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Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem
Writing Credits:
Jeff Nathanson

Captain Jack Sparrow is pursued by old rival Captain Salazar and a crew of deadly ghosts who have escaped from the Devil's Triangle.

Box Office:
$230 million.
Opening Weekend
$62,983,253 on 4276 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 129 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 10/3/2017

• “The Making of a New Adventure” 7-Part Documentary
• Blooper Reel
• Photo Diary
• 4 Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 2, 2020)

Back in 2003, Curse of the Black Pearl opened the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with a bang. Though few expected much from a movie based on a theme park attraction, Curse became a massive hit that wound up as the third-biggest hit of its year.

2006’s Dead Man’s Chest fared even better, as it turned into that year’s highest-grossing film. It did so by a wide margin, as it topped second-place Night at the Museum by $173 million in the US.

Rather than wait another three years, Disney produced the third flick right away, as 2007’s At World’s End followed Chest by less than a year. Though the lowest-grossing of the three in the US, End did well internationally and concluded the trilogy on a positive financial note.

Except those profits tempted Disney to continue and not finish the franchise with its third iteration. While End wrapped up the tale of heroic leads Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), it left open room for more shenanigans with the series’ most popular character, flamboyant pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).

Thus 2011’s On Stranger Tides ditched Will and Elizabeth and fully embraced Captain Jack. While it continued the downward trend of US sales, it again more than compensated with international receipts.

Given those profits, it came as a surprise that it took six more years for another Pirates to emerge. Nonetheless, the fifth film came out in 2017 via Dead Men Tell No Tales, and it may finally offer the end of the franchise, as despite rumors, we have yet to hear of a sixth flick.

In earlier movies, Will Turner became attached to a curse that only allows him to set foot on dry land once every decade. As a 12-year-old, Will’s son Henry (Lewis McGowan) believes he can break this spell if he finds the Trident of Poseidon, but the elder Turner warns the boy not to pursue such folly.

Nine years later, Henry (Brenton Thwaites) serves in the Royal Navy, and when his ship enters the deadly Devil’s Triangle, he encounters ghost pirates led by Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem). The aquatic specter seeks the destruction of all pirates, a group that includes our pal Captain Jack.

Only one object appears to offer Jack’s salvation: the Trident of Poseidon. Jack and Henry join forces to locate it, both with hopes to use it for their own ends.

Earlier I mentioned that Tales stands as the potential finale in the Pirates series, and that might stem from its lackluster reception. Not only did Tales receive the worst reviews of the series, but also it drew the weakest audience.

Granted, with a worldwide take of $794 million, Tales still managed to earn money. However, it came as a notable decline in revenue after the prior three movies, and given the enormous budgets of the Pirates flicks, Disney may feel reluctant to commit $200 million-plus for a franchise with diminishing returns.

Although the “Will and Elizabeth” trilogy worked pretty well for me, Tides failed to muster the same excitement. While not a bad movie, it lacked much real charm, so I wouldn’t have minded if it formally finished the franchise.

That said, I entered Tales with some sense of optimism, if just because it brought back Will and Elizabeth. As much as fans loved Captain Jack, the series fared better with him as a shared lead and not the whole enchilada, as happened in End.

Unfortunately, Will and Elizabeth play superficial roles in Tales, as the movie clearly hopes to pass the baton to a new generation. It seems likely the filmmakers hoped audiences would embrace Henry and they’d be able to pursue more movies with him at the fore.

As noted, this didn’t really seem to work, as Tales became the least successful of the franchise. If we do get a Pirates 6, I suspect Henry will fail to appear.

And I can’t bemoan that potential choice, as Henry turns into a wholly lackluster hero. Not that Will became terribly exciting, but Bloom feels like the Second Coming of Errol Flynn compared to the dull Thwaites.

As our replacement for Knightley, Kaya Scodelario fares a bit better, but not a whole lot. Because she shares little chemistry with Thwaites, they become a void at the center of the film.

Depp can’t overcome that issue, and his Captain Jack becomes less interesting with each new movie. So fresh and delightful in Curse, but Film Five, Depp leans toward self-parody and feels like he goes on cruise control via this one-dimensional performance.

It doesn’t help that Tales lacks a coherent narrative. My synopsis tidies up matters and hides the fact that the movie really presents a long, muddled series of action scenes linked only vaguely by the most tangential of plots.

Some of these sequences manage rudimentary excitement, but none of them come across as especially memorable. Because the film forms itself around the action, these set pieces seem a little desperate and without much vivacity or charm.

Every once in a while, we get a minor moment of entertainment or fun, but much of Tales feels perfunctory and by the numbers. Maybe Pirates 6 will reinvent the franchise and bring back some of its prior luster, but Tales continues the series on a tired note.

Footnote: a sequel-tempting tag scene appears after the conclusion of the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus C

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film offered a good transfer.

Sharpness appeared positive. Any softness remained minor, which left us with a mostly well-defined effort.

No jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked print flaws.

In terms of palette, Tales favored a combination of teal and amber. These remained fine given stylistic choices.

Blacks showed reasonable depth, and shadows were good, though they could seem slightly dense at times. This felt like a “B+” presentation.

I felt consistently pleased with the enjoyable DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Tales. Expect a rousing affair that impressed.

With lots of action on display, the soundscape offered plenty of room for information to emanate from the various speakers, and it used those chances well. The mix delivered lots of auditory material that spread out across the speakers in a satisfying manner and that blended together nicely.

This meant an active track. The surrounds worked as nearly equal partners and kept the mix humming. The action scenes fared best, but plenty of other lively moments made this a consistently positive soundfield.

Audio quality also satisfied. Speech was natural and concise, while music sounded peppy and full.

Effects turned into the primary factor, and those elements appeared accurate and vivid. I thought this became an active, involving mix.

As we shift to extras, the main attraction comes from The Making of a New Adventure, a seven-part documentary. With a total running time of 47 minutes, 50 seconds, it includes comments from directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, executive producer Chad Oman, makeup/hair designer Peter Swords King, CG supervisor Simon Jones, visual effects supervisors Sheldon Stopsack and Gary Brozenich, costume designer Penny Rose, costume supervisor Stacy Horn, 1st AD Chris Castaldi, fight coordinator Thomas duPont, and actors Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Depp, Kevin R. McNally, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Javier Bardem, and Paul McCartney.

Across these clips, we learn about the directors and their work, story and characters, cast and performances, makeup, costumes and effects, sets and locations, stunts and action. Some good material appears – especially when it covers Bardem and his transformation into Salazar – but a lot of this feels fluffy and superficial.

Bloopers of the Caribbean spans two minutes, 58 seconds and brings the usual silliness. Don’t expect anything especially interesting from it.

Four Deleted Scenes appear: “Highwayman” (0:34), “Henry Turner Learns a Lesson From Captain Jack” (0:39), “A Whale In Poseidon’s Tomb” (0:55) and “Alternate Coda: Murtogg & Mullroy ‘Flogging’” (0:31). All four provide minor, forgettable tidbits that add little.

Finally, we get a Photo Diary. A one-minute, 40-second clip, we see some of producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s snapshots from the set. They’re good quality but this would work better as a stillframe gallery.

The disc opens with ads for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Cars 3. No trailer for Tales appears here.

The fifth – and to date final – entry in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales becomes a lackluster adventure. It brings nothing new to the table and fails to find a groove. The Blu-ray delivers strong picture and audio as well as mediocre bonus materials. Tales becomes the franchise’s weakest point.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.4285 Stars Number of Votes: 7
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