Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Opening up with mixed reviews, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film. Of course I went to see it in 3D, and I recommend anyone going to see Alice in Wonderland, go see it in this format. Everyone knows the story of Alice, following the white rabbit down the hole, so I won’t bore you with details. There are a few fresh twists on the story, not that they work very good.

This movie really used Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) in its marketing, and I was disappointed in Depp’s  performance. Why I am not sure, he was weird and kooky like you would expect from the Mad Hatter, he just lacked character. Helena Bonham (Planet of the Apes, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein)Carter was good as the Red Queen, but hard to really pay attention to her performance with her enlarged head. Crispin Glover (Back to the Future, Willard)  plays his usual character and Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, The Devil Wears Prada) gives a very lackluster performance as the White Queen.

Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands) does a great job with creating a fun quirky world, visually stunning to look at, but maybe that was the only thing he was paying attention to. If you are a huge Burton fan, you will enjoy seeing the world he has created, but anyone else, the movie will probably bomb for you. For me the 3D made it interesting to watch once, but that is about it. If you want 3D fun, go check it out at a matinée price, plus you get a lengthy Toy Story 3 trailer in 3D, otherwise save your money.

Public Enemies


To say that this movie did not live up to my expectations isn’t saying this is a bad movie at all. Michael Mann, having directed some of my all time favorites like Last Of The Mohicans and The Insider, and starring Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and Christian Bale (Batman Begins), I was going into this film with expectations of Oscar. It didn’t quite make it to that level for  me.

I think Michael Mann could have done a better job telling a story and developing characters. The first hour of this film seems to move slow, even though there is a lot going on onscreen. I think it is a lack of development that makes it seem like its plodding along because there really isn’t any depth as to why things are happening. The last hour picked up, but there are constant references to Dillinger being a public hero, yet nothing really happened in the story to endear him to anyone, other than the fact of being played by Johnny Depp.

There were a couple of big highlights for me though. I thought Marion Cotilliard (Best Actress La Vie en Rose) did a wonderful job playing Dillinger’s girlfriend, BIllie Frechette. She may have done enough in her interogation scene and the closing scene to earn her a supporting actress nomination. The other highlight was the music. I would have loved to have had even more of it if they could have worked it in. If it is a weak year for best actors, Johnny Depp could slip in for a nomination ,but I think he has been better. Being a fan of Johnny Depp, I will cross my fingers for him.

So, not living up to expectations doesn’t mean I won’t buy it on DVD and watch it again when it comes out. If you are going thinking you might be seeing one of the first Oscar films, tap the brakes, I don’t think this one is in that league, but you will enjoy the film.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

The Curse of the Black Pearl

By far the best in the series. Johnny Depp (Ed Wood) is absolutely perfect for the role and does amazing things with his character. You wouldn’t think a Disney movie based on a theme park ride would spawn a Best Actor nomination, but that is what happened. It his high time Depp wins a well deserved Oscar. Maybe Michael Mann’s upcoming Public Enemies will be that good. Who knows…we’re talking pirates here not gangsters.

Everyone probably knows the story, caught stealing the Cortez’s gold, a curse was put on the Black Peal and all of its crew. Of course The Black Pearl captained by Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine). The chase is on and the damsel is in distress. To the rescue is Depp and Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings).

This movie is big summer fun and I can’t see anyone not liking this movie. Great acting by Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, fantastic special effects and nonstop action. If anyone hasn’t seen this, I highly recommend it. Break out the bucket of corn, turn up the surround system and kick back!