Johnny Depp

DVD Review: Cult Icon Collected in ‘Big Box of Wood’

Big Box of Wood

CHICAGO – Would I love Ed Wood as much without Tim Burton’s amazing film of the same name? Probably not. I’ll admit that I can’t watch “Bride of the Monster” and NOT think of Martin Landau’s Oscar-winning performance and I smile when thinking of Wood directing some of his awesomely-bad features but I’m really picturing Johnny Depp more than the actual filmmaker. Does it matter? For whatever reason you enjoy the king of Z-movie cinema, the 6-disc “Big Box of Wood” set is a treasure for cheesy movie fans.

Blu-Ray Review: Johnny Depp Gets Animated in Confident ‘Rango’

Rango

CHICAGO – There’s a rare level of artistic confidence in “Rango” that we usually don’t see outside of Pixar. What I mean by that is that SO many animated flicks that I have to suffer through in a calendar year are trying to appease a marketing plan, a producer, a focus group, etc. “Rango,” while being a bit overrated by some, is undeniably unique in its vision and trying only to appease that creativity. It’s an occasionally inspired film that looks stunning in HD and is accompanied by some stellar special features.

Film Review: Entertaining ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

CHICAGO – It’s easy to remember that the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series is on its fourth formulaic film, but harder to remember that it’s based on a freaking amusement park ride! Director Rob Marshall livens it up with “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

Video Game Review: ‘LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean’ Rides the Seas

CHICAGO – Traveller’s Tales clearly seems 100% unconcerned about exhausting their “LEGO” brand as they have released “LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4,” “LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars,” and, now, “LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean” in less than a year.

Blu-Ray Review: Awesome Criterion Edition of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

CHICAGO – I have a love-hate relationship with Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” but it’s a lot easier to fall on the former side of that dynamic with the simply amazing Criterion Collection release of the Johnny Depp & Benicio Del Toro drug epic, recently released on Blu-ray. With a stunning transfer enhanced by some of the best special features of the year to date, this is the kind of Blu-ray release that makes the actual movie better.

Blu-Ray Review: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie Forgettable in ‘The Tourist’

The Tourist

CHICAGO – When “The Tourist,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, was released theatrically, it was dealt a pretty brutal blow by critics and most assumed it would be relatively forgotten before long, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave the film its true place in history when they nominated it for three awards, including Best Picture, Actor, and Actress after a particularly suspicious amount of lobbying by Sony.

Video Game Review: ‘Rango’ Tie-In Displays Film’s Creativity

CHICAGO – While most critics were praising the lavish visuals and impressive screenwriting of the animated hit “Rango” starring Johnny Depp (for one such rave, check out Patrick McDonald’s review here), the video game landed on my desk and I wondered if the pattern of bland movie tie-ins would be broken. If the film is that creative, shouldn’t the video game be as well?

Film Review: Johnny Depp Spins Animation Gold in Hilarious ‘Rango’

CHICAGO – When we first see the chameleon named Lars (Johnny Depp), soon to be ‘Rango,’ he is doing acting voice exercises. He is basically warming up a film that is a real hoot, and has wonderful heart.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘El Mariachi,’ ‘Desperado,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

CHICAGO – Timed to coincide with Fox’s release of “Machete,” Sony has released three of director Robert Rodriguez’s earlier action extravaganzas on two releases — a double feature of “El Mariachi” and “Desperado” to sit next to your new copy of “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.” Both releases feature more special features and arguably better HD transfers than Rodriguez’s 2010 film and could be the better choice for your Blu-ray dollar than “Machete.”

Film Review: ‘The Tourist’ Twists Predictably, Lacks Chemistry Between Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp

CHICAGO – Though you probably don’t know his name, Christopher McQuarrie’s involvement might sell you on paying to see “The Tourist” even more than “A”-list stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

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