Saw 8: Jigsaw (2017)

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Saw 8: Jigsaw: Directed by Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig. With Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson. Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.

“Greetings again from the darkness. I will make no apology for being a fan of the u0026quot;Piratesu0026quot; series. This is the fourth film and the best since the first. Though I liked them enough, I felt the second and third depended too much on special effects and the need to overwhelm, whereas this one concentrates more on the colorful characters. This latest entry is also directed by Rob Marshall (u0026quot;Chicagou0026quot;) rather than Gore Verbinski, who directed the first three.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOf course, what really matters is that Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack Sparrow. And in fine form, I might add. He comes across more clever, witty and less buffoonish than in the previous two. His character is much better as a worthy adversary than a clown prince. In this one, he alternates between matching wits and swords with no less than three characters. First, Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbossa. Only this time, he seems to have gone legit with the Kingu0026#39;s navy. Next we have Sparrowu0026#39;s long-lost love from Seville played by Penelope Cruz. They also match wits and swords (and facial hair). Lastly, we have the legendary pirate Blackbeard, played with full force by Ian McShane. Were it not a Disney movie, McShane could have made his Blackbeard one of the most frightening characters ever seen on screen. Even with the limitations, he performs exceedingly well.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe u0026quot;plotu0026quot; of the film involves the search for Ponce de Leonu0026#39;s ship and the much desired Fountain of Youth. The race is on between Sparrow, Blackbeard, the Spainiards and Barbossa who is acting on behalf of King George (a wonderful Richard Griffiths). As always, itu0026#39;s not always easy to tell which characters are partners and which are adversaries. Thatu0026#39;s half the fun! An interesting twist is that in order to have the desired results from the infamous fountain, one must drink from a specific chalice and include a single mermaid tear. Of course, everlasting youth shouldnu0026#39;t be too easy to achieve. The mermaid sequences are fascinating, though we really only get to know one of them – Syrena played with soulful eyes by Astrid Berges-Frisbey.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThankfully, two long time characters are absent from this film – Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Both were dead-weight that caused major drag in the two most recent Pirates films. Cruz and McShane are infinitely more interesting and entertaining and play off of Captain Jack much better.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSpeaking of Deppu0026#39;s Jack Sparrow, I would make the argument that this character has entered the rarefied air of film comedy icon. I would put him at or near the level of the all-time best recurring comic characters: Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers, NOT Steve Martin), Austin Powers (Mike Myers) and the Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin). Of course, there are loads of others that have made a name for themselves but are a step below: Ernest (Jim Varney), Fletch (Chevy Chase), Wayne and Garth (Wayneu0026#39;s World), Riggs and Murtaugh (Lethal Weapon), etc. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs I have stated many times, comedy is such a personal choice that itu0026#39;s always difficult to review. What sets the Pirateu0026#39;s films apart (especially one and four) are the characters combined with action and witty banter. No, itu0026#39;s not for everyone, but if you like this style, itu0026#39;s difficult to beat.”


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