Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (Blu-ray 2-Disc Set) (2003)

by | Jun 2, 2007 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (Blu-ray 2-Disc Set) (2003)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Pryce
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Video: 2.35:1 enhanced for 16:9 widescreen, 1080p HD
Audio: English 5.1 PCM, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French & Spanish Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: Three audio commentary tracks; Scoundrels of the Seas interactive feature; 12 featurettes (An Epic at Sea: The Making of Pirates, Below Deck: An Interactive History of Pirates, Becoming Captain Jack, Becoming Barbossa, Thar She Blows!, The Monkey’s Name is Jack, Sneak Attack Animatic, Pirates Around the World, Spirit of the Ride, Dead Men Tell No Tales: The History of the Attraction, Fly on the Set, and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color); three video diaries; 19 deleted scenes; outtakes; image gallery; Moonlight Serenade scene progression; movie showcase; four movie previews; Easter eggs
Length: 143 minutes
Movie Rating: *****    A/V Quality Rating: *****

The cunning Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) has stolen Captain Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) ship, the Black Pearl, and later attacks the town of Port Royal.  Barbossa and his crew kidnap the Governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and head back out to sea.  Elizabeth’s childhood friend, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), sets out to rescue her and reluctantly joins forces with Sparrow as the two commandeer the HMS Interceptor, the fastest ship in the British Fleet.  Hot in pursuit of both the Black Pearl and the Interceptor is Elizabeth’s husband-to-be, Commodore Norrington, aboard his British ship, the HMS Dauntless.  Unbeknownst to Turner, Sparrow and Norrington, Barbossa and his crew are cursed and doomed to live forever as the undead until such time as the curse is broken by the return of a treasure stolen by them.  Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is one of my all-time favorite movies.  It successfully weaves action, romance and comedy together into its storyline.  The special effects are dazzling (especially the living skeletons) and Johnny Depp created one of movies’ most memorable characters ever as the charming Captain Jack Sparrow.  Highly recommended. [Beg to differ!…Ed.]

In terms of HD video quality, both the Blu-ray DVDs of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and its sequel Dead Man’s Chest are simply outstanding and the new reference standards to date.  Images are pristine with razor sharp detail and dark blacks.  Colors are rich and vibrant with well-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or compression issues.  The audio quality for these Blu-ray DVDs is equally as impressive as its video counterpart with the compressed English Dolby Digital 5.1 track serving as the basis for the reviews (uncompressed PCM 5.1 tracks are also available).  The soundtracks do an excellent job of utilizing all of the discrete channels to create enveloping and nicely balanced mixes.  Dialogue is crisp and always intelligible (even amidst the potent sound effects).  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for both the sound effects and the musical score.  The low frequency effects channel is explosive and given ample opportunity to rumble.  [To what purpose when the movie is a total waste of time?…Ed.]

– Calvin Harding Jr. 

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