There is a curse that has doomed Barbossa and his crew to live forever as the undead, where each moonlight, they are transformed into living skeletons. The curse they carry can be broken only if a once-plundered treasure is restored.

The Curse of the Black Pearl
(2003) Film Review

This page was created on July 7, 2003
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005

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About this Film
About this Film, part 2
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Click to enlargeDirected by Gore Verbinski
Screenplay by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Story by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, and Jay Wolpert

Johnny Depp .... Jack Sparrow
Geoffrey Rush .... Barbossa
Orlando Bloom .... Will Turner
Keira Knightley .... Elizabeth Swann
Jack Davenport .... Norrington
Jonathan Pryce .... Governor Weatherby Swann
Lee Arenberg .... Pintel
Mackenzie Crook .... Ragetti
Giles New .... Murtogg
Angus Barnett .... Mullroy
David Bailie .... Cotton
Isaac C. Singleton Jr. .... Bo'sun
Click to enlarge Kevin McNally .... Joshamee Gibbs
Treva Etienne .... Koehler
Zoe Saldana .... Anamaria
Guy Siner .... Harbormaster
Ralph P. Martin .... Mr. Brown
Paula J. Newman .... Estrella
Paul Keith .... Butler
Dylan Smith .... Young Will
Lucinda Dryzek .... Young Elizabeth

Produced by
Jerry Bruckheimer .... producer
Paul Deason .... executive producer
Chad Oman .... executive producer
Pat Sandston .... associate producer
Mike Stenson .... executive producer

Original Music by Klaus Badelt and Alan Silvestri
Additional Music by Steve Jablonsky and Geoff Zanelli
Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski
Film Editing by Stephen E. Rivkin, Arthur Schmidt, Craig Wood

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for action/adventure violence.
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

Trailers, Photos
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Klaus Badelt

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Click to enlargeClick to enlargeFor the roguish yet charming Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp), the crystalline waters of the Caribbean, like the high seas the world over, present a vast playground where adventure and mystery abound. But Jack’s idyllic life capsizes after his nemesis, the wily Captain Barbossa (Rush), steals his ship, the Black Pearl, and later attacks the town of Port Royal, kidnapping the Governor’s (Pryce) beautiful daughter, Elizabeth Swann (Knightly). Elizabeth’s childhood friend, Will Turner (Bloom), joins forces with Jack to commandeer the fastest ship in the British fleet, the HMS Interceptor, in a gallant attempt to rescue her and recapture the Black Pearl. The duo and their motley crew are pursued by Elizabeth's betrothed, the debonair, ambitious Commodore Norrington (Davenport), aboard the HMS Dauntless. Unbeknownst to Will, there is a curse that has doomed Barbossa and his crew to live forever as the undead, where each moonlight, they are transformed into living skeletons. The curse they carry can be broken only if a once-plundered treasure is restored.
Click to enlargeReview by MIKE FURCHES

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Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer. To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf, Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film.
Click to enlargeShiver me timbers, the lines were long and the theaters all sold out for the opening day showings of Pirates of the Caribbean. We actually showed up an hour and a half before the showing at the last matinee feature and the next two showings were also sold out, and the movie was showing on 4 screens. The advance trailers airing over the last year had worked up a frenzy and all of the regular Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Depp fans were out in full force to boot. I knew then that I was going to be seeing a late night feature but would this movie be able to keep me awake until after the midnight hour.

I've got to admit, ever since I was a small child I loved pirate stories, but I had been so disappointed over the years of adulthood because there are very few decent stories and little excitement in the movies that had been made. I am a huge Johnny Depp fan though, and an even bigger Geoffrey Rush fan. Rush had gotten my attention with one of the best performances ever when he won the Academy Award playing the part of David Heffgault in the movie Shine, a wonderful story of talent, ability verses perception and disability. When I knew that they were teaming up here I thought, "What more can I ask for?" I knew there was hope.

One of my concerns recently is that the movies just don't live up to expectations after the advance trailers. You've heard all of the comments like, "Yea, if you saw the previews you saw all of the good parts of the movie." Don't worry about this with Pirates, while the trailers and previews are exciting and riveting the movie offers far, far more candy to enjoy than a kid on tour at Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory. There are many stars in this movie, and many themes that are discussed that make Pirates of the Caribbean not only enjoyable but it also makes it quite worthwhile.

The story starts out with young Elizabeth Swan finding a boy, Young Will floating on a piece of wood on the ocean. Young Elizabeth is on a ship her father commands and she has always had a love and passion for pirates that many have recognized as being dangerous. They don't realize it at the time but the small unconscious boy is the victim of a pirate attack. He wears a pendent that young Elizabeth steals and keeps in her possession because of the skulls, cross-bone image that it portrays, and the reminder of her fantasy.

Click to enlargeThe story continues some 10 years later and we find Elizabeth, played by Keira Knightley is all mature but still has a passion for pirates. The young boy that was picked up, Will, played by Orlando Bloom, works for a drunken blacksmith but Will has a way with swords. The viewer can see that these two have loved each other from afar for years but because of their differences in class structure have never been able to show each other their love. This is a continual commentary that hopefully we will one day understand, true love goes beyond socio economic class. Maybe one reason the divorce rate is so high is that we marry out of convenience more than we do out of real love.

Click to enlargeEnter now, a great piece of comical genius played by Johnny Depp, The ferocious, yet stumbling, Captain Jack Sparrow. While he may not be one of the most feared and popular pirates of the seven seas, he is fine with the fact that at least people have heard of him. What they don't know, won't hurt him because he has more tricks up his sleeve than those who would have him dead will be able to keep up with. He is a pirate that uses not only his sword but more importantly his mind. He is also smart enough to know that it is not in his best interest to let people know what he is always thinking.

Johnny Depp, one of the most quirky, yet, wonderful actors in the business gives another dynamite performance. I cannot think of a movie that he has been in where he has not shone as an individual actor. From Edward Scissorshands to Benny and Joon and from Eating Gilbert Grape to the wonderful movie, Don Juan DeMarco, this actor has his craft down and is a joy to watch every second he is on screen. It will be a shame that in all likelihood he will not be considered at Awards time for this portrayal, it is a shame because what he does is so unique and so wonderful to watch that you don't realize the fact that this is not really a pirate, but instead a contemporary actor playing the part. If ever a pirate matched up to the reputation portrayed to the images of my childhood it would be good ol', Captain Jack Sparrow.

Click to enlargeAs wonderfully as he plays the part of a good pirate, as much as one can be good, Geoffrey Rush does the same with his part as the evil pirate. What we have the honor of seeing is two of the absolute bests in Hollywood working together and obviously enjoying it and working off of each other. While they may not be in every scene with each other, each actor has done their homework to know that their mannerisms still play off of each other. They are in essence what drives each other and these two fine actors never forget that.

The story progresses and we find a lot of things out, including the fact that ol' Captain Jack has a hankering to get back a ship that was taken from him in a mutinous event. It is a ship that has wrecked havoc on the open seas for years. The evil ol' Captain himself, Basrbossa, played by Geoffrey Rush, now captains the ship The Black Pearl. He has a evil and dirty crew that has more horror in store for those they come into contact with than they have likely ever experienced. What transpires is a wonderful thrill ride that will last for almost 2 hours. You leave the theater wishing for more, but knowing that for now the ride is over. By the way find out when the ride is actually over by making sure that you read through until the end of this review. It was amazing that out of a packed theater only a few stayed until the very end.

Click to enlargeRegarding the technical aspects of the movie: I must say that for as miserable as the special effects were in the move The Hulk, Industrial Light and Magic is back. There are so many effects, from walking underwater, to images changing from human to skeleton in an instant, that the viewer can loose site of everything that is going on and the work it took to make it happen. The editing is top notch and the only thing that seems to suffer is a deep plot, but for goodness sake this is a pirate and ghost movie, what do you expect? If the purpose is to have fun and enjoy a movie as well as have a few characters that you care about this is a wonderful movie. I would caution very young viewers though because while there is no sex, very little blood and no language issues, the movie is very violent in parts and very scary. It is mild in comparison to some but I promise that there will be material in this to cause some to have bad dreams and be afraid.

Click to enlargeThere are also numerous themes that I appreciated here, the concept of evil turning to good, the willingness to sacrifice for love. I also enjoyed the concept of not letting people put you in a box and prevent you from becoming what you desire. We see this especially in the character, Will played by Orlando Bloom. This actor is a joy to watch and he can now add swordsman to his craft of Archery. We also see a resurrection theme played out from a character who would destroy the evil one. We also see several times where people would choose to have Captain Jack killed only for him to escape to accomplish his purpose that he is destined for in life.

Jesus said you must become as a small child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What does that mean? It certainly means much more than enjoying the dreams and reliving the fantasies of ones childhood in regards to Pirates. However, as a child one of the things that made Pirates so enjoyable is the dashing love stories, the epic battles between good and evil, seeing the good guy win in the end, and just being free enough to go for your dreams and ambitions. There is also an innocence that accepts and is willing to take chances. For me Pirates of the Caribbean helped relive some of those joys and pleasures.

Click to enlargeMy wife and I sometimes has different tastes in movies, she likes to have fun so she loved this one, I like to think, but also have fun, I loved this one. She said she was wanting to make sure she purchased it when it came out on DVD, I think I'll be the one to buy it for her on the Tuesday it comes out. Not just because it is a fun movie but because it reminds me of the things I am supposed to be for my Lord, vibrant, daring, loving and bold. Those are reminders that we can all be reminded of. Don't sit back and watch the world go around, instead go out and make a difference, go for our dreams and find the enemy, on his turf to fight and win back that which our God so deserves.

I liked this movie, it is not perfect but it is very good and I enjoyed it. I am actually hoping that there will be a sequel with all of the original cast, I enjoyed them that much.

On a scale of 1 - 10, for the number of people who actually stayed until the end of the credits to see what everyone else missed, a 9. By the way for future reference, don't ever leave the theater until the credits are finished rolling, for those that left early in this movie, you missed the true ending of this story, ha ha, serves you right! Now you will have to pay again unless you can get someone to tell you, but it won't be me.

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