Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tag: Johnny Depp

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Mega Post!


Title: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Release Date: 5/27/2017
Rating: Not yet rated
Running Time: Unknown

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Official Site


Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush
Directed by: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
Screenplay by: Jeff Nathanson
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Executive Producer(s): Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor

The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.




Yoga Hosers (2016)*


Title: Yoga Hosers
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment
Release Date: 9/2/2016
Running Time: 88 minutes


Two teenage yoga enthusiasts team up with a legendary man-hunter to battle with an ancient evil presence that is threatening their major party plans.

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Note: The credits end with the following: The Colleens will return in Moose Jaws

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)*


Title: Alice Through the Looking Glass
Rating: PG
Directed by: James Bobin
Written by: Linda Woolverton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Rhys Ifans, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall
Release Date: 5/27/2016
Running Time: 113 minutes

Official Site

In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll and produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also introduced to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

Alice Kingsleigh (Wasikowska) has spent the past few years following in her father’s footsteps and sailing the high seas. Upon her return to London, she comes across a magical looking glass and returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and her friends the White Rabbit (Sheen), Absolem (Rickman), the Cheshire Cat (Fry) and the Mad Hatter (Depp), who is not himself. The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so Mirana (Hathaway) sends Alice on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the chamber of the Grand Clock which powers all time. Returning to the past, she comes across friends – and enemies – at different points in their lives, and embarks on a perilous race to save the Hatter before time runs out.

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Note: Animated sequences featuring the characters run in the background of the credits.

Dedication: Dedicated to our friend Alan Rickman 1946 – 2016

Special thanks to Frank and Harold for this submission

Was seeing Alice Through the Looking Glass in 3D or IMAX 3D worth the cost?

Black Mass Review – 1 out of 5 Stars

Scott Cooper has almost magical powers when it comes to making terrible movies. He takes stories that would at least seem entertaining to watch and he screws them up in ways that make them absolutely unwatchable. With Out of the Furnace and his latest movie Black Mass, he takes bits and pieces of better films and he uses them to trick you into going along for the ride. The movies are well made and the stories are intriguing enough as to where you might believe for the first part that what you’re watching is something that is good. As these movies chug along, you slowly start to see through everything and you begin to realize how awful the characters and the dialogue and the storytelling are. Once these films end, Cooper leaves the audience with a disgusting, foul aftertaste that finally hits them with how utterly trashy what they just watched was. Out of the Furnace fit that description and now he does it again with the clichéd, miserable and gimmicky Black Mass. It’s yet another self-loathing, poorly crafted crime drama that’s only real message is Cooper wallowing in the filth he created.


You hear the synopsis for this movie and you can’t imagine how anyone could possibly mess this up. It’s the story of South Boston mobster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) and his crime streak from the mid 70’s to the early 80’s. With the help of childhood friend John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), Bulger became an informant for the FBI and in doing so they helped to take some of his enemies off the streets. It was the secret relationship between Bulger and the FBI that led to him becoming the king of the criminal underworld.

That is such an amazing premise for a movie and I can name so many directors who would’ve taken this story and done something outstanding. There doesn’t seem like a director out there who wouldn’t at least make this film watchable. At best, you end up with Scorsese or Fincher creating this energetic, lively crime thriller. At the least you should end up with Gangster Squad or Pain and Gain where neither of these movies are perfect but there stories are wild enough to make them somewhat fun. I will go on record and say that this movie is so bad that even Michael Bay would’ve done a better job directing and writing it. Black Mass feels like one of those stories that’s accident proof, the story is so big and so epic that even a less experienced director can make something interesting out of it and the better directors can turn this into something incredible. And yet, Scott Cooper has found a way to screw it up at every turn he was given.

Let’s start by focusing on the core of this movie, Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger. I’ve hated a lot of his work recently from his racist performance in the insufferable The Lone Ranger to his grating turn in Tusk. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have anticipated this performance so much but I really wanted this to be his return to form. I remember when people respected him and actually gave him performances that didn’t require goofy make up and outlandish accents. If he did give his heart and soul into this performance, I would tell you because I was rooting for him going into the theater. Spoiler alert, he didn’t and this is like every other performance he’s given over the past few years, the only difference is that it’s being featured in a “serious” drama.

I don’t have problems with makeup heavy performances when they’re done well. Steve Carell had tons of makeup when he played John du Pont last year in Foxcatcher and that was one of my favorite performances of 2014. The true difference between Depp’s performance and Carell’s performance is that the makeup isn’t carrying the part in Foxcatcher. Carell uses the makeup to go inside the character and become something that you can’t take your eyes off of. I never saw Carell in Foxcatcher, I saw John du Pont. The total opposite can be said for when I watched Depp in Black Mass. For two hours I didn’t see Whitey Bulger on screen, I saw Johnny Depp playing Whitey Bulger. He has an unbelievable accent and he has campy make up more suited for a Clint Eastwood film. It’s such a self-indulgent and gimmicky part that requires so little effort on the part of Depp and yet people have become entranced with it. He never seems like he’s real or a part of the same movie as anyone else and the film always seems more focused on making you shocked by Depp’s performance than making you shocked by the actual character. The movie is just scene after scene of Depp showing off how “intimidating” and “daring” he is without giving any insight into the heart and soul of Whitey Bulger. To do to a lesser extent something DiCaprio, Bale and Gyllenhaal among others excel at; he requires tons of makeup and ridiculous, inauthentic voices. So no, this isn’t Depp’s comeback and if anything, it’s worse because at least in Tusk or The Lone Ranger there was nothing really big at stake. In Black Mass, his cheap, artificial performance wrecks the core of the drama. The character of Whitey Bulger is never realistic and never sympathetic; he’s just there for Cooper and Depp to fake being cool and threatening.


To Depp’s credit, it wasn’t like he was totally responsible for killing this movie. All the other characters besides Bulger are given the depth and insight of a History Channel reenactment. The movie even goes as far as to have a variety of interviews with people involved narrating the story. Most people like Adam Scott’s FBI character or Jesse Plemons’ mob character only exist to give soulless exposition dialogue. The characters that aren’t used strictly for that are given too little screen time for you to care. The example of this would be William Bulger, Whitey’s brother played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch has one of the few believable performances in the movie and he does the best that he can with what he’s given without coming off as fake and hollow like Depp or Edgerton (I’ll get to him soon). However, there’s so much that the film is trying to juggle character wise that he never gets the chance to shine through or really matter to us. The phone call between Depp and Cumberbatch should matter at the end of the movie but the film is so sloppy that it just comes off as anti-climactic. Nobody’s given enough time to have personality and the people who are given time like Bulger or Connolly are terrible.

Edgerton’s John Connolly is more shocking in how bad it is because unlike Depp, Edgerton is an actor who has shown he can act. He did a great job in his wonderful directorial debut The Gift this past summer. Besides that, he’s been solid writing The Rover and giving fine supporting performance in Zero Dark Thirty and The Great Gatsby. That said, it’s baffling how terrible he is in Black Mass. First off, the writing really isn’t helping him. I have a fun drinking game for the adults out there. Take a shot every time Connolly says something along the lines of, “me and Bulger have the kind of bond that’s unbreakable.” It becomes humorous how many times Edgerton mentions this to people when they ask him about Bulger. “Trust me you guys, we’ve known each other since we were kids on the streets of Boston, that’s the kind of friendship that never dies”. It comes to a point where the movie just keeps going back and forth between Depp doing something “edgy” and Edgerton making sure everybody knows about the magical, childhood bond he has with Bulger. When he’s not doing that, he’s having angry/sneaky conversations and asking people who the informants are on Whitey Bulger. I swear to God he’s one of the most repetitive, predictable characters I’ve seen in a drama in years. But even if I forgive that, Edgerton is still awful. He finds a way to actually compete with Depp for who can have the most inauthentic, over the top Boston accent. The way Edgerton talks as Connolly is like a bad improv actors take on a Boston accent. John Connolly in this movie is one of those perfect storms of a really horribly written character and a performance that feels so laughable and insincere.

I think that beyond how messy it is and how much it feels like Oscar bait, the thing that I hate the most in Black Mass is the same problem that I had with Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, it’s a very ugly, mean spirited movie. Everest (which I just reviewed) was a mess but at its heart that movie was well intentioned if deeply flawed. Black Mass is movie that is a mess that is also trying to make the audience feel like garbage afterwards. I clearly have no problem with bleak movies when they’re done well but they are the absolute worst films you can watch when they’re done poorly. Cooper doesn’t want the story to at all glamorize or take excitement in the criminal underworld. The movie is humorless and all the funny aspects are purely unintentional. The movie takes place in one of the best eras for music and it instead uses this forgettable, dour score.

So what though? Prisoners and Foxcatcher were humorless and I enjoyed both of those movies. The problem with this movie is that while it takes a joyless stance on Bulger’s actions, it still manages to glorify his actions like the cover of a tabloid magazine. There’s not a single lead character in the movie that seems like a good person who you can relate to. There is no Patrick Denham to The Wolf of Wall Street’s Jordan Belfort. There is no Dave Schultz’s to Foxcatcher’s John Du Pont. As I’ve said, most of the scenes use Bulger’s crimes as an excuse for Johnny Depp to show off how dark and serious he’s being. The violence in this movie is gratuitous and made disgustingly clear. The movie is one of the few cases where I can truly claim that it is misogynistic in a review. The only women who are shown in this movie are the ones who serve as helpless, little punching bags to make the male characters look more damaged.

There isn’t a single bit of warmth or subtlety to anything Cooper is doing here and he makes something that is as unappealing as it is unintelligent. Cooper loves showing the torture and the executions and creating an uninventive, nasty world that rewards moviegoers with the equivalent of bathing in a tub filled with mud. The final message (if there even is one) is something you can gain with much more ease by reading the writings of a depressed ten year old, life in constant suffering and the only people who can win are monsters.

Black Mass has made me hate something I thought I could never hate. Most of the characters are flat and Depp’s performance is soulless and unbelievable. The story is messy and done in the least original way possible. And worst of all, Black Mass glorifies the ugliness and brutality of life without showing any sense of wit or humanity. It’s one of the worst pieces of awards bait I’ve seen in years and you should avoid it at all costs. This and Out of the Furnace should be held up as some of the worst possible ways you can create a drama.


Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 9/18/2015

Rating: R

Cast: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon and Adam Scott

Directed by: Scott Cooper

Screenplay by: Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth

Based on the Novel by: Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill

Black Mass (2015)*


Title: Black Mass
Rating: R
Directed by: Scott Cooper
Written by: Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth
Based on the novel by: Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill
Starring: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch,Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon and Dakota Johnson
Release Date: 9/18/2015
Running Time: 122 minutes

Official Site

The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

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Mortdecai (2015)*


TITLE: Mortdecai

RELEASE DATE: 1/23/2015


Juggling angry Russians, the British Mi5, and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai races to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain a code that leads to lost Nazi gold.

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Into the Woods Review – 3 out of 5 Stars

You can say that I’ve seen a lot of three star movies this year. To the credit of Into the Woods, this is the best movie that I’ve given three stars to in a while. This movie has aspects that are amazing and has songs and performances that I loved yet there are problems with the movie that are too big for me to ignore. Still, this is an entertaining film and should be seen even if my rating for the film is disappointingly low.

For those like me who didn’t know about the beloved Stephen Sondheim Broadway play walking in, Into the Woods is a musical that connects most of the famous Brothers Grimm fables into one story. A Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) want to have a baby but a witch (Meryl Streep) has a curse on the Baker’s family that keeps him from having a child. To have the curse reversed from the witch, they have to find a red cape, a golden slipper, a white cow and golden hair.


When I was hearing about this movie, a lot of people were calling Steven Sondheim a genius and we’re praising how great the music is. Having seen it, Into the Woods truthfully has some of the most impressive numbers I’ve seen in a musical maybe since the 60’s. Stephen Sondheim has an extreme talent in writing catchy as hell songs and lyrics. Don’t be worried that most of the story is told in song. Unlike Les Misérables, all the songs here feel necessary in moving the story forward and revealing character and they don’t come off as cluttered and lacking in atmosphere. I had no problem with the story being told with music and the movie soars when it’s doing just that. All the actors maybe with the exception of Lilla Crawford do an exceptional job singing the songs and Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt are especially on their A game. Whatever problems I had with Into the Woods aren’t the problem of the music and you should look beyond that if that’s the things that keeping you from checking this out.

This is a movie that seems to have had a lot of people working on it in the technical field that clearly cared about the material. All of the areas like the production design and the costume design do a good job getting a classical fable tone to the setting with the houses look and especially with what different characters are wearing. The make-up is top notch and what they did to Meryl Streep in particular is awesome in making her go from a very hideous witch to a beautiful witch. As with most musicals, you have to admire the sound design because they have to mix together what is happening in the scene, the singing of the performer and the music throughout. Seeing how stable this musical was in comparison to others I’ve seen as of late, this makes the sound design that much more worthy of praise.

I mentioned above that the cast is really great and I stay with that statement. I think Meryl Streep is extremely talented but she has been doing a great job in fairly mediocre films for some time. While her character is the messiest, she still is given a lot more here and she delivers her best performance since Doubt. The witch has the most memorable songs in the movie and Streep rises to the occasion whole-heartedly. She is putting her heart into every note and it’s a perfect mixture of dedication and sheer fun with the part she has to play. The Last Midnight song is probably my favorite scene and that part alone makes it one of the best supporting actress performances of the year. Meryl Streep will get an Oscar nomination and for once it’ll be in a role that challenged her and showed a different side of her acting chops. Meryl Streep isn’t the only great actor in the films ensemble. Emily Blunt shines every time she’s in it and much like Streep she seems to be putting her heart into it. Chris Pine as Prince Charming and Anna Kendrick as Cinderella both have moments where they get to show off their acting and singing chops. I haven’t seen James Corden in a lot but between this and Begin Again; he shows a charisma and confidence that shows the potential of a future strong leading man. And while they’re the weakest singers, Lilla Crawford and Daniel Huttlestone both give strong enough debut performances as Little Red Riding Hood and Jack. I didn’t even mind Johnny Depp as The Wolf. This is coming from a guy that thinks Depp one of the weakest actors working in Hollywood today. You get the sense that it’s made up of actors who really enjoyed the source material and wanted to present it in the best way they were able. This kind of enthusiasm from an entire cast is rare and really nice to see every once in a while.


From the first chunk, you’re probably curious why I’m giving this such a low score. My praise comes from a genuine love I had towards a lot of things about Into the Woods. For the first maybe 90 minutes or so, this movie is around a 4 star rating. It’s this huge, epic blend of music, story and performances and it does a great job mixing together these different ideas and showing the different morals these people learned and how they are all connected. You have a lot of fun but at the same time it can be serious and it can say things about responsibility and ambition. There are a lot of sympathetic characters and it’s one of the quickest sits this year. All this movie needed to do was stick the ending and it might even have made my top ten. Unfortunately the film doesn’t end well…oh boy does it not end well.

There’s a point where the director obviously wants you to think that it’s going to end soon. And when they’re just about to conclude, something big happens and it doesn’t end for another thirty or so minutes. I’m not saying that some of the themes and ideas it tries to express in these final thirty minutes aren’t valid. In a better scenario, I can see some of the stuff it brings up being used brilliantly to show a contrast between the lighter first half and a much darker second half and how life really is. In the actual play, the stuff in the last thirty minutes makes up part two of the two part play. I haven’t seen the play, but from this you can assume that equal time is spent on these areas. Here’s the gigantic error with the film, 90 minutes are spent on the first act and a measly 30 minutes are spent on the second act. This stuns me that they even thought they could make a stable, well-paced play in going this route. I don’t care whether it was them trying to keep from making a three hour movie or whether it was them trying to keep it PG, it doesn’t matter and the fact remains the same. Act two is a complete train wreck.

I shouldn’t even have to explain why this didn’t work, you’re trying to tell this deep, powerful message and you’re jamming everything together in a very short amount of time. Important characters die in the most rushed and confusing ways possible and the other characters aren’t given enough time to fully react to what has happened in way that makes the audience care. Whatever chances are left of giving The Witch a solid character arc are gone and the way she exits the story makes no possible sense. You’re given all these things that are meant to mean something but I got so much whiplash from what was happening that none of it affected me or felt very successful in being impactful. Whatever momentum was built by the first act collapses in this cluttered mess of a second act. If the first act is 4 stars then the second act is probably around two stars. The sad part is that the music gets even better in the second act and you can see how in a three hour play these songs would be awe inspiring, here they just feel wasted. It fascinates me why they did this and why they would throw away what had for a while been a true return to a once proud genre.

There are plenty of things that are amazing about Into the Woods like the performances and the A+ music. The first act alone is definitely worth a watch. Sadly, to imitate one of the most famous song lines of the musical, I wish they hadn’t tried to squish an epic, big second act into a short period of time. Into the Woods isn’t just a disappointment for what it could’ve been but also for at a point what it actually was.


Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 12/25/2014

Rating: PG

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Daniel Huttlestone, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, Lilla Crawford and Johnny Depp

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Screenplay by: James Lapine

Into the Woods (2014)*


TITLE: Into the Woods

RELEASE DATE: 12/25/2014


A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

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Edward Scissorhands (1990)*


TITLE: Edward Scissorhands

RELEASE DATE: 12/14/1990


An uncommonly gentle young man, who happens to have scissors for hands, falls in love with a beautiful adolescent girl.

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Special thanks to Frank S. for this submission

Tusk Review – 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Kevin Smith’s new body horror film Tusk was one of my most anticipated movies of 2014. And despite the fact that I am not giving this film a passing grade, I can’t say that I’m disappointed. Tusk instead exemplifies the purpose of a 2 and a ½ star rating. Half of the movie was the exciting, strange ride that it was advertised to be and the other half was a forced, unfunny waste of time.

Wallace (played by Goo-Goo-Goo-Justin Long) is a famous podcaster who is known for interviewing weird people from around the world. While in Canada, he stumbles upon an eccentric, old man named Howard (Michael Parks) who kidnaps him and devises a scheme to surgically and psychologically turn Wallace into a Walrus. Meanwhile, his girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) and podcasting buddy (Haley Joel Osment) turn to a French Canadian detective Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp) to help them find Wallace.


Let me get this out of the way, Tusk is horribly written movie. This movie might very well feature one of the worst screenplays I’ve seen all year. Aside from the admittedly huge laughs that come from Michael Parks amazing performance and the sheer WTF-ness of what is happening on screen, the actual humor that the movie attempts is shockingly awful. I can’t even fathom how Kevin Smith thought some of these jokes were funny that he put in here. There are two types of comedy that Smith tries here, there is either awkward, inane and painfully unfunny conversations that go on for too long or there are blunt, juvenile fart and sex jokes that could be written by a 1st grader. There is one scene in this movie between the detective and Howard that goes on for 6 minutes and it is so made up on the spot and so pathetic in its attempts to be funny that I can only describe it as torture.

I could let the horrible amount of humor pass with a still positive grade though. After all, we are watching a movie where a man gets turned into a walrus; this isn’t going to be Kurosawa. If this movie stuck to its premise and remained an efficient, midnight horror movie throughout, a lot of problems I have with plot and comedy would be in some way redeemed. Alas, the movies biggest error is one that Kevin Smith himself predicted. I don’t listen to his podcast but I did listen to parts of the 30 minute segment where he and his friend came up with the idea for the movie. In this discussion that they do, Smith talks about how he wants to make a horror movie that doesn’t follow the standard horror cliché of cutting to friends and family looking for the main character. I can sympathize with this as this can bring the storyline to a complete halt and destroy momentum. That is why it makes much more saddening that that is the hugest problem with Tusk.

Every time you get caught up in what is happening to Wallace and you begin to go along with the ride, they cut to overlong, dry scenes of his girlfriend and his buddy searching for him. And if they’re not handling that, they’ll cut to a flashback that’s supposed to add an oh so “profound” message about how fame destroys people. You have so many options for such an amazing and original storyline and I can’t believe they chose to fill half of it with Lifetime Channel bad storytelling. This might come as a shock to some people, but no, you’re over the top, B movie is not missing a forced, melodramatic theme about how are main character is selling out and how him getting turned into a walrus is a metaphor for who he has become. You also don’t have to have a cheesy, unfunny detective character that is only made more intolerable by the obnoxious, secretive famous actor who they got to play the part in a performance so bad that it felt like he was speaking down to the audience. There is no shame in just making a send up to midnight movies Kevin Smith, that’s good enough; you don’t need this entire metaphorical, grounded, zany BS that’s going on besides that. Frankly, I think the actual, main storyline is so good that it actually makes it worse watching these moments and it makes you that much more annoyed every time they cut back to this. By the way, the ending to the movie is an oddly heavy handed moment that’s supposed to feel meaningful and deep but instead ends up feeling shoehorned in at the last second. Kevin Smith’s inept writing made parts of Tusk sincerely uncomfortable to watch.

I have just given a lot of crap to this movie but that is only because of how good the other side of the coin is. Whenever Tusk focuses on the story that people paid money to watch, the film soars to say the least. If you want to see this movie because you want to watch a piece of over the top, midnight horror where a crazy old dude turns a guy into a walrus, you will still get that part.


I should probably discuss the performances of Justin Long and Michael Parks. Though there characters aren’t the best written, both of them give it everything they have and they sell every line. Justin does a good job portraying a sort of moronic, self-centered scumbag and how that kind of person would react in this sort of situation. And even though Kevin Smith’s one sided, jab at fame is clear, Long still gives his character some sort of interesting, sympathetic personality where you can at least see where he’s coming from even when he’s being a buffoon. I also have a ton of respect for some of the stuff he does near the end of the movie.

Of course, it is Michael Parks who steals this entire movie. Without him, I doubt I would even be giving this movie 2 stars. He plays the antagonist Howard with a force that can only be described as pure excitement. Parks has been given a character that you can really get into and he thrives on the madness of the premise every minute he’s on screen. Ranging from funny to sad to terrifying and sometimes all at once, you will be on the edge of your seat every minute he is on screen because he adds such a level of intensity to the role that you really can’t wait to see what he does next. Howard’s larger than life persona brings out the concept at its best.

Regardless of bad writing, the transformation that happens is fascinating and blood-pumping to watch. Due to two great performances, the oddity and uniqueness of what is happening and impressive, thrilling make up effects, the movie finds a way to deliver on the pulpy entertainment that you want it to be. I don’t want to spoil everything for you but there is an absolutely brilliant fight scene near the end that has to be seen to be believed, it is glorious. I would be overjoyed to see the movie receive an out of nowhere Oscar nomination for its make up effects like Bad Grandpa the year before but you know that’s probably not going to be something the Academy voters go for even in comparison to a Jackass movie. Besides what I’ve already said, the cinematography is good, the production design is really unsettling and Kevin Smith has admirably improved as a director since his black and white, shot on video indie Clerks. If you could find a way to cut out the dead weight and just have the main storyline, I would be more than happy to recommend this to people.

I said it at the start of the review and I’ll say it again, half of the movie is great and half of the movie is terrible. Half of the movie was intolerable, unfunny and pretentious and the other half was invigorating, daring and fun. Tusk is a movie that you should watch because it has a lot of fun moments, but be prepared for the useless filler that comes along with it.


Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 4/4/2014

Rating: R

Cast: Justin Long, Michael Parks, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez and Johnny Depp

Directed by: Kevin Smith

Screenplay by: Kevin Smith

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