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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

A 2003 movie, based on the the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks.

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Adventures in the absurd

  • Oct 22, 2006
  • by
Starting in the late 1990's, Disney's theatrical releases gradually lost the popularity and stature they once held. Outside of Pixar, Disney could not come up with the big blockbusters that they used to produce on an annual basis. Then came 2003 and the Pirates of the Caribbean. Coming out around the 4th of July weekend, this movie combines all the essential elements needed for a great movie: good acting, a setting few can ever experience, grand action scenes, unique dialog, hair raising adventure, engaging music and an original story-line. This movie has it all.

First the acting. Johnny Depp filled this role like no other actor could. It could probably be said that only he could have played Jack Sparrow, just like only Robin Williams could have played Popeye, or Eddie Murphy played the Nutty Professor. Rumor has it that Depp modeled the role after Keith Richards of the Rolling Stone. True or not, Depp also revealed in an interview that some inspiration came from a little-known book "Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition". The cursed pirates of the black pearl provide an entire crew of villains that range from fierce to ridiculous, led by the charismatic and word-wise Barbosa. And of course we have the romance between Will and Elizabeth.

Second is the setting. Pirate movies are set in America's equivalent of a back yard pool; the Caribbean Sea. The sets and settings of this movie show of the beauty of the tropical seas and tropical islands. Whether it be the shipwrecks patrolled by hammerhead sharks of the Isla de Muerta, or the coasts of Port Royal, the vistas in this movie are wonderful.

Third is the action scenes. We have swordfights, chase scenes and great cannon duels. Of course these have all been done before; i.e. Cutthroat Island. But computer graphics sure help. Then there is the storyline. Loosely based of the Disney ride; the story isn't the regular story of X marks the treasure. No, the pirates know where the treasure is; returning it all is the goal, along with the blood of an important person. This makes a combination of pirate lore with great imagination. Last is the music. Composed by the same individuals that worked on the music of "Gladiator", one can discern similarities between the two soundtracks. But this is definitely better, and one of the better ones by Disney. Exciting and rousing, the soundtrack for this movie was probably the 2nd best of 2003 after Return of the King.

All in all, a great movie that deserves 5 out of 5 stars. But the DVD was not as good as it could be. Specifically, the extra and deleted scenes on the second disc are fully fleshed out; yet they are not included in the movie itself. For this I give this product 4 out of 5 stars.

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More Pirates of the Caribbean: The ... reviews
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie changed my mind about pirate action movies.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
this movie is amazing! i loved everything about it. the costumes, the casting, the filming setting it was all great! it makes you really believe that its all real. and the fact that the entire concept is based off of a ride is even cooler.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
this whole series is fantastic i love the first one especially
Quick Tip by . July 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Johnny Depp makes this movie set apart from any other pirate action movie.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
this movie has a wonderful ending. i think that the charater of jack was played wonderfuly
review by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I was skeptical when I first heard that Disney was making a movie based on the Pirates of Caribbean ride in Disney. However, this series has exceeded all expectations. It's a funny, swashbuckling adventure. The plot is basically an excuse to give the pirates as much screentime as possible, but it works well enough and has enough suspense to keep viewers entertained. Johnny Depp really carries the movies as Captain Jack Sparrow, the witty, amoral pirate captain. Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly are …
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Hands down one of the best movies of the 21st century. Johnny Depp is unbelievable. The sequels, however....not so much.
Quick Tip by . December 30, 2009
Surprisingly, a very enjoyable film, mainly due to wonderful performances by Johnny Depp & Geoffrey Rush. Keira Knightley's not bad either!
review by . July 08, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
In 2003 when Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl first came out, it was hard not to be a little skeptical.  In the first place, it was based off of a themepark ride.  "Is Disney really drawing ideas from a theme park ride?" I wondered.  When I first heard this, my thought was that it must've been a joke.  I told friends and family alike that this couldn't be a good idea for a movie.  It's somewhat cheesy title didn't help much …
review by . July 18, 2006
This film is a pirate movie in true Monkey Island style. In case you've never played that game it means lot of fun, crazy pirates, a beautiful lady and a bunch of zombie like pirates. I must congratulate the people who did this film. To make a movie based on a theme park ride is pretty risky. And the fact that it is positively excellent amazes me, and credit is due to the filmmakers. I'm impressed.    This film is a thrill ride, an action adventure of the classic formula; a dumb …
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Hi everyone, so here is the rundown of me. I like reading and writing, nonfiction for both. I love movies, especially original ones. I like nonfiction music, eating out, and basketball. I love to travel, … more
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About this movie


Loosely inspired by the time-honored Disney theme-park ride, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL is a swashbuckling high-seas tale directed by Gore Verbinski. When Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), an eccentric rogue, arrives at Port Royal, he barely avoids going down with his ship. Soon enough, he's in the market for a new one, but not before he saves the life of Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the beautiful daughter of the governor (Jonathan Pryce). This act of bravery sets into motion a sweeping adventure involving Elizabeth's childhood friend, blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom); a mysterious medallion; and a legendary pirate ship, the Black Pearl. The Pearl's mottled Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) wants Elizabeth's doubloon necklace, and when she's kidnapped by the ol' salty dog and his crew, Sparrow and young Will must rescue her and find out the truth behind the ship's curse.

Verbinski's PIRATES is a welcome throwback to Hollywood offerings of yesteryear, fi...
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Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: July 9, 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2003
Runtime: 143 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
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