'Cutthroat Island [Blu-ray]'
(Geena Davis, Frank Langella, et al / Blu ray / PG-13 / (1995) 2009 / LGF)
Overview: Geena Davis (THELMA & LOUISE, BEETLEJUICE) and Matthew Modine (MARRIED TO THE MOB, FULL METAL JACKET) deliver a tidal wave of nonstop action and adventure in this swashbuckling saga of ruthless pirates, buried treasure and bloodthirsty betrayal.
Verdict: 'Cutthroat Island' is not a great movie by any means. But it is a lot of fun if you enjoy pirate treasure, sea battles, sword fighting, a great soundtrack, and wonderful period costumes. The script is pretty weak and much of the acting is wooden. Worse yet, it seems that no one learned anything from Errol Flynn's The Sea Hawk because they once again include a rather annoying monkey as comedy relief.
But what they do right is what makes this movie worth watching. The film wonderfully recreates the 17th century Caribbean world of the pirates and is probably the most realistic looking realization of this time and place to date. The actual portrayal of the pirates themselves owes more to "Treasure Island" and "Peter Pan" than "The American Sea Rovers", but there is definately something compelling in the romantic myth of the golden age of piracy.
The pirate movie has suffered in recent years and Cutthroat will probably do nothing to revive it, which is really a shame as they, like the western and sci-fi adventure, are the best incarnations of modern myth to be found today.
The story revolves around the quest of Captain Morgan Adams, the sexy yet honorable pirate queen, to avenge her father's murder and outwit her evil pirate nemesis and fratricidal uncle, Captain "Dawg" (who makes these names up?). Taking command of her late father's ship and now in possession of part of a map to locate her father's lost treasure, Morgan sets out to win the vast riches for her and her hardy crew.
On the way she engages the services of the roguish "Doctor" Shaw, manages to obtain the remaining pieces of the map, then goes on to brave mutinies, betrayals, storms at sea, exploding cannonballs, bad dialogue, and cliched bad guys in a worthwhle romp through an era gone by, when men and women sailed tall wooden ships, killed many people for profit, and drank themselves into oblivion on the high seas.
This is the kind of movie that critics make a living off of by slamming. What does this mean for the rest of us? Why, it means that it's a fun time to be had by all! Filmed in Malta and Thailand, Cutthroat Island is every bit as big as Pirates of the Caribbean. Renny Harlin clearly made the most of his nearly unlimited bankroll, turning every childhood pirate fantasy imaginable into wild, explosion-filled set pieces that are all the more impressive for being wholly unaided by CGI. And may the movie critics goto Davy Jones locker! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:
Featurette (SD, 6:08)
Commentary by Director Renny Harlin
Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:03)
Teaser Trailer (SD, 1:21)