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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Fantasy > Pirates Of The Carribean Ė The Curse Of The Black Pearl + Dead Manís Chest (Blu-ray)

Pirates Of The Carribean Ė The Curse Of The Black Pearl + Dead Manís Chest (Blu-ray)


Picture: A-†††† Sound: A-†††† Extras: C†††† Films: C-/D



Some franchises are stronger than others, but for Disney, The Pirates Of The Carribean started as one of the companyís famous amusement park rides.Though they are far form the original rides and a certain political correctness has wiped away the original storyline quite a bit, Jerry Bruckheimer has turned the ride into what is so far a trilogy of hit films.Previously hitting DVD-Video, Disney has made the first two films into major premiere 50GB Blu-ray sets, which we are looking at now.


Even fans of the franchise had trouble with the sequel, as our resident Disney fan points out in this review of the DVD of Dead Manís Chest:





Though he has liked the films more than I have, note the drop in how much fans of the first have for the second.Why?Because getting hit in the head can only be funny so often.I am also no fan of director Gore Verbinski.I still have not recovered from how bad The Mexican was.


The reason these films ultimately were this is because there is a market for what is seen as mindless, jokey fun and thatís fine.Most important, Disney and Bruckheimer puts the money in these films and knows how to cast them.There is digital work, but it is more stylized than usual, but you get more sets.Also, it is been a very long time since Hollywood did a pirates film of any kind, let alone one that worked.Cutthroat Island (reviewed elsewhere on this site) bombed, but even developed its own cult following, proving the desire to see such films.


With nothing more to say on the films, how do the Blu-rays perform?The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in Super 35mm by Darius Wolski, A.S.C., in both cases and though it does this by the slimmest of margins, I have to admit the picture looks very good on both earning the letter grade they do.Sure, the digital is dated on arrival, but color, clarity, depth and even detail have their moments.Some (critics and fans) will get carried away with how good and ďpristineĒ this looks, but Iíll give that each have a few demo moments.


The PCM 5.1 48 kHz/24Bit mixes are even more impressive, as expected for films trying to be amusement park rides.The scores by Klaus Baldet and Hans Zimmer for the first two films respectively do nothing for me, but the mix itself helps sell the films above being just competent corporate A product.Bass, depth and fullness is good, better than the Dolby Digital 5.1 in both cases here or in their DVD equivalents.Both PCM mixes also have their demo moments, yet I was not high on either as reference material I would consider the very best, but it will have its fans and they at least deliver the exceptional improvements over DVD the format is supposed to and does not always manage.


Extras on these first two films are the same for these Blu-rays as they are for the DVD sets that were issued of both.Since we already covered extras for the second, here for the record are the extras for the first.This includes feature length audio commentary by Verbinski and Johnny Depp, Bruckheimer, Keira Knightley & Jack Davenport, Writers Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio and Jay Wolpert,An Epic At Sea: The Making of "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl", 19 Deleted and Alternate Scenes, "Moonlight" Scene Progression, "Below Deck" - An Interactive History Of Pirates, "Fly on the Set" Featurette, "Diary of a Pirate" - Behind-the-Scenes look with cast member Lee Arenberg, "Diary of a Ship" Video Journal, "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" - Archival TV Program, Producer's Diary Featurette With Jerry Bruckheimer, stills, blooper reel and DVD-ROM Features: "Moonlight Becomes Ye" Effects Studio, History of the Ride Featurette, Virtual Reality Viewer, Script scanner & Storyboard Viewing Modes.


Now you see why these are double Blu-ray sets.Disney has put out the best number of titles in the format so far and have been the most aggressive, for whatever reasons.Whether you like the films or not, Disney did these well enough that they should help the format out considerably.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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