Exclaim!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Gore Verbinski

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
I know, I know, it's based on a ride at Disney Land but with a brilliant comic performance by Johnny Depp and fine work in key supporting rolls by with Geoffrey Rush and Legolas, um, er, Orlando Bloom, you'd have to be a jaded SOB not to get kicks out of Pirates. Here are "go big or go home" producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pearl Harbour, The Rock, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down) and director Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Time Machine) pulling off an Indian Jones-styled pirate/ghost story adventure with all the design craftsmanship and high tech effects Hollywood can muster in the 21st century. With all the money sunk into this thing, you can thank one man for bringing this film over the top. Johnny Depp's performance is hilarious. A pure joy to watch every moment he is on the screen. This is pure action/adventure entertainment in the old-school Hollywood sense, with detailed characters, sets and costumes transporting the viewer fully into a complete world of crazy pirates, hidden treasures, ancient curses and British rule in the Caribbean. The lengthy and somewhat convoluted plot is actually quite daring in its absurdity — more Monty Python than Mickey Mouse, making this a film certainly worth many repeat viewings. The double DVD set contains some great extras, including the real history of Pirates from 1600s, a computer feature allowing you to transform your own face into that of the undead and the de rigueur "making of" segments. Some of the add-ons are a bit too clever in their presentation, adding layers of complexity and storylines to bonus material when its completely unnecessary, but they were obviously trying a bit too hard to beef up this two-disc collector's edition. Even with all of the bonus material, the reason to get this is for the film itself. Plus: commentaries from Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp, Jerry Buckheimer, Keira Knightly and Jack Davenport, script scanner, storyboard viewer, interactive effects studio, virtual reality viewer of Pirates Disney ride and history of, blooper reel, deleted and alternate scenes. (Disney/Buena Vista)
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