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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (***)
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, based on characters created by Elliott & Rossio, Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Principal Cast
Johnny Depp -- Jack Sparrow
Orlando Bloom -- Will Turner
Keira Knightley -- Elizabeth Swann
Jack Davenport -- Norrington
Bill Nighy -- Davy Jones
Jonathan Pryce -- Governor Weatherby Swann
Lee Arenberg -- Pintel
Mackenzie Crook -- Ragetti
Kevin McNally -- Gibbs
David Bailie -- Cotton
Stellan Skarsgård -- Bootstrap Bill
Tom Hollander -- Cutler Beckett
Naomie Harris -- Tia Dalma
Martin Klebba -- Marty
Alex Norton -- Captain Bellamy
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Pirates of the Caribbean is the best new Roadrunner and Coyote cartoon since Chuck Jones passed away. Chuck Jones -- the man who discovered that the laws of physics can be funny. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio have learned that lesson well. Everybody LEAN this way. Good. Now everybody LEAN that way. Good. Lean this way. Lean that way. This way. That way. Grab. Oops, missed. Again. Lean. Lean. Lean.

Pirates suffers from being the middle film in a trilogy. It gets off to a fairly rough start. I never did figure out why the bride-to-be was sitting out in the rain in her wedding dress. And in the middle there is some huggermugger about a jar of sand that almost seemed to make sense, but which I still can't figure out. But I judge comedy on its ability to make me laugh out loud, and Pirates certainly passes the test.

The writers are so confident of their ability that they can set up a joke and not spring it. As Jack Sparrow climbs the steps of his dark beauty's abode, he says something like, "I hope she's glad to see me." And we know we are being set up for a joke where she conks him on the noggin with a chamberpot. I can imagine Ted and Terry saying, "This is like shooting fish in a barrel. Throw this one back." And she really is glad to see him.

I loved the ending. Some people hated the ending. I wonder what they thought about the "ending" of The Two Towers, another middle movie in a trilogy.

There is a certain tendency for random mayhem to kill all the characters except the ones we love, but who would want a third movie without Ragetti. "Do you mean that literally or figuratively?" This film has more memorable lines than any film of recent memory.

The general confusion falls a hair short of coming together into a coherent whole. Some of the funny bits go by so fast you miss them unless you pay attention. But I look forward eagerly to part three.

Stay for the credit cookie.

Copyright © 2006 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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