Friday, 11 May 2012


This weeks 'DVD RACK' is a random selection of favorite films from one-of-a-kind, dynamic, versatile talent Johnny Depp, who this week we can see collaborating with Tim Burton again on 'Dark Shadows'.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL: The original and critically the best of the acclaimed franchise. Once this hit our shores, the adventure genre and fun at the cinema were redefined. With action that didn't take itself to seriously and comedy that didn't go too far this movie was the right, potent mix, plus the graphics where a treasure. Johnny Depp captained a crew stocked with talent that included Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Geoffrey Rush. The box-office competition sunk without a trace.

CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Even with all the Gothic greats they've conjured up, this may be the strangest and most satisfying creations of all the perfectly peculiar collaborations between arguably the greatest director/actor combo Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Depp is just so weirdly wonderful as Willy Wonka with a role so perfectly honed if it was anyone else it'd be hard not to be typecast. With all the cult characters Depp's played it's hard to imagine he could make yet another unique individual stand out, but here's the thing about Johnny; this individuals like no other he makes it all look so easy. The graphics, imagery and overall cinematography is surreal and sublime, while Burton's heralded dark direction is also magical and touching (a more overlooked trademark of the great filmmaker).

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS: The film that really put the '21 Jump Street' stars oddities on the map however along with that of director Tim Burton was the one about the boy with the scissors for hands who makes one hell of a landscape gardener (now how does he...?). Strange, scary, sweet and sad all at the same time, Depp and Burton found a new way to captivate audiences with their form of storytelling. The clinically cold suburban setting in this film and the refreshing starved movie industry in reality weren't ready for what hit them.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO: Sure 'Desperado' is the classic from Robert Rodriguez's 'Mariachi' trilogy but this ensemble piece was the most entertaining and exciting. With the coolest direction and sounding score this picture was top notch. Eva Mendes, Mickey Rourke, Willem DaFoe, Danny Trejo and even Enrique Igleasis rounded out an incredible cast led by desperately, effortlessly cool 'Desperado' Antonio Bandares. Still it was Depp's crooked cop and even more crooked villain that stole every scene the story and the show. If you thought he was calm, collected and cool under pressure just wait until you see how he handles himself and his predicament in the thrilling, third act. Go see it!

DONNIE BRASCO: When the perfect, past evoking, crime-caper 'Public Enemies' came out I always remember someone saying; "at last Johnny Depp playing someone normal". Well that fantastic film is worth checking out too but for the best of Depp's "normal" films look no further then 'Donnie Brasco'. This undercover classic about the true telling of a cop going undercover is great for it's incredible story but also the ability of a then younger/establishing Depp standing next to legend Al Pacino. It's hard to not be intimidated by such a classic actor or the threatening role he plays but Depp's performance and character more then holds it's own. If you can get past the gritty gangster elements and the stupid "are you calling me a dumbski" talk (gangsters really speak like that, then yes you are dumb (I better watch my back now)) this is a seriously significant piece of cinema. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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