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

(Release date: June 28, 2003)

4.5 Stars. It's about time a major Hollywood film had a Gay Hero!!!!!!1/2

Now this is PRECICELY what I'm Talking about! I Love this Movie!

The World's Privateer Critic!!!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

Man, another Disney Tie-In... How remarkably lame. And this time, not only is it a tie-in, but its a tie in for a RIDE at a Theme Park! What an insult!

Yeah, yeah, yeah! That's what I thought too... until I saw they bagged both Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush! Not to mention the Director of The Ring, Gore Verbinski! And it didn't hurt that this particular ride is possibly the coolest in Disney History. Just about every guy who has ridden "Pirates of the Carribean" has thought, man, this would make one great movie, man! I'm one of them! And we were all right! This is probably the most fun movie of the whole summer (just about tied with LXG)!

Was a great action movie with intelligence, wit, and good actors too much to ask? Clearly not, as Disney (of all companies) has delivered just that! This is a swashbuckling, rip-roaring riotous assault in the senses with more fun and laughter than you're likely to find in just about any movie! Yeah, it's the sum of its parts, but its parts are very good. Johnny Depp doesn't find himself at the mast of a top-heavy film with only him to rely on! Instead, almost universally you find good actors here to grace the good script and the good directing. It's a good film... choke on it... I'll be at Disneyland... it worked, sue me!

The plot centers around a pair of unlikely lovers in the form of Orlando Bloom (Legolas from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings adaptations) and the mind-shakingly hot Keira Knightley (if you think she looks like Natalie Portman, you're not alone... George Lucas thought so too)! The lovers meet as kids and watch each other from afar for most of their lives, propriety preventing a union, much like the secret love we all know that Tom Daschle and Dick Armey secretly harbor... but I digress! When Knightley's character Elizabeth Swann first meets Bloom's Will Turner she sees an Aztec designed medallion about his neck which reminds her of the pirate mythology she has come to know, so she steals it and spirits it away, never knowing it might have more significance than she thinks!

Though these two are two of the main movers of the plot, it is without question Johnny Depp's movie. Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, a homosexual pirate, down on his luck, rides into the same town that Will and Elizabeth live in on a rapidly sinking skiff! Soon after his arrival, a ship called The Black Pearl, a sort of legendary Flying Dutchman from Hell, arrives to rape, pillage and burn, not to mention find all the Aztec Gold the crew scattered around which led to their demonic curse causing them to literally exist as the walking dead, led by the maniac captain Barbossa!

A pirate walks into a bar, and he's got a big wooden Steering wheel attached to his crotch... the Bartender asks, 'Hey, Buddy, do you know you have a steering wheel attached to your crotch?'  The Pirate says 'Aye, Matey, it's DRIVIN' ME NUTS!'
And now, a word from our Sponsors:

Pirates of the Caribbean was a great hit at the movies and has a ride named after it at Disneyland. But, when Halloween gets close this year, consider dressing yourself up in a Pirate Halloween costume like the infamous Jack Sparrow or Davey Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) movie.

The Office Sighting!

An old friend from The Office
stopped by...

  • Mackenzie Crook, who brought us The Office's Gareth Keenan plays Ragetti (the pirate with the wooden eye) in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl .
What follows is an adventure leading to some amazing team-ups, surprisingly satisfying CGI, hilarious moments, and more underhanded scheming and backstabbing than a convention of Hollywood Producers! Aiding the fun is Depp's well-acted, yet incredibly funny in manner Sparrow, complete with compass that points only to his treasure stash and more secrets than a Linda Tripp phone call! The Animation (when needed) is amazing and pretty much flawless. When the Cursed Pearl Pirates are lit by moonlight they are shown for the undead ghouls they truly are, but only then! During an underground fencing match characters move in and out of lit breaks in the ceiling becoming skeletons, then men, then skeletons, then men! It's seamless to my eyes. The scenery, and the sets (real and animated) are just beautiful to behold, and set the scene perfectly!

Geoffrey Rush is a perfect pirate. Funny at the right times, scary at the right times... and Orlando Bloom has the makings of a great actor. Knightley is not only beautiful but plays her part very well. As do the supporting characters, such as Jack's Crew (featuring the almost equally yummers Zoe Saldana)! I've long been a fan of old Jonathan Pryce in his roles as a brave, yet conflicted character of complexity in Brazil, Tomorrow Never Dies... those... Infinity commercials! Here he plays an aging, sniveling man who is pretty funny in his attempts to raise his daughter and survive disembodied arms fighting with him in his cabins.

Possible Spoiler Warning: Here's what people are saying on the "Turner Blood" Question!
they needed some of all the cursed pirates' blood to lift the curse, but before they knew this they killed boostrap bill, so they couldn't get his blood. b/c his son was the closest related 2 him, (and having the most alike blood) they had 2 use will's blood 2 lift the curse.
-B.V. Bryant

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Depp steals every scene as Sparrow, and keeps the laughs coming with his daring schemes (that usually work), his insane mannerisms, and his occasional bumbling. Sparrow dresses like "Love in an Elevator" era Steven Tyler, and acts like a Male Ullman Character on Tracey Takes On! Verbinsky never lets you forget that Sparrow is above all other things, a pirate, and not exactly the golden hero one might expect from Errol Flynn or someone. It's not only refreshing to see a dignified gay hero in a major motion picture, but to see this hero not be a stock character in all other ways. It's common to see a cleverer than life Hollywood Hero who sets into motion events that ultimately pay off for him in the end. Sparrow isn't so much a hero as a haplessly goofy Keith Richards, thrust into a leadership role. While his plans commonly work out, he's commonly as surprised as the rest of us that they do, and he's just bumbling enough to not really know what the hell he's doing! He doesn't so much exude confidence as he does an forlorn acceptance of unfortunate events that he's pressed into. Rotten scalawag or not, Sparrow is impossible not to like from his Gold Capped Teeth to his obnoxious swagger, he's as much fun to watch as a J. Edgar Hoover Home Movie!

There are a few nods to the Disney ride, fans of which should giggle with the recognition of these. The film doesn't rely on these little things though, so you who have never been to Orlando or to Anaheim won't be negatively affected. The scenes are clever with or without precedent! There is one truly terrifying scene (at least to me) that takes place on a desert island (there is nothing funny about the mass torching of Spiced Island Rum)! There is also a bit of a curiosity to the method of breaking The Curse of the Black Pearl. Apparently this involves the shedding of the blood of a certain character deceased before the events of this film... but why this is doesn't seem to ever be explained... if I missed it please, tell me why!

There really isn't anything to complain about in this film! It's a heck of a lot of fun, and well worth the ticket price. Therefore, I'm giving it a rare Four and One Half Stars! I'm glad the Pirate Movie is back... I just wish Cutthroat Island hadn't gotten such a bum wrap! So... why not the full five stars for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl? Well... it's not quite Citizen Kane!

What could be better than a fun movie like this?
More Reviews of fun (and not so fun) movies!
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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Reviewed by J.C. Maçek III who is responsible for his own views and for his still ever-present lament for not having gotten that tech writing job for Disneyland writing about the inner workings of rides like this one! Boo-hoo!
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