"Dead Man's Chest" was everything I'd hoped for and more. Lots more.
I had been worried – I admit it – ever since I heard Orlando Bloom in an interview say repeatedly the new movie would be "bigger and better" than "Curse of the Black Pearl." It immediately conjured images of "Temple of Doom" and "Matrix Reloaded," where the filmmakers threw away everything that had made the original a hit and concentrated on more action sequences.
Well, that's not the case with "PotC: Dead Man's Chest." Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of action sequences, brilliant, stirring action. But there's also humor and intrigue, stalwart Will, crafty Jack, spunky Elizabeth, swashbuckling, a nice Douglas Fairbanks homage, and lots more. In fact, if the first PotC movie belonged to Jack, I think it's fair to say this one belongs to Elizabeth.
I don't want to say much more because I don't want to spoil it for anyone, the Web Wench in particular – she won't be able to get to the theater for another couple of weeks and she'll keelhaul me if I give away the surprises. But it's got the spunk, spark and humor of the first, an even more appalling crew of enemies, more perilous perils – not to mention a big surprise at the end. I wasn't expecting the very last image and I can't believe anyone else was.
You've all seen the commercials with the swordfight in the waterwheel. Well, the whole sequence has to go down as one of the very best action sequences on film, and if not among the top 5 film sword fights of all time, it's almost certainly in the top 10.
I'm not crazy about the cliffhanger ending, but I'll take it because it's a promise that there will be another PotC movie next summer.
"Dead Man's Chest" is bigger than "Curse of the Black Pearl." That goes without saying. It is not better, but it's pretty close, and for us pirate fans, we'll happily take that.
(I've already started receiving e-mails with your takes on the movie. Keep sendin' 'em to Ol' Chumbucket and we'll fill a Poopdeck with 'em in a couple of weeks.)
Now that you've seen "Pirates of the Caribbean" at least once or twice, finish the weekend off with "True Caribbean Pirates" on the History Channel. It airs Sunday, July 9, at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Central and Mountain time) and it looks to be an excellent production. Based on the material at the Web site – http://www.historychannel.com/pirates/ – it looks as if the serious pirate fan will probably already be aware of most of the content ("Did you know some pirates were WOMEN? Gosh!" That kinda thing) but the casual pirate fan will probably find a lot of it new, and all of it looks to be well-presented, with dozens of re-enactors, lots of boats and battles and things blowing up.
And it's apparently historically accurate, for those who care about that sort of thing.
As you can imagine, the opening of "Dead Man's Chest" created a whirl of interest. You can hear Cap'n Slappy and me on "Weekend America," an NPR radio show. (requires RealPlayer). Check www.weekendamerica.org for a station near you that carries the show and when they carry it. (We've done at least a dozen other interviews for radio, TV and newspaper. Our favorite was with the Satellite Sisters. Check out their site and see if they've archived it. If they haven't, threaten to keelhaul 'em cuz it was a good 'un. We had 'em laughing for five minutes straight.
I'd also just mention that the Buccaneer Bachelor contest has heated up quite a bit this week, with lots of commentary on the pirate wench who got tipped the Black Spot by Cap'n Slappy. Check out all the fun at http://talklikeapirate.com/contest.html.
Now get to the theater if ye haven't seen it already and take in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." Oh, yes, and if you haven't already, I strongly encourage you to buy our book, "Pirattitude!" for while yer waitin' in line. I haven't pimped it in a while, but you understand how it is. A pirate's gotta make a living.
-- Ol' Chumbucket
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