Tag Archives: Paul Bettany

Priest (2011)

People will write books about this era of film. To be fair, books will always be written about film, but the past few decades have been dominated by one instrument of change in particular–digital effects. Certainly special effects have always been relevant, and since essentially the beginning of film as a medium have been gradually improving and contributing to it, but nothing has made fantasy in film authentic like digital effects. And not only have digital effects taken film to an entirely new level of imagination, but they have done it with remarkable speed. Personally, I am a massive fan of effects work, to the point of occasionally applauding films that might not have much else going for them (e.g. TRON: Legacy), but as with anything, it can’t all be good. This digital effects renaissance has a flip side, and it is movies like Priest. Movies that are so horridly assembled in every way besides the special effects, they just end up being laughably bad.

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The Tourist (2010)

What was the last Johnny Depp movie that got you really excited?  Or Angelina Jolie for that matter?  With Ol’ John there’s a glimmer of hope coming in the form of the Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary.  Certainly Depp recalling his Gonzo in any way is good news for us.  Other than that, it’s just a new trio of Pirates movies, yet another Tim Burton thing, and rumors regarding Kathryn Bigelow’s next flick.  Things are even bleaker for Angie, with a reprisal of her Kung Fu Panda Tigress on the horizon, and little else.  My point here isn’t so much to rip into these actors’ future endeavors as it is to call attention to the strange turn their careers have taken.  Towards the beginning of their respective careers, Deep and Jolie both built their legacies on talent.  They may have started out as beautiful faces, but with roles in films like Gia and Girl, Interrupted, Edward Scissorhands and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? they cemented respect from a critical audience.  And now it’s come to this.  The Tourist. Boringly predictable and occasionally incoherent, The Tourist gives Jolie and Depp the opportunity to spend some time in Venice, dress in overly elegant clothes, and be some mildly different version of their publicly banal selves.

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