Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlTrailers
Jack Sparrow, a freewheeling 18th-century pirate, quarrels with a rival pirate bent on pillaging Port Royal. When the governor's daughter is kidnapped, Sparrow decides to help the girl's love save her.
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Continuing my plan to watch every Johnny Depp movie in order, I come to Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl. I have very mixed feelings on this movie. One one hand I love it, it's almost perfect entertainment and I love Depp's performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. On the other hand, I think the success of this movie and the character was a blessing and a curse (much like Smokey & The Bandit for Burt Reynolds) as it turned Depp from a popular actor, into an A List superstar!! And in the process, it ruined one of my favourite actors, who even in his worst movies, was always interesting.When the TV Show 21 Jump Street was a hit, it made Depp famous and turned him into a heart throb and an instant teen idol, and he hated everything about it. He fought to get out of his contract, and when they refused, he became a prima donna. He stopped trying and was awful to work with. Once free, he then spent the next decade, avoiding star making movies, preferring roles in smaller, more artistic movies that made little money but gained him credibility, and earned nicknames like Hollywood's favourite odd ball or Hollywood's favourite outsider. The last 5 years had been the most settled of Depp's life, he was living quietly in France with Vanessa Paradis and their children. Then he made this movie, so his "kids could finally see him in a movie." And it put Depp back right where he began. Beholden to a major studio, a product, a living embodiment of a theme ride. His next two movies were already in the can, and the following two were already in place, before the studio-approved Depp of the last 12 years.Now on to the movie. Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow is not the main character, more of a supporting character, but he steals every scene and was deservedly nominated for his first Oscar (losing to Sean Penn in Mystic River) he is the best thing in the movie, and truthfully the movie is duller when he is not on screen. He is at his quirky best (is he permanent drunk or did he get too much sun whilst stranded on the island) and I usually smiled every time he was on screen. Imagine how boring this would have been if Depp had played the role straight. It's a tad over long, the battles become a tad too repetitive considering the only casualties are the non pirates, since the pirates can't die. Even watching Depp and Geoffrey Rush engage in a totally pointless swordfight is a bit blah, as you know what's coming thanks to a reveal earlier. Orlando Bloom is a tad bland but is ok, likewise Kiera Knightley who looks good, but lacks the certain something that would explain why all these men are in love with her, and more importantly are willing to die for her. Geoffrey Rush Jonathan Pryce and Jack Davenport are all fine in their supporting roles too.OK I have waffled on enough.Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl became Depp's highest grossing movie, and joint best performing movie (alongside Platoon) as it grossed $305 million at the domestic box office to end 2003 as the 3rd highest grossing movie of the year.
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Plot; A pirate teams with a blacksmith in an attempt to rescue a young woman from the cursed crew of his former ship.Having not watched this since it originally hit DVD four... teen years ago (gulp), I was surprised by a number of things. For one, why did I wait so long to revisit it? I remember thinking it was fun (and at the time, refreshingly different), and the former certainly still holds true. Perhaps more surprising is Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow. Over the years I've watched the various sequels (save for the latest one), and there was--if memory serves--a severe level of diminishing returns. But even more, I remember Depp's Sparrow being a total buffoon. Seeing him here I realize that what happened was that Sparrow became a caricature of the character Depp created in the original. To be sure Jack Sparrow's got some quirk to him, but he's not the ever-slurring gag-a-second clown I'd pegged him to be. He's got an edge here. A swagger. And he wears it well.Though it's a tad too long for its own good, it still moves by a brisk pace and has a tight focus. Its enormous success spawned a "Bigger is better" philosophy for at least the next two sequels, and that's a shame. I'll eventually get around to revisiting the rest of the series and seeing this Summer's sequel, but my memory says that fun walks the plank at the sword tip of spectacle.