Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Director: Gore Verbinski
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 1.5

Lackluster blockbuster based on the ride at Disneyland is saved by Johnny Depp's much-discussed performance as an eccentric pirate dandy (his entrance on a tiny, sinking boat is one for the books). As you'd expect from the unholy alliance of Jerry Bruckheimer and Mickey Mouse, it's big, gaudy, redundant and designed for sequels - not quick, painless fun, in other words. I think the bloated running times of some of these unimaginative popcorn pictures is directly related to the sentiment in the publishing world that 150 page books won't cut it - that people want thick, unwieldy books that they may not read, but will feel like they spent their money on something well thought out. A ninety-minute movie must equal wasted money, people figure, so the longer they're in the theater, the better they feel about the multiplex ticket pricing. Quantity rules over quality, style over substance....