Johnny Depp's alter ego Captain Jack Sparrow is swinging in the air on a soundstage somewhere. What's odd isn't necessarily the spiffy pirate outfit or that he's suspended 20 feet or so above the ground, but that he's holding on to a giant dreadlock.
Though the strange and bizarre are almost normal in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film trilogy, this, as they say, takes the cake.
It's from a scene where that odd bird Sparrow is commanding a ship of 100 Jack Sparrows, including two that sit on his shoulders and hang on to his dreadlocks. Watching the making of this scene is part of the amusing featurette "Tale of the Many Jacks," one of the many extras contained on "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" ($34.99 two-disc DVD or $35.99 Blu-ray; Buena Vista Home Entertainment, available Tuesday).
I've said it in this space before: If you're going to watch any DVD bonus material on a movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, expect to see a lot of Bruckheimer and hear plenty of folks saying "this is the biggest (fill in the blank)."
Take "Anatomy of a Scene: The Maelstrom," a featurette on the making of the climatic, rain-soaked battle between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman. There's no denying the grand scale of the scene and what went into pulling it off, but enough with the hyperbole already. "It's the biggest action sequence ever attempted," "it's the heaviest set ever moved," "it's the largest . . ." well you get the idea of some of what you'll hear in this featurette. When these guys are done patting themselves on the back for their accomplishment, we finally hear someone put it in perspective: "One ship weighs the equivalent of a 747."
Depp and rock 'n' roll great Keith Richards are the topic of the five-minute "Keith & the Captain." "It was a dream come true," Depp says of working with his idol.
"Masters of Design" looks individually at five members of the movie's design team, such as conceptual consultant Jim Byrkit and how he conceived and designed Sao Feng's Map (the map to Davey Jones' locker); creature designer Crash McCreary, who created the Cursed Crew; plus costume designer Penny Rose, who discusses the costume worn by Richards. If you don't believe all the tales of how Depp molded Sparrow after Richards, listen up as Rose discusses the first time she met Depp about five years ago. "I asked him what kind of pirate do you want to be, and he said 'a rock 'n' roll pirate . . . I want to be Keith Richards.' "
Also included: bloopers and the featurettes "The World of Chow Yun Fat," "The Pirate Maestro: The Music of Hans Zimmer," "Inside the Brethren Court" and "Hoist the Colours."
The Blu-ray edition has BD-Java enhanced features such as a one-hour interactive look at creating the maelstrom (hosted by Bruckheimer) and the Jolly Roger host to navigate viewers through animated menus.
*MGM has gone into its vaults and pulled out an interesting array of movies packaged as the "MGM Decades Collection." Each movie, priced separately at $19.98 (available Tuesday), comes with a collectible booklet highlighting historical events and an eight-song CD of music from that decade.
Each decade since 1950 is represented by three diverse movies. From the 1950s: "12 Angry Men," "Guys & Dolls" and "Some Like It Hot." The 1960s: "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "The Graduate" and "West Side Story." The 1970s: "Carrie," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Mad Max." The 1980s: "Moonstruck," "The Sure Thing" and "When Harry Met Sally."
"Arctic Tale" (Paramount), "Bob Hope Collection" (MGM), "Erik the Viking: Director's Son's Cut" (MGM), "The Hottest State" (THINKFilm), "Last Man on Earth" (MGM), "Love's Unending Legacy" (Fox Faith), "The Nanny Diaries" (Genius/Weinstein).
TV on DVD: "7th Heaven: The Fifth Season" (Paramount), "Diagnosis Murder: The Third Season" (Paramount), "Touched By An Angel: Fourth Season, Vol. 2" (Paramount) and "24: Season Six" (Fox).
WAITRESS: Keri Russell stars as a diner waitress who finds solace in baking pies in this critically acclaimed drama. Extras: commentaries; a making-of; plus featurettes including "The Pies Have It!" and "Written and Directed by Adrienne Shelly: A Memorial." ($29.98, Fox; available now)