Friday, May 27, 2011


Directed by Rob Marshall

Johnny Depp - Jack Sparrow
Penelope Cruz - Angelica Malon
Geoffrey Rush - Barbossa

     Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past (Cruz), and he's not sure if it's love -- or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.

      I'm not going to say that I love the Pirates movies, but I do like them a lot. The first one I found runs a little to slow most of the time and the third one is disjointed too much by putting to much plot in which could have been put into another whole movie. The second movie, Dead Man's Chest, is my favorite of the whole series due to all the characters flaws, as everyones real personalities come out. Plus the Kraken was just awesome! So now we have a whole new batch of movies starting up with this one and we get to see if they can live up to the others.

     Depp's Jack Sparrow has always been the center of the films and that hasn't changed with this one. In fact without Bloom and Knightley in the mix, the film is more concise due to this as it focuses almost all the attention  on Depp, as well as  Rush's character Barbossa, which is the way the other three movies should have been. Sparrow is still the lovable rouge, which should not be changed no matter what and Barbossa is still the pirate that will do anything to get what he wants. Yet it's Ian McShane's Blackbeard that draws the most attention among the three captains in the movie to me. He just commands your attention whenever he shows up, never raising his voice, but still his posture tells his mood, as well the inflection in the way he speaks. I would have loved to see more Blackbeard in other movies yet that won't happen (spoiler ahead) due to he dies toward the end of the film. Cruz's Angelica will thankfully make a decent rival for Sparrow in upcoming films as she's just as fierce as Backbeard and cunning as Sparrow.

     While the first three films had a sense of happy mischief for most of the films, this one starts out this way but changes quickly to one of  menacing and unease. Most of this is due to Blackbeard, yet also Angelica, who is always trying to stay a step ahead of Sparrow which plays more like a deadly game of chess in parts. One of the complaints about the movie is that to many things happen at random and out of nowhere. To me that only happened twice. Once when  Sparrow's father, Captain Teague, again played by Kieth Richards, shows up at just a little to perfect timing, though he truly gets the plot rolling and then when the Spaniards show up at the fountain. Another problem I had with the story is the throw away side story of the missionary man who falls in love with the mermaid. I didn't have no problem with it until the end when the script just left the plot thread dangling and didn't finish it up. I guess they thought the story needed a romance in it.

      While On Stranger Tides isn't a bad film, it doesn't quite hit the mark in spots thanks to the story as there are amazing scenes in the film yet at the same time they don't all connect together correctly. Yet the film has a nice visual style that is different from the previous films. One such scene is when you see Blackbeard for the first time. It's just a shocking image seeing McShane's character all hirsute, with the ends of his beard burning at different parts and smoking, with his eyes almost glowing while his face sits mostly in shadow. On Stranger Tides seems to move much better than most of the original three movies and has just as much humor, even though it's more gallows now, which I love. Most people will see this as the weakest entry in the series, but to me it's a welcome addition to it that takes the characters to different places while exploring Sparrow's past a little bit thanks to the introduction of Angelica.

     Brain surgery by stalactite.

     You know that feeling you get when you're standing in a high place... sudden urge to jump?... I don't have it.

      This film is loosely based on the 1988 pirate novel 'On Stranger Tides', by Tim Powers.

     Penelope Cruz was pregnant during the filming of the movie.

     Johnny Depp said he agreed to star in this, before "there was a script or anything".

     As in the movie, the real Blackbeard never actually killed anyone by his own hands he captured.

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