All posts tagged: Johnny Depp

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10 Movies…That Are Reboots Of Really Old Pop Culture (Just Like the New ‘Lone Ranger’ Movie)

A new big-screen version of The Lone Ranger comes out this weekend, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow as Tonto. It looks less like a faithful adaptation of the Western saga that thrilled your great-great-grandfather as a little boy in front of the magic sound box, and more a vehicle for Johnny Depp to act goofy and the delight the fuck out of everybody once again. That’s because rebooting The Lone Ranger, which premiered on radio in 1933 and TV in 1949, is a hard sell. Yeah, Hollywood is reboot crazy these days, but they tend to go after known entities from the last 20 years or so (Man of Steel is a rare exception, but that’s SUPERMAN, you guys). Here are 10 other movies that paved the way for Disney’s cautious attempt at a modern, big-screen update of a popular franchise that began in radio, comics, film serials, or pulp novels in the early 20th century. The Legend of the Lone Ranger Clayton Moore was deeply associated with the role of John Reid/the Lone …

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10 Movies…That Are Insane Adaptations of Famous Books (To Prepare You For the New ‘Great Gatsby’)

I haven’t seen The Great Gatsby yet, but I can tell already that it just doesn’t add up. The production seems to have missed the point—it’s not about the glitz and glamor and pop songs—it’s about the death of dreams and the danger of being a complete and total sellout, ironically enough. Here are 10 other literary adaptations that were kind of out of control. His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (2007) When you adapt a children’s fantasy novel about goin’ off to kill God, you kind of have to tone that down for the multiplex audiences, and put a lot of polar bears on the promo materials. The Great Gatsby (1974) It’s happened before! Gatsby (Robert Redford) is a leering douchebag who is still in love with Daisy, and we can’t understand why, because Mia Farrow plays her as a hysteric gasbag. And while Luhrmann’s adaptation seems to favor color and sparkles, this movie is just a sea of white and a celebration of nostalgia—ironic for a book known for its color symbolism and …

TV Review: “When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors” (PBS American Masters)

You probably decided whether you are going to watch the latest installment of the great PBS series American Masters tonight when you saw the title. Because when it comes to the Doors, opinion is most definitely divided. You either love the Doors, and think that they were one of the most important bands of the ’60s, or you dismiss them as overrated, and deride their lack of musicianship. I fall into the former category, but even here at Popdose some of my colleagues are in the latter. That’s fine. It’s differences in musical taste that make rock and roll the subject of endless discussions. By now, all non-Doors fans have stopped reading, if they ever started reading at all. So I’m left to discuss this film with fans, or people who at least have an interest in the history of rock and roll. Cool. When You’re Strange is the first feature length documentary on the Doors. It was directed by Tom DiCillo, the American director who is perhaps best known for his 1995 film Living …

Film Review: “Public Enemies”

I’ve been a fan of director Michael Mann (Ali, The Last of the Mohicans) for some years now. One thing I’ve always been able to count on is that no matter what project he’s filming, it will be a worthy consideration, a high-class work of art. That is, until now. Public Enemies, the latest Mann film, about the FBI hunt for legendary criminal John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) is a lengthy potboiler of a thriller, as most of Mann’s films tend to be. The problem here however, is that the pot boils overly long, the thrills are virtually nonexistent, and the story is sadly pedestrian, being one that we’ve seen many times before — including from Mann himself. Set during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the film tracks the brilliant yet often brutal career of John Dillinger, a man who loves robbing banks as much for the public acclaim as for the money. Dillinger is known for his eccentric style, smooth appearance, being not unkind to his hostages (at one point even giving his own …

No Concessions: The Long Arm of the Lawless (“Gomorrah”)

True-life gangland sagas look to be the mob hits of the year. The Fourth of July weekend brings Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, a vintage slice of 20th century Americana, with Johnny Depp on the lam as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as FBI bureau chief Melvin Purvis. And I spent the better part of a recent Friday at a screening of the two-part, four-hour Mesrine, the Che of French gangster epics, which opens in August. The bloody biopic stars the excitable Vincent Cassel (Eastern Promises) as a trigger-happy thief, kidnapper, and all-around wise apple who, in an outrageous sequence that caps the first chapter, busts out of a high-security Quebec prison, then returns with maximum firepower to free some comrades and avenge himself on the institution. I trust Mann to do a good job with the rich, myth-busting material provided him by author Bryan Burrough; his book is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in J. Edgar Hoover’s “war on terror” in the Depression era, though I’m sorry HBO didn’t pursue a miniseries as had …