I attempt to stay plot-spoiler free, however a major action sequence is discussed.

Will Turner:
This is either brilliance or madness.
Jack Sparrow:
Remarkable how often those two traits coincide, isn’t it?

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio

After the Governor’s daughter Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) is kidnapped by the evil pirate Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth's childhood friend Will Turner (Legola...er..Orlando Bloom) must team up with rogue pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to save her. Little do they know that Barbossa and his men are under the influence of an ancient curse and sail the seas as undead unless they kill Elizabeth to release it.

Holy crap! The meme is right, Keira Knightley is the sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet! I could look at this girl all day. But she could use a a bit more weight on her though…ahem...but this writeup is not about my sexual proclivities, it’s about the movie, or rather two movies. You see, what we have here is two films mixed into one. The first is the story of Elizabeth’s kidnapping and Will’s quest to defeat the undead pirates, and it’s a pretty good adventure yarn. The second is yet another installment in the B-movie serial The Adventures of Jack Sparrow, an over-the-top action/comedy extravaganza starring Johnny Depp as the mincing, foppish, slightly drunk (or possibly mad) titular character. The fact that these movies seem to inhabit the same plotline is of no consequence. The first film is filled with dire pronouncements, swashbuckling, mizzenmast hoisting, and true love. While the second features Jack Sparrow essentially playing a goofy drunken pirate version of the old TV character Maverick, always looking to scam people using his mouth and mind instead of his sword.

Johnny Depp completely 0wnz this flick, and everyone (even a deliciously grizzled Geoffrey Rush) ends up playing straight man to his character. Every scene he is in gets injected with a kind of manic absurdity, so much so that whenever he is gone it feels like we are watching a completely different movie. And I have to say that his movie entertained me a lot more. That’s not to say that I didn’t love the general pirate-y goodness of the rest of the movie, hell the bravura swordfight between Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa is the best I’ve seen since Westley and Inigo traded barbs.

As part of the curse, Barbossa and his evil crew are turned into skeletons under the light of the moon. The CGI skeletons are very fluid and well done, but I’ll always picture my evil skeletons moving with that stop motion hitching style a la Clash of the Titans. The best use of the skeletons comes during a swordfight in a secret cave with a hole in the roof. As the combatants move in and out of the shafts of moonlight, parts of them (and sometimes their whole bodies) would skeletonize while the rest would stay human. This sequence was done perfectly and just completely kicked my ass.

I kinda wish the film had been a bit more overt with its violence, you hardly see any blood and I don’t think any impalements happened on camera. Of course if they did do this the movie probably would have been rated Arrrrr!!

Disney wants to start a Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise and they certainly have my blessing, but I can’t help reiterating the wish I made in my Shanghai Knights review for a return to the short film format. Jack Sparrow is such a great character that Johnny Depp totally inhabits, it would be a shame if we had to wait three years to see him again, and even if they make a sequel he might not be in it. Just shoot a quick series of Jack Sparrow shorts and throw them in front of various Disney releases, and later you can sell them in DVD sets. C’mon people, let’s get to work on this!

I hope this movie makes lot of money so a studio might have the balls to greenlight an Anne Bonny-Mary Read lesbian pirate epic!

Copyright 2003 Phil Carter. Reprinted by permission of the author.


Presenting........l33t h4xx0r th34tre
P1r4t3s 0f Teh C4r1bb34n: Teh Curs3 0f teh Bl4ck P34rl

Young Elizabeth Swann: p1r4t3s r0xx0r
Governor Swann: d00d, p1r4t3s r teh 3vul
Young Will Turner: omg wtf th4t suxx0r3d
Elizabeth: *st34ls teh m3d4ll10n*

Will Turner: s3xx0r m3 3l1z4b3th
Governor: l053r
Elizabeth: l8r d00d
Captain Jack Sparrow: i m teh cr4zy
British Soldiers: wtf????//
Commodore Norrington: s3xx0r m3 3l1z4b3th
Elizabeth: *f41ntz*
Cap'n Jack: omg i g0tt4 s4v3 h3r
Soldiers: d00d u r t0tlly bu5t3d
Cap'n Jack: wtf suxx0r!!!111
Norrington: d00d th1s p1r4t3 == teh sukc
The Evil Pirates: 4rrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!1111
Elizabeth: p4rl4y!!11
The Pirates: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Elizabeth: i m 3l1z4bth turn3r
Captain Barbossa: g1mm3 teh m3d4ll10n
Elizabeth: l3mm3 g0 1st
Barbossa: 0k
Elizabeth: h3r3z j00r l3wt
Barbossa: h4 h4 h4 h4 i l13d
Elizabeth: wtf suxx0r!!!1

Will: w3 g0tt4 s4v3 3l1z4b3th!!!11
Governor: l053r
Norrington: l053r
Will: d00d h3lp m3 s4v3 3l1z4b3th
Cap'n Jack: l3mm3 0ut 1st
Will: 0k
Cap'n Jack: i m teh cr4zy
Will: wtf????//
Cap'n Jack and Will: *st34lz 4 sh1p*
Norrington: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Soldier: d00d th4t p1r4t3 == teh r0xx0r
Norrington: OMG OMG WTF suxx0r!!!1

Barbossa: i m teh 3vul
Elizabeth: d00d j00 r 4ll sk3l3t0nz!!!!1
Barbossa: th4t w4s s0m3 b4d l3wt
Barbossa: w3 n33dz ur bl00d
Elizabeth: wtf suxx0r!!!1

Gibbs: d00d y0u w4nt teh bl4ck p34rl 4g4in????//
Cap'n Jack: y34h i g0t s0m3 l3v3r4g3
Gibbs: ok ill g3t s0m3 cr4zy d00ds t0g3th3r
The Good Pirates: 4rrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!111
Cap'n Jack: i m teh cr4zy
Will: d00d wtf wtf??
Gibbs: j4ckz 4 l1ttl3 w31rd
Will: y34h, t0tlly
Gibbs: b4rb0ss4 fuxx0r3d h1m
Will: suxx0r

Barbossa: l3tz bl33d d4 b1tch n well b fr33
Elizabeth: wtf ow *bl33dz 0n d4 g0ld*
The Evil Pirates: d00d wtf i d0nt f33l ne d1ffr3nt
Barbossa: sh3z n0t teh r1te p3rs0n!!!!1
The Evil Pirates: d00d itz ur f4ult!!!!!11
Will: *h1tz j4ck*
Cap'n Jack: wtf ow
Will: cm0n 3l1z4b3th
Elizabeth: unf
Cap'n Jack: p4rl4y!!11
The Evil Pirates: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Will: cm0n l3tz g0
Gibbs: wtf wtf wh3r3z j4ck
Will: fuxx0r j4ck
Gibbs: ok

The Evil Pirates: 4rrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!1
The Good Pirates: 4rrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!1
The Evil Pirates: *fightz*
The Good Pirates: *fightz*
The Good Pirate Ship: *b00m*
The Evil Pirates: 0WN3D!!!!!!!!!!!1
The Good Pirates: fuxx0r
Will: d00d ima kill -9 mys3lf unl3ss u l3t 3l1z4b3th g0
Barbossa: ok
Barbossa: l8r j4ck n 3l1z4b3th
Cap'n Jack: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Elizabeth: wtf suxx0r!!!1

Cap'n Jack: i m teh cr4zy
Elizabeth: wtf????//
Elizabeth: *burnz s0m3 sh1t up*
Elizabeth: d00d ch3ck 1t 0ut i r00l
Cap'n Jack: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Governor: 1tz c00l 3l1z4b3th ur s4f3
Elizabeth: d00d w3 g0tt4 s4v3 w1ll
Cap'n Jack: d00d the bl4ck p34rlz fuxx0red
Cap'n Jack: u cn c4tch h3r
Norrington: l053r
Elizabeth: d00d ill s3xx0r u
Norrington: OMG OMG WTF R0XX0R!!!!!!!!!11

Cap'n Jack: l3mm3 g0 t4lk t0 3m
Cap'n Jack: th3n u c4n fukc th31r sh1zn1t up
Norrington: 0k
British Soldiers: th1s 1s teh sukc
Cap'n Jack: i m teh cr4zy
Barbossa: omg wtf ur sp0zed 2 b d3ad!
Cap'n Jack: d00d teh br1t1sh 4rmyz g0nna r0xx0r ur b0xx0rs
Barbossa: wtf suxx0r!!!1
The Evil Pirates: 4rrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!1
Soldiers: *di3z*
Cap'n Jack: i m teh cr4zy
Will: t1m3 t0 st4rt s0m3 sh1t
Barbossa: wtf wtf
Cap'n Jack: c00l i m teh sk3l3ton t00
The Evil Pirates: 4rrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!1
Soldiers: *di3z*
The Good Pirates: omg 1ts 3l1z4b3th
Elizabeth: d00d w3 g0tt4 s4v3 w1ll n j4ck!!!!11
The Good Pirates: fuxx0r th1s sh1zn1t, l8r b4b3
Elizabeth: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Cap'n Jack: *fightz*
Barbossa: *fightz*
Will: *fightz*
Will: *cutz h4nd n bl33dz on d4 m3d4ll10n*
Cap'n Jack: *sh00tz b4rb0ss4*
Barbossa: wtf ow suxx0r!!!1
Barbossa: *di3z*
The Evil Pirates: wtf ow suxx0r!!!1
Some Evil Pirates: wtf ow suxxor *diez*
Soldiers: h4 h4 h4 w3 r00l
The Evil Pirates: p4rl4y!!11

Cap'n Jack: d00d th1s 1s teh sukc
Will: *fightz*
Cap'n Jack: *fightz*
Soldiers: d00d ur b0th bu5t3d
Will and Jack: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Will: u c4nt k1ll j4ck, h3z c00l
Elizabeth: u c4nt k1ll j4ck, h3z c00l
Governor: d00dz d0nt sh00t
Soldiers: wtf suxx0r!!!1
Cap'n Jack: l8r every1
The Good Pirates: 4rrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!1
Cap'n Jack: i s0 t0tlly r00l
Governor: m4yb3 p1r4t3s r ok s0m3t1m3s
Norrington: y34h ok
Will: s3xx0r m3 3l1z4b3th
Elizabeth: unf unf

************** teh 3nd ********************

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