The day after crunch mode ends on a project is like a bullet train hitting a concrete mammoth. “Brick wall” seemed too mundane. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, instead of finding myself sitting in a hotel room with nothing to do and too bored even to nap.

There’s still plenty to do, of course, but the key point is that I didn’t have to do anything today. I’m torn between halfway feeling guilty about goofing off today and then realizing that I don’t feel guilty about goofing off today and feeling guilty about that. Luckily things will get crazy busy again within a couple of days, and all that nonsense will stop.

I ended up going to Hollywood Boulevard to see Pirates of the Caribbean at The The El Capitan Theater. A while ago I complained about the El Capitan having too much of the Disney Regimented Whimsy vibe going on. That was a perfect example of what happens when Disney goes horribly awry; today was a great example of what happens when Disney gets it right.

The theater has piratey stuff over the sign, all through the lobby, and in the balcony. In the basement there’s a museum with props and costumes from the movie. If you pre-ordered your ticket, you got a bucket of popcorn and soda included (the tickets are ridiculously expensive, but a) that’s Disney, and 2) it was worth it). They had the organist going as usual, which is always cool; a drawing for tickets to Disneyland; and before the show started they did a flaming pirate skull/dungeon effect behind the screen, which was really well-done and great for getting geared up for the movie. It was pretty much exactly the promise of the theater — the Disney thing combined with the Great Movie House thing.

As for the movie itself: not bad. I’d been reading reviews panning it, and hearing people say they didn’t like it, but I don’t think it deserves the negativity. As far as movie-trilogy-franchise-building goes, it was suitably entertaining. And it worked all right as a movie in spite of being the Jan Brady of the trilogy — unlike The Two Towers (a better movie), Pirates had an arc to it.

What it needed was an editor. And a few more script revisions. In the first, stuff happened because it kind of made sense to happen. It was still as formulaic as a big Disney action franchise requires, but there was motivation for everything. The second just seems as if they threw everything they could think of up on the screen. I’m sure there was a thread through the whole thing that made it vaguely story-like, and I’ll bet that it was explained in one of the hundreds of lines of dialogue I couldn’t comprehend at all. Plus the thing could’ve stood to lose an hour or so.

Speaking of bad editing and meandering purposelessness, here’s a video I made from Hollywood Boulevard. I got myself a video camera for my birthday and was playing around with it and iMovie. But if you’re into that kind of thing, the internet makes it possible. Let me reiterate that this is a home movie, so don’t watch it expecting something interesting to happen.