' afloat without a supply o' citrus.  'Twere abou' baseball, what reminds me o' a game we used to play when we'd hit baby manatees wi' a club an' try to catch their flyin' heads.  Good times they be until the manatees had the bad manners to get all endangered and spoil our pirate fun.  The movie she starts all depressin' and devoid o' hope, like a village under siege, but then Clint and his daughter Amy Adams begins to click a bit, and that blackguard what broke the heart o' poor Britney, Justin Timberlake, gets all wise and charmin', and before you realizes, the movie turns a bit happy and triumphant, leavin' ye with a swellin' in yer black heart.  So me eye patch is up.

'Tis always a big event in me life when me ol' friend and former factotum Bond, James Bond, have him a new movie.  An' this year, he celebrated his 50th anniversary wi' a new film christened Skyfall.  There be many a reference to his age and how the world hae moved beyond a need for an old school hero like Mr. Jimmy Bond.  But we are taught that a world without Bond be a world nary worth livin' in.  I 'specially 'preciated the classic Bond touches what returned to this episode, what like Q, Moneypenny, his old car, and many a nod to his history.  This movie have a particular hateful villain, because he be some kind of blonde Mexican, and the Cap'n don't be takin' a shine to that kind o' unnatural behavior.  He also seems to have a grudge again' the matronly M.  Now I loves a good grudge as much as the next  vicious pirate, but I draws the line at kindly older wenches what suffers with the macular degeneration.  There be no call fer that.  But if Dame Judy Dench do succumb to the curse o' blindness, I knows a great patchmaker.  Me good parrot Polly lifts both her talons high to the sky for Skyfall.

Finally, the Cap'n's vessel took an unexpected jaunty into a channel what led him to Here Comes the Boom, starring the Fresh King o' Queens and Salma Hayek.  People less traveled in the Barbary waters than meself does not know that Salma Hayek mean "Angel in heaven" in Spanish.  Me learned this on many a raid on Spanish galleons when me crew would yell, "Hand over them dubloons, or esta noche you'll all be Salma Hayeks."  You could smell the fear in their eyes and their pantaloons.  So the King o' Queens be a washed-up teacher who don't care about his scurvy school wi' its scurvy kids and scurvy principal.  But he make a blood oath to save the music program by bein' a ultimate fighter to raise money.  Somehow, a blow to his head mus' make him crazy, for he starts carin' about his kids.  Then an unseen blow to Salma's head makes her start carin' about the King, and the next thing you know, the Cap'n is laughin' like a Puerto Rican rumrunner and cryin' like a Bahamian schoolgirl.  This be the feel-good movie of the decade (the Cap'n sometimes be a victim o' hyperbole).  Two unexpected bloody stumps ump fer the Boom.

That be it fer this sailin'.  Me promises to try not to stay adrift fer a whole year at a time.  I be a new and better buccaneer this year.  One what cares fer the enjoyment an' enlightenment  o' his minions.  Sail wi' a fresh wind.  Harrrrrr.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Plenty o' good viewin'

Ahoy, me mateys. By poplar demand -- and by that I means I were ordered by a tree -- I's sailin' again wi' a bevy o' luscious movie choices for yer days in dry dock. So wi'out further ado, I's be gettin' down ta bidness.

I were a little afeared o' watching Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, because o' me bad experiences wi' ghosts. You landlubbers likes to think that ghosts is jist a pleasant superstition, but we what's been asea fer months and years on end know that they's real. And they ain't pleasant. I were once haunted by an unspeakable succubus the likes o' which no man should ever encounter. Ooo, I cannae stand a succubus. So, me went to the Ghost Protocol wi' a bit o' trepidation, and what a relief 'twere to find that there was nary a ghost in the whole movie. I still nay knows what the title meant. I reckon they cost theirselves at least 100 million in ticket sales by scarin' less 'earty souls away by the title. Tom Cruise has a new team what's been discredited and accused o' blowin' up the Kremlin. So he have to prove his innocence all the while savin' the world. Plenty o' thrills and chills and clever hijinks atop the world's tallest building in Dubai and a parkin' garage in China or somewhere. That Tom sure can fall a long way without hurtin' hisself. Maybe one o' the ghosts broke his fall. Me parrot lifts her mighty claws up for everything abou' this movie excep'n the title.

Me took me weeest wench to Tin Tin, which ere based on the Belgian comic books o' yesteryear. If ye ask anyone wha' the Belgians has given to the world, they'd likely tell ye' French Fries and Tin Tin. He be that big everywhere but in my home port o' America, where we keep wonderin' when the big German Shepherd is gonna come in and save the day. Turns out, there's no German Shepherd at all. Tin Tin is one o' them newfangled cartoons what looks real, except that it be a cartoon. One o' me older wenches read all the Tin Tin books in days o' yore, so me already had a warm spot. All in all, 'tis an enjoyable adventure on the high seas with a drunken cap'n, so it warmed me black 'eart right from the get-go. And me loved the twin policemen Thompson and Thompson. 'Oo doesnae love a good Thompson? Or even a mediocre Thompson, let alone two identical Thompsons. 'Twas a unexpected bonus. Aye raise me eyepatch to Tin Tin fer wholesome good times in a world o' filth and despair.

And now fer an unexpected bit 'o fluffy goodness from yer Cap'n, me presents to ye We Done Bought a Zoo. In this one, Jason Bourne regains 'is memory and realizes he be a widowed reporter with a cute wee daughter an' a troubled teenage boy what draws disturbin' pictures about decapitations and such (I's nay sure what be so disturbin' about that, but apparently in "polite" society, it brands ye a troublemaker). So to start a new life, he up and buys an old zoo what's most prized creature be Scarlett Johansson. He learns fro' the animals, they learns fro' he, and they all learns fro' Scarlett the meanin' o' life and love and the importance o' somethin' or other. Me prides meself on 'avin' a stoic bearing, but there were times when I hae a lump in me throat the size o' Gibraltar, and when I lifted me eyepatch to itch me empty socket, about a cup o' tears fell from the void. We Done Bought a Zoo deserves all me remainin' digits up. 'Tis a goodie.

Finally, me'd be remiss if I failed to mention the best show on the wee screen these days, what's knowed as Downton Abbey. And I nay say it just because it share a name wi' the ship's mangy cur. If ye loves a good British period drama (and who dinnae?), then ye really must rent or Netflick the first season's four episodes. Then start a-watchin' the new season on PBS. Me's told you can catch up on the ones ye missed online somewheres, but don't keep watchin' the whole thing, or 'twill spoil the flow.

And thus ends another voyage fer yer Cap'n. Till next time (and me 'opes it nary be another year), be seaworthy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

You gotta love a weddin'

Ye may be a wonderin' where me've been fer lo, these many months. Tis a subject me'd rather not broach at this, nor any, time. Suffice it to say, twas not a savory tale. But during me extended time away, I had some time to reflect. And I's come to a troublin' conclusion that me must share with ye.
Tis nay secret that an old salt such as ye see before ye has never taken a wench to wife. For me lady is the sea. And who needs a wedding, when you're subjected to constant wetting. A little seagoin' humour there, in no way intended to reflect negative upon me continence. Ay, yer cap'n has been on many a continent, but I challenge any man to call me incontinent. Twill be the last words he ever utters right before he sees the flash of me cutlass gleamin' against his scurvy bowels.
But me digress. I were parlayin' about weddin's. And jist because I's ne'er entered into the unholy bonds of matrimony me'self, me can still recognize a strange and unexpected truth. That bein' that any movie with "Weddin'" in the title will be a fine movie indeed. You doubt me at yer own peril. For here be the proof thereof.
The Weddin' Crashers (cleaned up version, o' course. I's a family-friendly pirate) is a non-stop ballyhoo o' laughter and hi-jinx. That Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson never fail to tickle me funny bone. If ye ever see a pirate ship literally rockin' with laughter, chances are it's me and the boys watchin' this gem.
Four Weddin's and a Funeral tis another wedding classic that catapulted Hugh Grant into stardom and all the pitfalls that entails. And I loves a good funeral as much as the next salt, but you'll never convince me that they could have stuffed so much heartwarmin' love and good fun into the movie had there only been the funeral with nay the weddings.
Me Best Friend's Wedding be another guilty pleasure fer yer old friend the Cap'n. I'm not admittin' to watching it over an over again, nor nothing so troublin' as that, but 'twas an enjoyable bit o' codswallop. And it dared to make Julia Roberts into a sort of despicable character that you didn't know whether to root for or to kick in her freakishly oversized (though lovely) maw.
The Weddin' Planner has J-Lo starrin' as a lovable Puerto Rican girl what happens to be a talented planner of weddin's. But me thinks her business is going to fall on hard times when folks catch wind o the fact that she'll steal yer intended. Or maybe that was Maid in Manhattan. Me gets confused, because they's basically the same movie. But it nay matters, because they both warms the cockles of me cold, black heart.
And let's nary ferget Me Big, Fat Greek Weddin' wi that cross-eyed Greek wench what wrote and starred in her first movie and made billions o' doubloons, because it were wicked funny. Had it been named somethin' else, like Me Big, Fat Greek Buttocks, 'twould nary have been nearly as successful, what once again proves me point that having "Wedding" in the title improves any movie.
Which brings me to the pinnacle of nay only the wedding movies, but of all movies, that bein' The Wedding Singer. Me can only hope that in time, the hotsy-totsy literati and what-nay will recognize this as the greatest movie ever made, and shut their scurvy yaps about Citizen Kane. Tis not even in color, fer cryin' out loud. And when Robbie sings "I Wanna Grow Old Wi Ye" to Julia, methinks I even saw a tear in Billy Idol's eye, and it were real. Ye can't fake that kind o' emotion.
So let me wrap this up in sailcloth with a cannonball inside: A wedding is a tragedy in real life, but in the title of a movie, 'tis a chest full o' gold bullion.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Life Lessons From Making Cheese

Here be one of them guest columnists I were talkin' about. This here scurvy dog is a sad excuse fer a man, but he makes a mean cheese, so pay 'im heed! (The Cap'n)

By Mark Hopkin

My second daughter, Grace (aka, Goose, Garcia, Gershwin, Peggy), and I have gained a fascination with rotten milk. This all started a little over a week ago when she was bored and decided to surf the net looking for yogurt and cheese recipes. Here would be a good place for me to mention that Grace isn't normal. Of course, none of my girls is normal, but she is even stranger than the others, except in some areas where they exceed her strangeness.

While other 18-year-old girls might use their downtime to stalk semi-friends on Facebook or read about Rihanna's latest tattoo, Grace dedicates herself to learning the subtleties of cultured dairy products. So last Monday we made yogurt. After heating the milk and adding some starter (just a couple of tablespoons of preexisting yogurt), we poured it in a Nalgene bottle and stuck it under a bucket with a lamp inside. I'm proud to say that was my own innovation. Tuesday morning was like Christmas. I ran into the kitchen with my eyes all aglow to look under the bucket, and amazingly enough, we had a Nalgene full of yogurt. After eating a few small bowls of it, I can safely say that Yoplait can rest easy for at least a while.

But it yogified, and that was enough to inspire Grace to move on to bigger and better things. So on Tuesday, she decided to tackle cheese, and not just any cheese -- feta cheese. That afternoon we went to the organic grocery store and purchased some rennet, which, if I'm not mistaken, is made from cow vomit. The first part of the cheese process is a lot like making yogurt, but with cow puke. Then after the initial curdling process, you strain it through a cheese cloth. Since we didn't have cheese cloth, we used a dish towel, which, through the magic of capillary action, wicked a big puddle of whey all over our coffee table, then a succession of pink and red bandannas. I thought this would have the same effect as washing white underwear with a red sock, but surprisingly, the finished cheese ball was pure white. Maybe we should try adding cheese to our laundry.

A word to the wise. Don't throw your collection of whey-soaked towels into the hamper and forget about them. For the next two days, our familial bliss was interrupted as we kept unjustly accusing each other of fouling the air, until we realized the source of the rancidity. Who knew that something cheese related could stink? Go figure.

Now we're soaking the feta in a jar with heavily salted whey (see photo), and after a week it should actually taste like feta cheese. And that's the sad part. After all this effort, stench, and anticipation we're going to end up with feta cheese. I won't be able to tell if we were successful or not, because to me, the only good feta is a dead feta. Do you think it's a coincidence that "fetid" and "feta" are so similar?

Then it occurred to me. That would be a great way to live life. If you only apply yourself to things that are inherently bad, no one can ever say you've failed. For instance, it doesn't matter whether you're the world's worst or best Scottish chef. Who can tell? Are you saying I write bad haiku? Prove it! And is one painting of dolphins really any better than all the others?

So weird daughter Grace, I want to offer you my eternal thanks. In a few days, when we bite into that fetid feta, it will be a symbol of my new pursuit of excellence in things no one likes. Now, if you'll excuse me, my Kenny G. Tribute band is having a rehearsal.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Aye on 'Ollywood

(Other End of the Line; Bruno; Princess Protection Program; Flash of Genius)

Alas, mateys, me hasn't had the time nor the booty to make it to the theaters fer a new movie this week. But I did indulge in some video entertainment through the magic of DVD. Sadly, me wench hath not let me steal a blue ray machine yet, but 'tis jus a matter o time.

Me recently rented The Other End o' the Line about a girl what's a phone service person in India (played by a Bollywood actress), pretendin' to be a San Francisco wench named Debbie, but really her name's Priya, which, me thinks, is what all Indians is named. You'd think with a billion people, 'twould behelpful to have more than one name. She gets a powerful hankerin' for one of the credit card customers she's helpin' (the young guy what was Eva Longoria's boy toy in the first season of Desperate Housewives, but don't ask me how me knows that. Have you noticed the slew of actresses named Eva lately?). Let me issue a warnin' to ya. Don't fall fer them phone customer service girls. They's trouble. I met up with one in the Sargasso Sea once, and it were an awkward situation. But Priya are different. She decides to meet up with her fellow when he's on a business trip to San Francisco, so she cashes in her life savings and heads to San Fran in search of the one man in the whole city what might be interested in her gender. The usual hijinks ensues involving misunderstandings, deception, hurt feelings, and all that rot. But through it all, our boy toy is smart enough to know that Priya is prettier than any stinkin' American girl, and she's gentle and sincere when she's not deceivin' him. The Cap'n has recently gained an appreciation fer Indian women. Me wishes me own wee daughters was Indian, so they'd be prettier, but 'twas not to be. In spite of some really bad actin' by Priya's mom and dad (Priya and Priya), the Cap'n could just watch this movie all day long. Me finds meself calling airlines and credit card companies a lot lately, just in case something comes of it (a note to me wench, this is jest a joke). Cutlass up fer this'n.

Me had a special request to do a review of Bruno. This is the new alternative lifestyle Austrian version of Borat, which is the foul, mean-spirited version of Candid Camera. The Cap'n refuses to watch Bruno for varied reasons. First, it's rated Arrrrr, and bein' a family pirate, I don' watch Arrrr-rated movies. Me also objects to the whole premise of these movies. Anybody can be funny if they humiliate innocent bystanders. Believe me, me knows. Me crew used to do it fer fun, and it were a hoot, but then we decided it were too mean. Oh, sure, we kill and maim, but now we leave our victims with their dignity. So me won't watch Bruno and I's ashamed of ye if ye watches it. Parrot talons down fer the whole idea o' Bruno

I's not proud of it, but me watched the Disney movie Princess Protection Program starring the two new Disney creations Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Tis a cute yarn about a princess whose tiny country is taken over by a mean general and has to go live with a Louisiana bait salesgirl to get out o' harm's way. This whole plot is ridiculous, because everyone knows the first place we evildoers look fer victims is bait shops. But if ye can get past that wee gaffe, it be worth rentin'. At first the bait girl is mean because she thinks the princess be a spoiled brat. But then they realize they's cut from the same hunk o' sailcloth, and selfless acts o' nobleness ensue. These is two young actresses what's got a future. Mark me word, Selena Gomez be a fine little actress what could go beyond Disney comedies. An embarrassed eye patch up fer PPP.

Me final movie be a rental called Flash o' Genius starring Lorelei Gilmore and Greg Kinnear. Me figured with Lorelei Gilmore, it have to be funny and clever. And Greg Kinnear was clever and charming in the remake of Sabrina. (Where the 70-year-old Harrison Ford falls fer the 21-year-old Sabrina. I love Indy as much as the next guy, but me lost a lot o' respect fer Harrison when he quit his long-time wench fer that skinny Flockhart lass, and what be with the earring? Pirates is the only old guys what can wear an earring, 'Arry!) So me told me crew that 'twas a light-'earted comedy. Then the movie opened wi' Greg sittin' on a bus all crazy like, and police comin' ta escort him ta safety, because, apparently, he done went round the bend. Then the next scene say "Three years earlier." So right there, I already knows it has a depressin' ending. Some comedy, me family says, and the first of me wee wenches checks out and goes to bed. The story is about a guy what invents the intermittent windshield wiper, but gets done wrong by the big three automakers when they steals his invention (as if that's wrong). Call me crazy, but these isn't times to be villifyin' the auto industry. Talk about kickin' a guy when he's down (the best time to kick a guy, by the way). Me learned a lesson durin' this experience. Never start a depressin' movie at 1 AM. We gave 'er 40 minutes to see if somethin' funny or triumphant might 'appen, but we finally gave up and went to bed. Peg leg down fer the first 40 minutes.

Eat plenty o' veggies and citrus, er ye'll be sorry!

Guest Columnists

Me can't be everywhere at once, and a pirate can only watch so many movies. So to keep the fresh content comin', I may force one of me prisoners to write sumpin from time to time. Twill most likely be rot, but at least twill be new. And they tells me that's all what matters on this modern Internet. Jes' keep it comin', even if 'tis garbage. Well, I aims to please (actually, I aims fer the head, and I ain't talking about the terlet, although I aims fer that one, too), so me and me guest writers will do our best to accommodate yer low standards.