Starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Bill Nighy, Stellan Skarsgard, Jack Davenport
Written By: Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott
Directed By: Gore Verbinski
Studio: Disney / Buena Vista
Buy on Amazon.com link
Pirates of the Caribbean was a great, unexpected film that resurrected the pirate movie genre. Once Pirates 2 & 3 were announced, I was a bit skeptical because I didn’t want them to ruin a good thing. Thankfully that wasn’t the case with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and this HUGE blockbuster is just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable than the first film.
Since I saw this twice already, I did a movie review of it. So here’s my synopsis of the movie: Pirates of the Caribbean 2 starts off with Elizabeth being left at the alter because Will is too busy getting arrested. She finds him being arrested and protests, which ends up getting her arrested as well. They are being brought up on charges of letting Captain Jack Sparrow go free. Commodore Norrington also has a warrant for his arrest for letting Jack go, but he’s nowhere to be found. After that, you see Jack Sparrow on the Black Pearl talking about a map of a key, that’s a key to a chest, and you need the key to open the chest, but first need to find the key. Woof, that’s exhausting and confusing. Lord Beckett, who imprisons Will & Elizabeth, sets Will free to go meet up with Jack Sparrow and get his compass. Beckett knows how special the compass is and wants to locate the Dead Man’s Chest. The chest contains the heart of Davy Jones, and whoever possesses it, basically becomes lord of the sea. Davy Jones is the legendary sea captain who lives underwater with his sea creature servants. If you run into Davy Jones, you either have to pick life & become a sea creature and serve out your debt with Davy Jones. Or you don’t and you die. Decisions Decisions! Anyway, so everyone wants to find the key to the chest & the chest itself. But they have to deal with Davy Jones & his crew first, along with his deadly and unstoppable Kraken.
The first time I saw the movie, I thought it was good but could have been better in some areas. Then I saw it second time and thought it was better a second viewing. Now that I’ve seen it a third time, I think it’s a really strong film that is extremely entertaining & fun. And isn’t that the whole point to a pirate movie? What I like about this film is that it’s getting darker in terms of material, and that people are dying more. The first flick, it was kind of a playful type of dying but when the Kraken is unleashed…watch out! I think my favorite part of the movie is that long sword fight between Will, Jack and Norrington. That was a lot of fun and then when everyone else gets in on the fighting, it makes it even better! Having the wheel in the sequence made it really exciting as well. That stunt seemed like it took a long time to film. Though, I think my favorite single moment of the film had to be the very end, which I’m still surprised to see. Props to the everyone for keeping it secret because I really had no clue Big Hat was coming back. I’m really happy he’ll be in the third film since he made the first film excellent and he had a lot of great dialogue with Jack Sparrow as well. I can’t wait to see the bickering between those two on who’s Captain of the ship. The addition of Bill Nighy was a excellent choice because the man brought a complete CGI character to life. It still boggles my mind that Davy Jones was completely CGI. It totally looks like makeup and it’s not. If ILM doesn’t win some Oscars for that this year, than we truly know that the Academy Awards is complete and utter bullshit.
I thought the second film didn’t have enough of Orlando Bloom and other characters. Hmm, but then again he had a lot of scenes with his Father on the Flying Dutchman. I thought giving Jack Davenport an upgraded role from the first film was a smart move. He was hilarious on Coupling, and really comes into his own for Norrington the second time around. I thought Keira Knightley was kind of annoying in some scenes; particularly in the long sword fight scene. She was trying to get the characters addition to stop fighting and just turned into this annoying female. But she is really hot so all is okay I guess. Johnny Depp is still fantastic as Jack Sparrow, just like he was in the first movie. He really developed quite the character that people will remember for the rest of our lives. Now I wonder what’s going to happen in the third movie with his character? A rescue mission to purgatory perhaps? I don’t know, just speculating.
There are a numerous amount of extras to watch AFTER you see the movie. I say after because there are some spoiler-ish stuff in them like a certain character with a big hat in scenes for “P3.” The first thing I watched was the bloopers and that was great to see. Johnny Depp is so good an actor that he stays in character while he screws up lines! That’s method acting folks! Next, I watched the sword fighting featurettes featuring Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Jack Davenport. Keira was the best swords person among the group and all the stuntmen said she could join the team if the whole acting thing doesn’t work out. She didn’t want to stand there and not doing anything, and she wanted to be involved so she did a lot of her own stunts. Each actor had to learn all the moves and sword fighting stances, even if they weren’t doing all the stunts.
There’s a featurette called “Chartering the Return” and it shows how much crap the crew went through to get this movie made. I’m surprised it even got filmed because they almost got shut down from budget issues, scheduling issues, script issues, etc. Then, probably the most common problem on a movie set happened, a hurricane came and messed up shooting and some sets. They would film for 2 weeks straight, then get shut down due to weather, then start up again. It was very hard on the crew, actors and everyone involved. The best featurette was the hour long “According to Plan,” which shows all the problems that happened on the set. One thing I always like with Bruckheimer movies is that he always shows the photos he takes on the set. I have to say, the man is a gifted photographer! But perhaps if I had as much money as him, I can spend thousands of dollars on camera equipment. Besides that, you have audio commentary with the writers of the film (but no actors or directors..hmm), you have feaurettes on making the Kraken and Davy Jones, costume design of Jack Sparrow, behind the scenes featurettes on the Bone Cage sequence and the world premiere footage at Disneyland. Another great featurette not mentioned before was the featurette on the re-imagining of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Walt Disney. The developers of Walt Disney wanted to have the storyline of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Ride more like the movie and include Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. You see how they do things, and at the end there’s footage of Johnny Depp on the ride and looking at the animatronics. Definitely see that once you sink into the bonus features. Actually, all of the extras were great but I have a strange feeling that this won’t be the last Pirates 2 Dvd we’ll see.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is just as good as the first film, if not better. The DVD is filled with fantastic extras but it leaves me scratching my head as to why Bruckheimer, or the rest of the cast aren’t on any audio commentary tracks. That’s because Disney probably has an inevitable extended/deluxe edition in store for us. But for now, go out and buy this DVD if you liked the movie. I’m sure me telling you that won’t convince you since you’re probably already out the door getting it.
Captain Jack: From Head To Toe – Secrets and Legends Revealed by Johnny Depp and Others
Meet Davy Jones: Discover the Creation, Mystery and Mythology of the Sea’s Ghostly Ruler
Bloopers Of The Caribbean
Mastering The Blade: Swordfighting with the Film’s Stars
Audio Commentary: Screenwriters Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio
Charting The Return – A Pre-production Diary
According To Plan: Journal of Filming the Movie
Fly On The Set Featurette: The Bone Cage
Creating The Kraken
Dead Men Tell New Tales: Re-Imagineering The Attraction
Pirates On Main Street: The World Premiere
A Producer’s Photo Diary with Jerry Bruckheimer
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Favorite Scenes: Bone Cage scene, All the Kraken scenes, anything with Davy Jones in it, the long ass sword fight
Running Time: 150 minutes