Review: Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
In 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl came to theaters. It was, far, far better than we had any right to expect, and pirate fever soon struck the world. Any movie based on an amusement park ride (no matter how well loved) is almost certain to be one-dimensional, half-assed, and forgettable, and yet we got a piece of genius that redefined a generation or more’s view of pirates. That’s the good news. The bad news is that with 2011’s On Stranger Tides, we finally got the pirate movie we probably should have gotten in the first place: one-dimensional, half-assed, and forgettable.

Now, that last statement is bound to ruffle some, and I’m not saying On Stranger Tides was a bad movie exactly. It was just dull. Predictable, dull, and more of a cartoon than a live action adventure. It was only truely bad when considering the talent onhand, and comparing it to what this movie *could* have been. Continue reading

PotC4 SuperbOwl Commercial

Because it’s not just any owl, it’s a SUPERB owl, here’s the latest from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Mostly the same stuff we’ve seen in earlier trailers/teasers, but a little bit of new material here and there. I think it’s getting clear that the Jack Shandy/Beth Hurwood story arc from the book is on some level finding its way onscreen, although anyone looking for a loyal adaptation had best make their peace now.

As for me, I need to come to terms with the fact that Penelope Cruz still seems to have no role in this movie. The trailer has her belting out only a single cliché (“Steady as she goes!”) and magazines still describe her character simply as “fiesty.” I hope to be gravely mistaken, but thus far it looks like Angelica Beard (Blackbeard’s daughter) will be little more than a tag-along in this film.

Some Clarification on the Powers/Disney Connection

Surprised author Tim Powers finds himself setting sail with ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ [Updated] | Hero Complex | Los Angeles Times.

So this article confirms that to one extent or other, PotC4 does look to be based on the Tim Powers book On Stranger Tides. Powers’ attitude? Much more realistic and healthy than my own, as I still cringe to see a single on of Powers’ characters usurped by Barbossa or Sparrow. But as some readers pointed out, you can’t judge a movie until you see the movie, which is true. 

I still find Disney’s need to harvest pre-existing texts as a bad sign – it could well mean they’re looking for a short-cut fix to not having any story ideas of their own. OR, maybe they’ll spin gold out of it – I’ve certainly been wrong before.

It’s Official: Disney is Creatively Bankrupt

Locus Online News: Powers Novel Optioned for New Pirates of the Carribean Movie.

Yup, so it now seems that PotC4 “On Stranger Tides” is indeed going to be based on the Tim Powers novel, and not simply sharing the title. Which I think entirely sucks – On Stranger Tides is a very specific story utilizing a very specific set of characters, none of whom strike me as a shoe-in to be replaced by Jack Sparrow. Plus, if Disney has to start the planning phase of this fourth film by bastardizing a prexisting work, I just don’t see how it indicates they have the creative fortitude to do make for a decent end product.

Of course, all this might change anyways since Johnny Depp is hinting that he might not be up for a fourth film anyways, so maybe it’s a moot point.