Currently, I’m working on writing a small collection of pirate short-stories. I have one new story done and two others previous written already in the wings. Two more and the collection should be complete. I hit a bit of a snag yesterday while writing The Royal Bounty Hunter, mostly because the smoke alarm decided to be a pain in the butt the night before, so I was a bit lethargic all day (that and Bruins were on in the evening). Anyways, looking for a little extra motivation and inspiration I decided to hit up a pirate movie. I watched Captain Blood and The Seahawk recently, so decided to see what Netflix had in sore.
To my surprise they had Treasure Island. Not the one from the ’50s (well, they do have that one, too), but one that came out last year. It stars Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver, Elija Wood as Ben Gunn, Toby Regbo as Jim Hawkins, and Donald Sutherland as Captain Flint.
I was a little unsure what to expect from this rendition. Partly because I didn’t get through the book itself (I blame it on trying to read it after Captain Blood and it was just awful by comparison). But the adaption is great and enjoyable. The film is shot as a two-part miniseries, each episode running an hour and a half long. The story is well displayed out over the course of the two episode. Eddie Izzard isn’t who I think of when I think pirate but, in reality, he plays one beautifully. He’s captivating as John Silver and even though you know he’s using Hawkins to get to the map and the treasure you can’t help but also be lost in his charm. You also can tell that this John Silver generally does give a fig about Hawkins from the get-go. Yes, he’s manipulating the boy, but he also has a soft boy for the lad. And some of Izzard’s side-quips during scenes (especially the battle at the “fort”) As for Hawkins himself, Toby Regbo does a great job at portraying the character. He’s young and naive at the start with dreams of bettering his life and his mothers. A noble motivation that quickly goes awry. By the end of it the film he’s no longer green, nor a boy. He’s done and seen too much in his adventure and Regbo illustrates that beautifully on screen. And Elija Wood plays the off-centered Ben Gunn really well.
The most striking element of this movie is the visuals. The costuming is well done. The pirates at the beginning are bright and colorful with their clothes of mismatching periods and cultures. Perhaps a bit stylized in some parts but it keeps with the spirit and essence of the characters in the film. The cinematography is also well done. It’s a bit stylized than what you normally see. The blind pirate that visits Hawkins and delivers the black spot is shot in a way that makes him almost seem ghostly. And quick/shaky edits and camera work, and fast zooms really add to the fervor and drama of some of the scenes. It’s hard to describe in writing but it makes more sense when you see it.
All in all I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone looking for some piratical adventure.