Last night I had the pleasure of attending a pre-screening of the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I’ve attended similar pre-screenings before but this time we were press! I have to say I smiled inside a little when we went straight to our reserved seats in an otherwise packed house where some had admitted to standing in line since 4pm! Thank you, Disney! AND I didn’t realize it at first but we sat right in front of local radio celebrity Paul Schad (in the morning). Charlotte folks, can you say his name without saying the rest?? I realized after he helped me get my stubborn arm rest down that I recognized his voice way before I saw his face. Also fun? Seeing his co-host Meg show up a few minutes later.
And while we’re speaking of local celebrity, I got to meet Sarah Pinnix! Sarah and I have been online friends for a while. She even jumped on Sisterhood of the Traveling Belt last fall and made an awesome video during her turn at Blissdom. Anyway, all that to say there were no introductions as soon as we spotted each other, just a big hug, lots of chatter and of course, a picture.
Ok, ok, yes, there’s a movie review in here somewhere!
Just going to be honest and say I went into this knowing that the last few Pirates of the Caribbean had not lived up to the original for me. I was quite the skeptic. But I have to say, this is a must-see-in-theaters installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. Jack Sparrow was charming as ever. I enjoyed every single new cast member as well as how they used some familiar faces. It was a strong, interesting storyline. In fact, I’ve been debating whether or not I enjoyed it more than the first.
That’s the short version. For those of you who are going to see it, come back here after you see it and let’s compare notes or if you don’t mind spoilers, keep reading!
I thought Penelope Cruz was a perfect match for Johnny Depp. I enjoyed her with him more than Keira. While tenuous, it was good to see some more of his history. I loved that she matched his deception and lies and even he was impressed with her pirating ways. I enjoyed the chemistry they had while at the same time not turning Jack Sparrow into a softie. Hey, I enjoy my softies but that’s not Jack Sparrow! One of my favorite scenes his him describing his “stirrings”.
I loved the action-packed scenes. While hard to believe most of the time, it’s still always interesting to see how Jack gets himself out of situations. The tree scene was probably the least likable while the scene with King George was so entertaining.
I love, love that they put Barbossa as one of the King’s men. Did you not love King George?? I love that they ended up having Barbossa and Jack nearly working together. They are a perfect match of pirates. Although I still liked that Barbossa had his own agenda and parted ways with Jack at the end.
I loved the missionary they introduced Philliip. I think he was able to keep the movie grounded as much as possible in a pirate movie. There was a good good vs.evil storyline with him. It really gave you someone to root for besides Jack.
The mermaids! Those were some scary mermaids. In fact, the only part that I felt uncomfortable in was that. They were almost a mermaid/vampire combo and it was just…ugh. I’m glad they really only lasted that one scene, unlike the Kraken and zombies we were introduced to in previous films.
And to combine the last two points, I super-duper loved the Phillip/Syrena storyline. They fill the spots of Will and Elizabeth with perfection and I just loved how their storyline played out.
I think most of all I liked that this was just straight-up pirating. There weren’t too many mystical characters or plot points. Just a few great pirates fighting over a good ‘ol fountain of youth.
In summary, great, great movie. Like I said, probably the strongest out of the four. I’d pick up some tickets and a babysitter now for the weekend!