Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Gore Verbinski

This is a minor improvement over the original Pirates of the Caribbean, with bigger set pieces and nicer visual effects. Still, a little Pirates goes a long way. Tortuously roping in elements of the first movie, it deals with the attempts of Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to outrun his debt to undersea menace Davy Jones (an unrecognisable Bill Nighy), all the while pursued by old friend Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), who’s been pressured into service to retrieve a magical compass in Sparrow’s possession. Did I mention that Will’s fiancée Elizabeth (Kiera Knightley) is also on the hunt and that a giant squid figures heavily into the proceedings? Things get convoluted early on but the millions who flocked to this thing were less interested in plot than in the overblown special effects scenes and highly improbable stunts. One rather questionable sequence with cannibal savages aside, the film is mostly innocuous, with its big action numbers seeming less exciting than unreasonable and the jokes being as broad as the great outdoors. Everything is so clearly a construct that it doesn’t have a significant impact as a movie, though one can admire its lavishness and the skill with which the CGI is rendered. Extras on the two-disc special edition include a rather obvious commentary by writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, two outstanding documentaries on prep and production proper, two more sterling clips on the Davy Jones and Kraken effects, an interactive feature that explores Jack Sparrow’s costume, a brief clip of Orlando Bloom and company swinging from a rope, a featurette on additions to the theme park ride, three clips on various actors’ preparations for sword fighting, Jerry Bruckheimer’s photo diary, footage of the premiere and a blooper reel. (Buena Vista)