The final 45-minutes or so of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” are
so enjoyable, one wonders why it takes so long to get there.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” arrives on DVD and Blu-ray disc
The motley crew of Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth, Captain Barbossa
and Davy Jones is back for a third time. The previous “Pirates” films in the
trilogy were quite entertaining, despite part two having flaws. The third
film, though, is surprisingly slow going and does too much in the way of
exposition. It’s fun to go to Singapore and meet Chow Yun Fat and marvel at
the tremendous sets. But the story gets bogged down with too many characters
and situations, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on. Stick around for
long enough, Gore Verbinski and crew up the ante and make an entertaining
I believe, for the most part, Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack
Sparrow really makes the films a lot of fun to watch. Take out Sparrow and
leave in Turner and Elizabeth to fight Davy Jones and other cutthroats,
you’d have a good movie. But I don't think that their characters would be
able to carry the films. And that’s what happens with “At World’s End.”
We’re given a lot of explanation of why things happen in the pirate world,
when really we want to see Sparrow and his crewmates get into a lot of
pirate action. The incredible sets, visual effects and excellent acting by
Geoffrey Rush (Capt. Barbossa) and Bill Nighy (Davy Jones) are great on
their own, but Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow makes the film, and series, whole.
One of the nice surprises, even though the press hyped him up beforehand, is
seeing Keith Richards as Sparrow’s father, Captain Teague. Too bad Richards
is a busy man touring with a "little" band called The Rolling Stones. He’s a
lot of fun in his short scene during a pirate’s gathering. Richards is so
cool and confident, he might’ve taken many scenes away from Depp, and that’s
difficult to do. It would’ve been a lot of fun watching them interacting in
more scenes. But I’ll take what’s been given.
The movie isn’t bad at all, but it doesn’t exactly become exciting until the
climatic scenes. “At World’s End” runs 167-minutes. That yar be a long
movie, matey! The film could’ve been tighter, in my opinion.
The look of the film is fantastic, as usual. The production design by Rick
Heinrichs is rich with pirate detail. The visual effects are stunning and
I’m still in amazement over how ILM created Davy Jones’s face. The sound is
quite good, though I’d love to hear the soundtrack on a Blu-ray disc with
its uncompressed sound.
The cast is enjoyable. I’ve felt that Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly, in
their roles, are a bit too serious and straight-laced. I think they strike a
nice counterbalance to the mayhem, but I think at times they slow the film
down. Almost everyone else, except for the British officers (naturally),
seems to be having a great time playing pirates. Depp's crewmates are a
If there was a complaint I have about the film, it comes from being a father
of a young child. I mention this because a lot of children under the age of
13 will be asking Santa for “At World’s End.” Parents should take caution
and decide whether or not this film is appropriate for their children
(please see "Ye Be Warned, Says I," below).
If you’re above the age of 13, which I’m sure most of “Pirates” fans are,
then get the newest DVD. The movie, as whole, ponders along, but if you’ll
stick around for a bit, you'll get a buccaneer's bounty out of it.
Ye Be Warned, Says I
The “Pirates” movies marked a departure for Walt Disney Studio
branded films. Apparently producer Jerry Bruckheimer wanted
edgier fare that wasn’t toned down for audiences of all ages.
When "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was released in 1988, and "The
Nightmare Before Christmas" was released in 1993, Disney decided
it was best to release those films under their Touchstone
Pictures label. It was thought that the adult undertone of each
movie, or scary images in the latter, wouldn't be appropriate
for most children. "Roger Rabbit" is still fairly risqué, to a
degree, though "Nightmare" is perfectly okay for my child. Times
have changed at Disney.
From the beginning, the "Pirates" films from 2003 and 2006 have been
filled with dark and scary images, as well as violence. It can
be argued that the original concept of the 1967 attraction
featured a lot of political incorrectness. It did. There are
pirates firing canons at each other, swashbuckling and scary
imagery on the attraction. When I was little, I can remember
being scared of the talking skeleton before the boat drops into
the abyss. Times and maturity changed me. Many years later, I
was upset with Disney caving into political correctness by
altering some of the attraction’s elements. Who were these moral
citizens that Disney was supposedly catering to anyway? There
would be no more pirates chasing lasses. Instead, they’d be
chasing lasses carrying trays of food. Exchange lust for
gluttony. They were pirates, for heaven’s sake! They were
supposed to be scoundrels.
The charm of the “Pirates” attraction was that even though there
were touches of violence and mayhem, the ride was suitable for
most children. There are no beheadings, blood, or gore on the
attraction. Nobody gets shot, even though guns are being fired
at them. It's pretend. The “Pirates” movies, though, are very
violent and, at times, sexually suggestive. I guess Disney has
come a long way from the day’s of “The Shaggy Dog” (1959) and
it's a small world.
The rating of the “Pirates” films is PG-13 and there is an
additional warning on the rating to advise parents. You may
recall that the PG-13 was created after there was an outcry over
the extreme violence in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
(1984). It's become, over the years, a safe "R" rating for many
films. I'm positive that if "At World's End" was released prior
to 1984, it would've been rated R.
Maybe the parental side comes out of me too often. Good thing I
didn’t let my daughter watch the film, though she’s seen parts
of the first one (i.e. non-violent and scary). I was taken aback
with the violence in “At World’s End.” One of the scenes that
caught me off-guard included a woman being shot in the head. In
another, there is a scene that is surprisingly frank in
sexuality. Believe me, I don’t find the idea of violence and
sexuality in a pirate film wrong. I’m not a crusader for
cleaning up films and television (though I’m finding myself
changing the channel more often when my kid’s in the room, but
that’s for another time). However, for a Disney-branded film,
these elements could’ve been toned down, or the films could've
been released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. But Jerry
Bruckheimer has a lot of pull at Disney, and his risk of
producing the "Pirates" movies as such has been very profitable.
I watched “At World’s End” before I considered letting my
daughter watch it. I'm glad I did. I did what I felt was a
responsible thing to do as a parent. I would’ve felt terrible
for letting her watch it, only to have her shocked and scared at
what happened on the screen. I'm sure when she gets older, the
rating and movies like this won't be a factor anymore. For the
time being, she's not allowed to watch it.
Some PG-13 movies are relatively harmless for children under the
age of 13. “At World’s End” isn’t harmless, and if you have
sensitive children, be aware that it might not be appropriate
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Disney. All rights reserved.
Great movie once you get to World's End
Director: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera
Knightly, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy, Chow Yun Fat, and that cool monkey
Double disc filled with lots of extras
Picture: Very Good
out Davy Jones again--those are some neat effects
Look for a cameo by Keith Richards
Aspect Ratio (2.39:1)
DVD RELEASE DATE
December 4, 2007