Saturday, July 15, 2006

Reel To Reel: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

One pirate reviews another in the latest chapter of Disney's swashbuckling franchise.

How It Rates: ***1/2
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
Rated: PG-13
Red Flags: Ye Olde Violence, Spinetingling Images

I'm taking a cue from KOLD News 13's Reel Life Movie Reviews and enlisting a privateer friend to handle the critical functions. You probably know him already. Ladies and Gentlemen, Captain Bartholomew Burgundy...

Your ReviewerThank ye so much, mate. 'Tis rare I and me crew get a diversion, with business bein' so unpredictable. Just th' other day we plundered a ship we were led to believe was full've spices. Turned out to be Starbucks coffee. Wha' these landlubbers put 'tween their lips! But I gotta admit I fancy th' chocolate latte.

Anyway, all'vus tip our hats t' Johnny Depp. After all, he's made all of us proud t' be pirates! As Cap'n Jack Sparrow, 'e brought us all some glory, even if he carries 'imself about a little odd. He's a man after me own heart, a gentleman deep down. I just marvel at 'ow he gets out of all of 'is predicaments with nary a scratch on 'im.

And wot predicaments! In this film, 'is soul is doomed unless 'e can find something more valuable than any treasure 'e's ever sought. Me mate Christopher advises not t' give too many plot details away, but I can tell ye he procures some aid from 'is old mates Will Turner, played by that han'some Orlando Bloom, and Elizabeth Swann, that charming lady Keira Knightley. Mind ye, I wouldn' get too saucy with her. She c'n handle a sword better than half me crew! And of cours', th' cap'ns own crew is back along with the Black Pearl.

If ye sign on for action, by blazes, ye'll get it here. I sawr run-ins with savages. I witnessed me favorite Cap'n get out of bein' roasted in a way th' had all th' crew of the Wayward Star a-cacklin' wit' laughter. I sawr a three-way sword fight involvin' -- of all things -- a paddle wheel! But I gotta tell ye also, what 'ad us all mesmerized was the sight of 'ol Cap'n Davy Jones. I mean, we've all 'eard of him, right? But none of us 've ever seen him. So there he is up there, one of the most horrific works'a flesh I ever sawr, all slimy an' snaky with a crew to match. Two've me men nearly ran out of th' theatre!

Ol' Davy wants Cap'n Jack's soul to serve 'im as a shipmate, and 'tis not like 'e has a choice. Poor Jack's been condemned with th' Black Spot, ye see, and if ye read Treasure Island, tha' pirate textbook all the young bucs read, ye know it's a death sentence. But wait, as the' say, there's even more. Under th' sea lives a huge, tentacled beast scarier th'n any fleet of warships I ever set me eye upon. Ye know, I guess 'tis a nod to the' old gian' squid of legend, tho' I never seen one.

As for Will and Elizabeth, th'er set t' be married, but skullduggery gets in the way from a ruthless trader who wants t' control all the seas and all the shippin'. Sometimes 'tis hard to tell who's pirate and who's not, see? He has Will and Elizabeth arrested, and 'e demands Will bring 'im Cap'n Jack's compass, which doesn' really work like any compass we've ever used. In exchange, he offers Cap'n Jack a chance to go legit as a privateer -- like me. I would tell Jack 'tis not a bad livin' really. Ye still gets to be a pirate, but ye work for the Crown an' gets royal benefits an' all. 'Tis leagues better than' goin' it alone!

All 'n all, I and me crew loved this picture! It has everything a great pirate movie needs: swashbucklin', skullduggery, sailin' and Sparrow! We can' hardly wait for th' third picture next year!

So tha's it, mate. Anythin' ye want to add?

Sure. One of the strengths of this picture is it doesn't ride entirely on Johnny Depp's performance. You have to give the screenwriters props here. They could have made this film all Sparrow, all the time. I love watching Captain Jack, but that pirate swagger works only so long. Instead, they created a world of sea monsters, myths and legends come to life. And yes, Captain Burgundy, I too liked Captain Jack's escape from the restless natives. It is the closest thing I have ever seen to a live-action Road Runner cartoon.

Aye. And admit it to me, mate, ye fancy some of them three-cornered hats?

Yeah, that's true. But I like yours better -- especially that bow.

'Tis a cockcade!

Whatever it is, it looks like you won first prize.

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