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.

On Stranger Tides Full Length Trailer!

You’ve been waiting for it, so here it is! The preview for next year’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides:

It looks interesting, to be sure. And I wonder at the clear elements I see from the book (Fountain of Youth, Zombies) balanced against the clearly non-book parts (mermaids, the entire cast except for Blackbeard). Don’t get me wrong, I hope they make the best movie they can, regardless of which side of the “true to the book” spectrum that means. I’m just eager to see what that balance turns out to be. Sadly, you know what I’m not eager to see? PENELOPE CRUZ. Seriously, I look at this movie and I don’t see Johnny Depp and Ian McShane, I see Jack Sparrow and Blackbeard. But with Cruz I see the same feisty latina I see in virtually every movie she’s in. These movies have always been character driven, and I don’t see a character when I look at Cruz, I just see an A-list fifth wheel thrown in for no good reason. I’ll gladly eat crow should I be wrong and ‘Angelica’ turns out to be a bundle of pirate awesome, but right now she just makes me sad and cranky.

Also interesting in this preview were the two unnamed fresh-faced youngsters – the guy and the girl (I think she was behind bars.) Could this mean some elements of Jack Shandy and Beth Hurwood will find their way into the film afterall, I wonder?

Here we go again…

It happened time and again with Pirates of the Caribbean 3. During development, Keith Richards made headlines for his pending role as Jack Sparrow’s father. Then he made headlines when the role turned out to be just a rumor. Then again when the rumors turned out to be true. Back and forth, back and forth, lots of gossip with no actual news.

Well, guess what? Headlines have been made again during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides, once again suggesting that Keith Richards will return. I found this dubious, since Disney had pulled him from promoting PotC3 after he publicly suggested he’d mixed up his father’s ashes with cocaine and snorted them. Those were the rumors, anyways. So you’ll understand why I found his return to be less than likely. And so now I find myself utterly not-surprised at the latest headline:

Keith Richards Role Cut from Pirates of the Caribbean 4 for Drug Use?

Shock!!! But don’t worry, Captain Teague fans – I’m sure we’re in for a ping-pong match regarding Keith Richards’ participation (or lack thereof) in this latest PotC installment. The only thing not in question is his history of drug use, so perhaps Disney should just make its peace with that one way or the other.

Armada of the Damned No More

It would seem a typical Disney move to cancel the development of an awesome looking pirate game scheduled to release right in the middle of the pirate fever presumed to follow Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Thank god I sold my stock in these hosers.

Disney cancels Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned; Propaganda suffers layoffs

On the bright side, perhaps it’s a good sign. Curse of the Black Pearl was by far the best of the trilogy, and it was accompanied by a Disney that was afraid to market, merchandise, or monopolize on it in any way. Maybe if the suits at Disney are again feeling standoffish about pirates, it means the creative forces behind Stranger Tides will be free to do things right. Or maybe it just means we’re all being deprived a killer pirate video game.

PotC 4 Pix

So the last couple of days, all sorts of images from the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, have found their way online. Perhaps most famous currently is this one of Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in costume and strolling along the beach:

Call me a cynic, but this shot of Angelica really dissappoints me. Continue reading

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Teaser

So for those of us unlucky and unable to attend Comic-Con, below is the teaser that was just released in which Jack Sparrow talks up Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Fun, but don’t expect any real substance – it’s just a teaser, after all.

Oh, and for those of you lucky and ABLE to attend Comic-Con, I expect one of my dear fans to snag me a Guybrush Threepwood Voodoo Doll!!!

New Orleans, yer breakin’ me heart…

So word has leaked that PotC4 will include a scene in ‘old’ New Orleans, and now the current New Orleans is all sad because it won’t be filmed on location. Which I can see might be a bummer, but as I recall, thousands of pirates flood the French Quarter every year for things like PyrateConPyrate Week, and Shore Leave – some of whom even look a smack like Jack Sparrow. What’s the matter, NOLA? We not good enough for you anymore because we’re not big Hollywood celebrities? Or perhaps we never were good enough to start with, and you were just toying with our emotions for your own sadistic pleasure. That will teach me to trust a town famous for whores and voodoo.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ spokesman lets the wind out of the sails of New Orleans fans

Ah, who am I kidding, I can’t stay mad at New Orleans. Does this make me an enabler? Yes, yes it does.