Coming Soon

May 23, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

On Stranger Tides is the fourth film in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean  series. It tells the story of Jack Sparrow, Captain Blackbeard, and Captain Barbossa was they each try to make their way to the Fountain of Youth. On Stranger Tides  is missing Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom but adds Penelope Cruz for a new twist. The plot pretty much follows the same recipe as all the previous fills. It is the first on the series in 3D so that is another added bonus. Overall, it's the same recipe with some updated twists.

Disney and the Pirates writers created a great formula for a box office hit action film based around the life of pirates. This has been repeated for a fourth time excellently. On Stranger Tides has action, the usual sword fights, a little romance, and some extraordinary Captain Jack escapes. The context and goal of the escapades change along with the swapping of a few cast members, but the rest is the same. While this seems boring and weak, the film uses the recipe perfectly and creates another new and entertaining movie. On Stranger Tides brings the viewer into the the Pirates' world and takes them on an imaginative journey.

The biggest change for this film is the loss of Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swan and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner. They were two of the main players in the first three films, but On Stranger Tides brings in Peleope Cruz as Angelica, Captain Blackbeard's daughter. She replaces Knightley as the pretty lady and love interest who's also tough and a little rough around the edges. I was a little skeptical about this casting change, but Cruz fits in well and very accurately portrays this tough yet beautiful woman. It brings a nice twist that fits with the elements of the previous films but creates just enough change so that this film isn't another boring sequel. Another nice addition is the 3D element. This is well done to enhance the film rather than  make it cheesy. It also keeps the film up to date with the other big films of the summer.

The most impressive aspect of On Stranger Tides is the plot. It again follows the same theme as the previous three films, but this one creates a completely new story that is interesting and unique. It tells the story of how three different groups work to find the fountain of youth. The difficulty comes when the unique ritual of the fountain comes into play. This creates a fantasy world the can only be believable in the Pirates' world.

Overall, there are just enough changes to keep an audience interested in a sequel. I absolutely hate most sequels, but these writers have found a way to create multiple films that work without being boring or trying too hard. On Stranger Tides does the job again! And I hear there are already rumors of Pirates 5. These writers created an amazing character in Jack Sparrow. As long as Johnny Depp stays on board, I think we will see the Pirates series continue.

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May 6, 2011


Thor is the most recent of Marvel Comic's superhero movies. It tells the story of a king's son from another realm who is banished to Earth because of his arrogance and hostility. Thor is a member of the future Avengers, along with Ironman, the Hulk, Captain America, and a few others. Because of this relation it is difficult not to compare Thor to the other Marvel movies that have been released recently (Ironman and The Incredible Hulk). Thor is the first of these installments to be in 3D which is a major benefit. It is very mythical which is a major difference from the other films and  the story seems weak compared to the other films.

First off, from my experience, any time Marvel Comics is involved in making a comic film, it is a much better quality than without Marvel's involvement. Thor continues this theory. It has great quality, clearly a budget was not skimped or limited. The 3D is pretty consistent throughout the film and used to enhance the film rather than provide a few fancy pop-outs or effects like some other 3D films. I think this 3D brings an element that the other films were missing and keeps up with the times as well. Based on overall quality, Thor  is up to par.

A big difference in this film is the mythological elements of this background story. The previous superhero films have more of a science fiction feel. The story of Thor  is based in a world made up of 9 realms with a wormhole, of sorts, to travel in between. This is not a positive or negative, but just an element that makes Thor seem as though it doesn't quite fit with the previous, Ironman and The Incredible Hulk, and the future, Captain America. 

The weakest part of Thor is the overall story in this specific movie. Once you are halfway through and the background story is finished, there's not much to get excited about. There's a few family problems, a couple more fight scenes, and a sad closing scene that sets up the future films in this installment. The background story is very interesting, but the rest leaves you checking your watch, which is the worst sign for a movie. I think this is a weakness in all comic films as the writers have to choose one story for the superhero from what is originally made as a series. The emphasis is placed on the background story to support the future films, but this causes a major loss in interesting plot.

Overall, the quality of this film is great. The 3D is used to make this a superior-quality film. Marvel does a great job of keeping their work at a high standard. While I am a 100% proponent of this series of films leading up to the Avengers film next summer, I am predicting that Thor will be the weakest part released before the Avengers. The same humor and action are incorporated that were used the create the success of Ironman, but the plot is not as interesting. If you are sucked into this series like I am, I would definitely recommend it in theaters. This will be the only way to get the full 3D effect. If superhero comics are not your thing, wait until it comes out on DVD. But Thor is definitely a film to see.

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