The first Pirates of the Caribbean film was the last great adventure/swashbuckling film

AlexFlame116

Member
Nov 17, 2017
17,026
Utah
Davy Jones's design is masterful and his theme is probably one of the most epic pieces of work I've heard.

But I also really really like Salazar's design! Everything about how he looks really sells it for me.
 

gforguava

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,041
I just started watching On Stranger Tides for the first time since it came out and the most striking thing about it thus far(besides how sorely missed Verbinski already is) is just how wrong Jack Sparrow looks.

He looks like someone dressed as Jack, his little 'x' scar looks like it was drawn with a red marker half the time, his hair is oddly poofy, and he is no longer dirty, just tanned.

It is very weird.
 

Ryuhza

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,602
San Diego County
I just started watching On Stranger Tides for the first time since it came out and the most striking thing about it thus far(besides how sorely missed Verbinski already is) is just how wrong Jack Sparrow looks.

He looks like someone dressed as Jack, his little 'x' scar looks like it was drawn with a red marker half the time, his hair is oddly poofy, and he is no longer dirty, just tanned.

It is very weird.
The most expensive movie ever produced.
 

ryseing

Bought courtside tickets just to read a book.
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,016
North Carolina
Which I still don't understand. The film looks cheaper than the other 3 that came before it.

What did they spend that money on?
Shooting on water is STUPID expensive, and OST has a lot of it. They also filmed in 3D and according to Wiki was the first major "exterior" movie to be shot in 3D.

But yes, $410 million before tax rebates. Christ.
 

Slim Action

Member
Jul 4, 2018
2,127
I remember Verbinski getting a lot of heat for how expensive Pirates 2 and 3 were, and then 4 and 5 were just as expensive without him and far shittier.
 

gforguava

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,041
Shooting on water is STUPID expensive, and OST has a lot of it.
Having now finished it, there really wasn't much shooting on water at all. Compared to the previous films almost nothing was shot on actual open waters(just a fleeting few shots of Barbossa's ship traveling), the only real piece of action on water was the mermaid attack but that was a little dinghy in a dark stage/tank. And I'm positive the Queen Anne's Revenge never moved an inch in the entire film, it was clearly attached to the floor of the water tank it was in and never rocked with the motion of the seas, real or simulated.


Positives
  • Solid cast.
  • The 'ships in bottles' thing is cool.
  • The beginning of the mermaid sequence with the mermaid singing makes you think that what follows might be good.

Negatives
  • The mermaid sequence that follows isn't good.
  • The solid cast doesn't get to do much.
  • The action is dreadfully dull.
  • Apparently there was no effort in hiding when they were filming on a soundstage or in a water tank.
  • Everything else.

There is a particular bit where the main theme kicks in when Jack is escaping from being tied to a tree in the jungle, he uses the rope to trip, attack, and tie up the soldiers trying to stop him and it is a callback to the end of Curse of the Black Pearl when Will saves Jack from the gallows. And it is embarrassing.

This film might be one of the best examples around of just what exactly a director brings to the table. It is made with all the same pieces as the previous films but the lack of Gore Verbinski is felt in literally every scene. The tone is off, there is little atmosphere(the Queen Anne's Revenge never stops feeling a set), and the action scenes suffer immensely. Jack's escape from London, his sword fight with Angelica, the first time we see Blackbeard 'command' his ship to entangle the mutineers, the mermaids, the teetering sequence on Ponce de Leon's ship, all of it is lifeless and forgettable because of the new director.
 

BasilZero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,316
Omni
Watched the first three last few weeks and love the series

I want to watch the last two - don’t care if it’s dumbed down or w/e - love media about pirates
 

Kaswa101

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,303
Just finished reaching the trilogy and I really love it. The second and third films have some unnecessary bloat but it never becomes dull or uninteresting imo. Would love to see a fan edit removing some of the filler though.

First one is a masterclass. And Davy Jones is absolutely fantastic. No idea how they pulled that CG off back then.
 

gforguava

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,041
And because it had to be done...

My thoughts on Dead Men Tell No Tales, in rough chronological order and in more detail than the movie probably deserves:
  • Why is Will all barnacle-y? Davy Jones and crew were only turning into monstrous fish people because Jones had forsaken his duty.
  • Poseidon's Trident...what is this patriarchal bullshit retcon? What does Calypso have to say about this Trident and its supposed command of the seas?
  • The post-prologue opening of the film is way too awkward for my taste, the way the film gets Henry and Salazar to meet just feels rushed. Considering Henry is looking for Jack and Poseidon's Trident, you could've just had him investigating this area intentionally, having him meeting Salazar by chance but by his own agency would make it feel less random and thus rushed. Conversely, this sequence would've been fine if the character wasn't Henry but rather a nobody, it is that awkward melding of Henry looking for Jack, Salazar looking for Jack, "oh look Salazar and Henry meet, how convenient for the story" that doesn't work.
  • Jack still looks wrong...sigh.
  • Oh boy, Carina's first bit isn't promising. I love Kaya Scodelario, you should totally watch Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights if you haven't already, but that was some exposition dumping the likes I haven't seen in ages. This film should've looked back to Curse of the Black Pearl in regards to its opening, take the time to establish your characters before they go adventuring. Instead it feels like it is trying really, really hard to have as little downtime as possible to keep the audience's attention. But, at least for me, it has the opposite effect, Carina is apparently already halfway through her own story before this film started so when she is getting into the diary and Galileo and maps no man can read I'm like "Please, who even are you?"
  • Hey, this is actually atmospheric at times! Neat sfx, cool visuals every now and again, and it doesn't always look like a soundstage, huzzah!
  • Salazar and Javier Bardem put McShane's Blackbeard to shame and are absolutely worthy additions to the pantheon of cool as hell villains from this series. The film doesn't use him properly but he is still great.
  • Considering the time jump, it must be at least 18-20 years since At World's End, and that we are explicitly dealing with Will and Elizabeth's grown child, now would've been the perfect opportunity to do something, anything different with Jack Sparrow. Make him older and rundown, make him more bitter now that the world is moving on, at least change up his look somewhat, do anything. The film even sets this up with his introductory heist. It fails miserably, his crew abandons him, and his buffoonery no longer serves a purpose, is no longer appealing, when he is just an actual buffoon. He is a man whose world has left him behind, who is always on the search for the thing he wants most...which is undefinable. And this is actually perfectly encapsulated in the moment when his crew ditches him, he takes out his compass, and it points to the horizon, he walks to the stern of his drydocked ship and puts the Black-Pearl-in-a-bottle on the railing so it looks like it is sailing on the sea. Perfectly done moment and this is the perfect time to do something with the character. He grumbles about people thinking he is washed up, his Wanted poster shows the monetary value for his capture dwindling down to a single pound, but, unfortunately, the film takes the wrong path here, instead of letting the character grow it decides to let him reclaim his "rightful" place as the clown captain of the Black Pearl. Now I'm not saying we necessarily should've gotten a Logan-esque take on Jack Sparrow(yes I am) but this was the time for the character, the film, to look inward.
  • I'm beginning to think this film is going to sink mainly because of the writing. Everything feels convenient and asspull-y. Henry meeting Salazar, the way Henry, Carina, and Jack are just in the same place, bumping into each other, Henry needs Jack to help find the Trident and what do you know, the Trident will help Jack's brand new problem, Carina already knows so much, Salazar is freed because Jack gives away the compass, in a following scene it is revealed that giving it away releases your greatest fear(even though the compass changed hands in the original trilogy multiple times), Sexy Bald Witch just having the compass so she can give it to Barbossa.
  • BTW, I am all about Sexy Bald Witch. I mean, sure, she is a ridiculous plot contrivance that doesn't need to exist at all but still.
  • It isn't close to being on Verbinski's level but the action is notably better than On Stranger Tides. Occasionally you even get a good gag in there, the guillotine bit was great
  • Why is the British Navy even a part of this film?
  • One of the biggest problems about 2/3s of the way in is that Henry, Carina, and Jack do not feel like they even know each other. Henry and Carina at least get flirty but by the time Henry is cutting Jack free to escape Salazar, there just isn't anything there. Jack and Will in the original had a contentious relationship but you could see how they were getting to know each other but here Jack is just a dick to Henry for a few scenes. That is it, that is the sum total of their relationship. And then when Henry is captured(nice subversion there, props where props are due), Carina is walking around the island with Jack and there is a weird 'assumption of camaraderie'(for lack of a better term) as they have even less going on than Jack and Henry.
  • Jewel encrusted island as a mirror of the night sky is cool. All of these pirates(and thus sailors) being idiots about navigating by the stars sure is something.
  • Coming back to my complaints about Jack, it is very weird that as the series has gone on and Jack has become the lead, instead of one of three leads, he has actually lost depth.
  • This is a first: Jack Sparrow is, without a doubt, the worst part of a POTC film. Depp is unbelievably bad in this and the film would be considerably more enjoyable if he just wasn't in it. Even looking at it purely from a story perspective, Barbossa clearly should've been the focal point. As rushed to hell as it is, he has a relationship to one of the new characters in the form of a long lost daughter, so he goes through something resembling an arc, he arrives heroically at the end riding an anchor like a boss, and then sacrifices himself to save his daughter and he kills Salazar while doing it.
  • One thing I wish way more movies would do, and in particular big, elaborate fantasy ones, is to have the romantic couple already in love. So much of these movies are filled with plot, exposition, spectacle, and whatnot, that they do not have the time to craft an even remotely compelling romance. Henry and Carina's romance falls so very flat and it isn't the fault of the actors but the film just can't do the work to make it work.
  • Bringing back Bloom and Knightley was such a waste.


Pirates of the Caribbean rankings!
  1. At World's End - Spectacle and grandeur and greatness abound.
  2. Dead Man's Chest - Davy Jones is too cool for school, putting it over the more solid storytelling of the original.
  3. Curse of the Black Pearl - Rock solid swashbuckling adventure.
  4. Dead Men Tell No Tales - The worst written film in the series by a decent margin but the directors of the film give it some life and that is more than can be said about...
  5. On Stranger Tides - A bizarrely terrible film that does nothing right.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
13,961
Shooting on water is STUPID expensive, and OST has a lot of it. They also filmed in 3D and according to Wiki was the first major "exterior" movie to be shot in 3D.

But yes, $410 million before tax rebates. Christ.
The weird thing is that it has far less than at least 2 or 3.
OST also only had 1 ship set(they took the Black Pearl and made it over) while they also had way more being filmed on in previous movies
Flying Dutchman
Black Pearl
Kraken attack ship
HMS Endeavour
Empress

OST costing so much is weird, feels like half the budget of Black Pearl.
 

Big Baybee

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,732
The original trilogy will always be classic to me. Barbosa walking down those stairs at the end of the second is *chefs kiss*. My theater had a great reaction to it lol
 

trunx81

Member
Feb 12, 2018
80
I went into the first movie without any expectations. It got me the moment Will and Jack got into their first swordfight. How the music and the blades crossing fits, that's fine art! From there it was a wild rollercoaster ride. Also helps that the movie is highly quotable.

2 and 3 felt like Matrix 2 and 3. Just lifeless. 4 and 5 are like a rotting appendix that needs to be removed entirely.