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Yo ho, Yo ho, a pirate’s life for me! 4 Stars

Disney brings another catalog favorite to UHD, 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, featuring a nice upgraded transfer and Atmos mix. (Available January 2, 2022)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Released: 09 Jul 2003
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 143 min
Director: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom
Writer(s): Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie
Plot: Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead.
IMDB rating: 8.0
MetaScore: 63

Disc Information
Studio: Disney
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 7.1 DD+:Spanish 7.1 DD+, French 5.1 DD, French 7.1 DD+:French 7.1 DD+, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Other
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hr. 23 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 01/02/2022
MSRP: $34.99

The Production: 4.5/5

Back in 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl had a lot going against it. Movies about pirates were considered the kiss of death at the box office in recent years, and it was based on a the popular theme park attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, also considered a kiss of death after the disastrous box office returns from The Country Bears and Mission to Mars. With the exception of The Ring, director Gore Verbinski’s previous films were not hugely successful. Somehow, with a screenplay by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (Aladdin, Shrek, The Mask of Zorro), scene stealing performances by Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, a star-making performance by Keira Knightley, and Orlando Bloom riding on the coat-tails of his success in the Lord of the Rings movies, the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was a success with both critics and audiences alike, earning over $650 million worldwide. How does it hold up 18 years later? Remarkably well, just as funny and entertaining as it was during its initial theatrical release and the then-state-of-the-art visual effects have not aged, either.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was photographed on 35mm film stock in the Super 35 format and completed as a 2K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Disney’s 2160p upscale adds HDR10 high dynamic range, which gives the film some added depth and improved contrast (the beautiful clouds are much more noticeable in the UHD release), although the 2007 Blu-ray release is still no slouch. Colors are naturally vibrant without appearing overly saturated. Detail gets a modest upgrade, with slightly more refined textures overall. Unlike the recent UHD disc releases of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Unbreakable, the Blu-ray edition included in this set is not remastered and is the same as the single-disc release available since 2007.

Audio: 5/5

While not exactly a “showy” mix, the default Dolby Atmos track is a slight improvement over what was already a fairly active 5.1 mix. LFE remains strong, a surprise for a Disney Atmos mix. There really isn’t any real discrete use of heights, but the Atmos mix has more perceived “headroom” than its original 5.1 mix (found on the included Blu-ray in both lossy Dolby Digital and uncompressed PCM) or the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core embedded in the Atmos track. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 2.5/5

As usual, the UHD disc contains no extras whatsoever. Unfortunately, Disney has only included the first disc from the previous 2-disc Blu-ray release from 2007. While that disc does include some of the more interesting special features, that second disc contained a treasure trove (pun intended) of material, including An Epic at Sea making-of documentary, Fly on the Set, Deleted Scenes, Blooper Reel, and several hours of additional material.

Scoundrels of the Sea: Pop-up trivia track with video featurettes.

Movie Showcase: Three sequences from the movie that were thought, at the time, to show off the capabilities of Blu-ray.

Audio Commentary with Director Gore Verbinski and Actor Johnny Depp

Audio Commentary with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Actors Keira Knightley and Jack Davenport

Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and Jay Wolpert

Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy in UHD on Movies Anywhere. Some of the missing disc-based featurettes are included on the Movies Anywhere app.

Overall: 4/5

While it is nice to see Disney occasionally digging into their live action catalog for UHD release, it is disappointing that an entire disc’s worth of extras was not included in this release. For those upgrading from Blu-ray, you may want to hold on to the second bonus disc before giving away your old 2-disc Blu-ray.

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Published by

Todd Erwin

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View thread (32 replies)

Carlo Medina

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Disney is really trying to have its cake and eat it. Want Dolby Vision version? Disney+ version has it. Want Atmos? It’s this disc.

Same with many (most?) MCU titles. Dolby Vision on streaming only (though Atmos tends to be available on both formats for MCU). And the maddening IMAX version only on streaming trend for 13 of the MCU movies.

I do have a soft spot in my heart for this movie…guess they’ll get my money. Again.
 

Dave Moritz

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The complete 4K boxset is available from Australia- JBHifi

Didn't see the box set on there site.

But I plan on buying the entire set of Pirates movies on 4K blu-ray once they are available.
 

Dave Moritz

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Thank you David for the link. Did you purchase this set and if so how does it look?

Funny how it says region code b and hopefully that is for the standard blu-ray discs as I am sure 4K blu-ray doesn't have region codes.

Merry Christmas
 
Last edited:

David Norman

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Thank you David for the link. Did you purchase this set and if so how does it look?

Funny how it says region code b and hopefully that is for the standard blu-ray discs as I am sure 4K blu-ray doesn't have region codes.

Merry Christmas

I have not bought this, just know it was the first worldwide release of Pirates 4K and esp in the 5 movie Collection (JP has announced the collection, but $200USD+)

Note I think this is a 5 UHD only set and doesn't have Blu-rays. I don't think the any of the sets announced so far have updated BD though and the US set drops the Bonus disc so it may not matter that much unless the advance info on the BD is incorrect OR folks wan the 4K Digital from the US items (if/when the others are released)

JB Hifi was having severe shipping issues most of 2021 and many people who order items Nov 2020 to spring 2021 had extreme delays in delivery. From reading this seems to have been remedied though std shipping (only choice) has usually been been 2-3 weeks

Also the $60AUD price on site included 10% AUD GST which isn't deducted at checkout, but has always been refunded if you contact JB after shipment and the CC charges post and JB is one of the few remaining major importers who don't add US sales tax now. $64.50AUD shipped -- which I think translates to $43USD after exchange and GST refund
 
Last edited:

Dave Moritz

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Removed from cart could not advance to payment as the crazy site kept telling my my cell number is not valid. :eek:

Will try again later.
 

David Norman

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Removed from cart could not advance to payment as the crazy site kept telling my my cell number is not valid. :eek:

Will try again later.

This has been a aggravating weird glitch with the JB site on/off for a couple years.
In the past, JB suggested using a generic Phone number since it's really not needed for anything important --
Leave it at the AUS code +61 412 345 678 or +61 0412 345 678
I used to do +61 04 then the 1st 8 digits on my actual phone -- never seemed to matter to my CC though I guess that's a bit
YMMV depending on your bank.

As always with imports it's helpful (3% savings) to have a CC with zero FOREX fee like a Cap One card thouhg quite a few others now have this perk. I finally figured out how to do this via Paypal though it always requires making sure my correct card is used and that I'm paying in the correct Country Currency instead of USD,.
 

Brian Martin_280866

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I'm very surprised at the positive review from Todd on this site, considering how everyone on Blu-Ray.com HATES this transfer.


 
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DanH1972

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I'm very surprised at the positive review from Todd on this site, considering how everyone on Blu-Ray.com HATES this transfer.


It's as bad as the complaints state on Blu-ray.com. They're correct here.
 

titch

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Everyone else is saying that this has DNR on the level of Terminator 2 and is the worst Disney release since the first Gangs Of New York blu ray.
 

Robert Crawford

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Everyone else is saying that this has DNR on the level of Terminator 2 and is the worst Disney release since the first Gangs Of New York blu ray.
Interesting, I haven't purchased this 4K disc, but I do have it digitally in 4K so I might take a look see in the near future.
 

Johnny Angell

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I'm very surprised at the positive review from Todd on this site, considering how everyone on Blu-Ray.com HATES this transfer.


@Robert Harris gave it a rather poor review too.