Tag Archive: Johnny Depp


This film doesn’t know what it wants to be, one thing is clear and that is that this film is one of Tim Burton’s weakest. The plot follows Barnabas Collins(Johnny Depp), who after spurning the affections of his main Angelique(Eva Green), he sadly finds out she is a witch. She makes the love of his life kill herself and then transforms him into a vampire so he may suffer forever, then leaves him buried in a casket. Two hundred years pass and it’s not 1972, he is dug up by some unfortunate construction workers who Barnabas feeds on once he is freed. He returns to his family home which is now belongs to the family matriarch Elizabeth(Michelle Pfeiffer), her brother(Johnny Lee Miller) and his son David, her daughter(Chloe Moretz) and their psychiatrist(Helena Bonham Carter). He finds our Angelique is still alive and has been tormenting the family for the last two hundred years.

The movie was based off the wildly popular 70’s soap also named Dark Shadows. The film though could have been a great movie if it didn’t have so much on its plate. There is simply too much here. The film starts off like a fish out of water comedy, but has horror elements, action elements and everything else all jammed inside. It’s so much to bounce off of that the movie never settles down, it just rushes to the third act and then it ends. They needed to decide what the film was instead of trying to give us a full plate. The sad thing is that there is a lot of good within the ramble.

Johnny Depp is hilarious, he plays this character just so right that it’s simply fun to watch. Eva Green is also a joy to watch as she eats up her over the top villain dialogue. Visually the film is beautiful and fun to look at many times. This is not enough to hold on to though, the film should have just focused on the family, they were fun and interesting. Instead we get them only in little snippets, at no time does it feel like a family. Depp and Green are so good together it’s hard to say that I almost wish that story line was cut out. A simple gothic fish out of water/family comedy would have really worked.

The worst part of this film is the “love story” which is so badly done it just brings the movie crashing to the ground. We meet Victoria who I guess is a reincarnation of his lost love, but yet she and Depp get less than I’d say five minutes of screen time together. First off they are odd looking since she looks like she’s around twenty years old and Depp is forty. But they never give the love story any time to grow, yet we’re suppose to care. It’s so badly handled and just a waste of time.

Another huge problem is Barnabas is not very sympathetic, he sleeps with women and doesn’t care. He murders over twenty people. The movie simply shrugs this off which I found odd. Like I said before there is no balance. We get jokes, then death, then a cute set piece, than a third act filled with action. It just never really works. I really wish Burton just picked one direction and stuck with it. If he did we would have a beautiful and most likely great film. As it stands you’ll find yourself scratching your head at many scenes.

It’s a shame because with all the talent in front of and behind the camera, this should have been knocked out of the park. Instead it’s just a mess. Now there are bright spots, some set pieces are great, Depp and Green are a lot of fun. The film even winks at a possible sequel which I doubt will ever see. I say that because even though it’s a Burton film, it doesn’t feel like he put everything into this. It’s a shame really it could have been so much more.

Rating: 5/10

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You sunk my battleship! Sorry I had to say it. Even with a world wide gross of $230 million the board game adaptation struggled to gain any water here in the States. The film opened with a $25.3 million debut. Standing tall a third straight weekend was The Avengers which added another $55 million to it’s total. As of right now the world wide total of $1.18 billion… That’s not that impressive… I’m joking it’s very impressive. When it coms to battleship you have to feel for Taylor Kitsch who seems like a nice guy and a solid actor, yet after John Carter and now this opening, he’s agent is going to have to scramble.

A big surprise is that the new Sacha Baron Cohen film The Dictator could only laugh up about $17.4 million over the weekend. It opened Wednesday so it’s total is $24.4 million. The film wasn’t a bank buster in production but it still must have been surprising to see it open with this much of a whimper.

Dark Shadows also proved it really didn’t have much legs. It added another $12.7 million to its total which now sits at $50.9 million, they’ll have to hope that the holiday weekend will bring in more ticket sales for the film to have a hope for breaking $100 million.

A real big surprise is the film What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which I guess was planning on doing counter programming at the box office, well that didn’t work out very well for them as it only could birth $10.5 million. Now the film might have legs as word of mouth continues but it will be no blockbuster. Now the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel only opened in 178 screens but found itself in the top ten with $3.2 million, very impressive.

It’s interesting to see that movie goers are not spreading the love, they are sticking with one block buster(The Avengers). Will see if that changes next week as MIB3 comes out. Now for some reason the hype around that film hasn’t been huge so will see if the boys in black can knock out our band of super heroes.

Here is the list…

1. The Avengers $55 million

2. Battleship $25.3 million

3. The Dictator $17.4 million

4. Dark Shadows $12.7 million

5. What to Expect When You’re Expecting $10.5 million

6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $3.2 million

7. The Hunger Games $3 million

8. Think Like a Man $1.7 million

9. The Lucky One $1.7 million

10. The Pirates! Band of Misfits $1.4 million

Lone Ranger back on?

The word was that Disney was scrapping the entire project. Lone Ranger was going to become a tent pole franchise for the Mouse but budget concerns lead to it almost being dropped. Of course Johnny Depp was going to play Tonto, Gore Verbinski the director of the first three Pirates films was going to be behind the camera. Rumor was Gore wanted $250 million for the project. Disney blinked at this, as would anyone, a western costing that much seems rather odd. So the film was dead. That was until the news of its return coming up rather suddenly. Seems Disney has decided to give the film a budget of $215 million dollars. Is this what stalled everything? $15 million bucks? Either way it’s back on and I for one am excited it’s back and ready to roll.

Jack Sparrow is finally back on the big screen. After the first film we had two sequels back to back, one was an action/adventure film classic, the other was a total mess. Still “At Worlds End” even with major plot holes and let downs still had an energy to it. Sadly the second Stranger Tides begins we can tell the film series has lost the magic. There are SPOILERS ahead so be aware as you read on…

Johnny Depp returns as Sparrow who we find in London trying to free an old friend from prison and a date with the gallows. From there he runs into Angelica, played by Penelope Cruz who easily traps him into becoming a crew member for her father Blackbeard. They along with Barbossa and the Spaniards are all looking for the Fountain of Youth which has a lot of weird guide lines to follow to gain its power. I’m not going to go further into the plot because frankly it’s pointless. The thing that kept the other films afloat was even when the plots became convoluted they were fun. This film forgot that and there are I’d say half a dozen times that things just fall flat and are dull. The film forgot to have fun as they scrambled to make an adventure film.

The list of problems is really long here so I’d rather focus on some of the positives. First off the original three movies never looked real, loads of CGI and style made the films look like dreams but never grounded in reality. Director Rob Marshal pulled away from CGI over use and it gives the film a gritty and real feeling. Frankly the pirates feel like pirates. Also several of the actors really try and pump life into a script that gave this film no chance at succeeding. Ian McShane plays Blackbeard and has fun with it, Cruz and Depp have a fluid chemistry that for some reason to film barely wanted to have on screen. The film does though have some shining action scenes. Rob Marshall avoided using shaky cam or up close shots during sword fights, I liked that a lot. There is also a scene involving mermaids that is fantastic and most likely will be the only part of the film anyone cares to remember.

The movie frankly has no point and makes no sense. I won’t spoil the ending but it is dumb… I mean really dumb. People take actions that go against everything they were doing before hand. We also have to deal with a young missionary who is obviously an Orlando Bloom replacement. This character has no depth at all, he has one purpose and it never changes. Yet he falls in love with a mermaid and somehow we’re suppose to care, well no one does. This is the problem with Stranger Tides, it never lets go, everything is by the numbers and utterly predictable to the point the great cast can not save it. With it’s ultra real feeling as well it limits the amount of action scenes we get. The other films used environments and clever new ideas to get the audience to really pay attention. Here we get a half dozen sword fights and that’s about it. Most of the film is focused on walking around a jungle and talking. As the film goes on you come to realize that director Rob Marshall either had no idea how to make this film, or lost his heart in the first act. Everything becomes dull and lifeless and it’s a shame. The script is literally horrible, somehow making the quest for the fountain of youth into the most boring chase ever to be shown on film.

I say all this with hope that the franchise continues, they need to drop the writers and Marshall. Return to having some fun and think up action scenes that work. I’m not sure how this movie will fair, hopefully none of the negativity lands on the cast. They are all really good here, it’s just everyone else let them down. On Stranger Tides hits rough seas and never recovers, hopefully the franchise can, I’d hate for this to be the last voyage for Captain Jack Sparrow.

Rating: 5.5/10

Movie Review: Rango

Rango(Voiced by Johnny Depp) is a pet chameleon that’s tank falls out the back of a car and he finds himself on a desert road. From there he runs into dozens of interesting characters and finds himself in a small desert town called Dirt. The town resembles every old Western town you can think of, trying to win over friends Rango makes up gun fight stories and finds himself in the position as local Sheriff. Stumbling his way through the job he tries to win over another lizard named Beans(Isla Fisher) and also solve a water crises in the town. A corrupt mayor, who is a turtle, hires a gun slinging rattle snake(Bill Nighy) to take Rango down.

The story might sound very basic, that is kind of the point, this film is a western, just with a visual style of something you’ve never seen. Every critter Rango comes across is unique and visually astounding. The film should really be seen twice just for the visuals. The thing that stands out to me the most is the film is the action set pieces are unique and over the top. I found myself jumping in my seat over and over which rarely happens. The movie has a very good blend of comedy which frankly is aimed for adults. Parents don’t be worried, the films pacing at the beginning is a little slow but over all this film is very much kid friendly. The great thing is that along with being friendly to kids this movie is very much an adult film really. The film really wants to be a story about finding the hero inside yourself, standing up for what is right, and on top of that being a darn good western. Depp’s Rango is charming and so likable from the beginning of the film to the very last second.

Gore Verbinski is really showing his talent, sure the sequels for Pirates of the Carribean were a mess but still visually fun and at least not stale. Here his blend of odd visuals, subtle comedy and just general talent comes through 100%. Not sure how this film will be received but I hope kids and general audiences really accept and enjoy this film. I really have no complaints which I know is boring, I guess the only thing I can think of is the third act felt long, not much you could change though. I thought Rango was fun and original and would love to see his story go on, at the same time I’m happy just having this film stand alone.

Rating: 8.5/10

Movie Review: The Tourist

The plot follows Frank(Johnny Depp) an American tourist exploring Europe while trying to mend his broken heart. On a train he meets a woman named Elise who seems to be instantly attracted to him. Problem is Elise has a plan to use Frank as a decoy to lead Interpol agents, including Scotland yard inspector played by Paul Bettany away from her boy friend, or at least we think it’s a boy friend who is an international criminal. At the same time a murderous mob boss and his Russian cohorts also chase them down. The Tourist is a film that you think should be filled with twists and turns, but really end up being very lightly paced. The thing going for it is that everything is very pretty, unlike other movies set in Europe but are obviously filmed in backlots, this film uses its European settings to allow the audience to be swept away. Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie make this movie work, the scenes between them are charming and somehow sexy. Not beat you over the head sexy but allows the dialogue to set up the tension between them. I love the first half of this move because it really is a story about a man trying to loose himself and he meets a women who is mysterious and beautiful. Then of course things get crazy as Russians and police agents try and nab Depp from his hotel room.

The Tourist does have problems though, besides the leads we spend a decent amount of time with the French/Italian/British agents chasing Jolie. Problem is none of them are very interesting, and Paul Bettany is frankly wasted here since his screen time is limited. Since the police could not be bad guys we have a sinister mob boss and his Russian body guards being the nasty one’s. This works because without them there would be really no threat in the film. Now the movie has some slapdash editing issues but over all I really enjoyed the experience. It kind of plays around with the old goofy European spy movies. It’s fitting since the mobster in the film is played by Steven Berkoff who was in Octopussy and simply fits as the European evil guy. This movie isn’t perfect and I saw some of the twists coming from the beginning, but still the leads and the setting almost make it worth the price admission. It’s clear though that editing was an issue, possibly by the studio who wanted a faster paced film then they got. The movie for sure feels European but is still a lot of fun and pretty charming. Just wish it was a little less messy but I enjoyed my time traveling with The Tourist.

Rating:6.5/10

Johnny Depp signed a mega deal with Disney which assured him truck loads of cash and made sure he was signed on for three more Pirates of the Caribbean films. Now of course this makes sense since the original trilogy made over 1 billion dollars. A fourth film is on its way which will not have Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley but just Johnny Depp starring as Captain Jack Sparrow. This is probably fine with most people since the character was everyones favorite. The fourth film titles “On Stranger Tides” was going to be a stand alone film. Disney though I guess was so please from what they have seen that they have green lit two more sequels. Just like Dead Man’s Chest and At Worlds End these two films will be made back to back. Disney for sure wants too keep this franchise going since The Sorcerers Apprentice and Prince of Persia failed to become tent pole franchises, which Disney was expecting they will push Pirates until the well is dry. I don’t know how I feel about this, the first one is frankly a solid adventure film that I believe will be remembered as a classic. The second film had the best action and some great moments but led to a third film which was just a horrible mess. Now sure Stranger Tides has a new director and maybe a film focused mostly on Jack Sparrow actually could have more balance and fun as it goes along. So I’m ready for this fourth film I’m just not sure if we really need three more of these films.

The film was in limbo for a little while, Disney held on to the rights and got Johnny Depp to be Tonto. I guess they have decided to be go full steam ahead on the project and picked themselves up a director who knows Depp well. I guess Johnny Depp likes working with two people mainly, Gore and Tim Burton. Verbinski worked with Depp through the Pirates trilogy and the two came back together for the animated Rango which comes out this summer. The movie looks fairly odd but I’m intrigued by it. This news is sad to me because Gore Verbinski was lined up to direct a live action film based off of Bioshock the video game. Now I guess that project is in endless limbo. We need a video game based movie to come out and dominate to box office… Oh maybe HALO? Oh right that movie has never gotten off the ground. Can James Cameron please swoop down and save that project!