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Entries in Johnny Depp (23)

Friday
Feb212014

Obligatory Superhero Update: "Fantastic Four" & "Doctor Strange"

I didn't think I was going to have anything to say about the recently announced Fantastic Four reboot cast that I hadn't already said in previous posts. But then they forced my hand with the Jamie Bell casting. If you don't frequent mainstream click-baiting movie blogs (most of which live for superhero movie news) the news goes like so:

  • Mr Fantastic, Reed Richards (stretchy scientific genius) - Miles Teller
  • Invisible Girl (Mr Fantastic's wife, Sue Storm) - Kate Mara
  • The Human Torch (Sue's brother) - Michael B Jordan
  • The Thing, Ben Grimm (Reed's best friend) - Jamie Bell  

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan142014

The Year of the Hero. And Other Links

The Wrap all time lows for unemployment for women in the movie biz. what the what now?
Veteran Fan Girl on Frozen's groundbreaking depiction of mental illness (depression) in a Disney Princess movie 
Variety Johnny Depp might be our Doctor Strange. Which would be awesome news if it weren't 2014 and his eccentricities didn't yet feel like a factory-produced cans of name brand Quirk

Terry Richardson for some reason the internet seems surprised today that Jared Leto posed mostly naked for this controversial photographer. Doesn't the internet know that they're friends and this happens pretty regularly? C'mon internet, catch up
The Wire an Oscar completist's prayer: please don't nominated these movies
BuzzFeed why Emma Thompson was the best part of the Golden Globes 
Awards Daily final Oscar predictions 
MNPP a fun retro poster for the new horror flick Cooties 
Pajiba provocatively predicts the biggest flops of 2014 from Pompeii to Transcendence to Jupiter Ascending without calling it predictions 
Vulture speaking of provocations... David O. Russell really put his foot in it comparing Jennifer Lawrence's Hunger Games contract to 12 Years a Slave 

...and by now you may have heard that Oscar has picked his theme!

like my photoshop?

They've announced that the 2013 Oscars (WE'RE SUPPOSED TO CALL IT BY ITS FILM YEAR. EVEN OSCAR KNOWS THIS THOUGH SOME WEBSITES DON'T!) to be held on March 2nd, 2014 will be "The Year of the Hero". This sounds like another lame ploy to win the demographic that just doesn't care about them since it's not like they're going to nominate Man of Steel or Thor or Iron Man 3 for anything (okay maybe Iron Man 3) and it's not like anyone wants them to, either! (Besides Marvel and Warner Bros) Can't it be enough that other demographics care about the Oscars?

If they mean this in a less lame way than a "please love us, fanboys!" ploy, then this is good news for Captain Phillips, which is basically the only film in the running that plays like a hero's journey. A more appropriate theme for this year in cinema might be the Year of the Survivor with Gravity, All is Lost, The Butler, Nebraska, and 12 Years a Slave and more factoring in but I guess that doesn't have as much of a kick to it since surviving is kind of exhausting and nobody producing the Oscars probably wants you to think about exhaustion until, like, the 180 minute mark on Oscar night.

Tuesday
Aug062013

The Lone Ranger Spawns Multiple Sore Losers

Can we take a moment to shake our heads collectively at Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and The Lone Ranger team for being sore losers? They're blaming critics and the media for the failure of the film at the box office -- as if opening weekends are determined by critics. LOL. Weirdly Armie Hammer tries to rope in World War Z to the conversation (which has a 67% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes versus their 28% and a much higher audience approval rating, too) 

They tried to do the same thing with ‘World War Z’,” Hammer said of the critical backlash.”It didn’t work, the movie was successful. Instead they decided to slit the jugular of our movie.”

Because this is what critics do. They think "damn, people loved that movie I trashed? I shall have my revenge next time!" and then their tiny selves morph hive-like into Mega-Critic, a ugly monstrously powerful giant beast, big enough to do battle with the beautiful innocence of the Blameless Blockbuster. 

I always feel embarrassment, not schadenfreude, for stars and filmmakers when they blame everyone but themselves. It shows a complete aversion to looking inward and betrays a pampered creative life that actively works against continued evolution as an artist. When people only believe/accept adulation, they calcify. It's why so many artists become self parodies or get less interesting as they progress. I really don't think it's an age thing, though you often hear that people do their best work early in their careers. I think, rather, that it's an insular gated community problem, a result of entourages of "yes men" and belief in your own hype.

previously
Why did the Lone Ranger flop?
The Lone Ranger reviewed 

Monday
Jul082013

Review: Depp & Tonto (and The Lone Ranger, Too)

This review was originally published in my weekly column at Towleroad

If Hollywood has its own wild wild west, a mythic frontier to tame, it is undoubtedly a time rather than a place: Next Summer. And the one after that. Release dates famously come before screenplays and the studios start laying down their tracks to get there: concept, screenplay, pre-production, casting, filming, editing, promotion, release though not usually quite in that sensible artistic order. Budgets often balloon on the way to the imagined gold at the end of the line. Or silver, as is the case with the name of a certain iconic horse, and the coveted metal driving the plot and the literal train tracks in the new version of THE LONE RANGER.

Hollywood hasn't revived this particular franchise in over 30 years, for what one assumes are three reasons: westerns have been notoriously difficult sells for modern mainstream audiences; the last time they attempted this franchise, it failed; and the Tonto character opens you up to charges of racism and cultural insensitivity in modern times. But if anyone could revive this dead franchise and skirt these issues, the thinking went, wouldn't it be director Gore Verbinski and his masses-beloved star Johnny Depp (rumored to have some sort of Cherokee heritage, and adopted into the Comanche Nation last year) who together did the impossible 10 years ago in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, making a well reviewed, Oscar-nominated, mega-blockbuster out of a famous amusement park ride while also navigating another even more notoriously pricey and difficult to sell outmoded genre: the pirate movie!

The director and star aren't so lucky this time around. [more]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul072013

Box Office: The Lone Ranger Will Likely Not Ride Again

When I heard a few little kids doing that "bee-doh-bee-doh-bee-doh" siren noise in the exact inflection of a minion from Despicable Me 2 last week -- and that was just from trailer-indoctrination alone, y'know? -- I knew the box office would be gargantuan. And so it was becoming the 10th highest grosser of 2013 (thus far) after just 4 days of release. 

The Lone Ranger comes with a ready made catchphrase too... "Hi Yo, Silver. Away!" but the movie which is both too hip and too square for its own good (what is its target audience exactly? Other than "all" which often results in confusing tones), demeans the very use of it so you wont hear little kids doing any Lone Ranger chants in the streets. The box office opening for that film was dismal given its $215+ million budget. I'd say "don't expect a sequel" but you never know these days when they'll make a cheapo sequel (or reboot) to anything, "Branding" being everything in Hollywood.

TOP TEN
01 DESPICABLE ME 2 $82.5 *NEW* (cum. $142)
02 THE LONE RANGER $29.4 *NEW* (cum. $48.9)
03 THE HEAT  $25 (cum. $86.3) Capsule
04 MONSTERS UNIVERSITY  $19.5 (cum. $216.1) Review
05 WORLD WAR Z $18.2 (cum. $158.7) Review 
06 WHITE HOUSE DOWN  $13.5 (cum. $50.4)
07 MAN OF STEEL  $11.4 (cum. $271.2) Superheroes and Security
08 KEVIN HART: LET ME EXPLAIN $10.1 *NEW* (cum. $17.4)
09 THIS IS THE END $5.8 (cum. $85.8)
10 NOW YOU SEE ME $2.7 (cum. $110.4)

Of Note: Now You See Me has to be the sole contender for 'biggest hit of 2013 that nobody ever talks about' right? It's like one of those ol' CBS dramas from years past that were always super high in the Nielsens but had zero pop culture caché. 

Armie & Johnny get a look at their box office grosses

 

 

Honest question: who takes the blame for The Lone Ranger's failure to ignite? We've seen in the past that Hollywood is loathe to question the earning power of stars as big as Johnny Depp (note how long shtick-maestros John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were able to command huge paychecks in the 90s and Aughts with far far less in the way of consistent box office performance than Depp). Director Gore Verbinski has several blockbusters under his belt, too. Will they scapegoat the whole thing on poor Armie Hammer? He sure is handsome but he does seem to have been anointed the next big leading man far far sooner than his filmography requested. In fact, people were throwing leading roles and money at him after just one major supporting role (The Social Network), a film which he hardly had to carry or even elevate given how great it was coming together from virtually every angle. 

In platform limited release the coming-of-age summer film The Way Way Back (with a great cast that features Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and more) won the biggest numbers of the weekend which bodes well for its future. The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about backup singers to famous rock stars, continues to pull in big numbers on track to becoming the biggest doc hit of the year. Will an Oscar nomination follow? Oscar does like movies about the difficulties of showbiz. Oscar relates even if he's the biggest and sturdiest star of all.