Tag Archives: Johnny Depp

Donnie Brasco Review

Mobsters and undercover sting operations are no stranger to the movies, nor to the filmography of Al Pacino. But Donnie Brasco immediately feels a little different to its contemporaries. Mike Newell of Four Weddings and a Funeral directing fame seems almost short-tempered with the genre at hand. He marks Johnny Depp and Pacino, the two leads throughout this crime-oriented feature, with a satisfying wave of the hand that gives the pair a free rein to explore eponymous lead Brasco (Depp) and Benjamin Ruggiero (Pacino). The old hand of the latter man guiding what was at the time a new generation of potential mobster leads. It is not the faith presented by Pacino but the confidence of Depp to take on this new genre that strikes most entertainingly of all with Donnie Brasco.

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Jack and Jill Review

Lower rungs of comedy are discovered day by day. Jack and Jill, thanks to the benefits of hindsight and the staggering late-game dramatic entries of Adam Sandler, have made Jack and Jill look like an ill-timed cult classic tailor-made to mock not just the product, but the many more placed within it. Coca Cola, Pepto-Bismol and Dunkin’ Donuts are littered throughout and the implication is not just obvious, but woven into the plot with horribly shoddy results. It is not enough for Jack and Jill to have those behind it, not at all. Sandler must push forward adapting little to the post-glory days of his early works and instead revels in this brutal and fascinating piece.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Review

Here we are then, the worst film ever crafted. From the daft and weird mind of Tim Burton and the collaborative efforts of industrialisation commentary and working-class woes. But it worked better when it wasn’t so aggravating or sickly to look at. Acknowledging the insanity of a man that owns a chocolate factory that employs squirrels is the only positive step taken by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a film that fails to provide much use in its adaptation of a Roald Dahl classic. Still, no film with Noah Taylor can be truly bad, right? There are exceptions to the rule. Sadly, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of them.  

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The Rum Diary Review

Honourable the intent of Johnny Depp may be, his decision to continue adapting the written word of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson has been a reductive and testing period for his career. His work on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas combined a strong performance and a blessing from the writer, along with Terry Gilliam behind the camera. Dragging Bruce Robinson of Withnail and I into the directing chair for the first time in almost twenty years is a bold and ambitious move. Thompson would have approved of such a wild and crazed decision, but not of this feature that sees his early novel, The Rum Diary, adapted for the big screen. Paul Kemp’s rum-soaked journey through journalism was not set to see the light of day. Not in this state.

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Alice in Wonderland Review

What we as audience members and movie lovers must remember is that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Not really, anyway. Adapting Alice in Wonderland to the live-action arena, for instance, is not a bad idea. Animation provided Disney with some magnificent visuals and a thoroughly well-defined feature that brought the characters written by Lewis Carroll to life with faithful effectiveness. What we as audience members and movie lovers must also remember is that, if there is even a little crux of whimsy found in a feature film, then Tim Burton would, probably, love to adapt it and slather his strange shtick all over it. Hence, Alice in Wonderland, of course starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. 

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Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride Review

Anyone who has had the displeasure of reading my work or speaking to me in person should know by now about my love for the work of Hunter S. Thompson. The man was a defining figure of journalism, a talented writer ruined by an image he created. A decade where the man was on top, a verbal menace and talented fly-on-the-wall who profiled the Hell’s Angels, and then shot himself to notoriety with his unique, Gonzo style. Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride is the first of many Thompson documentaries to release after his passing in 2005, and it feels like one of the few to give a rounded account of his life and his work. 

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A Nightmare on Elm Street Review

For a man that fights his way into people’s dreams to kill them whilst they sleep, Freddy Krueger isn’t that imposing of a monster. His Dennis the Menace jumper, tatty 50s detective fedora and burns that make my close encounter with hot water in January look like child’s play, they all come together to make an iconic Halloween costume. Something you can slap together rather quickly, by all accounts that’s how the later films in the series apparently feel. But, as horrific as those seem to be, the film that started it all, A Nightmare on Elm Street is still as terrifying as I expect it was upon its initial release.

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Edward Scissorhands Review

Infantile as it may be, I really can’t stand the pairing of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. I find Depp’s performances in these instances obnoxious and immune to interest, whilst Burton’s direction is something I’ve never found myself gelling with outside of 1994s Ed Wood. Their distortion of conventional filmmaking is acceptable, but not wholly interesting to me, especially when they churn out such similar feeling films over and over, without much difference between the gothic horrors Burton prides himself on. Still, Edward Scissorhands does at least try something interesting, where it blends these aforementioned gothic notions with a criticism on idyllic suburbia. At least, it would’ve done if it weren’t so boring, and had the message not been fumbled this could have been truly spectacular.  

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Ed Wood (1994) Review

Who would’ve thought I could actually bear to sit through another Tim Burton and Johnny Depp pairing? I’m no fan of either, and the two of them have very few defining moments that I would really be able to enjoy more than once. With Burton, his directing work with Beetlejuice and the short film, Vincent, come to mind. With Depp, I have a conserved love for his performance in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Now, I find myself at a point where I can do nothing but heap praise onto them both for their tireless efforts in Ed Wood.

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The Rum Diary (2011) Review

The Rum Diary is absolute eye candy for those of us that believed we wanted more Johnny Depp and Hunter S. Thompson collaborations. Taking apart one of the authors lesser known works and adapting it for the big screen is surely a risky decision to make, right? Still, who cares, I went into The Rum Diary hoping for another fix of the lovably drunk, scarily drugged up writer. Seeing what he gets up to in the 1960s of Cuba should have been a lot of fun, but instead we’re left dragging ourselves through a truly redundant movie.  

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