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DVD Shopping Bag: Pirates 4 on Stranger Tides Blu-ray

The Next James Bond?

By Robert T. Trate     October 18, 2011


For someone who didn’t like Pirates of the Caribbean 2 or 3, I still found myself sitting in the theater ready for Pirates 4. It was curiosity and that very first trailer that got me there. I knew Johnny Depp could pull off a movie by himself, but would the dynamic of Pirates be missing since Will and Elizabeth were gone? I wasn’t a huge fan of those two. Therefore I was up for another voyage.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is not without its flaws. Let’s get those out of the way first. Why there is so much of the Missionary (Sam Claflin) and the Mermaid (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) baffles me. It seems as if there was going to be more of their story and they would become the new Will and Elizabeth. In all honesty, I thought their story would lead to a sequel or at least have that after the credits moment.
Of course, no “Pirates” movie would be complete without tons of big action sequences. These were overly elaborate with intricate details and even a cameo (Hello, its Judi Dench). If such over-the-top action wasn’t the expectation for a “Pirates” film, it could be argued that these sequences keep the plot from moving forward. By this point, we know to just go with it. It was during the opening sequence that I had an interesting thought: Are the Pirates of the Caribbean movies the next James Bond franchise? Many of the same principles are here and it has the potential to run the very same course.
The first movie was clearly not Captain Jack’s movie. No, it was Johnny Depp’s characterization that made it all about Captain Jack. Would we have tuned in for a second or third film without him? The answer to that is obvious. What I saw growing in the second and third film was a beloved character that we all root for; a character that all men would love to be and women would love to have. Sean Connery did the exact same thing with Ian Fleming’s James Bond.
The first three James Bond films are all connected as were the first three Pirate movies. Outside of the central character(s) there was a theme that instantly evokes the words “Bond, James Bond”. Han Zimmer’s theme for the Pirates movie does the exact same thing, only we think “Captain Jack Sparrow”. There is a supporting cast in place as well; Barbossa, Mr. Gibbs and Jack the Monkey are an essential part to the story. What would Bond (the early ones) be without Moneypenny, M, or Q?
Like Bond, Captain Jack has longevity. With the open knowledge that Depp has signed on for a few more sequels, we don’t expect Captain Jack to be in any real danger. Come to think of it, he already died once so what’s from stopping Disney from killing him again? Dare I say, when the ideas do run short, how about a prequel to when Captain Jack and Barbossa ran the Black Pearl? I’m sure Pirates of the Caribbean: Dark Side of the Moon a la Moonraker would have fans scratching their heads after the credits rolled. Yet they would still have gone to see it.
If Captain Jack is the next Bond, in terms of adventure and pure cinema entertainment, my final thoughts rest on who could replace Depp. It was crazy to think of anyone replacing Sean Connery, but it did indeed happen. Mr. Lazenby, I think you did a great job and your time as 007 was way too short. At least you avoided Diamonds are Forever. If I had to recast Depp after Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack’s Last Great Adventure I have no clue who could do it. Depp is more than just some player in a role, he truly is Captain Jack Sparrow.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides arrives today on Blu-ray and DVD. Personally, I look forward to seeing this new second screen option Disney is using (Lion King and Bambi both had it and was not available at press time). If it you need to upgrade your Pirate movies to Blu-ray, a box set is available. Then again, with more Pirates on the way, you just might want to hold off.
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Three [Blu-ray]
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
3. Nothing But The Night
4. Zombie (2-Disc Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray]
5. House on Haunted Hill
Beware Starring Adam Leadbeater
Darkness Falls [Blu-ray] Starring Chaney Kley and Emma Caulfield
Dino Wolf (Dinowolf / Direwolf) Starring Gil Gerard and Maxwell Caulfield
From Dusk Till Dawn Double Feature Starring Robert Patrick, Bruce Campbell, Danny Trejo
George: A Zombie Intervention Starring Peter Stickles, Michelle Tomlinson and Lynn Lowry
Grave Encounters Starring Sean Rogerson, Juan Riedinger and Ashleigh Gryzko
Hellraiser: Revelations Starring Steven Brand, Clyde McNight and Sebastian Roberts
Hellraiser: Revelations [Blu-ray]
The House By the Cemetery [Blu-ray] Starring Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni
The House By the Cemetery (Special Edition)
House on Haunted Hill Starring Vincent Price
The Howling Reborn [Blu-ray] Starring Landon Liboiron, Lindsey Shaw and Ivana Milicevic
The Howling Reborn
In a Glass Cage [Blu-ray] Starring Gunter Meisner and David Sust
In a Glass Cage
Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt
Maria's B-Movie Mayhem-Vampire at Midnight
More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead Starring Brian Peck
Murder Obsession Starring John Richardson and Stefano Patrizi
Nothing But The Night Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Katarina Leigh Waters
Satan Hates You Starring Don Wood, Christine Spencer, Angus Scrimm
Scarlet Fry's Junkfood Horrorfest Starring Scarlet Fry and Calico Cooper
Subspecies The Complete Chronicles Starring Anders Hove, Angus Scrimm and Michael Watson
Zombie (2-Disc Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson and Al Cliver
Zombie (2-Disc Ultimate Edition)
Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption Starring Johnny Gel, Fred Williamson and Alicia Clark
Armadillo Starring Janus Metz Pedersen
Assassin's Code Starring Julian Lee
Attack on Leningrad [Blu-ray] Starring Gabriel Byrne and Armin Mueller-Stahl
Cape Fear [Blu-ray] Starring Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange, Nick Nolte
Captain America / Captain America II: Death Too Soon Starring Reb Brown, Connie Sellecca and Christopher Lee
Death Will Have Your Eyes Starring Marisa Mell, Farley Granger, Fransisco Rabal and Helga Line
Freerunner [Blu-ray] Starring Sean Faris, Danny Dyer, Rebecca Da Costa and Tamer Hassan
The Goonies [Blu-ray] Starring Josh Brolin and Sean Astin
Jim's Gift Starring Robert Llewellyn, Chris Jury, Jennifer Calvert
The Last Circus [Blu-ray] Starring Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre and Carolina Bang
The Last Circus
The Pyx (widescreen Edition) Starring Christopher Plummer, Karen Black
R Starring Pilou Asbaek, Dulfi Al-Jabouri, Roland Moller
Red State [Blu-ray] Starring Michael Angarano, Deborah Aquila, John Goodman
Red State
The Robber [Blu-ray] Starring Andreas Lust and Franziska Weisz
The Robber
Sodium Babies Starring Benoit Decaillon and Edouard Audouin
Sucker Punch Starring Gordon Alexander, Ian Freeman, Tom Hardy and Tamer Hassan
Under Suspicion [Blu-ray] Starring Liam Neeson, Laura San Giacomo, Kenneth Cranham
Bamboo Blade: The Complete Series S.A.V.E. Starring Leah Clark, Ian Sinclair and Luci Christian
Demon City Shinjuku Starring Eastern Star
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Christopher R. Sabat, Sean Schemmel
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season One
Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid (Classic) [Blu-ray] Starring Chris Patton, Luci Christian, Hilary Haag and Vic Mignogna
Girl Who Leapt Through Space 3 Starring Yui Makino
Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Complete Collection
Ray Complete Collection
Robotech: Macross Saga - First Robotech War Starring Jean-Claude Ballard
Batman: Year One (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Eliza Dushku, Bryan Cranston and Katee Sackhoff
Batman Year One (Two-Disc Special Edition)
CatDog: Season One, Part One Starring Tom Kenny, Jim Cummings, Carlos Alazraqui and Billy West
Happiness Is Peanuts: Snow Days
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Three Starring Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Three [Blu-ray]
Thundercats: Season 1 Book 1
The Guns of Navarone [Blu-ray] Starring David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and Anthony Quayle
Criterion Collection
Kuroneko (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kiwako Taichi
Kuroneko (Criterion Collection)
The Captains - A Film By William Shatner Starring William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew
The Crow [Blu-ray + Digital Copy] Starring Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) Starring Johnny Depp and Ian McShane
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)
Trancers: The Ultimate Deth Collection Starring Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt and Michael Stefani
It Takes a Thief: The Complete Series Starring Robert Wagner, Bette Davis, Fred Astaire
V: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] Starring Elizabeth Mitchell, Morena Baccarin and Scott Wolf
V: The Complete Second Season
Little House on the Prairie: The Complete Nine-Season Set (Complete Series + Pilot Episode) Starring Michael Landon
Pirates of the Caribbean Four-Movie Collection (Blu-ray + Digital Copy) Starring Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush
Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory (Three-Disc 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Jack Albertson, Roy Kinnear, Gene Wilder and Leonard Stone
Robert Trate writes weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Geek Life, and Toy Maniac. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.


Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
karas1 10/18/2011 9:05:22 AM

The only other actor I can think of with the pure charisma to pull off Captain Jack would be Robert Downey Jr.  But he may be too busy being Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes to take it on.  Still, I think he could pull off the role.

Hobbs 10/18/2011 9:34:52 AM

I think calling Sparrow Bond is a stretch.  Like transformers, 3D numbers pushed it over a billion but tickets sold is less especially in the US.  After 10 Sparrow movies I'll jump on the Bond bandwagon but until then I think people will get tired of the character.

InnerSanctum 10/18/2011 1:21:59 PM

 Pirates 4 was just bad.  Sparrow wore on me and you realized that the entire film relying on him as the leading man and the joke got old real fast. Oh, it didn't help that the script was utter tripe.  I loved the first film, but have learned to loath this franchise.  

BTW, can anyone explain the minister and mermaid plot?   She saves him how?  Is it implied that he becomes a merman?  I too waited at the end of the credits for some explanation.  Notta.  It was all pointless.  Just  a reason to have a love story and for a nice looking guy to take off his shirt.  Very lazy.

Wyldstaar 10/18/2011 7:38:34 PM

Kevin Smith may find it difficult to get Red State in the hands of customers at Best Buy.  My local store didn't even put it on the display.  To get my copy, I had to ask an employee, who went to get one from the stockroom.  When I asked about it, I was told that they have plenty of copies in stock.  They just weren't going to put them out.  What's the point of stocking them if you're not going to even try to sell them?

themovielord 10/18/2011 9:27:26 PM

Wyldstaar, that's crazy... you shop at Best Buy? In all seriousiness I gave up on Best Buy years ago.

Funstin 10/19/2011 6:02:06 AM


Not familiar with Red State.  What's it about?  (Ducks for cover from Smith fans)

karas1 10/19/2011 6:03:16 AM

Best Buy has pretty good prices, just not a very good selection.  If what you want is there, it's aces.  Otherwise go to FYE.  It's pricy but they have a good selection and employees who are happy to help you order whatever you want.  And they don't give you bull about having to order from their website and not taking any responsibility when your order doesn't arrive. (Oops, your $150 DVD collection didn't arrive?  Not my problem.)

jedibanner 10/19/2011 12:21:31 PM

Red State is worth the investment, it's one of those movies I would say is Kevin Smith's best movie in ages. Lots of things you don't expect, lots of crazy things and it's just fun to watch (the acting is very good also).

It ain't a joke movie but a serious movie on something hapenning in our world and worth the watch (notice Ben Afleck isn't in this movie...just saying).

Wyldstaar 10/19/2011 3:02:49 PM

Funstin, you have nothing to fear from Kevin Smith fans.  We're a very laid back bunch.  It's the KS haters who get venomous.  That's why I like it here at Mania.  It's not as chock full of hate as AICN.

I have repatedly sworn to myself that I wouldn't darken Best Buy's door due to their constant failure to stock or display obscure movies.  Unfortunately, their competition in my area is even worse about it than they are.  I know I should just buy them from amazon, but sometimes I just want a movie right then.  I see a lot of movies for sale on iTunes for the same price as retail, but I also can't help but notice that their descriptions fail to mention the presence of any of the many bonus features that are on the blurays/dvds.  There used to be an FYE at the mall, but it closed down.  Their prices were always obscenely high the few times I went inside. 

Red State is about sex, religion and politics (and in that order).  The first third of the movie is about a trio of teenage boys looking to get laid through an online ad.  The second third of the film is about the boys encountering a bunch of fundamentalist nutjobs (loosely based on the Phelps family, the assholes who protest pretty much everything) who've decided to take God's vengence upon the teens into their own hands.  The third part of the film is all about the government dealing with the fundamentalist compound in the form of a controntation with the ATF.

The cast includes John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Michael Parks and Steven Root with a cameo from Kevin Pollack.  Hollywood formula is nowhere to be found either.  I highly recommend it.

InnerSanctum 10/20/2011 6:04:05 AM

 Best Buy?  Why not just order a used copy on Amazon?  Give it two weeks and someone will be selling it for 2.99.  



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