Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Jesse Plemons, Julianne Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, David Harbour, Rory Cochrane, W. Earl Brown, Dakota Johnson & Benedict Cumberpatch

Directed by Scott Cooper

Johnny Depp’s outings of late have been sub-par at best. In fact that’s putting it politely; some of his recent work has been terrible. I know the guy likes taking on roles that are quirky and challenging, but c’mon…

Black Mass could very well be the return to form we’ve so longed for from Johnny, but there’s this nagging query that needs addressing. Are we potentially yet to see the best Johnny has in him, or dare I say his role as Whitey Bulger is simply an apparition?

Because while Black Mass is respectable, it hasn’t entirely filled me with assurance. Like I said, Johnny could be back, or this may be a one-time-only deal before he returns to the garbage that nearly derailed his career.

The conundrum for me is where does the quality of the film formulate? Does Johnny make the film or does the film make Johnny? It’s this inability to contend for one of the other that leaves me desiring more from Black Mass, and yet despite this I know that somewhere deep down this film has ‘it’. Had this been another botch would Johnny’s performance still stand?

I could go on like this with persistence, but I have to draw a line somewhere. To my advantage I advocate a viewing so that someone can tell me what came first: the actor or the film.

MRD 6 of 10


Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell & Will Rogers

Directed by Steven Spielberg

At some point in time my psyche decided to get itself around the idea that Tom Hanks may perhaps potentially, possibly, may be, imaginably, conceivably capable of putting in a performance that I may like. Then he went and starred in Bridge Of Spies and nailed it and now I have a lot of soul-searching to do.

Everything I once thought true has now been brought into doubt by my own consciousness. Once Tom was the scourge of the earth and I begrudged his success over others I felt more deserving. Do I now rescind these previous beliefs and take on a new philosophy towards the man? I’m not sure just yet, but Bridge Of Spies sure is a convincing step forward.

MRD 8 of 10


Starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam & Jim Beaver

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Have you ever been the odd one out, in any regard? No matter what is said you just believe the contrary? I’m tempted to admit I feel this way about two individuals in the making of Crimson Peak: Guillermo del Toro and (brace yourselves) Tom Hiddleston.

I can’t name an appealing del Toro production, and while Tom is still riding high on his promising rise to prominence I can’t help but feel he’s stagnated ever so slightly. Of course this doesn’t mean the end for myself and Tom, but the relationship has changed.

However this didn’t affect my thoughts on the quality of Crimson Peak. It had all the components, but not every constituent was in working order. What could have been a brilliant film didn’t even make it to ‘great’ status. It’s good, but all it really did for me was question my commitment to the Church of Hiddleston and confirm my lack of appreciation for anything del Toro creates.

MRD 5 of 10