Just Watched: Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is back again, after four long years. Only this time, there’s no Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) around. In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, we saw him with the map the “Fountain of Youth”. This time around, there are a number of forces trying to reach the Fountain for their own selfish reasons. Sparrow meets Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) again and is obviously surprised to see him as a privateer working for the British empire. Then there’s Blackbeard (Ian McShane), the most fearful pirate of them all and the mysterious Angelica (Penélope Cruz), with whom Jack has a rather interesting history. Throw the Spanish conquistadors and some beautiful yet creepy mermaids in and you seem to be all set for an entertainer, and that is exactly what you get. But the down side is that it doesn’t really live up to all the hype, and that is a sad thing in any major film franchise.
Rob Marshall, who is supposed to be a “safe” director manages to make most of the film predictable and this is something that doesn’t work for the film. Performance wise, I felt Johnny Depp could have been way better. His character is living up to the stereotype and is appearing a little stale although there are moments of brilliance. Geoffrey Rush is brilliant and so is Ian McShane. Judi Dench has scene too and she’s done pretty well in it. The star of the show has to be Penélope Cruz. Besides being drop dead gorgeous she charms you with her exuberance and also has an amazing on-screen chemistry with Depp. I don’t thing she’s gone wrong in a long time and I just keep becoming a bigger fan of her with every movie. Hans Zimmer’s music is wonderful too.
If you want to have a fun evening at the movies, this film is a very good watch but lower your expectations a little bit for you may not get what you want.
By the way, this is the first film I saw at Glitz Cinemas, Dehradun’s first multiplex, which is a good thing as Hollywood flicks used to be dubbed in Hindi before this for all the cinemas in town. Thankfully there’s an exception now.
Personal Rating: 7.4/10
Just Watched: Alice in Wonderland
Anticipation for a Tim Burton picture is always worth the effort, at least most of the time. While the guy keeps employing various visual techniques in each of his films, the style and approach more or less remain the same. Here, in collaborating with Disney, he has all the reasons to make it a visual treat and he does just that.
A perfect mixture of style and substance, Burton’s retelling of the Lewis Caroll classic is something that should take the viewer by surprise as it will appeal to him in a way that only few films do. The perfect performances by Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp are the icing on the cake. The voice overs given by Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman are very good too (They voice the Chesshire Cat and the Blue Caterpillar respectively.) Mia Wasikowska has done a pretty decent job. The only major disappointment in the acting department happens to be Anne Hathaway, who doesn’t make too much sense in her role as the White Queen. Everything else in this film is worth every bit of it’s worth (barring a few lines). Magical, truly.
“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Personal Rating: 8.4/10
Just Watched: Public Enemies
After two decent outings in Miami Vice and Collateral, Michael Mann continues to tackle crime in this film, albeit he delves deeper into crime during the Great Depression and how the Bureau of Investigation (which later became the FBI) managed to control it, with much difficulty.
One can’t be blamed for expecting a lot from this film considering that Mann is a wonderful film maker and that the principal cast in the movie is very appealing. However, the film doesn’t match up to expectations. That, however, doesn’t affect the film much, as it still is a wonderful piece of cinema, with great performances and techinical brilliance.
Johnny Depp as John Dillinger takes the cake for giving an exceptional performance while giving a very humane side to the famous gangster. Christian Bale too, is wonderful as Melvin Purvis, but then with Depp around you, your performance somehow gets overshadowed, something that Bale is quite used to of late. Marion Cotillard as Dillinger’s love interest is very effective too. The film’s surprise package, however, is Billy Crudup’s mercurial act as James Edgar Hoover, the man responsible for the birth of the FBI. This, after Watchmen, is yet another film in which he has acted in that will make it to my top 5 this year.
Overall, this film is recommended for all that it tries to show, and for expressing itself in the way modern cinema ought to be expressed.
Personal Rating: 8.2/10