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Best Bets: Sail the seven seas with 'Pirates! Band of Misfits'

Want to sail the seven seas with some humorous pirates? Travel the streets of 19th-century Baltimore with Edgar Allan Poe? Catch up on this year's best-picture winner from the comfort of your own couch? There's a little bit of everything this week. Here's our look at the week ahead in entertainment.


The pirates are coming! No, not the Pirates of the Caribbean. The sailors of "Pirates! Band of Misfits" are animated characters created in that "Wallace & Gromit" stop-motion style that you either hate or love. Hugh Grant voices their hapless captain, with Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven also chiming in. If you've seen the preview, you may remember the scene where Grant's pirate boards a leper boat, only to be horrified when limbs start falling off. That scene was changed after British organization Lepra Health in Action complained, but really, we don't think the film will miss one joke. The Hollywood Reporter is already calling it "a delightful romp whose varied pleasures should please kids all along the age spectrum." (Opens April 27.)

"The Five-Year Engagement" looks to be a bouquet above your typical wedding comedy. With Judd Apatow producing, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt starring, and a reunion of director Nicholas Stoller with "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" star Segel, we have high hopes this will be a marriage of more than convenience. (Opens April 27.)

We all know Edgar Allan Poe was a talented writer and poet, but a detective? Yeah, "The Raven" takes some liberties. John Cusack plays Poe near the end of his life, and the film has him turning sleuth to investigate murders that mimic those in his stories. (Opens April 27.)


Other than "Saturday Night Live" and news programs, TV rarely goes out over the air live, and it's always a fun little treat when it does. Will someone mess up their lines? Start laughing and be unable to stop? "30 Rock" will air its second-ever live episode this week, playing off the plotline that "The Girlie Show" will now be pretaped. Both the East and West Coast performances will be live for twice the what-could-happen fun. (April 26, 8:30 p.m., NBC.)

DVD and Blu-ray

"The Artist" enchanted the Oscars, winning best picture, actor for star Jean Dujardin, best director for Michel Hazanavicius, best costume design and best original score. It also shook up moviegoers, with its black-and-white look and almost all-silent presentation. Now it's available on home video, so you can check out for yourself if it was deserving of all the hype. It's a sweet, uplifting picture, sound or no sound. (Out on DVD and Blu-ray April 24.)

Need a creepy scare? "The Innkeepers" focuses on the final days of a supposedly haunted New England inn. Two employees decide to take their last chance to explore its secrets and find out whether the legends are true. BAD IDEA. But good movie! The New Yorker praised the film, saying, "Writer and director Ti West freshens up the horror genre with a distinctive, careful camera style and an ability to write with empathy and humor." Also, horror movies are always best at home, where only your spouse and kids can hear you scream. (Out on DVD and Blu-ray April 24.)

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