Pirates of the Caribbean

The curse of the Black Pearl

It was inevitable that this movie would show up for Film Friday.  The Pirates of the Caribbean (PotC) movies replaced the Star Wars Trilogy as my favorite set of movies the day that the Curse of the Black Pearl came out.  It is almost a perfect action movie, and it is a perfect pirate movie.  Though the rest of this series is not as good, the Curse of the Black Pearl is fantastic and one of my top five movies.

Captain Jack Sparrow is in search of a ship and a crew so that he can track down the Black Pearl, a ship that was stolen from him by his mutinous crew.  Along the way he comes across Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner.  Sparrow discovers that Turner is the key to ending a curse on his former crew and Turner throws his lot in with Sparrow to save Elizabeth and find out the truth about the curse that he is involved in.

The Good
potc tricroneJohnny Depp – Captain Jack Sparrow – No one else could ever or will ever play a pirate quite like Johnny Depp.  The swagger, the verbiage, the attitude – he is a pirate.  His introduction, riding his sinking ship into Port Royal, is so well shot that it burns itself into your imagination.  The rapid fire pace of his dialogue with the other characters and his bizarre antics are both endearing and prove that there is a method to his madness.

Well, then, I confess, it is my intention to commandeer one of these ships, pick up a crew in Tortuga, raid, pillage, plunder and otherwise pilfer my weasely black guts out.

Keira Knightley – Elizabeth Swan – Wow!  I love Keira Knightley.  In this role she shows a strength and inner power that is not found in most characters especially the female lead in an action movie.  She has just the right amount of fear of the pirates at the beginning and then fierceness towards the end that makes her one of my favorite characters.  Add to that the fact that she is wonderful to look at and…

You’re pirates. Hang the code, and hang the rules. They’re more like guidelines anyway.

potc4Geoffrey Rush – Captain Hector Barbossa – Geoffrey Rush gets to work every pirate cliche ever perpetrated on the Silver Screen.  The pirate talk and swagger was started by Robert Newton in the 1950 version of Treasure Island and Hector Barbossa embodies everything that you think of when you think of pirates.

First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate’s code to apply and you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.

Ragetti & Pintel – These are two of my favorite characters from the entire series.  They add the humor that is needed to push the story along and of course in some of the later movies they are a huge part of the plot and without them, the plot would just lay there.

Parley? Damn to the depths whatever man what thought of “Parley”.

Costumes – Looking for a primer on pirate costumes and good clothes for the post Renaissance period?  This is your movie.  The attention to detail on the costumes, especially those of the pirates is remarkable.  Each of the characters that you get to know and love throughout the film have their own bit of flare and style.  The accessories involved with Jack’s costume alone is a study in making your costume part of your character.  Little bits of his adventures adorn his outfit, making his costume an integral part of the movie.  And, I want Barbossa’s hat.

Swordplay – The sword fighting in this movie is fantastic!  Just fancy enough to make it entertaining and Errol Flyn enough to make the adventure and action side of the movie really work.  The first big fight scene is between Jack and Will in the blacksmith shop.  The use of the environment, the use of elevation and the repartee between the two of them makes this scene one of the most memorable in movie history, only overshadowed by some of the big fight scenes in later PotC movies.  Plenty of great sword fights in this movie, almost too many to count.

The Age of Sail – The age of sail is depicted with all the immensity that Gore Verbinski could muster.  From the actions on board deck while they are simply sailing to the combat actions between the ships, the Tall Ships that are in the movie make you want to go highjack a ship and take to the high seas to become a pirate yourself.

Attack of Port Royal – The attack on Port Royal is a relatively historic depiction on how pirates would have sacked a good sized town during the Golden Age of Piracy.  Organized chaos.  They would have drifted, quietly into port, with the colors of a friendly country showing for the garrison at the port to see.  When close enough they would opened fire on the town with the rowboats almost to shore and then preceded to attack anything that moved, taking anything of value.  Pirates were very good about gathering intelligence so they would have known exactly what they were looking for and were to go to find it before they started the attack.

The Bad
Walking the Plank – I could have done without this pirate cliche.  Pirates are not known to have employed this but in the movie it makes sense and… they also had undead pirates and an undead monkey so… I will give them a pass.

The Ugly
Nothing!  Again, this is one of my favorites and therefore I can’t think of anything to put in the Ugly category.  If you have something let me know.

Again, I am a bit biased due to the fact that this is one of my favorite movies and it is a pirate movie to boot.  Perfect!  There might be a few things that could have been done differently but I can’t find them.  I freakin’ love it!