Javier Bardem in Pirates of the Caribbean 5

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Can This Franchise Die Now?

Back when Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl came out, it was kind of crazy how much fun a movie based on a cheesy theme park ride at Disney World was. And while we can debate the merits of Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, they created a decent action-adventure trilogy. Then came On Stranger Tides, a bloated garbage fire of a movie sans two of Pirates‘ three main stars and all of the magic of the first three films. If it weren’t for foreign box offices, Disney wouldn’t have broken even on that crap. Which made the idea of Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment, seem like a not-so-great idea. But, of course, money. Having seen Dead Men Tell No Tales, I can say confidently that Pirates needs to go away for good. Continue reading “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Can This Franchise Die Now?”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Is Your Latest Magical Escapism

After the Harry Potter franchise ended, Warner Bros started looking for its next big cash-cow. Well, it seems as though they’ve found it. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them—based on a textbook Harry Potter read at Hogwarts that author J.K. Rowling later turned into a book under the character pseudonym Newt Scamander—is already lined up be a trilogy. Though Rowling recently announced there will be five movies. FIVE. That’s goddamn bold for a prequel series. Continue reading “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Is Your Latest Magical Escapism”

Mia Wasikowska in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Alice Through the Looking Glass Is a Waste of Time

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, which came out back in 2010, was a bit of a gamble. It was the studio’s first live-action retelling of one of their classic animated films. It was mostly CGI, which is ungodly expensive. And it starred a relatively unknown actress at the time (Mia Wasikowska) in its titular role alongside a well-known character actor who was starting to face backlash for his oversaturation (Johnny Depp). But it was a HUGE success, crossing the $1 billion mark, which helped greenlight the live-action retellings we’re seeing now: Maleficent, CinderellaThe Jungle BookBeauty and the Beast. Continue reading “Alice Through the Looking Glass Is a Waste of Time”

Black Mass starring Johnny Depp as James "Whitey" Bulger

Black Mass: Johnny Depp Finally Drops the Act and Picks Up Acting (Again)

In 1975, James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) works with his childhood friend and FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) to take down the Italian mafia in Boston. But while the FBI celebrates their win, Bulger uses his relationship with Connolly to strengthen his crime lord status in Boston and along the East Coast. Continue reading “Black Mass: Johnny Depp Finally Drops the Act and Picks Up Acting (Again)”

Into the Woods Movie 2014

Into the Woods: A Fun Ride with a Serious Message and Good Music

In a village just outside the woods, the Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) make a deal with the Witch (Meryl Streep) to remove a family curse so they can finally have a child. But they must find a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold, which leads them into the woods. There, they meet Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), and Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), all of whom have wishes of their own. Continue reading “Into the Woods: A Fun Ride with a Serious Message and Good Music”

johnny depp in transcendence

Transcendence Only Plays at Science and Philosophy

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall), are at the forefront of artificial intelligence science. After Will is shot by a member of anti-AI group RIFT, Evelyn and long-time friend Dr. Max Waters (Paul Bettany) upload Will’s consciousness into a computer. Evelyn is relieved to get her husband back, but Max worries Will has too much power. Continue reading “Transcendence Only Plays at Science and Philosophy”

Disney's The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger: A Good Movie Under a Bad Mask

I think I cursed Gore Verbinski. In my World War Z review, I said going over-budget is a bad omen for a film. I also said that the only directors who can go over-budget and still turn a profit were Michael Bay (Transformers franchise) and Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise). Well, it looks like Verbinski’s luck just ran out. Now, we just have to hope that curse finds its way to Michael Bay so we won’t have three more Transformers. Continue reading “The Lone Ranger: A Good Movie Under a Bad Mask”