Monday, November 24, 2014

Movie of the Week – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

The first film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series find Captain Jack Sparrow without a ship. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Swann (the Governor of a small Caribbean island’s daughter) is being pursued by Commodore Norrington, but secretly harbors feelings for a blacksmith apprentice named Will Turner (who Elizabeth discovered years earlier shipwrecked and adrift). Elizabeth is fascinated by Pirates and has always believed Will to be one, finding a Pirate gold piece on him when he was discovered. Captain Jack has intentions of stealing one of the British Navy’s ships but is captured while rescuing Elizabeth from drowning. Unfortunately, she was wearing the Pirate gold piece as a charm necklace. When it touches the water, it calls out to Captain Barbossa and his fearsome crew of the Black Pearl (the most feared ship in the Caribbean). Borbossa and his crew storm the island in search of the gold piece, taking Elizabeth prisoner. Now, Will and Jack must work together to rescue Elizabeth. Jack also wants to exact some revenge on the crew that betrayed him and stole his ship (Captain Barbossa and his crew).

The film is directed by Gore Verbinski (who directed the initial trilogy). He worked with composer Klaus Badelt (whose score is very good; however, Hans Zimmer brings a lot to it, taking over on the next film), brilliant cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, and production designer Brad Morris (who also does great work, but Rick Heinrichs takes over for him on the next film as well).

The cast is fantastic. Johnny Depp stars (garnering a Best Actor Oscar nomination), creating maybe his most iconic character. Keira Knightley (in her breakthrough role), Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush co-star. The supporting cast features Jack Davenport, Jonathan Pryce, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Cook, and Kevin McNally. Look out for a cameo from Zoe Saldana (in a small role).

The idea of Disney adapting one of their theme park rides into a movie sounded like a terrible one. The initial trailers for The Curse of the Black Pearl were not very good either. The chances of the film being good seemed very slim and then we all saw it. The Curse of the Black Pearl is a ton of fun, built on the brilliant performances from Depp, Rush and Knightley and the very entertaining pirate-themed action and adventure. Most think that it is the best of the series so far (personally, I like Dead Man’s Chest a bit more) – a series that has its fifth film in production currently. Disney tried to bring multiple Dinseyland rides to life through live-action films (The Country Bears and The Haunted Mansion), but it has never work quite as well (that said, next year’s Tomorrowland has a lot of potential to be good). This is a must-see for fans of great, fun adventure films.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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