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National Memorial Day concert & Pirates of the Caribbean

Posted on 26 May 2011 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

After the 9/11 attacks, B.B. King performed in the Pompano Amphitheater. The old Blues Boy was an appropriate anecdote to the healing process. By acknowledging pain and suffering, one could move forward toward redemption and hope. This Sunday, B.B. King brings his blues craftsmanship to Washington D.C. for the annual National Memorial Day Concert on PBS, joining regular hosts Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna.

Each year, this bipartisan presentation honors all four branches of the American Armed Forces. There will be a tribute to the children of war, and the World War II generation will be acknowledged. These emotional tributes often require Kleenex for the viewer. Yet, this is a life-affirming program and should not be missed this Sunday night on our local PBS station.

On a lighter note, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had the strongest opening of any movie released in 2011. This Walt Disney Studios franchise opens strong but fades toward a philosophical climax involving the Fountain of Youth. Given Florida’s connection to the Fountain of Youth in Saint Augustine, much local lore could have been included in this salty tale.

Given the complexity of the original trilogy, On Stranger Tides takes a minimalist approach and keeps the focus on Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Taken prisoner by the Royal Court of King George III (Richard Griffiths), Captain Jack is reunited with an old ally, Gibbs (Kevin McNally), and his arch nemesis, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).

Captain Jack escapes and eventually swabs the deck of the Queen Ann’s Revenge,  a voodoo-enchanted ship captained by the notorious Blackbeard (Ian McShane).  Having survived his beheading in the Carolinas, Black-beard is on a quest for eternal life by drinking from the Fountain of Youth.

Lacking the charisma of Captain Davy Jones and Barbossa, Blackbeard is a disappointing villain. Blackbeard’s saving grace is that he has a beautiful daughter (Penelope Cruz), a swashbuckling former nun whose youth was corrupted by one Captain Jack Sparrow. Whether dancing a tango or sword fighting, the chemistry of Depp and Cruz keeps On Stranger Tides afloat.

Given the last shot of the post credits sequence, expect Pirates 5 to continue the relationship between Angelica and Captain Jack. Expect Geoffrey Rush to return, because the on-screen feud between Barbossa and Captain Jack is fun to watch. Hopefully, the next Pirates will include more time on-deck and less time landlocked.


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