Whoaaa!!!… for real??

I want to say we knew about this. I want to say this was one of those movie rumors that came out, like, thirty years ago but nothing seemed to be happening*. But sure enough, “Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists” is coming to the big screen:

Hugh Grant to voice Aardman’s ‘Pirates’

So yeah, Hugh Grant, ho hum. But also David Tennant for you Dr. Who fans, Martin Freeman (for the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy geeks), and even Salma Hayek (of The Devil Wore Purple Plunder Pants, of course) will be featured as well.

*it was two years ago. I looked it up.

Review: A Pirate’s Christmas Wish

Rating: ★★★½☆

Do I even need to review this album? I mean, seriously – all I need to do is say, “Pirate Christmas CD” and then add, “by The Bilge Pumps,” and then I’d guess most readers will immediately do the math and go running (to or from the album may vary from reader to reader :P)

OK, maybe some of you aren’t already familiar with The Bilge Pumps (seriously? I mean, don’t you even listen to Bilgemunky Radio?), so perhaps I should elaborate. The Bilge Pumps are a pirate shanty/comedy group. Their music is appropriately rough, swaggerly, and peppered with the sorts of off-taste comments you sorta-wish-the-kids-hadn’t-heard-but-maybe-it-went-over-their-heads-and-besides-they-have-to-grow-up-someday. Continue reading

Pirate Claymation!

Aardman back in motion with two Sony pics | Entertainment | Film | Reuters.

So yeah – Aardman Animation brought us the likes of Wallace&Gromit and Chicken Run. And now they’re bringing us pirates:

“”Pirates!” is based on the best-selling series of books by Gideon Defoe that began with “The Pirates! (in an Adventure with Scientists).” The story, fashioned as a swashbuckling adventure with a rich vein of surreal and broad comedy, will follow a group of pirates who journey to London and meet Charles Darwin and a talking chimp named Mister Bobo, while an enemy tries to wipe them out.”

If you’re not already familiar with Gideon Defoe’s works, check out my reviews of his first two books, Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and Pirates! in an Adventure with Ahab. Then go buy the books so you can sit in the theater and loudly proclaim, “Oh, the books were sooooo much better!”

Review: Pirates Do the Darndest Things

Rating: ★★★★½
mikemennard_dothedarndestthBuy the CD
Genre: Pirate kid’s songs, poems, and silly stuff
Rating: G
Target Audience: Kids, mostly. But definitely some crossover appeal to adults.

Of all the pirate musical artists it’s the childrens’ entertainers for which I have the lowest expectations. I can’t tell you how many pirate kids’ albums I’ve never even bothered to seek out based on their sample tracks that clearly demonstrate a soft, froofy performance that would be of no interest whatsoever to those over the age of six. Mike Mennard, however, is a different beast entirely. True, children are clearly his target audience. But he also demonstrates remarkable creativity and talent the likes of which can be thoroughly enjoyed by all ages – mostly. Continue reading

Review: Pirates of the Great Salt Lake

Rating: ★★★★☆
greatsaltlakePirates of the Great Salt Lake has been a long, long time coming. The film was actually completed some years ago, but due to the realities of distribution it’s been tied up until just these past few months. This has resulted in no shortage of anticipation from within the pirate community – a group that’s been eagerly awaiting its chance to finally see a film that is for, and more or less about them (or at least, folks sort of like them.)

Being an independent film, Salt Lake understandably lacks the Hollywood polish. For the most part this isn’t a problem as it remains plenty slick on its own merits. It does have two moments of weakness, though – both of which regrettably occur within the first few minutes, and risk audiences prematurely dismissing the movie before it truly begins. The first incident is during a flashback from generations past in which a demonic pirate is seen – it’s relatively silly and reminiscent of a B slasher film. Not that B slasher films are all bad, but this movie is smarter than that. The second incident is when the protagonists, Kirk and Flint, find their first victims – a catamaran with two ladies and some muscle-bound dude. In a film full of great acting, these three extras are amongst the worst imaginable, and look entirely lost for what to do, save for when they look like they’re trying not to laugh. It’s sad because these two events lower the bar of the film, and some viewers may have difficulty recovering in time to get full enjoyment from all that follows. Continue reading

Review: Emphatical Piratical

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Genre: Children (and adult) Pirate Rock and Alternative
Rating: G
Target Audience: Kids will definitely love it, but adults will also find some good stuff

Since the very beginning, Captain Bogg & Salty has always walked a fine line. On the face of it they’re children’s entertainers, and therefore sing silly songs of a kid-friendly nature. But the genius of their first album, Bedtime Stories for Pirates, was that – rather than sounding like preschool teachers like so many other childrens’ “pirate” entertainers – Bogg & Salty lent the impression of being real pirates; actual buccaneers, albeit good-natured ones, doing their level best to “keep it clean” for the duration of the album. This made Bogg & Salty a rare beast, being a pirate band that could be enjoyed by kids and their parents (and even angsty teens and 20-somethings) alike. Continue reading

Review: The Pirate Life

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Pirate Life: Unleashing Your Inner Buccaneer
by John ‘Ol’ Chumbucket’ Baur and Mark ‘Cap’n Slappy’ Summers

My sister-in-law is a nurse. For those of you readers who prefer visuals to help in all matters, she’s the redhead posing on the Bilgemunky Swag page. But do bear in mind that if you just now went to the swag page to sneak a peak, you’re morally obligated to buy a shirt. I’m just sayin’.

Anyways, my sister-in-law is a nurse. And the problem with nurses in the family is they have this thing – it’s called “wellness.” The concept behind wellness is that you’re supposed to think about your health all the time. You’re supposed to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and try not to put any crap into your system – i.e. anything fun. Proponents of wellness fail to grasp that the whole point of an annual checkup is so that you don’t have to think about these things the other 364 days of the year. It seems these people think that getting poked and prodded by someone with an “M.D” after their name one day each year is no longer enough, and that all matters regarding our health should somehow infiltrate the rest of our lives. It’s a right crying shame, if you ask me. Continue reading

Review: Captain Darby O’Bill and His Maties 3

Rating: ★★★★☆
Captain Darby O’Bill and His Maties 3

Buy the CD
Genre: Original pirate songs of varying non-traditional styles.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

Captain Darby O’Bill and His Matees 3, an album performed by a group of the same name (I mean, what are the odds?) is exactly the kind of pirate music I love best – meaning that it in no way sounds like any of the other pirate music I already love. Right from the first track, The Skulls of Skeleton Peak, and on through the entire album, this CD defies categorization of any kind save one – this is PIRATE MUSIC! Continue reading

Review: Rimes of the Hip Hop Mariner

Rating: ★★★★★
Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew

Buy the CD
Genre: Pirate-themed gansta rap
Rating: R
Target Audience: Immature adults 😛

Captain Dan’s debut album, Authentic Pirate Hip-Hop, essentially redefined the pirate-core playing field. True, many brilliant albums have borrowed styles from non-pirate genres, such as metal, rock, and alternative. And other albums managed to create styles that were essentially unique. But prior to Captain Dan’s gangsta rap release, never before had a pirate band so unabashedly plunged into such dangerous waters. Hip Hop is not for the weak – but not only did Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew survive their encounter with this tumultuous genre of thugs, drugs, and hos – they actually made it their bitch. Continue reading

Review: The Government Manual for New Pirates

Rating: ★★★★☆
The Government Manual for New Pirates
by Matthew David Brozik and Jacob Sager Weinstein

Bookstores are increasingly full of “Government” and other instructional manuals of a fictitious nature. Whether you’re seeking to be a spy or a superhero, hunt zombies, dragons, or wizards – a manual exists to educate and guide you in your endeavors. The problem with this genre – at least, the part that makes me nervous – is that manuals in reality can be tediously dull, and simply replacing mundane scenarios with something more ludicrous doesn’t necessarily make it entertaining. It takes writers with a very special talent in order to build humor on such a dry foundation, but The Government Manual for New Pirates succeeds in every respect. The cover left me unsure what to expect, being a government-style with fairly cliche pirate graphitti. But any fears I may have had as to the quality of this book’s content were instantly put to rest upon reading the forward. These same fears were then shot through the head with a harpoon and buried in tar upon reading the first paragraph of the first chapter, in which anyone who’s purchased this book is advised to put it down and give up their piratical aspirations, as a true pirate would have stolen it. Continue reading