December 04, 2007 by Marshal Rosenthal
Too much is never enough me maties - and third times the charm as this final round of Pirates blasts out with battles, bloodshed, demons, maelstroms and pretty much everything you expect to see but increased to the nth degree. Which even includes a bevy of Captain Jacks to accompany new and established characters and a fight to the death (or so it might seem).
Pulling out all the stops means attention to detail, be they small planks of wood, background objects or Man-o-Wars - especially since HD doesn’t forgive poor presentations. Fortunately that’s not a problem here, regardless of whether the view is small or grandiose, the beauty found at the horizon as well as at sea being more than worth the price of admission. Plus the CG wheels have been greased till they sizzle, both with a brilliance of color along with darker hues; the view benefiting from a wide palette of colors washing over the ships, the seas and even the characters (although few of the Pirates are “pretty” enough to warrant the exquisite detail afforded to them) and for the most part, CG and “real” world coexist seamlessly (suggestion: dial back on the contrast a bit if the CG starts to “butt” against reality rather than blending into it).
Audio plays a vital role - not just to convey the minimal dialogue or grunts from that monkey - but in order to keep the faith by setting the mood and holding it on course. Nor would it be such a fun ride if the surrounds weren’t firing broadsides. You’ve the choice of uncompressed 5.1 audio (PCM) or Dolby Digital 5.1 - and while PCM seems a bit better, overall either audio format provides a powerful platform for conveying the sound. Besides, you certainly don’t watch this film with the volume low or the subwoofer turned down (without being rude, if you don’t have a sub get one already, OK?).
And give a ration of grog to Disney for not just transferring the DVD features to this disc wholesale, but instead having them walk the plank of high-def. Plus adding BD-Java enhanced ones, such as an interactive look at the climatic sequence from the film. Then too there’s the return of the Jolly Roger host to navigate us landlubbers through animated menus and respond to our actions through A.I. Pirate-laden humorous commentary.
But for those out there lamenting the less-than-happy ending for the romantic leads, just remember that good things come to those who wait…for the end of the credits, that is.
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Disc Specs and Credits
Format reviewed: Blu-ray (2 discs)
Disc Size: BD-50, BD-25
Aspect Ratio: 1080i, 2.35:1
Audio: PCM 5.1
Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Mackenzie Crook, Lee Arenberg, Kevin McNally, Stellan Skarsgard, Tom Hollander, Naomie Harris, David Schofield, Lauren Maher
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
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