Friday, May 26, 2017

Pirates of Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales


Where do I begin to tell you about all the reasons why movie goers will want to see the Memorial Weekend big screen release of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales more than once?

I was hosted by Dolby for this movie's premiere

Is it the jaw dropping stunts, special effects and riveting non-stop action and suspense intermixed with perfectly timed comedy relief? The exquisite costumes and amazing makeup, as well as Colonial-period sets? The captivating musical score which keeps the story moving forward as both returning and new characters are introduced? The most awesome cameo of all time by a rock and roll legend? 

The unsurpassed overall theater audience Dolby Cinema experience made possible through the latest advances in sound and vision technologies Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos? The Dead Men Tell No Tales official movie trailer is just a taste of what you can look forward to.

In a nutshell, that's the short list on why I saw this new major motion picture (with a $230 million budget) not once, but twice -- and why I think you will, too. The first time was at the U.S. premiere at The Dolby Theater, with the film's key crew and headliner stars present. What a thrill it was to see two actors I greatly admire IRL, including both Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem!

The second time I viewed the movie was just a few days later at a special pre-release press screening at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. This movie theater is owned by Disney, so a bonus of seeing the film there is getting up close to many of the props that were used in the film as well as the actual costumes the major actors and actresses wore. There is even a full-size Johnny Depp sculpture in character as Captain Jack Sparrow on display, constructed completely of LEGOs which my daughter and I posed with.

It doesn't matter whether you've seen any of the other Pirates of the Caribbean movies or not, because in the  latest saga, you'll easily be able to follow the story line as characters, old and new, are revealed thoroughly.  There is truly so much going on here to entertain all kinds of older kids and adults, beckoning movie goers to go back and watch Dead Men Tell No Tales again and again. 

Keep scrolling for MBE's full review plus lots more photos from the movie.

Props & Costumes from the movie on display at El Capitan

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

In the latest pirate's tale, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds himself downtrodden and hopeless. As if he can't go any lower, Jack is reduced to nothing more than the crewless ship captain of the pitiful barely-seaworthy Dying Gull.

As the film progresses, Sparrow snaps out of it quickly, eventually joining forces with two unlikely team mates he has kidnapped: fearless and intelligent astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and headstrong young Royal Navy sailor Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites). Along the way, they encounter Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) spurring the plot into uncharted waters with all kinds of surprises. 

They embark together on a treacherous trek to the bottom of the sea. It's Captain Jack's last hope: finding the Trident of Poseidon is the only way to gain full control of the sea to finally defeat the wicked Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his ghostly crew who seek to wipe out every last pirate in the Caribbean.

Rated PG-13, like the previous four installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series dating back to 2003, Dead Men Tell No Tales officially categorizes itself simply as an action, adventure, fantasy. But to stop there is to sell the latest movie short because it also has the elements of a thriller, romance, comedy and more.

Making of Dead Men Tell No Tales

Stunts, Special Effects, Action-Comedy

Depp returns as the lovable, grungy, bungling pirate Captain Jack Sparrow in some of his greatest comedic-action performances to date. Early in the film, it's apparent that Depp, as well as the film's screenwriter (Jeff Nathanson) and Norwegian directing duo (Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg), were all deeply inspired by the slapstick chase scene style of classic Buster Keaton, who was known for his hyper kinetic physical comedy and deadpan facial expressions in silent films.

Just to know that the movie's actors and stunt doubles rehearsed the sword scenes for three months and the bank robbery scene was meticulously shot over a period of weeks, gives you a good idea of this project's scope. It's hard not to have a feeling of awe about all the hard work, effort, attention to detail, and creativity that went into making this film. 

As a result, with the addition of some cutting edge special effects and CGI, viewers will be roaring with laughter, sitting on the edge of their seats while Captain Jack literally attempts to rob the St. Martin Bank -- building and all -- from the stuffy British colonists. Equally funny and full of crazy stunts is the village square execution gone wrong scene, replete with spinning guillotine and other shenanigans. 

Authentic Sets & Costumes, Makeup

Under the direction of production designer Nigel Phelps, circa 1750 village sets and multiple colonial-era ships were recreated (including some 160 foot long vessels).  Various shooting locations along the Gold Coast of Australia and in Vancouver, British Columbia stood in for convincing land and sea settings in the Caribbean. 

Accentuating these historically correct settings, costume designer Penny Rose rises to the challenge of outfitting not only the stars but also the 500 extras in well-researched, period-accurate attire and accessories. 

No surprise Depp appears pretty much the same as in the past four films, dressed and made up perfectly to suit the eccentric pirate character he plays. Though he's not one to change his clothes very often, when you watch the movie see if you can pick out the few new minor accessories his character now sports. 

What will blow your mind in the costume department is Captain Salazar's exotic makeup and hair. Transforming Bardem from handsome living ship captain into his walking-dead dictator, ghost-like persona involved 2-3 hours per day in the makeup chair with Academy Award winning makeup and hair designer Peter King. The effect created is bluntly ghastly: a most sullen face looking like moldy, deeply-cracked asphalt oozing with black liquid rage. The appearance of Salazar's hair and clothing seemingly floating in thin air, as they would immersed under water, adds to the overall eerie from the deep dark sea villain look.

A Movie for Music Aficionados

But this movie isn't only about what you'll see, it about what you hear and listen to and how it's presented to accompany the onscreen action. Music lovers will easily lose themselves in the masterful musical score for Dead Men Tell No Tales, especially during the most dramatic and tender scenes

Hans Zimmer, music director through the first four films in the series, passes his conducting baton to Geoff Zanelli. Veteran of the previous Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Zanelli says producing background music for Salazar -- the baddest bad guy of all -- was a big challenge that he welcomed. Listening to the musical score in its entirety twice, it still ceases to amaze me how well this composer succeeds in balancing bold rock band style with hints of traditional pirate music, banjos, and accordions, creating just the right ambiance for any given scene.

On the subject of this film's great music, I'd be remiss if I didn't encourage you to be on the lookout for the most awesome movie cameo ever. Appearing briefly as Uncle Jack, the pirate uncle for which Jack Sparrow is named, is rock legend Sir Paul McCartney. McCartney is so well disguised in his singular scene with makeup, wig, braided beard and wardrobe that you might miss him until you hear his recognizable voice singing the first few bars of Maggie Mae, one of The Beatles iconic songs.

Dolby Cinema Pulling Theater Experience Together

With so many compelling visual and audio reasons to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, why not ensure your cinematic experience is the best possible? Luckily, in addition to showing in theaters nationwide, audiences have the opportunity to enjoy a "premiere-like experience" of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales at 72 Dolby Cinema at AMC locations across the U.S.  

Ever since first introducing Dolby Stereo surround sound via the movie Star Wars (1977), which won the 1978 Oscar for Best Sound, Dolby Labs has been redefining movie sound. In fact, all Oscar nominated films during the past 39 years in the Sound and Sound Editing categories were released with Dolby audio technology. Today, Dolby Cinema is the premium cinema offering for moviegoers, elevating the viewer's entertainment experience to a new level, combining the latest advances in image and sound technologies with the latest motion picture releases. 


Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos comprise Dolby Cinema. Dolby Vision state-of-the-art technology brings the story on the screen alive with brightness, contrast and richer colors, while Dolby Atmos, transports audiences aurally into the movie with breathtaking sound filling the cinema and flowing all around them. When these technologies combine with sophisticated Dolby Cinema design, audience members feels drawn into the story, no longer merely watching from their theater seat. 

At the 89th Academy Awards in 2017, a dozen of this year's nominees were presented in either Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the most recently released Dolby Cinema infused movie. Next up for Dolby Cinema is Warner Bros. Pictures Wonder Woman (June 2, 2017 release), followed by Disney Pixar's Cars 3 (June 16, 2017 release). 

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FTC Disclosure: I was hosted for the film's premiere and other events at The Dolby Theater in Hollywood as a guest of Dolby Labs. I also was invited to screen Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales a second time as a guest of Disney. Images in this post as credited. 
However, ideas and opinions here are my own. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.