DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blu-ray 3D 5-Disc Combo Pack (2011)

Good 3D fun for fans of the franchise; for the rest of us it's Argggh...

Published on September 17, 2012

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blu-ray 3D 5-Disc Combo Pack (2011)

Cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Keith Richards
Director: Rob Marshall
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
Studio: Disney 107924 [10/18/11] (Blu-ray 3D+2 Blu-ray 2Ds+DVD+Digital Copy
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 7.1, DD 2.0, French or Spanish DTS-HD MA 7.1, French or Spanish DD 1.5
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: On Blu-rays – Commentary track with director and executive producer, “Disney Second Screen,” Deleted and extended scenes, “Legends of On Stranger Tides” (behind-the-scenes), “In Search of the Fountain,” “Under the Scene: Bringing Mermaids to Life,” “Johnny vs. Geoffrey” – the two actors share their playing the roles; On DVD – “Bloopers of the Caribbean,” “Captain Jack’s Brick Tales (Lego animated short), more…
Length: 136 minutes
Rating: **** (for fans)

Sorry, I’m not into this pirate stuff, never understood it, and could care less that this is the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and some fans say it’s almost as good as the first one. It’s got plenty of action, including some spectacular stuff, but I quickly had my fill of the sword-fighting. Sort of a cross between The Three Musketeers and a pirate movie.  It does have a few very unusual things in it: zombie pirates, dangerous mermaids who drown sailors, and Blackbeard’s collection of ships in bottles which include the roaring sea and all the crew of the tiny ships. Sometimes the mermaids have vampire teeth (no idea why) and when the aquarium of one they have captured breaks and she is told by Blackbeard she must walk, she suddenly has legs. Then a bit later she’s part fish again. And while I’m grousing, can anyone tell me why Jack Sparrow acts so effeminate all the time?

Not a family movie if there’s youngsters, because some of it gets fairly black with the skeletons and gore that populate most of these movies. The plot is fairly complicated, illogical and silly, but I suppose it makes perfect sense to the fans of the franchise. The Blu-ray transfer is terrific, and so is the 3D. (Frankly, I would have given up in the middle if this weren’t in 3D.) After the movie gets going a bit, there are a number of 3D extensions out from the screen toward the viewer, including swords, boney hands, and an interesting closeup bit of a droplet of water that doesn’t do what a drop of water would normally do. Oh yeah, Keith Richards?  He briefly plays Jack’s father. That said, my final comment on this would be Argggh…

—John Sunier




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