Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

I have to take a moment and applaud at my first marathon which I did totally like a marathon because there was no other movie reviews in between ūüėČ Except for between the 1st and 2nd movie of course. ¬†Next movie and most up to date Pirates movie is Pirate of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. ¬†In this one, a lot of the old cast is not there anymore, however, in At World’s End, we did get a snapshot of what they are after in this one.

poc 4 posterDirector: Rob Marshall

Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Ian  McShane, Penelope Cruz, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Astrid Berges-Frisbey

In continuation of At World’s End, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) ends up in London to save Mr. Gibbs (Kevin McNally) from hanging to find that he is not stuck in the presence of King George (Richard Griffiths) who has hired Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to find the Fountain of Youth. ¬†However, as he now has the map, they need his help. ¬†After his narrow escape, he sees his father, Captain Teague (Keith Richards) who leads him to where the rumors have started that he is searching for a crew and he reunites with the imposter, an old flame Angelica (Penelope Cruz). ¬†Not sure if Angelica is being an exceptional con artist or truly bitter about being abandoned, he lands himself unexpectedly on ship¬†Queen Anne`s Revenge, which is the terrifying and deadly Blackbeard`s ¬†(Ian McShane) ship. ¬†They now need to not only find the Fountain of Youth but before that, find certain items to fulfill their quest. With Barbossa and also the Spaniards on the chase, they need to outrun each other and Sparrow needs to come up with another plan to staying alive.

At this point in the series I really hoped that it could keep up with the series before. This isn’t a bad one, it feels just a bit empty. The first time ever that I watched this was about a year ago and I fell asleep maybe 30 minutes in. ¬†This time, I started feeling heavy eyelids at about an hour. ¬†I did tough it out and finished the whole thing as it picks up pace shortly after. ¬†The movie to me right now is a blur and its just the next day.

poc4 johnny depp penelope cruz¬†With Gore Verbinski no longer doing this one, we have a new style from Rob Marshall, especially since it seems he’s involved in musicals. ¬†¬†Looking at his directorial efforts, I’ve only really enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha. ¬†This one wasn’t too bad but you can see the changes, especially since even the cast has many swaps. ¬†However, Johnny Depp is still on as Captain Jack Sparrow. ¬†He is what defines this movie. ¬†In this one, we start looking more into his world and his life since we bring in his old lover, Angelica played by Penelope Cruz. ¬†I’m not much of a fan of Cruz. ¬†She’s just a pretty face in my book and never really excels in any of the roles I’ve seen her in but she was alright in this one. ¬†A lot more acceptable than I had expected.

poc4 gibbs sparrow

In this one, whats nice is that Mr. Gibbs played by Kevin McNally get a more important role from the start to finish. ¬†He’s always been around and about in the previous few and he always has a nice witty dialogues to counter Jack. ¬†Very enjoyable on screen. ¬†Giving him more parts adds to this one for sure. ¬†Plus, we continue to have Geoffrey Rush’s Captain Barbossa. ¬†Except in this one, he now runs with the King’s crew but still keeps that ruthless trait in him. ¬†Its an interesting change in events.

poc4 blackbeard

This time the big addition is our villain, Blackbeard played by Ian McShane. I wasn’t completely familiar with him before I searched him up but it seems that he’s actually done some pretty awesome roles in the past. ¬†Blackbeard was played okay. ¬†I never actually felt like anyone was in much danger even when this pirate was seriously evil with his zombiefied crew members and his rope manipulating sword. ¬†Maybe its because I know that Jack Sparrow always makes it out. At the same time, there weren’t all too many surprises and exciting moments.

poc4 syrena philip

There is one aspect that I liked and disliked at the same time. I haven’t really made up my mind yet. The mermaids were done really awesome. ¬†That whole scene where they enter the story and the whole scene following it was just amazing. ¬†The character of Syrena was also quite nice. ¬†Her story with the clergyman (??) Philip was a bit predictable and sappy but it was cute. ¬†Although, their acting were both somewhat lacking. ¬†However, they were no doubt the young and pretty faces for the movie and the blooming love story at the same time.

Overall, this isn’t a bad flick. ¬†It had its issues and it wasn’t as gripping or intense as the previous ones. ¬†The style was different and it was a bit slower. ¬†I felt it was a little unnecessary to have this followup (or any more but obviously I’m wrong because the 5th one is due in 2015) but at least we had an awesome mermaid scene to watch and it was done really well. ¬†There are pros and cons to this one and at times, it might even feel like it would never end but if you don’t go watch it with too many expectations, it has its entertaining parts and some redeeming features ūüėČ

Despite all this, I’m still looking forward to Pirates 5, according to IMDB it has a 2015 release date and two new directors. ¬†Who knows how that will go, but I’m staying hopeful! ūüôā

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

Moving along with the marathon, we arrive at the 3rd instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean with At World’s End. ¬†If you haven’t read my reviews on the first two, you can check it out HERE and HERE! I saw this one in theatres with my mom in Hong Kong back in 2007 when I was in Asia for the entire summer. ¬†Hong Kong had made its main promotion with Chow Yun-Fat‘s role as Sao Feng so my mom was interested as he was popular in her generation.

poc 3 posterDirector: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Tom Hollander, Chow Yun-Fat, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Rush, Naomie Harris

Dead Man’s Chest left us with a cliffhanger ending and this one picks up pretty much right after it. ¬†Out comes Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) leading the crew along with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris) in search of a new ship and help from Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat), a ruthless Chinese pirate, in order to save Captain Jack Sparrow (each for their own reasons) from Davy Jones Locker. With the “song” being sung, Sao Feng and Barbossa has to find Jack Sparrow in order to have their meeting for the Brethren Court at Shipwreck Cove, and at the same time, not fall for another game of deceit/betrayal set up or manipulated by others controlled by East India Company and Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) and as well as not fall prey to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and his Flying Dutchman.

poc 3 final showdown

At World’s End is somewhat hard to pinpoint as to whether I like it or not. ¬†For one, the movie itself is very long and the plot keeps switching and switching from one betrayal, to another deceit to something else. ¬†It seems like they wanted to wrap up the series desperately (but then they came out with On Stranger Tides which I will watch tonight probably). The plot becomes ¬†a bit more serious with a few scenes of more dumbed down humor compared to before. Jack Sparrow’s appearance is kept to be the same craziness but it has less wit than before. ¬†However, some characters did rise up to a better development.

(L-R) ORLANDO BLOOM, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

For one, Orlando Bloom is always charming but before, his goal was just always Elizabeth and Elizabeth and even more Elizabeth. ¬†This time, he’s got a brain of his own and his own agenda. ¬†This makes him have a totally and completely renewed (and attractive) vibe to his character making him the one I loved seeing on screen. ¬†Then, we have this whole fresh vibe between him and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth. ¬†On that same note, Elizabeth Swann really developed as well. She now has to tough up and face her choices with how things ended in Dead Man’s Chest and how to deal with the events to come in this one. ¬†Both of them was a joy to watch on screen ūüôā

poc 3 sao feng barbossa sparrow

Now lets look at the other tidbits! Chow Yun-Fat wasn’t on screen a whole lot (so much for the Hong Kong promotion, my mom felt cheated). ¬†He was alright though as he usually is. That little part didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. ¬†This movie had a lot of not very useful parts. ¬†Maybe because the plot was all over the place and sometimes I wasn’t really sure where everything or anything was going. ¬†On a side note, Davy Jones was still pretty awesome plus we saw more of Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma who is mysterious and dark so she adds a bit of darkness. ¬†Hmm…and the whole thing was very CGI, good or bad depends on the person ūüėČ I found it fitting, fun, thrilling.

At World’s End is still quite a thrilling adventure to watch however, what makes it lose its steam a bit is the mass amount of plot with so many characters brought back or added in with more screen time. ¬†What does help is that there are characters that develop and they bring on a different vibe to the whole story along with some darkness. ¬†Overall, its a decent movie for the Pirates series. ¬†I loved the first two and this one I occasionally watch as well, just because of the length I usually split it in various parts throughout the day or maybe two days. Not the best in the series but still enjoyable!

Reboot! Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Back in April, I posted up this review as a guest contributor over at Tyson`s Head in a Vice. ¬†However, as he has changed the direction of his blog and decided to take down that project. ¬†I have carried over the review over here! If you haven`t read this, then here is your chance! If you have read it, please had on over to Head in a Vice¬†because its an awesome blog! You will love every minute of it ūüôā

Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl poster

Director: Gore Verbinski
When a young boy Will is picked up by a government ship by Commissioner Swann and his crew, his daughter Elizabeth Swann hides the pirate golden coin around his neck to protect him.  Years later when they are older, Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) looks at this secret coin and chooses to wear it around her neck, which sends off an invisible signal to the pirate ship, Black Pearl and causes her to be kidnapped.  Amongst the chaos, Will (Orlando Bloom) teams up with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) who was left marooned on an abandoned island because of the captain of the Black Pearl and is on a quest to seek it as well.  On the Black Pearl, Elizabeth meets Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and learns that the crew is cursed because of their greed and this is why they need to get back the last coin to undo the curse.
pirates jack elizabeth
I love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. ¬†Its always fun and it has Johnny Depp in one of his best roles. ¬†He has some epic lines and he’s so happy-go-lucky and does some of the most surprising things. ¬†Bring in Orlando Bloom fresh out from after handsome Legolas from Lord of the Rings trilogy and one of my favorite actresses, Keira Knightley and you’ve got me deeply in love with this series. ¬†The fun factor gives me the opportunity to watch it over and over again. ¬†Its somewhat turned into an annual marathon event.
pirates barbossa
Although this one isn’t my favorite in this franchise, it does give a good start. ¬†We get to see everyone and how they are built in the characters they become. ¬†The characters in the most part are very witty and enjoyable. ¬†They have very catchy dialogue especially Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow and he matches it up with this awesome pirate accent. ¬†Its has a great balance between adventure and humor. On the other hand, it also brings in questions of honesty and integrity and how far you would go to get what you want.
The Curse of the Black Pearl sword fight
This review took me ages to write and its mostly because I loved it but I wasn’t really sure why I did and how to write it out. Its really fun, adventurous and funny. ¬†Although in my opinion, the second one is the funniest one (but I know people might disagree with me). ¬†However, this one really sets up the right path for the next one and that makes it total awesomeness. ¬†Along with a great cast and we’re on our way to a great flick! Props to Disney for this one and giving us an iconic character in Jack Sparrow! Definitely one that I’d recommend for a fun time.
Just a little additional update…
Back in April, I had wanted to initiate a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon but I didn’t get to it! Just a heads up that I’ll be doing it soon! I already popped in the Pirates 2 into my player already ūüôā Just need to get a few reviews thats been sitting around up and then we’re in business to finish this up!