8:00 PM, 11th April, 2008
Ben 'Finn' Finnegan (McConaughey), one-time surf bum and would-be treasure hunter, has sunk both his marriage to Tess (Hudson) and his rust-bucket "Booty Calls" (double groan) in his obsessive quest for the legendary 'Queen's Dowry', a treasure ship lost at sea in 1715 carrying forty chests of exotic treasure. Only after these catastrophes does he find a vital clue to the location of the wreck, but how is he to recover it without a boat? By exploiting his ex, of course! Tess now has a job on billionaire Nigel Honeycutt's (Sutherland) floating gin palace, so Ben manoeuvres on board and inveigles Honeycutt and his daughter into his schemes.There is a rival, of course, and who would waste an actor like Sutherland on a straight role? So I bet that Honeycutt must also be up to something, and Tess is initially reluctant to get involved, but maybe her and Ben's marriage can be salvaged. The title is an obvious hint that there are things that are more important than treasure, although what they could be I can't possibly imagine. Sorry, just kidding: more treasure, of course.There will be gorgeous scenery, the lure of gorgeous treasure, gorgeous eye candy for all genders and generations, adventure, comedy, villains, so what's not to like? Indications (as I write it's still in production so indications are all I have) are that it will be a good, fun, entertaining romp.
9:50 PM, 11th April, 2008
Young Jim Hawkins lives with his parents at the inn 'The Admiral Benbow', near Bristol, in the 1750s, frequented by sea dogs and rogues. One of these, Billy Bones, dies, and Jim comes into possession of Bones's map, which marks the location of the treasure of the now dead pirate Captain Flint. Jim takes the map to the local (and surprisingly trustworthy) gentry, Dr. Livesey and Squire Trelawney, who organise an expedition to recover the buried loot. Others, villainous pirates, be after the loot too, and things get mutinous, murderous and messy.You will probably know all that stuff anyway. Based of course on Robert Louis Stevenson's hugely successful first novel, he invented many of the now definitive ingredients of pirate stories: treasure buried on tropical islands, a map with X marking the spot, black schooners, and one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders.This is the classic movie version of "Treasure Island", with the most villainous villains: the charming but utterly ruthless Long John Silver, the mad and marooned Ben Gunn, and Captain Flint, who was the worst of the lot, dead, but still terrifying. Aye, it's in black and white; aye, it's seventy years old; aye, the special effects won't hold a candle to recent pirate movies; for a' that it's still a great movie.