Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011 - , 8 comments

Stranger Tides

In my youth, pirate movies along with westerns were nowhere to be seen. The people who were making films thought that they were passé. Film makers were more interested police dramas with car chases and space adventures with the odd spy movie thrown in for good measure.  (Same plots in a contemporary setting, but that's another story.)

Then the next generation came along, and they were nostalgic for westerns, and they started making them again. But no one was interested in making a pirate movie.  It was a dead genre.

But wait! There in the distance an unholy trio appeared as if out of the mist.  It was Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Johnny Depp making a movie, not based on "real events," a novel, or even a comic book, but ... a theme park ride?

Turns out that people (I) missed a bit of sword play, but was there anyone left in the film industry who knew any about it?  Well, they figured out all of the details and turned out The Curse of the Black Pearl.  That movie, in my humble opinion, is among the finest films ever made. In many ways it reminded me of Casablanca. There was high adventure, intrigue, exotic locale, great characters, comedy, with a dash of witty repartee, fantastic costumes, and sword fighting ... Mustn’t forget the sword play.  Something, if I may note, that was missing from Casablanca.

Naturally, it was wildly successful, so there had to be sequels. On Stranger Tides is the fourth film in the franchise.

On Stranger Tides has a tough act to follow. I have high expectations. The Curse of the Black Pearl was perfection, and the last sequel, At World's End, was pretty darn good. How will this latest outing stack up? 

I'm sorry to say that it left me wanting. To be fair, it wasn't a bad picture. I'd still recommend it. Great costumes, great sword fights, great chase scenes, but I thought that it lost some of its fun. The previous films in the franchise were hard to properly classify. This one I'd call straight Action/Adventure ... Even a well done Action/Adventure, but it didn't have the rare balance of so many elements.

If you want a good pirate film go see On Stranger Tides, but don't expect lightening in a bottle.
(3 ½)


I was hoping we'd get a full-fledged crazy Cap'n Jack story without sub-plots or distraction. Phooey.

Joy: It's not that it's a bad picture. Definitely worth seeing. I was listening to a couple of reviews last night on one of "those" shows, and they said that the first half was better when they were introducing new characters and stuff. I have to agree.

Sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone and go out on top. Continuing when the idea is past prime tarnishes the entire project. I loved the first 3 Lethal Weapon movies but the 4th one was a total flop (imho). The first 3 Die Hards were excellent, the 4th one was a joke. On Stranger Tides may not fir into the flop category, but from what I've heard, it does take some of the polish off the series.

Quilly: It's hard to keep from going to the well when they can make a boatload of cash. I can think of so many franchises that should have ended at the top. But of course, now I'm anxiously awaiting the final Harry Potter. :)

I am not a fan of this franchise.

Travis: Yes, it definitely could use more dancing. ;) And of course, real pirates are a despicable lot. Nothing romantic about them at all.

I adore Johnny Depp yet I have never seen any of the Pirate movies
I've caught moments on TV yet unless it was a close-up of Johnny I couldn't wait to tune it out
oh well or
arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh as they say ;)

Dianne: I really think that the original film really was best seen (esp the for the first time) in the theater where you could really be enveloped by the atmosphere of it all. It really would help with the "suspension of disbelief". But then again, that's why they make so many different kinds of movies because different people like different things. :)

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