For this week’s selection I learned why you need to plan ahead when going to Scarecrow’s. I had decided to do Swashbuckler films this week but it had been a long day so even though I had a list of recommendations I pretty much stuck to what was on the Swashbuckler shelf… all two shelves of it and none of the films on the actual list there.
The first film I watched “Seven Seas to Calais” I picked just because I liked the name. It’s pretty much a highly romanticized cliff notes version of the career of Francis Drake starting with his famous voyage and ending with the Spanish Armada. With the plot to rescue Mary, Queen of Scots, thrown in for good measure. It wasn’t bad but hardly memorable either. Being a fan of Elizabethan history and having seen better and more serious versions of these events frankly it was hard to take the whole thing seriously.(For example they never said WHY any one was supporting Mary, Queen of Scots.) For the most part it was a matter of sitting back and enjoy the fight scenes… Also trying to find humor in the history of the potato. (apparently it was the name of a Native American princess that our point of view character found himself with. )
The next film, Cutthroat Island, I heard of in fact I’d seen bits of it at some of my favorite video stores after it came out. I had heard it was one of two movies trying to bring back the genre (now that I think about it, I’m a little hazy about that second movie, even if it existed or not) with no success. While I had heard it was a failure I had not heard just how much of a colossal flop it had been. I went in expecting something I could enjoy far more that i enjoyed slogging through Seven Seas. Instead what I got was a by the numbers attempt at a blockbuster involving a standard Pirates hunting for gold plot that is about as predictable as it sounds. The numerous action scenes and gorgeous location shots really couldn’t save the film from it’s painful script, bad acting and flat characters.(though to it’s credit I thought the cinematography was pretty decent)