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The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Genders: Adventure, Comedy, Animation, Family

Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt

Writer: Gideon Defoe, Gideon Defoe

Actors: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman

Year: 2012
Run time: 1h 28min
IMDB score: 6.7
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Genders: Adventure, Comedy, Animation, Family

Imdb Score: 6.7

Runtime: 1h 28min

Released: 27 Apr 2012

Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt

Writer: Gideon Defoe, Gideon Defoe

Actors: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman

Imdb Link

The Pirates! Band of Misfits Available Subtitles

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Trailer


Review

Aardman to watch

8/10 Actually easy to watch, if you forgive the pun. More to the point though, it seems to be fairly difficult to convince an American audience to watch animation movies that have that weird British humor in it. Just take the omission of Arthur Christmas as one big example of this. An omission at the Oscars that is, that is just out of my understanding and reach. A wonderful family movie (far better than some of the nominated animated pictures), it didn't get the credit it deserved.

Pirates will have a hard time too. Not only the misfits of the story (they'll have to overcome quite some obstacles), but also the movie itself. If you don't mind an animated movie that actually requires you to use your brain while you watch it, then this could be for you.

one year ago

British humor for the whole family

8/10 Aardman Animations has probably been more consistent than Pixar, especially of late, yet the stop-motion powerhouse doesn't get half the attention. "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" didn't buck the box-office trend, but it proves that even with the most generic of premises, Aardman knows how to appeal to a diverse audience.

Intent on winning the prestigious Pirate of the Year award, the generically named Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) scours the ocean in search of treasure with his deeply loyal crew of ham-loving pirates. When famed pirates Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) burst his bubble, however, he becomes desperate. After hijacking the boat of scientist Charles Darwin (David Tennant), he discovers his beloved parrot Polly isn't a parrot after all, and could win him the fortune he seeks to make his Pirate of the Year dream come true. But to do so, he'll have to travel to London, where the pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) awaits.

If you're looking for a film that epitomizes British humor, "The Pirates" is exactly that. The jokes are silly, clever and come in rapid-fire fashion, many under the radar. Few animated films balance pure slapstick and wit the way this film does, which is a Hallmark of the best family films. "Despicable Me" is the closest recent example. Most films that do both deliver them in segmented fashion, whereas certain scenes are more physical for the kiddies and others smaller moments are for the adults. "The Pirates" can get both demographics laughing at the same time.

That said, "The Pirates" doesn't deliver that many belly laughs for the adults. It prefers being quirky and totally silly and it commits to this style early and often. Characters such as The Albino Pirate (Anton Yelchin) spout the most absurd things out of their mouth, but because writer Gideon Defoe never yields, what could come off as bungling stupidity comes off as funny bungling stupidity.

The film moves at a brisk pace, perhaps because a lot of the traveling by boat happens in 2D animated sequences on a treasure map (though one of the pirate's jobs is to throw red discs out the back of the boat so that red dots show up on the map). The major sequences move quickly into one another, fitting some positive character and theme-building moments in between. The result is a well-structured little film with plenty of big, physical adventure and a decent enough amount of heart.

Nothing about the story is that emotionally moving, though Martin Freeman voicing Pirate Captain's No. 2 man gives it a good go as the only logical or thoughtful character in the entire film who often calls Pirate Captain out on his impulsive and ignorant behavior. Instead, "The Pirates" succeeds largely on its potent sense of danger, anchored by the terrifying Queen Victoria who couldn't have been equipped with a better voice than that of Staunton.

Grant does surprisingly strong and practically unrecognizable voice work as the Pirate Captain, a character both likable and one you can only shake your head at some times. He's the perfect lead for a silly family film such as this. He's heroic and embodies good leadership qualities (hence why his crew adores him), but in child-like fashion he often forgets what's most important, which allows for an easy way for the kids to access the thematic points of the story.

So much of "The Pirates," however, will go over kids' heads, though not in some inappropriate way. Rather, much of what makes the movie so funny is how it plays with pirate genre conventions and film conventions in general, which kids obviously have no concept of. Start to finish, it never ceases to find the clever thing to do or say.

Simply, "The Pirates" will have audiences of all ages grinning from ear to buccaneer.

~Steven C

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one year ago

The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (2012)

6/10 The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists is the latest film from Aardman animations. It mixes mostly stopmotion with some CGI backgrounds. The film sees The Pirate Captain looking to win Pirate of the Year Award, only problem is him and his band of misfits are the most useless pirates around. After bumping into Charles Darwin, he identifies their 'parrot' as a dodo and promises them riches back in London. Pirates has a very quaint sense of humour, with jokes that elicit gentle chuckles rather than full blown belly laughs. The jokes range from plays on words, to daft sight gags. The animation is typical Aardman and lends itself surprisingly well to the action genre. The vocal work is wonderful with Gleeson and Tovey being particular standouts. I wasn't really impressed by the use of modern songs, as they often seemed very obvious (London Calling) or just out of place (Flight of the Conchords). The story seems a bit mixed in terms of both pacing and plotting, which makes sense as it was based on two books. I would suggest watching the original British version as some actors have had their lines dubbed over, and some of the 'ruder' jokes have been changed.

one year ago

A rousing triumph from Aardman

9/10 Having loved Aardman's other work, especially Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep, I was much looking forward to The Pirates! And I found myself loving it. Apart from sagging slightly in the pace in the middle with a couple of scenes that could've done with more punch perhaps, it has all the attributes that made me love Aardman in the first place.

For instance, The Pirates! is a marvellous looking film, you could really tell that a lot of creativity and effort went into it. The colours and backgrounds are plentiful and rich with always something interesting to look at, and the character designs are appealing with the title character reminding of a youthful Wallace with hair and a beard. The 3D is one of the rare instances where it enhances the visuals and action rather than detract from it.

Theodore Shapiro's music is enough to rouse the spirit, and does very well conveying a sense of adventure. The songs featured are fun and memorable. I also loved the crispness and wit of the dialogue managing to appeal to children and adults alike, and the story is exciting with lots of charm and heart. The characters appeal because of their larger-than-life personalities, true the names are on the generic side(Pirate Captain, Pirate with gout) but that was probably the intention. I did enjoy seeing the likes of Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria as well, and they especially Queen Victoria added a lot to the film.

As for the vocal cast, the cast itself was one of the film's main attractions and the voice work is first rate. Hugh Grant shows impeccable comic timing, and Salma Hayak voices Cutlass Liz with lots of sass. Jeremy Piven shows that he can do wonderfully with a character that is strongly-written and provides a good contrast to Grant's Pirate Captain. Brendan Gleeson and Brian Blessed give rousing turns, David Tennant's Charles Darwin charms and Imelda Staunton voices Queen Victoria as if she were born to do it.

Overall, Aardman does it again, a wonderful family film that anybody could enjoy. 9/10 Bethany Cox

one year ago

Far from Aardman's best, but still a very funny film.

7/10 Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists or Band of Misfits as it is known outside the UK for some reason, is the latest stop-motion feature from Aardman Animations, the studio behind the likes of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run. It is based on the first two novels in the Pirates! Series by Gideon Defoe.

Set in 1837, the story follows the adventures of a pirate captain called Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) in his attempts to win the Pirate of the Year competition for the first time. Despite being mostly deluded and incompetent he is actually kind at heart and has the respect of his crew. He is really up against it through when it comes to winning the competition because he is a pretty rubbish pirate and is up against the cream of the piratical world which includes Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) and Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven). While attempting to rob a ship, Pirate Captain has a chance meeting with Charles Darwin (David Tennant) who notices that the ship's parrot, Polly is in fact the world's last Dodo. Darwin, the Captain and his crew travel to London to show the Scientific community their discovery but while there risk bumping into the staunchly anti-pirate, Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton).

As you'd expect from an Aardman production, the film is full of both subtle and not so subtle humour. One of the first things that made me laugh was the names of Pirate Captain's crew. There is The Pirate with a Scarf (Marin Freeman), so named because he wears a scarf, The Pirate with Gout (Brendan Gleeson) who is fat, the Albino Pirate (Russell Tovey) and the best of them all, the Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (Ashley Jensen) who is a woman in a fake beard. They are great names which bought a smile to my face each time they were used. A lot of the humour comes from the book on which the film is based but it is liberally laced with Aardman's trademark subtlety. Every shop sign or wanted poster features a pun and there are nods to the likes of Blackadder. It's the sort of film that will take several viewings in order to see all of the jokes.

The animation is top notch, as it should be. Aardman are the masters of their art and having dabbled in stop-motion animation myself, I understand the time and effort that must go into making a stop-motion feature. Aardman has come a long way from the rough and ready clay models of The Wrong Trousers but the models still maintain their distinctive style and it is obvious that care has been taken during each of the millions of frames.

The voice cast is excellent. Most of the actors are instantly recognisable but David Tennant puts on a convincing accent for his interpretation of Charles Darwin. The actors help to make the scrip very funny and I'm pleased to see that the filmmakers have stuck with a mostly British cast and stayed away from an A-List star.

The soundtrack is enjoyable and uses songs which are not only great but fit the story perfectly. You can expect to hear the likes of The Clash, Flight of the Concords and Blur.

While my girlfriend, most of the adult audience and myself enjoyed the film, the young children in the audience seemed a little bored by it. I don't think there was enough in the film to keep the young children entertained and a lot of the humour was going over their head. It is almost like the film has been pitched at an adult audience, which is fine and worked, but with a U rating and an Easter release, lots of children will go and may be disappointed.

This is not Aardman's best work but it was an enjoyable 88 minutes that featured plenty of laughs and a fairly interesting but in the end throw away plot. I would definitely go back to watch the sequel and will watch it again when it is inevitably shown on TV during a future Christmas period.

www.attheback.blogspot.com

one year ago