Movies: Pirates, Baywatch, and Bryan Cranston

“Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”…  this is the 5th and hopefully last movie in the franchise that began 14 years ago.  Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow has become a one-note sloppy drunk. Even the  addition of Oscar winner Javier Bardem  as  a scary-looking ghost of a  pirate can’t save this more than 200-million dollar movie. The one  bright spot, for me at least, was the couple minutes with Sir Paul  McCartney as a jail guard/uncle of Jack Sparrow. McCartney was a last-minute addition after Keith Richards dropped out because the movie was so delayed- supposedly because Depp was in the throes of the break-up of his marriage to Amber Heard. The young male lead, Brenton Thwaites reminds me a lot of the late Heath Ledger. Coincidentally, like Heath, Brenton is Australian and is on record as idolizing Ledger. Orlando Bloom briefly appears- so does Keira Knightly, but if you blink, you will miss her.  This movie gets just a 33% approval rating on “Rotten Tomatoes”. 2-plus hours  with only the first one mildly  entertaining.  Too bad this movie lives up to its title: “Dead Men Tell No Tales”.


1 star


“Baywatch”… well, you know you’re not in for an Oscar movie, right?? Fandango has named “Baywatch” the most anticipated comedy this summer. Really!! I didn’t see it – would have given up  night’s sleep . So I  missed some of the best bodies in the business, including the always likeable and best paid actor in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson, along with  Zac Efron. Also starring: “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit model Kelly Rohrbach , “Quantico” star Priyanka Chopra and Alexandra Daddario. “Baywatch” gets just a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. My good friend,  Jeffrey Lyons calls it  “an adequate “airplane” movie”, as in the 1980 satirical classic.

Marc Coppola went to see Baywatch last night and here's what he has to say:

The TV show was always good clean campy fun and now in big screen form it carries that on. Not a deep script but funny in many spots as it pokes fun at the original TV show. Whenever someone  comes to the rescue you'll notice they're running in slow motion with body parts bouncing.  Dwayne Johnson plays David Hasselhoff's role of Mitch the head Lifeguard, but then so does David Hasselhoff as a cameo.  The story: Mitch Buchanan (Dwayne Johnson, radiating his typical, effortless charisma) is the head of Baywatch, an elite crew of lifeguards who—inexplicably but also repeatedly, just as in the TV show—spend much of their time fighting beach-related crimes. As Baywatch opens, Buchanan and his team are looking for new members. Many would be junior lifeguards come out for the chance to join Mitch, C.J. (Kelly Rohrbach), and Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera) in the Spandex-clad squad—among them Summer (Alexandra Daddario), an athlete with a no-nonsense attitude, Ronnie (Jon Bass), an overweight nerd who gets the girl, and Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a retired Olympic swimmer in the Ryan Lochte mold, who was a star in individual events but—hold on to your metaphors—let the U.S. team down during the team-relay races. There’s also a drug-running villain (Priyanka Chopra) from the TV show Quantico.  

2 stars for Holiday Weekend family fun. Funny, bordering on dirty jokes My favorite line is, "How come our bathing suits ride so far up our butts?" Response was, "So we can swim faster."  The whole movie is like that and Pamela Anderson makes a cameo.


“Wakefield”- Bryan Cranston is absolutely  astounding and perfectly cast as a litigating lawyer who suddenly leaves his unsatisfying life- taking refuge for months in an attic garage spying, on his wife and daughters living life without him.  what  makes this performance most amazing is most of the dialogue is by  and  to himself.  Jennifer garner co-stars as his wife. The whole time I was  wondering, “how on earth will this end”? one of the year’s best- certainly satisfying for “Breaking Bad” fans . Right now, only at the  IFC  theater on 6th Avenue but you can  definitely netflix this one.

 3-and-a-a-half stars 

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