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[Blu-Ray Review] Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is out on Blu-ray and DVD now, and we’ve got all the details you need to know about this fifth installment of Disney’s epic franchise.


This movie picks up (briefly) not long after the events of the third film. Will Turner’s son Henry, sets sail in a rowboat to find his dad. He thinks he’s discovered they key to undoing his father’s curse, Poseidon’s trident. Legend says that whoever wields this mythical weapon, will have the power to undo any curse. Will turns his son away, convinced that he is doomed to sail the Flying Dutchman forever.

Fast-forward nine years. The now adult Henry is looking everywhere for Captain Jack Sparrow, a man that he believes is the key to finding this trident. Along the way he meets a suspected witch, actually an astronomer, who knows the secret of where to find the location of the map to find the trident. Once they have Jack in tow, they set out to find the trident to save Henry’s father.

There’s also this other minor detail of an army of undead Spanish pirate-killing sailors and Jack’s old frenemy Captain Barbossa teaming up in order to hunt him down, to kill him and take the trident for themselves. Just a minor detail.


Dead Men Tell No Tales was epic, and at times, actually pretty funny! I was a huge fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise back in the day, and while I don’t think that this one was quite as good as the original trilogy, it was certainly a ton of fun, and totally worth watching, if not owning. I loved seeing Will and Emma back again, after their absence in the fourth movie, even if it was barely more than two or three scenes. I thought that bringing back their kid as the main protagonist was a great idea, and I thought they pulled it off pretty well. It wasn’t a brilliant piece of cinematic artistry that will go down in history as a timeless masterpiece, but it was epic, creative, exciting, and fun, and at the end of the day, that’s usually what I want in a film.

I know that there was a lot of negativity thrown at this movie, but I have never been one to care too much about what critic have to say. Slightly ironic that I am now one myself. Either way, if you loved the swashbuckling, explosive adventure of the previous films, and you are at all interested in epic seafaring battles, swordfights, ghostly sailors, an adorable monkey, and zombie sharks, (yes, zombie sharks!) then you will find something to like about this movie.

Blu-Ray Extras

If you’re anything like me, then you know that the extras are an extremely important part of any blu-ray/DVD set. This set has quite a few features, but what are they, and are they worth it?

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Making of a New Adventure

This is a series of seven featurettes chronicling the making of the movie. These include: A Return to Sea, Telling Tales: A Sit-Down with Brenton and Kaya, The Matador and the Bull: Secrets of Salazar and The Silent Mary, First Mate Confidential, Deconstructing the Ghost Sharks, Wings Over the Caribbean, An Enduring Legacy. These are all pretty substantial featurettes, and all together, they make up a pretty lengthy documentary. They tell you a bit about most aspects of the making of the film, and by themselves are definitely worth getting this set.

Bloopers of the Carribbean

I’m sure you can guess by the title what this is. Sadly I didn’t find it all that funny. The monkey was the best part, but he was only in it for like 20 seconds. Oh well. It was short, and not the only extra, so I’m not going to complain about quality.

Jerry Bruckheimer Photo Diary

This is also what it sounds like, apparently Jerry Bruckheimer also has a passion for still photography, and they put together a slideshow with some of his shots taken during filming. Someone put quite a bit of work into producing these pictures to make them seem slightly animated, but I have to say this was probably the weakest of all the bonus features. It was pretty short, and just felt kind of pointless and boring.

Deleted Scenes

There were several deleted scenes included on this set. One short scene where Jack tries (and fails) to rob a stagecoach, a short face-off between Henry and Jack, a scene in Poseidon’s tomb featuring a whale, and a brief scene cut from the end featuring some of Captain Barbossa’s crew. These scenes were all short, and none of them added anything to the plot, so I can understand why they were cut. They weren’t all that exciting, but if you get this set, they’re worth a watch.

DVD Bonus Features

This set came with a DVD, so I popped it in to see what it had to offer. All that was there was one of the seven featurettes, First Mate Confidential, chronicling a day in the life of the actor playing Gibbs, Kevin McNally. This was an entertaining featurette, and I enjoyed it as part of the set featured on the Blu-ray, but why it was singled out as the only thing to include on the DVD, I don’t know. If you’re someone who wants the behind the scenes stuff, definitely go for the Blu-ray, because they really skimped on the DVD.

Final Thoughts

This movie was great, the behind the scenes featurettes were as well, but the other extras were mostly forgettable fluff. If you liked this movie, definitely get this set for that and the behind the scenes stuff. The other stuff is worth a watch, probably just once, but ultimately the movie is the main draw of this set. if you’re a Pirates fan, I highly recommend it.

Purchase: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Blu-ray | DVD

Have you seen Dead Men Tell No Tales?
How did you think it compared to the other movies in the series?

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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. He studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. His favorite movie is Fantasia, and his favorite cartoon is Gravity Falls. Or maybe Steven Universe. He can’t decide. You can find more of his work on his blog, as well as his YouTube channel, where he reviews all manner things, including (almost) every version ever of Alice in Wonderland. His favorites are the 1999 version starring Tina Majorino, and of course, the 1951 Disney version. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, @jonjnorth.