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4.2 out of 5 stars
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides [DVD] (2011)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The film starts out with ominous music. An old sailor is discovered who was once on a ship that was looking for the Fountain of Youth...200 years ago! This sets off a frenzy to look for the Fountain. You would think without Orlando and Keira, the movie would be a bust. What I missed more than those two stars were the minor actors who played the crew. They were colorful characters who we have come to know. Alas, except for a few, they're gone. The action is the same: sword fights, impossible escapes, humorous dialouge, and unexpected turns. We get to meet Jack's father and Angelica Malon (Penélope Cruz) the later of which Jack supposedly deflowered right before she was getting ready to take her vowels in a Spanish convent. No surprise there.

Now in order to use the Fountain of Youth, there must be a ritual. We discover early on the ritual requires two silver chalices and a mermaid's tear. We also discover that the Black Pearl has been sunk and Hector is working for the crown. Through a series of events, Jack becomes Shanghaied on Black Beard's (Ian McShane) ship. We have 3 groups after the Fountain, the Spanish, the English who have Gibbs who has memorized the map, and Blackbeard. While Jack is in the hold, Angelica is Black Beard's first mate having convinced him she is his long lost daughter. As always in these movies everyone has their own ideas, desires, and shifting alliances.

The group must go on these quests to gather the items before going to the Fountain. (I see an RPG in the making.)

The silver chalices are not just any 2 silver chalices but the ones that belonged to Ponce De Leon.

The mermaids have the beauty and allure of a Siren, but when they attack they have super-human strength and vampire teeth, making their capture a bit tricky and deadly. I fell in love with the doll face of the first mermaid (Gemma Ward who actually plays a character called Dollface in "The Strangers".) I know this is a Disney movie and this should go without saying...The mermaids are indeed topless, but the camera angles, hair and arm placements prevent any kind of "R" view. There might be a parent or two concerned due to some of the photos that are out there.

One piece of dialouge:

Jack: "You lied to me by telling me the truth?"

Angelica: "Yes."

Jack: "That's very good. I'll have to use that."

Good View on the big screen. Lacks the ornate special effects of the other 3 movies as well as many of the characters. It appears they did this on less of a budget in order to get a larger net return. 4 1/2 stars.
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Let's face it, everyone goes to see the Pirates of the Caribbean movies for one reason - Captain Jack Sparrow. And that's why, if Disney was going to continue the franchise, it made sense to relaunch it focused more on Jack. And that's just what they've done with On Stranger Tides. It still doesn't quite recapture the magic of the first one, but it's fun.

On story opens in London where Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) is surprised to learn that he is outfitting a ship with a crew for a new voyage. Since Jack is currently without ship or crew, it's quite a shock. Confronting the imposter, he learns it is Angelica (Penelope Cruz), a fling from his past.

Next thing Jack knows, he's been shanghaied on the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the pirate all pirates fear, Blackbeard (Ian McShane). He is in search of the fabled fountain of youth and thinks Jack has a map. To complicate things, the Spanish have also launched an expedition to find it, and the British have enlisted Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to claim it first. Will any of these groups find the fountain?

Those hoping for lots of Captain Jack will be thrilled because this is his movie. The scenes without him are few and far between. Johnny Depp is in find form here and easily cares the move with his antics as the title character.

The movie feels like it has been pulled back from the wild excesses of the second and third in the series, which is a good thing. Those movies, while they had their moments, felt more like excuses for special effects held together by the thinnest of plots. Here, we actually get a coherent story again. I wouldn't say the characters are fully developed, but they work for the piece.

My only real gripe with the film is the pacing. It's over two hours, and it felt it. Actually, I feel like they could have easily cut out the Spanish without changing much at all in the film. A little more comedy might have helped as well.

While the special effects have been toned back, they are still present and very well done. I had no trouble buying anything I saw on the screen.

The rest of the cast has a challenge making themselves obvious opposite Johnny Depp, and they do a good job. In addition to Depp and Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally is also back as first mate Gibbs. I had a lot of fun watching the three of them on screen again. The new to the franchise cast brings their characters to life and make memorable contributions to the movie. I will say I missed Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner, but as the longer the movie went on, the less I even though about them.

In many ways, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a reboot of the franchise. If you haven't seen the others, there is little here that will confuse you. Yet if you are already a fan, you'll find yourself on another fun pirate ride.
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on 8 August 2012
If ever a series of films proved the theory of diminishing returns it is `The Pirates of the Caribbean'. Each film is steadily worse than the last, but number three was so poor that `On Stranger Tides' could not possibly be grimmer? The good news is that it is not worse; the bad news is that it's not much better. Johnny Depp returns as Captain Sparrow, or as he is better known, the only decent thing in the films. This means that Bloom and Knightly are gone, but rather than celebrate this fact, two cheaper actors are brought in to play similar roles. The rest of supporting cast fare a little better; Ian McShane is good as Blackbeard and I always like Kevin McNally turning up as Sparrow's crewman Gibbs.

With Depp wobbling all over the place it is not the acting that is the issue, but the script. It is nonsensical, meandering and meaningless. Professors from top universities would probably be confused as to exactly what is going on and like the rest of us they would find it hard to care. Plotlines have never seen the franchises biggest strength making up for a lack of intelligence by supplying bombastic action sequences.

Gore Verbinski directed the first three films and managed to hide many of the flaws with the action, new director Rob Marshall cannot. Marshall was nominated for the Best Director Oscar for `Chicago'. The film won its own Oscar and proved to be one of the biggest travesties in the Academy's history (and they have a lot of them). He is a journeyman director at best and his limitations in the areas of action are proven, only an early chase scene with horse and carriages stands out. Another problem is that the film is 3D in the cinema. Most people will watch this home version in 2D; therefore things poking out of the screen are a huge annoyance.

Poor direction and an insipid script makes `On Stranger Tides' equal worst film in the series. Depp and McShane try their hardest, but even top actors cannot varnish this particular barnacle.

Flawed as the film may be it should be seen on BluRay, even in 2D. The large sets and colourful costumes look great in HD. There is a plethora of featurettes available on the disc, but all are OTT PR pieces that don't delve into the truth of film making.
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on 29 December 2011
The problem with a pirate movie featuring only pirates is that there is no innocence to provide romance. Even when Will and Elizabeth became full fledged pirates in the earlier films, their hearts and motivations were still pretty pure, and their primary goal was still just to live "happily ever after". Their entanglement with pirates and even greater evils compelled the stories nicely. In this film we have a missionary and a mermaid to provide some innocence and romance, but their involvement is only peripheral. The result is a relative lack of tension in the plot, which for me was a bit of a let down.

HOWEVER, the entertainment element is as keen as ever in this installment. The special effects are marvellous (two thumbs up for the mermaids especially) and the choreography of the stunts increasingly impressive. Some choreography repeated from earlier films lets you believe that, yes, this is all "par for the course" for Jack Sparrow, and by the end of the film one could almost believe that he (or the prison dog) had indeed escaped from hostile islands by water skiing on sea turtles. Geofrey Rush made a point of giving more "maturity" to Captain Barbosa, Penelope Cruz is a credible pirate, Blackbeard is sufficiently evil and his super-super-natural ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, is really cool. The acting generally is as good or better than what we have come to expect from the Pirate series.

Johnny Depp is as wonderful as ever, but his character had no really challenging decisions to make, much less any development. I understand that he does not want to do anymore Pirate movies, and with this movie I can understand why.

My recommendation is to rent this movie first and then decide if you want to buy it. It may not have the romantic tension that I personally like, but it is Buster-Keaton-style entertainment and brilliantly filmed.
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on 2 July 2012
This one integrates the real pirate 'blackbeard' into the storyline. The real blackbeard was a very fearsome and bloody pirate who got his head cut off in battle with the british navy off the coast of america. He was a american pirate for sure , although americans were really mainly british at this time. But this version is a good one , he's a truly nasty piece of work and that's a good thing. THe plot is easier to understand than the third one too. The action is very good the story is acceptable. There hasn't been a bad pirates of the carribean movie yet though. People expect too much from sequels usually. THe first is always going to be the freshest. The 3d version is the one to get as that is how it was shown at the theaters. And it is a good showcase of 3d. I must say I am tired of getting dvd's and digital copies in my package though because it drives up the price. I don't NEED a dvd copy.. They are wasting money doing that. The blu ray looks stunning and the extras are nice. Obviously if you don't have a 3d tv then only need the standard blu ray. Either version looks stunning on disc and is worth owning if you like the series. This is a fun movie and the acting is as good as the other versions with penelope cruz doing a fine job as the lead actress. Get it if you like the series, it's got plenty of action and humour in it.
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on 11 October 2011
Erm, yea....!
I'm not sure what to say.
I actually enjoyed it, and I thought it was quite good, but it was a bit wet-mop-ish in places. Very slow to get going in my opinion, however that was one of the only parts where we saw the side of Jack the we all love.. his elaborate and cranky escape plans... So I did enjoy it, but wished it had gone a bit quicker..
It could have been racier in places, I think at times it didnt manage to get me excited and wrapped up in the film.
But I didnt miss the other charactors, and I liked the new ones, they were all quite fitting.
I think with P.O.T.C. you have to comletely leave your logic and sense behind, and just go with it.. otherwise you sit there the whole time sayin ''yeah right!!''. Its best enjoyed if you just give in to fantasy, and go with it!!

I will watch this again, its not going to be one of those films I've bought, watched, and never thought of again. It was good, and I had a few tears, and I was left craving the next film (I assume there will be one!?!)

So in summary, it's not a film I will rave about, and it was a bit unneccessarily lengthy for me, but I did enjoy it, and I will do next time I watch it too. And honestly, it's another installment of the brilliance of Cptn Jack Sparrow. What more do we need??
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I bought this DVD as I have recently purchased a 3D TV. Having reviewed 3D titles on the internet, it is fair to say there are not that many to choose from. Hence why this one seemed a good buy.

I have to say at the outset that I am not a particular fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. However, I thought the story on this occasion was good. Johnny Depp reprises his role as Jack Sparrow, along with several other actors from the previous films. There was a notable exception - Kiera Knightly. Without giving too much away, Jack Sparrow goes in search of the Fountain of Youth, and along the way seems to have one mishap after another! The film is part action and part comedy.

The 3D special effects were good - lots of things coming towards you and literally jumping out on to the screen. It was worth it just for these alone.

As I have said, 3D films are very few and far between, so the cost can be prohibitive. At £17, these types of films are much more expensive than the traditional 2D - albeit you do get a bonus DVD in this collection which allows you to transfer the film on to your computer or iPad.

Strongly Recommended.
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on 28 September 2011
I was brought this film as a gift and had eagerly anticipated its release on 3D Blu-Ray as I didn't get to see it in the cinema. I wasn't disappointed with the film, the story was enjoyable and funny like the rest of the films and it was in my view a significant improvement on the storyline of the the third film. However, the 3D was very understated apart from a few scenes here and there, this wasn't helped by the aspect ratio which is just 2.40:1 which means it is letterbox format leaving black borders at the top and bottom of the screen. If the ratio was higher allowing the film to fill the screen then maybe the 3D would have been more impressive but as it is its pretty disappointing especially when you consider how good other Disney 3D films are such as Tangled and Tron Legacy. Still I would say its worth buying and if you have a 3D TV it is still worth getting the 3D version as although it wasn't amazing it did add to the viewing experience.
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on 21 November 2011
I really looked forward to see this movie with new adventures of Jack Sparrow and his pirates, I was unsure of director Rob Marshall, just know him from the musical Chicago, but he did a good product with this. But just to say it, I could take the right feelings - oh yes, much for the money, I don`t regret for buying the DVD, here is much fun the first part, but out on the sea with wind in the sails, it all slow down. On shore it`s very lively, the plot is okay, the visually pictures is marvelous, special effects very good, og all is going round with breaknecking stunts. But I thought Johnny Depp looked a bit tired, I really liked Ian McShane as Blackbeard, he mede the nerve and the exitement and evil into the story. A tear from a mermaid, and they seems to be vampires from the deep. Effective entertainment, great adventure - but there is a but... I will give the movie 7 out out 10, no more...
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on 15 January 2012
Honestly, I thought that this film would be nothing but slapstick with a vague undertone of storyline. However, a whole new storyline arose and it was fairly intense and dark. I was happy to see this because it feels like the writers have given it their all once again. It shows that Captain Jack still has a heck of a lot to endure, despite all that he's already been through. His past, once again, has caught up with him, and he finds himself on another adventure that is sure to carry on for another couple of films.
I loved the mermaids in this. I think that they were well written and very unusual and interesting. One in particular definitely added to the storyline.
Overall, I am so pleased that this film wasn't a half effort and that the writers managed to create an original story based on real legend. I'm looking forward to the next one :3
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