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Nordling Says PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES Swabs The Poop Deck!

Nordling here.

These kinds of reviews are the most difficult to write.  When it comes to a great movie, the words flow like a river.  Same with really lousy films - it's easy when your dander is up and you want to take it out on the movie a little bit.  But movies that just sit there, without any kind of care behind them (at least, that's the perception), a paint-by-numbers film - those aren't easy to write about.  If the filmmakers didn't care enough to go beyond the call of duty and make something of quality (or at least competence), why should I care enough to write something about their film?

Beaks, and other reviewers around the Internet, seem righteously angry at PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, and I understand their position.  I can even agree with it.  But for me, it's somehow worse to see something so devoid of ambition, so workmanlike, and watching it you know this film's an accountant's wet dream and you can see the money rolling in.

I've never been a huge fan of the PIRATES movies.  I think the first one's good, and could have been great with some selective editing.  The second and third are simply too much.  I have no problem with films that have ambition, but it's a nonstop assault in those two films.  I don't hate them - I think Davy Jones is a terrifically realized character, at least until the third film - but I feel no real need to revisit them.

At this point Johnny Depp can play Jack Sparrow in his sleep, and maybe that's the problem - in ON STRANGER TIDES he just seems bored.  When the actor no longer cares about what they're trying to do in a film, well, I tune out as well, and by the time Sparrow does his escape in the streets of London from the King's chambers that sets the film's plot in motion - what motion there is, anyway - I no longer cared about Sparrow, his former girlfriend Angelica (Penelope Cruz), or the Fountain of Youth.

I could summarize the plot, but really, does it matter?  Various parties try to reach the Fountain of Youth, including Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush, who at least looks halfway alive, but nowhere near the levels of the previous films), who is now a privateer in the King's navy, Blackbeard (Ian McShane) who is trying to stave off a prophecy that predicts his death, and the Spaniards, who have absolutely no motivation to get there at all.  So we get what seems to be the most uninvolved chase in film history - a race to see who gets to the Fountain first, but you know how all these films turn out anyway, so why even invest in caring about the pursuit?

The rules regarding the Fountain are so needlessly convoluted - apparently you can't just drink the water, but you have to collect a tear from a mermaid, and use two magical chalices to gain the life of another.  So we have a diversion to capture a mermaid, and... blah.  I'm actually getting angrier at the film as I write this.  There's more story with a mermaid and a missionary and a "romance" between the two which is about as tepid as it sounds.  Again, there's nothing in the story that even comes close to being entertaining because nowhere in pre-production did anyone stop and think if any of these characters or situations were interesting enough to warrant paying attention to.

What can I say about Rob Marshall?  Nothing.  At least Gore Verbinski, even though I think he brought way too much to the plate (along with screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio), he still had ambition.  Here, the script just lays there, flaccid, and Marshall's direction isn't much better.  At least in CHICAGO he showed spark - here, there's none.  The action scenes are bland and meaningless.  Even the climactic battle at the Fountain has no point to it - without spoiling it, it makes no sense as it never even needed to happen.  Since one party involved had an item necessary to do the Fountain ritual before losing it, once they gain the item again, they simply destroy it.  Why didn't they destroy it when they had it originally if that was their intention in the first place?  Ugh, this movie.

If you have to see this film, knock yourself out, but don't bother with the 3D, which is pointless.  Other than characters shoving their swords at the screen, there's hardly any depth of field or use of the technology that justifies paying the extra money to see it that way.

It's funny, I started this review just feeling mediocre about the film and here at the end I'm pretty much full-on hating it.  Use your own judgment, but as for myself, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES was a waste of my time and a waste of the filmmakers' energy.  Avoid.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 19, 2011, 10:03 p.m. CST

    First?!

    by SleeplessAtYourMomsHouse

    I enjoyed the film. I'm not really getting where all the hate for it is coming from. Don't go in expecting an Oscar movie. I just went in expecting fun and it was. No where near as complicated as the previous two. It's not the greatest movie ever but it's definitely better than the majority of crap that hits theatres.

  • May 19, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Is anyone surprised?

    by Cinema Curmudgeon

    Seeing as the last two movies in the franchise were more tedious than attending a middle school talent show, and Rob Marshall should be tried for war crimes for the atrocities he's committed to film, I had no doubt this new installment would be a festering bed sore. cinemacurmudgeon.com

  • Disney = Geniouses

  • May 19, 2011, 10:21 p.m. CST

    I love how people say Depp sold out

    by DDMAN26

    Give me 50 or 75 million dollars and I'll gladly sell out.

  • May 19, 2011, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Saw it last night and I agree with you for the most part.

    by beane2099

    One of the laziest contrivances in writing is the ol' prophecy bit. First off, why is someone making a prophecy about a pirate? Who made this prophecy and why? Makes no sense. No one has any real motivation to do anything in this movie either. Really the movie was an just an excuse to let the actors act. That being said, if you're able to ignore the story (difficult, I know), watching the cast just doing their thing is fun. I won't lie about that. The mermaid scene is pretty on point as well. I'm not too miffed at the overall experience I had, 1) cause I work at a theater, so I didn't have to pay for it and 2) cause I like Jack Sparrow being Jack Sparrow and Barbosa being Barbosa even if the story makes no sense (which it doesn't). If I had to pay for it though, then I'd probably have been pissed. So my advice, either see it at weekday Matinee price or wait for cable.

  • May 19, 2011, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Bad reviews, shmad reviews, I can't wait..

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    I'd be there tonight if all the midnight's weren't 3D.

  • May 19, 2011, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Im guessing aintitcool didn't get a set visit to POTC4

    by Fritzlorrerains

    Otherwise they would have loved it like they are sucking up bay and TF3DOTM.

  • What exactly do you want? Danny McBride to come out, with Orlando Bloom's cock danging from his neck, and say, "Well, fuck."

  • May 19, 2011, 10:49 p.m. CST

    @ korus1234

    by MrH

    I was gonna write the same thing lol OT: One thing that has bugged me in all of the reviews about POTC 2&3 is that the plot was convoluted and hard to follow. Quote form my wife "Even I knew what was going on." Now not to put down my wife and she is the first to admit sometimes she is not the brightest spark when it comes to certain things, but if my wife was able to follow the plot and know exactly what was going on, then anyone should. Maybe critics are all suffering from ADD or were on their PDA's too much during their critic screenings during those movies. As for this one, I'm going to go see it and make up my own mind about it. I see these films as entertaining blockbuster fluff. Not every movie needs to make you weep and giggle like a little girl (looking at you Harry). I love the shit out of these movies and we should be glad that we have any pirate orientated films at all as it was once a genre long lost (here's looking at you Cutthroat Island). As long as this is better than that POS, then this will have my money.

  • May 19, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    can't wait to see this

    by SantosLHalper

    will be high

  • May 19, 2011, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Pirates kept me going while PSN was down..

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    All that free time in the evenings, I was able to put this together this tribute to the first 3 films..just finished it yesterday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0nGGqS7Xo0

  • That could be the greatest movie of our generation.

  • Yeah, ok.

  • LOL... and the money machine just keeps on churning, building 'meh' films around yet another hopelessly over-rated actor.

  • May 19, 2011, 11:12 p.m. CST

    37% at Rotten Tomatoes

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    This is a definite renter at this point.

  • It's that the stories were driven completely by bullshit, and you had to pay attention to arbitrary rules to figure out what the hell was going on, because it made no sense otherwise. The first film had the cursed gold, which had it's own rules of magic, but that was it. (Even those weren't too complex... If you take the gold, you eventually become the walking dead, unable to enjoy the pleasures of life, and it's only reversed by returning every single piece back where you got it, with the blood of everyone who took it.) Everything everyone did was because of understandable motivation. There were no random side quests that had to be completed for them to go after what they wanted. The pirates wanted the gold, Jack wanted his ship, Will wanted Elizabeth, and the Navy wanted to kill the pirates. They all pursued those goals directly. By the second and third films everything has some moronically dense mythology behind it, and it's nothing but side quests. It gets so bad that the villain is shown executing people in order to get them to *sing a song*, because that somehow causes something to happen which leads in some fucking roundabout way to whatever his goals were. That's the kind of bullshit people mean when they say the sequels got too convoluted.

  • May 19, 2011, 11:19 p.m. CST

    again...

    by TDH1138

    The day I let ANY reviewer on this site negate what I do and don't see will be the day I'm in a Terry Schivo style coma and these guys are in charge of my entertainment choices. So fucking never. Seeing it tomorrow.

  • I remember being in a crowded theater where the audience around me burst into applause at Elizabeth's line of, 'no, he's a pirate.' I remember thinking, 'it doesn't warrant this.' POTC is very much like every other Bruckheimer-produced summer blockbuster. Just alot of action, and people fall ass-backwards into becoming rich or scoring a hot babe. Rob Marshall has been on my shit list ever since he mangled the film version of 'Memoirs of a Geisha'- well, Marshall and the people who decided to play it all in English language and cast any Asian-looking woman, thinking 'they all look alike, whose going to care?' In Memoirs, Marshall spent more time just composing a shot then actually making us care about anyone. I was pretty sure he would do the same with Strange Tides- give us lots of visual set-up...but no actual meat on the bones. I mean, Blackbeard is in this thing, and I think so far I've only seen about 45 seconds of him in total in all the commercial/trailer material!! Oh, and a film that is based on an idea from a novel? I wonder what will be next: 'based on a sentence from and inspired by such-and-such?'

  • May 19, 2011, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Your wife....

    by LastPairOfSocks

    So, ask her to describe the plot, then. Oh, what's that? She's talking about Elle and a cute chihuahua and a trip to Harvard Law? Yeah, that's Legally Blond, dude. Reality is people will say they understood the plot but all that means is points A and Z were clear; everything else is just a jumbled mess peppered with action set pieces and Jack Sparrow one liners. I'll tell you that I also wouldn't call myself the sharpest tool in the shed, but it's FUCKING PAIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN! Why must I think at all? At least make it flow coherently, so I'm not confused. Cuz then I feel really stupid. Fuck you, Pirates.

  • May 19, 2011, 11:49 p.m. CST

    That was a pretty good review Nordling

    by D o o d

    and I can feel it in your words that you were holding back more. I liked the first Pirates film but everything and I mean EVERYTHING after that was horrible!

  • May 19, 2011, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Word on the street

    by CT1

    Heard Liam Neeson filmed a new scene for Episode III. Oh, and Frank Oz also involved.

  • May 19, 2011, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Folks, Don't listen to this Bad Review nonsense, it's good.

    by HerbSewell

    Hey Everyone, Herb here, been a fan of the POTC since I first saw COTBP, back in the day, felt Depp's Jack Sparrow was one of the original creation gems to come out of HOllywood in a LONG time. I was less enthusiastic about the 2 follow ups but still found enough magic in them to enjoy them in repeated viewings. On Stranger Tides, saw it at 9 am in Korea yesterday. Loved it, will see it again in 3d. Is it as good as the first? Nope. But good enough to enjoy, especially IF you like Depp's character Sparrow, which I DO. Positives include: Sparrow of course...Gibbs... Barbossa, the beautiful locations... the mermaid attack...TEague.... and has plenty of one liners and winks at the audience. Negatives: Blackbeard was not very ominous, and certainly could have been more so, his beard was on fire only 1 time!!! 1 freaking time!! That should have been through the entire movie, just as a reference to the real Blackbeard. Too much sword fighting, if you're going to pick up swords, kill someone, make it count for something, always hated pointless swordfights. Not enough "magical" elements as the other 3, with the exception of the "ships in the bottle" concept, and I hope in POTC # 5 we explore that more, I thought I saw the Dutchman in one of those bottles. ---- Depp did NOT phone it in, it's a fun movie, if you liked POTC in any of its three previous versions, you 'll like this one as well. 3 out of 4 stars.

  • May 20, 2011, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Depp was the only reason the first film was good

    by jules windex

    But his going through the motions work in 2&3 killed them both.

  • May 20, 2011, 12:39 a.m. CST

    The critics have killed POTC 5...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...hope you're happy.

  • May 20, 2011, 1:10 a.m. CST

    one bad review is one thing

    by D o o d

    many bad reviews one after the other, is another!

  • May 20, 2011, 1:14 a.m. CST

    ddman26

    by cyberuck

    "Give me 50 or 75 million dollars and I'll gladly sell out." He didn't sell out - he bought in.

  • May 20, 2011, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see it.

    by JacksParasites

    I love all the PotC films and the critics seem to be jumping the shark on this one big-time. Just look at the reviewer Ebert links to in his twitter who spends the first 5 paragraphs talking about their personal life, makes no actual reference to anything in the film itself, and admits to walking out early on. And they consider that a review. Get your heads out of your asses, critics. Not every movie has to be pretentious. Some films just are just meant to entertain.

  • May 20, 2011, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Should have followed the book

    by TheDudeinLA

    The book was a prequel Basically the birth of Jack Sparrow. That would have been interesting. He was a puppeteer on a voyage to the Caribbean that is forced into piracy...eventually he becomes the Jack Sparrow everyone knows and loves. When I found out it was a sequel...well the writing was on the wall and not out of the pirate book (written in the 80's) that the screen writers stole Jack Sparrow from.

  • May 20, 2011, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Yeah but what about the "zombies"?

    by MooseMalloy

  • May 20, 2011, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Meh movies can be very irritating.

    by AsimovLives

    There is a diference between irritating and hatred. I find meh movies to be pretty irritating because, many times, there's soemthing in them which could had been made so much better. Or because those movies were just put on the wrong hands and could had been so muchbetter if the studios had been wiser and give them to the right director instead of just who the accountants trust the most. "But for me, it's somehow worse to see something so devoid of ambition, so workmanlike, and watching it you know this film's an accountant's wet dream and you can see the money rolling in." This statement bewilders me. How can Nordling dares say such a thing, when he praised Abrams Trek, which is the total personification of such a type of movie? Either you dislike all movies of this type or you don't. Pickpicking about them just makes you look you are on the take.

  • May 20, 2011, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Pirates 2 and 3 weren't too ambitious.

    by AsimovLives

    They just had too much shit happening, half of it completly unnecessary.

  • May 20, 2011, 1:55 a.m. CST

    d o o d

    by AsimovLives

    After the Abrams Trek debacle, i got so distrustful of onslaught reviews i just don't trust them anymore. Thoihg people talking shit of a Jerry Bruckheimer production is like a "d'uhh" thing for me. Of course a Jerry Bruckheimer movie will be shit, why would people be expecting otherwise?

  • May 20, 2011, 2 a.m. CST

    asimovlives

    by D o o d

    fairplay, I hear what you're saying. However, my experience has been to never trust one review. I always seek out different reviews from different sources. This way I get a fair idea of whether it's worth my hard earned cash to go see it.

  • May 20, 2011, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Saw this the other night...

    by Happyfat73

    ...and the reviews are pretty spot on. This film had no life to it... it has no energy.</p> </p> Look, I really liked the POTC trilogy (especially the first one) and a large part of that was the charm and energy that the films had. POTC 4 is inert and completely devoid of the charm that elevated the previous films.</p> </p> Part of the problem is Jack Sparrow - he works well as a supporting character, but not as the protagonist. It'd be like if they made a Star Wars film with Han Soo as the protagonist - you might think that sounds cool, but it wouldn't be – Han Solo works best at the edges of the action, swaggering and being cool and badass. Also, as most reviews have mentioned- Depp seems to be phoning this one in.</p> </p> The humour falls flat, the action is unexciting and there is very little emotional engagement. There are a couple of moments where the film does come alive - most notable a set piece involoving a lot of mermaids... but the rest of it is dull.</p> </p> In the end, POTC doesn't actually suck per se... the greatest crime it commits is being completely bland and forgettable. This film would have been greatly elevated if it had a scene of Blackbeard getting his knob polished by a whore, while referring to his crew as a bunch of San Francisco cocksuckers.

  • May 20, 2011, 2:16 a.m. CST

    @Asimovlives

    by Happyfat73

    You obviously hate Abrams' Star Trek, but it's problems are nothing like the issues that plague POTC4.</p> Star Trek's issues were mainly pertaining to logically flawed plot hole and contrivances. However, in my opinion, that film was able to survive them because of the chemistry between the cast and the sense of energy that the film had.</p> </p> POTC isn't so much logically flawed, but it is just inert and lacking in energy, fun and charisma. They are vastly different films and the criticisms of one do not really cross over into the other (in my humble opinion, anyway).

  • May 20, 2011, 2:37 a.m. CST

    2 + 3 were convoluted messes.

    by Flip63Hole

    The new one sounds like just an uninspired mess with a terrible story. Interesting to see how some people can sit in a theater and accept bad writing, bad editing, bad direction just because there's some pirates in the movie. Have we sunk that low?

  • It's a masterpiece of dark fantasy. And now it has just about zero chance of ever being made into a film in its own right. I suppose I should look on the bright side ... the novel has gotten more attention this year than it has in a long time. Hopefully people who hate the film won't judge the novel by association ... the only thing they have in common are the words "Blackbeard," "Fountain of Youth," and "zombies."

  • May 20, 2011, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Why did Disney hire Rob Marshall?

    by fitz-hume

    Does anyone know? I guess quite a few turned down the project but surely there must have been several better choices eager to take the job. Someone like Alfonso Cuaron for instance who did a great job with another franchise in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'. Just imagine what he could have done with the series. Sigh...

  • May 20, 2011, 3:20 a.m. CST

    Rob Marshall ruined this movie.

    by Nickytea

    It wasn't the story. It was the pace. Marshall has no sense of it. Either that or he didn't give two shits to apply that sense to the portions of the film that needed it. I read the screenplay, and it reads very well. The characters are given no room to breath, being moved from one set piece to another, rather than those pieces supporting the character moments that are there. Sad thing is, I actually like the characters. On paper, the Missionary and Mermaid works. On paper Blackbeard and his daughter work. Either McShane didn't give a shit, or Marshall sucked out his soul. It's such a god damn depressing shame to see something get so close and miss the mark. BRING BACK VERBINSKI.

  • May 20, 2011, 4:41 a.m. CST

    Forced laughter from the audience

    by Ernie

    I was already aware of the bad reviews before going to see the film but I had a 2 for 1 deal and there wasn't anthing else to watch so I thought I'd give it a go. Completely agree with the bad reviews although the other audience members seemed to enjoy the film with much laughter. However after a while the laughter seemed too loud and too enthusiastic. It was as if the audience had to force out the laughter to make the viewing experience more enjoyable. Nobody stayed to catch the post credit sequence ... I gave up after a minute or so and hurriedly left. I wonder if anyone else noticed this forced laughter phenomenon? I had a similar experience with Paranormal Activity 2 where the audience over- reacted wildly during the so-called scary moments.

  • May 20, 2011, 5 a.m. CST

    I quite enjoyed Pirates 2...

    by theyreflockingthisway

    but Pirates 3 - I left the cinema thinking "what the hell was that?" I was confused from the beginning with the whole Jack Sparrow in the afterlife bit, then there was a stupid pointless drawn out battle for the rest of the movie. Oh and the voodoo lady grew 100ft tall then turned into a load of crabs - what the hell? I HATED it and I loved the first two films. I'm not sure I want to see this film - this review has totally put me off but I didn't have much hope for it anyway. It's a shame, it could have been a good trilogy if they hadn't tried to make it "epic" - they're pirate movies, not Lord of the Rings.

  • May 20, 2011, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Loved it as well...

    by TheMarineBiologist

    As a fan of the Pirates franchise, I am very much of the opinion that this one pressed all the right buttons for me. I was gleeful every time they referred to Blackbeard as Edward Teach. This movie was, essentially, made for me.<p> Ask yourself this: were you frustrated and angry when you found out that a fourth Pirates movie was going to be made? Yeah... you don't deserve to review it. If you hate a film going into it, you will very likely end up hating it walking out.

  • May 20, 2011, 5:11 a.m. CST

    @billy hitchcock; we are! :)

    by marineboy

    Delighted infact :)

  • May 20, 2011, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Rob Marshal is as bland as they get.

    by knowthyself

    Along with Chris Columbus. Competent directors who really have no sense of style or purpose but can shoot a film and put it together efficiently.

  • May 20, 2011, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Rob Marshall is a hack, yes, but Verbinski set the standard

    by Andy Pandy

    for this franchise's suckage. 2 + 3 were terrible movies. Bloated messes devoid of any kind of storytelling.

  • May 20, 2011, 8:25 a.m. CST

    I'll bet money this is still better than Thor

    by bat725

    The parts with Thor on Earth were abyssmal.

  • May 20, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Uhn, hunh...

    by Mo_Rephus

    "and the Spaniards, who have absolutely no motivation to get there at all" Yes, so true...that guy Ponce de Leon, who discovered Florida, was really looking for the nearest 7-11 for a Slurpee refill.

  • May 20, 2011, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Make 50 Fathoms

    by jarjarmessiah

    Sea Hags Unite!

  • May 20, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    After this review. I'm more excited to see it! Can't wait!

    by Orionsangels

  • May 20, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    I loved the first 3 and 4 was fun..

    by UserA-1

    I never understood the confusion felt around the 2nd and 3rd movies. I understood them just fine and never got lost, or felt like none of it made sense. In fact the 3rd movie was and still is my favorite. Stranger tides was fun, I didn't love it, but I enjoyed it.

  • May 20, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Nobody can fling shit at the first movie

    by Jaster

    I always tell people that is about as perfectly made a film as is possible. Everything is propelled forward every moment. All the characters make sense. All the dialogue is written and recited well and all figures into the plot. Every character is interesting and fits perfectly into the overall pastiche. All the setups are paid off beautifully. It is NEVER, for a single second, boring, confusing or stupid. The cinematography, direction and score are universally excellent. For the record I thought the second film was also quite good, though not nearly as good as the first. The third was total and complete shit. Everything that made the first so good was completely the opppostite. All the characters were boring, stupid and generally not used well.

  • So while its disappointing that it seems like its not absolutely perfect, I'm still excited to see it. I'll just go in expecting a bit less, which will hopefully make it a very enjoyable watch. <p> I agree with whoever mentioned that the second and third films aren't hard to follow. There's nothing confusing about them at all. There's just too much going on that doesn't end up paying off it a truly satisfying way, particularly in the third one. My biggest gripe with the second one has always been the ending. Just feels silly.

  • May 20, 2011, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I agree, jaka

    by TheMarineBiologist

    I feel as though people were hating this film as soon as it was announced... So, if you go in hating something, you definitely have no right to review it.

  • May 20, 2011, 3:51 p.m. CST

    happyfat73

    by AsimovLives

    If i understood you correctly, basically what you are saying is that Abrams Trek had bad writers but a good editor, and Pirates 4 had good writers but a bad editor. I understand your point.

  • But on the other hand, mattman liked Abrams Trek. Shit, i'm conflicted again. Arrrghh!

  • ... when they say that the spaniards have no motivationr to be after the fountain of youth. Let me say this again for emphasis: no motivation to go after the fountain of youth. YOU GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME! What more does it need to be said and show to have people be motivated to go after the fountain of youth? I mean, really, what's more there is to be said and show? It's the fucking fountain of youth! What more motivation do you need? I would even say that for many the Fountain of Youth would be a bigger find then El Dourado. Gosh, sometimes i think people just don't even know or give a fuck about what they are saying when they are either bashing or praising a movie.

  • God fucking shit, sometimes i just don't understand. I really don't fucking understand this. And as the character portaited by Charlie Sheen said in PLATOON, hell is the impossibility of reason. An anybody explain this to me? I mean, really, what more motivation is needed? Finding the foutain of youth in an era when people count themselves lucky if they reached 40 of age. 40 years old, you know, Harry Knowles' age? That was how bad things were back then. So, looking for the fountain of youth then was like BIG FUCKING D'UUUUHHHHHH!! What more explaining would that need to entail? God fucking shit, man!

  • Or that the check cleared perfectly.

  • May 20, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST

    @asimovlives

    by Happyfat73

    Yep... you are spot on with your succinct description of the differences in flaws between Trek and POTC 4.</p> </p> However, your assertation that the Spaniards motivation for going after the fountain is obvious... well, it's not... because (avoiding spoilers here) what they do when they get there kinda negates that whole argument.</p> </p> I like Gore Verbinski - I think he has a really good eye for composition, and can usually get the most out of his talent. Rob Marshall has neither the eye nor the chops as an actor's director to elevate this anything beyond bland.</p> </p> But hey, some people like bland. Bland is safe. I'd rather watch a spectacular failure (like, say, Sucker Punch) that swings big and misses, than a lifeless and dull non-starter like POTC4.

  • May 20, 2011, 4:48 p.m. CST

    asimovlives

    by beane2099

    I could see your argument, except (as happyfat73 pointed out) their actions at the end of the movie pretty much render that argument moot and thus makes their motivations confusing. In fact everything surrounding the fountain of youth is incomprehensible. But like I said earlier, watching Depp and Rush doing their thing makes the thing enjoyable.

  • May 20, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    happyfat73

    by AsimovLives

    I'm also one of those who likes Gore Verbinski. He is a good director, and can come up with really inventive stuff. He is dependable, and that's a good thing. He's like an american Martin Campbel, and that's a good thing. As i said before, i don't view the Pirates sequels as hardly as the so many others in here. I agre that the second mvoie is better thenthe 3rd, and that the sequels suffer from too much plottting, not enough story, paradoxically as that might sound. But whatever the flaws are inthe Pirates mvies, and specially the sequels, it's not on Verbinksi i lay the blame, or the writers for that matter. Rather, i lay the blame on that scourge of cinema that is Jerry The Black Plague Bruckheimer. I mean, really, the 3rd Pirates movie opens with a kid being hanged. And in a Disney movie! That's balls!! That's fucking balls! A movie cannot be all that bad whenit opens on such a ballsy scene.

  • May 20, 2011, 5:09 p.m. CST

    "I'm Not Really A Fan of the First Film.":

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Once a reviewer says, 'not really a fan' -- what they're saying is they somehow don't fall into the camp of people who liked the first flick. Which, judging by DVD sales, movie ticket sales, and such, means the reviewer is either just a Contrary Mary (Like 900% of the internet reviewers of anything) or unable to like mainstream things. I was that guy in college. I was an insufferable douche about movies, not that our reviewer here is an insufferable douche at all, but I can see that in the future for people who start off a review of anything by telling you how NOT part of the crowd they are in paragraph one. I haven't seen the flick yet, but I want to see something kickass: Pirates swordfighting, mermaids and shit, Barbosa and Jack Sparrow. Oh, and Pirates. If this film has an alien in it, then I'll be SUPER pissed. But if it has Jack Sparrow, a boat, mermaids, cannons and shit, then it's EXACTLY what I'm expecting. We're talking about FOUR goddamned movies built on the premise of a goddamned theme park ride. If this NEW movie isn't like a theme park ride : Shallow, fun, and leaving you wanting another ride -- then, fuck this movie. If you give a shit about opinions about movies, using reviews to determine whether you see something, I'll post something after this after seeing it tonight. Thanks for taking the time for reviewing, though, Nordling.

  • May 20, 2011, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Mattman

    by Happyfat73

    What I wanted out of a movie called Pirates of the Caribbean was a spark of life. I found most of the action scenes to be completely inert (except the big mermaid sequence - it was pretty good and allowed me to forget myself for a while and just enjoy it).</p> </p> I also really just got the impression that Depp was just going through the motions. At first I thought Rush was just phoning it in as well... but I think he comes alive as the film progresses (and I do believe it was intentional).</p> </p> As for Ian McShane... well, he's still Al Swearengen to me... and Al Swearengen was a badass cocksucker who would wipe the floor with the Blackbeard fella.

  • May 20, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    mattman

    by AsimovLives

    I guess this movie will be a seeing is believing type of deal for me, then. I'm just not too much in a hurry to watch it, though, if you now what i mean.

  • May 20, 2011, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Am I the only person here who thinks Johnny Depp is mediocre.?

    by workshed

    Imo he's always been 'meh'. I fucking hate 'Fear and Loathing...' - it's a mess of a movie. Him and his kind are responsible foe the fact that you never see ugly fuckers like Lee Marvin, Warren Oates or Charles Bronson (i.e. their face alone tells a story ) in a leading film role any more.

  • May 20, 2011, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Am I the only one that really dug the fact...

    by TheMarineBiologist

    ...that Barbossa played the "Harry Potter" card and refused to call Blackbeard anything other than "Edward Teach" (much in the way that Harry would call Voldemort "Tom Riddle")?<p> For a character that died in the first movie, Rush's Barbossa continues to be a fun little badass.

  • And Depp is brilliant in Fear & Loathing (my opinion, of course). Even Hunter S Thompson liked Depp in Fear & Loathing.

  • It tells me all I need to know about your review.

  • FUCK THAT, Nordling. You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. Did everyone expect/know that Sparrow would not be immortal by the end of "At World's End", or that Bloom's character would "die"? It could have went either way for both characters, and the same can be said for this movie. Its the Fountain of Youth. The way you describe it, we should expect the hero to become immortal at the Fountain? So Sparrow wins, is that it? Its not really predictable at all, based on previous entries in this franchise. That's a terrible section of your review. Very lazy.

  • May 21, 2011, 9:43 p.m. CST

    d.vader

    by TheMarineBiologist

    I did not expect the Spanish. Anyone that says that they expected the Spanish to do what they did are so full of shit that it is coming out of their eyes.

  • May 22, 2011, 11 a.m. CST

    TheMarineBiologist

    by D.Vader

    That's because... NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH (Inquisition)! Actually, that's a very good point you make. I totally didn't expect them to do what they did either, and you're right, anyone who says they did is full of shit.

  • May 22, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Hey Ain't it cool...

    by Gremlin517

    Your Site's ad content has been over-run by Right Wing content--did you know that? Grem-

  • May 22, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Saw it. THPOILERTH

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Okay, this movie suffers from one thing, a director and producers who are leaning FAAAR too heavily on the previous entries and fan-love for Depp to tell the story on the page. The story is not confusing, though, and the characters involved are supposed to be there...I think blowing the cameo of Sparrow's pop out of proportion is unfair to the movie as a whole. Gore Verbinski -- Loves pirate movies, pirate tropes, and especially pirate ships. Rob Marshall -- Loves sassy female characters, Johnny Depp, and staying under budget. Also, saw this in 3D -- Which is a waste of 3D. Rob Marshall needs to be told, when you color correct a film that's going to be 3D, go the insane colorful route, rather than the blues and oranges of standard 'BlockBuster' flick route. Because in 3D, a movie I imagine has a lot of texture ends up looking muddy and dull on the screen. Depth of field isn't used, hell, Moon Patrol in the arcades uses more 3d effects in its parallax scrolling in the background. But back to the flick. The story is solidly acted, and makes sense, but you get the feeling that the screenwriters were tired of writing about things that the producers wanted (The priest and the mermaid ) and had to give interesting elements FAR shorter shrift. (Blackbeard's 'redepmption') Again, here's where someone should have gone back to the screenwriters and the director and said: 'Just because Ian McShane is Blackbeard, don't just expect the audience to buy his evil without something more than an ominous score to back him up'. Blackbeard was MORE evil than Swearengen in a historical context, and this Blackbeard comes off as basically a selfish dick more than the son of the devil. The prophecy? Oh, that, well, it seems Blackbeard has a mess of officers who are zombified, and one of them can tell the future with unerring accuracy. (This is told to us by Angelica, but should have been SHOWN to us in a scene with the zombie standing before Blackbeard (in shadow, hidden, what have you) before the Spanish guys pull whassname out of the drink.) This movie does a lot of telling, not showing, but is a passable afternoon on a Sunday -- I liked it. The next one should be better. Just no Rob Marshall. See it or don't, guys, but it's not godawful. It's just not godawesome. :) MB

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