Super 8.

“Hey, look who it is.”

And when I looked up, I immediately wish I hadn’t. 

I hadn’t been assigned to any reviews this past week, but I still wanted to get a good glimpse at the latest J.J. Abrams creation: Super 8. Now, I’m really divided on this J.J. guy. I think he’s stuck in some limbo between Spielberg and the few missing t puzzle pieces of Lost that he’s probably still searching under the couch for. I think he’s got some stuff up his sleeve, he just doesn’t know what shirt that sleeve is on. And, as I told Cormac as we drove over, we hadn’t had a chance to just hang out recently. 

Cormac’s At-Home Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurship had been going really well and he hadn’t been around much for the past week because he had to go all the way out to Riverside. Without anyone to judge me, I lounged around in boxers, ate entire frozen pizzas and watched Law and Order: SVU for the better part of the week.

“Good,” he said as we drove over, “I’m glad you’re at least getting over Ricky.”


We laughed at that. 

But the truth was I had also spent the better part of this last week stalking through Ricky’s Facebook. Every update that was mildly optimistic was a viscous stab. She liked people’s statuses? She became a fan of Taylor Swift? Was she just liking them to prove to me that she was just peaches n cream without me?

And she’d changed her profile picture from the webcam photos we took to some bullshit picture of her having fun. She was trying to get to me. Well, fuck her! And I proceeded to go to change my profile picture, only to realize that all my pictures had her in it.

So on  Saturday, Cormac and I bought an unhealthy quantity of junk food, smuggled it into the theater like they were drugs over the border and sat down for some Super 8. The previews hadn’t even started when my life was shot to hell.

Cormac tapped me on the shoulder and pointed across the theater.

It was Rufus. Rufus with the so-hip-so-underground moccasins. Rufus with the stubble that was always perfectly macho and never mountain man. Rufus, who had been our first fight. Rufus who had been our last fight.

The first fight had been when we were out at this little Mexican restaurant called El Patio. We’d been dating for about two months and I had eased my way out of my uncomfortable, “I’m going to keep talking so this doesn’t feel awkward” stage. We just enjoyed each other then. We talked movies. We talked people. We talked plans for the future. Things that twenty two year olds talk about. She was thinking of doing a Master’s program. 

“What for?”  I asked.
“To delay the inevitable. It’s the only real reason anyone gets one.”

I didn’t get a chance to answer because stupid Rufus walked in. Ricky saw him first and I only noticed him because her eyes shifted away from me to the door as the bell rang and her eyes got huge. 

I looked over my shoulder and saw him standing there with a girl and two other guys.

He looked like a guy who would shop at Urban Outfitters and then tell you that he found his clever T-shirt and faded skinny jeans at some really hip store in Greenwich Village. The type who’s “friend gave him a free tattoo” because he’s trying to become a tattoo artist.

Ricky looked away but Rufus had seen her. He smiled, excused himself from his group and walked over to our table.

“Hey there, Ricky! Long time no see.”

He opened his arms in a “give me a hug” gesture. She smiled and obliged him with one from his seat. I sat there over my enchilada, confused but knowing that I was not cool with this guy swooping in like a hipster hawk dressed H&M chic.

It took them fifteen minutes to catch up while I picked at the chips and pretended I had really urgent text messages to attend to. He finally turned to me and said:

“So, you her gay friend?”

I laughed and shook my head. Shit, he had a sense of humor.

“Nope. Boyfriend. But I can see how you could be confused.”'

I didn’t even know what that meant.

“Nah, it’s cool. I’m all for gays anyway. Sorry on my part, man. That was hateful of me.”

He was politically active. God damn it. 

Ricky stepped in quickly. “This is Sam. We started going out like two months ago.”

“That’s cool.” Rufus turned back to Ricky. “Well, see you later, Ricky.” He hugged her again and went and sat with his friends in a corner booth.

Ricky pushed food around on her plate for the next few minutes and would check her phone from time to time. I waited for her to give some explanation, but she didn’t seem that keen on it.

“So who was that?” I finally asked.

“Rufus,” she said. 

“Who’s Rufus?”

“He’s a guy I dated a while back.” She still wouldn’t look at me. 

I smiled and shrugged. “Probably hadn’t heard of him because he’s too underground.”

She didn’t smile. “Don’t be mean.”

“It's a joke. He can make jokes, but I can’t?”

“Forget it. Whatever.” 

That sat awkwardly. I tried smiling a lot regardless; just in case Rufus looked over he could think we were having a great time. When the bill came and we drove off, things didn’t get better.

“Can we drop Rufus?” she said.

“Rufus sounds like Roofie.”

“Jesus Christ, shut the hell up

The night had ended on that note. That was the last thing she said to me. I dropped her off at her apartment and she slammed the door without a goodbye. As I watched her climb the steps, not so much as glancing back, I thought that would be the end of it. That would be the last time I ever saw her.

I sent her a text. 

Ricky. Im sorry for pissing you off. Please tell me whats up? Im scared shitless that Im never gonna hear from you again. And that would suck because Im trying to think what my life would be like if I hadnt met you and I cant think of it. Please text me back when you get this. Lets figure this out. 

And I waited all night for her to reply.

This is the sort of stuff that was going through my head while some kids reenacted scenes from Spielberg movies for a Cloverfield camera guy. Cormac started to throw some Thin Mints at the back of Rufus’s head about half way through. I would have stopped him if I hadn’t been busy with other things.

I didn’t hate Super-8. I didn’t like it either. Like I said, all of J.J.’s recent stuff is a love letter to Spielberg and the 80s. It was entertaining as a “things blow up and shit goes down” movie, but it still wasn’t anything substantial. It’ll hit the DVD rack and soon no one will remember it. 

When the movie was over, Rufus came over with a few of the Thin Mints.

“You guys drop these?” He smiled.

I forgot he was nice too. Jesus on Ritz Crackers, give me a break. 

“Yeah, thanks.” Cormac reached out and took them.

Rufus looked over at me and his face lit up.

“Hey, buddy. How’s it goin?”

“Fine, Rufus.”

“That’s cool. How are you and Ricky?”

“We’re fine.”

“I heard you two broke up.”

“Then we’re not cool, I guess.”

“What’d you think of the movie? Cool, huh? You write movie reviews don’t you? What’s your consensus?”

The more I thought about Super-8, the more I realized I didn’t like it. Why did all these critics and magazine just lap this shit up? They call it a “homage,” but homage is just a French word for rip-off. It was all good on the surface, but it didn’t have anything else to offer. It didn’t challenge. It didn’t change. It just homage-ed. And apparently all you need to do nowadays is call your movie a homage a people will bend over and kiss its Oscar-winning ass. 

“Well nice talking to you! Talk to you later!” 


As he left Cormac threw another Thin Mint at him.

The night of Ricky and my first fight, I waited up till four in the morning with my phone in my hand, thinking I felt it vibrate from time to time. Not even a break up text. Not even that.

Then there was a knock at the door. I stumbled out of bed and answered it.

Ricky leaned in and kissed me. We stood in the doorway, making out for like ten minutes before she pulled away, smiling a little.

“I’m a fuckup,” she said. “And I fucked up.”

I shrugged. “I wasn’t worried.”

“I got your text.” She held up her phone.

I smiled. “Yeah?”

She nodded.

I put a red mark on my door in Expo marker so Cormac would know. 

Final Consensus: 2/5

X-Men: First Class.

X-Men is my favorite superhero franchise. Not my favorite superhero movie (that place in my heart belongs to V for Vendetta), but still it’s a pretty baller set. But after that disastrous third movie (I don’t even know if you could call it a movie as much as it sacrilege), and an even worst prequel (is Hugh Jackman ever going to get out of this role? Or will I forever be doomed to thinking, “What the hell is Wolverine doing in Australia?”), my hopes of an adequate reboot were pretty sufficiently shot to hell. Which is why I wasn’t expecting much going into it.

I'm gonna slap a BITCH.
Cormac insisted I watch the movie and write the review. He said it was because I’d been moping around the apartment in some strange limbo between naps and CSI reruns and he “hated seeing me in such a funk.” But I’m sure the fact that the rent is due pretty quick and that my last two reviews for Pop Connect were rejected had plenty to do with it as well. So I went in, wedged myself in between all the neckbeard nerds and, with a sigh, got ready to endure what I was sure would be a pretty bad movie.

I’m actually pretty content to say that it wasn’t awful at all. It was even pretty passable in comparison  to some of the other crap they’ve tried to holster into the franchise (I’m looking at you, Ratner). I’m not going to say I’m head over heels in love with it, but it was a satisfying enough two and some hours of superhero movie-ing. It had all the things that make a good superhero movie good. It was funny, exciting, had a lot of explosions and had some subtle political undertones. After watching this movie, I’m absolutely convinced that the whole franchise is an allegory for gay rights. If I learned anything from X-Men: First Class, it’s that they gays stopped the Cuban Missile Crisis with their glamor powers and fabulous spandex outfits. Thanks a heap gays.

But unlike most superhero movies it’s actually real well acted. We got James Mcavoy, who’s a the top of the acting food pyramid, as Professor X and some real good acting chops both from Jennifer Lawrence (who’s probably bound to be the next big thing after The Hunger Games hits) and Michael Fassbender with some good “you killed my mother” moments. Kevin Bacon is also apparently in this movie, and I spent the entire time thinking that he seemed really familiar and kept hearing Kenny Loggins playing in some obscure portion of my head. The ensemble cast exists solely for the purpose of having quirky personalities, showing off some cool special-effect powers and to exploit tween romantic tension, just like a good superhero movie ensemble cast should. 

But this movie’s not perfect. It’s cheesy, and not always in the good way. It doesn’t make sense, and not always in the good way. And it feels like they crammed an awful lot into the movie. It doesn’t feel long (and it is kind of long), but it certainly feels bloated. We’re exposed to certain things for brief moments and then they’re wrapped up pretty quickly towards the end or they kind of just seamlessly meld into being all good.

I guess in the end I was satisfied. I wouldn’t go see it again, but I’m happy enough to know that even after two bad movies, there’s still hope for the series. Just because a good series hits a rough patch doesn’t mean you should just give up. Not when you’ve got such a strong franchise to begin with. And this isn’t like Pirates. There’s still a story to tell. There are still things to explore and things to do. Why would you just give up at the first sign of failure? That doesn’t make sense. It was just two movies. Yeah, they sucked. They sucked BIG TIME, but there was still a decent movie after. If they had just given up, they wouldn’t have known. And they’ll keep making them and maybe they’ll get out of their funk and they’ll start making really good movies again. They didn’t just stop. You don’t just stop.

It’s stupid, absolutely juice-box sucking retarded, to just give up on a good thing.
Final Consensus 3/5 

Samuel Wolf is a freelance writer for Pop Connect. Pop Connect assembles various blogs centered on pop culture from our writers and then compiles an actively updated website. We are based in San Diego, CA. We are currently no longer accepting job application. Check out our website for updates.


I found my old review for Bridesmaids while I was going through some old e-mails between Ricky and me. I wrote it before I got hired at Pop Connect so it’s unpublished and it’s too late in the box office game anyway. Either you’ve already seen it or you haven’t at this point and you don’t need me to tell you what to think about it. But I did love the movie. I think it’s the best comedy I’ve seen in a while and it’s great to see Kristen Wiig getting her time in the spotlight outside of SNL. Let’s reward talent after all and Mrs. Wiig has got some serious, Golden Globe-totting talent. Bridesmaids is the anti-chick flick. It has all the makings of a chick-flick, but turned on its head and filled with the raunchy gutter comedy you’d expect from a bro-flick. I loved the shit out of this movie. Too bad I never want to see it again. It was the last movie me and Ricky went and saw together.

Even then, before any real blows, I think I knew that something awful was coming our way. Our quiet moments suddenly felt restless. She’d smile, but you could tell that there were other things working in that stupid head of hers. At Bridesmaids, I’d glance over at her and she’d glance back at me. Normally, this simple look would have ended in making out. But this time she just looked back at the screen like I’d been a stranger she’d accidentally locked eyes with. At the time, I wrote it off to Bridesmaids being a really good movie. It’s not the type of movie you make out at, I told myself. You make out at cheap horror movie sequels, shitty romantic comedies and Avatar. This was pure, cinematic genius. A game changer. No, you couldn’t ruin it with making out. Shit, I was just kidding myself. I really was. And looking back, I wish I’d spent more time talking and less time making out. 

She moved out last night, took all her boxes and moved into her best friend’s house a few miles away. All while me and Cormac were at a strip bar. Cormac likes finding excuses in my life to go to strip clubs. Got your bachelor’s degree? Hell yeah! To the strip club! Parents just finalized their divorce? I’m sorry. We should get some lap dances to reignite our belief in love. Grandma’s dead? That’s a bummer; we should go see touch tits in her memory. But when we got back that night she was gone. No note. No nothing.

She was like red food coloring in a glass of water. Before her, my life had always just been boring. Seriously. Ever since I popped out of my mom’s baby door I’ve been at war with the mediocrity in an attempt to procure something interesting in my life. But my life never got above the 2.5 kids and dog mark. I don’t remember much from anything from elementary to high school. When you hear people in their forties and even thirties talking about their school days they always get distant and nostalgic like it was some holy time in a holy place. But I only remember random day—exceptions not rules—where interesting things would happen, like little blips on a heart rate monitor.

All in all, I just don’t recall it that much. I guess that’s sad, but that’s life. We want to remember our high school years differently, better if you can dig that, than they actually were. That way we can tell ourselves that there was a time when things were better and we don’t have to stub our toe on the hard table leg of truth that is we’ve been boring our entire lives. Wonderbread and day-time television boring.

Which is why whenever I’m on planes or trains or on the subway, I’ll get to know the person next to me and I’ll pretend I’m fascinating. I’ll make up all these adventures I’ve never had. I’ll talk in a weird accent and bullshit some small British towns I’m from. I’m friends with celebrities and know all their amusing and offbeat stories. My life suddenly goes from public access to primetime. And the people I’m next to will nod and smile and laugh and lean in, eyes big and mouth cracked a bit like I’m Christ returned with fascinating gossip about his BFF Gwyneth Paltrow. And then I tell them goodbye and slip back into my old white wallpaper life with no speed bump along the way. 
Ricky and I met on a train like this. I was coming back down from my older brother Craig’s house in San Francisco. I’d just graduated from college and had been doing some job searching up there thinking that I could pursue the offbeat and artistic bachelor life of a city guy. But those hopes were cut down in their prime when I realized I had an irrational fear of homeless people. So I was heading back to Southern California and to Cormac who was planning on commemorating my return by a visit to Spearmint Rhino’s. He’d already sold off all his behavioral meds just so he could have a fresh stack of ones. 
I sat down next to her with every intention of pulling out the cockney accent I’d been perfecting the past few months. I was going to be Theodore Radcliffe, a law student who had worked his way out of the docks and was on his way to the airport so he could fly back home and reunite with the mother who had tried to abort him.

She was dressed in a red flapper dress, with black stockings and pearls. A large peacock feather stuck out from her briar patch haircut. Her eyes were hidden behind a pair of aviators. I thought she might have had a hangover.

Before I could get a “good day ma’am” in, she choked out a sob and pulled a handkerchief out from her purse.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. She touched the handkerchief to her eyes in a dainty, ineffective gesture. “I’m not normally the type of girl who cries in front of strangers.” And she proceeded to cry.

That ruined my cockney mood and Theodore Radcliffe was stuffed away. Ricky (or Velma Cartling as she introduced herself then) went into her own story. Her and her squeeze Marty had been brewing moonshine in the basement of her brother’s house. But some rat had squealed  and the coppers had come bustin in guns reeling like the Fourth of July. She’d managed to escape through a window, but Marty’s weight had doubled with all the lead those bacon bastard cops had filled him with. She had just gotten back from the funeral and was on her way to his mother’s house to break the news. She punctuated it another little sob a dab at each eye.

I knew the game pretty well. After the story came the Q&A session where I would be amazed at how fascinating she was and try and pick out as much as I could. If I hadn’t been so upset that Velma Cartling had outdone Theodore Radcliffe, I might have played along.

“You’re good,” I told her. “I’ve never done a crying thing. Usually I just do accents.”

I expected her to go off and try to defend herself, but instead she slipped off her sunglasses, folded them neatly and hung them from the neckline of her dress. “The crying thing is much more effective. People eat up anything if you bring a few tears with it. I have this one I do, her name’s Martha La Toya, and I really bring out the waterworks for her. She’s a Mexican housemaid accused of murder.”

We spent the next few hours talking about the various characters we’d made and their dramatic pasts. And the more it went on, the more I realized that I was much more interested with her than Matha La Toya, the Mexican housemaid or Velma Cartling, the mobster’s boyfriend. About an hour before my stop, I sent a text to Cormac telling him that he’d have to get some lap taffy action by himself at the strip club. I was going to see if I could make friends.

“So, what’s your name?” I asked.

She looked at me for a few seconds, like I’d posed some complex, theological conundrum, before she raised a curios eyebrow. “Why?”

I shrugged.

She darkened quickly and looked out the window. I was worried then that I’d fucked things up already. Had I moved too fast? Did I swoop in too hard? But she cleared all that up like nothing when she told me: “Ricky.”

I laughed cause I didn’t want her to see how much I was freaking out. “Your real name. Not one of your made up people.”

“That is my real name. It’s Ricky.”

“Is it short for anything?”

She shook her head. “No. It’s just Ricky.”

She was apparently really fascinated with the suburban scenery outside and she wouldn’t take her eyes off of it. I just wanted her to look at me and give me something to tell me that I was barking up at tree worth barking up.

“Well, um, Ricky. My name’s Sam.”


She responded too quickly. I’d gone too far out onto the ice and felt it cracking beneath me. Here she was, Ricky, a girl I’d known for a little more than four hours and I was just some guy named Sam. Boring, wonderbread and white rice Sam. I was boring. I was annoying. She thought I was creepy. She probably thought I posted ads of Craigslist. She thought I was one of those people. Jesus Christ and crackers she thought I was a pervert. She was probably formulating a plan right now to reach into her purse and stab me in the neck with a pen. I’d go to jail, I’d have a hole in my throat and worst of all, this girl who I barely knew would tell everyone I was a creeper.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I don’t want you to think I’m creepy. I’m not looking for anything. I just—”

“Sam,” she said and I stopped right then. She turned to look at me. There wasn’t the slightest trace of what was going on in her head.  “Is your stop next?”

I nodded. “Orange Circle.”

“Me too,” she said. And then there was that little wink of a smile, a smile like she had a million secrets that she wanted to tell me but knew she couldn’t. And with that, I knew that this was the start of something worthwhile.

“Are you hungry?” I asked.


“Do you like pasta?”

“I think so.”

“Did you want to eat pasta with me?”

She nodded. “I can do that.”

And that’s how Ricky ended up back at my apartment and how we tried making pasta but ended up just setting fire to the curtains. We ordered Chinese takeout, watched Shakespeare in Love and the two of us fell asleep on the couch. The next morning she was gone and I thought that I’d never see her again. Then I went into the bathroom and saw she had written her phone number in eyeliner on my forehead.

That’s how this whole shit mess began. If I had known back then that it would end like this, I wouldn’t have even talked to her. I wouldn’t have done anything with her. I would have just sat their quietly and ignored her like normal people do on modes of mass transportation. And I would have been able to tell Cormac “yes” when he asked if I wanted to go see Bridesmaids with him.

Fucking Ricky. Ruining everything.

Final Consensus: 4.5/5

Samuel Wolf is a freelance writer for Pop Connect. Pop Connect assembles various blogs centered on pop culture from our writers and then compiles an actively updated website. We are based in San Diego, CA. We are currently no longer accepting job application. Check out our website for updates.

The Hangover: Part II

My roommate Cormac won two tickets from some local radio station to an advanced screening of The Hangover: Part Two. The bad news for him was that he had really been trying to win the “Pay Your Bills” contest and wasn’t a fan of the first movie. So he gave me one of the tickets and sold the other on Craigslist. That was how me and some college frat boy who had cut the sleeves off his own flannel shirt and talked through his teeth ended up sitting next to each other and awkwardly trying to find conversation topics. He had some one-syllable name that I don’t remember, but it was definitely something you could chant at a kegger. And since it’s my job to be “that guy” who comes to every movie I see now with a notepad, I did just that. And some ninety minutes later it was over and I didn’t remember any of it. 

Everyone around me was laughing hysterically. Like, piss your pants and quote it on Facebook kind of funny. One-syllable and no sleeves next to me started choking on his Junior Mints, it was apparently so freaking hilarious. Everything just went through me, like water through a pasta strainer. Ricky and I made pasta once. Neither of us are very good cooks, but pasta’s easy—that’s what they say at least. We managed to set the apartment’s curtains on fire. I don’t know how you set things of fire by boiling water, but Ricky and I managed somehow. That was the first day we met. 

I’m sure The Hangover: Part II is funny. I’m sure it was like the first one, just with the rude and crude and WTF amps bumped up to the next level. When it gets its wide release, I’m sure it’ll just shoot to the top of the box office and sell a crapload of tickets. That’s what happens. You make a sequel to a good movie and everyone just turns up without you having to do much at all. 

What are people expecting when they see a sequel? The same jokes, the same stuff, just redone and set against a different backdrop, I suppose. There’s nostalgia in seeing a sequel. You love the first and the second one reminds you of why you love it. If it sucked, you’ll remember all the good things in the first one? If it rocks (and judging by the audience reaction at this thing, The Hangover: Part Two is here) you’ll just hope that the third one is just as good. Law of diminishing return. Every time you go to the things that you like, they get less and less appealing. Eventually the same jokes get old, the same things shown again and again, the same restaurants you go to, and the same conversations run over again and again.

I wish I could write a real review for this damn movie. I honestly just don’t remember anything about it. My mind was miles away, back in my apartment and thinking about the night before.

I had come in and Ricky was sitting at the couch, looking at the TV where Shakespeare in Love was playing. She always said she hated that movie because she didn’t get how Gwyneth Paltrow could have a perm while everyone else was dealing with The Black Plague and hating the Jews. I made some joke about that and she didn’t laugh. She looked up at me and her lip folded under her teeth. She does that when she has something to say, but doesn’t want to say it.

And then those faithful words, which I expect to be carved over the entrance of Hell if I ever even make it there: “Can we stop?”

I guess when someone breaks up with you; it’s never really a surprise. It’s like when your friends are planning a surprise birthday party for you and the very air of your kickbacks are thicker. And then when you come back to your apartment one stoned-ass night, they all turn on the lights and jump out. You’re surprised by a sudden horde of strangers and balloons impeding on your personal space, but when you get it, you know you always knew it. I wish people brought cake when they broke up with you. When you’d get home, they’d wait in the dark and then jump out with a Breaking Up With You! cake. And then you’d at least have cake instead of just an empty apartment and a bed that suddenly seems too big. 

I didn’t feel like laughing at all in the movie, not because of the movie but because I couldn’t. Funny felt like reading the back of a computer manual. Laughing was like a foreign language. The Hangover might as well have been in Swedish. 

When it was done, no-sleeves and one-syllable punched me in the arm and said: “Fucking awesome, eh?” Guess I’ll have to take his word for it.

Final Consensus: fucking awesome, eh/5

Samuel Wolf is a freelance writer for Pop Connect. Pop Connect assembles various blogs centered on pop culture from our writers and then compiles an actively updated website. We are based in San Diego, CA. We are currently no longer accepting job application. Check out our website for updates.

Pirates of The Carribean: On Stranger Tides

"Look over there, Penelope. It's shameless franchising."
My girlfriend Ricky was adamant against seeing On Stranger Tides and wouldn’t come see it with me. And after the Michael Bay-inspired mess of a third movie, I don’t blame her in the least. So, I had to suffer the midnight premier’s full house of pre-pubescent girls experiencing some sort of strange sexual awakening with the assistance of a forty year old pirate, post-pubescent girls dressed to the nines in Hot Topic-bought decor, and a random assortment of gay men (when I asked them about it, they insisted I referred to them as “bears”) dressed up like pirates. Sadly, the crowd was the most interesting part of the movie. 

I’m at least happy to report that it’s not nearly as long as its predecessors and not nearly as “why the fuck did that giant black lady turn into a bunch of crabs?” Remember? I don’t blame you if you don’t. The only thing I really remember about it was Orlando Bloom making sweet, sweet love to Keira Knightley’s knee. So yes, at least this one is understandable. And it’s also totally boring and not worth the two hours it still is. It’s all the old Pirates tricks, rehashed and repackaged at a higher rate cause of the 3D. On a somewhat related tangent, when will Hollywood realize that no one likes 3D? I can appreciate the subpar acting of Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbeyjust just a well in 2D.

Captain Jack’s back at least, right? Right? Well, sort of. Johnny Depp seems bored, like his minds a million miles away making up weird characters for Tim Burton. It’s like SNL doing a half-hearted impression more than the real deal. Jack Sparrow is iconic, let’s be honest, and it’s sad to see such a great character get plowed into the ground for the sake of franchising. I really hope Mr. Depp wises up and opts out of the inevitable Pirates 5. Penelope Cruz also doesn’t bring much either. You’d expect a (spoiler alert, but not really) ex-lover of Jack to be a feisty one, but Penelope just seems to flounce about in a sexy outfit and not do much for anyone. Especially Johnny Depp, who has no chemistry with her whatsoever. The supporting cast is the usual bunch of salty archetypes. Although it is weird to watch Geoffrey Rush now. I kept thinking, “He has an awful bad speech pattern for a voice coach to the king of England.” 

More good news for this bad movie: Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are not in it. Not in the least. But, just for good measure apparently, they’ve found two subpar actors to play out the inevitable, really uninteresting B-plot romance between some missionary and a mermaid. I’m sure you know where it goes and it’s not really worth discussing. Sam Claflin is apparently meant to feel the wet-dream shoes of Orlando, but he end up being about as alluring as a piece of cardboard. The mermaids were a nice touch though, even though they didn’t seem to do all that much. My girlfriend Ricky likes mermaids; maybe she would have appreciated all of this more than me. I’m not really one for sappy romance. But then again, neither is she.

I really don’t know what else to say about this movie that you probably haven’t already figured out for yourself the moment they announced it. It wasn’t meant to be good, it was meant to make money, and if the crowd at the midnight premiere is any indicator, it will make plenty of it. It being a bad movie will have no effect. In the end, it’s a lot of action sequences strung together by the same old, same old Pirates stuff we’re used to. I left the theater thoroughly underwhelmed, while the girls all swooned. I’m really disappointed in this series. It used to be a favorite of mine until the franchise bug came and bit it in the ass. It’s depressing, but that’s Hollywood nowadays.

What else can you do? At least if Ricky had come, I’d have someone to sit in the back and make fun of it with. But I had to do with striking up conversation with Daddy Bear next to me, who offered me a sip of his Slushy. Literally, not sexually. He told me he came with his leather club for the hairy, good-looking men. I told him I came for a movie and he laughed at me and told me that Hollywood doesn’t do movies anymore; they do T-shirts and action figures.

Ricky will get a laugh out of that. I just thought it was sad. 

Final Consensus: 2/5

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Samuel Wolf is a freelance writer for Pop Connect. Pop Connect assembles various blogs centered on pop culture from our writers and then compiles an actively updated website. We are based in San Diego, CA. For job postings, please visit our website.