I’m on the fence about the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series. During the dismal summer of 2003 (Bad Boys II, Terminator 3, The Matrix Reloaded), the first film, ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’, was an entertaining surprise. It featured an unusual, superstar making (and Academy Award nominated) performance from Johnny Depp, a memorable villain and was above all else, fun. Then the inevitable sequels arrived, shot back to back. ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ and ‘At Worlds End’ took the fantastical elements of the first film, dropped a fistful of acid and ran screaming, naked and cartwheeling through the cineplex. Davy Jones was a squid. One characters father was a giant barnacle. There was the Kraken, limbo, waterwheels, voodoo, crab army, enormous whirlpools and Keith Richards. Put simply, it was all too much. Seemingly taking note of this, Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney have reeled in the crazy for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’.
Back when I started this series, a little more than a year ago, Donnie Brasco was one of the titles I had in mind. It’s a hard one to describe as underrated, as almost every review of it is seriously laudatory, and yet, if you ask people to name mafia films it’s never mentioned. It feels as if the film is being forgotten, and I don’t for a second think that is a remotely just fate for a film as good as this. I can’t really think of any good reason for this omission, perhaps it was released at the wrong time, or perhaps it just doesn’t resonate, but this really is a shame as Donnie Brasco is a genuinely truly fantastic film, and one that marks a career high for several of the cast, not to mention Mike Newell. Nevertheless, Donnie Brasco is being so overlooked that a brief search of WordPress (looking for pictures) finds not one hit on the words “Donnie Brasco”.
Many things can give me nightmares. Falling to my death, being stuck in my current job for the rest of my life, or being sent to prison for a crime I didn’t commit and being greeted by my new cellmate, the grotesque gelatinous blob otherwise known as Don “Blubba” Murphy. But in the end those are avoidable because they are within my power to avoid or in the case of the prison cellmate, entirely unrealistic and only mentioned for the purpose of a cheap gag referencing the horrendously obese Hollywood douchebag.
This is one of few Tim Burton films I didn’t see in theaters with Corpses Bride (on purpose) and Ed Wood (because it wasn’t in enough theaters) being the others. Seeing what a giant hit this movie had become I was a little upset because I felt that maybe Tim had done it again, he brought back that old magic that made him one of my favorite film makers of all time. I mean a movie that grosses a billion dollars has to be pretty entertaining on some level, I didn’t really care for the Pirates franchise but I recognized the fun of it all. Too bad I cannot say the same for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
It’s been two weeks since I last did one of these. Primarily because there’s been bugger all in the way of news. But I’ve managed to scrape together a few interesting developments.