Johnny Depp

Did Johnny Depp Just Rip off Wes Anderson?

Last week, the new trailer for Mortdecai was unveiled, and we got a better look at the lead character played by Johnny Depp. In some ways, he appears to be a typical Depp weirdo: eccentric, charming, a bit annoying, but mostly harmless. More notably, the character feels awfully familiar. Wasn’t it just earlier this year…

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A Marriage on Thin Ice in “Force Majeure”

They look like a perfect family – two attractive parents, a blonde daughter and an adorable little boy – but you can tell they have problems. On the first day of their ski trip to the French Alps, the wife complains to a stranger that her husband has been spending too much time at work.…

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October ’14 Links

In October, I wrote a lot about Gone Girl, a little about Whiplash, and was one of the few critics who didn’t fall hard for Dear White People. I also reviewed two films at the New York Film Festival for Movie Mezzanine. Read the full articles below. Essays No, Gone Girl Does Not Have a Woman…

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“Fury” and Why Hollywood Loves WWII Movies Again

The success of Fury, the new World War II movie starring Brad Pitt that was #1 at the box office last weekend, could mark the start of a new trend in how Hollywood depicts war. In the years after 9/11, our movies reflected all the complexities of the War on Terror, from its morally ambiguous tactics (Rendition)…

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The Challenge of “Gone Girl”

Every great murder mystery seeks two answers. The first answer is to the basic question of who committed the murder (after all, that’s why we call these stories “whodunits”). But the better entries in the genre probe deeper, seeking an understanding of the institutions that led to the murder in the first place. These films…

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September ’14 Links

In September, I wrote about Joan Rivers, the Batmobile, Kristen Wiig, Vanilla Sky, and the Oscars, among other topics. Check out the links below. I hope to make this a monthly tradition, so please check back on the first of the month to see what I’ve been up to! Essays Who are This Year’s Early…