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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
BLU-RAY disk
10.26.2011 By: Stephanie Cooke
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides order download
Director:
Rob Marshall

Actors:
Johnny Depp
Penelope Cruz
Ian McShane

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
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.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
In the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film to be released minus one Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner, we join Captain Jack Sparrow in his first solo adventure. To be fair, in the first three films, Captain Jack stole away the show for the most part anyways, but this the first official film that revolves around him. No PotC movie could be fully complete without Jack having a few sidekicks, so this time around he’s joined by some familiar faces (Barbossa and Gibbs) but mostly a whole lot of new faces like Angelica Teach (Penelope Cruz) and Blackbeard (the brilliant Ian McShane).

While I really generally love the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise as a whole, it hasn’t stopped me from thinking to myself that each of these movies tends to run a little on the long side (this installment is 136 minutes long). ON STRANGER TIDES has quite a few intertwining storylines all running throughout the movie. I enjoyed the idea behind the story, with everyone racing to find the Fountain of Youth and especially enjoyed the addition of mermaids (Philip and Syrena’s storyline might’ve been my favourite part of the film).

I felt like after all was said and done though, the movie was missing a whole lot (zombies not being one of those things…). I think it was due to the fact that there was way too much Captain Jack and Angelica Teach and not nearly enough Blackbeard. Disney went out of their way to get one of the best actors of our time, Ian McShane, for a role in the film as the iconic and notorious pirate and gave him hardly any screen time. Same thing for Geoffrey Rush… as an established character in the PIRATES franchise, I felt like Barbossa should’ve been in the film more. Captain Jack is fun and all, but I felt like his antics weren’t quite enough to carry the whole film.
THE EXTRAS
Disney Second Screen: I wasn’t really sure what this feature was, so I looked it up and this is what Disney says about this feature: Disney Second Screen is an app that allows your iPad™ or laptop computer to interact with your Blu-ray™ movie. Simply start the movie on your Blu-ray player, and then sync Disney Second Screen to the film automatically by following the easy onscreen instructions. Once connected, you can explore interactive galleries, play challenges, and learn interesting facts about the scenes you’re watching.

Bloopers of the Caribbean: This set of bloopers was more or less a glorified laugh track, there weren’t any real “bloopers”, just mostly people not being able to keep straight faces as they tried to deliver their lines.

LEGO Animated Shorts: Captain Jack’s Brick Tales: These are the “absolute 100% true tales of Captain Jack Sparrow… trust us we’re pirates” Lego episodes. These are fun but a bit silly. I would’ve much rather have watched these in context with a Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean video game, but this special feature will definitely be a hit for young fans of Captain Jack and the Pirates series.

Audio Commentary by director Rob Marshall
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN remains a fun franchise to watch and I enjoyed the whole new adventure, but it still felt like the film was trying to include too many things in it. Zombies, mermaids, imperial shenanigans, female pirates, mutiny… It was almost like they were like “What else can we add in?!”. I know that the PIRATES movies aren’t exactly known for their realism, but for a lot of the movie, I felt like things were just thrown in without cause or reason and seemingly just for the sake of having them in the film.

And like all the PotC movies before this one, ON STRANGER TIDES doesn’t really have any definitive conclusion to it and leaves things wide open for the fifth installment.
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