Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
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From producer Jerry Bruckheimer (PEARL HARBOR) comes PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, the thrilling high-seas adventure with a mysterious twist. The roguish yet charming Captain Jack Sparrow's (Academy Award(R) Nominee Johnny Depp) idyllic pirate life capsizes after his nemesis, the wily Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), steals his ship, the Black Pearl, and later attacks the town of Port Royal, kidnapping the governor's beautiful daughter Elizabeth (Keira Knightley). In a gallant attempt to rescue her and recapture the Black Pearl, Elizabeth's childhood friend Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) joins forces with Jack. What Will doesn't know is that a cursed treasure has doomed Barbossa and his crew to live forever as the undead. Rich in suspense-filled adventure, sword-clashing action, mystery, humor, unforgettable characters, and never-before-seen special effects, PIRATES is a must-have epic on the grandest scale ever.
Like any DVD blockbuster from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the extras are plentiful and often a bit too self-congratulatory (worst offender here is the primary commentary track). The slickly (natch) produced making-of documentary goes through the standard routine; however, the less-flashy "fly on the wall" bits--just showing what happens on set without comment--is more fun, offering effortless insight on the filmmaking process. The best treasure is a nifty interactive history on pirates with plenty of background material. You can simply play the filmed segments or take a tour around a ship to discover the material (and a few surprises). There's a lot of archival material on the theme-park ride that inspired the film and several odds and ends including an enjoyable chronicle of the vintage ship's voyage from its home harbor to the movie set. The kids should really dig the DVD-ROM "Moonlight Becomes Ye," in which they can turn their own mug into a ghostly pirate. There's also a bounty of extended and deleted scenes (19 in all) and a very funny blooper reel. With both DTS and Dolby 5.1, sound systems will get a workout with the excellent (and loud) sound design. --Doug Thomas
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Yes, the plot is a bit convoluted here and there and they probably had to stitch a lot of little things together in what must have been a massive, beyond massive, editing job--but it all works. The storyline is brilliant, the special effects are the best I've ever seen (no doubt among the best ever created--possibly the very best) and the acting is superb. Johnny Depp is just off the charts.
My only complaint about this set (the 3-disc blu ray) is that the menus are kind of cumbersome at times. And unlike a lot of discs that will track where you were when you shut things down during a screening, this one doesn't--it drags you back into all of that opening nonsense and the previews. You can (fortunately) fast-forward through it all, but it's tiring.
Than minor criticism aside, one of my favorite films of all time. I hope I'll watch it many times.
Purchased this film in blu-ray for the first time, and in terms of the quality of the actual film, it was fantastic. Having owned the DVD back in the day, seeing this film in full HD for the first time was a revelation. The packaging of the film was not in the regular blu-ray configuration that has become ubiquitous, but everything else about this purchase was well wroth it.