Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Review:

There are records of pirates that date back to very early times and there are still accounts of it today. When film began to become prevalent with audiences, there were also several films made that revolved around these individuals. The life of a pirate is one of that many seek to obtain even though most would deny it. Who wouldn't want to sail around the world's oceans plundering with your friends and having a good time provided no rules? It sounds like a lot of fun. Surprisingly, as dark as this particular career can get for some people, Disney is able to portray the fictitious world of pirates where it may not be all fun and games, but it still looks like a blast (pardon the pun). There isn't any element that feels out of place.

Jack Sparrow
After a blacksmith named Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) sees his love Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) captured by a band of pirates, he calls upon the help of a unique ally, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), another pirate. The writers behind the screen are Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio. These guys are 2 of the 4 writers behind Aladdin (1992) and The Mask of Zorro (1998) - which has multiple swashbuckling scenes like this one. Each character has an equal amount of development and charisma to make them likable. Johnny Depp of course is the most memorable even though his name is not in the title. The film is directed by Gore Verbinksi who didn't know it at the time but would work with Johnny Depp much more after this movie.

Aw, cute 
Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have good chemistry and look good together as well. The captain in charge of the pirates is Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and he too puts in a good performance as the antagonist to the story. What may be surprising to viewers is just how well the writers were able to mix the violence with comical moments. This is either due to Johnny Depp's acting and rather strange facial expressions or even lesser important characters like Barbossa's men - Ragetti and Pintel. They are definitely not appealing characters but they still portray the charm needed to enjoy what they do or say even if they aren't on the good side. Again, going back to violence, the humor makes it more fun.

The style of action portrayed here does involve swords, which feels similar to the Zorro series but is also different because of the settings it takes place in. How many high seas adventures are popular today? Not many. Besides swords, there's also cannon fire and shoot-outs for good measure. Adding on top of that is composer Klaus Badelt's score. Thankfully, Badelt includes themes for Jack Sparrow and the whole story itself. It's very catchy and once you've heard it, you won't forget it. I'm surprised too because although Badelt hasn't made a lot of great film scores, the one's he is remembered for is extremely good. Lastly is Dariusz Wolski's cinematography, which he gets a number of nice big views of tropical scenery although I'm sure a lot of it is CGI. There really isn't anything to not like about it.

The characters are likable, the action and humor mix well and the music is quite memorable. If you want to see an updated look on old fashion pirates, this is the original movie to see.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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