As I lead up to talking about the most recent installment of Disney's Pirates of the Carribean series, I start with the first.
Of all the genres, perhaps the two that tend to not do well in the last few decades are the western and the pirate movie. Westerns do better, though, especially with the acclaim of Clint Eastwood's last few offerings. Still, neither are often seen.
Sure, we've had Roman Polanski's Pirates, which I haven't seen. Renny Harlin's Cuthroat Island was underrated, I thought, but not extraordinary, being basicaly yet another treasure hunt. And one day I really should do an entry on the Gilbert and Sullivan parody/pastiche, The Pirate Movie.
Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl managed to be a little more, with it's cursed Aztec gold and deposed Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). The pirates aren't looking for treasure -- they already have that. What they need is a way out from under it's curse, and that brings into play the unlikely team of Sparrow and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a blacksmith who up to this point wants little to do with piracy, considering his father's history in that sordid profession. They both seek Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightly), daughter of the local governor, whom the crew of the Pearl have taken to fulfill their debt under the curse. Oh, yes, Jack wants his ship back, too.
Several love triangles, plenty of swashbuckling action, ancient malign magic, and Depp's acting all take this offering far above the average. Of all the efforts Disney have spent doing movies of their various rides (others including The Country Bears and The Haunted Mansion, neither trailer having sold me much on them) this is the treasure trove.
In a few days, a look forward at Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest.