Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Guys, we have finally reached the end of my “Pirates of the Caribbean” review series. If you’ve somehow missed my reviews of the previous three movie then I suggest you go read them. And if you didn’t miss the reviews, I suggest you go read them anyway. Still, I’ve had fun reviewing these movies for you guys, and I hope you’ve enjoyed me reviewing them for you. Now, without further ado… let’s get into the final review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”.

Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) is back. And after he runs into an old flame named Angelica (Penélope Cruz), he soon finds himself at the mercy of legendary pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (Ian McShane). So now team Jackbeard goes on a quest to find the legendary fountain of youth. Oh, and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now working for the English government, is also out to find it because why the fuck not. So now we have a more simple and straightforward narrative, at least for a “Pirates” movie. However, I never found myself invested in the story of this movie. There wasn’t any point where I found myself interested in what happened. I just followed along saying “This isn’t bad… but it isn’t great either”. I’ll give it this at least: Since this is the shortest movie in the series (around 2 hours 10 minutes, dicounting end credits), the plot never feels poorly paced. It’s not bloated like “At World’s End”, but it’s also not as interesting as “Curse of the Black Pearl”. The plot is here is just… fine.

The characters here are for the most part kind of bland, but there are a few decently interesting ones. Johnny Depp of course returns as Jack Sparrow and even though he’s still almost a parody of the OG appearance of Sparrow, he’s still good in the role. Kevin McNally returns as Gibbs and he was once again good in the role. Geoffrey Rush once again played Barbossa and he once again killed it even though he wasn’t allowed to be quite as crazy as in the previous movies. Now onto the new ones because most of the old cast seem to have disappeared. Penélope Cruz plays Angelica, an old flame of Jack’s and she’s actually a decently interesting character. She’s tough, she’s clever, and she’s just fun. And Cruz is great in the role. She and Depp even share some pretty good chemistry here, the banter between them is actually somewhat fun. Ian McShane plays Blackbeard, a menacing pirate captain who isn’t afraid to kill you if you cross him in the slightest. And McShane just kills it, he gave a commanding performance that just stole the show. Sam Claflin plays Philip, a man who strongly believes in god, and while his character is incredibly bland, Claflin does a pretty good job here. Stephen Graham plays Scrum, a man on Blackbeard’s crew, and while his character isn’t the most interesting, Graham is great in the role. Really, overall it’s a well acted movie.

Like in the previous two movies, the score for this movie was composed by Hans Zimmer and it was really good. Some tracks were the typical big, fun, “Pirates” music. But there were also some tracks where Zimmer took help from Mexican music dup Rodrigo y Gabriela, and that made for some pretty great tracks. The use of their guitars within the score was just awesome, I loved it. So overall the score here is really good and it works well for the movie.

This is the first “Pirates” movie to not be directed by Gore Verbinski. Instead it was directed by Rob Marshall and I think he did a pretty good job. The shots look fine, and scenes have an okay flow to them. What is a shame is that when Verbinski was at the helm of the series he gave us some gor(e)geous movies that were visually interesting (to say that least). Marshall on the other hand doesn’t really bring that, this movie isn’t as interesting to look at. It doesn’t look bad, it just looks… dull. Speaking of dull, the action scenes here are dull. They are okay, but nowhere near as fun and cool as in the previous movies. I’ll say this though: the visual effects here are great. I have no bigger comment about them, I just thought I’d say that they look great… moving on!

This movie hasn’t been that well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 32% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 45/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is an okay movie. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, great music, okay directing, and really good visual effects. My problems with the movie is that the plot isn’t very interesting, a lot of characters here are quite bland and uninteresting, and it’s just not very interesting to look at. Time for my final score. *Yarr*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is a 6,45/10. While not great, I’d still say that it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is now completed.

There, my “Pirates” review series is over. Thanks for reading and thanks for interacting. Have a good one.

Movie Review: The Shallows (2016)

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Shark movies! Just… shark movies! Fucking shark movies! Love ’em, hate ’em… shark movies!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Shallows”!

Nancy (Blake Lively) has traveled to a secluded beach to gt away from some shit. But her little vacation kind of goes to shit when she is attacked by a huge god damn shark and gets stranded on a rock about 200 yards from shore. So now she’s trying to survive while the shark is swimming around in the waters around her. And now we have a confined thriller with a shark… that is a pretty great premise. And it is for the most part a tense and very entertaining plot. I say “for the most part” because the first twenty(ish) minutes drag a little bit. I came here for a shark thriller, not an MTV music video. But after those opening minutes have passed and the shark has attacked, the movie truly starts adn I thougth that stuff was really good. Not Oscar worthy, but definitely entertaining and tense.

So there isn’t really much to say regarding characters here, considering how little time they get throughout. Really, the only one we can talk about is Nancy… so let’s do that. I thought Blake Lively did a really good job in the role, she really carried the movie very well. What I also liked about the character is that she wasn’t a “Mary Sue”, but she was also not your typical damsel in distress. The stuff she did throughout this tough situation, it all felt pretty realistic (given that the situation is exaggerated for the sake of our entertainment). And I kind of lied when I said that Blake Lively was the only character worth talking about. On the rock that Black Lively is stuck on, there is a seagull keeping her company, and I honestly think it’s the best character in the movie… just had to get that out there.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and I thought it was really good. Beltrami tends to compose scores that I like, and this is no different. It can at times help elevate tension and it’s overall very well composed. There are also some modern, licensed tracks in the soundtrack, none of them really my cup of tea. Good thing that they’re all pretty much in the beginning during the “MTV Music Video” bit. It didn’t ruin anything for me, but I had to mention it.

This movie was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, a man whom I am a fan of. And I think he did a really good job here. The shots look terrific for the most part, and the scenes when Blake Lively is on and around the rock are all tensely directed. Not “Jaws” levels tension, but there’s still a good amount of tension throughout. And the shark is very well realized. The CG looks really good… for the most part. There are a few parts where I looked at the shark and said to myself “Wow, that looks kind of bad”. But those moments are like when we get a really close and lengthy look at the shark. But the moments when the camera was in the air and we saw the shark cruising around under the water… that stuff looked great, gave us a real sense of scale.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,4/10.

“The Shallows” is a really entertaining shark movie. It has a good plot, two good characters, a really good performance from Blake Lively, really good music, and great directing. However it is slightly brought down by those first 20(ish) minutes and a few bad CG shots. Time for my final score. *Duuuuun dun*. My final score for “The Shallows” is an 8,89/10. So I’d say that it’s worth buying!
worth-buying

My review of “The Shallows” is now completed.

Seriously, I loved that seagull.