May 28, 2017, - 11:54 am

Wknd Box Office: Baywatch (Anti-Semitic), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s Dumb and Dumber at the movies, this Memorial Day Weekend. So sad to note that our servicemen died, among other reasons, for Hollywood to make such idiotic garbage.

* Baywatch – Rated R: Just awful. But then, you knew that. After all, it’s called, “Baywatch.” The long-running, syndicated television show was all about hot women in sexy bathing suits and little else. However, this movie makes the show look like a Shakespearian masterpiece. It’s that bad. And worse. Incredibly dumb, and a complete waste of time. This is supposed to be a comedy. But it’s not funny. Not even close. I laughed maybe once or twice, and even those weren’t hearty laughs. Most of the jokes are groanworthy and expectedly raunchy. It’s incredible that so many pseudo-conservatives (including the immature fanboy morons at National Review) are desperately cheerleading the possibility of pro-amnesty liberal star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson running for President. PUH-LEEZE.

If your idea of funny jokes and scintillating entertainment is a fat, pudgy guy getting his genitals caught in a lounge chair, then this is for you. If you think a Heimlich maneuver on the same aforesaid fat, pudgy guy, with the movement simulating anal sex, is funny, then, again, this is your movie. For everybody else, SKIP THIS CRAP.

The “story”: the Baywatch beach is having its annual lifeguard auditions. The boss is Johnson, who plays the role of Mitch, which was previously played by burqa-fan David Hasselhoff. He is pressured by the authorities that be to take Zac Efron as one of the lifeguards. Efron is a wealthy former Olympic medalist who has been disgraced and needs to be a lifeguard for community service. Kelly Rohrbach plays the blonde bombshell character “C.J.” who was previously portrayed by Pamela Anderson. (Both Anderson and Hasselhoff have cameos in the movie, but this isn’t a spoiler alert. There’s been much press about it, and both of them have their names in the opening credits, to let you know.)

Mitch hires Efron and some others, including the previously-mentioned fat, pudgy guy. In typical Hollywood Jew-hatred, we are told that the fat, pudgy guy is Jewish and is the only character whose ethnicity and religion are mentioned (and, of course, mocked). There are several Jewish jokes and references, and his name is “Ronnie Greenbaum.” Hmmm . . . I’m wondering where is the jihadist lifeguard, Ahmed Mohammed, who blows himself up in the middle of the beach and kills and wounds multiple beachgoers. Nope, no such luck. Hollywood only mocks Jews and Christians. That’s how it goes. And, of course, the Jewish guy (played by self-hating Jewish actor Jon Bass) looks like he walked out of “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” central casting (see the overweight guy in the upper right hand side of the movie poster above).

At first, the movie is light with typical Baywatch stupidity about alleged lifeguarding and lifesaving. Then, it tries to be taken seriously as some sort of caper movie. Priyanka Chopra plays an evil nightclub owner who is running an illegal drug smuggling operation. She also wants to expand her club and get the rest of the real estate surrounding the beach. So she resorts to bribes and–when those don’t work–murder of uncooperative public officials and landowners.

The lifeguards discover what is going on and try to alert the police and other authorities, but nobody takes them seriously because they are lifeguards. Shocker. Hard for any of us to take them seriously either. Not to mention this absolutely atrocious movie.


Watch the trailer . . .

* Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Rated PG-13: As indicated by the title of this movie, a dead man (or at least a brain-dead one) must have made this, because there’s simply no tale told here. It’s just a messy long, slow, boring slog through a bunch of dueling pirates and special effects. But it’s mostly confusing and nonsensical. Whereas the first installment of the Pirates movies was somewhat cute and entertaining, this fifth installment is just absurd and looks like it was written by kindergarteners (with apologies to the kindergarteners).

It’s simply unnecessary and a complete and total waste of time. The only reason it was made was to fill greedy Hollywood coffers, particularly that of America-hating star Johnny Depp. He’s the guy that hated us so much after we made him hundreds of millions that he moved to France and savaged us publicly. And, as noted in recent lawsuits between Depp and his managers, he needs this movie’s paycheck to keep up with his profligate spending to the tune of $2 million per month ($30,000 per month in spending on wine). Depp is reportedly paid $40 million for each of the Pirates movies, which means this one will–before taxes–keep him afloat for about 20 months. Despite this badly needed infusion of cash, Depp is barely acting here, basically phoning it in with some typical grunts, mumbled gibberish, and winks and nods that are no longer cute. Fourteen years ago, in the original Pirates movie, he was cheeky. Now, he’s just jowly. And the same thing can be said of the last Pirates movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (read my review), which was about as messy, confusing, and nonsensical.

The “story”–if you can call it that–involves rival groups of pirates, including one group led by anti-Israel Javier Bardem (“Israel is genocidal”), which consists of dead, ghost pirates who are barely there. They want their revenge on Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp). But they’ll have to get in line. He’s got the authorities after him and so on. He bands with a group of bank robber pirates who literally “rob a bank,” meaning they strap horses to the inside of the bank and manage to take the entire building with them through the streets. I’ve heard of “horsepower,” but there aren’t nearly enough horses there to actually do this. And that’s the “highlight” of the movie.

Depp is nearly executed via guillotine along with a suspected witch who is nearly hanged. But they are rescued and then join up with their bank robber friends and some others on the high seas. The accused witch is actually a “horologist”–someone who studies the science of measuring time. It has little to do with the plot but is used for the predictable dumb gag in which silly pirates are obsessed with the phonetics of the word “horologist.”

Once on the seas, Depp and the accused witch are searching for the Trident of Poseidon, some unreadable map, a magnificent treasure, some mysterious island, and so on. All of this involves a magic compass that helps them find the way. But once they land on the island and eventually find the trident, nothing exciting really happens . . . except the splitting of the sea. I thought I was suddenly transported to a screening of “The Ten Commandments.” Cecil B. DeMille is probably turning over in his grave that his Biblical theatrics have been plagiarized for a bad pirate movie, a fifth installment nonetheless.

Never before have so much action and so many special effects comprised such a snoozer. By the way, if you do choose to ignore this review and go see it anyway, you can skip shelling out the extra money for a 3D version of the movie. I saw it in 3D and there isn’t much visually that you’ll miss out on, if you choose to see it in good ole’, regular 2D.


Watch the trailer . . .

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10 Responses

I saw the Pirates movie (in 2D) before I read this review (or else I’d have skipped it). It was really tough to follow the plot – although I dozed off at the beginning of the movie.

One thing I’d add to the review above (hopefully, it’s not a spoiler here) is how the skeletal ‘wireframes’ of the ships floated on the sea, defying all laws of physics. Especially if one considers a huge boat – just its skeletal structure, and w/ <100 people on it on the sea: such a contraption would sink. But I guess if the seas can be parted (I’m assumong that this area was near the Bermuda Triangle, which was mentioned once, although the Bermuda Triangle is smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic, and nowhere near the Carribean), hollow ship structures can float on the sea, no matter what the weight above them.

The other thing that struck me: the guillotine was a very uniquely French device that was only used in revolutionary France, and never in their colonies. Here, it was one of the execution options – like people in the days of Carribean piracy were given the option of how they’d like to die. Also, in those days, the Brits were redcoats and French were bluecoats, and they rarely were allies in the seas. In this movie, there are both redcoats and bluecoats on the navy ships patrolling the seas, and they’re described as Brits. Not just physics, but history too is lacking w/ these producers.

Infidel on May 28, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Apparently, Dead Movie Franchises Tell No Tales…

YCHtT on May 28, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Two brainless movies for the brainless masses–one features Dwayne Johnson who is devoid of any acting ability yet is called the #1 box office draw in America while the other movie stars a guy who hasn’t made a decent movie in ages(Depp). Can you say has been?

Dino Cavalli on May 28, 2017 at 7:12 pm

The current batch of movies looks to be more of the same dreadful Hollywood offerings, as they bottom feed on reboots of old hit TV shows, remakes, sequels, and prequels.

Last night I had some friends over and we decided to watch a DVD of “Hacksaw Ridge,” which I thought would be a good selection for the Memorial Day weekend, being based on a real person and some real events. Yes, I know all about Mel Gibson, and know what a dreadful person he is, and I would not ordinarily support one his movies, but a made a slight exception in this particular case, and the local rental was only $1.07 total, a bargain for a night’s entertainment.

Fortunately, the movie was not a disappointment. In fact, the movie was surprisingly well done, especially the screenplay by
Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight, the excellent editing by John Gilbert, and superb acting by Andrew Garfield in the lead role of Desmond Doss, a real hero of WWII, Teresa Palmer as Doss’s wife Dorothy, Hugo Weaving as Doss’s father (who can forget him as the sinister agent in The Matrix), Rachel Griffiths as Doss’s mother (who played in the fine TV series “Six Feet Under”), and a real surprise for me, Vince Vaughn as Sargeant Howell (who I normally think of as a talented comedy actor, but here turns in a first-rate, credible performance in a serious role).

Although I couldn’t find a review of the movie by Debbie on this website using the search function, after the movie I did find that she reviewed it on the Pat Campbell show. Here’s the link to it:

Please note that this radio clip is about 19 minutes long and the first 9 minutes concern the Trump election, before the movie review is discussed, and this interview obviously was recorded before the November 8, 2016 election. You’ll find the Trump discussion interesting even though it’s pre-election because the analysis of the election dynamics was quite accurate.

As for the movie review of “Hacksaw Ridge,” Debbie had mixed feelings about it, not only because of Gibson’s role in it, but also because she perceived it be misrepresentative of COs (conscientious objectors). While we can agree 100% on Gibson as a person, on the latter point I think the movie’s script carefully characterized Doss as the real McCoy, and clearly differentiated him from others who may purport to be COs, but at core really don’t want to serve their country or want to risk their lives. So I thought that the script writers’ portrayal of the CO theme of the movie to be well-balanced. (For example, even Doss’s wife-to-be Dorothy pleaded with him to complete his weapons training, and her argument was compelling.) While the movie probably did likely exaggerate the hostility of the other soldiers toward Doss for his unwillingness to fire a weapon (and his rule about working on the Sabbath–Saturday), that dramatic license was also probably necessary to make the character transformations more effective when the actual combat sequences began in the movie.

As for Vince Vaughn, Debbie suggests that he may have been influenced in the role by the performances of Frank Spencer Sutton as the Sargeant in the Gomer Pyle TV series. I think that Vaughn even looks a bit like Sutton, and Sutton always did play that role convincingly in the TV series, even though a comedy, because he had combat experience in WWII before he became an actor. But more likely, Vaughn channeled Ronald Lee Ermey, who played the Sargeant in his iconic performance in Staney Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” which has pretty much become the standard on which such military training movie sequences are based. In Ermey’s case, before he becam an actor, he served for more than decade in the Marine Corps, was an actual drill Sargeant, and served in both Vietname and in Japan. But the Sargeant Howell role is even more demanding because he undergoes substantial character development in the course of the story, and Vaughn rises to the ocassion and pulls off a credible change that seems entirely natural, occurring out of the events the soldiers go through.

On the downside of “Hacksaw Ridge” is the prolonged overemphasis on the blood and gore of war accomplished with state-of-the-art realistic CGI generated special effects. In the earlier days of the movies, moviemakers seemed to recognize the principle that “less is more” when it comes to blood and gore and that there are dramatic ways to make war seem real without actually showing all the anatomical details. Call it dramatic restraint.

But as movie technology has advanced to create more realistic effects, moviemakers now tend to go overboard in overusing them. This is the one thing, for example, that sticks out in my mind about the movie “Schindler’s List.” For that movie, the special effects team was able to recreate the visceral, physical impact of a bullet being fired into the head at close range. But instead of only showing that once or twice, director Speilberg showed it again and again in vile redundancies that he seemed to enjoy displaying. And, of course, none of this served any dramatic purpose and such repetition was completely unnecessary to illustrate that Nazis are cold-blooded methodical murderers.

Similarly, Gibson felt compelled to simulate over and over again, what it’s really like when a bullet slices through the front of a solider’s face, when shrapnel rips human bodies, when arms and legs are destroyed, when flame throwers sear human flesh., etc. Thus, while Gibson may think he’s created a realistic impression of war, the indulgent repetitions actually take away from the genuine horrors of war. This one of the reasons that Gibson is a good director, but not a great director. A great director knows that less is more in this case, and that the horrors of war actually become trivilized when shown endlessly in graphic detail.

Still, “Hacksaw Ridge” is a good movie in spite of the extended gore sequences primarily because the script is a thoughtful one, the acting is superb throughout, and, when all is said and done, it does honor not just Doss the lead hero of the movie, but all of the soliders that served our country. And, unfortunately, that last point is what probably kept the movie from winning any other Oscars besides best editing by John Gilbert.

Ralph Adamo on May 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

Good day dear Debbie!it would be wonderful if you could share what i wrote here on USA America Google so everyone can remember! thank you so much!Please allow me to say: We love America,We love Israel! We Remember our fallen soldiers,our missing in action,our prisoners of war and our wounded Warriors this “memorialday2017.” Our Heroes.Sincerlly Tirdad Gharib.

TIRDAD GHARIB on May 29, 2017 at 4:10 am

The Pirates franchise has long been dead, it is continued just to increase the commercial endorsements that are linked to in. Johnny Depp is so drugged out and of shape I think most of his appearances in the movies are either straight CGI or CGI infused.

As far as Baywatch, poor Zac Efron, his acting talents are so bad he can’t get a movie unless it requires him to take his clothes off, which then requires that he go on the low carb all Meth diet to maintain the low body fat percentage. One wonders if what he will be cast in when he finally decides to come out of the closet.

King David on May 29, 2017 at 2:07 pm

I am eagerly awaiting Debbie’s review of the new Wonder Woman movie.

Ingot on May 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Yes, the only one of the main 7 cast members who is not athletic/attractive is Jewish.

Why not make Matt Brody Jewish instead? He was originally played by Jewish actor David Charvet, he is now played by Efron, who is part Jewish, “Brody” is usually a Jewish name, and many Olympic swimmers are Jewish (most famously Mark Spitz).

Bee on May 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm

This is why we stopped going to movies years ago. Why support the enemy? You would have to pay me at least a thousand dollars to watch Baywatch with the trash in it. Even then I would be offended and not want to look at this jerk called Rock that long. We used to have good looking actors like Clint Walker who used to play Cheyenne on TV and now we have this Rock guy who looks like a turtle head. Movies have really declined.

Fred on June 1, 2017 at 2:40 pm

To quote Debbie: “If your idea of funny jokes and scintillating entertainment is a fat, pudgy guy getting his genitals caught in a lounge chair, then this is for you.” It would be if it were Senator Al Franken in the lounge chair.

Concerned Citizen on June 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

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