Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Johnny Depp’s endearing Keith Richards-does-Captain Kidd characterization of the double-crossing pirate Jack Sparrow is so unique that it stands out amid all the frenzied swashbuckling and zombie battling around him — no easy task. The rollicking but exhausting Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is about a half hour too long (with at least one too many numbing Jerry Bruckheimerian set pieces), but thankfully, at home you can pause the bombast to get your sea legs and take an aspirin. EXTRAS Depp’s commentary (with director Gore Verbinski) on the two-disc set is disappointingly dry, and of the THAT ACTOR WAS GREAT! SO WAS THAT PROP MAN! variety. But the banter between bubbly Keira Knightley and wickedly witty Jack Davenport (of U.K. ”Coupling” fame) is a cheeky delight: ”Oh, no, it all goes downhill,” Davenport teases when Knightley first appears on screen. The comprehensive making-of shorts spotlight the film’s impressive research, but also raise the question: Did an amusement-park-ride-based action movie really require all this historical accuracy?