I enjoyed the new POTC: On Stranger Tides. I went in with low expectations because, well, now it is beyond a trilogy and solidly into a franchise. Besides, I am an un-fan of Tim Powers…his books are not “for me” as they say, so I was skeptical.
My biggest piece of advice: SKIP THE 3D. The movie was fun but the 3D effects were AWFUL. Just see the regular film and spend your extra couple of bucks on popcorn.
Some of my very favorite parts were the on-location shooting:
“I’ve sat on that Morton Bay Fig Tree!”
“I’ve BEEN in that cave!!!”
AND, the sequences that specifically seem to use the “sets” from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I am glad they are keeping up that tradition because it is SO FUN!
I was disappointed in the lack of creativity put into what turned out to be “sparkly” mermaids. You’ll get it after you see the film. So many evil-looking fish out there, with really wicked teeth…but no. I was very impressed that the creatures’ movement was far more like actual sea mammals with a similar design (notably dolphins).
There were several sequences where the plot exposition made scenes far too long, and really threw off the timing. There were also not enough wonderful, clever-or-lucky? Jack scenes for me. Some characters died dramatic, overpriced effects deaths – even though we didn’t care about them much, and the “special effect” in question was never used again in the film. Sure sign of not-so-good editing? writing? I’m not an expert.
Overall there were enough little surprises, twists, and turns – completely believable ones, BTW – that I am glad I paid full price and even glad I saw it in 3D (though I have to say again, the “paper cutout” effects were complete rubbish). Blackbeard was despicable, I was HAPPY the Zombies must mostly have ended up on the cutting room floor, and the arcane nature of Blackbeard’s ship was properly chilling!
The Highlight for me: Mutiny! The Goblets, and the sequence with the cream puff.
The Do Without: Iron Box, Death of the Eight Bells Watch, and the bit stolen entirely from Indiana Jones.