They had a free sneak in Atlanta last night. I got a bunch of passes and went with six other people. I was somewhat apprehensive because I hate Jerry Bruckheimer and his foul creations with a fierce and burning passion. Nevertheless, I was encouraged by the great casting, good advance buzz, and of course ties to my favorite ride in DL/Magic Kingdom. I'm happy to say I was not disappointed. The best thing about the film is the way in which it sticks to the spirit of the ride. You'd think that an amusement park ride would make for a rather flimsy movie premise, but summer movies SHOULD feel like rides (even if that ride is oftentimes the carousel: "Haven't we been here before?"). The screenwriters lifted just enough material from the Disney boat ride to make it seem familiar. There are some direct homages which I won't divulge here, but many in the packed house cheered when they recognized them. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom acquit themselves admirably, but it is Geoffrey Rush and most especially Johnny Depp who carry the film. Their charisma and investment in the material help elevate it above the dreck this film most certainly could have become. Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow is a character with quirks and amiability to spare, reminding us of how much the world dearly loves an antihero... Those among you familiar with the Monkey Island series of games will recognize a lot of familiar cues here. Indeed, the central plot point of a crew of cursed skeletal pirates is lifted straight from the Monkey Island mythos (by way of Coleridge, perhaps). I think I read a while back that the game rights had been optioned for a film. Perhaps the success of "Pirates..." will lead to a Monkey Island film. Who knows. As to the music: Well, it's a Bruckheimer film. Klaus Badelt's score is loud and I suppose suitably swashbucking, but quite honestly, you could swap it out with the score in any other Bruckheimer film and not notice a difference. I'm sure many of you are wondering if and how "Yo ho..." is incorporated. It is included, primarily in snippets hummed and recited by various members of the cast. Depp's character seems particularly enamored of the "...really bad eggs" bit. But there is no big musical number and no one ever really belts out a lengthy portion of the song, so feel free to be either relieved or disappointed. All in all I'd give the film 8 out of 10. Very enjoyable, and one of the better summer movies in recent memory.