Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Pearl

(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

     This is probably the best movie ever made based on a ride at Disney World. But it's time at the top may be brief because opening this Christmas is The Haunted Mansion! What will be next, Space Mountain, The Movie? Anyway, where was I?  Oh ya, The Pirates of the Caribbean.  This "movie" tells the story of a pirate captain, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who was stranded on a desert island by his mutinous crew led by his first mate Barbarossa (Geoffrey Rush).  The crew ran into a spot of bother when they stole some cursed Aztec gold. Ever since, they have been trying to get the gold back in the hopes of getting rid of the curse.  Meanwhile, two unsuspecting young people, destined to fall in love, are swept up in the story, the daughter of the Governor  (Keira Knightly) and a blacksmith (Orlando Bloom).  These two each have something the cursed pirates need to get uncursed.
     But the story is superfluous.  The real entertainment in this movie, and it is entertaining, comes from seeing some good actors overacting as pirates.  Oh yes, there is some good overacting here, and I'm happy to say that good actors overact better than not so good actors.  Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush chew the scenery with relish and provide most of the fun in The Pirates of the Caribbean.  Depp is also eye-candy although his good looks are pretty much hidden here behind an outlandish pirate getup which includes real gold-capped teeth.  The eye-candy in this movie is provided by Knightly, just off her breakout role in Bend it Like Beckham, and Orlando Bloom now famous as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings.  Knightly makes the mistake of trying to overact with the big boys whereas Bloom does much better just playing the straight man to Depp.
      Believe it or not, this movie runs way over two hours and I was more than ready for the end when it finally came.  But it's pretty entertaining, at least for the first hour and a half. The Pirates of the Caribbean brings the fun back into being a pirate.  Rush even says, "ahrrrrr", a few times.  So what do I know?  You learn something every day. You can make a decent movie based on a theme-park ride.