Johnny Depp, the Case File

Seeing that my blog is quite a mix of everything and never has followed a straight path, it would have to be narrated by someone who is essentially a mix of everything, someone whose M.O. cannot simply be defined. Who do I know out there that likes to play many different characters? What person do I know (not personally) who has made a living out of playing so many iconic characters over the years?

How about Johnny Depp? He’s one of the most versatile actors out there, playing anything from a creepy candy factory owner to a badass outlaw by the name of Whitey Bulger. Okay, so not all of his roles were good, some were downright awful (The Lone Ranger). But surely, there are many posts of mine that would fit many of his different characters. Some of the more eccentric, zany installments, those stories and poems that go a little out of left field, would be narrated by his Jack Sparrow character; the posts that are a bit solemn and depressing by the sad Edward Scissorhands; the crazy mad posts by a lunatic Sweeney Todd; the serious, informative posts by Donnie Brasco.

Johnny Depp has a slight British accent (even French in certain movies). even though he is from Kentucky, so I can imagine my audiobook sounding similar to Jim Dale, who narrated the Harry Potter series. It was rumored that he also has some Native American ancestry, but this is likely false.

Why did I choose this actor for my trendy little audiobook coming from a mixed bag blog? Well, he obviously is one of my all time favorite actors (besides Tom Hanks) and I respect all the work that he has done. I couldn’t think of anyone else either so went with the first person that came to mind. It’s tough not even being nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for Black Mass, but I suppose he can live with that anyday. I haven’t seen that movie yet so I can’t really critique it for real. He’s set to burst back onto the mainstream charts when the 5th Pirates movies comes out some time this summer. At this point, I believe they are milking everything they can out of that drawn out franchise for money, but I’ll give the producers props for not ending it with At World’s End because that movie sucked.

Your blog is about to be recorded into an audiobook. If you could choose anyone — from your grandma to Samuel L. Jackson — to narrate your posts, who would it be?

I don’t think I would want to hear my blog read aloud in an audiobook. There are some things that would be too embarrassing and ridiculous sounding. If Johnny Depp wasn’t available to narrate my book, then yes, Samuel L. Jackson would be my next choice.

The Decision of 2007

There will always be a memory in my life that might forever redefine my judgement in the quality of cinematic films. My tendency to get sucked into the hype of a movie just by looking at the trailer changed after a tandem lesson during the late naughts.

Late December 2007 I believe. The snow was falling heavily outside. At the local theater that has ten screens each showing one film. The higher up on the list, the more important the film is. Me, my sisters, mom, and uncle. Right from the start, I could tell there would be a split in interests. They all were interested in one film while I had slightly different tastes.

It was a decision between two dark movies, both of them featuring lead actors with sharply contrasting talents and backgrounds. It was Will Smith in I Am Legend and Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The latter was obviously the more popular choice among the movie-going family and was watched multiple times later on when it came out on home video, while ‘Legend’ was largely forgotten and ridiculed by the uncle who saw it with me in a separate theater. He still complains about that to this day, asking why I chose the Will Smith film over Johnny Depp’s cult classic, why we dished out six dollars each for this forgettable, mediocre film. I was simply interested in the post-apocalyptic piece about the last man on Earth, based on Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel of the same name. The movie, especially the ending, however, turned out to be a disappointment to most people. I don’t know if it was Will Smith’s acting or the lack of characters in a film about a lack of people but all of my excitement and anticipation in seeing this film was over before the credits rolled. That last scene with the infected people ruined what I thought was a perfectly believable and entertaining movie.

Sweeney Todd, while having some pretty gory and bloody killing scenes, is one movie that is very memorable and full of wonderful actors. And the dance numbers and singing – “JoAnna” always is referenced once or twice. One of the best scenes from that movie is the barbershop contest between Sweeney Todd, AKA Benjamin Barker, and the guy played by Sasha Baron Cohen. Oh, and the scene about describing what is actually in the Miracle of Elixir to growing hair (hint: it’s not apple juice).

How many scenes from I Am Legend can I vividly recall and call my favorite? Virtually none. All I remember is the lone man having a dog and something about a virus. Not much to go on, humor wise.

Both movies having an average rating of 7.5 stars on IMDb so I guess the decision between the two wasn’t so bad after all. I’m shocked that ‘Legend’ is rated that high. I guess I’ll have to see it again to get a different perspective.

I don’t regret anything from that theater day, even if I left my screening feeling cheated out of my money and popcorn and soda feeling more indulging than the film itself. I took a chance to see a film of my choice, not one that everyone else went with. I guess I wanted to feel like a rebel. It would have been too easy to go with the eventual popular choice and I wasn’t a big fan of Johnny Depp back then, seeing him as more of a theatrical actor who only starred in novelty films. The other half of the family seemed a lot more excited after getting out of their screening, with me and uncle subdued and more interested in what the other film was about.

Thankfully, I paid him back a favor by seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens last December so that all visions of that disappointing zombie people flick were evaporated. There is a sequel or prequel to I Am Legend slated to come out this year. Maybe I should repeat history and go against a more sensible choice? Or have I learned my lesson to invest my money in a film that will be worthwhile and easily remembered for years to come? If it were Johnny Depp vs. Will Smith again I think the decision would be very easy. To the left, to the left, as Beyoncé would say.

Daily Prompt: Unpopular 

Tell us about a time when you had to choose between two options, and you picked the unpopular choice.

A Lifetime of Movies

I have seen many movies in my lifetime, so many that is tough to get them all down on a list, which I have been trying to do – in chronological order of viewing.

What was the first movie I saw in my life? I believe it was The Lion King because I vaguely remember seeing it when I was about three, but I can’t be positively sure.

The most recent film I have seen (as of September 25) was Visiting Hours, which was about a prominent media woman who has strong views about another woman who got murdered and a psycho killer who comes after her, stalking and eventually getting killed, ironically, by the woman he was chasing to murder. It had William Shatner in it, whose part was hugely underwritten. The movie was an OK horror film, not the typical 80s slasher I thought it would be but had a nice flow to it and told a story without getting too cliché.

One of the best movies I have seen was World War Z. Brad Pitt totally showed a different side in his character that I had not seen before and the appearance of the zombies was spectacular. They really got down the science well with them. Well, science is a stretch.

I believe one of the worst movies I have seen was called Town & Country. There was no direction at all and the writing and acting were terrible. This was one of the last movies for Warren Beatty. It also starred Jenna Elfman and Diane Keaton who is still going strong. This was back when I was attempting to watch all the worst movies on a list of the worst. Another movie on that list was Showgirls which I did not think was all that bad (the nudity part was intriguing). When I watched some of it back it turned out to be pretty good.

I don’t go to the theaters much these days, preferring to watch movies on Netflix, DVD/Blu-ray, or rip them off the internet like a pirate. So yeah, I’m part of the reason why Hollywood and the film industry is suffering. Yeah right.

About a minute left…ho…hum…

My favorite actor has got to be Johnny Depp just because he is so funny and deadpan humorous in many of his films but can also play a straight man when needed. His last two films, Transcendence and The Lone Ranger, didn’t fare too well at the box office or with the critics but I didn’t think the latter was all that bad. I haven’t seen Transcendence. Yeah, TLR was silly but Disney is all I can say. For kids and adults.

That’s it for today.

In Response to the Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done 2: The Return of the Free-Write