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Movies-TV In "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side, and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. Its a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure! The title doesn’t hint at the film’s plot, which incorporates real-life (if drolly reimagined) historical figures Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria, but it gets at the heroes’ lovable-loser appeal: Although their leader, the generically named Pirate Captain voiced by Hugh Grant), sees himself as a rogue to be reckoned with, he and his crew are a flop in the departments of menace and booty-snatching. They’re better at securing smoked meats for Ham Night than locating victims worth robbing, but when a Pirate of the Year event arrives (Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven entertain as two of the villainous .petitors), they start boarding every boat they spy in hopes of impressing the judge. When they attack Darwin’s Beagle, the calmly terrified nerd reveals that they already possess a priceless treasure: Polly, their beloved parrot, is actually a rare dodo. Captain’s misguided attempt to exploit the bird for gold leads to London, where Victoria’s anti-pirate campaign means the shipmates must don absurd disguises while fending off attempts to birdnap Polly. Although Defoe’s witty screenplay overflows with gags for viewers who know a bit of history — ever wanted to see snobby Jane Austen throw a beer stein at poor Joseph Merrick, aka the Elephant Man? — plot points quickly translate to action, with chase scenes involving bubble-filled bathtubs and pedal-driven airships. (The filmmakers may be saving elaborate swordplay for later installments, though pirate slang is hardly in short supply.) While this tale’s cast lacks singular characters like the absentminded inventor Wallace and his wise and taciturn dog, Gromit, it does offer a terrific wordless animal: Darwin’s trained "manpanzee" butler, who dryly .ments on the action via dialogue on index cards.Victorian England is rendered in sets whose scope and detail are enhanced by CG, but .puter effects are only noticeable where they nicely .plement the animators’ models — in sea scenes, for instance, where realistic crashing waves enhance the thrill factor. Other technical touches, like lens curvature in shots through a pirate’s spyglass, are more subtle but will delight viewers who appreciate craftsmanship.Deftly and rather freely adapted by Gideon Defoe from his own humorous, not-necessarily-for-kids novel "The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists" (the pic’s title in the U.K.), the 1837-set story centers around a hero known only as the Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant, growling down an octave). Watch free movies online The Captain proudly boasts a luxuriant beard, even if his modest haul of doubloons is less impressive. Despite his manifest short.ings as an extorter of wealth on the high seas, his crew remains fiercely loyal to him. Plus, they don’t mind being known only by descriptive monikers, such as the Pirate With a Scarf (Martin Freeman), the Pirate With Gout (Brendan Gleeson) or the Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (Ashley Jensen), a femme with an obviously fake beard whom no one seems to have pegged as a girl.The Captain sets his sights on winning the coveted Pirate of the Year award, even though his rivals — Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven), Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry), and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) — have much bigger booty, in the original, piratical sense of the word.After several ill-fated attempts to build up his treasure chest, the Captain and crew happen upon young naturalist Charles Darwin (former "Doctor Who" David Tennant), who notices that their ship’s "big-boned" bird-in-residence, Polly, is not actually a parrot but rather the last dodo on Earth. Darwin persuades them to bring Polly to the Royal Academy to receive a "priceless" award. However, when virulent pirate-phobe Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) sees Polly, she insists she simply must have her for the Royal Zoo and offers the Captain an immense fortune, prompting a crisis of conscience. It turns out that the monarch, who’s more than just a pretty national figurehead, has a much more nefarious plan in mind. Helmer Peter Lord, one of Aardman’s co-founders and director of some of the outfit’s darker early work (such as short "Going Equipped"), has taken producing credits on most of the .pany’s recent output, giving him a lower industry profile than colleague Nick Park (with whom he co-directed "Chicken Run"). But based on the evidence here, Lord has a steely grip on what gives the Aardman its brand value: an exhaustive attention to detail that crams the intricate sets with peripheral-vision jokes; a very droll, quintessentially English sense of humor (Blood Island is so named because it’s "the exact shape of some blood"); and ruthlessly efficient .ic timing.Slightly saltier in sensibility than Park’s cozier "Wallace and Gromit" pics, the humor mostly skews toward an older age bracket, even though younger tots will get a visual rush from the slapstick setpieces. A chase down a staircase in a bathtub and the de rigueur climactic battle between the Captain and a swashbuckling Victoria aboard her fabulously Steampunk-style ship rep bravura displays of stop-motion technique, coordinating several figures at once, all moving through space.Although most auds won’t notice, animation geeks will swoon over what Lord and Co. have ac.plished technically. As in "Coraline," the use of 3D enhances the sculptural technique and lends itself well to dramatic lighting effects, but it never distracts, and the pic won’t suffer a bit in 2D. Though the plasticine figures still have a pleasingly tactile, smushy quality, they’re modeled with great subtlety; new methods of rendering mouth movements have enhanced verisimilitude, and the CG is used strategically to conquer always tricky materials like water and smoke. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: