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Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (SE)
DVD disk
12.18.2006 By: Quigles
Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (SE) order
Director:
Gore Verbinski

Actors:
Johnny Depp
Orlando Bloom
Keira Knightley

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Jack Sparrow has a debt to pay. He sold his soul to Davey Jones, who's now come to collect. Meanwhile, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan have their wedding day put on halt. That is, until Will can retrieve a very special possession from Jack.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
DEAD MAN'S CHEST is currently the #3 highest grossing movie of all time, earning over one billion dollars in worldwide box office sales. This, on top of the insane amount of praise it's received, absolutely floors me. Putting aside the fact that pirates aren't that cool anyway (give me ninjas over them any day), this sequel just doesn't warrant the amazing response it's been given. Sure, it's a fun action-packed adventure that works wonders for a couple hours of entertainment, but that's it. I mean, it's not even a full movie. There's not one single point of closure in the whole production. Even more absurd is that they've stretched an already thin story into two absurdly long films. Two and a half hours each? That's five hours total. So basically, this film is the first half of a five-hour picture about a bunch of characters looking for a chest. (Not quite as absurd as nine hours of a bunch of characters trying to throw a ring into a volcano, but it comes close.)

My other big gripe has more to do with the first film, and that's the casting of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Could these two actors/characters be any duller? As soon as they appeared on screen, and all the crap about their wedding came into play, I was already bored out of my mind. On top of that, Bloom has got to be the least capable actor out there at making humor actually funny. I felt embarrassed for him every time he had to spout out a cheesy one-liner. That's not to say I put all the blame on him; for some reason, the sequel in general is a lot less funny than the first PIRATES. Even Jack Sparrow's character is resorted to spouting out awful jokes ("Why is the rum always gone?" *groan*), sans more of the hilarious monologues that we all loved from CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL.

Now that I have all you big-time fans of the movie pissed off and ready to shoot off poorly spelled hate mail at me, allow me to say this in my defense... I loved the movie. That may sound insanely hypocritical given everything I've just ranted about, but it's true. Sometimes all I want is a mindless action film that, despite not delivering in some central aspects of good filmmaking, at least entertains me to a point where I can stop caring. This film does that. It's a visually stunning production that loads over half its running time with sea battles, sword fights, and plenty of other unsubstantial goofiness. It's dumb, without a doubt, but it's also about as entertaining as anything you could ask for in a summer blockbuster. Add to that some awesome sea-people creatures, the kick-ass Bill Nighy as the tentacle covered Davey Jones, and a surprise cliffhanger that makes me excited to have another actual good actor involved during the next go-round, and you have yourself a... well, a guarantee that seats are gonna be filled when PIRATES 3 hits theaters, that's what.
THE EXTRAS
DEAD MAN'S CHEST was released in a both a standard edition DVD and a 2-Disc Special Edition version. I reviewed the latter, and it contains an absolute [insert lame pun about the extras being reminiscent of treasure here].

DISC 1

Audio Commentary (with screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio): A fun, informative commentary, filled with plenty of chit-chat and interesting tidbits. I do wonder, though, why Verbinski is without a commentary.

Bloopers of the Caribbean (3:50): Despite the lame title, this is actually a fairly humorous gag reel.

Also on disc one are 9 Sneak Peeks.


DISC 2

Charting the Return (25:40): Kicking off the second disc is this nice featurette, basically giving the lowdown on the film's pre-production stages.

According to Plan (1:02:58): An in-depth and entertaining making-of featurette, running over an hour in length and educating the viewer on even the most minor of cool facts regarding PIRATES 2. After having watched the superb documentaries on DVDs like CLERKS II and SUPERMAN RETURNS, this one feels a little too "constructed" for my tastes, but it's still a good watch.

Captain Jack: From Head to Toe (27:33): Upon clicking on this menu item, a painting of Jack Sparrow will appear. From there, you'll be given the option to select an article of his wardrobe, one of his weapons, etc. There are 22 selections in total, which makes me think you'd be best off just clicking the "Play All" button like I did. Each video is very brief, but also interesting. Many of them show just how complex even the most minor of details can be. They also show just how picky Johnny Depp can be.

Mastering the Blade (15:58): There are three chapters here, separated by actor - "Orlando Bloom", "Keira Knightley", and "Jack Davenport". Each selection takes you to a mini-featurette relating to, as the title suggests, sword fighting.

Meet Davy Jones: Anatomy of a Legend (12:32): A supremely cool featurette that shows bit by bit how Bill Nighy is turned from a guy wearing a bunch of dots on his face into Davey Jones. A must watch.

Creating the Kraken (10:02): This is basically the same as the featurette above, except in reference to the Kraken - the mythical beast from depths of the seas.

Dead Men Tell New Tales: Re-Imagineering the Attraction (13:00): A surprisingly interesting featurette that shows how the first PIRATES movie was incorporated into the popular Disneyland ride.

Fly on the Set: The Bone Cage (3:47): A brief featurette that delves a bit deeper into some of the more crazy action sequences.

Jerry Bruckheimer: A Producer's Photo Diary (4:41): While many nice-looking images grace across the screen, Bruckheimer speaks about the cast/crew/movie/etc.

Pirates on Main Street (3:58): This mildly entertaining inclusion shows some footage from the film's premiere.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
As far as non-stop entertainment goes, PIRATES 2 is a pretty fun ride. Problem is, it never once gets the audience to invest any sort of emotional response in the characters (except maybe Jack Sparrow, but that's only because Johnny Depp has oodles of charisma). The story is also pretty "meh", mainly because it's being stretched out to such great lengths. But, despite my bitching, I did enjoy the film a lot. This is one of those movies that, while frustrating at times, I will always be happy to watch again (especially when I'm in the mood for some goofy fun). For that reason alone I feel it deserves a pretty high rating.
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