The We Heart Pirates Week Tag 2021

When I found out Hamlette, from Hamlette’s Soliloquy, was hosting another blogathon, I knew there would be a tag. I was curious what questions would be asked when I discovered the blogathon would be pirate themed. However, I was looking forward to creating another tag post! Last year, I participated in The Legends of Western Cinema Week, which was partially hosted by Hamlette. During that event, I was introduced to my first blogathon tag! While I don’t watch a lot of westerns, I still answered the tag questions based on the films and television shows I have seen. Because I’ve seen and read more pirate related content, I found it easier to answer the questions in the We Heart Pirates Week Tag than those from The Legends of Western Cinema Week Tag. So, hop onboard this ship as we set sail through my answers!

We Heart Pirates Week blogathon banner created by Hamlette from Hamlette’s Soliloquy
  1. What are your favorite pirate movies or books?

While I haven’t seen these movies in a while, I have enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy! I remember them being a lot of fun and intriguing. Each character is memorable and the stories are well written. When it comes to pirate books, I recall liking To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker! It was so good, I could honestly see it adapted into a film!

2. Who are your favorite fictional pirates?

My favorite character from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is Calypso/Tia Dalma! I know she’s not a pirate, but she does play an integral role within that series. Naomie Harris did such a great job portraying Calypso/Tia Dalma, which is one of the reasons why she’s my favorite character from a pirate movie!

3. What do you like best about pirate stories? (Themes, costumes, aesthetic, etc.)

I’d say the adventure the characters embark on. In any of the pirate movies I’ve seen, there is always a journey that is filled with adventure. It’s interesting to see where the story goes and how the characters deal with their conflicts along the way.

4. If you were going to play a pirate on the stage or screen, what would your costume look like?

I don’t know what it would look like exactly. However, I do know I want it to be elegant. In my review of China Seas, I talk about how beautiful the pirate captain’s costume is. This is because two pieces of his costume were a silk blouse and a detailed jacket. Pieces like those would definitely be in my pirate wardrobe!

5. What pirate ship would you like to serve on?

The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, of course! It’s too iconic of a ship not to catch a ride.

For this tag post, I thought this picture was appropriate. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

6. Any favorite sea shanties or pirate songs?

I don’t listen to sea shanties or pirate songs. However, I do like the Nightcore version of Lady in Black by Blackmore’s Night, which sounds like it could fit in a pirate movie.

7. Have you ever participated in International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

No, I haven’t.

8. Would you like to go sailing on a real tall ship?

I don’t sail, but the idea of boarding on a real tall ship sounds fun!

9. Have you ever learned anything about real pirates, or do you tend to stick to the fictional kind?

I’ve learned there were several female pirates who roamed the Seven Seas. However, I don’t spend a lot of time learning about real pirates because I’ve been focusing on the fictional ones and their stories, such as Calypso/Tia Dalma and Davy Jones’ relationship.

10.  Why is the rum gone?

Simple, Captain Jack Sparrow drank it all.

Ship steering wheel pattern image created by Jemastock at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by jemastock – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this tag? Do you enjoy watching pirate films? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

The Top 10 Worst Movies I Saw in 2020

While I saw more good movies than bad this year, I wasn’t able to avoid some stinkers. Now that I’ve published my best movies of the year list, I can now discuss which movies were the worst ones I saw in 2020! I watch movies in the hopes of them being good. However, some stories turn out better than others. As I have stated before on my blog, my worst films of the year lists are not meant to be mean-spirited or negative toward anyone’s opinions/cinematic preferences. These lists are just ways for me express my opinion in an honest and informed way. Similar to my best movies of 2020 list, I will start this post with my dishonorable mentions and then move on to the official list!

Purple 2020 banner created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.
Dishonorable Mentions

Working Miracles, Her Deadly Reflections, The Cabin, Thicker Than Water, Touched by Romance, The Wrong Wedding Planner, Murder in the Vineyard, Jane Doe: Yes, I Remember It Well, JL Family Ranch: The Wedding Gift, Is There a Killer on my Street?, and Stolen in Plain Sight

10. Angel on My Shoulder

When choosing which movie would end up in the tenth spot, it was between The Cabin and Angel on My Shoulder. Because I had higher expectations for the 1946 movie, that’s the one that was placed on this list. The overall film is painfully average, as I said in my review. Even though there is a clear conflict, it takes quite some time for that to be resolved. The personal journey of the protagonist, Eddie, is stunted. This is due to the character spending most of the story as an unchanged man. After watching Angel on My Shoulder, it makes me thankful that a story about a dog going to heaven was executed so well.

Take 3: Angel on My Shoulder Review

9. Jane Doe: Vanishing Act

In 2020, I watched most of the movies from Hallmark’s Jane Doe series. Within the nine-film collection, the first chapter is certainly the worst. What makes a good mystery movie is a strong sense of excitement. This is a quality that Jane Doe: Vanishing Act was, sadly, devoid of. Everyone involved with this project looked like their hearts were not fully invested in what they doing. It was as if they wanted to get the film done and over with just to move on to something else. While I continued on with the series, it was in the hopes that the next film would be better than the introduction. If you plan on creating a series, this is not the way you get an audience invested in it.

8. My Husband’s Deadly Past

There are two kinds of Lifetime movies; those that are surprisingly good and those that are predictably unenjoyable. My Husband’s Deadly Past perfectly fits into the latter category. Even though I found the inclusion of psychology/hypnosis to be interesting, the story’s focus on ripping off the 1993 movie, The Fugitive, overshadows any of the film’s strengths. The protagonist in My Husband’s Deadly Past is the type of character that makes one poor decision after another. It also doesn’t help that the movie contains a few romantic moments that feel out of place within the overall tone. Two other films on this list make the same major mistake My Husband’s Deadly Past did. But, to avoid spoilers, I’ll talk about them more later.

7. Out of the Woods

I can honestly say Out of the Woods is one of the most meandering films I’ve ever seen. It takes so long for the story to get to its intended point, that story points are either completely ignored or are not fully developed. One example is how a white wolf continuously crosses paths with the protagonist. No explanation is given as to what the purpose of this wolf was or whether it was real. Another disappointment is how Native American culture is glossed over. Native American stories are rarely found in Hallmark’s library, so it is a letdown when a film containing Native American culture doesn’t work out. If you want to watch an Ed Asner led Hallmark movie with similar ideas and themes, I’d recommend the 2008 movie, Generation Gap. It does a better job at telling a story of two people trying to understand each other.

6. Mystery Woman: At First Sight

Before there was Hailey Dean, there was Samantha Kinsey from Hallmark’s Mystery Woman series. This early collection from the network is one where I’ve seen most of its installments. Out of the movies I have watched, Mystery Woman: At First Sight is the one I disliked the most. Both of the overarching mysteries in this story are poorly written. They are also overshadowed by the drama within the plot. Mystery Woman: At First Sight is the seventh movie in this series, which is a shame because its previous chapters created an enjoyable cinematic run. I’m not sure how much directorial experience Kellie Martin had prior to working on this project. Even though I think it would be interesting to see her direct a Hailey Dean Mysteries movie, her effort on Mystery Woman: At First Sight was not her strongest.

Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama poster created by Dune Films, Norwegian Pirates, Storm Films, Storm Productions, and Ketchup Entertainment. Image found at https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/captain_sabertooth_and_the_treasure_of_lama_rama.
5. Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama

It breaks my heart how this movie disappointed me so much. In fact, Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama is the most disappointing movie I saw in 2020. It copied Pirates of the Caribbean’s homework without trying to understand what made that trilogy of films work. Also, for a movie called Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama, Captain Sabertooth himself sat on the sidelines of his own story. Pinky was a likable character, but making him the protagonist made the title seem misleading. I just hope this film doesn’t dissuade other studios from creating their own pirate narratives.

Take 3: Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama Review

4. Anniversary Nightmare

Remember when I said there were two films that made the same major mistake My Husband’s Deadly Past did? Well, Anniversary Nightmare is one of them. Like My Husband’s Deadly Past, Anniversary Nightmare rips off The Fugitive. But this Lifetime title is so bad, it is, at times, laughable. Both the acting and writing are poor. All of the movie’s flashback scenes are terribly filmed, captured through heavy “shaky cam” and covered in a red film. These two factors made it difficult to see what was happening on screen when a flashback arrived. I haven’t seen a Lifetime movie this bad in quite some time. If you’re interested in participating in Taking Up Room’s So Bad It’s Good Blogathon, Anniversary Nightmare might be an option.

3. I’m Not Ready for Christmas

I didn’t see as many Christmas movies this year as I did in 2019. But I can confidently say that 2015’s I’m Not Ready for Christmas is the worst Christmas film I saw in 2020. While it doesn’t rip off The Fugitive, the movie does place more emphasis on being a pointless, Christmas remake of Liar Liar, a well-known title from the ‘90s. Therefore, I’m Not Ready for Christmas also makes the same mistake A Cheerful Christmas did last year. There were parts of this story that didn’t make sense. Even the title, I’m Not Ready for Christmas, had nothing to do with the events in the plot. When you look past the typical Christmas aesthetic Hallmark can’t get enough of, you realize the story itself isn’t Christmas-y. If the creative team behind this project knew their script wasn’t exclusive to the Christmas season, they should have focused on the messages and themes of the holiday, like If You Believe did sixteen years prior. For their New Year’s Resolution, maybe Hallmark and Lifetime should move away from famous ‘90s films as their source of inspiration.

Take 3: I’m Not Ready for Christmas Review

2. Marriage on the Rocks

This movie was so bad, it honestly made me feel uncomfortable. That was because the film’s overarching view on marriage and divorce was so one-sided and skewed. I’ve been told Marriage on the Rocks was originally intended to be a satire. Sadly, that’s not the movie I ended up seeing. What I got instead was a comedy that I didn’t find very funny. The “comedy of errors” direction the screenwriter took just made the character’s situations more complicated, as most of the errors do not receive a satisfying resolution. It’s also a film that feels longer than its designated run-time. If you have never seen any of Frank Sinatra’s, Dean Martin’s, or Deborah Kerr’s movies before, please don’t let Marriage on the Rocks be your starting point.

Take 3: Marriage on the Rocks Review

1. Twentieth Century

For most of 2020, I thought Marriage on the Rocks would be the worst movie I saw this year. That was until Twentieth Century came along and proved me wrong. Where Marriage on the Rocks made me uncomfortable, Twentieth Century made me appalled. The fact Lily and Oscar’s relationship was so abusive in a movie classified as a “romantic comedy” serves as one example. Last time I checked, unhealthy relationships were not funny or romantic. To Marriage on the Rocks’ credit, the story featured characters that didn’t support the film’s narrative. Even though, more often than not, they were looked down upon, they always stood up for what they believed in and tried to help the main characters see the fault in their ways. With Twentieth Century, however, there were no “voices of reason”. None of the characters faced accountability whenever they did something wrong or made any attempt to change their ways. When I reflect on this movie, I question what the creative team was trying to tell its audience. But based on my reaction to the final product, maybe I don’t want to know.

Take 3: Twentieth Century Review

Twentieth Century poster created by Columbia Pictures.

Have fun in 2021!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama Review

After a brief break, I have, once again, decided to participate in MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur! For the month of May, the theme is “Reluctant Hero Movies”. I’m not going to lie, my choice of this review required some thought. After spending some time on the internet, searching through lists about “Reluctant Hero Movies”, I finally selected the 2014 picture, Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama! I had never heard of this film prior to watching it. But I was interested in seeing what other studios had to offer when it comes to pirate movies. I enjoy Disney’s Pirates and the Caribbean trilogy, as the high-quality production value is one of the strongest elements. I have seen the fourth film in this series, but I was not a fan of it. I was also curious to discover who the “reluctant hero” of this story would be. This kind of hero can be reluctant for a variety of reasons, so I wanted to see how this theme would be applied to the story of Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama!

Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama poster created by Dune Films, Norwegian Pirates, Storm Films, Storm Productions, and Ketchup Entertainment. Image found at https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/captain_sabertooth_and_the_treasure_of_lama_rama.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: The acting performances in this movie ranged from fine to good. But, while watching Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama, I noticed a few stand-out performances! Vinjar Pettersen does a good job presenting Pinky as a “reluctant hero”. In this film, Pinky is a “reluctant hero” because he only aspired to be a cabin boy, not because he didn’t want to be a hero. Despite having this simple desire, Pinky always finds a way to put the ship’s crew before himself. Through a variety of emotions, Vinjar effectively showcases how a pirate’s life can affect someone so young. In one scene, Pinky is excited about having his heroic efforts recognized by Captain Sabertooth. When the praise is given to another crew member instead, Pinky’s face immediately falls and he becomes disappointed. Speaking of Captain Sabertooth, Kyrre Haugen Sydness brought this character to life with the use of exaggerated expressions and sophisticated mannerisms. I’m not familiar with Captain Sabertooth outside of this film. But what I liked about Kyrre’s portrayal is how it presented a different kind of pirate captain than what I’m used to. Sofie Bjerke’s portrayal of Pinky’s friend, Raven, was very endearing! The emotions and behaviors she gave her character realistically showed how a child in Raven’s situation might react in that particular circumstance. A great example is when she locked herself and another character, Rosa, in a storage room on Captain Sabertooth’s ship in order to help Pinky.

The scenery: Pirate movies are usually known for showing picturesque landscapes. The reason for this creative choice is to show the various travels a pirate may take. This film is no exception, as there were some beautiful locations featured! According to IMDB, one of the countries where this movie was filmed was Thailand. From the film’s first scene, where Captain Sabertooth’s crew is walking through a dense jungle, to the moments where the ship is at sea, the natural surroundings of this country are wonderfully highlighted! Aspects of these areas include deep green foliage and clear blue water. Another country where this movie was filmed is Morocco. This location also boasted photogenic scenery, such as a nearby beach. With a sandy shore and bright blue water, this beach appears inviting!

The set design: I was really impressed by the set design that was found in this movie! It appeared to belong in the world this creative team crafted and the style choices made helped the space look visually appealing. One example was the guest room in King Rufus’ palace. An interesting design piece that caught my eye was the two blue marble pillars. They stood out in that room because it was the only pop of color among the palette of white and beige. Captain Sabertooth’s quarters was another interesting space. The dark wood throughout this room was consistent with the wood on the ship. While this would seem like an obvious choice, I noticed how it was coordinated with the color palette of Captain Sabertooth’s wardrobe. In a film like Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama, I’ve never seen a character’s clothing choices complement a room’s interior design. This creative choice brought a newer element to a film of this nature.

Tropical island image created by Brgfx at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/island-background-design_1020626.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Brgfx – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Lower stakes: In the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, there was always imminent danger present, causing the stakes to be higher. Beloved characters, like Captain Jack Sparrow, faced harsh weather elements, injury, and even death. The characters in Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama, on the other hand, never appeared to be in any sort of danger. I understand this film was meant to be a more family-friendly version of a typical pirate’s tale. However, that knowledge is what prevented me from fearing for the characters’ well-being. This lack of danger also caused the stakes to be lower than they should have been. There was very little risk involved and not enough adrenaline.

Poor ADR: An element that can help the audience get invested in an actor’s performance is the quality of the ADR, or automated dialog replacement. If done well, the actor’s dialog can look and sound like their character is effortlessly speaking. But, if the ADR is bad, it can be very distracting. The latter is, sadly, the case for Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama. Most of the time, the actors’ dialog did not match up with their mouth movements. The characters’ speech was at a faster speed than the actors’ mouths could move. This error, at times, took me out of the film.

Pinky’s subplot: Throughout the film, Pinky was curious about his biological father’s identity and whereabouts. He is even warned about discovering this information, as he is told that hope can be a dangerous thing. While this is a good message, the story itself could have been given more attention. Within this movie, Pinky’s subplot is treated as an afterthought and doesn’t seem to lead anywhere. Sure, Pinky is given some vague details about where his father could be. But this part of the story never reached a resolution, preventing the audience from learning anything new about Pinky’s past. If anything, the vague details that Pinky receives serve as “sequel bait” for another installment that may or may not exist.

Ship steering wheel pattern image created by Jemastock at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by jemastock – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I said in the introduction that the high-quality production value is one of the reasons why I enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Even though Disney has capitalized on the pirate movies, that shouldn’t discourage others studios from creating their own pirate stories. However, if any studio is planning on making a pirate film, they either have to go big or don’t even bother showing up. There were some aspects of Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama that seemed to contain a good amount of effort. Stand-out performances and eye-catching set design were just two of the film’s highlights. But, at the same time, the execution of other aspects was poor. Most of the humor felt forced and there were even some jokes that lasted for a little too long. When thinking about this film, it seems like the creative team put a greater emphasis on the style than the substance. It also feels like Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama tried to copy Pirates of the Caribbean’s math homework without having a strong understanding of how the trilogy solved those problems. Personally, I’d stick with the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films for now.

Overall score: 5 out of 10

Have you heard of Captain Sabertooth? Which pirate film do you enjoy watching? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen