This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

New this Week: 'Johnny English Reborn,' 'The Three Musketeers' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (DVD)'

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

Johnny English Reborn - Rowan Atkinson, Rosamund Pike, Dominic West Paranormal Activity 3 - Katie Featherston, Sprague Grayden, Lauren Bittner The Three Musketeers - Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Milla Jovovich The Mighty Macs (limited) - Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton

Movie of the Week

The Three Musketeers

The Stars: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Milla Jovovich The Plot: The hot-headed young D'Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war. The Buzz: From Director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Event Horizon) comes a modern day spin on the old classic. I'm excited for this one, if only because I enjoy the ethos of Anderson -- I enjoy his silliness, his childlike fascination with guns and masks and explosions, and of course, his perpetual bond with (wife) Milla Jovovich. He's made a career of making movies based on video games, and though most (elitist) critics take major issue with him, I've believe he's turned a corner in his career. The trailer for The Three Musketeers showcases a lot of crazy action, and as long as one harbors low expectations, and doesn't expect a Nolan film (like everyone's doing all the time these days, ugh), I think this will make for some really good turn-off-your-brain entertainment.

Every Friday we'll have new reviews of the latest films.

TSR's complete Film Review Database

New Blu-ray and DVDs released this week:

Bad Teacher (BD/DVD) - Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake Batman: Year One (BD/DVD) - Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku Cape Fear (BD) - Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange The Crow (BD) - Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis The Goonies (BD) - Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen Monte Carlo (BD/DVD) - Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy Pirates of the Caribbean: Four Movie Collection (BD) - Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (BD/DVD) - Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane Red State (BD/DVD) - Michael Parks, Melissa Leo, John Goodman

Blu-ray/DVD of the Week

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

The Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane The Plot: Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too. The Buzz: I absolutely adored the first three Pirates films, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides does fall short of the original trilogy, but I'd argue that it's still a good film, and an acceptable addition to the franchise. The most important things are still intact here: Jack Sparrow (the franchise’s most beloved character), the incredible Hans Zimmer score, a great supporting cast, and of course, the wild combination of action, adventure and romance that we’ve all come to expect from Bruckheimer’s Pirates films. Not to mention the incessant comedic zingers that spout forth from the mouth of Johnny Depp’s perfectly played Jack Sparrow: “There should be a Captain in there somewhere.”

I was pleased to see that the general production values remained intact, that is to say, this film looked and felt like a consistent continuation of the saga. The story itself was a little weak, relatively speaking, and absent from this film were the incredibly epic master shots from the original trilogy, shots which leant themselves to a broader scope, a larger feeling of wonderment -- but aside from those differences, On Stranger Tides really does feel like an authentic addition to the Pirates canon.

I will admit I was skeptical when I first heard that another Pirates film was in the works, but when I learned that Rob Marshall was at the helm (Memoirs of a GeishaNine), my shoulders relaxed a little bit. Some skepticism remained, however, as the third film had solidly completed the complex arc of the Pirates tale, and a part of me just wanted to see the series remain “complete” as is. However, after seeing the film, I'm happy to report that as long as you're just in it for pure fun/entertainment, and you're not trying to satisfy some deep existential angst-ridden hole in your soul, it's very likely that you'll enjoy this fourth (and not final) installment.

All things considered, it was a lot of fun delving back into the adventure-rife world of Jack Sparrow.

For those interested, back in May, TSR put together a nice TOP 7 Pirates list. You can check it out here:

TOP 7 ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Characters

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