Welcome to my blog, there will be nothing but movie reviews and film related content here. I try and review a wide variety of films, from old to new, and throw in film reviews from the current year as well. All comments are appreciated here, I will reply as soon as possible, and feel free to follow!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - 2011

Even though I was about to fall asleep throughout the whole film, I could not help but think about critic Pete Hammond and laugh, "perhaps the best Pirates of the all". You have to love any critic who will compliment a film just to get his name on posters! But yeah, On Stranger Tides was not complete and total trash, and it did have its moments of pure entertainment, and it was funny at times, but Rob Marshall is the director and no, the film was not good, marking its place as the worst pirates of them all.

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), again, is in trouble and trying to escape from the authorities, while in need of a ship. He finds this ship when a woman from his past (Penelope Cruz) is disguised as him searching for a crew. Jack unknowingly joins her crew on the very ship that so happens to be Black Beard's (Ian McShane), searching for the Fountain of Youth. As Always, Jack has the information needed in order to get there, and he finds himself on another adventure to save his life.

While watching On Stranger Tides at midnight and later, I found myself checking my phone to see what time it is, just hoping and waiting for this film to end. I did not want to see it in the first place, and unfortunately it did not disappoint, it was just as bad, or worse, than I was expecting. I have read that Rob Marshall and the film making crew were trying to make a lighter feel to the franchise, going back to the way it originally was in the first film, which was clearly the finest. And after the first fifteen minutes of On Stranger Tides I did get this feeling, and I saw a bit of light, thinking that the film actually might be decent. However, it was not to be, On Stranger Tides quickly jumped into cheesy action sequences that never stopped. It seemed to me, through Rob Marshall's absolutely terrible direction, On Stranger Tide did not know whether to be light and silly, or an actual serious film with a plot. I don't know what Rob Marshall thought he was doing from scene to scene, pitifully crafted and not ver well thought out, but whatever his plan was sitting in that chair, it did not work.

The writing, well I admit it was not as bad a the direction, but it still deeply suffered. The script was alright, it was not dreadful and it certainly could have been worse, but my main problem is it's the same script from the previous three films. Jack pulls the all too familiar lines as he always does, and for some strange reason to me, people laugh. I admit it was funny the first time, but nothing at all is new here. If you are going to try and make a new film, especially a fourth, you have to come back with new material that is fresh and can give the audience a good laugh that they have not already had. The film is jumbled together with a plot that just does not work, it is as simple as that.

However, as with the other three films, there is one thing that is sure to be good about the film, the acting. I enjoyed most all of the performances, I have never been one to love Penelope Cruz, but she was funny, even if I couldn't understand what she was saying half the time. Johnny Depp is always a pleasure to watch, but I will say he might not be if they make a fifth film. Geoffrey Rush was great, but honestly I don't feel like praising him since he was great in the other films too. Ian McShane was a nice addition, and he did a surprisingly good job. Though what I think will make most viewers turn away unhappy, is the loss of both the characters Will and Elizabeth.

The visuals were decent, but not as good as I hoped. I was expecting at least one other thing to lift the film up more, but no. They were just alright, not anything special, and at times felt a little fake to me. Such as the sequence when we first see the Fountain of Youth. I was not like "WOW! That's fantastic!" More down the lines of "Hmmm that's alright". I am sure plenty of people will disagree with my thoughts on the visuals, but that is what I saw in the film, and hey, I was really tired and bored.

Overall, On Stranger Tides suffers from Rob Marshall's disaster of direction, a bad screenplay, and what is ultimately worse, just an all in all bad story eliminating some of the franchises most beloved characters (well by the audience anyway). I can ay there were entertaining moments, but the film did not work. It should not have ever been made, it was made, and it was therefore not a good film.

Story: 4/10
Writing: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Direction: 2/10
Visuals: 5/10



  1. nice review. I do agree with you on most of your points. I feel the sequel is a little uncalled far even though the previous film left us with the fact there will be another. The film was bearable but my score would be a little higher than yours. What was good to see is not so many pretty visuals.

  2. Haha not pretty visuals was a good thing? that is what I thought would have made the film so much better! Oh well, glad you liked it more than I did. Thanks for reading!

  3. Well summed up. It wasn't bad but the franchise has been stretched to it's limit and it really shows here.
    A critic calling this 'the best one yet' is pushing things though isn't it! I enjoyed it as mindless entertainment but it didn't grab my attention either.

  4. I won't be able to add my own thoughts until I see it for myself, but I'll just say that I definitely won't be missing the characters of Will or Elizabeth - their story was tired and done!
    Nicely written review though :)

  5. I would have liked to have seen it but Matt you have made your point so i will skip it.

    Nice work for another 3D waste of time.

  6. Haven't seen the film, so no comment on the rating or your points, but, I will say this: Why does Hollywood feel the need to make any sequel, prequel or remake that they feel might earn them even the slightest monetary profit? When does Hollywood finally close the chapter on a particular movie franchise and say "Well, it was a good film, but it's over"? I fear the answer is never, and thus we'll all be subject to a countless number of crappy sequels, that will only help to ruin our love for the original film. Good review though Matt. My wife, like most women, is in love with Johnny Depp, so I won't be surprised to find myself being dragged to see this one.

  7. Brent - Well i'm glad some could enjoy it more than me. Thanks for reading!

    Ruth - That is true, and thanks!

    Jesse - I did not watch 3D, I honestly don't even think it should exist. Thanks Jesse!

    Movieman - Thanks for reading, and yeah, sequels are getting really old...

  8. I laughed just after reading your very first line!!! It set up the rest of your review quite nicely! I couldn't really agree more! I found myself bored throughout the film too. Upset that I went to the midnight preview and now had to stay awake through 230am just to finish it! haha

    Great review Matt!!

  9. Haha glad you agree. Thanks Scarlet!

  10. Agent CarmichaelJuly 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    I think your rating is a little worse than it should be simply because you saw it at midnight and you were skeptical about it to begin with. The story was good, much better than the 2nd and 3rd, and the acting was very good, especially McShane. I agree with Ruth, the loss of Will and Elizabeth was a relief, their story was done. Most of the action scenes were a little corny, but i believed still entertaining. Anyways love the site, keep the reviews coming!

    p.s. i don't know you, or your family, or girlfriend, or where you live. (muahaha)

  11. Agent Carmichael? Really? Well if i'm being honest I thought I was generous ;)