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On Stranger Tides: Not that bad.
I am making this in response to the below review, having just seen this movie. It's actually not that bad.

It doesn't have the length of At World's End, and there are only three familiar faces from those last movies, but this in no way diminishes this film. The movie kept me guessing and interested as so few films do, so you certainly won't be bored or riffing it while watching it.

Indeed, Blackbeard is a typical bastard type villian, as was Barbossa in the Curse of the Black Pearl, pre-character development. Barbossa has monkey Jack in that movie, and Blackbeard has his hilarious sadism (flamethrower VERSUS nice boat, "Again!"), except for when it's not. On the other hand, the Spaniards seem to serve the same role as the English in the first movie, whereas Blackbeard and crew are the Barbossa of this movie, and Barbossa and Gibbs are the Jack and Will. Angelica is Elizabeth, and so on.

Honestly, it sounds like a Bond movie where it's the same plot with different villains every time. You've seen the first movie, you've seen this one, just with different actors, different script, and a different score. That in no way really diminishes it as a movie because, frankly, Depp IS fun to watch, and all the actors do a stellar performance. Jack is witty as he ever was, and he's the most expressive character in the movie.

I will have to admit that the cinematography is confusing, especially in the scene of the final showdown. It may have been due to time, but everything switches views to different fights and battles simply to show us, yes, this is a clusterfuck, but I wanted to see Blackbeard and his opponent duke it out for more than a few seconds, instead of cutting to Jack scrambling around as he always does. However, the Jack vs "Jack" scene, I thought, was well done That may have been because because there were only two elements to film, rather than a clusterfuck of them.

It's a Pirates movie. You like THESE pirates, yes? You'll go see it. Otherwise, you never even cared. Savvy?
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On Stranger Tides: The Blockbuster You'd Expect
It was good. Not great, but good.

I had two main problems with it: The first was the script. The story is really cluttered and awkward (though not as much as the third one), and there are huge plot holes to it (why didn't the Spanish destroy the Plot Coupon when they got it, instead of taking it to the Fountain?). Most of the dialogue is exposition, and instead of establishing character motivations and relationships, we are told of them.

The Spaniards are presented as one of the driving forces of the story (the only reason that half the characters are going to the Fountain is that they don't want the Spanish to get there first), but at the end they are only used as a cheap plot device and leave without any real resolution. In fact, I bet most people don't know there are Spaniards in this movie, going into it. Well, the reason they aren't in any of the trailers is because they don't have almost any scenes, and they don't do or say anything interesting when they are on-screen.

The other main problem is the cinematography. By Bob, it's horrific. Every action scene switches angles five times in a second, and it's impossible to tell who's winning, what's happening and who is who in any given shot. Half the dialogue scenes, on the other hand, are shot in such bad lighting that it's hard to see anything at all. It really shows that they switched directors.

The good things? The score is fantastic. In fact, probably better than in the first three movies. The sets and costumes are great. The acting is entertaining and memorable (aside from Ian McShane as Blackbeard, who's just playing a stock villain and doesn't leave any impression). The non-exposition dialogue is funny, as usual for this series. When the action isn't hampered by the camerawork, it's fun and thrilling.

If you wanna go see a Pirates movie, go see this. You'll get your fix of Pirates. If you wanna go see an action-filled blockbuster... I suggest you pick something else or wait for another movie to come out.

PS. The 3D is worthless, like in Thor. If you can pick 2D (which I couldn't), do that.
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