Feb 022017
 
Black Sails-Season Three

This season deals with the occupation of Nassau by a British fleet led by Woodes Rogers. Or as I like to call it, The British Empire Strikes Back. At the end of last season, Jack Rackham and his crew had captured the Urca gold, brought it back to Nassau and then decided to invest it in a shared trust to defend the island against England. Interestingly, the season starts after Rackham and his partner Max had dealt with the understandably angry Flint and Vane when they had returned from bombarding Charleston into rubble, enabling the writers to avoid explaining how the confrontation was resolved without violence. As ever, the show is exciting. This season is fun, lots of fun, but frustrating, since the writers are mixing fantasy with large chunks of historical accuracy. Read More…

Mar 312016
 
Blackbeard the Pirate

Rating: ★★½☆☆
Although Blackbeard operated roughly fifty years after Henry Morgan, he has been placed in Morgan’s era. To be honest, the movie is such a mess that it does not really matter. The script goes all over the place, but it is a surprisingly fun movie, and parts of the story are accurate. Viewers will not really learn anything about the period but they will be entertained. Robert Newton is simply awesome as Blackbeard, whose vocabulary primarily consists of Arr and Belike. Read More…

Dec 172015
 
Crossbones

Crossbones was a pirate series about Blackbeard that aired on NBC but was cancelled before its season ended. Those who suffered through it, like myself, understand why it was cancelled. It is less clear why it was greenlit, although John Malkovich’s involvement was probably a key factor. There may have been a more messed-up historical show, but I have not seen it. Read More…

May 292014
 
Crossbones Season One Trailer

I hope that people like pirates because Crossbones is coming out roughly a month after Black Sails finished. Crossbones is the vision of Neil Cross, who worked on Spooks (MI-5 in the United States) and created Luther. I have not seen Spooks, but I am watching Luther now, and I am loving its moral complexity, where the lead characters wrestle with the gap between the law and their own moral codes. John Molkovich plays Edward Teach, the unofficial leader of the pirate colony at Nassau. Richard Coyle is Tom Lowe, an English secret agent sent in to the pirate republic to kill Blackbeard, the leader of the pirates, so presumably the assassin will become conflicted as he grows to admire the pirate leader. Black Sails was fun but far from amazing, so there is room for another pirate show. My main concern is that it is shown on NBC, rather than one of the cable networks. Read More…