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Review: Pirates of the Caribbeans: On Stranger Tides

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  • Review: Pirates of the Caribbeans: On Stranger Tides

    I went on opening night. Had to buy tickets on Fandango to avoid getting to the line at the theater just to see it sold out. A movie ticket now is $12 plus a "fee" of $1.25 for Fandango.

    Anyways...the movie was entertaining. It was certainly better than the 2nd or the 3rd movie. However, Johnny Depp's character did not feel like someone who carried the movie. He almost felt like an afterthought with a few snappy lines. That has nothing to do with the direction or the actor. The writing for his character was weak at best.

    Geoffrey Rush's Capt. Barbosa was good. He was the Ahab in this movie who had to have his revenge. He was strong when needed and otherwise faded to the background to let the main characters talk.

    Blackbeard felt like a much stronger character than Jack Sparrow. He was the villain, but not in the way of someone hunting for the main character throughout the movie. He was there to drive Jack to do something he really didn't care for.

    Penelope Cruz was meh... I thought Kira Knightly had a better character, in the first movie at least. Then again the first movie was a classic. It was a simple movie with strong characters that flowed and a cast of timely comic reliefs. These timely and supportive background characters were lacking in this movie.

    Now to the special effects and make up. This is the area where this movie shines. The 2nd and 3rd movie had too many special effects. All the characters had fish heads and bizarre faces that distracted the audience. What did that octopus-head just say? I don't know. I was busy watching his tentacles flailing about like a cat's tail.

    The over the top special effects were dialed back in this movie. There were good effects, but not distracting effects. The sword fights happened because they happened, rather than "let's have a 45 minute long sword fight because we want to keep the choreographers employed."

    The makeup for the characters were good. Just about everyone had powdered faces, pock marked faces, or both, as the norm for the period. People had yellow and crooked teeth, as the norm for the period. They were dirty. The streets were dirt streets. The pub was cramped, dim, dirty, and full of people who have not showered since birth.

    The major weakness in this movie, in my opinion, was how it felt like like a series of distinct action sequences instead of one scene flows into another. The best example of such a movie (flowing) was True Lies. I remember noticing how we totally forgot about the terrorists until they burst into the hotel suite where Ahnold was enjoying a poll dance by Jamie Lee Curtis.

    Overall, I enjoyed this movie, certainly more so than the previous 2 Pirates. Jack Sparrow should have been a stronger character. Barbossa was great. Makeup was outstanding. I would give it a 7 out of 10.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.