Friday, August 13, 2010

#52 - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - 2006

The 3rd film I chose to watch this week was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. As I had previously stated any movies that had sequels in my Movie Marathon I was going to watch in succession therefore this one was my choice to watch last night. There are some personal back stories I have involving this film as well that make this one in particular one that I will always remember. On top of that it was such a great film and is right up there in my Top 5 movies ever, yes it was that good, at least in my mind. Below is my detailed review.

Right off the bat Ill say this. This blog will probably be significantly shorter than my one on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl mainly because I wont spend as much time discussing the characters since the majority of them are the same. The new characters that were added are very cool looking though. Davy Jones is the main lead character who was added and he is the Captain of the Flying Dutchmen a ship with a ghastly and ghostly crew from hell. Jones makeup in this film is spectacular as he is part sea animal part human all hideous as can be. With tentacles on his face and looking like a human octopus he is quite the sight for the audience. His crew isn't any prettier including Bootstrap Bill, Will's father. The barnacle and sea crap sticking to his face and body are on full display as it is with the rest of the crew including one individual with a hammerhead shark's face for his face, quite odd. Dave Jones is played by Bill Nighy and Bootstrap Bill by Stellan Starsgard. Naomi Harris was also a new addition to this film as she played the role of Tia Dalma and she played it wonderfully. Can we say teeth whitening anyone?? I enjoyed all the new characters that were added especially Davy Jones.

The plot of this second film is that Johnny Depp owes a debt to Davy Jones and must pay or find a way out of his debt or be punished and sent to serve on the flying dutchmen in the afterlife. Meanwhile both Elizabeth and Will have been sentenced to death by another new character, Lord Beckett, for their roles in helping assist Jack Sparrow, or as they so quickly stated, "Captain" Jack Sparrow. Will being released only to do a favor for Lord Beckett makes it his mission to complete the favor and get Jack Sparrow's compass in order to save Elizabeth's life meanwhile Governor Weatherby Swann helps his daughter escape and after she does so she finds herself on a ship heading out to sea to find Will. With all kinds of battles, expeditions, and deals going on throughout this film there is a lot to take in and lucky for us so much of it is even more visually stunning than the original, once again especially on bluray.

This movie had some incredibly amazing sets. The film started at Port Royal but quickly moved onto Cannibal Island where Jack was located. There were also more scenes in Tortuga and plenty of scenes at Sea as well. I'm not sure exactly what the island was called where the chest was buried and where Jack, Will, and Commodore Norrington had an epic swordfight but that was a cool looking island and was most likely shot in the Bahamas. There was also a very cool scene, actually two scenes where canoes took the pirates to see Tai Dalma. The set for these scenes were especially cool to me since they are made to look like the bayou scenes at the beginning of the famous attraction at Disneyland with the small wooden house and fireflies all around.

My favorite set which I believe was mostly done by CGI special effects was Cannibal Island. The stunning flyovers at first glance, large steep bridges high above the ground, and lush surroundings made this my favorite setting of the film. This is where Jack Sparrow was hiding out and he had become a God of some sort to the tribesmen and women who lived on this island. Some of my favorite scenes in the entire film took place on this island. I loved the scene where Will Turner and the crew were all stuck inside two large makeshift cages and the entire scene from which they swung up to safety and then had to run away from the tribesman in a very cool chase scene. The special effects in this scene were awesome. I also loved watching Jack and all his misadventures while trying to get off the island as well from almost being burned at the stake to being stuck on a large pole with fruits and vegetables all around him. Both these scenes took place simultaneously and Jack in one of the more recognizable scenes of this film runs away from all the tribesmen heading toward the Black Pearl to reach safety. All in all very fun and exciting scenes to watch.

The darkest scenes of the film took place on The Flying Dutchmen where beheadings, slit throats, and whipping's took place. Yes I said all that and yes this is a Disney flick. The only one of those three that were actually shown in full detail was the whipping scene but still that was rather dark for a Disney movie but it all had to fit in with the evil that was the crew of the Flying Dutchmen and Davy Jones. Other dark scenes that were quite creepy that I actually enjoyed was the beginning of the film where we see a large bridge with men taking what looks to be prisoners inside the gates of a castle and on the bridge itself are men in small cages who are left to die and be ravaged by flying crow's even to the point of having their eyes torn out of their sockets, eeew! haha. Yes again this is a Disney flick. That was pretty much it for the darker and creepier scenes in the movie but in general as a whole this film was by far the darkest one of the three. I actually found it quite cool though but that's just my inner horror fan coming out.

Other favorite scenes of mine in this film in no particular order were. The very short scene at the beginning of the film where Jack escapes from the coffin he was in at sea. I also loved the scene where Jack meets up with Bootstrap Bill in the underbelly of the Black Pearl when searching for more rum. He even stated before going downstairs, "why is the rum always gone"? Bootstrap Bill was quite the character with barnacle attached to his face and bugs and water flowing out of him. A whole new brand of character for this film franchise and it set up what we could expect to see from the crew of the Flying Dutchman later on in the film. I thought the scene on the Flying Dutchmen where Will, Davy Jones, and Bootstrap play Liar's Dice was pretty cool too. Speaking of Davy Jones, the scene where he is playing the organ inside the ship was awesome. Very Halloweenish if you ask me then again most music being played on an organ reminds me of that time of year. The scene where a guy who was basically attached to the ship emerges to talk to Will and Bootstrap was pretty stunning. The special effects for this guy with his branch looking skull and floating brain were pretty mesmerizing. How could I speak about favorite scenes and leave out the battle on the wheel at the end of the film. Another great scene as well the final ship battle where the Black Pearl attempted to fight off the Kraken. The Kraken was especially cool looking and very authentic looking as a sea monster. When speaking of favorite scenes one cannot leave out the final scene of the film, the surprise scene. It's the one where Barbossa comes walking downstairs at Tia Dalma's with his monkey on his shoulder. Kind of like a "heeeeee's back" type scene. Very cool.

The music in this film again was great with the regular original Pirates score also in there but some new music as well. The new music I loved was the music used in the Cannibal Island scenes. Very catchy and very in tune to the scenes. That's one thing I love about the music in this franchise is that it fits with the scenes so perfectly. Another example of that is the scenes in Tortuga. They always have your classic piraty music playing in those scenes and I really wish they would add some of that music to the attraction at Disneyland, that would be awesome. Even if just for a minute or two. I will have to say the upgrades and additions they made to the ride in 2006 are pretty awesome though and I love the Dead Men Tell No Tales track they now have in the ride, very cool! There aren't many times we are in the park that we don't go on Pirates, its just one of the classics at Disneyland and a staple for us to visit every time just like the Haunted Mansion as well.

I kind of hinted at this above but one thing that was unique about this film and one thing Ill always remember is that Jenn and I by sheer happenstance (quote from Jon Voight in National Treasure) went to Disneyland on the day they were having the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest World Premiere. We noticed the red carpet covering all of Main Street and where wondering what the heck was going on. Not until we saw the signs and posters and some people already lined up down main street did we see what was going on. We decided to hunker down right in front of the Main Street Railroad station and set up camp and that resulted in seeing and meeting some pretty cool celebs. Too many to name here but yes I saw Jack Sparrow, Will Turney, Keira Knightley, and Barbossa! Very cool stuff!!

All in all I absolutely loved this film. So much so that I would have it in my top 5 of all time. I will have to say however after seeing them back to back the first one is really growing on me more as well. That might be right there almost tied with this one or one slot back in my favorites of all time. I will say this both of these movies were much better than the third one, At Worlds End. My opinion of course but the third one was too long and had too much crammed into it. I am however looking forward to the fourth installment of this franchise due out next year I believe. Even though Bloom and Knightley wont be back Depp is and that's your main player for these films so I'm sure it will be great! No surprise again, this one gets an A+!

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