arch’s review published on Letterboxd:
B&W POTC 1
A movie that never ends but who wants it to? I've seen it a few times already but The Curse of the Black Pearl is worth watching again just to see how all the cinematic elements that have since jaded us can be packaged as a well honed piece of entertainment. It's an epic adventure, with too much CGI and too much star power, but it works! Watch this movie again to remind yourself why there's a fifth installment coming out later this year.
If I had one complaint it would be a lack of visual geographical information. The movie flows from set piece to set piece yet it seems odd to me how little navigation there is in a movie about navigating. But I have to consider also how it works in the movie's favor, with emphasis placed more on the flavor of each locale more than its situation, and it thickens the air of mystery surrounding secret islands with hidden caves.
To be clear, this is a movie based on a ride at Disneyland, so it's not exactly about piracy but the surrounding ghost stories and yarns we find infinitely more engaging. What's interesting to me is the moral perspective, how the most righteous people are portrayed as stiff traditionalists who run a nearly fascistic regime, while the pirates, who are plunderers and thieves and in some cases downright terrorists, are just fun-loving scalliwags trying to have a good time. I think this says something about society in general and the film should be applauded for it.