Insert Desired "Booty"/"Plunder" Pun Here

As has been reported all over the interwebs, Pirates of the Caribbean: Androgynous Fun on the High Seas grabbed an unholy $132 million at the box office over the weekend, besting the previous 3-day record held by Spider-Man ($114 million). It collected $55 million on Friday, another record, beating Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith's $50 million opening day. It also crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday, becoming the fastest film to do so.And all of that means not one damn thing about the movie. Because I value my personal space and loathe children and families as much as I hate terrorists and people who drive slow in the fast lane, I avoided the multiplex this weekend, opting instead to stay in, do laundry, and watch Cinderella Man on HBO (a film that turned out to be oddly engaging, though in a cold way). I saw the first Pirates film three years ago in the theater, and have felt no need since to revist the film. As I walked out of the theater that summer, I felt that the film had been entertaining, but at least half an hour too long. The salient details of the plot and climax escape me, but I remember being bored and annoyed that the action at the end kept running from ship to cave to ship to another ship to a cave again to I'm bored just typing this. Oddly enough, the most successful thing about the first film — Johnny Depp's fey turn as a boozing pirate — had the studio nervous, since they'd originally envisioned the film with a more stereotypically masculine hero in the lead. The film introduced most of the world to Keira Knightley's brutal underbite for the first time, and gave Orlando Bloom another opportunity to prove that he has less chemistry than the cardboard cutout of himself that the d.p. uses for light-balancing tests. But that's all it was: A loud, dumb film based on a theme park ride. There's an important lesson I feel we should all keep in mind: Correlation does not equal causation. Even simpler, box office results do not equate to a film's degree of quality. There have been good films that have gone unnoticed in their theatrical runs, and absolute bores that have set box office records. And there have also been good films that do big business, and bad films that justly find a quick grave. But just because a movie hits it big at the box office doesn't make it good. It mainly means that it was well-marketed to families, and Pirates 2: Like the Ride, But With Popcorn is no exception. Late-night ads played up the suspense and action, while morning commercials emphasized the Bloom-Knightley relationship (sexual confusion aside) and lots of laughs for the kids. If the first film is any indication, the sequel will nobly continue the trend of upholding producer Jerry Bruckheimer's sworn creed to tell non-narrative films that rely on flashes and bangs instead of something remotely resembling a coherent screenplay. If you saw the film over the weekend, take heart: It's not too late to repent of your act and walk a path of righteousness. It doesn't matter when you show up to the vineyard, just that you get there. Stay away from movies like Pirates 2: A Bloated Exercise in Family Exploitation Masquerading as Filmmaking. Trust me.