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9.0 3 10
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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.

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