Captain Jack Sparrow and The Song of the Brethren Court
At World's End CD
plurmonger, Radzinsky, emanswfan, Gaith, TomH1138, DominicCobb, Zarius, That One Guy, baileym43, Sunarep, jerick, dangermouse, theslime, musiced921, hbenthow, Neglify, Solid11, Nic and maxgremlin
...for their input and encouragement.
- NTSC DVD-5
Please note that due to catastrophic technical problems at the 11th hour (See fanedit thread) the visual quality of the render is not what I had hoped it to be (Up close). It looks more SD, than the HD edit I had prepared but still totally watchable.
Hopefully this will not affect your enjoyment of the new streamlined story or the new radically different colour scheme. I thought it only fair to mention this before you download the edit and before you watch it (I reccomend the MP4 over the DVD in this respect but I include the DVD for those that like to get their edits that way)
- Elizabeth and Will are still in love from my last edit
- Again we don't meet Jack until the other characters do
- Where possible, relevant scenes grouped together so they flow from one to the other instead of jumping from place to place and character to character
- Old beginning removed and replaced as I thought it was completely unsuited to start a light-hearted adventure romp. Featuring as it does, visual refrences to the Holocaust and a child being hanged. Instead we are reintroduced to the threat from Beckett that concluded my last edit.
- Cut every bit of plot that wasn't essential (Due to the tangled and convoluted plot, this isn't much)
- Reordered scenes to play in a more logical sequence
- Recoloured film throughout shot-by-shot to remove heavy sickly green hue and aproximate the vibrant saturated (Almost cartoon like) colours of 'Dead Man's Chest'. I aimed to give every sequence a different look to create a bit more visual interest that was lacking in the murky drab green of the original colour timing
- Removed unpleasant 4 minute 'Pirate Holocaust' opening scene. This is a fun family edit we don't need to see piles of bodies and children being executed
- Brought 'Dutchman destroying the fleet' scene forward to form new opening scene. This now flows fluidly from the last scene of THODJ
- Removed "living" Governor Swann scenes (I hinted at his fate in the last edit, anything more is filler)
- Trimmed Singapore opening as much as possible
- Added new 'The Song of the Brethren Court' title
- Removed unpleasant Elizabeth forced strip-search and upskirt perving (Not something I felt belonged in an adventure film)
- Removed all shots of Beckett's magic teleporting henchman from Singapore sequence (Plus he can't be there in my new recut)
- Removed uncomfortable silences and arguments between Will and Elizabeth (Remember they didn't fall out in my last POTC edit)
- Brought second Beckett scene forward to form a natural break between Singapore and the underworld (The locker now plays out uninterupted) and reordered it
- Ice scene heavily recoloured to appear a little more natural
- Rescored new transition from Ice scene to first Underworld scene
- The Locker sequence heavily recoloured with much less saturation and a feint ethereal glow (This persists until the boat flip later on)
- Brought first half of beach scene forward so our heroes reach the Locker before we the audience are re-united with Jack
- Removed all footage of Jack in the Locker before we meet him on the beach
- Trimmed shot of Elizabeth having mixed feelings about Jack's return
- Trimmed a lot of Pintel goofing and constantly saying "Sorry" he was funny in POTC2, here he was annoying
- Recut Will and Elizabeth's below deck argument to make it just about being honest with each other
- Removed all appearances of CGI double-Jacks or mini-Jacks. They were just a pain
- Jack is no longer immortal e.g. he cannot have his nose broken and not feel it
- Added back deleted scene revealing Jack's history with Beckett and the slave trade (So now we see Jack is a man of principle deep down)
- Trimmed and reordered intercutting of cabin and deck scenes
- Trimmed start of scene of Elizabeth being dressed, it was just filler
- Removed Elizabeth getting Norrington killed by distracting him
- Added in deleted 'Devils Throat' scene. I thought it was essential to properly explain exactly why Beckett cannot attack the Cove. Plus it's nicely atmospheric
- Trimmed the Brethren Court meeting as much as possible and it now plays out in one go
- Removed Jones visiting Calypso scene. It was a nice scene but made no sense. If Jones could get into Shipwreck Cove this easily, why was he waiting outside?
- Removed Keith Richard's cameo. It served no purpose other than to further drag out the interminable meeting scene
- Trimmed badly shot angles of giant Calypso that diminished her supposed size
- Recut 'Hoist the Colours' speech to be more heartfelt and realistic. Elizabeth is now nervous and not suddenly heroic, all she does is inspire a spark of confidence in her friends
- Cut Barbossa being inexplicably depressed again right after the motivational speech
- Heavily cut Jack's jail break to crop out annoying CGI Jacks. It ain't perfect but it's better than the alternative
- Trimmed Jack taking the chest down to a minimum to not dispate the energy of the battle too much
- Removed Jones murdering Beckett's man because again it made no sense. Why hadn't he done it before? He is now just killed by the cannon impact (Again not a perfect removal but it had to go)
- Trimmed several minutes of the battle that made it drag on too long and didn't advance the story
- Removed gastly CGI shot of Beckett walking through flames in slow-motion for no reason whatsoever
- Removed Elizabeth saying an emotional goodbye to Pintel and Regetti (I know we the audience have grown to love them but I doubt she has)
- Removed Barbossa feeding Little-Jack. We are a minute from the end, no time to waste on Monkey snacks
- Added fanedit credits
Original Length: 169 Minutes
Time Added: 1 Minute
Time Removed: 33 Minutes
Fanedit Length: 137 Minutes
Now, this was the hard one. The bloated, extremely long, non sensical third entry in the POTC franchise.
And TM2YC makes it work somehow. Even if some scenes seem to randomly jump from one situation to the next somewhat abruptly; he is still able to deliver a coherent edit; yet it still falls quite short in comparision to Curse of the Black Pearl.
I understand that there's so much you can do with the source material. And that the whole nonsense of the Pirate King and Pirate Council can't be removed; which the overall narrative is impossible imposible to truly fix. I believe that TM2YC did the best that could be done.
As usual, a 2.0 audio track deducts points from A/V quality.
Before watching TM2YC's The Song of the Brethren Court I reluctantly watched the previous fan edit, The Heart of Davy Jones (reluctantly because I really liked Dead Man's Chest) and even though the problems I had with Dead Man's Chest was fixed, more problems came as well and ultimately I had the same feeling with The Heart of Davy Jones, just different in a few details.
I later edited my review a few times until I had a final verdict (just a few minor details) and then I stated if The Song of the Brethren Court wasn't as good as I hoped (because At World's End was terribly disappointing), Dead Man's Chest would remain in my shelf and I would edit my own version of At World's End (probably with the name Pirates of the Caribbean: Gathering of the Seven Seas (of course I would ask Radzinsky for permission to use that title if I would do the edit)). However if it was as good, The Heart of Davy Jones and The Song of the Brethren Court would replace Dead Man's Chest and At World's End on my shelf. And you know what? It was!
First, the technical aspects. In my review of THODJ I said the color correction highlighted the green seas and skies. In TSOTBC however the color correction was PERFECT. The color was just like DMC's/THODJ's vibrant colors, and there was no odd color. The editing was done perfectly as well, if there was any abrupt cut it was either unescapable or I didn't notice it.
Now the narrative. I will start with the negative: I get why the original AWE opening was cut, but it doesn't work very well (especially considering the title) because that song is the song that summons the Brethren Court. The song is about the court binding Calypso to her physical body (i.e. The king and his men stole the queen from her bed, and bound her into her bones...), and after the first court they decided that the song should be the trigger of the pieces of eight. After the song is sung in the pirates' lowest situation (The E.I.T.C. taking over the seas and dominating pirates) the pieces of eight start to ring to signify that the song has been sung and the Brethren Court is summoned for help. That scene also is a great scene, especially with Becket being aware of the Court and saying "Finally" to foreshadow his eventual plan. Removing that made things more confusing. What is the song? Is this really a song? When was the court called, and how? The only escape from the flaw is to assume the song was sung offscreen (or whatever they do to ring the pieces of eight, assuming a song was the nickname or something, I dunno) and the point is that the Brethren Court is called (even though the pieces of eight are just like alarm clocks and the pieces of eight that are actually used are pieces of junk, but that's an unescapable flaw made by the filmmakers, not TM2YC). Also, how did Beckett know about the song being sung in order to send Mercer to Singapore? Which leads me to the next problem:
The other problem I have is the redundancy of E.I.T.C. in the beginning. Mercer (Beckett's henchman), some soldiers and his spies have learned about pieces of eight and tells Beckett about the Court. Okay, then why are there still E.I.T.C. soldiers roaming around in Singapore? It still works, it's just too weird.
However, those 2 problems I have are overshadowed by the numerous removals, movings, recuts and trims, making a worthy successor to Dead Man's Chest/The Heart of Davy Jones. Gone is the love triangle continued from DMC! Gone is the terrible humour! Gone is the annoying CG-Jacks and Mini Jacks! Gone are lots of unnecessary boring scenes!
My only other problem with this movie (not this edit because TM2YC done everything he could to improve this movie (and he succeded)) is that it's still a disappointing entry to the franchise. And no, I'm not saying this is still a bad movie, or that it's a disappointing fanedit. I mean that DMC promised an action packed, no exposition war, but in the real version we had politics, unnecessary exposition (along with important ones too of course, but mostly unnecessary) and middle fingers to the audience. What I wanted with AWE was Return of the Jedi to the Pirates movies. But instead we got a dead Kraken.
If this was released in theatres I would give it a 6/10. But as this is a fanedit and not much could possibly be changed for bad movies, I give the fanedit a 9/10. Definitely recommended!
After watching the previous edit in TM2YC's "Captain Jack Sparrow..." series, the superb "...Heart of Davy Jones," I was very excited to revisit "At World's End" once he'd had a crack at it. I am happy to report that, for the most part, he has once again given us a worthy successor to the delightful first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie. All of my problems with "Dead Man's Chest" (terrible color timing, overstuffed narrative, action set pieces that go on waaaaay to long) not only reappeared for "At World's End," they were even worse. The strongest memories I have of watching the theatrical cut of this movie, in fact, are of not knowing what the hell is going on and wondering why everything needed to be green. In TM2YC's version, the narrative moves logically from one plot point to the next, without constantly cutting back and forth between scattered characters, making it a lot easier to keep track of everyone's disparate motivations. The colors are vibrant and the shadows deep, highlighting the fantastic design work on display. Loads of lazy comedy is cut, leaving only the good stuff. The interminable battles are trimmed way down. Simply stated, it's focused, fun, and a far cry from its source material.
I watched the HD MP4, and it looked and sounded generally terrific. TM2YC experienced some software issues getting this edit to us, and as a result the picture doesn't quite measure up to the previous installment's pristine presentation. However, aside from some crushed blacks in the Shipwreck Cove scene, I barely noticed the slight drop in quality, certainly not enough to dock any points. I experienced no issues whatsoever with the audio. The editing was near flawless; I only noticed one errant frame during a single transition, and I didn't notice any audio edits at all. The only problem I had with the edit itself was, once again, with the title. Captain Jack Sparrow still feels like a side character to Will and Elizabeth's central story and thus doesn't really earn the Indiana Jones-ing of his name in the title. Also, and more problematically, the titular "song of the brethren court" doesn't really earn its place either. Character's refer to the song being sung more than once in the film, and Elizabeth sings it to herself in Singapore. However, I got the sense that the song to which everyone is referring, the one that gets the plot moving and the pirate lords assembled, is the one sung at the gallows in the now-excised opening. I understand the desire to remove this scene, upsetting as it was, but without the pirate-anthem-as-rallying-cry sequence, the "song" doesn't loom as large.
I enjoyed this edit quite a bit. It's a huge improvement over the source material and a fitting close to the original "Pirates" trilogy. I didn't have quite as much fun with it as I did "...The Heart of Davy Jones," but my remaining problems with the film are at the script level and are no fault of the editor.