Why is the Joy Gone? Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review


Gentle Readers – I really wanted to like this movie. But, as I was watching On Stranger Tides yesterday with the kids, I kept on thinking what a disjointed, dreary movie this was. First, lets talk about the plot.

The movie is about Captain Jack and his apparently lifelong quest to seek the legendary fountain of youth made famous by Ponce de Leon while being chased by Captain Barbossa who was a pirate but is now a privateer charged by the English King to secure the fountain before Spain gets it as they are also trying to find it as well as the famous pirate Blackbeard who may or may not have a daughter that is a former nun acolyte and girlfriend of Captain Jack and who may or may not still have feelings towards Jack and may or may not be pregnant by him but still has strong ties to faith as shown by the kidnapping of a missionary who falls in love with a vampire like mermaid that Blackbeard needs for her tears which are used in a ceremony to access the live giving powers of the fountain as Blackbeard needs the fountain because of a prophecy about a one legged pirate who will kill him within a fortnight that one legged pirate is Barbossa who real goal is not to secure the fountain for the crown but to exact revenge on Blackbeard who used his magical sword to capture the Black Pearl and put it in a tiny bottle the only way Barbossa could escape capture as he was then captaining the Pearl was to cut off his own leg and did I tell you there are also zombies in the movie?

Sound confusing?  The whole movie was like a 2+ hour long run-on sentence which tried to gin up excitement by having so many things go on at the same time.  In some action movies, like The Curse of the Black Pearl, that kind of frenetic writing works.  However, you need to have energetic performances by actors in order for the movie to be successful.  That was not the case here.

Johnny Depp gave a surprisingly uninspiring performance as Captain Jack.  It was as if the pirate who asked “Why has the rum gone?” is now having us ask him, “Where has the joy gone?” Ian McShane, whom I was really looking forward to seeing as Blackbeard, was for an evil guy afraid of death, almost monotone in his delivery.  I don’t even know why Geoffrey Rush, who I’ve liked since Shine, seemed disconnected.  I know that if I lost my ship and my leg, I’d be really ticked off.  I didn’t feel that in Rush’s Captain Barbossa.  About the only performance I liked was Penelope Cruz’s as Jack’s ex Angelica, but I do have a soft spot for her 😉

What do you guys think?  Let me know by commenting below…

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OK – So I Lied…


Gentle Readers –

I promised on December 30th, 2010 that I would be posting every day.  That was the last post I wrote until today…What happened?  Life…School…Kids…Wife…Job…Unfortunately, little Disney action.  We were planning on a WDW trip this October, then a little thing happened called Gov. Walker.  If you’ve been following some of the news regarding public sector employees in Wisconsin, you know that he is trying (and somewhat succeeding) in cutting wages, benefits and jobs.  As a county employee, I have not been immune to these cuts.  Because of that, that October, 2011 trip is history.  Depending on the job situation, maybe I can convince the Mrs. that going on the WDW Radio Cruise in 2012 would be a good idea…

Please understand that this is not a rant either for or against the events in Madison; this is a WDW blog after all 🙂 If you are truly interested in my feelings about this, feel free to direct message me and I’d be happy to share.

There have been some some happy WDW moments recently, however; happy enough that I must share. The first is about an assignment I did for a class on Presentations in the Virtual Workplace.  I know – it sounds boring; and it kind of was.  But, 2 weeks ago, I had an assignment where I had to create a presentation on a podcast I like. Hmmm…Podcast review…What should I review?  Oh, I don’t know…  Seeing as my avatar for my online classes looks like this:

Maybe something WDW-related would fit the bill!  I got it!  How about some WEDWay Radio action? (Hopefully the PowerPoint video works!)

wdwfanatic1

I’ve been listening a lot to WEDWay Radio lately while doing paperwork in the office.  Today, while I was spending quality time at my work computer entering applications, I had Episode 69 up and running.  The episode was mostly a chat with StudiosCentral.com and WDW Today host Matt Hochberg talking about Superstar Television and the Monster Sound Show. That chat got me thinking about a rant I’ve got stored in me about how I much I miss DHS being an actual movie/TV studio; but that will be my next post (which will be up…soon…).

At the end of the podcast, there was a surprise interview with JB Conway from the Mouse of Zen and John Knell from Knell Studio Works talking about a new joint project they have.  One of my first posts on this blog was a review of JB’s very cool first book of WDW-related haiku’s; now he’s teamed up with graphic designer Knell to create personalized WDW photos with an original haiku. The photos can be one taken by Knell or even one of yours.  As part of the podcast, a contest was announced where the winner would receive a free 8×10 canvas print of your photo embellished by Knell with JB’s poetry.  I was stoked!  I really wanted to win!  I was 2 days too late to enter!  So I tweeted this:

Darn it! I missed the @WedwayRadio giveaway with @johnny_kc & @mouseofzen! That’s what I get for listening to episodes late! :/

Much to my surprise, I immediately got tweeted back by both JB and John –

@tiggerdaddy not to fear! Enter pics at our joint Facebook page. Weekly contests to see who gets their pic featured on Disney Driven Life (@MouseOfZen)

@tiggerdaddy You haven’t missed this contest though… http://on.fb.me/f2HxHk 🙂 Still time to enter for week 6 (@johnny_kc)

So – Here’s my entry:

Although I maybe should’ve entered this one:


Not sure which one I like better…Anyways, I’ve entered their new contest, I hope you do too!  Click the above link to enter!

Maybe something WDW?

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A post a day keeps the doctor away…


I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

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Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in….


Gentle Readers:

It has been WAY too long since I have last posted to this blog.  Trust me friends, it has not been because of a lack of desire to post – simply a lack of time.  As some of you know, in addition to my being a dad, a husband, and full-time employee, I also go to university on a half-time basis.  When I started this blog this summer, I had hopes that I would be able to blog on a more regular basis than I actually have.   That was because many of the classes I had previously were fairly easy to complete and didn’t take as much time as I anticipated.  Given that, I just figured I’d fit this blog in my schedule, and we’d be good.  It hasn’t turned out that way; for that I apologize…

That doesn’t mean that I don’t think daily about WDW and all other things Disney, I just haven’t had the chance to write it down.  What finally drove me to write me today was a section in my Introduction to Statistics book. While spending a mind-numbing week studying for my mid-term exam, I came across an interview with Bob Sehlinger, creator and co-author (with Len Testa) of my favorite WDW travel guide, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. The clouds parted, and I saw the sun 🙂

Did you know that there are, if you tour the Magic Kingdom in one day, there are over 51,090,942,171,709,440,000 different different ways to visit all the attractions?   My textbook doesn’t describe how number that was determined; any math majors care to to take a stab at it?

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An Introduction


A hello to all of the loyal readers of the WDW Fanatic Family. A thanks to Ryan for allowing me the opportunity to write about my past experiences with my family at Walt Disney World (and perhaps a few of Disneyland as well). I thought I’d start with a short introduction. My name Is Mark Vitek and, like Ryan, I live in balmy Wisconsin USA. My first visit to The World was in July of 1972 when I was 6 years old. My family at that point were all Disneyland veterans with my parents and older brothers having visited many times in the past (my parents during opening month in 1955) and with 2 trips under my Disney-belt as well. I remembered enough about Disneyland to know that the Magic Kingdom was bigger, much bigger, and to my 6 year old heart it was far more magical. I fell in love with the Magic of WDW that day and it has grown every year. I hope to share that love of the magic with each of you as well.

I won’t try to be a WDW historian; that’s not my area. What I will try to be is a good WDW ‘Memorian’, and share all of my memories with you.

Until later, keep believing in the Magic!

~Mark~

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When I grow up, I want to be a mom…WDW Mom, that is ;)


Alright, I’ve done it…I’ve applied to be a WDW Mom’s Panel member.  Here are the questions I had to answer, how would you respond?  (Don’t worry, I won’t steal your answers – I’ve already sent my application!)

A) When was your last vacation to Walt Disney World® with your family? B) Do you work in an industry that is in competition, would benefit from being associated with the Walt Disney World® Moms Panel or be in conflict with Disney’s family friendly brand? If yes, please explain. C) True or False – World Showcase is a collection of pavilions representing 14 countries that border the 5 miles surrounding World Showcase Lagoon.

In 100 words or less, explain when and how you helped a non-family member plan their first trip to Walt Disney World® Resort.

In 100 words or less, tell us about what resources you use to find and share interesting park facts and vacation planning tips with others.

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Choose Your Own Blog Post Adventure


Gentle Readers:

A few weeks ago, I said I had a couple of blog topics I wanted to write on.  However, I’m stuck on what I should post first.  Like children, they’re all my favorite!  I need your help in picking what to post.  Please vote below, the poll will close one week!

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