Set sail for adventure with this swashbuckling pirate tale
starring Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. Blacksmith Will Turner
finds himself thrust into a world of danger and magic when
the secret love of his life, Elizabeth, is kidnapped by a
legendary band of pirates. The only person willing to help
him is down-on-his-luck pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. Together
the two of them set off to free Elizabeth from the clutches
of the evil Barbossa and find themselves facing an army of
of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is loosely
based on, and pays homage to, the Pirates of the Caribbean
theme-park ride at Disneyland. In fact if you've ever been
on this ride, which originally opened in the '60s, you'll
spot quite a few of the scenes and characters hidden away
in the film.
Johnny Depp stars as Captain Jack Sparrow, who arrives at
Britain's Jamaican Port Royal. He's intending to steal a British
ship and set off again on the high seas. He ends up being
in the wrong place at the wrong time and saving the life of
Elizabeth Swann, the governor's daughter. So, instead of keeping
his head down he is brought to the attention of the highest
ranking official on the island. This act sets into motion
an adventure that ropes in Elizabeth's childhood friend, blacksmith
Will Turner; a mysterious medallion; and a legendary pirate
ship, the Black Pearl. The
Black Pearl's Captain Barbossa wants Elizabeth's doubloon
necklace in order to break a curse on him and his men. Elizabeth
is kidnapped and Captain Jack and Will set off to rescue her.
everyone has, or should have seen this movie already. But
if you haven't then you are in for a treat. Depp is wonderful
as the slightly mad Captain Jack Sparrow - whose accent flips
between tinges of Australian to full blown Liverpudlian But,
there is a good reason for this. Not only has he sailed all
over the place, but he's gone a little crazy after being marooned
on an island in the past. And why the drunk-as-a-skunk walk?
Well, it appears that he's been at sea so long that walking
on land is as difficult as walking on a boat is for most landlubbers.
movie is well scripted, directed, acted and beautifully shot.
Not only that, but the digital effects are really impressive.
film successfully resurrects a genre from the golden age of
Hollywood, by reinventing the style of old Errol Flynn pirate
movies for a new generation in much the same way that Indiana
Jones did for old action B-movies.
disc one we get the movie; three scenes that the DVD makers
think will show off the video and sound of the film best on
home theatre systems; and the interactive feature Scoundrels
of the Sea. This allows you to watch the movie while bits
of trivia pop up on the screen. Every now and then, along
with the trivia, a gold doubloon will appear. If you are interested
in that topic, simply select it and it will be filed away
until the end of the movie, then a documentary will play that
will feature all the elements that you showed an interest
in. Worry not if you missed some though, as once the documentary
has finished you are shown all the topics and can play the
ones you missed or play the whole thing through from the start.
biggest complaint with disc one is that there is no DTS soundtrack
option for the English version of the movie (only the German
and Italian dubs include a DTS option). Also why on earth
are there no audio
commentaries? I can't believe that there were none recorded
for the DVD release, so where did they go? And one final moan.
The text on the Scoundrels of the Sea featurette is
so small it's almost impossible to read on any screen smaller
than 40". And if you can just make it out, the parchment
style background that the text is on means that it's often
difficult to make out the words anyway.
Disc two is packed to bursting with extras, but to be honest
there's nothing here that would not fit onto a single DVD
disc and I doubt there's anything you'd want to watch more
than once. Again the text is too small to read on most normal
screens, which means you have to press your face up against
the screen to read what most of the features are.
include: An Epic At Sea: The Making Of Pirates (38
min feature that looks at almost every aspect of the movie.
Can be played in segments or as a single feature); Fly
on the Sea (35 min look at some scenes as they were being
filmed and then the finished clip from the movie. Can be played
in segments or as a single feature); Becoming Captain Jack
(7 mins interview with Johnny Depp as he explains how he created
his character); Becoming Barbossa (6 min look at Geoffrey
Rush's take on his character); Thar She Blows (6 min
look at the making and final destruction of the model ship);
The Monkey's Name is Jack (5 min look at the monkey
that appears in the movie); Sneak Attack Animatic (4
min early CGI scene designed for the underwater attack); Pirates
Around the World
(4 min selection of scenes that flip between the various foreign
language audio dubs. It was interesting to hear that all the
voice actors sound almost identical and that lip synching
is almost perfect); and Spirit of the Ride (7 min featurette
that explains what elements of the theme park ride have been
incorporated in to the movie); Dead Men Tell no Tales -
The History of the Attraction (14 min look at the theme
park ride interviewing some of the people who were responsible
for creating the attraction in the '60s).
also get: Deleted and Alternate Scenes (19 mins of
scenes not in the final cut. These can be played individually,
or as a single feature. It was interesting to see a couple
of scenes that made Jack Davenport's Norrington look a lot
more human - you almost feel sorry for him); Diary
of a Ship (11 min featurette filmed on board the Lady
Washington as it set sail to make the journey to where filming
was to take place); Diary Of A Pirate (10 min on set
video diary with actor Lee Arenberg who played Pintel); Producer's
Photo Diary With Jerry Bruckheimer (4 min look at photos
that Bruckheimer took while on set); Blooper Reel (3
mins of deleted mistakes - well some are); Below Deck:
An Interactive History Of Pirates (Interactive documentary.
Either move around the pirate ship discovering things about
pirates, or watch the documentary as a whole); Moonlight
Serenade Scene Progressions (7 min look how the moonlight
scenes were made); Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Colour
(18 min feature on the Disneyland attraction which was originally
broadcast on 21 January 1968) and finally we have a whole
heap of image galleries that examine every aspect of the production.
again, as with the introduction of DVD players, it makes me
laugh to see the following warning on the back of this Blu-ray
box: "Some players may not be able to access all features
and all bonus material". So the industry does it again.
Why can't manufacturers who are going to use a similar format
get together and bang out some ground rules for the authoring
of DVD discs and manufacture of players? It wasn't such a
problem with the implementation of DVDs (sure you p*ssed off
a few customers but then no one cared about that) but when
there are two competing formats on the market you think they'd
bang their heads together and make sure that everything worked
thing I couldn't understand was why this was being released
over two discs. With a tight squeeze almost all of this would
have fitted on a single DVD so it certainly would have fitted
on a single Blu-ray disc with ample room to spare. Could this
be another example of companies ripping off consumers?
release doesn't really showcase the benefits of Blu-ray technology,
and to be honest you'd be much better off buying the DVD edition
- unless the additional picture quality (which won't be that
noticeable on most current TV sets anyway) is something that
you really want.
makes this release hard to review. The movie and extras get
a solid 10/10, but the fact that this is spread over two discs
when one would do, that there's nothing that exciting on here
that's not on the DVD release, and that an English DTS audio
track is missing means that my final mark will be much less
than it should be.