'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' probably wouldn't have sold as many tickets if it were called 'On Familiar Tides,' since it is pretty shameless about stealing the structure and a number of scenes from the original film in the series. The cast additions are great, the castoffs improve the film with their absence, but no actor could be capable of fixing the wrongs of this film, or even making them less noticeable. I can say this was a very, very long 136 minutes, and an experience I'm not so thrilled to experience again...oh wait, there's still a 3D disc to review...
This 2D edition has absolutely spectacular presentation qualities, though it comes up way short in the extras department. On the strength of disc and acting alone, this one comes recommended.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
I've got to say it, 'Pulp Fiction' has never looked better.
It pains me to write this section of the review. Pains me dearly. I want to give 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' a five star score, the loftiest perch attainable under our system. I want to, but I just can't do it. I do want to say that Disney has given us an amazing looking disc, absolutely amazing. I also want to say that if every disc looked this good, there wouldn't be any need for Blu-ray reviews at all. Disney's 1080p transfer on their latest 'Pirates' flick is a real gem, clearly defining the top tier as one of the best looking titles to hit the format this year.
I want to change things up a little, and talk about what bothered me about the disc, before throwing all that fun lavish praise at it, because quite simply, if I start the other way around, I may never get to the gripes and may talk myself out of this. Consistency is the killer. 'On Stranger Tides' boasts some absolutely jaw dropping sequences, moments that clearly redefine the definition of "demo material," and even when it isn't at its peak, the amount of detail in the picture is superb. However, in part due to a proliferation of dark sequences in the opening half of the flick, there isn't consistency when it comes to this amazing power. The opening of the film, for example, left me wondering when the "wow" was going to kick in, like I knew it would. There isn't any amazing moment in the opening act of the film, surprisingly, regardless of lighting or setting, as it seems the picture gets better and better as the film progresses. Noise was a big concern in the 'At World's End' review, and it pops up again, but it's nowhere near as problematic to my eyes.
And...well, that's it for the gripes. This disc is awesome. Shadow details are strong, the picture is regularly immensely deep, and textures, there isn't a word to define how truly revolutionary they are here. Black levels don't waver and stay superbly inky, skin definition, from the cuts and burns to the light freckling of Cruz's face, let's just say there's absolutely no complaints there! Colors are bold, from the gorgeous (and amazingly defined) blood red sails of the Queen Anne's Revenge, to the beautifully azure skies and ocean late in the film. Detail levels, a highlight, for sure. The clarity in Captain Jack's dreadlocks and random hair strands, now sporting a more sun-bleached hue, let's just say that something that assuredly smells so nasty never looked so delightful.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track given to 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' is a winner. A smashing, emphatic winner. Of course, those who have read our coverage for the previous three 'Pirates' films would know that the series has earned a five star rating on each and every release.
There really isn't all that much to talk about in this section of the review, because it's all so bloody perfect. There's power up the wazoo in the score, in the effects, there's thunder all over this track. Clarity? Just superb. The swaying and bowing of wood, the rain and wind whistling through the room, even the light sizzling of the tips of Blackbeard's burning...beard...there's not a split-second's worth of distortion, not a single off line of dialogue or a word with improper dynamics. Localization effects are used frequently and accurately, filling the room quite proper, while the LFE has plenty to chew on, with the undercurrent of the score and the random thumps in the film lending themselves to plenty of low end opportunities.
Unabashed power. Pinpoint precision. Deadly accuracy. Again, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' earns its highest marks in the ears rather than the eyes.
Link Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:32 pm Post subject:
I loved the original and pretty much hated the sequels. As a result, I didn't even bother to see this one in theaters. This is by far better than the previous two films and is THE reason to own a CRT projector. The detail and depth of the dark scenes are the best I have ever seen. Simply put, a superb disc.
I only have one small gripe- when I paused the disc to take screen shots for Cliffy's thread the stupid chapter index graphic pops up along the bottom. I wish there were a way to turn that off... _________________ Projector: 9500LC- Dragan's HD Mods, ETECH PS Mods, Moome 1.3, HD10F's & a V1 case!
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum You cannot attach files in this forum You can download files in this forum