Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Blu-Ray Review

The Movie: 7/10 (By Cidtalk)
Pirates, adventure, swashbuckling, mysterous creatures, the promise of a legend (fountain of youth), it’s all here and it’s all for the fun of it. I have enjoyed every Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Each one has a vibe of it’s own. The big blockbuster character of the whole series is undeniable. If you say you hate them all because they are too ‘low common denominator’ and pandering to the masses, fine. You are missing some of the joy in the flight of fanciness.

The cast is what it is, big stars dressed up in crazy costumes and being bigger than life. I’m a sucker for Geoffrey Rush, he commands me every time he’s on the screen. Johnny Depp is Jack, Captain Jack Sparrow and owns the whole of that persona. Penlope Cruz is really good, tough and charming and as the movie goes on I wanted more of her, less of everyone else.

My lovely husband, The Ascully, says the music is a big part of the whole experience and he loves it. I agree that it’s awesome, however, I felt it was a bit heavy sometimes and too demanding. It’s a wonderful score, if not a big chunked in there too much from time to time and it takes away from the fun or excitement of the moment.

The movie isn’t trying too hard to be big action, but there’s enough going on to make me want to go on the same journey. It’s truly the stuff of kids’ imagination. If you ever had one you might remember how it felt to stand in your backyard swing and pretend it was the front of a ship as you stormed across the tumbling sea battling monsters and discovering distant lands. I did that a few times and when I watch any on of the Pirate movies it takes me back. What Stranger Tides does is spark that desire to be hypnotized by the promise of myths and legends like mermaids. I do want more open oceans though, less cannons, more sea monsters.

I look forward to more, but it’s not required for me. Some people want these kinds of franchises to go on forever, not me. I think every story has it’s beginning and end, which is good enough. I don’t like it when something goes too long, and the fear of Pirates of the Caribbean could be screwed up if it is run through the movie mill for much longer.

Oh, the story of this one is finding the fountain of youth. There are mermaids who are incredibly compelling and unlike any mermaids I have ever seen. There is the missionary who is an excellent theme to drop into the pirate tales. There is Blackbeard, who happens to be my least favorite thing in the whole movie, brutal but not as interesting as Davy Jones (pardon the comparison). Finding something to not like about this or others in the series isn’t hard to do, I mean, there’s always hit and miss with any blockbuster flick. The thing is, the balance is tipped for me into the zone of having a really good time, walking away with a smile on my face. That’s always a good thing.

Features: 4/10

  • Bloopers Of The Caribbean – A 5 minute blooper reel, funny at times.
  • Audio Commentary With Director Rob Marshall – A detailed full length commentary that really gives insight into the production.
  • Lego Animated Shorts: Captain Jack’s Brick Tales – Great for the small ones, but adults will see through these shorts and recognize they are really just advertisements.
  • DVD Version Of The Movie – A DVD copy of the movie for those times you need to watch a fuzzier version of the film.

Cover Art and Menus: 9/10 (By Ascully)
The DVD combo version of on Stranger Tides comes with a slipcover which has some awesome holographic printing. The only thing I wish was different (and this applies to most Blu-Ray slipcovers) is that the actual slipcover contains different art to what is actually on the box. I do like the fact that Captain Jack Sparrow is given the whole cover though.

The menus are very impressive with a custom spinning map that shows you the main areas in which the movie takes place. It also has that awesome Hans Zimmer music playing which is always a bonus.

(Cidtalk says, no I would not have this as a poster. It’s not interesting enough, just very piratey.)

Audio & Video: 9/10 (By Ascully)
I really believe if there is a king of the high seas in terms of transfer quality on Blu-Ray it’s Disney. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is no exception. Regular Pirates fans will notice that this is a more gloomy visual film with a new cinematographer onboard (Dariusz Wolski), but still Disney’s transfer keeps the gloomy visuals impactful without crushing blacks. The film is not all dark though as it moves to the lush jungle and things really start to look great.

One of the best surround tracks of the year can be heard on this disc. Surround activity is abundant at all times with lots of bass activity as well. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track really delivers all the action of the high seas. A special mention must be made to Hans Zimmer’s amazing Swashbuckling score, if you have seen any of the Pirates movies this will be immediately recognisable and in this movie some could say overused. Not for me though I love the tune and more is better 🙂

Value: 7/10 (By Ascully)
There are several versions on the movie available and unfortunately the DVD combo is missing the disc that contains the majority of the special features. This brings down the value slightly for me. It’s a disturbing trend that the full suite of extras are only available on the 3D version of the movie but I guess they have to sell 3DTV”s  to the masses somehow. The transfer of the audio and video look incredible, so whichever version you plunk down that pirate booty for you will be pleased with.

Overall Score 7/10