Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl

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Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Just when it seemed the pirate movie was moribund, along comes Johnny Depp to revive it, playing one of the wildest buccaneers to ever grace the screen. It’s all the more startling to find this witty, wonderfully eccentric performance in a summer blockbuster produced by action maven Jerry Bruckheimer Pearl Harbor and based on, of all things, a Disney theme park ride. What sounded like a recipe for a Cutthroat Island-style ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Just when it seemed the pirate movie was moribund, along comes Johnny Depp to revive it, playing one of the wildest buccaneers to ever grace the screen. It’s all the more startling to find this witty, wonderfully eccentric performance in a summer blockbuster produced by action maven Jerry Bruckheimer Pearl Harbor and based on, of all things, a Disney theme park ride. What sounded like a recipe for a Cutthroat Island-style disaster turns out to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp in the grand swashbuckling tradition. The setting is the 18th-century West Indies, and Depp is Jack Sparrow, a down-on-his-luck pirate recruited by a handsome blacksmith Orlando Bloom to rescue the governor’s beautiful daughter Bend It Like Beckham’s Keira Knightly from the clutches of a deadly band of pirates. Led by Captain Barbossa Geoffrey Rush, in a juicy turn, these black-hearted sea dogs are operating under a curse -- they are actually the living dead, who, under moonlight, are revealed to be skeletons. This plot twist adds a nice dash of the supernatural, and the bouts of moonlit swordplay are a ghoulish delight, thanks to first-rate special effects. But the real kick in Pirates of the Caribbean is watching Depp strut and mince in a characterization reportedly inspired by rock ‘n’ roller Keith Richards. Heavily mascaraed, dreadlocked, and effeminate, Depp seems to be subtly acknowledging the homosexuality that was part of the pirate tradition though not in classic Hollywood swashbucklers. Not that this welcome hint of subversion in any way detracts from the film’s old-fashioned, PG appeal. Despite being a wee bit long at two-plus hours, Pirates of the Caribbean is a joyous and unexpected return to the adventure movies of yore, anchored by a memorable star turn.
All Movie Guide
Pirate films have been a curse on cinema for a quite a while in recent years Cutthroat Island, anyone?, and outside of releasing Pixar flicks, Disney hadn't been doing any better quality-wise, so when Gore Verbenski fresh off The Ring remake and virtuoso Johnny Depp came aboard the beloved adaptation of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme-park ride, eyebrows were definitely raised. So how does it stack up? Well, in a time of massive summer blockbusters, this high-sailing ship is definitely a crowd-pleaser. The scale is huge, with technical brilliance in front and behind the camera, while swords clash, cannons roar, and wit is dished out at every corner. Following a kind of Stephen Sommers' Mummy-esque tradition, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has "lighthearted" written all over it, no small thanks to Depp's brilliantly over-the-top creation, Captain Jack Sparrow. Mix Keith Richards and Depp's Hunter S. Thompson together and you're about halfway there with this brilliantly wild performance. Turning in another juicy role is Geoffrey Rush as the cursed Captain Barbossa, a dastardly villain whom Rush was no doubt meant to play. Also worth mentioning are heartthrobs Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as the film's love interests. Knightley perks it up as the spunky female lead just fine, though Bloom's soft-spoken manner and delivery are frankly starting to wear thin outside of his Legolas gig. The ILM skeletal effects are well done and neat, especially in the final sword fight between Sparrow and Barbossa where columns of light are used ingeniously in the final effect. For all the thrilling moments though, Pirates is hobbled by one thing: its running time. Well over two hours, it's just flat out too long. Thankfully, with zombie monkey skeletons and Depp virtually stealing the show, the film still manages to deliver. So take the kids, put up your feet, and sing "Yo Ho," for this is one Disney pirate flick that surprisingly does not disappoint. Jeremy Wheeler
New York Times
The movie is better than it deserves to be, given its origins: a ride at Disneyland and Disney World. Elvis Mitchell
USA Today
Pirates will enthrall kids and amuse adults. Claudia Puig,

The movie is better than it deserves to be, given its origins: a ride at Disneyland and Disney World. Elvis Mitchell
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/16/2008
  • EAN: 8717418124861
  • Source: Imports
  • Region Code: 2
  • Format: Blu-ray

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