William Turner, a resourceful young blacksmith, teams up with the eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the Governor's daughter, Elizabeth Swann, who has been mistakenly captured by the clever and treacherous Barbossa, a former ally of Jack, to make a blood sacrifice so as to end the curse that has been put upon him and his crew. After gathering an "able bodied" crew, Will and Jack set sail to save Elizabeth and take back Jack’s ship the Black Pearl. Meanwhile, Barbossa discovers that not Elizabeth's but someone else's blood was required for the sacrifice. Whose blood is it?(1)
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Hello, Movie Buffs!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl has two beginnings, one in the past and one in the present. Both beginnings are signaled by the swell of the theme music; the second starts with the appearance of Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). The plot is pretty enjoyable, allowing for a lot of fights as well as enough twists and turns to hold the interest. Although at some points the story does not make total sense but the film moves on before viewers have the chance to think too hard on the minor plot holes. One thing viewers need to understand is that Pirates of the Caribbean doesn't take itself very seriously nor does it make fun of itself either. And while the film is consistent with having its tongue in its cheek – implying that a statement or production is humorously or otherwise not seriously intended, and it should not be taken at face value –, this seems to have a more gentle humor running through the dialogue, action, and characters. In other words, the film is having fun so it is easy for the audience to do so too.
Of course, the film is far from perfect - characters like Captain Norrington (Jake Davenport) and the Governor (Jonathan Pryce) are little more than portraying stereotypes and hoping to indicate that they do after all have potential, despite them being denied in the script. Although a few survival lines slip in – like "it's okay" and "I was rooting for you" – some of the nautical lingoes can be understood with about as much comprehension as a vocal interpretation of a foreign language. Another aspect, while funny, did not necessarily need to be used as much, was Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp) one precious charge of powder getting soaked through often enough in the course of the plot to be a little overused by the end. However, it does come in handy as a minor inside joke throughout the rest of the films.
The saving grace of the production is Jack Sparrow. its humor - not that there aren't a few over-arch knowing references, but on the whole, it manages to send itself up without suspending disbelief in the process. Johnny Depp wrings out as much humor as possible in every line, action, and scene. Depp’s performance could have easily been awful but he pitches it just perfectly as he portrays Jack Sparrow like a drugged out rock star who is clinging to his half-fame like a life raft. And Sparrow's first arrival on the scene – as well as the vast majority of the following scenes involving this character – is a prime example. He is a swashbuckler extraordinaire and an expert rogue, being more mentally around the bend – crazy and insane – then he is loopy. Following his unique personality, a long-standing question throughout the franchise, one that many viewers can’t answer, is “does he plan it all out or just makes it up as he goes along?” Jack Sparrow is the main attraction of the entire film, as he saves Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) in more ways than one, and without him, the film would have been just another dull attempt at modernizing an old favorite and compensating major plot holes with useless and flashier sword-fighting.
Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley (as Elizabeth Swann) carry the film's more serious aspects, thus having a less glorious job, both are good if not quite the main stars of the film. Geoffrey Rush clearly enjoys himself as villainous pirate Captain Barbossa, and his motley crew proves to be more humorous than they are scary. The effects used are blended perfectly, complimenting the film without replacing the plot and the characters nor do they halt the film with its use.
Overall, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is an enjoyably entertaining movie and I am sure that in 50 years it will be considered a classic, pirate movie, as it portrays pirates in an impressive new light. The film does not take itself too seriously and moves at a fairly good pace without ever lapsing into impatient editing or flashy visuals. As I stated before, Johnny Depp was no onboard then the film would have been B-rated movie flop. And while the other actors did a good job with their characters, Depp’s exaggerated performance enhances the “tongue in cheek” theme and makes for a much more humorous, livelier and all round entertaining film.
“This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!”
- Jack Sparrow
Worth Seeing: 4 of 5 stars
Worth Buying: 4 of 5 stars
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Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
National Treasure (2004)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides (2011)Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
(Screenplay) Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
(Screen Story) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, and Jay Wolpert.
Music by: Klaus Badelt
Cinematography by: Dariusz Wolski
Film Editing by: Stephen E. Rivkin, Arthur Schmidt, and Craig Wood
Production Design by: Brian Morris
Jerry Bruckheimer --- producer
Paul Deason --- executive producer
Bruce Hendricks --- executive producer
Chad Oman --- executive producer
Pat Sandston --- associate producer
Mike Stenson --- executive producer
Johnny Depp --- Jack Sparrow
Geoffrey Rush --- Barbossa
Orlando Bloom --- Will Turner
Keira Knightley --- Elizabeth Swann
Jack Davenport --- Norrington
Jonathan Pryce --- Governor Weatherby Swann
Lee Arenberg --- Pintel
Mackenzie Crook --- Ragetti
Damian O'Hare --- Lt. Gillette
Giles New --- Murtogg
Angus Barnett --- Mullroy
David Bailie --- Cotton
Michael Berry Jr. --- Twigg
Isaac C. Singleton Jr. --- Bo'sun
Kevin McNally --- Joshamee Gibbs
Treva Etienne --- Koehler
Zoe Saldana --- Anamaria
Ralph P. Martin --- Mr. Brown
Dylan Smith --- Young Will
Lucinda Dryzek --- Young Elizabeth
Trevor Goddard --- Grapple
Vince Lozano --- Jacoby
Lauren Maher --- Scarlett
Brye Cooper --- Mallot
Vanessa Branch --- Giselle
Martin Klebba --- Marty
David Patykewich --- Clubba: Barbossa's Crew
Tommy Schooler --- Scarus: Barbossa's Crew
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