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Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of The Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Poster

Walt Disney, 2003, Rated PG-13, 2 hr. 23 min.

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my all-time favorite rides at Disneyland so I was hoping the movie would live up to my expectations.  It didn't.  It exceeded them!  I was enthralled from the opening of the movie with the singing of the tune that's stuck in your head all day after riding the Pirates ride at Disneyland: "Yo ho ho ho a pirate's life for me...".  And it only got better.  

In a nutshell, the movie centers on Will Turner's (Orlando Bloom) attempt to rescue his love Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the clutches of Pirate Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) with the help of Pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).  Barbossa and his crew are cursed and they think that Swann can help them to break the curse.  

Depp is outstanding as Captain Jack Sparrow.  I was a little worried at first because I thought he was playing his character as a drunk, gay pirate.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it just didn't seem to fit at first glance.  But as the movie unfolds, it becomes apparent that Depp nailed the character.  He couldn't have played it straight (pardon the pun) because it wouldn't have added the humor or nonchalance that is essential to the character.  Depp has said that he modeled his character after Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones.  

The interplay between Sparrow and Turner was fun to watch.  They played perfectly against each other - one a rogue pirate not concerned with civilities and niceness and the other a do-gooder who is struggling with his pirate heritage.  One of my favorite scenes was of Sparrow and Turner in a sword fight.  Sparrow suddenly pulls out a gun, at which point Turner says, "You cheated!"  Sparrow comes back with a simple, "I'm a pirate."  Sparrow is hysterical throughout the movie and applause to Depp for that because not a lot of actors could have pulled it off.  

The movie stayed true to the Disneyland ride in so many ways, using it as a basis for numerous scenes that had people in the audience audibly acknowledging the similarities.  Everyone remembers the jail scene in the ride where three prisoners are trying to get the key from a mangy dog holding it in his mouth.  This is recreated in the movie to perfection, causing so much audience laughter that I almost missed Sparrow saying, "That dog is never going to move."  

For scares, you can't beat the scene when Swann first realizes the pirate crew that has kidnapped her are damned and become skeletons in the moonlight.  It is a terrifically scary, realistic scene that has you on the edge of your seat.

When riding the Pirates ride at Disneyland it seems so real that I always make up stories in my mind about what the pirates are going to do once I leave the ride and what brought them there in the first place.  Now I know!  There are scenes in the movie of pirate loot and looting that are perfectly replicated from the ride, including the shooting of the cannons in the ride's climax.  The characters even have a waxy, sweaty look to them.  Maybe it's because I have such fond memories of the ride, but this whole movie kept me entertained and made me smile.  

Depp, Turner, and Knightley have all reportedly signed up for a sequel and I can't wait!


Do you think we got this movie totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this movie in our forums!

 

QUICK FACTS

Studio

Walt Disney

Genre

Action/Adventure

Rating

PG-13

Length

143 Minutes

Color

Yes

Sound

Yes

 

CAST

Actor / Actress

Character

Johnny Depp

Captain Jack Sparrow

Geoffrey Rush 

Pirate Captain Barbossa/Captain Blackheart

Orlando Bloom 

Will Turner

Keira Knightley

Elizabeth Swann

Jack Davenport

Norrington

Jonathan Pryce

Governor Weatherby Swann

Lee Arenberg

Pintel

MacKenzie Crook

 Ragetti

 

CREW

Gore Verbinski 

Director     

Jerry Bruckheimer

Producer

Ronna Kress

Casting

Kate Dowd 

Casting

Mike Stenson

Executive Producer

http://pirates.movies.go.com/

Reviewed by: Hauntmistress 7/15/2003

 
   

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