Tell us what you thought of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

Posted by · 10:31 am · May 20th, 2011

I’ve already warned you to stay away. Guy spared himself in Cannes. But plenty of you will nevertheless take in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (I’m so sick of these gigantic titles) this weekend. So, if you can stomach thinking about it afterward, please come back and let us know what you thought. Need a prompt? I’ll kick off the discussion. How about that awful 3D (as indicated in the above still), eh?

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39 responses so far

  • 1 5-20-2011 at 11:48 am

    cineJAB said...

    I’m seeing Bridesmaids instead of this. Hoping others do the same.

  • 2 5-20-2011 at 12:00 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    I thought this was released six months ago under the title “The Warrior’s Way”.

  • 3 5-20-2011 at 12:25 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I hope nobody sees this. Which obviously won’t happen. But that would make me so happy.

  • 4 5-20-2011 at 12:46 pm

    DylanS said...

    As much as I am a fan of what Depp has done with the Spearow persona (He made the first one work and was the only watchable part of the latter one’s), but this is a prime example of a franchise that refuses to quit, even though it’s far outworn its welcome. The fact that I overheard people talking excitedly about this fourth, needless installment in this franchise (as well as the entire series) is a reflection of how bland and calculated most studio filmmaking has become, nd how desensitized the average filmgoer is to this trend.

  • 5 5-20-2011 at 12:57 pm

    Zack said...

    I’m gonna go off the reservation and say I greatly appreciated the lack of Orlando Bloom and Girl Orlando Bloom. Also, the fact that Ian McShane was pretty much just playing Al Swearengen as a pirate. (“Deadwood” withdrawal is a sad, sad thing.)

  • 6 5-20-2011 at 1:22 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “…it’s far outworn its welcome…”

    Unfortunately, the figures tell a different tale.

    Dead Man’s Chest: $1,066,179,725 worldwide
    At World’s End: $963,420,425 worldwide

    Opening weekend of On Stranger Tides projected at $110 million.

  • 7 5-20-2011 at 1:46 pm

    DylanS said...

    Sorry, let me correct that. It has far outworn its welcome… to anybody with even half a brain.

  • 8 5-20-2011 at 1:50 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 9 5-20-2011 at 2:16 pm

    The Great Dane said...

    Well, it can’t be worse than the second and third. Back to the Future succeeded (arguably) with making the second and third film back-to-back. “The Matrix” and “Pirates” suffered the same curse/problem: The studios saw big bucks ahead and decided that spreading out a VERY thin story into five hours and making two films would be great for the box office. And it was. Too bad the products were so bad and so full of non-sense and indifferent story threads.

    This 4th one, which I hear doesn’t have a cliff hanger ending, can only be a step in the right direction. Even though it was made by Rob Marshall, the director of one of the worst musicals of all time: NINE! (Chicago was great, though).

    But let’s face it: Pirates was never that great to begin with. Take out Depp’s funny turn (and, admittedly Knightley’s great star-making turn in the first one when she was only 17 years old), what’s left? Bla bla bla…

  • 10 5-20-2011 at 2:31 pm

    Linus said...

    I thought the mermaid sequence was actually very well done, but the rest of the film was as awful as I expected. At least it’s better than the third one.

  • 11 5-20-2011 at 2:43 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Just back from it. Context: loved the first, hated the 2nd & 3rd. I feel like this one was a smidge better than the previous 2; which obviously isn’t saying much, at all.

    Depp is Depp. Rush is Rush. Ian McShane, whatever; he was fine. Penelope was fine, didn’t have much to do.

    Technicals, I feel like it was all a level down from the crazy visuals we got in the first 3 films; still, impressive stuff to look at. I quite enjoyed the mermaids sequence, as well as the little romance btwn. that dude & Syrena.

    I actually followed the plot; which is more than can be said, for me, in the last 2 films (nearly 3 hours of a million characters & subplots). I appreciated the streamlined plot, here.

    But yeah, nothing overly good about it. Crowd seemed cool with it; mostly youngens. My cousin liked it.

    I think you could do far worse. And I echo Anne, it is better than I expected (having read so many pans of it). That’s damning it with faint praise. 2 stars out of 4.

  • 12 5-20-2011 at 5:16 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Well, for Marshall it certainly is an improvement over Nine, even though it would be hard to do much worse. I liked some of Depp’s comic banter, the chase scene in London, and the mermaid sequence (not to mention the main mermaid was gorgeous) but not much else worked for me, and the film, like every one in the series, felt way too long.

    Though, per Kris’ talking point, after seeing what he said the 3D was better than I thought it would be and I noticed a fair amount of depth in many shots. I also had no trouble with ghosting and dark or blurry images. Though while those are common complaints with 3D, I’ve never noticed those on shot in 3D films (only with some of the conversions) so maybe it is a personal thing.

    I also am wondering if the series is past its prime commercially, and while I know tracking is suggesting at least $90 million OW, my theater was fairly empty for the opening day of such a tentpole release with the screening of Bridesmaids right next to it probably more crowded.

  • 13 5-20-2011 at 5:24 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***I also had no trouble with ghosting and dark or blurry images.***

    What, were you watching it on an LCD screen?

  • 14 5-20-2011 at 5:46 pm

    Ben M. said...

    No, just a normal 3D theater.

    But with the 3D conversion of Priest I noticed quite a few overly dark images and some blurry backgrounds objects, and on this I didn’t have those problems despite most of the film being set during the night.

  • 15 5-20-2011 at 5:55 pm

    Carson Dyle said...

    Saw it.

    Marshall’s worst. And the worst Pirates film.

    An appalling effort for everyone involved. Except Rush, who actually pulls his weight.

    What the hell has happened to Jerry Bruckheimer? He’s gone from hiring technically competent action directors with some idea of scope and vision, to getting Oscar-bait directors to make the same films. Mike Newell and Rob Marshall shouldn’t be anyone’s first picks to helm a big tentpole.

  • 16 5-20-2011 at 6:06 pm

    Ben M. said...

    I actually enjoy it when directors move out of their comfort zone and try and do a blockbuster if they haven’t before, which is why I wished Tom Hooper hadn’t passed on Iron Man 3 to instead do the more traditional projects he is now pursuing.

    Obviously the results won’t always be there (and this film is a prime example, though, as I said, I feel it is at least better than Nine), but I think Newell did a good job on Harry Potter at least, and Peter Jackson and Chris Nolan were viewed as indie directors and odd choices for a tentpole before taking on LOTR and Batman.

  • 17 5-20-2011 at 6:58 pm

    Rashad said...

    Well, I saw it and thought it was good. It didn’t have the energy of the others, but the story was better and easier to follow. The Mermaid sequence was fantastic though. (The main one was gorgeous.) I sort of wish Burton made this, since it seems Marshall aped a bit of his aesthetic anyway.

    What happened to the priest? They took him underwater and then never showed us.

  • 18 5-20-2011 at 7:24 pm

    DylanS said...

    Rashad: I haven’t seen the movie, but given the history of the sequels in this franchise, I imagine he must have fallen straight into a gaping plothole. :)

  • 19 5-20-2011 at 8:11 pm

    al b. said...

    I’ve seen worse. I appreciate the way it was scaled back, but yeah I felt it’s length at times. Totally middle-of-the-road movie, giving the fans what they want… Johnny Depp being quirky and talking funny.

  • 20 5-20-2011 at 11:03 pm

    Sir Andrew said...

    The first three weren’t all that bad, but this was just terrible. Bored through the whole thing. I had no idea it would be so awful.

  • 21 5-20-2011 at 11:30 pm

    James said...

    Didn’t really like it, but it didn’t piss me off. I liked the opening, the mermaid sequence, and Cruz being her sexy self. Other than…pretty meh. I’m avoiding the 5th more so because I just don’t care anymore.

  • 22 5-21-2011 at 11:26 am

    Speaking English said...

    My wish came true! It bombed on Friday!

  • 23 5-21-2011 at 12:25 pm

    Rashad said...

    Sad day when 35 million in one day is considered bombing

  • 24 5-21-2011 at 12:39 pm

    Speaking English said...

    When you compare it to the other “Pirates” films, yes.

  • 25 5-21-2011 at 12:50 pm

    JJ1 said...

    This film is a big fat whatever.

    But in no world is a $35 mill opening Friday a bomb. This will make about $90 mill for the weekend, and it’s already made over $90 mill overseas in the last 3 days. That’s also before some major markets open for it next week. For a ‘Pirates’, it’s a disappointment, not a flop. And I attribute that to less-than-aggressive marketing.

  • 26 5-21-2011 at 8:06 pm

    forts said...

    Worth my 9$… Was fun, light and had pirates in it, exactly what it needed to be

  • 27 5-22-2011 at 1:35 am

    Douglas said...

    Geez people are boring.
    It’s a Disney film. Do I need to say more?
    Some people are treating it as if it wants to be a Oscar contender. It is meant to entertain, and speaking for myself, I was entertained. If you weren’t then maybe you should be spending your money on boring arthouse films rather than a film that is meant to make money.

  • 28 5-22-2011 at 1:43 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    It’s a Disney film. Do I need to say more?

    With respect, I think you do. There are well-executed Disney films and badly executed Disney films, and it’s reductive to suggest that any film that is “meant to entertain” succeeds in that mission on intention alone — regardless of the quality of its craft, pacing, writing, etc. It’s great that you enjoyed it more than others, but to suggest that anybody who didn’t is opposed to all commercial filmmaking is cynical in itself.

  • 29 5-22-2011 at 5:08 am

    m1 said...

    I saw it last night. Why people clapped at the end, I will never understand. The opening sequence (and the other action scenes) were so overly edited that they gave me a headache. Cruz and even Rush weren’t given very much to do, though Depp was fine. The plot felt so inconsequential and loud that I actually had to leave the theater a couple of times. I agree with the others about the mermaid scene (possibly one of the few enjoyable things about the whole film). The only interesting thing in the second half of the film was the mermaid subplot with the priest.

  • 30 5-22-2011 at 5:30 am

    m1 said...

    Also: I’m surprised that you didn’t include one of these articles for Midnight in Paris. I haven’t seen it yet, but will you be doing one? I’ve been hearing wonderful things about it.

  • 31 5-22-2011 at 8:33 am

    Linus said...

    So this is estimated to have made nearly $350 million worldwide in 5 days. Jesus Christ.

  • 32 5-22-2011 at 10:27 am

    JJ1 said...

    Yeah, I was not wild about this film. There’s nothing great about it.

    But I still think it was better than 2 and 3. And Kris’ review looks to be the most negative thing I’ve read on it. I haven’t come across too many people who found it to be as deplorable. And I’ve read many critics/user reviews that think it was just fine. {shrugs}

  • 33 5-22-2011 at 12:54 pm

    Squasher88 said...

    Saw this today and basically, they seemed to have sucked the fun out of it. The mermaids were pretty awesome, but the film was very forgettable.

  • 34 5-22-2011 at 1:07 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    JJ: Then they’re pulling their punches in print, because I’ve talked to tons of critics who loathe it. I’m sure at least Jeremy Smith and Devin went to print with their true feelings, though. Both consider it a piece of shit.

  • 35 5-22-2011 at 1:26 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Good times. haha

    Hey, I have no problem with people hatin’ on it. It isn’t good.

    I just mentioned that I hadn’t seen anything as negative as your write-up (of which I thoroughly enjoyed reading). I was simply commenting on who I’ve spoken to and things I’ve read. I have no doubt I’ve missed plenty of scathing reviews.

    In a perfect world, they would have stopped at Curse of the Black Pearl. But this is money-grabbing franchise world.

  • 36 5-22-2011 at 3:37 pm

    m1 said...

    Also: I don’t understand why people thought this was better than either of the other sequels. I was interested in the subplots in those films far more than the ones in this one.

  • 37 5-22-2011 at 4:50 pm

    Rashad said...

    Yeah, I’m in the camp that doesn’t think the sequels are bad either. The action was more exciting too.

  • 38 5-24-2011 at 11:08 am

    Chris138 said...

    I thought the second film was mediocre and the third was thoroughly dreadful, so this was a slight improvement by comparison. However, it’s still a pretty forgettable experience. The franchise is definitely getting tired and I thought the subplot with the mermaid and the priest was forced and unnecessary.

  • 39 5-25-2011 at 6:08 pm

    Ripley said...

    Saw it at a matinee on a digital screen but no 3d, I am a cheap bastard esp. with a movie like this. Liked Depp (he doesn’t age, I think he has already drunk from the fountain), all the characters really, still a bit long for me, worth $6 glad I didn’t pay more.