So, Johnny Depp’s new movie, right? Check out that makeup job!
Dear Edward Scissorhands,
Let’s get married. I would make a wonderful Mrs. Scissorhands for a multitude of reasons.
Firstly, I think your facial scars are cool. They make you look kind of, you know, dangerous. Like the way your scissorhands make you look kind of dangerous. Dangerous!
Secondly, I hate doing yardwork and you seem to enjoy trimming hedges and the like, so you could do the yardwork and I could not, and we could be cute together when the neighbors come over for a barbecue.
Thirdly, I would never make you cut my hair. Unless you wanted to. But don’t do anything crazy with it, because I really hate styling my hair.
Fourthly, I have never dated the rich, popular jock, so I would never ask you to break into his house, thus setting off a chain of events that will end in tragedy.
Fifthly, even if I did set off a chain of events that end in tragedy, I would do it with more panache than Winona Ryder, because I seriously could never understand her popularity, she’s pretty terrible.
Sixthly, I think the last name Scissorhands really suits me, and if you won’t marry me, perhaps I should consider getting my name legally changed. Except I can’t remember how to make a cursive capital S, so maybe that’s a bad idea.
But still, we should get married.
I want my Alvin Karpis biography to arrive, like, now.
Of all the Depression-era criminals, I find him and Harry “Handsome Harry” “Pete” Pierpont to be the most interesting, but hardly anybody writes books about not Dillinger.
Luckily for me, Alvin Karpis, “Old Creepy” himself, wrote a book about not Dillinger! I’m so excited!
What new, torrid secrets will be revealed?
How did he hook up with the Barker gang?
Why did he have a 16-year-old (ewwwww) girlfriend?
What was it like being the longest-serving inmate at Alcatraz?
I’m just SO EXCITED.
Sure, the new Lone Ranger flick has tons of explosions and revenge and justice and train-fight sequences, but you know what else it has?
Johnny Depp. Doing his noble savage impression. In blackface.
WHAT THE HELL HOLLYWOOD.
Apparently, Johnny Depp is either part Cherokee or part Powhatan, which makes it OK, like having Keanu Reeves play a samurai.
Also: Does anyone want to see a Lone Ranger movie? If so, why?
It’s the fourth one, didja know?
That’s a lot of Pirates of the Caribbean movies. In fact, one might go so far as to say that’s an excessive amount of Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Especially since two of them were so goddamned boring.
On the bright side, though, more Johnny Depp, which is something this world needs.
On an equally bright side, no Keira Knightley this time! Instead, we’ve got Penelope Cruz, who, with all that eyeliner on, actually looks like Capt. Jack Sparrow’s long-lost sister, so I’m not sure if they’re trying to play her up as a romantic interest or what.
Ooh, and Ian McShane! And Geoffrey Rush!
And did I hear someone say zombies?
Dammit all, Disney, I think you’ve just gotten me all aflutter for the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. That’s some good marketing right there. Bravo to you. Bravo.
The nice thing about movie pirates is the way they totally don’t murder your whole family in front of you and threaten to sodomize your dog, like real pirates. I actually made up that part about what they said they would do to your dog.
Anyway, two of the most famous movie pirates are Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook. I don’t feel like I need to give you background on these guys, because they are really, really famous movie pirates. If you do need background, I’d like to congratulate you on rejoining the world after spending all those years in a cave on the moon.
On to the battlefield, where it’s safe for your family and your dog!
Physicality. In a battle of fictional pirates, the pirate who resembles Johnny Depp wins. The pirate who resembles Johnny Depp always wins. Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Evilisciousness. I was hedging between this as a category title and Evilocity, and then I thought that Evilocity was an insurance company, so evilisciousness it is. Also, let’s see if I can ever spell that word the same way twice. (I guess I should probably have put word in quotes.) Anyway, Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook, as movie pirates, are ever so much less evil than real pirates. But which one is more evil than the other, but not more evil than real pirates? Capt. Jack Sparrow, as far as I know after watching the first two movies and not any of the others (there were others, right?), was kind of self-serving and sneaky, but not so evil that he would do something like kill Keira Knightley’s character for Christ’s sake someone should’ve done it. On the other hand, Capt. Hook’s main goal in life was to murder a little boy. Magical little boy or not, that’s pretty evil. Winner? Capt. Hook.
More flamboyant costume? Dressed garishly, as all movie pirates are, the better for audiences to be able to tell that they are movie pirates, both Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook have a fondness for giant hats, feathers and button-up coats. Only one of them wears eyeliner. (Hint: It’s the Johnny Depp one.) Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Has a better sidekick? Capt. Hook’s sidekick is the irrepressible Smee, who is a obese buffoon in the Disney movie, an altogether unsastisfying change from his original incarnation as a ruthless bastard. Still, an obese buffoon is infinitely superior to Keira Knightley and, I hate to admit it because he’s soooo pretty, Orlando Bloom. Winner? Capt. Hook.
Has a hook for a hand? Capt. Hook has a hook for a hand, a fact of which he is either very proud and changed his name to suit, or was rather convenient for him because he was already like, “Hey, my name is Hook!” (It’s the first one.) No one would chop off Johnny Depp’s hands for a movie because he has such nice hands. Although I think I’d love him more if he had a chainsaw hand.
Winner? Capt. Hook.
Is eaten by a creature of the deep? Capt. Jack Sparrow gets eaten by a Kraken or something, I don’t know, did anybody else think the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie was so goddamned boring? Later, he somehow comes back, because Disney and Johnny Depp like to buy nice things. Capt. Hook’s hand was eaten by a crocodile, which also ate a clock, so he could hear his doom approaching him. Although, actually, his doom didn’t approach him until the clock stopped working, so he couldn’t actually hear his doom approaching and so it snuck up on him. Or sneaked up on him. I’m never sure about the past tense of that word. Pressing valiantly on! Hook got et by a crocodile. Winner? Well, since both these guys got eaten by creatures typically found in the dark recesses of the waters, I’m going to go ahead and call this a tossup.
Faces more difficult adversaries? Capt. Hook’s adversaries are a magical boy, a tinker fairy and a bunch of other little kids who aren’t particularly magical, but do wear the skins of dead animals. Capt. Jack Sparrow’s adversaries are the navy (British, I think, but *yawn*, second movie soooo boring) and a squid-faced Davy Jones. Also whoever cast Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean. Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
For the tie-breaker, which of these characters hasn’t been ruined by awful sequels? Ha, ha, I’m just kidding. Of course Peter Pan’s got sequels. I told you Disney likes to buy nice things.
For the real tie-breaker, which of these characters is more masculine? What with his guyliner and all, Capt. Jack Sparrow has a weak hold on the last threads of his heterosexuality. Sure, he tries to get you to think he’s into the ladies by coming on to Keira Knightley, but we all know if he had any taste in women at all, he’d go after the chick who ended up on Undercovers, because she is gorgeous.
Still, he’s good with a sword and grows a magnificent goatee. Capt. Hook doesn’t waste a single minute on trying to convince anyway he’s straight or gay or having sex of any kind at all. He is single-minded in the pursuit of his goal, which is to kill the hell out of a small child. Now that’s a man. (Are you sure?) Whatever, I like Hook better. Winner? Capt. Hook.
Overall winner? Capt. Hook. By a hook.
OK, he’s dead, like all the movie greats, but I think The Tourist totally was made for him.
Him and, I don’t know, one of Hitchcock’s icy blondes.
It just doesn’t seem like the right fit for Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
Not that I’m saying Johnny’s doing a bad job, because he never does a bad job, and in fact, by the end of the trailer, his flat yet somewhat surprised deliveries were really beginning to grow on me.
I’m just saying this is a Cary Grant movie.
In fact, it’s basically North by Northwest, without the Mount Rushmore scene. Or the plane scene. Or Cary Grant.
Really, The Tourist needs Cary Grant.
Because, otherwise, what you’ve got is another spy thriller with Angelina Jolie playing the femme fatale for the umpteenth time and Johnny Depp looking like he’s slightly bored.
“I don’t regret kissing you,” he says to Angelina Jolie, because apathy leaves no room for regret.
I don’t know. I can’t decide if it’s fun watching Tim Burton’s psychotic break happen or not so much.
A lot of people are saying how the new Alice in Wonderland movie is lush and beautiful and for mature audiences who can appreciate a good movie, and I think they are just really, really wrong. Alice in Wonderland might be lush and beautiful and for mature audiences, but it’s not for the ones who can appreciate a good movie, it’s for the ones who don’t have residual night terrors from the cartoon.
I mean, this movie is even scarier.
It’s like seeing the Cheshire Cat come to life and knowing he’s waiting under your bed.
It’s like the Red Queen and her head is really, really big.
It’s like Johnny Depp and you can’t make out his really excellent features.
I mean, is there anything scarier than not being able to recognize Johnny Depp? (Is Tim Burton a really homely guy and he’s taking it out on Johnny Depp and the audiences who love his beauty? And what does Burton have against his own wife?)
I know that a lot of people are excited for this movie. I don’t blame you. Well, I kind of blame you, because seriously, do you not feel fear? What is wrong with you?
Roly-poly deformed twins don’t frighten you?
Anne Hathaway’s white wig doesn’t send a shudder of fear down your spine?
Really? Really and truly? Are you made of steel? How can you not be afraid?
Seriously, tell me in the comments below. I’ll read the answers if I can work up the courage to get out from under my bed covers.
Disney’s destroyed a lot of things. Countless reels of their early racist cartoons. Small nations. My will to live.
Not least among those things is what makes certain badasses truly badass.
A list follows.
Pre-Disney: Tinkerbell, as we all know, was Peter Pan’s pet fairy. As you may not know, people don’t actually keep fairies as pets and Tink was only hanging out with the lad because of a strange sense of fondness. Later, when Peter brought the young girl Wendy to Neverland, Tink convinced the Lost Boys to shoot arrows at the strange “Wendy-Bird.” That’s right, she was bad-assedly trying to off her competition for Peter’s affections.
Post-Disney: Look, I don’t remember watching Peter Pan any more than the rest of you, but I’m pretty sure that everything Tinkerbell now is aimed towards 5-year-old girls.
2. Captain Hook.
Pre-Disney: He was “Blackbeard’s boatswain, and that he was the only man Long John Silver ever feared.” Also, he was actively trying to murder a prepubescent boy.
Post-Disney: Do the words “bumbling fool” mean anything to you? If they don’t, perhaps you are in need of a dictionary. Disney had to ruin everything good about Peter Pan.
Pre-Disney: A little mermaid wondered what it would be like to have a soul. A little mermaid discovered that the only way to get a soul was to have a human fall in love with her. Note: it says nothing about falling in love with the human in return. A little mermaid, near her fated death, can ward it off if she kills the human man. Does she? No. She lets him live, marry his true love and turns into sea foam (actually, she turns into an air spirit, but she thought she was going to turn into sea foam, so it counts). That last thing is what makes her truly badass. Well, that and the way she danced for the prince even though each step felt like she was walking on knives. Bad! Ass!
Post-Disney: Ariel falls in love with a human man. Who needs a soul when you can have steaming hot human sex, am I right? Offered the same choice as the original little mermaid, she also staunchly refuses to stab the guy to death, but in the end, she ends up married, not sea foam and presumably the proud possessor of a soul. Nicely tying a neat little bow in everything and kind of defeating the whole Christian theme Hans Christian (hey!!) Anderson had going.
Pre-Disney: Zeus’s oft-cuckolded wife (can women be cuckolded? Hell, I don’t know), she took her revenge not on her scoundrel of a husband who couldn’t keep it in his pants and was sticking it to everything that moved, but on his lovers. She turned Io into a cow. She detained Leto’s childbirth so that her labor with the twins Apollo and Artemis lasted for a couple of weeks, which is very goddamn evil, if you have ever experienced the horror that is childbirth. If she couldn’t get to the lover, she went after her husband’s progeny, even if said progeny had been named Heracles as an attempt to appease her. She even went so far as to strike Heracles with a madness that led him to murder his wife and children. Pretty badass, huh?
Post-Disney: Hera and Zeus are the loving parents of Hercules and … what the hell? Really? You’re serious? Frak you, Disney. Just: frak you.
Pre-Disney: Look, there’s really no point in doing two separate entries on these two. They’re both basically weak women who sit around doing chores and hoping that wonderful things will happen to them and then wonderful things do, hurrah! Hurrah! But what made both ladies truly badass was the punishments that they let be inflicted on their tormentors. Cinderella’s stepsisters had their eyes poked out by doves that were sitting on the new princess’s shoulders. Snow White’s stepmother was made to dance in iron-hot shoes until she was dead. It takes a pretty spectacular badass to let those things come to be.
Post-Disney: Read the first part again, up until “punishments that they let be inflicted on their tormentors,” and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the general wussiness of these ladies. Also, they sing a lot. *shudder*
Pre-Disney: Look, I don’t know if your parents ever told you this, but these are words to raise your children by: Don’t piss off the fair folk. If someone sneezes, bless ’em before the fairies steal their soul. If you’re caught in a fairy ring, well, just expect to die. And for the love of God, don’t forget to invite a fairy to your princess daughter’s Christening because that is poor form, sir, very poor form indeed. In fact, it’s such poor form that the highly pissed-off fairy is likely to curse your child unto her death, although that curse may be tempered by another fairy whom you actually remembered to invite.
Post-Disney: Actually, Maleficient, which is a name invented by the folks at Disney and is kind of awesome, remains pretty badass and turns into a dragon and somesuch. However, she was just evil from the get-go, which, while badass, seems less badass than teaching people proper manners by killing their kids.
7. Shere Khan.
Pre-Disney: The Jungle Book’s man-eating tiger was a man-eater for one reason and one reason alone (coincidentally, it’s the same reason tigers become man-eaters today!): people can’t run very fast. Shere Khan was born with a lame leg, which would be a hindrance in the whole hunting and killing existence, except for the miracle of slow, slow villagers.
Post-Disney: Why does Shere Khan eat people? There’s no reason given? That’s pretty badass then … wait, what do you mean he doesn’t eat anything in the whole movie? What’d they kill him for then?
Pre-Disney: Not Wall-E specifically, but all robots were things to be feared and obeyed, Isaac Asimov’s rules of robotics notwithstanding.
Post-Disney: Awwww! They’re so cute and helpful! Cute and helpful!
9. Aladdin’s genie.
Pre-Disney: Folks, there is a reason that most djinn are found stuffed into bottles and it’s not because they like it in there. It’s because that’s where they could be safely stored because, holy Allah, are they powerful and generally selfish beings. It’s best if you use your third wish to wish your genie back into its lamp, if you don’t want to end up disembowled on top of your riches and half-naked harem.
10. Johnny Depp.
Pre-Disney: Depp was a hotel-room thrashing, method-acting, crazy hot guy. He had a “Wino Forever” tattoo (ha ha, take that, Winona Ryder)!
Post-Disney: Disney turned Depp into an eyeliner-wearing pirate. Now, you might think that pirates would be pretty badass, and you would be right, except in the cases where they were eyeliner. The only movie character ever who is still a badass despite the wearing of eyeliner is L from Death Note, and that’s only because Japan used up all their CGI funds on the shinigami effects in the movie (I’m assuming Japan is both a country and a film studio).
Pre-Disney: In the Bard’s epic tragedy, everybody dies because Hamlet can’t make up his goddamned mind.
Post-Disney: I’m not saying I like Simba and his stupid yet catchy songs, but at least the lion cub was a little bit proactive, you know?