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Did Disney pick a bad time to promote Johnny Depp's 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides?'

December 10, 2010 |  8:46 am

Depp
On the surface it must have made a lot of sense to pair the release of these new "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" images with the release of "The Tourist." Johnny Depp has been relatively available on the talk-show circuit promoting his new Angelina Jolie thriller, and so Disney must have figured this was as good a time as any to remind people about the star's spring fourquel.

It's a reasonable strategy, but it may well backfire. The reviews for "Tourist" have been so atrocious -- here's The Times Kenneth Turan, calling it "a not particularly thrilling thriller...so lacking in pace, involvement and excitement;" Todd McCarthy at the Hollywood Reporter had this memorably vitriolic take -- that "Pirates" almost looks bad by association. Far from piggybacking on goodwill for Depp, the images of a Jack Sparrow character that the actor could do in his sleep looks more likely to become part of a larger what-is-Johnny-Depp-doing conversation.

Maybe Disney felt that the negative vibes around "Tourist" could actually help its movie, throwing into relief how beloved the actor was in other surroundings. But that would only work if the studio were releasing images for something new and exciting, and a fourth "Pirates" movie is neither of those things.

Depp was once the most promising actor of his generation. He's still arguably the most talented, but he's choosing an odd way to show it  lately, what with these action spectacles that feel shopworn, or Tim Burton pairings that aren't much more inspired. That's an issue no amount of savvy marketing can solve -- only Depp himself.

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Credit: Disney

RECENT AND RELATED:

Hero Complex: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides first look photos

Movie review: The Tourist

 


 
Comments () | Archives (5)

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I think Depp is great, but I can't remember him ever playing a regular guy, and the trailer for "The Tourist" doesn't disprove my pet theory that he can't. I remember watching "The Ninth Gate" and thinking there was something strange there. (Though it might have always been the director; I haven't liked almost any of the acting even by talented people in almost anything Woody Allen has done in the past 10 years.)

And what exactly do YOU do for a living??

Oh please. Depp is not the greatest actor of his generation not even close ! Ican think of several others that do not have to dress or act like a moron and be Tim Burton's muse to survive ! You are obviously a Depp lover beyond belief to print such garbage. Also Depp is by far "not" the most talented. The biggest films he makes the most money at our his 'make believe dress me up disguise films.' A real actor can play himself and look like himself sometimes. It is truly a shame that Depp's movies are terrible when he looks like a normal human being. So, let's not brag about Depp being the greatest or the most talented - he is not by a long shot !!!!!

I agree he's talented and I like most of the stuff he's done. But no actor can be perfect either in the roles he chooses or in the way he portrays those roles. I happen to like the Pirates series but after three movies, it would be nice to see more depth to Captain Jack or at least less predictability. Can Depp deliver or is it more of the same? As for The Tourist - looks interesting enough to rent, but not enough to make it to the theatre.

Let me start of by saying that i am a Depp fan. However, everyone on this board, and the author of it himeslf, makes more than valid points. Let's face it, "The Tourist" was a major flop, and in my opinion, "The Ninth Gate" was as well. And as to why Depp is constantly choosing to film in some played out Burton film that he is limping to the barn with trying to suck some money out of "A Nightmare Before Christmas," or "Sweeny Todd" fanatics is truly beyond me. I do, on the other hand, absolutely adore Depp in that although he may have a less than desirable role, he makes his use of it. In every Tim Burton mash up he is someone unique, or at least tries to be someone different than his previous roles. Take "Edward Scissorhands," "Sweeny Todd," "Secret WIndow," or even "Charile and the Chocolate Factory" into account. All of these he was the main character and in all of these he was unique, strange, and oddly loveable. Same goes for the upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, he will play Jack Sparrow once again and will more than likely make me want to become him. That is what entices me to see these films, no matter how cruel they may be to my mind, because Depp knows how to play a character and no matter what he does as a paid actor, he will always be great in many, if not all, of his roles. Minus "Public Enemies." I truly loathe that entire film.


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