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PHOTOGRAPHY

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2: DEAD MAN'S CHEST (two disc Special Edition)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 150 minutes, audio commentary, bloopers, making of featurettes, sword fight training featurettes, Re-imagineering the attraction featurette, and producer's photo diary

STUDIO: Walt Disney/ Jerry Bruckhiemer Productions

RELEASE DATE: 12-5-2006

I didn't really care much for the first PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, but I think THE DEAD MAN'S CHEST (the first sequel of two filmed back to back) is a big improvement. The action sequences never feel too long as they always something new to add as the action goes on. The sword fighting at the end is one of my favorite parts. The end is quite a surprise (stay around at the end of the credits for a little extra bit). Keira shows great sword fighting skills while Orlando really has a hand at it from his previous films (KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy). I even liked Johnny Depp as Captain Jack this time. Bill Nighy is sinister as Davy Jones (beside Bill is handy as bad guys since he played one in the UNDERWORLD films).

In DEAD MAN'S CHEST, Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) is warned his time is up and he owes a debt to Davy Jones who rose the Black Pearl (and Jack would be his after 13 years as Captain). Captain Jack beaches the Black Pearl on an island of cannibals to avoid the Kraken. Meanwhile, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) are arrested on their wedding day. Will must retrieve a compass from Captain Jack because the new authority figure wants the Dead Man's Chest. Captain Jack is also after the same chest. Soon Elizabeth escapes and joins Jack's crew with a disgraced naval office (Jack Davenport). The stage is set for plent of action as DEAD MAN'S CHETS is part 1 of a two part story (the second sequel is called AT WORLD'S END).

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail isn't bad, but some large displays may see some imperfections in the transfer.

AUDIO: English, French, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

dialogue is clear and the surround mix is fantastic.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

DISC 1- The first disc features some previews, a slightly amusing blooper reel, and an audio commentary with the two writers of DEAD MAN'S CHEST: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio

DISC 2-

CHARTING THE RETURN- An interesting pre-production featurette on how they had to put together the two sequels quickly with short pre-production period where the scripts were being worked on until at least when filming started.

ACCORDING TO PLAN- A production featurette focusing on the shooting of Dead Man's Chest including the problems that plagued production like the tank for the ships not being done on time and hurricane season shutting things down at times. One fo the crew reflects that big productions like PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN may be coming to an end due to the rising budgets of cuch films.

CAPTAIN JACK FROM HEAD TO TOE- over 20 featurettes on various parts of Captain Jack's costume.

METT DAVY JONES: ANATOMY OF A LEGEND- A behind-the-scenes look at how they cast and filmed Bill Nighy's scenes before rendering his character in very realistic CGI.

MASTERING THE BLADE- three featurettes focusing on the sword fight trainingg for Orlando Bloom (the most interesting one), Keira Knightley (she looks sexy in her haircut from DOMINO while learning the sword fights), and Jack Davenport. Keira has a job as a stunt woman if her acting ever parts apart.

CREATING THE KRAKEN- a behind-the-scenes look at the Kraken from animatics to production footage to creating the creature with CGI plus how they broke a ship in two.

FLY ON THE SET: THE BONE CAGE- shooting the cage against blue screen.

DEAD MEN TELL NEW TALES: RE-IMAGINEERING THE ATTRACTION- The Pirates attraction at Disneyland gets an upgrade as new stuff is added including a few characters from the film (including Depp's version of Captain Jack).

PIRATES ON MAIN STREET: THE WORLD PREMIERE- footage from the red carpet premiere at Disneyland.

A PRODCUER'S PHOTO DIARY- producer Jerry Bruckheimer narrates and shows some of the photos he took during the filming of DEAD MAN'S CHEST.

four hidden featurettes focusing on prop painters, the coconut man, the catering services, and the blue screen twins can be found be looking around the main menus of disc 2.

FINAL ANALYSIS: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST has a better set of extras than THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. I loved DEAD MAN'S CHEST and I can't wait for the sequel to arrive.

this review is (c)12-3-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com