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January 21st, 2006:
Before heís able to get any real pleasure from his ship, the Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) discovers that he owes a blood debt to the legendary Davey Jones (Bill Nighy). Unless he can figure a way out of this predicament, heíll be doomed to an afterlife of eternal damnation. Being a pirate and an opportunist he doesnít shy away from enlisting the help of his old friends, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightly), interrupting the blissful coupleís wedding plans in the process.What to Expect:
A sequel to the first Pirates of the Caribbean was unavoidable after the original grossed over $300 million domestically and more than doubled that amount worldwide. It was a major success for Disney as it eventually went on to become one of the best selling DVDs of all time and even managed to get five Oscar nominations (mostly technical). The plot was fairly conventional as is typical of summer blockbusters, but the filmmakers had a lot of fun with the pirate folklore, staying away from an overly serious treatment of the material. Johnny Depp alone probably deserves more credit than anyone for elevating the film from mediocrity thanks to his wonderfully inappropriate performance. In many interviews, Depp asserted that the mumbling Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards, inspired the performance. Deppís eccentric and distorted behavior had absolutely no place in a standard pirate adventure, but it was quickly determined to be an excellent choice for Pirates of the Caribbean and eventually led to Deppís Academy Award Nomination for best actor. Article continues below
At the moment, the most promising thing about Dead Manís Chest is the return of the writers, the director, and most of the cast from the original. Itís reassuring to know that the producers are not willing to just pass the project on to anyone. The stellar cast of actors was quite memorable in the first film and itís vital that the majority return for the sequel. At one point, Keith Richards had agreed to play Jack Sparrowís father, but conflicts with his touring eventually forced the aging rocker to cancel the plans. Itís too bad because it would have been interesting to see Depp mirror his inspiration, Richards, while the latter shared screen space with him. As I mentioned previously, Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl received nominations in several technical categories at the Oscars. Much like its predecessor, Dead Manís Chest should feature similarly outstanding work in special effects, make-up, set design, and decoration. Shooting on location in Dominica and the Bahamas, with Dariusz Wolski returning as the cinematographer for the second time, the sequel is poised to become the most lavishly exotic and colorful film of the summer.
There have been some troublesome reports from the set, however. Like the Matrix sequels a few years ago, two Pirates of the Caribbean movies are in development simultaneously, in an effort to make as much profit as possible. Director Gore Verbinski has admitted to feelings of uneasiness with the shoot. Apparently, the majority of the work is being done on the second part of the series, but scenes are being filmed for the third Pirates of the Caribbean as frequently as possible, without any real script in place. Verbinski has stated in an interview that at times itís difficult to tell what they are really doing. Making a film without any script is quite simply a recipe for disaster and the hectic atmosphere is bound to detract from the artistic aspect of filmmaking. Reports of a tight shooting schedule are even more worrying as that ultimately leaves Verbinski little room for error. I feel like this will probably affect the third part more than the upcoming Dead Manís Chest, which is scripted, but itís a clear indication that the producers are more concerned about release dates than they are with actually making quality movies. Like with the two Matrix sequels, results could be patchy. The audienceís hunger for Pirates of the Caribbean will be satisfied, but they might walk away feeling like theyíve just had more to eat than they can handle. Any sloppiness with the continuity or lack of a definite plan with the story arc throughout the three films can only leave a more nauseating impression in the end. In this particular case, by the time the third movie is released, the whole plan could backfire on the producers.In Conclusion:
I liked Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl as it represented the best of what a big budget popcorn flick can offer. Sequels to summer blockbusters are almost always disappointing and I think this series will get progressively worse as the next two movies get released. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Manís Chest should still have awe-inspiring moments and plenty of good-natured fun, but the difficult shooting schedule might take itís toll on the quality of the film. Compared to the original, the sequel will probably feel a little tired and lacking in creativity. Even the novelty of Deppís performance might begin to fade. Still, out of the two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, this will probably be the better one to see and with the demand very high, it should outperform the original in ticket sales.Similar Titles: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
, National Treasure
, The Count of Monte Cristo
July 7th, 2006 (wide)
December 5th, 2006 (DVD)
Walt Disney Pictures
Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Rush, Stellan Skarsgard, Calleigh White, Jonathan Pryce, Tom Hollander, Jack Davenport
Total: 228 vote(s).
Action & Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
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Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of adventure violence, including frightening images.