Friday, October 07, 2011

Remember When This Would've Automatically Been Good News?

HitFix's Drew McWeeny and THR have two news items up about Johnny Depp casting - one a new project, another that's been in development for awhile. Both of them would've sounded MUCH more intriguing back before Depp had Pirates4 and Alice In Wonderland in his recent-filmography. But, then, who knows?

First, the more interesting of the two: A biopic of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. That I want to see regardless of whom they cast.

Secondly, his long-gestating do-over of Dashiell Hammett's "The Thin Man," a detective franchise previously adapted into a mega-popular film series starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. This is the one that has "red flag" written all over it. The basic setup is an uber-wealthy married couple, Nick and Nora Charles, who solve crimes and mysteries more-or-less for shits and giggles. The "gimmick?" They're both functional alcoholics, doing their thing while constantly sauced - the book and films having originated in the era before over-drinking was thought of as a "problem" for the upper-class. So... yeah, you can already see what the danger is: It'd be very, VERY easy for this to turn into "Jack Sparrow but as a 40s crimesolver."

I'm curious as to how they plan to translate ANY of it. The original films hold up remarkably well, but it's still pretty jarring how "cute" they play Nick and Nora's vices (seriously - go watch one of the first four or five of these, they really put it away) for modern eyes. I'm not sure that really "works" anymore. The original "Arthur" was the last real 'eccentric rich alcoholism is adorable' movie, and famous MAAD appeared one year later and "Arthur 2" just wasn't as funny.

7 comments:

jojjo said...
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jojjo said...

What's wrong with his performance in Alice? Sure the movie was pretty uninspired (if only by Burton's standard) and the dance was quite awkward but I thought Depp was really good. Just the way his accent increases when he's angry... But yea, the "Captain Jack Sparrow"-shtick is getting old.

Euler d'Moogle said...

For what it's worth, I can second the recommendation to watch the original Thin Man movies. They're great fun.

Joe said...

I didn't like Alice, but I can't really single out Depp's performance as the reason. The whole movie was just lacking passion, characterization, or anything to keep my interest. The only thing that stood out for me was Anne Hathaway's White Queen. She was fantastic.

Dav3 said...
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Dav3 said...

I honestly don't get why you're so down on Depp, all of a sudden.

Good actors make bad movies all the time and it doesn't instantly turn them into bad actors.

Look at Anthony Hopkins, Harrison Ford, actually look at EVERYONE that was in Cowboys and Aliens. Ford, Sam Rockwell, Daniel Craig, even Clancy Brown, were all acting their asses off. It didn't stop the movie from sucking balls, but I still respect all of their talent. I don't think any less of Jon Favreau either. (Orci and Kurtzman deserve a kick in the balls, but that's another topic)

The fact is talented people swing and miss sometimes, and it doesn't make them any less talented.

Anonymous said...

Bob I'm surprised. Why no mention of "over the top"? This seems like an almost direct adaption?