Review: Prelude to Mutiny

Rating: ★★★★½
Captain Bogg & Salty

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Genre: Original pirate songs and tunes of various non-traditional styles.
Rating: G
Target Audience: All Ages (and I mean that – this is not an album adults should ignore!)

“Prelude to Mutiny” is the third album from the groundbreaking pirate band Captain Bogg & Salty. Their first album, “Bedtime Stories for Pirates,” remains one of the must-have albums in any pirate collection. Next was “Pegleg Tango,” which I felt strayed a bit too much from their strengths, although it still had some very brilliant tracks that were well worth the price of admission. So what of this third album? It contains many of the elements from the previous two albums, and yet brings on a new edginess previously unexplored by Bogg & Salty. And it rocks. Continue reading

Review: Rhum Barbancourt 15

Rating: ★★★½☆
Rhum Barbancourt 15 year

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from Internet Wines and Spirits

Amber rums are tricky beasts. Light rums are so often weak and hollow (although there are exceptions.) Dark rums are often – for better or worse – brutal and in-you-face. Amber rums, though, run the gamut. By most appearances they are unintimidating. But sometimes this benign appearance conceals a soul of fire. And so it is with Rhum Barbancourt 15 Year.

I tried the Barbancourt 8 Year some time back, as it was actually recommended over the 15 Year by respectable sites like The Ministry of Rum. As it turns out, I wasn’t overly impressed (I should have known better – since when should you listen to someone respectable when it comes to rum?) Eventually, on the recommendation of a few loyal readers, I opted to give the Barbancourt 15 Year a try at long last. Continue reading

Review: The Two Space War

Rating: ★★★★☆
The Two Space War
by Dave Grossman and Leo Frankowski

I have a rule – I review pirate books, and ONLY pirate books. There are loads of nautical, naval, and otherwise maritime books out there. Many of them are very, very good. But this is a pirate site, and I review pirate books.

And so now I’m breaking this rule by reviewing The Two-Space War. Why? A couple of reasons. First off, it’s a wonderful book that you might well never hear about otherwise, so I consider it my duty to help spread the word. And secondly, it has monkeys in it. Lots and lots of space monkeys.

The Two-Space War is a combination of things that should generally never be combined – Napoleonic naval warfare, space exploration, and Tolkein-inspired races (elves, dwarves, etc.) But in the hands of authors Dave Grossman and Leo Frankowski, these varied elements begin to feel surprisingly natural. The basic premise is that mankind has begun to travel the galaxy by accessing the second demension, or Two-Space. Far from being Star Trek gobbledeegook, the concept of removing the Z-axis from our ordinarily XYZ, three demensional, existence would necessarily have the effect of bringing things closer together – a planet might be a thousand lightyears “above you” while being only a few miles to your right – crushing the galaxy flat would certainly bring you much closer to such a destination. Continue reading

Review: The Scurvy Pirates

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Scurvy Pirates

Genre: Traditional and original pirate shanteys with a modern attitude.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

Most pirate bands can be classified – they are either contemporary, experimental, or traditional. But Scurvy Pirates is a bit difficult to pin down. Their musical style is firmly rooted in traditional sea shanties – the instruments and singing would be quite at home aboard ship, or in a dockside tavern. But their raw enthusiasm and creativity show no allegience, and the resulting lyrics cross the map from the odd to the brilliant in a series of songs that old salts WOULD have sung for generations, if only they had thought of it. Continue reading

Review: Pirates of Treasure Island

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆
I really don’t know what to make of this one.

Some bad movies are just that – bad. They should be ignored, dismissed, or burned. They have no value and are a waste of your existence to even consider viewing. Other bad movies are an ironic piece of brilliance, enjoyable on levels that no “good” movie could ever hope to achieve. These movies are meant for a group of rowdy friends sharing rum. But this movie? It lies firmly within one of these categories, and I strongly suspect it’s the former.

Basically “Treasure Island”, but with gratuitous man-eating bugs. I say gratuitous because they’re barely used – this movie would be essentially unchanged if you removed them. But there they are, nonetheless – towering over Long John, and bellowing their maneating howls as they shudder in harmless CGI malevolence. Continue reading

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest

Rating: ★★★☆☆
I feel bad writing this review. It’s not that Deadman’s Chest was a bad movie – far from it. Much of it, in fact, was quite good. But it did have some dreadful flaws, and wasn’t remotely the masterpiece of Curse of the Black Pearl. Whereas Black Pearl seemed nearly perfect – the dialogue, timing, settings, and storyline all seemed spot-on. Deadman’s Chest showed many signs of being a not-quite final draft of a film.

The story begins shortly after the first movie ended. Will and Elizabeth’s wedding is cut short by the arrival of the East India Tea Company, and adventure ensues. Both find themselvse seperately pursuing the same goal – that being the meeting up with Jack Sparrow, and the retreival of his compass. But I don’t need to rehash the plot – you’ve already seen it. And if not, go see it. It’s worth it. Continue reading

Review: Pirates – A Joone Film (adults only)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Let’s just make one thing clear from the start – this is an adult film, albeit with all the truly naughty bits edited out to acheive an R rating. That’s not some sort exageration to make a point, it’s a fact – you can buy the unedited version online through many sources. This review, however, concerns the R version.

It’s important to recognize that this is an edited adult film, as without this knowledge you might be perplexed at how readily the characters get “snuggly” with each other, even in the most unlikely of circumstances (inside a burning barn, for example.) These scenes don’t get terribly graphic – I’ve seen much more explicit in any number of mainstream movies, although rarely in such frequency. Many of the scenes, in fact, are cut short before they’ve even properly begun. That said, this still isn’t a film to share with your 13 year old kids, as sexual context is there in abundance, as are brief images of writhing bodies, and more than a few naked breasts. Continue reading

Review: Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Ye gads! I’m not sure what the motivation was behind this movie, but I can’t help but wonder how it ever ended up in a video store.

What intrigued me about this movie was the box’s mention of a search for pirate treasure in Lake Michigan. Careful viewers know that 1) Bilgemunky pities the Great Lakes for being sad little puddles of salt-water-envy, and 2) Bilgemunky lives right next to Lake Michigan. So I figured this might be an interesting premise for a non-ocean pirate adventure. That’s why I rented it – and that’s why I watched the first 20 minutes. I watched the other 72 simply for your benefit, dear reader. Lord knows I had better things to do with my time.

The plot could be decent enough. The basic idea is that hundreds of years ago a pirate buried a bunch of treasure in Lake Michigan. It was subsequently discovered by mobsters in the 1920s or so, but they had a shipwreck and had to abandon it – but they made a map. Now, Danny Quinn is obsessed with discovering said treasure, as his own father died searching for it. From there it’s all pretty basic fare: “oh no, Grandpa has tragically died in a deep-lake diving accident – yikes, the government wants to repossess the family schooner and send me to a foster home – hey, let’s go find the treasure and solve all our problems – oh no, it’s the one-eyed banshee!!!” Continue reading

Review: Aurum Piraticus Aetus

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Verbal Deception

Genre: Pirate Metal
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

Making instrumental music sound piratey is commonly done with squeeze boxes and banjos, as is demonstrated by a whole range of traditional sea-shanty artists. It is also commonly done with orchestras, as can be seen in an assortment of swashbuckling movie soundtracks. But to make music piratey utilizing rock band-era electric guitars and drums, and to do so before a single “I’m a pirate” type lyric is even uttered, is another trick entirely. Few bands try, let alone succeed. Continue reading