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Summer action with those Caribbean Pirates, Baywatching lifeguards and a couple of adult tourists

Also getting a great jazzman’s story and a replacement groom for a wedding


Like the weather, the movies are acting like it’s summer already. The two big ones this week take us on, into and under the water and another takes us on a vacation in France.

Note the contrasting programme at The Cinematheque starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. After a 2-year break, the 24-hour movie marathon is back. Yes, movies all day and all night, with only short breaks in between for necessary reasons. I can’t imagine doing it but it’s been very popular in the past even though they never announce beforehand what they’ll be showing. To find out what they do say you could visit

And these are the new movies playing elsewhere:

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: 2 ½ stars

Baywatch:   2

Paris Can Wait:  3 ½

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary: 3 ½

The Wedding Plan: 3

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES: This 5th film in the series is the shortest; so why does it feel so long? Possibly because it’s over-stuffed with story lines. We’re not much attached to the plot or the characters and more likely at times to be wondering what is going on? And Johnny Depp as Cpt. Jack Sparrow is more cartoonish than ever. That dims the attraction too although there are several wonderful sequences and a great drooling villain by Javier Bardem. He plays a Spaniard named Salazar who is out to destroy all pirates in retaliation for what a young Cpt. Jack (seen in a flashback) did to him. Sparrow lured his ship into an explosion and somehow turned him and his crew into zombies in the Devil’s Triangle.


If the film concentrated on the clash between them, we’d have something. But there’s so much more. I counted four major characters with daddy issues and several trying to get free of a curse. Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner is one. He’s trapped under the sea on the Flying Dutchman and his bid to get free rests with his son (Brenton Thwaites) who searches for the one artifact that can help, the Trident of Poseidon. Salazar and Sparrow want it too and a young scientist, also horologist in a pun-filled  exchange, (Kaya Scodelario) says she can find it with a map no man can read. First she has to escape execution as a witch. Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbarossa, the British navy is inept again and Paul McCartney has a brief scene (filmed here in Vancouver last year) as a pirate uncle offering advice in a jail cell.

There’s a rousing bank robbery as an entire building is dragged crashing through narrow streets, an eerie attack by ghost sharks, a charge by a line of zombie pirates running out of the sea and an island that sparkles by reflecting the stars. Those sights are memorable. Also there’s great energy and pace under the direction of Norwegians Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg who were Oscar nominated for Kon-Tiki four years ago. But even with familiar characters and continuing themes, accompanied by super special effects, the real magic hasn’t returned. Stick around through the end credits for an extra scene with Bloom and Kiera Knightley that suggests there’s more coming. (Scotiabank, 5th Avenue, Marine Gateway and suburban theatres everywhere) 2 ½  out of 5 

BAYWATCH: I never saw the TV show but I’m told by a fan who did that this film matches its spirit. The humor maybe. There’s lots of that. But take a look at the rating: a hard R (for Restricted) in the US and 14A here. That’s because of all the dick jokes and the language. Our classifiers found “approximately 150 instances of coarse language” and “three scenes of nudity.” (Not female nudity, by the way, surprising since the show offered so much ogling of women at the beach). There’s jiggling and that causes swelling and getting stuck in a beach chair and that sort of thing. 


More in New Movies

Disney wildlife times two, a blast at American politics and a traumatic teen drama

Also a couple of small but amiable comedies, one of them Canadian

More streaming ideas take you to Brazil, low-life China and two Jesse Eisenberg films

As well as a cleverly-plotted trip to Barcelona thanks to Netflix

Movie theatres are shut down, so what’s streaming?

Some modest recommendations and stay for the last one, an alarm about what has happened to the internet.
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