Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2-Disc Limited Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow
Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa
Orlando Bloom as Will Turner
Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann
Tom Hollander as Lord Cutler Beckett
Bill Nighy as Davy Jones
Chow Yun-Fat as Captain Sao Feng
Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma
Jack Davenport as Captain Norrington
Keith Richards as Captain Teague
Jonathan Pryce as Governor Weatherby Swann
Lee Arenberg as Pintel
Mackenzie Crook as Ragetti
Kevin McNally as Gibbs
David Bailie as Cotton
Stellan Skarsgård as 'Bootstrap' Bill Turner
Martin Klebba as Marty

Special Features:
Bloopers of the Caribbean
Keith & The Captain: On Set with Johnny Depp and the Rock Legend
Anatomy of a Scene: The Maelstrom
The Tale of Many Jacks
Hoist the Colours
Masters of Design
Inside the Brethren Court
The World of Chow Yun-Fat
The Pirate Maestro: The Music of Hans Zimmer
Deleted Scenes
Seamless Menus

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 169 Minutes

Synopsis:
Picking up shortly after "Pirates 2," Elizabeth Swan, Barbossa, Will Turner, and Tia Dalma continue their quest to bring Captain Jack Sparrow back from Davy Jones' Locker. And each of them has their own personal reason for wanting Jack back. To do so, they need the help of Captain Sao Feng in Singapore. But can any pirate truly be trusted?

Meanwhile, Lord Cutler Beckett continues his quest to wipe out all the pirates from the Seven Seas. He uses his new slave, Davy Jones himself, to accomplish this task. The nine leading pirate captains from around the world are forced to join together to battle them. However, they, too, need Captain Jack Sparrow in order to unleash the one thing that can potentially save them all.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images.

The Movie:
All the things that were great about the first two "Pirates" films are still here. Johnny Depp still steals every scene as Captain Jack Sparrow. The creature special effects are still absolutely stunning and Davy Jones remains one of the most impressive CGI characters on the big screen. The sets and costumes look fantastic, especially with the Chinese styles. And there's still a fun mix of humor, horror, and adventure. Fans of the "Pirates" series are definitely going to want to check it out.

As for something new, the cameo by Keith Richards is fun. His appearance is completely gratuitous and totally irrelevant to the plot, but it is quite amusing to see him teamed with Depp ever so briefly.

I also strongly recommend that you stay through the end of the credits. There's a final scene of major significance to some of the characters in the film. I won't spoil it here, but you'll be glad you stuck around.

I can't get into the problems with "Pirates 3" without discussing spoilers. However, I'll do my best to skirt around them. In short, "Pirates 3" starts out weirdly, transitions to confusing, then concludes with an unsatisfying and overblown ending.

I'm not ruining anything by saying that we see Captain Jack Sparrow early in the film in Davy Jones' Locker (or hell, of sorts). Up until he came on the screen, the movie was only ho-hum (or should I say yo-ho-hum?). I was expecting Jack to really spice things up. However, when he appears on the screen in this limbo world, it is incredibly surreal. I'm talking perfume commercial weird. Things get progressively weirder until our heroes return to the real world (and that's not spoiling anything, either). That's about an hour into the film.

"Pirates 3" then moves into its confusing mode. There are double crosses, triple crosses, quadruple crosses, and more. Literally every character betrays every other character at one point or another (except for the monkey). It gets a tad absurd. I'm all for complex plots, but this is almost as confusing as teenage girls repeatedly deciding they're friends one minute and enemies the next. There's little rhyme or reason to it.

The film concludes with a big finish that's as illogical and overblown as any film ending this summer. Our characters defy the laws of gravity as they swing between ships, walk in slow motion among exploding woodwork, and continue to flip sides. There's even an attack by a 50 ft character. No kidding. "Pirates 3" concludes with a major, major change taking place with one of the characters, but it ends up being a bittersweet ending.

After viewing the movie, I couldn't help but think that it would have been better if they had more time to work on the script. As it is, the film feels like they thought up scenes that would look pretty cool (like Chinese ships among icebergs or pirate ships blasting each other in a whirlpool), then tailored the script around it. The end result is a story that was way too long and way too convoluted. I hope they have more time to work on a script for a solo Captain Jack Sparrow movie in the future.

On a final note, there seems to be a lot of sexual innuendo here for a Disney movie. Elizabeth Swan is stripped by Chinese pirates, peeped up her skirt by Ragetti, and made love to by Will Turner. Considering how much Disney is marketing this film to young kids, it's not as squeaky clean as the Disney label would lead you to expect.

The Extras:
Here's what you'll find among the bonus features:

Bloopers of the Caribbean - This is 5 minutes flubbed lines, failed stunts, and other fun. It's always a good addition to bonus features.

Keith & The Captain: On Set with Johnny Depp and the Rock Legend - This title is pretty self explanatory. In this 5 minute featurette we see Depp and Richards interviewed together. And believe it or not, Richards comes across as even more insane than his on screen persona as he mumbles, fiddles with Depp's costume, and does other bizarre things. It's amazing what a little editing can do.

Anatomy of a Scene: The Maelstrom - This 20 minute featurette delves deeply into the making of the Maelstrom in the big finale. They show the massive sets, the blue screen challenges, and the programming hurdles they had to leap. This featurette covers a lot.

The Tale of Many Jacks - The scene with the multiple Jacks is shown in this 5 minute video. We see Jack's doubles, the camera tricks, and even the giant dreadlocks.

Hoist the Colours - This short video shows the development of the haunting theme from "Pirates 3."

Masters of Design - This is a series of five featurettes covering some of the designers and their specific tasks in the film. You'll find James Byrkit on Sao Feng's Map (6.5 minutes), Crash McCreery on the Cursed Crew (5.5 minutes), Rick Heinrichs on the Singapore set (5 minutes), Penny Rose on Teague's Costume (3.5 minutes), and Kris Peck on The Code Book (5.5 minutes). It's a fun, focused look at some of the main features of the film.

Inside the Brethren Court - This feature allows you to see short videos on each of the Pirate lords.

The World of Chow Yun-Fat - Chow Yun-Fat gets some loving in this 4 minute video.

The Pirate Maestro: The Music of Hans Zimmer - If you like Zimmer you'll enjoy this 10.5 minute video discussing the themes and score from the film.

Deleted Scenes - There are only two deleted scenes. The first is "I Like Riddles" and it is a brief throw away line from Pintel and Ragetti. The second is a bit more substantial and it's called "Two Captains, One Ship". It shows Sparrow and Barbossa comically vying for control of the Black Pearl.

The Bottom Line:
Of the three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, "The Curse of the Black Pearl" was the best, "Dead Man's Chest" is second, and "At Word's End" is a distant third. Still, it's well worth checking out.

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