Murder on the Orient Express (***1/2) – It’s never about whodonit

Murder on the Orient Express - 2017 Director Kenneth Branagh Screenplay Michael Green based on the novel by Agatha Christie Starring Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman "Lies – and again lies. It amazes me, the amount of lies we had told to us this morning." (said Bouc) "There are … Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express (***1/2) – It’s never about whodonit

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (***1/2), but the movies never stop

There will be no preaching about this film one way or the other. I can tell you that as the series goes, this is one of the better efforts, if for no other reason the youngsters are different than in films 2 and 3. Why that matters is of personal taste. I just liked seeing the wheel turn to a new generation there as we view the constants of Sparrow and Barbosa in the center. 

Black Mass (**) is not moving

Someone messes up, they go for a car ride, they get whacked. Someone gets arrested, they talk (or don't) they go for a car ride...you know.

22 Jump Street: Does Blanche do heroin?

22 Jump Street - 2014 Directors Lord and Miller Starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stromare, Ice Cube, Amber Stevenson, Jillian Bell, Wyatt Russell Screenplay Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman Conventional wisdom tells us the story about most sequels, and it tells even more about those who review sequels.  Many sequels are made on some sort of auto … Continue reading 22 Jump Street: Does Blanche do heroin?

The Lone Ranger: Waiting for Depp to fail.

The Lone Ranger - 2013 Director Gore Verbinski Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Helena Bonham Carter Screenplay Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio The Lone Ranger was pretty much announced DOA when it was released in July 2013.  Why is pretty much tea leaf readings based on production difficulties, a general distaste for Jerry Bruckheimer and … Continue reading The Lone Ranger: Waiting for Depp to fail.

Dark Shadows: Tim Burton is strange, but still knows how to cash in

Dark Shadows - 2012 Director Tim Burton Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Johnny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath, Alice Cooper, Christopher Lee Screenplay Seth Grahame-Smith based on the TV show by Dan Curtis Anyone who's seen Beetlejuice will instantly recognize a family dynamic demonstrated in the early part … Continue reading Dark Shadows: Tim Burton is strange, but still knows how to cash in

21 Jump Street takes a different, better turn

21 Jump Street - 2012 Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller Starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Ellie Kemper, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Ice Cube Screenplay Michael Bacall It's not that I did not ever watch the original television show, I just didn't ever make it a point to watch 21 Jump Street.  All of the hullabaloo … Continue reading 21 Jump Street takes a different, better turn

The Rum Diary: Notes on a life full of exits

The Rum Diary - 2011 Written and Directed by Bruce Robinson Starring Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Giovanni Ribisi, Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins I had always wondered whether I should read any of Hunter S. Thompson's stuff.  I had a quirky friend who had read him in High School and, before he went off … Continue reading The Rum Diary: Notes on a life full of exits

I Don’t Have A Vote: Cool Papa E Picks The 84th Oscars

2012 Academy Awards Please don't let this be the year that the gimmicky French film wins.  I would prefer that the real masterpiece that took place in Paris, France take home the gold.  The rush to crown The Artist as Best Picture feels a little like the time we anointed Brokeback Mountain the movie of our times.  If it … Continue reading I Don’t Have A Vote: Cool Papa E Picks The 84th Oscars

Rango: flawless animation, great voice work, recycled story

Rango - 2011 Directed by Gore Verbinski Starring the voices of Johnny Depp, Ned Beatty, Bill Nighy, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Abigal Breslin, Ray Winstone, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Timothy Olyphant Written by John Logan Rango  starts off with a protagonist acting so strangely, one can't help wondering if he isn't more than a … Continue reading Rango: flawless animation, great voice work, recycled story