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Johnny depp


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales New Trailer

Mar 03
// Rick Lash
As we've expressed here on Flixist before, there's just something about the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that is fun and makes you eager to see another--wait, not like, 'Oh boy I can't wait for them to make another POTC...
Pirates 5 photo
Pirates 5

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Super Bowl spot tells some tales

Not a dead series though
Feb 05
// Nick Valdez
I'm not sure who asked for another Pirates film, but I'm kind of glad they did? For some reason, it might be the Johnny Cash song in the trailer, but this Super Bowl spot really works for me.  I mean, until Orlando Bloom pops up anyway. No need to remind me he used to be in these movies.   Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens May 26th. 
Depp as Trump photo
This is a yuge, luxurious parody
This is a pleasant surprise. Funny or Die just dropped The Art of the Deal: The Movie, a 50-minute mockumentary that lampoons Donald Trump's general douchebaggery. Starring Johnny Depp as The Donald, the parody also features ...

Alice photo
So many digital eyes
Alice in Wonderland was definitely something. It was so something that had a lot of CGI and weirdness going on, and it was evidently something that made some money for Disney. We heard that a sequel was coming a bit ago ...

Black Mass Trailer photo
Black Mass Trailer

First trailer for Black Mass starring Johnny Depp

Apr 24
// Nick Valdez
While Johnny Depp hasn't lost his taste for dressing up in weird outfits, it looks like he's finally using his powers for good again. Black Mass, based on the exploits of Whitey Bulger, a gangster who became an FBI informant ...

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 title and synopsis revealed

Jack Sparrow is dragged back into yet another adventure
Feb 18
// Per Morten Mjolkeraaen
It's difficult to really care about news surrounding the production of yet another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but nonetheless, Disney has now revealed the official title and synopsis of Captain Jack Sparrow's next drunke...

Review: Into the Woods

Dec 28 // Nick Valdez
[embed]218767:42088:0[/embed] Into the WoodsDirector: Rob MarshallRelease Date: December 25th, 2014 Rating: PG Based of the Stephen Sondheim stage musical, Into the Woods is five different fairy tales weaved together into one plot. Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) wants to go to a festival but is afraid of Prince Charming (Chris Pine), Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) trades some magic beans for his cow and ends up stealing from a giant, Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) wants to visit her grandma but gets stopped by the Wolf (Johnny Depp), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) is stuck in a tower, and a poor Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) can't have a child until they gather important items from these stories for the Witch (Meryl Streep) who's put a curse on their house.  Director Rob Marshall once directed one my favorite musical adaptations, Chicago. But while that film kept some of the bombastic nature of the original stage version, it was toned down in most areas out of a self-inflicted need to keep the film grounded. When that film broke out one of its numbers, it was relegated to a dream sequence far and away from the "real" world. While I've never seen the Into the Woods stage play myself (and thus this is one of the few times I have no experience with a musical before it gets adapted), I was once again worried that these woven fairy tales would lose their mysticism and be grounded in some way. I was way off the mark there. Finally exploiting the inherent wackiness of every musical, Woods is a big, showy representation of what musicals can really do. While the lack of unsung dialogue (until the final third of the film) may throw a few people off as there are no clear starts and stops, it's impossible not to get swept up in the fun.  And there's so much fun to be had from Woods. While the staging itself is a bit small (instead of coming off as intimate, it's stifling when each of these bombastic musical numbers occurs within such a confined area), the cast uses the area given well. Sure it's weird to see so many of these characters cross paths often when the woods is shown as this big place, and it's a little hokey when you recognize certain areas, but that might be more attributed to the original version. A good example of marriage between good staging and cast is when Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen perform "Agony." As the two notably attractive Princes cavort and contort around a waterfall, it's a wonderfully self aware, boy band type of performance. It's goofy, wet, and they tear their shirts open for no reason. It's fantastic. There's plenty of that self aware goofiness here and it works for the kind of fantastical tale Woods tells.  As for the cast itself, every person holds their own with Lilla Crawford and Meryl Streep stealing the show. And in terms of arrangement, every song sounds good and there is nary a faulty note to be found. Although the flowing format of the film means I can't tell you about a specific song (as it's hard to gauge the title when so many songs start and stop over each other), it at least sounds nice. But notably, the songs get away with so much adult content. Johnny Depp gets a neat turn (an extended cameo, really) as a predatory wolf who exploits the inherent sexuality in the Red Riding Hood fairytale. But in most cases, I wished the film would've gone further. In the story there are multiple deaths, inappropriate sexual advances, and violent acts hidden within the songs, but it seems there was a bit of holding back. And this held back feeling clashes with the festival vibe the rest of the film gives off.  If there's one major problem with Into the Woods, it's that while it doesn't care what you think, it really should care a little bit. With no clear stopping points, the film hits a bit of a lull at several occasions. It's not impossible to glaze over certain events, and we'd have a much stronger film had it considered a tighter edit here or there. It's especially noticeable during the third act when you realize the characters have little nuance.  But in the end, Into the Woods is a celebration of musicals themselves. An adaptation that reminds you of the kind of fun you can only get from seeing attractive people sing beautifully. Sometimes, that's all you really need. 
Into the Woods Review photo
I'd visit these woods again
For a Disney adaptation of a popular musical, Into the Woods has flown surprisingly under the radar. Coming out of practically nowhere, and with all of the early advertising hiding the fact that it is a musical, you'd think D...

Mortdecai Trailer photo
Mortdecai Trailer

Trailer for Mortdecai features another "wacky" Johnny Depp

Nov 12
// Nick Valdez
Johnny Depp may have a long career of play cartoony weirdos, but it seems like these days he can't accept a job unless a role is draped in more oddness than you could shake a stick at. The latest cartoon he's involved in is ...
Into the Woods photo
Into the Woods

Newest Into the Woods trailer finally reveals it's a musical

Nov 10
// Nick Valdez
It's not like Disney has been hiding the fact their latest big budget project, Into the Woods, is based off Stephen Sondheim's musical, but they're not shouting it from the rooftops either. With the first couple of trailers ...
Image from Yoga Hosers photo
Image from Yoga Hosers

First image from Kevin Smith's Yoga Hosers debuts

Convenience store girls fight evil with sun salutations.
Nov 06
// Megan Porch
The first promotional image for Kevin Smith's next project, Yoga Hosers, has been released, and if you've seen Tusk, it features some familiar faces. The store clerks from Eh-2-Zed are back and look as apathetic as ever, tho...
Into the Woods photo
Into the Woods

First look at furry Johnny Depp in Into the Woods

Oct 23
// Nick Valdez
As Into the Woods continues to look fantastic with a musical trailer, great outfits, and a bewitching Meryl Streep, here's the first thing that gives me pause. Basically any film that gives Johnny Depp free reign to act like ...

See Transcendence early and free

Washington DC and Baltimore screenings
Apr 14
// Matthew Razak
Johnny Depp as a computer mind should be pretty interesting, right? I'm thinking so. While the concept behind Transcendence isn't crazy original its execution sounds like it will be. I'm very interested in it, especially...

New trailer: Transcendence

Transcendence: the dark sequel to 'Her'
Feb 12
// Isabelle Magliari
Omniscient, sentient operating systems-- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em! I mean, what's a researcher to do when the internet houses the malevolent spirit of her dead husband's fractured psyche? Sounds like a sit...
Transcendence Trailer photo
Transcendence Trailer

First trailer for Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp

Dec 23
// Nick Valdez
When I posted the teasers a few days ago, I wondered why Transcendence hadn't been on my radar until then. It promised a neat film about a man who bonds with a super intelligence and goes all Skynet on everyone. But with the...
Transcendence Teasers photo
Transcendence Teasers

Two teasers for Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp

Dec 20
// Nick Valdez
I have no idea why Transcendence (starring Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman) hasn't been on my radar until now. The film sounds perfect for me. It's a science fiction thriller in which Dr. Caster (Johnny Depp) attempts to buil...

Alice in Wonderland 2 set for 2016

More like Alice in BLUNDERland, right guys? Right?
Nov 25
// Mike Cosimano
If you managed to avoid the awful first installment, you might be tempted to see Alice in Wonderland 2: Revenge of the Fallen when it comes out in theaters on May 27th, 2016. You might see that it is currently being directed ...

Disney's Into the Woods reveals its stellar cast

Sep 17
// Matthew Razak
Disney's Into the Woods is shaping up to be completely and totally awesome as we now get word that the cast for the live-action musical is indeed completely and totally awesome. You ready for this list of A-list celebs, ...
Pirates 5 title photo
Pirates 5 title

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 gets an official title

Featuring Johnny Depp in Pirateface
Aug 23
// Nick Valdez
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise sure has had its ups and downs (more downs recently), but regardless of how we all may feel, it's going to keep on chugging. The fifth film in the franchise has been in production for aw...

Depp & Bruckheimer blame critics for Lone Ranger flopping

I think this is a mix of the first and second stages of grief
Aug 06
// Hubert Vigilla
The Lone Ranger is a box office flop that will lose Disney a lot of money. According to Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the reason the movie flopped wasn't its tonal shifts, poor screenplay, problematic depictions...

Johnny Depp hints at retirement from acting

Jul 30
// Hubert Vigilla
With Johnny Depp now 50 years old, there's been talk about him possibly retiring. Depp suggested an impending retirement when interviewed by Rolling Stone back in June. He told the magazine, "I can't say that I'd want to be d...

The Battle For A More Conscientious Tonto

Jul 05 // Liz Rugg
2013's The Lone Ranger marks the first time in history that an actor playing Tonto has received first billing. It's also the first time the character has been fleshed out in any sort of sense. In The Lone Ranger, we see an Indian who from an authenticity standpoint is initially infuriating. He is described as Comanche but looks and acts completely on his own, not adhering to actual Comanche practices and dress. For instance, the raven Tonto wears on his head is not a real practice of the Comanche people or any historical Native American group for that matter. The idea of the raven hat began, according to Depp, with a painting by artist Kirby Sattler which features a Native American man with a raven directly behind his head and the same facepaint as Depp wears as Tonto in the movie. The character in the painting is fictional and so is Depp's Tonto. However, the movie works very diligently to create a detailed back story for Tonto, explaining him and really creating a singular mythology of his own. Note: spoilers ahead! It is eventually revealed that Tonto is actually an orphan -- his family band was murdered by white men after the young Tonto showed the men where a large silver mine was located near their camp. When this back story is explained to Reid, the Comanche leader telling him the story explicitly says that Tonto is an outsider, has probably lost his mind due to this past traumatic event, and that some of the spiritual jargon that Tonto has been telling Reid is made up. This puts Depp's Tonto in an interesting place. Depp's Tonto is inauthentic, period. But the movie frames his character in a way where it acknowledges that he is inauthentic and gives a relatively reasonable explanation for it, making it all somehow acceptable -- swallowable?  -- that Tonto would act the way he does and have his own unique character traits, such as mimicking feeding his raven hat over and over again. The rest of the Native Americans portrayed in The Lone Ranger are more like the depictions of Native people we're used to seeing from Hollywood. They are one-dimensional side characters and are on the screen about as much as the Black house workers or the Asian silver miners. Despite having a brief moment where the Comanche leader and his gang break out into laughter at Reid's character, a rare humanizing moment, the Comanche people are depicted as a solemn, noble and doomed group of Indians who are eventually slaughtered by the misguided United States Army. The particular battle scene between the Comanche and the army is also treated very typically; the Comanche group drives its attack down a hill headfirst towards a single firing line and machine gun, even though they snuck up on the army and had the upper ground, and in reality the Comanche were extremely adept at warfare. This sort of easy, abbreviated and recognizable depiction of Native Americans is what we usually see from Hollywood throughout film history, and at large, the Comanche people in The Lone Ranger are really not breaking out of that. However, in Tonto we have Verbinski's attempt at a breath of fresh air. Even though Depp's Tonto is recognized as acting on his own and not trying to fit within a particular real Native American tradition, this does not make it un-critiqueable. Some people may have a problem with the idea of Johnny Depp, a man of no real Native American ancestry playing a character that is supposed to be Native American, but unfortunately this sort of ethnic role playing happens all the time in the film industry. This issue goes back to the early era of filmmaking, where, for example, D.W. Griffith cast a squinting white actor as "the Yellow Man" in the 1919 film Broken Blossoms. More recently, Memoirs of a Geisha caused a controversy because it employed actresses that were Chinese to play roles that expressed traditional Japanese life. Both actresses Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi were called traitors by both Chinese and Japanese people, and the film itself came under fire for being insensitive. Critically though, the film was very well-received and both Li and Ziyi's performances were praised. This sort of ethnic fudging does not necessarily ruin a movie, and from an acting standpoint ideally a movie should have the actors best suited for a role in every sense, but what makes The Lone Ranger problematic is that it becomes another movie made by people outside of a cultural group about a cultural group. Depp's Tonto may have a plot that allows some excusability, and his character may be a slight step forward in terms of a well-rounded Native American character in a Hollywood action flick, but The Lone Ranger is yet another movie with a colonial viewpoint. It's another flashy movie made for American popular culture with a colonial gaze on the Native American and on our shared history.  And ultimately, that's my problem with The Lone Ranger's depiction of Tonto and of Native Americans. In Tonto, Depp was able to craft the kind of superficial shaman-like character he seems like he's always wanted to play, but his character isn't solving any issues facing the treatment and representation of Native Americans in Hollywood. In fact, in many ways it reinforces them. Depp's Tonto may be well-intentioned, but it fails to portray Native Americans as anything more than a vanishing people infused with magical properties, endlessly romanticized and fictionalized by those who consistently undermine them. But, you know, at least they gave him screen time. [For more on Native Americans in film, I recommend the documentary Reel Injun by filmmaker Neil Diamond, as well as following the writings of Ojibway film critic Jesse Wente.]
Is Tonto still offensive? photo
An analysis of the characterization of Tonto in The Lone Ranger
The portrayal of Native Americans in film has been problematic for a long time. Going back as far as John Ford's 1939 western Stagecoach, the Native American has been stereotyped, truncated and even vilified by traditional Ho...

The Lone Ranger Trailer photo
The Lone Ranger Trailer

Trailer: The Lone Ranger

Apr 17
// Nick Valdez
The final trailer paints The Lone Ranger as Pirates of the Caribbean (given all the Bruckheimer vibe) with a Jonah Hex skin. It's got the Ranger's origin story and how he meets Tonto (as a man who has been to the other ...

New character posters for The Lone Ranger

The Winklevoss twins gained some stubble!
Apr 08
// Logan Otremba
Today Walt Disney Pictures has released new character posters for their upcoming film, The Lone Ranger. The posters feature Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto. We get to see a very up close and personal ...

Trailer: The Lone Ranger (Japanese)

"Lone Rangea"
Mar 14
// Nick Valdez
This new trailer for Disney's The Lone Ranger (starring Armie "Arm & Hammer" Hammer and Johnny "I'm always Jack Sparrow" Depp) may be turning Japanese-a, but it still has a bit of English dialogue and quite a l...

Super Bowl TV spot for The Lone Ranger

It could be worse, kemo sabe
Feb 04
// Hubert Vigilla
Now if memory serves, this TV spot for The Lone Ranger marked the transition from normal commercials to Super Bowl commercials. It was a long spot, essentially a trailer for people watching on TV, and you know what? It doesn...

List of film propaganda broadcasting during Super Bowl

World speechless in awe of the Hollywood machine's restless rhetoric.
Jan 30
// Nathan Hardisty
This Sunday, February 3rd, there will be many balls kicked in America's annual celebration of the Wounded Knee Massacre; the glorious Super Bowl. Paramount, Universal and Disney have all announced their plans to broadcas...

Terry Gilliam comments on Johnny Depp's Don Quixote

"We're going to have to sort this one out"
Dec 11
// Hubert Vigilla
Last week we reported that Johnny Depp is working on a Don Quixote film for Disney. Depp had been attached to Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote years ago. Both Hey U Guys and Red Carpet News TV had a chance to i...

Trailer: The Lone Ranger

Dec 11 // Hubert Vigilla
Newest trailer for Gore Verbinski's expensive western epic starring Johnny Depp
A new trailer has just come out for The Lone Ranger, Gore Verbinski's big-budget action-western starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, and Helena Bonham Carter. While I don't think it's as good as the first trail...


Johnny Depp working on a Don Quixote film at Disney

Dec 05
// Hubert Vigilla
Johnny Depp has apparently started work with Disney on a modern retelling of Don Quixote, that wonderfully cursed picaresque novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The screenplay for the untitled project is being written by Steve Pink...

Trailer: The Lone Ranger

Oct 03
// Nick Valdez
From the looks of this trailer and the gorgeous scenery images from the other day, if The Lone Ranger is terrible because it features another (so far) weird Johnny Depp accent (still mad that he's playing a Native American re...

New Lone Ranger images of Depp and Hammer look dusty

Oct 01
// Nick Valdez
While I'm not a hugest fan of The Lone Ranger and the thought of Johnny Depp playing Tonto upsets me, I have to concede that these seven new images from the film (releasing whenever the hell it bloody feels like) make the set...

Johnny Depp will be in Wes Anderson's next film

Jul 17
// Hubert Vigilla
Wes Anderson's next movie is The Grand Budapest Hotel, a European story that draws on Anderson's own experiences in France. Not only does the film reteam Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, it brings a new face into Anderson's stab...

Lone Ranger production in heap trouble, kemo sabe

Jun 14
// Hubert Vigilla
You may recall that The Lone Ranger was put on hold a while back in order to scale down the $250 million budget. They cut it to a meager indie movie budget of $215 million, supposedly by nixing the werewolves or supernatural ...

Depp and Hammer in Lone Ranger garb meet Navajo leaders

Apr 18
// Liz Rugg
Johnny Depp has gone on record saying that with this remake of The Lone Ranger, he wants to “take some of the ugliness thrown on the Native Americans, not only in The Lone Ranger, but the way Indians were treated throug...

Meet the family with character posters for Dark Shadows

Mar 21
// Liz Rugg
When most of us here at Flixist saw the set photos for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, we were unsure about this project. Burton's got such a signature style now, which sometimes falls flat, so a lot of people were hesitant to get...

Trailer: Dark Shadows

Mar 16
// Jamie R Stone
So, for better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or for poorer, come hell or high water, here is the Dark Shadows trailer... and it's actually not nearly as bad I as I had feared. As we all feared. When I had first po...

Lone Ranger movie in development hell heap long time, until Jerry Bruckheimer save it and recruit Johnny Depp play Tonto, Native American assistant. Now say 'how!' to first look Depp and Armie Hammer as Ranger, posted on Bruc...


Johnny Depp options West Memphis Three memoir

Feb 08
// Hubert Vigilla
There are currently two high-profile documentaries chronicling the West Memphis Three case: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost trilogy and the Peter Jackson-produced West of Memphis. Now it appears there will be...

10 other writers Johnny Depp could play in films

Nov 03 // Hubert Vigilla
Harlan Ellison One of my favorite intellects and curmudgeons since first reading him in college, Harlan Ellison has had a long and enviable life. Not only has he written enduring stories, teleplays, and non-fiction, he also marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., drove a dynamite truck, almost got into a fist fight with Frank Sinatra, sued the hell out of everyone, and has jammed hundreds of women. The 2008 documentary Dreams With Sharp Teeth (also the name of an omnibus edition of some of his work) only scratched the surface of an incredible existence. I mean, come on, the man lives in an eccentrically designed place full of hidden corridors, knick knacks, and bric-a-brac rightfully called the Lost Aztec Temple of Mars. Norman Mailer One of the wild men of American letters in the 20th century, Norman Mailer hit it big at 25 with The Naked and the Dead, based on his WWII experienced in the Philippines. He’d also co-founded The Village Voice and spearheaded new journalism with luminaries like Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe (both of whom would also make interesting subjects for films). Mailer was a hot head, attention seeker, and boxing enthusiast who headbutted Gore Vidal and married seven different women, one of the seven he stabbed. And while making one of his experimental films, he almost got killed by a coked-out, hammer-wielding Rip Torn on camera. Mark Twain Not just an author, Mark Twain was also a steamboat pilot, gold prospector, world traveler, journalist, inventor, and unsuccessful venture capitalist. When not pissing on James Fenimore Cooper or Jane Austen, Twain could be found associating with Booker T. Washington, Helen Keller, and Nikola Tesla. If that’s not material enough, filmmakers can draw on Michael Kupperman’s fictional autobiography of Mark Twain, in which Twain fakes his own death and romps through 1910 to 2010, going on adventures with Albert Einstein, assaulting J. D. Salinger, and doing a porno movie in the 1970s. Roald Dahl While a beloved writer of children’s literature, there are accounts of Roald Dahl’s life that are less than savory. His self-assessments in books like Boy and Going Solo paint a picture of a good kid and young man, but anecdotes have circulated about Dahl’s racism, anti-Semitism, and egocentrism. On top of all that, he wasn’t the best husband to Patricia Neal either. Some accounts also suggest we should credit Dahl’s editors more than Dahl himself for the children’s books we know today. While it’s unlikely to be made, a conflicted, nuanced portrait of Dahl with all his flaws would make for a great character study. Walt Whitman Walt Whitman is easily one of America’s finest poets. (Ditto Emily Dickonson, though I don’t know if Depp would go for drag. Well, actually, there was Before Night Falls...) Whitman’s stunning enumerations of American life gave a sense of the country and its people as something dynamic and alive. Whitman’s vagabond ways and possible bisexuality or homosexuality would be interesting to depict given the time he lived in. If anything, a film about Whitman would allow for exploration of other transcendentalists, such as Dickonson, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Perhaps Depp could play all these literary figures, kind of like how Bugs Bunny plays baseball. H. P. Lovecraft H. P. Lovecraft’s fiction has been immortalized in film and literature by many others, but the writer is more mythos than man. There are different routes to go with a film on Lovecraft. A realistic portrait of the pulp writer living in poverty and corresponding with fellow authors would be okay, but a film of pure pulp excitement would probably be more satisfying. It’d be like the Lovecraft segments in 1993’s Necronomican: Book of the Dead mixed with Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka. Lovecraft looks for magick tomes, hangs out at orgies with Aleister Crowley, and kills demonic seafood with barbarian pen pal Robert E. Howard. Henry Miller Just focusing on his years in Paris, Henry Miller was involved in a lot of sexual misadventures with his wife June as well as Anaïs Nin -- much of it, though sensational (in more ways than one), was also sensationalized. The man was also a great wanderer of the streets and observer of the sordid corners of life. It’d be interesting to see the bohemian Paris of the 1930s revisited. Philip Kaufman did it before with the racy Henry & June, but we tourists want to see more the second time around. This second trip could draw together Miller’s own writings, Nin’s diaries, and Brassaï’s Henry Miller: The Paris Years for a more complete portrait of the man as well as the myth. Herman Melville Even though Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick, one of the best things in the English language, his reputation during his life was that of a failure. His first books -- solid maritime adventures -- were commercial successes, but Moby Dick marked a string of endless flops and critical lambasting. (Gist of many reviews: “That Melville guy -- dude’s f*cking crazy now. What the hell?”) But Melville was fueled by a great sense of inspiration, the fires stoked by his correspondence with and deep admiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne (who is better when you read him outside of high school). Melville’s life is a portrait of the artist as a starving, misunderstood madman -- the best kind of person, the essential struggling writer. Arthur Conan Doyle Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for creating Sherlock Holmes, though he apparently resented writing the character so much that he killed him off at Reichenbach Falls only to bring him back because readers demanded it. While the creation and writing of Holmes is fascinating, what interests me more is Doyle’s belief in the supernatural and his relationship with escape artist Harry Houdini. Houdini, of course, was a skeptic and debunker of spiritualists, which led to the dissolution of their friendship. This break down would be great to see on screen, especially since there are conspiracy theories that a bitter Doyle helped orchestrate Houdini’s untimely death. William S. Burroughs One of the most famous Beats, Burroughs did work that was distinctly different from Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Rather than going the fantastic route of David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Naked Lunch, a straightforward narrative about Burroughs would be welcome since his life is interesting as is. Whether covering the death of his wife, his relationship with Ginsberg, the obscenity trials for Naked Lunch, his heroin addiction, those sordid years in Tangier and Paris, or his golden years in Kansas where he made art with shotguns, Burroughs is a figure who’s odd enough to be interesting at any phase of life. Again, this is just a partial list and by no means complete. People like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, and others would be great choices as well. I’d also be interested in seeing him as John Cheever or Richard Yates given the great biographies by Blake Bailey. There’s also a lot of potential for playing part of a duo, like Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer, Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, or, heck, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby. And really, that’s just English-language literature. There’s so much else to explore in other countries. I mean, if Paul Muni could play Emile Zola, perhaps Depp could take a turn at Søren Kierkegaard or Charles Baudelaire. (So long as he doesn’t play Haruki Murakami, I think we’re okay -- he can always play one of Murakami’s translators, though.) Whether or not any of the above actually happens, who knows, but those lives above were worth living and their works worth reading, and because of this, perhaps the stories of those lives are worth depicting on film.

So Johnny Depp’s turn as a fictionalized Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary isn’t doing gangbusters at the box office. No doubt everyone really wanted to see adaptations of superior Thompson books, like Hell&rsqu...

Review: The Rum Diary

Oct 28 // Matthew Razak
[embed]205396:37321[/embed] The Rum DiaryDirector: Bruce RobinsonRating: RRelease Date: October 28, 2011 I'll be honest here and say that I haven't actually read The Rum Diary so if you're looking for a review that talks about how well the film was adapted you'll have to head elsewhere. I can, however, tell you the story of the movie. In the 1950s, reporter Hunter S. Thompson Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) finds his way to Puerto Rico where he grabs a job at a failing newspaper and becomes embroiled in a land grab scheme run by the smarmy Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). This is the driving part of the film's plot and what triggers the inevitable message of the film ("the man" is evil), but it's far from the actually interesting part of the movie. That stems from the interactions between Kemp and his fellow reporters Sala (Michael Rispoli) and Moburg (Giovanni Ribisi), which involve drunken nights, listening to recordings of Hitler, heavy drug use, cock fighting and an attempt to publish their own newspaper. Mostly it's these side stories from the film that are the most interesting as the main plot, along with a romance between Kemp and Sanderson's girlfriend Chenault (Amber Heard), fall to the wayside. Of course, isn't that always the way with a Thompson story? The small parts are what you remember most. The Rum Diary is, in fact, a bunch of parts that never really seems to come together as a whole. Maybe that's an issue with adapting a novel as complex as a Hunter S. Thompson novel can be, or maybe it's just poor filmmaking, but the fantastic parts of the movie never come together to make a fantastic whole. Instead the film feels almost like a series of vignettes, some that work incredibly well and others that fall flat on their face while attempting humor or drama. It's strange to veer so far in quality from one scene to the next, but on the whole, nothing ever gels in the film. The scenes that do work, work really well though. These scenes usually involve Kemp and Sala attempting to escape from the law, drinking heavily or doing drugs. They're mostly the scenes that don't advance the plot, but do make you enjoy the film. One in particular involving the two of them attempting to drive Sala's car back home after the front seat has been removed is without a doubt one of the funniest scenes I have seen all year thanks to how wonderfully put together it is and how fantastically dead pan Depp plays it. There are simply some fantastic comic vignettes in the movie, but they're sandwiched in between a plot that never seems to get going and other comedy that doesn't work. The cast feels a bit disjointed as well. Depp is, of course, absolutely fantastic as Kemp, channeling Thompson perfectly, and Rispoli plays off him wonderfully. It's easy to see Ribisi getting a supporting actor nod for his always drunk yet somehow complex portrayal of Moburg as well. Every time the three of them are on screen together in some combination the film lights up and sucks you in. Eckhart on the other hand does his best to create a character, but is so limited in screen time that it's damn near impossible for him to develop Sanderson beyond the snark and evil that his best smirk and playboy good looks deliver. Worst of all is how out of her league Heard seems to be, especially going up against Depp's fantastic Kemp. Almost everything she does fails to match up with the intensity of Depp's performance and it makes their relationship the least interesting part of the film when it should be one of the driving aspects. It's a little strange to walk out of a film having truly enjoyed multiple aspects of it, but not having really enjoyed the film as a whole. It's like watching an episode of Saturday Night Live and and laughing at the Digital Short and a few other sketches, but unable to call the whole episode good. What's very clear from The Rum Diaries is that Depp and Thompson are a fantastic duo (both in real life when Thompson was alive and with Depp portraying his characters), but hopefully the next Thomphson adaption can live up to the stature of that team a bit better.

Johnny Depp. Hunter S. Thompson. Drugs. Drink. Comedy. You're probably already sold on The Rum Diary. It's got Academy Awards written all over it and if you're not a fan of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you're probably a co...

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