Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End

Featured In Issue 127, January 2008

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
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For intense sequences of action/adventure violence and some frightening images
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Two Disc Set: BD-50 & BD-25
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Gore Verbinski
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PCM 24/48 5.1
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Pirates Of The Caribbean, Will Turner (Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Knightley), and Captain Barbossa (Rush) are desperately searching for their lost colleague, Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp), who has been trapped on a sea of sand in Davy Jones' Locker. Their quest stretches from Singapore to the World's End and beyond to find the missing pirate. Captain Jack must be found, as he is one of the nine Pirate Lords of the Brethern who must come together and unite as one to preserve the freedom-loving pirate's way of life. Based on characters created by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beatie, and Jay Wolpert. (Stacey Pendry)

Disc One contains the same five-minute blooper reel that is on the DVD, and of course, up-front previews. The only special feature on Disc Two that isn't on the DVD is the "Enter The Maelstrom: The Interactive Experience" tour with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Additional supplements include the featurettes "Anatomy Of A Scene: The Malestrom" (20 minutes), "Hoist The Colors" (four minutes), "Inside The Brethern Court" (one minute), "Keith & The Captain: On Set with Johnny And The Rock Legend" (five minutes), "The Tale Of Many Jacks" (five minutes), "The World Of Chow Yun-Fat" (four minutes), and "The Pirate Maestro: The Music Of Hans Zimmer" (ten minutes); two deleted scenes with optional commentary from Director Gore Verbinski; and a collection of five documentaries under "Masters Of Design," which are "Jim Byrkit: Soa Feng's Map" (six minutes), "Crash McCreery: The Cursed Crew" (five minutes), "Rick Heinrichs: Singapore" (five minutes), "Penny Rose: Teague's Costume" (four minutes), and "Kris Peck: The Code Book" (five minutes).

The anamorphically enhanced 2.38:1 DVD is hampered by low video bit rates, which will often give the picture a soft, digitized appearance. Black levels are inconsistent, occasionally looking deep and inky, and occasionally looking milky and gray. Shadow delineation is well rendered though, giving some dimensionality to the picture. Details are captured well, but are delivered poorly. Colors are saturated nicely, providing some realism for the imagery, but the harshness of the picture is a huge limiting factor. Edge enhancement is minor and generally does not become a distraction. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows some of the same inconsistencies as the DVD, with wavering black levels, but the details are delivered better in this release. The picture can have a noisy appearance at times that limits the realism of the imagery. (Danny Richelieu)

Music is mixed very well in the Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack, with instruments given distinct phantom locations across the front stage, and instruments are even given positions in the surround space, creating an impressive stage. Each of the channels are incorporated well throughout the presentation, but can be delivered at such extreme levels-in every channel—that care should be taken when watching, as it can definitely be system threatening. Fidelity is pure, especially with respect to effects, but dialogue can sound edgy at times. Still, dialogue generally sounds rich and articulate (even if it can occasionally be lost in the cacophony in many scenes. The noise floor is low, which helps deliver another level of realism. The soundtrack is exciting. The Blu-ray Disc's uncompressed linear PCM encoding provides an improvement in overall fidelity, but dialogue can still sound slightly edgy at times. (Danny Richelieu)