Posts Tagged ‘Gore Verbinski’

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – A Little More Penzance Than Last Time

Posted 19 Jun 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, USA, 2011

Directed by Rob Marshall Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a 2011 adventure fantasy film and the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

In what could be called “Captain Jack and the Last Crusade,” we say goodbye to Will and Elizabeth Turner (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, respectively) and hello to a more expensive look, drearier set pieces, and a more puzzling plot line. However, one benefit of the Pirates films is that no matter how twisted the story may be, and no matter how questionable things may get, everything seems to fall into place. The franchise has always had a firm rooting in faith, spirituality and things seemingly happening for a reason, with the hint of a moral compass always guiding the way, so in that aspect the film gives itself room to take outlandish turns, so long as everything fits. On Stranger Tides is certainly no exception to this rule, but At World’s End (2007) had that market cornered.

I have to say, and I know I’m one of the few, but I missed seeing Bloom and Knightley side by side with Johnny Depp. I always took them to be the crux of the trilogy, especially because their stories were the forefront: them meeting, discovering more about their pasts, getting married, having a baby, etc., all while Captain Jack Sparrow gets himself in one scrape and out of another. But, inevitably, their story drew to an end in At World’s End, giving this film more of a chance to focus on Sparrow’s past – lost love, old friendships, all that. As the film opens, Captain Jack (Depp, as savvy as ever) impersonates a British judge to escape hanging for crimes he may or may not have committed, though he probably did; he’s just not ready to hang for them. The opening of the film tells us this: Jack is in London looking for a ship and a crew. This is true, but not in the sense that everyone thinks it is; in fact, it’s an impostor posing as Jack. Her name is Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and she’s the only one with enough guts to impersonate the infamous captain and get away with it. She’s an old love, or as close as Jack has gotten to it. Meanwhile, Jack is looking for the Fountain of Youth. The catch is, so is the Spanish kingdom, the British Navy, helmed by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush, back from the first film and looking barely alive), and Blackbeard (the performance of the film, from Ian McShane), along with his daughter, Angelica. Spoiler? Not really. Read More

Ready for Rango Release – July 15, 2011

Posted 08 Jun 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Box Office News, Essay

By Rachel Menendez Rango has been scheduled for release on July 15 through Paramount Home Entertainment and the disc will come on Blu-ray and DVD with special features Including an extended cut of the Film with a never-before-seen alternate ending, deleted scenes, an interactive tour and more.

It seems that whatever Johnny Depp touches turns to box office gold these days and Rango is no exception. In Rango, we see Depp step seamlessly into a new format in an animated movie.

The new format is working for Depp and seen the film become a smash hit with the all-star cast and the sharp and often hilarious script making the movie at once appealing to all the family.

Rango has been scheduled for release on July 15 through Paramount Home Entertainment and the disc will come on Blu-ray and DVD with special features Including an extended cut of the Film with a never-before-seen alternate ending, deleted scenes, an interactive tour and more. Read More

Rango

Posted 25 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Rango, USA, 2011

Directed by Gore VerbinskiRango film

I wasn’t prepared for Rango to be as dark as it was. Gore Verbinski has always been a director to dabble into life’s bigger questions with a lot of subtle ease, without losing the ostensibly fun side to his films, but, with this being an animated Nickelodeon production and all, I was blind-sided by the depth of John Logan’s screenplay and the heartfelt genuineness of Johnny Depp’s performance as a chameleon with an identity crisis. To be fair, the screenplay’s base elements are very standard – there is a formula, and you know where the film is headed as soon as it starts – but, to the film’s credit, everything that happens in between is remarkably intelligent.

And the whole thing feels like a painting. Gotta love that.

Consider that this one of the rare CGI films that pays respects to traditionally animated films; remember that Tangled (2010) was specifically designed to look like oil paintings and 2D animation. Rango achieves this without the oil painting angle, and does so seamlessly. I couldn’t point to one shot that didn’t look carefully rendered. I also had a hard time not picking out references to other films. I like movies that respect their elders. Nods to Star Wars, Raising Arizona (tell me that score doesn’t have echoes here), and obviously older westerns are everywhere. There’s even a certain cameo that ties the entire story together and references that by which the entire Western genre has come to be recognized. Read More