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May 26, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides (2011) --- "The Strangest Tide We Have Been On So Far..."

Plot Summary
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.
- Written by Walt Disney Pictures 


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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC): On Stranger Tides does have a point to the story but it does suffer a bit. The plot was good but some of the plot lines or one-liners were not up to par in comparison to the first three installments. Perhaps it is because the writers borrowed far too much information and ideas from the novel, the pace and theme being far different from the POTC franchise. They failed to understand that what made The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) – and the following two films – great was the fact that the plot was simply, simple. Aside from all this, the film was still entertaining to watch and the theme was good; following a variety of people searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth.
     Another reason why it seemed this film was lacking in comparison to the previous three is because On Stranger Tides is not entirely a Jack Sparrow (Johnny DeppAlice in Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands) focused film. Here we have Blackbeard (Ian McShaneHercules, Kung Fu Panda) and his daughter Angelica (Penélope CruzBlow, Vanilla Sky), the Spanish led by The Spaniard (Óscar Jaenada The Shallows, The Cold Light of Day), the British led by Barbossa (Geoffrey RushBook Thief, The Kings Speech, Gods of Egypt), and more. Now the cast was fantastic but the script separated the cast, causing both to suffer due to characters with the best on-screen chemistry not being anywhere near each other. For example, Barbossa was barely with Jack Sparrow and Sparrow was rarely with his reliable friend Gibbs (Kevin McNally Johnny English, Valkyrie). Together the characters offer something –  humor, banter, and charm – that is reminiscent of old times, however, those moments are few and far in-between. This results in the movie dragging a bit in some places.
     Thank goodness some of the cast were able to breathe life into the film, even though they are primarily on their one throughout the movie. Disregard what the reviews say, Johnny Depp shtick as Jack Sparrow isn't getting old as his portrayal is still a delight to watch. Geoffrey Rush also shines as Jack's rival/friend Barbossa, and his quiet intentions resemble much of Sparrow’s from the earlier films. Penélope Cruz adds a layer of sexuality that Kiera Knightley (as Elizabeth Swann/Turner) failed to carry, probably due to her playing a women searching for independence and equality in a predominantly male world. Cruz plays a woman who embraces her sexuality as an independent woman. Director Rob Marshall was good at motivating the cast to deliver good performances but it is clear that he wasn’t the perfect man for the job. 
     Overall, On Stranger Tides is not perfect. There were moments of clichés and the story was a bit rickety in some places, there were some redeeming qualities. I believe each person must decide for themselves what part(s) is (are) redeeming enough for this film to be included in the POTC franchise. I for one believe that if they did not use a lot of ideas and themes from the novel but rather stay true to the previous three films then it would have made for an even better film. Despite these complaints, On Stranger Tides is a worthy installment. The production (Wyatt Smith and David Brenner) values are impeccable, the cinematography (Dariusz Wolski) is skillful, the costumes, sets and period recreation is authentic (John Myhre), the effects are superb, and the music score (Hans Zimmer) was rousing and brought some much-needed energy. Director Rob Marshall does better than expected and the film is livelier in pace than Dead Man's Chest (2006) and At World's End (2007).

“You know the feeling you get when standing in a high place, the sudden urge to jump... I don’t have it.”
- Jack Sparrow

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.8 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  3.8 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides (2011).

Movies Similar 
Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
National Treasure (2004)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
Pan (2015)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Sahara (2005)

Cast & Crew
 Directed by: Rob Marshall
Writing Credits:

(Screenplay & Screen Story) Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio.

(Novel) Tim Powers.

Produced by 

Jerry Bruckheimer         ---      producer
John DeLuca                  ---      executive producer
Ted Elliott                       ---      executive producer
Chad Oman                    ---      executive producer
Pat Sandston                  ---      associate producer
Melissa Reid                   ---      associate producer

Terry Rossio                   ---      executive producer
Barry H. Waldman         ---      executive producer

Mike Stenson                 ---      executive producer
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski
Film Editing by Wyatt Smith and David Brenner
Production Design by John Myhre

Johnny Depp                                 ---        Jack Sparrow

Penélope Cruz                              ---        Angelica

Geoffrey Rush                              ---        Barbossa

Ian McShane                                 ---        Blackbeard

Kevin McNally                              ---        Gibbs

Sam Claflin                                    ---        Philip

Astrid Bergès-Frisbey                ---        Syrena

Stephen Graham                          ---        Scrum

Keith Richards                             ---        Captain Teague

Richard Griffiths                         ---        King George

Jonny Rees                                    ---        Groves

Damian O'Hare                            ---        Gillette

Óscar Jaenada                              ---        The Spaniard

Anton Lesser                                 ---        Lord John Carteret

Roger Allam                                  ---        Prime Minister Henry Pelham

Judi Dench                                    ---        Society Lady

Christopher Fairbank                ---        Ezekiel

Richard Thomson                        ---        Derrick

Yuki Matsuzaki                            ---        Garheng

Steve Evets                                    ---        Purser

Ian Mercer                                     ---        Quartermaster

Deobia Oparei                              ---        Gunner

Gemma Ward                               ---        Tamara - First Mermaid

Sebastian Armesto                      ---        King Ferdinand

Alan J. Utley-Moore                   ---        Justice Smith

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