Review: Yellowbeard

Rating: ★★★★☆
When the bulk of the Monty Python cast teams up with Cheech and Chong to create a pirate movie – and then tosses in a David Bowie cameo just for good measure – the results are sure to be anything but dull. As to whether it’s actually good, well, that’s another question. Yellowbeard straddles that difficult line between genius and awkward, and I can’t quite determine which side of that line it spends most of its time. But while I don’t know that Yellowbeard is actually a good movie, I do know that I enjoyed it, which is all the really matters.

The film follows the exploits of Yellowbeard the pirate, escaping prison after 20 years of incarceration. He is essentially the human embodiment of the Muppets’ character Animal, as he glares out from a face that’s all teeth and wild hair, and spends his time killing, raping (to which the women only seem to marginally object), and – if there’s still time – seeking his long lost treasure. To do so he begrudgingly enlists the aid of his son, who he’d conceived the night before his arrest 20 years prior, as well as the additional aid of Dr. Gilpen and Lord Percy Lambourn (played by Peter Cook, who portrays the clueless drunk with astounding genius.) They’re pursued by the British Navy and government agents (particularly a Blind Pew, a sightless spy with preternatural hearing.) Continue reading

Review: Spongebob Squarepants the Movie

Rating: ★★★☆☆
In the 1990 movie Pretty Woman, Richard Gere said, “Peoples’ reactions to Spongebob Squarepants are very dramatic. Either they love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it but it will never be a part of their soul.”

Truer words were never spoken. But sadly, I have no way of telling you which category you’ll fall into. If you already love Spongebob, then see the movie. If you hate it, then you should probably stick to a steady diet of the television show until you learn to appreciate it – a feature length film will certainly send you off the deep end if you’re not yet ready for it.

So without delving into the plot – which doesn’t really matter as it’s mainly just entertaining nonsense – let me just state that I LOVE SPONGEBOB and I LOVE HIS MOVIE. And yeah, it even has pirates in it! Live action, smelly, pillaging and singing pirates. Live action pirates, AND a live action David Hasslehoff hydroplaning on his belly while Spongebob and Gary engage in mortal combat against a bounty hunter on his butt. Sound funny? See the movie. Sound painful? Stay at home.

Nothing more need be said.

Review: Blackbeard’s Ghost

Rating: ★★★★½
Everyone knows Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, and everyone knows (whether they know it or not) Robert Newton’s Long John Silver. But somewhere between these two signature pirates Disney gave us a third, lesser known, scalliwagg who nontheless deserves a place amongst the notable breathren, that being Peter Ustinov’s Captain Blackbeard.

In the 1968 film Blackbeard’s Ghost, we’re introduced to a somewhat softer, more rotund variant of the dread captain than we’re given to expect, but one that’s still as rumswilling and swaggerly as any before or since. The plot, in essence, is the ghost of Blackbeard discovers that he can be seen by only one person, that being the new track coach of the local college. Together, they get on each others’ nerves while trying to find a way to save Blackbeard’s descendents (a troupe of little old ladies who’ve turned his ship into a touristy bed&breakfast) from a bank forclosure. All told, it’s really pretty typical 60’s Disney fair Continue reading

Review: Cap’n Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall’s Guide to Pirate Parenting

Rating: ★★★½☆
Cap’n Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall’s Guide to Pirate Parenting
by Tim Bete

If you’re like me, or not like me for that matter… in fact no matter who you’re like, upon reading the title of “Cap’n Billy ‘The Butcher’ MacDougall’s Guide to Pirate Parenting”, odds are significant that you asked yourself that most basic of questions, “Is this for real?” It’s a question I’ve had to ask before with some books, and the answer has sometimes been surprising. In this particular case, however, it’s a definite “No.” Continue reading

Review: A Knife to Remember

Rating: ★★★☆☆
The Musical Blades

Genre: A Capella Festival Songs
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

In my humble opinion, traditional-style pirate bands have a unique chanllenge set before them. Being as much of their music is performed live on the festival circuit, they must cater to the live-action, beer-guzzling, turkey-leg-waving-to-the-music crowd. This is what I consider “renny” music – quasi-baudi, slightly goofy, and sometimes requiring audience participation. And this is all fine until this same band enters the recording studio, where much of this live performance just doesn’t translate well to the digital medium… Continue reading

Review: Authentic Pirate Hip Hop

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

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

What happens when you mix rum and Crunk Juice…

I’m going to lay it right out – this review is going to begin with one relatively irrelevant criticism. It will then continue on to gush the praises of this album with shameless enthusiasm. And that’s just how it’s going to be. Continue reading

Review: The Adventures of Short Stubbly Brownbeard

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Adventures of Short Stubbly Brownbeard
by Alan J. Levine

The Adventures of Short Stubbly Brownbeard begins brilliantly odd and piratey, and ends the same. And in the middle – it’s still wonderfully odd, although the piratey elements tend to waver a bit. The reason is simple – while the tale begins in the Caribbean, and smack in the middle of the golden age of piracy, the adventure soon carries us to the far reaches of the galaxy, where cats talk and baseball players (or the galactic equivelant) are worshipped as demigods and duly appointed to public office.

Brownbeard is the cousin of the famous pirate Blackbeard. He sets off from his accounting job to be a pirate of his own, and soon finds himself meeting with gremlins and aliens, and eating all sorts of weird things. Author Alan J. Levine has a strange sense of humor, reveling in the dryly ridiculous, while also enjoying a good pun or two. Sometimes it’s hilarious, sometimes it’s just weird. But it’s always unexpected, and generally quite entertaining. The book is at its best when Blackbeard makes his Continue reading

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: 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

Bilgemunky Discount Submarines

If you’re like me, then having a submarine of your very own has been your lifelong dream for at least a few weeks now. The problem is, most submarine dealers want an ungodly amount of money – and that doesn’t even take into consideration the grotesque upkeep expenses. Personally, I don’t have that kind of cash lying around, and I’m betting you don’t either. So this leaves us with two options:

Option 1: Steal a submarine – this would be the more piratey solution, but it poses two very serious problems, depending on what sort of sub you’re trying to steal. First, if you’re wanting to steal a luxury personal submarine, well, there’s just not that many of them out there. It’s tough to steal what isn’t there. Problem number two arrises if you’re going to bypass the sissy luxury subs and instead swipe a top-of-the-line military sub. This is tricky on several accounts, and since the Navy doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor about this getting caught can lead to all sorts of trouble. That’s why I recommend… Continue reading