Film/TV Dec 24, 2014 at 4:00 am

Because Meryl Streep, Obviously

Johnny Depp plays the Wolf, but don’t worry: He’s only there for five minutes and the rest of the movie is surprisingly good.


I just don't get what is with all the hating of Johnny Depp? He's a great actor. He always has been a colorful character that doesn't need all the serious "I'm a Hollywood icon" crap. I guess the world is full of fakes and "stiffs" (uptight, short-sighted narrow-minded hypocrites, in the words of John Lennon)...maybe I shouldn't have quoted John Lennon either, as he is probably considered weird to this new shallow generation of wannabe hipsters. Go listen to some Dylan and loosen your panties. I still love Johnny Depp.
Johnny Depp is an overrated bore and has been for years. Problem is hipster dipshits just can't see through the cool.
Johnny Depp seems like a really cool dude; unfortunately he is the most overrated actor of his generation. He's not that good. He's never been that good. End of.
In the Nicolas Cage episode of Community (brilliant!), Abed, in listing the actors easily categorized as "bad" or "good," a simple binary that simply can't encompass Cage, quips, "Jean Claude Van Damme is the good kind of bad; Johnny Depp is the bad kind of good."

I think "overrated" is what we call artists when we want to call attention to our own superior powers of observation ... or worse, to call attention to what we imagine is the inferior powers of observation of our contemporaries. If you imagine you see a flaw in someone's makeup that everyone else has missed, it might do you some good to question your own self-regard before you cast aspersions on others' enjoyment. That said ... Something happens to an actor when he comes to believe too deeply in his own press. Depp, in this way, seems to be stumbling down the same path as Jack Nicholson, circa, say, The Witches of Eastwick, Batman, Wolf, and Mars Attacks. I think there's a bit more variety in what Depp does, but that variety becomes its own trick; "bold" choices and incongruous delivery are Depp's versions of Nicholson's shifty eyebrows, wicked grin, and stoned drawl.

Of course, like Nicholson, he'll probably pull out something truly brilliant now and again in the hands of a solid director/writer/editor, and the people who think he was "overrated" will hate it as much as they will have hated everything else he did, those who are circumspect enough to look at each performance in context and on its merits will notice the difference, and his fan base--who are, in any case, getting their money's worth--will wonder what the rest of us were kvetching about in the first place. Life will go on, movies will be made, etc.

I'm really not looking forward to the insufferable debating of musical theater nerds over the cuts and changes, though, even if that will inevitably include some of my best friends. I'd rather be locked in a room full of Tolkien scholars.
This article is full of ignorance and biased nieve opinion
If, like me, you don't know what the fuck Into the Woods is and you wish this review had spent one sentence telling you, I went to Wikipedia and found this: "The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from "Little Red Riding Hood", "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Rapunzel", and "Cinderella", as well as several others. The musical is tied together by an original story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, their interaction with a Witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey."

Yr welcome.
Depp can be great. He can bring real quiet depth to a role. But I do feel like he's been getting cast as "weird guy" for so long he's not even trying anymore. I blame Pirates of the Caribbean.
@5: Not bad, he's critiquing something which is normally musical theatre, and you come in pretending to be upset. I'm interested in seeing where you troll next:

7/10, look forward to future trolls.
Weird that so many think of Depp as "overrated" when I don't really hear very often about him being rated highly at all. It's kind of uncool to like him these days (witness comments above). His Sweeney Todd was pretty good, I thought, and I bet the five minutes you're fixated on aren't all that bad, either. Just because an actor isn't Meryl Streep, doesn't mean he can't be perfectly serviceable.
Was this review written just to get it all out on Johnny Depp? He is in the movie for less than 5 minutes and the review and its headline is mainly about him? Wow. I highly doubt that he is even bad in it.
@mad13 The only bore here is the "writer" of this review and you. Depp is hardly overrated.
"You know how sometimes Johnny Depp will appear on Letterman or wherever in a wide-brimmed hat and stringy hobo hair and be a complete bore? He looks exactly the same way in Into the Woods, and acts the same way, too, all eyeballs and aimlessness and weirdness for weirdness's sake."

Not sure you actually watched his interviews with Letterman. Or have you only watched that early 2013 interview? Still, he acts and looks nothing like that in the movie.

"Why we can't come together as a nation to repeal the law that Johnny Depp gets to have a part in every Stephen Sondheim movie adaptation is beyond me, but that's Obamacare for you."

Because you can't do anything about it in the real world? This is only his second Sondheim movie adaptation and Sweeney Todd was great and he was nominated for an Oscar for it so..
@10, 11, and 12 - Jonathan, wouldn't it be much easier to just have your attorneys shake down Mr. Frizzelle, instead of scouring the Internet looking for articles being critical of you and commenting on them?
@JaredL - Welcome to The Stranger you crazy JD obsessed weirdo.
Wow, this is argument is so weak. Johnny Depp is a fine actor. Maybe not the best, but it's acting... pretty subjective medium.

Maybe more important is that you are a grown man, a writer, who is writing about who "Into the Woods", which is kind of a children's movie that is made to appeal to adults, can't 'quite be ruined' by Depp's horrible persona, as you see it.

Do you not see that this movie is garbage?

Well, I guess you are just to towing the company line of Stranger writers who try to present as intelligent cultured individuals who are at the forefront of pop-culture opinions, but come off are more like the adult versions of whiny, self-absorbed teenagers who think that they are smarter than everyone else, and therefore their opinions are important and interesting...

Happy holidays
so wait, are the people who don't give Depp the time of day hipsters, or are they the ones who can't see through his cool? it can't be both, and I need to know...not sure if you guys have been paying attention, but these "hipsters" discussed here have terrible reputations all over the internet. will they hurt me? should I buy a gun?
@16 - "Hipster" is one of the more confusing insults out there, especially since calling someone a hipster seems to be a way of displaying your own hipness--that is, the superior sense of knowing that allows you to determine that the person you're talking to is posing, that his or her (usually his, in my experience, but others may have experienced otherwise) tastes are affected for the sake of seeming smart, sexy, young, etc.

Sometimes, it seems like a new way of being homophobic ("He plucks his eyebrows, his socks match his shirt, and I think I saw that outfit in one of my wife's magazines!) or ageist ("Damn kids! In my day, we knew how to wear black jeans with authentic panache!"). Probably reading too much into it, though. I really think it's more a way of hating white or white-ish people who make you feel disconnected from some ill-defined notion of "alternative" culture.

I get all that...but seriously should I buy a gun?
Speaking of bores, Is that you Jared Leto? Depp hasn't done anything interesting since Donnie Brasco. And your band sucks as well. Wearing cool hats, sunglasses and getting tattoos are all it takes for you turds to think someone is compelling.
Johnny Depp is not what is wrong with this movie. Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt are great, but the rest of the cast kinda sucks. OK, Cinderella's mom and sisters were pretty good. But Anna Kendrick and James Corden were lousy, and listening to them belt out two hours of Stephen Sondheim is about 1hr 59min too much. Plus the direction was lousy, really unimpressed with Rob Marshall- lurid incoherent lighting that would shift for no apparent reason in the middle of a scene, and the camera work seemed way too busy. But with all that against it, like the reviewer says...Meryl Streep.
OH MY fawking gawd, you're all loons and dipshits. Wonderful! Seattle IS film!
@mad13 Sounds like you actually haven't seen anything he's done since Donnie Brasco. He's done more interesting movies than Donnie Brasco and he's been nominated for 3 Oscars since that movie.
Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors and I really appreciate his art. He makes every movie better for me. I just love watching him work and find his style unusual and refreshing. I like his style off the set also. I also like to hear him talk. I guess I just find him fascinating altogether.

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