Or, as some folks are calling it, Hot Topic: The Movie. Johnny Depp stars as a vampire, which is important, because were he a regular human being, there would be no reason to cover his face in clown make-up. Back from the grave, Pale-Depp toils about a Tim-Burton-y castle, ripe with dark corridors, and Helena Bonham Carters. Some odd bits of dark humor occur here and there, but never nothing too strange, the Disney executives would like to remind you. Mostly Johnny Depp just wears clown make-up, which has always been more than enough for certain fans of his. Burton is fine with this; He’s in the back, still counting cash from Alice in Wonderland, all while ensuring that his wife still has work. Happy Wife, Happy Life. Must be fun for them. It wasn’t (see: wouldn’t have been) fun for me.
Extremely Official Grade: C-
Men In Black III
Will Smith, you’re such a weirdo. After a decade-plus of headlining mega-grossers on the regular, Smith experienced one (count ‘em, ONE) box office set-back with Seven Pounds, and disappeared from screen for 3 and a half years. The guy obviously can’t handle failure, which is probably why he decided to dust off the old suit, and step back into the most can’t-miss property to which he’s ever been attached. This time, Smith’s Agent J is sent back in time to hang out with a younger Tommy Lee Jones, played by Josh Brolin. This proves three things: (A) That Hollywood thinks Jones’ face is too old and wrinkly to have up on screen for long stretches of time, (B) Brolin does a killer Tommy Lee Jones impression, which, this writer theorizes, was perfected on the set of No Country for Old Men, (C) Even after you’re a famous and celebrated actor, your big blockbuster break might just be playing a younger version of a now too-ugly actor (Hollywood’s assessment, not mine), in a movie that really only exists to make a superstar feel better about himself. Sorry I haven’t seen your movie yet, Will, and please don’t take it personally. I bet it’s alright, though I’m going to have to knock you a grade or two for letting Pit Bull do the theme song.
Extremely Official Grade: C
Have you ever picked up a sword? I’ve only ever handled prop ones (that’s right: stage sword fighting. Be jealous/impressed), and even those weigh a ton. Kristen Stewart, bless her frowny-faced heart, could never wield one, which was a deal-breaker for me until I finally unlocked the mystery of Snow White & the Huntsman: It’s an unauthorized sequel to Twilight! Bella Swan already has her vampire strength, which is why she can fight so furociously, of course! Thanks to the power of hormones, Jacob’s voice dropped a few octaves over the summer, he dyed his hair, and, ‘poof,’ he looks like Thor. Edward somehow turned into Charlize Theron in the translation, but he did maintain his status as, ‘the fairest of them all.’ What a unique and provocative take on a previously existing mythology!
Extremely Official Grade: A-