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Laramie Movie Scope:
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Capt. Jack's back with more pirate fun on the high seas

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by Patrick Ivers, Film Critic
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(2011) I had a choice among sequels of adults or pandas acting stupidly showing at the theater, so I picked this entertaining movie. A rollicking, frolicking adventure on the high seas again with Capt Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) - wearing his trademark red headscarf, mascaraed eyes, thin mustache, braided and beaded beard and long locks, strutting with an effeminate rolling gait and goofy quirks - on our fourth voyage with the wily pirate, though sans his Black Pearl, which has been magically locked up in a bottle on Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge with its screeching monkey.

With Master Gibbs (Kevin McNally) on trial for piracy, accused of being Capt Sparrow, Jack shows up in London to rescue his shipmate, who steals a map from Jack with directions to Ponce de Le˛n's fountain of youth. Jack, showing no interest at all in chasing after the mythical waters, hears rumors that someone impersonating him is hiring a crew.

A pirate lord, Capt Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), has signed on with the British Navy as a privateer to find the fountain before the Spanish reach it. Many years before, Jack had entered a Spanish convent in Seville, believing it to be a bordello, where he stole the flower of virtue from Angelica Malon (PenÚlope Cruz); he encounters her unexpectedly - "That's hardly appropriate for the first mate," she says to Jack who replies: "Was I the first?" - during his escape from the British.

Claiming to be the daughter of Blackbeard (Ian McShane), also known as Edward Teach, she impresses Jack into service aboard the supernatural Queen Anne's Revenge. Blackbeard possesses a voodoo doll to control his captive. Also onboard is Philip (Sam Claflin), a Christian missionary, who becomes involved with a mermaid, Syrena (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), after the pirates reach Whitecap Bay; a tear from a mermaid is required along with a pair of silver chalices to make the waters of the fountain into the desired elixir.

Keith Richards makes a brief reprise of his role as Capt Teague, Jack's father and pirate lord, which led me to wonder how Jack got the name Sparrow. The answer I found at http://allcaptainjacksparrow.com/index.html : "Pirate captains often took a nom de guerre to instill respect and fear in others, so that alone explains why Jack and his father seem to have different surnames, 'Sparrow' and 'Teague' respectively. It is known, however, that 'Sparrow' was a title given to a seaman who'd sailed in all the seas of the world and this Jack had done long before he became a pirate lord himself, so Jack may have chosen that nom de guerre early on."

Directed by Rob Marshall from a screen story and screenplay by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, suggested by Tim Powers's novel, based on characters they created along with Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert. Hang around until the conclusion of the end credits for the final scene, indicative of a fifth episode to follow.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2011 Patrick Ivers. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Patrick Ivers can be reached via e-mail at nora's email address at juno. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)