Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Adam and I were pretty excited about the release of this Pirates movie; I think the trailer got us a little hyped up and so we decided to buy tickets in advance for the premiere on Thursday night. Which works, because then it's a little something to look forward to throughout the day at work. :)




Synopsis:


So, there's this famed Fountain of Youth set far far away and because it's THE Fountain of Youth, obviously, it isn't going to be a breeze getting there. As though that ever stopped anybody in a movie.

The King of England is interested in the Fountain of Youth; however, the Spanish are already off on their way (Because, god forbid that Spain actually beat England at anything. Unless of course we're talking about football.) and he wants to get there first. To do so, he acquires the services of Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), whom he has just captured, and Jack's old nemesis, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). However, upon hearing from Barbossa that his beloved Black Pearl ship has been destroyed, Jack goes off in a rage and escapes the palace.


Jack's escape from the palace - one of the more fun scenes.

Upon escape, he crosses paths with an exotic pirate-slash-ex lover, Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and we're treated with a totally random backstory on how he met and corrupted her in illitcious affair, resulting in her leaving the convent and resorting to the ways of piracy. (Drama much? :s) Because Jack will be of help, Angelica drugs him and gets him onboard the Queen's Anne Revenge under the watch of her father, Captain Blackbeard (Ian McShane) whom surprise, surprise, is also heading towards the Fountain of Youth.


Trudging through forests to get to the fountain.


The journey is perilous, however. To reap the benefits of the Fountain of Youth, one would need a two chalices from the Ponce de Leon, a mystical shipwreck, and even more challenging, a tear from a mermaid. To get there, Jack and everyone else will have to land at Whitecap Bay which is guarded by a bevy of ethereal and alluring yet deadly mermaids.

With so many parties - BlackbeardBarbossa, the Spanish - running against time to reach the Fountain, and so many obstacles, who gets there first?


Review: 


(For apparently $55 million bucks,) Johnny Depp returns as one of his most iconic characters yet - Captain Jack Sparrow. As always, Depp tackles the part with the flamboyance and quirk that we've come to expect, but almost with too much aplomb. His Captain Jack Sparrow here was more over the top compared to the first three movies, at times, making it feel as though it was done to appease the children audience.



With the departure of Will & Elizabeth (Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightly respectively), the movie desperately needed some star power and some feminine sex appeal. Penelope Cruz, Depp's partner in the 2001 movie Blow, reunites with her onscreen partner some ten years later. The quick, strong and tough female pirate (firate?) is a solid onscreen match for Jack Sparrow well played by Cruz.



However, together, I wasn't really sold on them as lovers because all we got were some very random scenes of them together and suddenly Jack was insinuating that his knees were going weak and all that. I'd much rather them stay as rivals, as equals.

On a side note, I hated that silly cowboy looking hat she's wearing as though she just came off a Wild Wild West movie set. -_-


Depp with Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa

Ian McShane as Blackbeard
Geoffrey Rush returns as Barbossa and easily becomes the most effective character here after Jack Sparrow. Depp/Rush's chemistry also beats that of Depp/Cruz's and scenes containing the two neck-to-neck, are the better scenes in the movie. Equally imposing and memorable was the dark, sinister performance by Ian McShane as Blackbeard.


Promotional picture of the mermaids released by Disney. Now, wouldn't you like to net yourself one of these?

And last but not least, I can't go without talking about the most interesting addition to the Pirates chain - the mermaids. It was very disturbing to watch beautiful mermaids, in all their splendour and sparkle, turn into things that would make Jaws proud. I think all the men in the cinema recoiled when the transformation happened. :p

All ivory and mesmerizing, the mermaids capsized boats and took down men who crossed Whitecap Bay. They hissed and snarled and lasso-ed their victims into the dark depths of water! This is not what I remember of Disney, yikes. (But really, the underwater scenes of the scary mermaids were done very well.)

  
The forlorn Syrena, played by Astrid Berges-Frisbey

Newcomer Astrid Berges-Frisbey plays the beautiful stubborn mermaid Syrena who refuses to cry for Blackbeard's agenda. She was impressive, but her partner less so. I think she'll have good things coming her way, this actress.


The customary hunk picture. Sam Claflin as Philip.

Sam Claflin was Philip, a missionary tasked by Angelica to be on the ship, who almost immediately fell in love with Syrena. He had some of the cheesiest lines ever written as the knight in shining armour to Syrena, but as good looking as he was and as charming his accent was, he didn't manage to make those lines any better. Even though the two looked very good together, his love sub-story felt rushed and underdeveloped.

The missionary and the mermaid.


To sum things up, the movie felt a bit choppy. It felt as though a lot of the movie was spent trudging around in the jungle searching for the fountain; I would have preferred more scenes out at sea, on board majestic ships. I wasn't on the edge of my seat for the ending... it was almost as though the ending came wayyyy too easily for our heroes. Make them work a little! Swashbuckle a little more! :p

Not nearly enough of this!

 Also, I'm not sure if it was GSC or the cinematography, but some scenes were too dark and I had to struggle to make out what was happening onscreen. Besides that, absolutely beautiful shots of the outdoors as one would expect from a Pirates movie.



Another saving grace though, Hans Zimmer proves that you can never go wrong with him at the music helm. The Pirates theme by Hans Zimmer is one of my favourites by him, and he reinteprets it again for this movie, having it run throughout the action. Splendid. I can even still hear it in my head right now :D

Final verdict: Watch if you're a die-hard fan of the Pirates trilogy and/or Johnny Depp and never really cared much for Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightly anyway. Or if you like a bit of mindless action to relax your mind. Don't bother with watching it in 3D. Oh and dear Jerry Bruckheimer, thank you for ruining my Disney Princess vision of mermaids. Seriously.


Yeah, now yours is ruined too, right?



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