PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEANDEAD MAN'S CHEST
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I, matey! Sure and this is one ugly damn movie. But when yer talkin' about a bunch o' scurvy dogs, what can ye expect, eh?
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST, picks up a few years from where PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, left off. Ye would have thought by now that the dashing whelp, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom: THE LORD OF THE RINGS) would have married the soda straw, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL), but no. Though Will can wear a rakish hat with a foofy feather in it, he's still the sop he always was. Things are - okay - between Will and Elizabeth. She DOES love him (menfolk take note: anytime a wench says, "I DO love you" out of the clear blue, it really means "I DO love you, but..." she's lookin' fer someone else!).
The thing about Will is, well ... we DO like him but ... R!
Anyway, shite hits the fan from out of left field when a pompous powder wig of the East India Trading Company comes to the island and starts arresting people for high treason to the crown. All are befuddled, naturally, until the poppinjay sneers, "You DID let the criminal, Jack Sparrow, get away did ye not?" Will and Elizabeth instantly betray their loyalties by correcting, "CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow," before they can stop themselves.
R! It doesn't look good for these two.
Meanwhile, Captain Jack (Johnny Depp: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE, THE NINTH GATE, THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE, SLEEPY HOLLOW, CORPSE BRIDE) is a havin' troubles o' his own. His crew is ready to mutiny and tis all because the idiot Sparrow still can't figure out his wonky compass. Where the hell are they going anyway? The captain's unwillingness to communicate with his crew or set a course any smoother than his gait has everyone on edge, feelin' that the Captain has lost his mind.
I, and maybe he has, for Sparrow knows something the rest of the crew do not - that his time is nearly up.
When Sparrow stole the Black Pearl from Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush: HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL ), it wasn't 'cuz of his sterling personality, no, he had an edge: he sold his soul to Davey Jones for that edge.
I, and now the debt must be repaid.
And this Davey Jones is no regular fella.
R! He's a tentacled mouth poppin' nightmare straight out of H.P. Lovecraft mythos.
In fact, if ol' Lovecraft was alive to see this movie e'd a do one o' two things, either run screaming from the theater or stand shouting, "Yes! That's EXACTLY it! Now get my lawyer!"
Played by actor Bill Nighy (UNDERWORLD, SHAUN OF THE DEAD), who seems to be starting a whole new direction in his long career, of playing in monster movies, the acting and quality of character that Nighy brings through the makeup and CGI is startling to behold. And by startling I mean there were a few times when I was in awe of Nighy's prowess and the ability of the SFX folks to bring it through all the layers of effects.
And believe me, gang, Disney spent the better part of this movie's budget on special effects. But like the seamless beauty of the first Pirates, the quality of the creatures that are Jones crew is nothing short of stunning. Selling your soul to Davey Jones will slowly turn you into a creature of the sea, and nobody knows that better than a surprise from Will Turner's past. Some of the creatures are seriously goosebumpy, like the human among Jones crew who is slowly turning into an oyster, attached to the hull of the ship. Remember what I said at the start of this review? REALLY ugly!
Like the first film, DEAD MAN'S CHEST is filled with an abundance of side stories that don't seem at all important to the plot. Abundance did I say? Try over abundance. An entire chapter of the tale revolved around Sparrow and his crew trying to escape some island natives. Walking out of the theater, the entire episode seemed utterly pointless. Maybe because the whole movie is candy and doesn't need a point.
But tis such GOOD candy! Those pointless strolls into plotless sidestreets are fascinating and sometimes exciting. Director Gore Verbinski (THE RING) and half the writers from the first movie, which are the writing tag team of Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio (THE PUPPET MASTERS, GODZILLA ), do more than tell a fine tale. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Dead Man's Chest, immerses you in a faraway land of neverwas so complete you can almost smell the salty air of the sea.
I'll warn you right now that the ending will disappoint because it is a "to be continued" ending and 2007 be a mighty long wait.
R! Four Shriek Girls just the same!