Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides
Director: Rob Marshall, Walt Disney Pictures, Rated M, 137 Mins
The fourth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has filmmaker Rob Marshall (replacing Gore Verbinski) at the helm (having earlier directed the academy award winning movie Chicago) and teaming up with action supremo Jerry Bruckheimer who produced the three previous Pirates movies.
Besides Johnny Depp reprising his role as the perennial pirate Captain Jack Sparrow and Australian Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush returning as Captain Hector Barbossa, Marshall has introduced two new characters, namely Oscar winner Penelope Cruz playing the feisty Spanish pirate Angelica (as well as Sparrow’s former flame) and British star Ian McShane portraying Angelica’s alleged father Blackbeard who shows his supernatural powers that include a voodoo doll of Sparrow.
This latest adventure sees Sparrow, Barbossa, Angelica and Blackbeard (including the Spanish fleet) all going after the mythical Fountain of Youth with Sparrow initially being forced to help Barbossa and then Blackbeard after being kidnapped by Angelica.
On reaching the fountain’s location their main obstacle is to overcome the beautiful but piranha like mermaids, one of whom must provide a tear for a silver chalice in order for the fountain’s powers to work which is obtained following the capture of the lovely mermaid Syrena (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) after falling for Philip (Sam Clafin), a member of Blackbeard’s crew.
Though not as action filled and exciting as the earlier movies (which featured Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly) Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides is still an enjoyable romp with both Depp and Rush providing most of the entertaining scenes, not to mention those involving Cruz and McShane who play their roles to the hilt.
And besides the inclusion of Rolling Stone Rocker Keith Richards playing Jack Sparrow’s father Captain Teague there is also the Australian actress Gemma Ward who appears briefly as the first piranha like mermaid Tamara.
As has been the case at the end of each Pirate movie and after the credits have rolled there is a delightful concluding scene featuring Cruz that clearly suggests that the next adventure will be sailing onto the big screen in the not too distant future.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3½ Rubber Stamp
The Green Hornet
Director: Michel Gondry, Columbia Pictures, Rated M, 120 Mins
A new crime fighter has been resurrected from the comic books and TV series and made into another comic book hero by French director Michel Gondry with none other than comedian Seth Rogan playing the lead role of Britt Reid alias the Green Hornet.
In his fight for law and order Britt is assisted by Kato (Jay Chou) a martial arts expert-a role performed by the iconic Bruce Lee in the ‘60’ TV series.
Just like the first ‘Batman’ movie there is an introduction to Britt Reid and Kato taking on the crime fighting mantle following the sudden death of Brit’s wealthy father and publisher James Reid (Tom Wilkinson).
Britt is also assisted in his efforts by a beautiful assistant Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz).
It is not too long before the duo confronts the head of the criminal gangs Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz) with the fight scenes mainly tackled by Kato.
Despite the clumsy antics of Rogen, Gondry has managed to inject a great deal of entertaining action and humour, all of which can be fully enjoyed on the latest DVD release (as well as on the 3D version) including bonus features such as The Black Beauty, the director’s commentary and an “awesome” gag reel.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3½ Rubber Stamp
How Do You Know
Release Date: 8 June 2011
Director: James L. Brooks, Sony Pictures, Rated M, 121 Mins
After a lapse of more than 10 years, academy award winning writer/director James l. Brooks returns with his romantic comedy skit centred on three individuals, each having to encounter their “ups and downs” in life.
Lisa (Reece Witherspoon) is a softball star who suddenly finds herself being dropped from the USA team because of her age and dating a promiscuous baseball star, Matty (Owen Wilson) whose relationship with Lisa is constantly tested.
After another confrontation with Matty, Lisa walks out of his apartment and meets up with business executive George (Paul Rudd) on a blind date only to find that he is under investigation for a corporate crime committed by the boss - his father Charles (Jack Nicholson).
George immediately falls for Lisa and thus begins a romantic love triangle until Lisa finally knows who she really wants to be with.
Despite a great deal of dialogue there are a number of funny moments between all three leading characters with Witherspoon being the star performer in this sweet-natured satire on human relationships-entertainingly presented on the latest DVD which also includes the filmmakers’ commentary, a blooper reel and a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the making of the movie.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamp
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