“I lost my family for a case that I was just not able to close,” woes and the fracas of a big time L.A. police investigation in “City of Lies”

Film was in a holding pattern for three years
Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker and Toby Huss
Directed by Brad Furman

After being canned for three years (allegedly due to pressure from the Los Angeles police department) Brad Furman’s “City of Lies” was rolled out last month. Although it would have benefited from a longer running time and deeper examination into the facts (this story would shine as a three-hour street crime epic), Brad Furman’s procedural gets to the meat of the inquiry into the murders of the ... more >


DRAMA/MYSTERY: “Murder on the Orient Express

With a bit of British restraint
Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe and Judi Dench

By now, film adaptations based on the oeuvre of the two most prolific British writers of crime fiction, Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, form a respectable body. Of the latter, probably the best-known work remains “Murder on the Orient Express.” Today comes a new version by the, himself now almost venerable, Brit actor, Kenneth Branagh. From the get-go in this iteration, the ... more >

Dark Shadows

Back to the Future: the Goth Years
Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer
Directed by Tim Burton

Few television-to-movie adaptations actually end up working out. So, it’s with great disappointment that “Dark Shadows,” based off a seventies TV 
show, never really comes into the light despite best efforts by Tim Burton and
 Johnny Depp, their collaborations now numbering eight. Depp's Barnabas Collins is a part of the thriving Collins company in the eighteenth century before an evil witch, ... more >

K-Stew tops Forbes list, Depp-Paradis splitsville

There's fresh meat at the top of the Forbes best-paid list

El News– According to a recent ranking done by Forbes Magazine K-Stew’s getting paid: the Twilight actress earned $34.5M between May 2011 and May 2012; Cameron Diaz stands right behind her on the list (see the full story at here). What could one do with all this money? Personally I would buy a Bel Air mansion and stock piles of cash in the kichen. I would then offer wads of cash to ... more >

ROCK’ N’ MOVIES – Manson & Depp collaborate, Nirvana-era doc in works

All hail the god of Rock

Two stories of note this morning: Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson will collaborate on a song on Manson’s upcoming album Born Villain. According to MTV, they’ve done a cover of the Carly Simon song You’re so Vain. The other news tidbit is that some never-before-seen footage of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain has been edited into a documentary, about to make its debut soon (theatrical release set ... more >

The rum diary

Alcohol-soaked deadpan bemusement
Johnny Depp, Michael Rispoli and Aaron Eckhart
Directed by Bruce Robinson

(Reviewer’s note: What do you when you really like a film but disagree with it? You write a review like this.) I’ll start my review of The Rum Diary with a short explanation of why I ceased to be a journalist some time ago. Very simply, I never knew a journalist in his 40s who wasn’t a deeply unhappy person. They were all poor, burned-out, and resentful. I remember once sitting in a job ... more >

The tourist

First, The lives of others, and now this?
Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Paul Bettany
Directed by Florian Von Donnersmarck

Ouch! The landing is all the rougher when high expectations are shattered. While I was waiting for “The Tourist” to show at a Cineplex near me, the more jaded of my film cohorts warned me that I might be disappointed. But could director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck disappoint, him of the superb “Lives of Others”? Alack, he has. “The Tourist” aspires to light larkhood along the lines of the old ... more >