REVIEW: Rango

Rango
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: John Logan (screenplay)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, and Bill Nighy

Go ahead, label Rango an animated vehicle for Johnny Depp driven by his Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski.   You wouldn’t be wrong, but you would be guilty of oversimplifying one of the most outlandish and downright weird animated movies to cross mainstream audiences in a long time.

It seems almost mandatory at this point to acknowledge that Rango is indeed not a product of Pixar.  However, it doesn’t come from Dreamworks either, but rather Nickelodeon.  To this end, the bizarre twists and somewhat more mature material seem more at home.  So too does Depp, voicing The Chameleon With No Name who later assumes the identity Rango when he stumbles into an Old West Town.

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REVIEW: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Directed by: Mike Newell
Written by: Boaz Yakin & Doug Miro (screenplay)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, and Alfred Molina

I must say, after seeing the abysmal trailer for this film, I’m somewhat pleasantly surprised with the end result.  What initially looked like another bad video game adaptation with worse graphics than the actual game, Jerry Bruckheimer has done the unthinkable: taken the (resident) evil act of adapting a movie to screen and having it actually be entertaining.  Alas, no Jack Sparrow to make this tale interesting or worth embarking on.

Bruckheimer makes a living off of these ridiculous ideas.  He grossed more than a billion dollars off of a trilogy based on a Disney ride.Though he has production credits only, you can see his swash-buckling touch all over this desert tale.  The Sex and the City girls decorate their Middle Eastern adventure with desperation mixed with luxury and a hint of American arrogance.  You’ll find no such things metastasize on the surface of this film, though they are all there behind the scenes; a dwindling economy prevails but Bruckheimer still finds $200 million for his vision.  It’s not so much arrogance as studio caution that a white male has been cast in the lead role as the Prince of Persia.

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