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May 20th, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides


Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Stephen Graham, Keith Richards, and more... Directed by: Rob Marshall Screenplay by: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio Based on the novel: Stranger Tides by Tim Powers.


Premise: Jack Sparrow returns to London to help a friend and finds out someone is impersonating him and gathering a crew. He finds the culprit, but instead of fixing things, he finds himself shanghaied and in a whole heap of trouble.


Review: On Strager Tides is the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And it gives us all we've come to expect from the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. He even meet several old friends again as three groups race off to find the elusive Fountain of Youth.


The supernatural plays a hand again in this installment as Black Beard has some unexpected talents, including voodoo and zombie making. And what he can do with the rigging is pretty spiffy too! we also meet mermaids and they rule!  The whole sequence at White Cape was awesome. Add in the IMAX 3D for the underwater bits and it looked pretty darn cool! (Wait till you see their whip seaweed. Nasty!)


Loads of fun fight scenes - the one in the bar was the best as basically no surface was left untouched,  or got fought on or was used in the fight.  Good chase and escape scenes in London as well.  (The actual Hampton Court Palace for a couple of scenes!)


Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp have a great love/hate relationship thing going.  Ian McShane does his bad guy best as always. Geoffrey Rush was also a lot of fun. Sam Caflin's character Philip was an obvious replacement for Orlando Bloom's, but wasn't given enough screen time to develop his character to any great depth, which was a pity.


There were a couple of nice surprises, which I won't spoil. 


The only weak areas were in the lore used to make the quest more complicated. Since a lot more people than you'd suspect seemed to know the basic location of the Fountain, they added in the need of a ritual. Yet part of the ritual itself didn't make sense. It's possible the bowls of the cups were made from stones that had been used in long ago times at the fountain, but if so, the information was not given and set the whole thing as suspect. The other bit that seemed to come from nowhere and was never touched on again was about Jack's Father, Captain Teague. He pops in, gives info, pops out and is never seen or heard from again. 


Make sure to stay through the credits. There's just a bit more at the end and it is totally worth it!


So for fun, excitement, and daring do, this film is all that and more. Just don't look at things too closely - just ride along.  :)


Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth full price of admission IMAX 3D)
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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