This DVD is going to be boarding rival Christmas offerings and scaring the hell out of them because it's so good. It's hard to find anybody who wasn't blown away by the swashbuckling movie, and the great news is that the two-disc DVD release has captured that same sense of fun throughout.
The Swabs Be Commentating!
A hefty three audio commentaries are on disc one to capture your interest, and there really is something for everyone. Director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp are easy to listen to, swapping anecdotes and clearly enjoying recalling what sounds like an amusing shoot. For the teenage boy in us all, there's a giggly Keira Knightley on track two larking about with the dashing Jack Davenport (for the ladies). Then on track three we have the scriptwriters, who while the least amusing of the lot, do cover in detail the structure and many of the film's ideas.
Be That Gunfire?
This UK release is special in that it comes with both Dolby and DTS 5.1 sound mixes. Both will blow holes in your walls with tremendously exciting effects, with the DTS version having the edge when it comes to devastating precision delivered power.
From watching making of documentaries like An Epic At Sea and Fly On The Set, you're left with the distinct impression that the cast and crew had a ball making this movie. Their fun translates into your viewing pleasure, with some tightly edited multiple camera behind-the-scenes footage that shows just how impressive the stunts, swordplay and effects in the film are - even when just shot on video.
Full Of Ships
A real sailship, the Lady Washington, was used in the movie, but before shooting could begin she had to be moved right round from California, through the Panama Canal and out into the Caribbean. Someone had the foresight to film this journey, which turns out to be an absorbing and exciting trip to watch: filled with high points and dangerous low points.
This two disc set just keeps delivering pieces of great. Other highlights not to be missed are - for once - entertaining breakdowns of the special effects, an effects studio where you can turn yourself into a rotting pirate, a script reader for the whole film, and a vast storyboard viewer. Leave one treat for last: the highly amusing blooper reel.
DISC ONE SPECIAL FEATURES
DISC TWO SPECIAL FEATURES
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.