Yo-ho-ho and a really good point

Here I go linking to John August again. I was planning to comment myself on the not-exactly-upside but not-entirely-downside of Hollywood's rush to develop non-narrative property titles, be they board games, toys or theme park rides.

A title is not the most binding straitjacket around. A title might specify a genre or setting, but the story remains wide open.
A movie based on a toy might seem silly, but it will only BE silly if the creators make it so.

For a master class on how not to make silly movies, listen to the writers' commentary track on the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD. The final pair of writers explain their process in great detail and one understands why the movie turned out so well – and how it could have gone wrong so easily.

Even if you aren't interested in why it was the superior choice to make Commodore Norrington a priggish good guy – but still a good guy – listen to the track anyway. Seriously, how freakin' awesome is it that a movie based on a theme park ride includes a writers' commentary track?!

[I've linked above to the Blu-ray edition. Amazon no longer lists the 2-disc DVD version on which I listened to the commentary track. Anyone know if the Blu-ray version includes the same tracks?]

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