Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides movie premiere review

Sweet booty, this has been a pirate week for me! I got to watch two versions of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides two days in a roll, one without 3D and the other in 3D, all thanks to YES 4G and Magnum 4D. I wonder if the number four in their branding has motivated them to promote this fourth installment of the Pirates franchise, or it is just a coincidence?

Before I mention if it’s worth to fork out the extra money from your pocket to catch Captain Jack Sparrow in full 3D glory, let me get on with the gist of the story first. After the end of the trilogy, the story of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner too has ended. So this film focuses solely on the adventure of Jack Sparrow.

The plot of the movie is basically about a race to find the Fountain of Youth between the Spaniards, the British led by Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), and Blackbeard (Ian McShane) who forces Jack to help him along. Along the way, there are various attempts to escape from jail and soldiers, tapping deadly mermaids, and the sizzle between Jack and Angelica (Penelope Cruz).

Johnny Depp plays Captain Jack Sparrow with his usual panache, but the character is getting a little worn out. However, he still delivers his lines spot on, taking advantange of the occasional clever writing. As the budget for this film has been reduced, there are not many CG scenes to look forward to and there is no feature of Black Pearl ship sailing and no firing of canonballs at all.

Make no mistake, PotC4 is still watchable, but fans shouldn’t set their expectations too high. Now comes the part whether to watch in 3D or not. My answer is save your money as the 3D effect is not obvious enough to warrant the extra money due to many dark scenes. Without 3D glasses on, the dark scenes are better appreciated.

By the way, there’s a short scene of about 10 seconds after the credits end, but there’s nothing to shout about. It doesn’t give you any insight of what might be the adventure for Jack in PotC5. This movie is rated 3 stars.

Exclusive photos of HK movie The Viral Factor filming in KL

Acclaimed Hong Kong director, Dante Lam (林超贤), is currently in Kuala Lumpur with his crew to film a big budget war film titled The Viral Factor (逆戰 aka Against War). Together with him here are the two main actors in the movie, Jay Chou (周杰伦) and Nicholas Tse (谢霆锋).

The presence of them here has caused massive traffic jam in KL city centre due to road closure for the movie shooting. Here’s a sneak peek of behind the scenes during the filming in front of Pavilion KL on Wednesday (May 18).

All the exclusive shots here are courtesy of my friend Sky who works as extras in the film that day.

Synopsis of the movie:
A mission to escort a witness from Jordan to the Netherlands leaves International Security Affairs agent Jon severely scarred: a bullet is lodged in his brain, his fiancée and fellow agent Rita is dead and their traitorous colleague Sean has nabbed their witness. While contemplating leaving the force, he finds out that his father and brother, Wan Yang, are still alive. In his search for them, he discovers that his brother is working as a mercenary for Sean, who has evil plans to force scientist Rachel to cultivate a mutating virus to unleash on the world. The brothers unite to stop Sean but finds out that he has an even bigger plan for international blackmail. The battle heads to a showdown in Hong Kong where Sean has decided to release the strain of deadly virus.