Johnny Depp

‘Tusk': Kevin Smith Is Back, and Not for the Better

Kevin Smith’s Tusk opens with the sound of two men laughing at their own jokes, so I guess a doff of the cap is due to the filmmaker for encapsulating his movie so efficiently, right from the jump. It’s not just that we’re hearing podcasters Wallace (Justin Long) and Teddy (Haley Joel Osment) giggling at their own presumed cleverness; we’re hearing filmmaker-turned-podcaster-turned-filmmaker-again Smith giggling at the fact that he even made this movie, devised off-the-cuff during an episode of his “SModcast,” its production put up to a fan vote on Twitter. But it’s not like the cult of Smith — and increasingly, over the past two years, that’s exactly what he’s sculpted his remaining fans into — was going to discourage its fearless leader from making a movie if he wanted to. And, for their trouble, he’s made a movie that they will surely devour without question. I’m just not sure where the hell that leaves the rest of us, because Tusk is a mess. … Read More

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Watch the Lackluster Trailer for Johnny Depp’s British Spy Film, ‘Mortdecai’

I’m not sure how to feel about the trailer for Mortdecai, Johnny Depp’s latest “digestibly quirky” film — where his… Read More

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Watch the First ‘Into the Woods’ Trailer

After the star-studded disaster that was Nine, director Rob Marshall is bravely returning to Broadway musical adaptations with Stephen Sondheim’s Into the… Read More

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Stop Saying the Movie Star Is Extinct

I suppose one of the drawbacks of being the “editorial director” of a big site like Variety is that it might be hard to find an underling brave enough to give you proper editorial guidance. That’s the best explanation I can come up with for “Movies Stars are Endangered Species as Actors Struggle to Stay Relevant,” an aimless, toothless, and generally worthless op-ed from Peter Bart, the once-savvy Hollywood insider who these days pens the show-biz bible’s equivalent to those rambling, ellipsis-heavy nightmares Larry King used to write for USA Today. Bart, who was last heard weakly advising Jon Stewart not to direct movies because non-directors doing so never works out (Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, and Orson Welles be damned), mostly just uses the “death of the movie star” canard as a weak peg for his incoherent ramblings about which actors he does and doesn’t like. But even if he’d bothered to mount a strong argument about the death of the movie star, he’d be wrong, and here’s why: … Read More

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The 25 Best Cop Shows of All Time

It’s a big day for fans of ’80s television, cop shows, and, basically, things that are good: after first and second season releases that ended in 2006 and never resumed, the pop culture saviors over at Shout Factory have stepped up with a massive, full-series DVD box set for Hill Street Blues, the ground-breaking dramatic series that continues to influence quality television to this very day. And while it’s easy enough to earmark Hill Street as one of the best police series of all time, how do all those perp-chasing, car-crashing, rule-bending, good-cop-bad-cops actually stack up against each other? … Read More

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The Johnny Depp Backlash Is Justified: He’s Lost His ’90s Cool

In a recent article for The A.V. Club, writer Jesse Hassenger argues that the Johnny Depp backlash is “nonsense,” because for the past decade, since he’s been a big movie star with a brand like Pirates of the Caribbean as his focal point, he’s had the same ratio of hits to duds. … Read More

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Why Do Cinematographers Make Such Lousy Directors?

Wally Pfister has been in it for a minute. He started out in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, first as a camera operator and then cinematographer for straight-to-VHS erotic thrillers and horror films with titles like Animal Instincts II, Secret Games 3, and Amityville: A New Generation. But in 2000, he hooked up with director Christopher Nolan for Momento, and he’s shot every Nolan film since (along with Moneyball, The Italian Job, and a few others). Now he moves into the director’s chair, orchestrating a high-caliber cast in the big-budget sci-fi thriller Transcendence (out today). But even if you view it without this thumbnail bio in the back of your head, you might guess the pedigree, because it’s a terrible movie that looks amazing. … Read More

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