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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, solid trilogy of films, 14 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Before we begin, this is purely my opinion - if you enjoy these films and are a fan - great stuff, totally understandable, loads of stuff in there to like. Now I'm not a fan of the series, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy them - quite opposite for most of the films. I just never got into it the hype as much as my friends or other audiences did. These are just my thoughts on the trilogy, and the Blu-ray box-set. Enjoy!

The Pirates of the Caribbean films rank as some of the most popular of the 2000s, touching all generations of movie goers. The original, and still the best, 'The Curse of the Black Pearl' (4* stars), is a romp - pure unadulterated fun, something lacking from a lot of modern day blockbusters. It was an adventure film that got the beats right - great action sequences, fun villains, ground-breaking effects for its day, and a great iconic soundtrack. At the same time it flipped many conventions on its head, such as making the drunken pirate the hero, in a Disney film of all things! This is further built upon by the fact it was the first Disney film to be rated PG13/12a. And audiences loved it. Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow is one of the most iconic film characters and recent years and easily the most interesting character in the whole film However, this leaves the others as somewhat 2-d creations, and just a bit boring, which does let the film down. However, Geoffrey Rush, as the villain Barbossa, is excellent, making the perfect foil to Jack (why can't they make a film about these two without all the other useless charact...oh wait, yeah). While there are problems with the story it's still a fun movie and holds up, unlike many other blockbusters of the day. While the plot structure appears pretty basic and generic, it's told honestly and done well, with effort and clear passion for the project - this is the difference between a good blockbuster and a fairly standard one. Definitely still worth a watch.

The second film, 'Dead Man's Chest' (3*stars), divided audiences. Big fans of the original instantly loved it, while others were left confused by the dense story structure. Complicated and dark doesn't always equal quality (something the original knew well) After repeated viewings, yeah, the story isn't perfect, but there is a lot of fun to be had. The Kraken and Davey Jones are superbly realised creations, and a lot of the action sequences are great, especially the three-on-three fight scene between Sparrow, Will and Norrington being a highlight, and the exciting escape from the tribal island. However, it is weighted down by its own self-indulgence, and suffers from having no real focus, or plot. Some characters are developed, other aren't, in particular Jack. It feels like the creators didn't know what audiences liked about the original, and deviated somewhat from the mythos and style of the original. Still, it's a good film and ends in a way that leaves you yearning for the final instalment...

...and this is where the creators dropped the ball. 'At World's End' (2* stars) inherits a lot of the issues of the second film and magnifies them to the extreme. Plot strands are thrown everywhere, new subplots emerge, the dialogue is poor, the pace is dreadful, and characters act out of character. This is where the self indulgence collapse completely on the series, especially with the many just plain bizarre sequences and the strange attempts at creating memorable lines for Jack (Peanuts, anyone?). I feel at nearly three hours, the film is just too long, and dreary to be fully enjoyed. While the action of the last half hour is excellent; with the epic ship battle, which begs to be seen on the big screen; it does not redeem 2 hours of poor writing and story telling, with its huge leaps in narrative logic that leaves the audience disillusioned, so when the good bits start, it's hard to get into. Disappointing conclusion for an otherwise sound series of films

The actual Blu-Rays and the presenation of films are uniformly stunning - all are presented in high quality picture and sound. With this set, Disney continues to be pioneers in transferring films to Blu-Ray (for more proof of this, check out the restorations done to the Golden Era Disney films, in particular 'Pinocchio'). The extras are ok, and don't really add anything to the films. This set is worth buying for the first film, maybe the second, and the actual quality of the transfers, and at a decent price as well. If your a fan of the series, and you are reading this now, then chances are you already own, and are very satisfied. Everyone else, it's a good set of films that the whole family can enjoy and worth the money.

Ratings:
The Curse of the Black Pearl - 4 Stars
Dead Man's Chest - 3 Stars
At World's End - 2 Stars
Extras - 3 Stars
Transfer (Picture and Sound) - 5 Stars
Overall - 3 Stars (for the actual films)
4 Stars (for the set as a whole)
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