Saturday, December 25, 2010

Upcoming Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and more

This looks about right.

Let me ask you a question: did artistic integrity stop George Lucas from making swimming pools of money off of adding three more movies to his trilogy? Of course not. So why should we expect anything different out of Disney regarding their hit Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy?

Thank God we won't have to
look at their smarmy faces.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, a.k.a. Pirates 4, is set to be released May 20, and it certainly doesn’t look like Disney is going to be rocking the money boat much on this one. Some characters will be leaving, such as Orlando Bloom’s Will and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth, for which everyone in the world breathes a collective sigh of relief, but of course Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow will be remaining to get into old-timey hijinks on the high seas.

Pirates 4 follows Jack on his quest for the Fountain of Youth. Along the way, he meets an old friend (ish) played by Penelope Cruz, who just so happens to be the daughter of Blackbeard (played by perennial villain Ian McShane), and bumps into old friend Barbossa (played by Geoffrey Rush). Oh yeah, and Judi Dench is going to be in it. Seriously, I have no idea what’s going on with this movie, except lots of Johnny Depp doing exactly what he did in the first three movies.

The problem is, the first three movies could get away with Jack having zero character development, because he still had some sort of motivation, and he was just incredibly funny. But with the novelty worn off, will Jack still be as funny? And if he’s essentially the only main character, how could Stranger Tides possibly get away with no character development? But if they decide to have Jack develop into a stronger character, will moviegoers expecting more Johnny Depp silliness be able to handle the change? The biggest variable is, unsurprisingly, Jack Sparrow. If the movie can manage to keep Jack Sparrow as an interesting and unique character, then the movie can’t fail to be a smash success, but if it just rides on a new all-star cast, special effects and Johnny Depp slurring his words, then Pirates 4 might be just as disappointing as George Lucas’ fourth installment (chronologically).


But of course, just like Star Wars, Disney couldn’t stop at just one more movie, so they decided to go big and just make a whole ‘nother trilogy. Rumors have been floating around that the producers of Stranger Tides have been telling the cast to clear a large chunk of time for the filming of 5 and 6, which would be filmed simultaneously like the second and third Pirates movies as one movie, and then broken into two installments so that moviegoers end one at a cliffhanger and have to go pay another eight dollars to Disney to see the next one. Disney is probably pulling a leaf out of the Harry Potter book here and heck, if they throw on another trilogy after this one, they could maybe compete with HP for top-grossing series of all time. That’s probably the ultimate goal.

That and world domination.
The plots of these two movies are wildly unclear. They could stick with the Fountain of Youth plotline, though that seems unlikely, since Stranger Tides is based on a Tim Powers novel, and so probably won’t work well as set-up for the next two. But if they create an entirely different plot, like they did for the second and third movies, what could possibly top the first four? I’m going to suggest Atlantis. Hopefully with zombie mermaids.

Death and Glory,


P.S. Merry Christmas all you YAMB-ers!

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