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'Pirates' : Don't 'argh' you about it

Published May 26. 2011 05:00PM

If it's, as the Disney World ride song goes, "a pirate's life for me," then 3-D would seem the way to go.

While you're at it, add Imax.

But should you for ""Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"?

Well, of course, you don't really want to be a pirate (other than at Halloween). "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," as with the Orlando, Fla., theme park attraction, provides a fun ride.

That's what it's all about, after all: Entertainment.

The fourth installment of "Pirates" is certainly entertaining, led by the "Yo-ho-ho," wink-wink, nudge-nudge, sword firmly in sheath acting of Johnny Depp as pirate Jack Sparrow, a formidable, if goofy, Jack of all trade winds.

If you're a fan of Depp -- and who isn't based on his box-office status? - then "Argh-uably," "Pirates" is the movie for you.

The plot about the search for the Fountain of Youth isn't much to hang this movie's plot on. But it sets up a race between the English, the Spanish and the Pirates to get there first. There are some great action scenes.

We could have done without the vampire-like mermaids. You'll never look at a mermaid in the same way. That is, of course, if you ever actually see one.

Director Rob Marshall ("Nine," "Chicago"), succeeds Gore Verbinski. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio are back as screenwriters (2003, 2006, 2007 "Pirates").

Gone are Orlando Bloom (Will Turner) and Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann).

Depp isn't the only reason to see this "Pirates."

Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, Sparrow's nemesis, relishes the role as he slathers on the saucy looks.

Ian McShane as Blackbeard snarls and blusters.

Penelope Cruz as Angelica, the mysterious woman from Sparrow's past, is a welcome addition.

Astrid Berges-Frisbey as Syrena the mermaid is transcendent.

And there's Keith Richards, who, yes, is still alive, in a cameo as Captain Teague.

Speaking of special effects, in "Pirates" they are spectacular, the action is enormous and the quips are rapier-swift.

Should you see it in 3-D? Should you see it in Imax 3-D?

Not necessarily. Again, 3-D darkens scenes too much. Also, there really aren't that many eye-popping 3-D visuals although at couple of, er, points, a sword seems to be thrust right in your face. The Imax puts you front and center, as if you are in the scenes. However, the dialogue scenes, of which there are quite a few, do not require 3-D.

That said, "Pirates" is a rollicking good time. This is a popcorn movie. It's in the tradition of great summer movies. Go. Enjoy.

Just don't plan on a career as a pirate.

It's not only notorious, it's notoriously short-lived.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," MPAA Rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13); Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy; Run time: 2 hr., 17 min.; Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous: The growing coterie of Credit Readers Anonymous stayed to the very end of the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" to see a several-minute scene where Penelope Cruz provides a clue to "Pirates" No. 5, already in the offing.

Box Office, May 20: "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" found the box-office booty, opening with $90.1 million, the year's biggest.

2. "Bridesmaids," $21 million, $59.5 million, two weeks; 3. Thor," $15.5 million, $145.4 million, three weeks; 4. "Fast Five," $10.6 million, $186.2 million, four weeks; 5. "Rio," $4.6 million, $131.6 million, six weeks; 6. "Priest," $4.6 million, $23.6 million; 7. "Jumping the Broom," $3.7 million, $31.3 million, three weeks; 8. "Something Borrowed," $3.4 million, $31.4 million, three weeks; 9. "Water for Elephants," $2.1 million, $52.4 million, five weeks; 10. "Madea's Big Happy Family," $990,000, $51.7 million, five weeks;

Unreel, May 27:

"In a Better World," R: A Denmark drama about troubled boys and their families.

"Kung Fu Panda 2," PG: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and more are back to voice the latest DreamWorks Animation silliness, in which the Furious Five is off to China. Rising fun, anyone?

"The Hangover Part II," R: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms are all in for Stu's wedding. Opens May 26.

Read previous movie reviews at Email Paul Willistein at: and on Facebook.

Three Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

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