PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (2007)
Starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Chow Yun-Fat
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Rates PG-13 for Intense Sequences of Action/Adventure, Violence and Some Frightening Images
Riding the crest of a $961 million worldwide box office wave, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End arrives on DVD in stores Tuesday. In case you've been under a rock (maybe a crab) for the last six months, or stranded in the surreal void of Davy Jones' locker, you may not be familiar with the final(?) chapter in the saga of Captain Jack Sparrow and company. Please refer to MiceChat's take on the fantasy epic here, or read my personal review of the movie here.
Now that we've dispensed with formalities, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on DVD is every bit as big and bombastic as it was in theaters. The emphasis is on special effects spectacle as Jack, Will, Elizabeth and Hector (Barbossa) join forces, split up, go their own ways, double cross and reunite (rinse, repeat) on a convoluted course leading to a final showdown with the slimy Davy Jones and the weaselly Lord Beckett of the East India Trading Company. But wait, isn't Jack dead? Didn't Barbossa meet a similar fate in the first Pirates movie? Why is Keith Richards, who should've been dead years ago, playing guitar? Does it make sense? Does it matter? Not really. But darned if At World's End, for all its overwrought excess, isn't a glorious hoot from start to finish . . . assuming you've paid attention and have already seen the first two movies of the trilogy.
Don't waste your time with the single disc version of the DVD. The real treasure's to be found in the 2-Disc Collector's Edition (or the Blue-ray 2-disc release for you hi-def types) which includes over 2 hours of bonus features. Tops among them is "Anatomy of a Scene: The Maelstrom," a behind the scenes look at the climactic sea battle between The Black Pearl and The Flying Dutchman. It's a marvel to see the enormous soundstage where the scene was primarily filmed. It's also impressive to see just how much of the scene was real and not just post-production trickery. Blu-ray viewers can delve even deeper with "Enter the Maelstrom" an interactive look at the evolution of the scene hosted by producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Other noteworthy features include "Tale of the Many Jacks," which details how Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow ended up literally beside himself while filming the Davy Jones' locker segment. Also good fun are "Keith & the Captain," about Keith Richards' turn as the Brethren Court's "keeper of the Code" Captain Teague and "The World of Chow Yun-Fat," which spotlight's the Chinese star's role as the notorious pirate Sao Feng. Both of these features make you wish you could've seen a little more of Richards and Chow in the film.
The complete list of bonus features, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment:
2-Disc Disney DVD Bonus Materials
DISC 1Bloopers of the Caribbean
DISC 2Anatomy of a Scene: The Maelstrom Keith & the CaptainTale of the Multiple Jacks Hoist the Colors Inside the Brethren Court The World of Chow Yun Fat The Pirate Maestro: The Music of Hans Zimmer
Blu-ray 2-Disc Bonus Materials
DISC 2Enter the Maelstrom All Standard DVD Bonus Content
Single Disc Disney DVD Bonus Materials