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Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (3D/2D) (2011) Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 October 2011
ImageI couldn’t believe it when I heard that a fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean film was in production.  I thought to myself, what are they thinking?  How is that going to work?  Could it actually be any good?  It seems that you should always go with your gut instincts.  This is the perfect example of what not to do with a perfectly fine trilogy.

The filmmakers have capitalized badly on a good name.  “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is an effort to try an copy all the successful moments of the original films into one.  This results in a slow moving, horribly written story film.  I sat through this thing trying to figure out what the purpose of everything was.  What is the ultimate end goal here?

So, the just of what I can figure, we have Jack Sparrow (I think there should be a Captain in there), Blackbeard and his “daughter,” Barbosa captaining a fleet of British soldiers, and somehow the Spanish, all fighting their way to the Fountain Of Youth.  I would say that this film is predictable, but it is hard to predict something that has no direction.  The events seem contrived from a lack of purpose, meaning they exist simply because the filmmakers couldn’t exactly determine what to do next.  The antics of Jack Sparrow are redundant and just don’t work this many years later.

Sadly, this film is dragged out far too long at over two and one quarter hours.  Could have been a short feature.  There are very few thrilling moments in the film, so they get easily lost among the mess.  The back and forth nature of the lies and truth in the film get old quickly and you eventually just don’t care which side who is on.  The film lacks the excitement and passion that was present in the original trilogy.  Here’s to hoping that the studio leaves this franchise alone, and never sees the need to resurrect it again.

For more information visit the theatrical review of the film here. It’s been a while since I have seen a natively shot 3D film.  They have all been post-converts of late.  Not that that is a bad thing when it comes to Disney’s animations.  However, with “The Green Lantern,” yikes.  Thankfully, POTC: OST has more of what 3D is all about.  Still, the film is cloaked in too much darkness for the 3D release to have all consistency that I look for when viewing 3D.  When the film hits the bright sunlight, the 3D effect is astounding.  Just wait until the jungle journey toward the end.  It will leave you breathless in 3D.  There are other opportunities for that feeling along the way, but they are few and far between.  The bulk of the film spends its time in the night or in the shadows. Anyone familiar with 3D imagery will know that those are not exactly the best sequences to showcase the 3D effect.  Sure, this film does it better in those dimly lit sequences that say “Green Lantern,” but it isn’t worth the price of admission.

These inconsistencies are not the fault of the transfer.  The original photography was inconsistent as intended.  So what we have on the 3D and 2D Blu-ray discs is a fairly accurate representation of the original intents.  Yes, the digital noise reduction on Syrena is still as present as it was in movie theaters.  Aside from that, the imagery is pleasing in both 3D and 2D.  The black levels are solid with very minor crushing on occasion.  Textures are left distinguished even in the darker scenes.  Details remain faithful to the original presentation, even in the shadows.  Shadows refrain from swallowing objects like a black hole.  There is no major artifacting or technical issues of any kind.  Overall, this is a very nice video transfer in both 3D and 2D, but doesn’t quite come across as reference quality in either format.

As promised by Disney, all of their 3D releases are being accompanied by native 7.1 audio.  POTC: OST is no exception.  The 7.1 DTS-HD MA track on the 3D/2D Blu-ray discs is astounding to say the least.  It is wholly immersive.  The surround back channels are utilized to their full potential.  You will find that your soundfield has been extended far into the depths of your home theater and beyond.  The dialogue is the weakest point of this transfer, but is not any different than the original presentation.  Dialogue constantly falls by the wayside, which is what keeps this from being a perfect score.  I let it go for the first bit of the film, but it just got more annoy as the film progressed.  Dialogue is either buried by music/effects or just simply contains bad ADR or production sound.  The consistency of the dialogue fluctuates greatly.  That aside, the sound effects and music steal the show.  The dynamics are expansive.  Surround sound immersion the best I have heard in quite some time.  Details and panning are spot on.  This audio track will not disappoint in that arena, but that darn dialogue.

POTC: OST comes in a 5-disc Blu-ray set.  The first disc is the Blu-ray 3D version.  The second two discs are Blu-ray 2D, then a DVD Copy and finally a Digital Copy.  Note: the regular Blu-ray package of the film only contains one Blu-ray 2D disc.  The bonus features Blu-ray disc is exclusive to the Blu-ray 3D 5-disc package.

Included on the primary Blu-ray 2D disc is the feature film, an audio commentary with an executive producer and director Rob Marshall, a blooper reel and “Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean,” the latter being a short.

The bonus Blu-ray 2D disc contains a production documentary along with deleted scenes.  “Legends Of On Stranger Tides” contains interviews and behind the scenes footage with cast and crew members.  “In Search Of The Fountain” talks about the inspiration of the Fountain Of Youth in the fourth film.  “Under The Scene: Bringing Mermaids To Life” is a visual effects featurette.  “Last Sail, First Voyage” covers the topic of Blackbeard.  “Johnny vs. Geoffrey” examines the two masterminds.  Lastly there is a collection of deleted scenes, five in total.

I simply can’t recommend this as a film to anyone.  It just isn’t good by any means.  However, the 3D quality of the video is superior to most of recent days and the Blu-ray 2D quality is impressive as well.  The audio quality steals the show with the exception of dialogue quality.  But given that the characters don’t really have anything meaningful to say, it isn’t so much a problem as an annoyance.

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