Author Archive - PeriU

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Just Enjoy the Show: The Twilight Saga Continues

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Yes, the long-awaited The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.  I know what you’re thinking.  Before you think it though, here it goes.  Breaking Dawn Part 1 is actually enjoyable.  That’s right, I said it, enjoyable.  If you know exactly what you are getting you will not be disappointed.  This is different than a lot of movies recently racing towards the Oscars that were a bit, ahem, disappointing.  I won’t name names, though, cough cough The Descendants, Moneyball, Beginners and The Tree of Life.  Even The Help.  I mean, good?  Yes, definitely.  The best we’ve ever seen?  I don’t think so.  Many of the movies seem to be coming up short.

I read a couple of reviews of Breaking Dawn, including the one in the L.A. Times, and I was expecting the worst.  This is from a fan of the Twilight series, both books and movies.  Okay, not a die-hard wait in line for the premiere or wear a t-shirt or admit out loud (oh wait, too late) fan or anything.  I probably would have fallen asleep during the midnight premiere.  Not even Harry Potter could keep me up I think.  Gasp, a Stanford student who likes Twilight and admits it?  The series is silly and a fantasy of course.  But that’s just it, it’s an escape.  I mean when you have to deal with guys not even offering to pick up the check anymore Edward and Jacob seem like a dream.  Also, amidst many vampire series, mostly lame, Stephenie Meyer did something right (make the characters likable).

So the reviews were harsh of course but to tell the truth Breaking Dawn personally was the only movie this holiday season so far that was fun to watch and without high expectations.  The movie covers the wedding, honeymoon (finally but don’t get your hopes up too much, this is still PG-13 after all), Bella’s pregnancy (spoiler alert, sorry) and birth (world’s fastest pregnancy) and ends with her transformation into a vampire (spoiler alert but come on you should  have seen that one coming).  Part 2 is up next but Part 1 was like an entire lifetime consolidated into one movie.

Breaking Dawn still doesn’t top the first Twilight movie with its sort of indie innocence before all the mega-fame and budgets.  However, Breaking Dawn is better and more faithful to the series than Eclipse, focusing more on the romance than the violence.  Actually, when I read the Breaking Dawn book in high school (hiding it under the desk from people who literally cringed when they saw it) I wondered how they would make it into a movie, especially with the birth scene.  Bill Condon (director of Dreamgirls) did a nice job.  The actors, Kristen Stewart (a strong actress anyway), Taylor Lautner, and Robert Pattinson do the best they can with the material they are given and try to do as little winking at the camera as possible, so for that I applaud them.  Pattinson especially is much better in this movie and even gives Edward somewhat of a backbone.  Bella and Edward’s wedding is a highlight with its beautiful décor and wedding dress (vampires really do have good taste).

Just let go of the questions (like how can a vampire get someone pregnant and the whole verging on creepy imprinting thing), sit back, and go with it.

Bruno Mars – It Will Rain [New Music]

 

 

The Descendants: Good, but Great?

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

The Descendants is getting rave reviews.  Critics claim George Clooney is at his best and will definitely be Oscar-nominated.  I am sure he will and the movie may even be as well.  So it is with high expectations of a real-life type of drama with a touch of comedy (done by the same team as Sideways) that I went to see The Descendants.

George Clooney plays a father who finds himself the sole guardian of his two daughters after his wife has an accident and is in a coma.  He is clueless as to how to deal with his two girls, one 10 and one 17, that he does not know all that well.  They must come together though as Matt King decides whether or not to sell his family’s ancestral lands and learns that his wife had been having an affair.

Do not get me wrong, I like a real-life type of poignant movies as much as the next person but somehow I felt detached from these characters.  I think the problem comes down to George Clooney.  If an actor like Matt Damon had been the lead it might have been different.  Clooney is a little cold in his acting, which works as a politician in The Ides of March but not as a father whose life is unraveling.

Clooney’s eyes look untouched as he goes through the motions but does not seem to register the emotions.  The close-ups of his face show this especially and it is a bit disappointing.  It seems that the movie may have been overhyped by the critics.  It is a good movie, but a great one?  I am not so sure.  The girls are very good, though.  Shailene Woodley shows her acting chops and accomplishes what I wish Clooney could have. We can actually see the pain in her eyes.

An Insidious Menace Haunts Martha Marcy May Marlene

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Martha Marcy May Marlene is one of the most intriguing films this fall.  It is hard to place into a genre, but psychological thriller is probably the most fitting.  A piercing, standout performance by Elizabeth Olsen drives this film.  Olsen, who definitely will become a big star, plays a lost young woman running away from a terrifying cult.  The pain in Olsen’s eyes cut to the bone.  Martha’s demons surface as we question whether she may just be paranoid.  Turns out, she isn’t.  The most chilling aspect of the film is that it is not all in her head (unlike Natalie Portman’s role as Nina in Black Swan last year).  Preying on those who have nowhere else to turn, the cult (led by a frightening John Hawkes, who gives Martha her other names as well) takes young women in and slowly fools them into trusting this new “family.”  Martha tells her sister, who she has not spoken to in two years, that her boyfriend lied to her (and in a way this is true) instead of telling her where she has really been.  The character herself is complex and interesting as she is able to be taken in by the lies of this abusive group of people but also has the strength to finally leave.  The cult is even more terrifying than imaginable as they not only take advantage of people but also are killers.  One could see why Martha is so haunted and scared out of her mind.  The small things of everyday life prove most powerful to show how Martha has lost every sense of common civilities, like jumping in a lake naked.  There are no societal boundaries any more for her as on the farm everything is shared.  This is also why she has so many different names.  Her real name has been changed by the cult leader, stripping her of her own identity.  Everything in this movie escalates, from Martha’s fear to the flashbacks of the cult itself.  Slowly but surely building, you are on the edge of your seat as you wait for what will happen next.  Unfortunately, many that are innocent become victims.  Martha’s sister and she have a Rachel Getting Married type of relationship.  There is a lot of pain there and probably also some blame as Martha was left alone after her sister went to college.  They do not know how to communicate with one another.  Martha’s sister and brother-in-law cannot even fathom what she has been through.  They know something is wrong but would never be able to guess all that has happened to her.  She is more alone than ever and lives in a world all her own with a future that seems less and less certain of even existing.  Her sister on the other hand is very normal, just starting out with a husband and trying to have a baby.  Their worlds do not go hand in hand.  The ending is ambiguous but we know that it is not good, and her sister and brother-in-law do not even see what is coming.  Martha Marcy May Marlene is intense and haunting and something very different and new.  Like Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone last year, Elizabeth Olsen has made a name for herself with this first role.  She definitely should be nominated for an Oscar.  It is nice to see so many interesting roles for women this year.  There is a lot of variety for the actresses, from Martha Marcy May Marlene to The Iron Lady (Meryl Streep) to The Help to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to The Debt (Jessica Chastain) to Young Adult (Charlize Theron).

J. Edgar the Movie

Friday, November 18th, 2011

J. Edgar is not perfect.  The movie and the man that the movie is about are both not perfect in fact.  However, J. Edgar the movie is as complex and intense as the man himself.  Clint Eastwood directs in a documentary-style that proves a little long and at time drags.  The narrative is a little confusing at times as like a history lesson we are taken through J. Edgar Hoover’s journey (or his own vision of his journey) through flashbacks from WWII to the Civil Rights Movement.  He arguably made the FBI what it is today, creating the fingerprint system, organizing/cataloguing the Congressional Library, and inventing the creation of a damning confidential file.  In fact, J. Edgar used this file as leverage on many presidents, including Kennedy (and J. Edgar also thought he could stop Martin Luther King Jr. as well).  His work consumes him and is everything to him but at the end we can wonder what does he have to show?  Much of J. Edgar’s self-consciousness stems from his mother (proving that we can indeed blame our parents for everything) played by Judi Dench.  Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliant as J. Edgar, to the point that we forget he is acting.  It also made me realize that DiCaprio chooses difficult roles and is an underrated actor who has actually only played one likable character, Jack in Titanic.  Armie Hammer is simply wonderful, working as the most grounded and sympathetic character.  Hammer plays Clyde, J. Edgar’s right-hand man in the FBI and also J. Edgar’s secret love.  In a time when J. Edgar cannot admit to the world or even his own mother (she tells him she would rather have a dead son) that he is gay, he cannot come to terms himself with his true feelings for Clyde.  Much of their relationship is a guessing game to viewers as the only time the men confront each other is when tension and frustration have reached a climax (lots of glass thrown).  There is love there and a simple gesture like holding hands or when a much older J. Edgar kisses Clyde on the forehead and tells him he needs him shows this.  Speaking of looking older, the makeup is not done well unfortunately.  If everyone looks like that when they are in their sixties or seventies then we do not have a lot to look forward to.  I am sure that DiCaprio and Hammer (who I underestimated even though he was good in The Social Network and made us want there to be two of him) will get Oscar nominations.  I do not think the movie is strong enough to get nominated as a whole.  There are a lot of strong performances but not very many strong movies.  One last note of frustration: it is a shame that the artsy, indie films are never released wide.  It is hard to track them down to see and inevitably they are always the ones nominated.  Give us a chance; I think that more people are interested in films that actually give us something to think about.  Although I could be wrong as it is not the imperfect J. Edgar that was number one this past weekend but Immortals.

 

The Ides of March: Politics, Corruption, and Betrayal

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

        The Ides of March, directed by George Clooney, is not the betrayal in the way you would think.  From the trailers, it seems as though Ryan Gosling’s character, Stephen Meyers, is the Brutus to George Clooney’s charismatic, upstanding Democratic politician, Governor Mike Morris.  It is the opposite, in fact.  Interestingly, the title of the film is quite deceptive.  It is Stephen who is the young, naïve, idealistic Junior Campaign Manager in the campaign for a Democratic candidate that seems like he will be able to change things.  (The movie’s release date was actually postponed until now because its original release date was during the 2008 election and they did not want any likeness to be drawn to Barack Obama.  The only likeness here though, fortunately, is that both candidates are charismatic.)  Things start to unravel quickly.  Gosling unearths a big secret about Governor Morris (I do not want to give away everything but it involves the talented Evan Rachel Wood’s character, Molly Stearns) and needs to use it as leverage when he is manipulated by the opposing Democratic candidate’s Campaign Manager, Tom Duffy, played by Paul Giamatti.  A phenomenal cast brings the Ides of March, which is really not a new or unknown story, to another level.  Hopefully some of the actors will get nominated, perhaps Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Gosling needs to get nominated for one of his roles this year (either from Drive or this film).  Giamatti and Hoffman are great as the disillusioned old-timers and Marisa Tomei finally has a worthwhile part as a hard-hitting journalist who will go to any ends to get a scandalous story.  Gosling, once again proving himself as a fantastic, committed actor, undergoes the most startling, sad transformation as by the end Stephen too is jaded from all the corruption he has seen with his own eyes.

 


The candidate that he had once believed so firmly in has made him lose all faith and the final scene (in comparison to the beginning scene) is haunting as it ends with a close-up shot of Gosling’s eyes (and they look like they have seen it all).  We see everything written in his eyes with just one look.  Clooney is perfect as the politician, smooth and charming and his poker face works well here.  His direction is quite good as he plays it straightforward with nice close-up shots of all the actors.  The climactic, intense scene between Stephen and Morris is one of the best scenes in the movie (besides the confrontation between Tom Duffy and Stephen).  The simmering anger turns boiling as they play a game of cat and mouse, a who knows what.  The betrayal here is Caesar’s, the older, more knowing people manipulating and sending the young out for slaughter.  This is different than what is expected from the previews, and leaves some parts ambiguous and up to the viewer (*spoiler alert*: for example, what really happens to Molly and will Stephen ever reveal the Morris’s secret).  For the latter, the answer is probably no.  Tom Duffy has the harshest lines, including when he tells Stephen to “Get out now,” while he still can and also when he tells Stephen that the Democrats need to learn to get down in the dirt with the Elephants.  With what goes on in this movie and all the meetings in dark alleyways in cars with blacked-out windows, it seems that his wish is sadly not too far off.

 


 

 

Play Ball!: Moneyball Movie Review

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

You do not have to be a fan of baseball in order to enjoy Moneyball (although it probably helps because by the end it runs a little long).  Brad Pitt is in his element and gives a great performance as the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s general manager, Billy Beane.  (Brad Pitt may get nominated.)  He wants to turn around their luck so he starts working by the theoretical approach of baseball using just numbers (which is controversial).  Eventually the team’s luck does start to turn around but it may still not be enough as the players are not that strong.  The saddest part to me, personally, was the end.  I guess it can be taken different ways, as in some things are more important than money (in this case it is Billy’s daughter).  It seemed, though, as if Billy is afraid of success as he turns down a huge offer from the Red Sox, right before they won the World Series.  After all, he has a disappointing past with baseball himself (he did not succeed as a professional baseball player and gave up a full scholarship to Stanford; Stanford seems to be used a lot recently in films).  Jonah Hill also gives a fine performance as the eager young college graduate, Peter, who works with Billy.  The movie is good overall.  The only problem is that it is not too different from inspirational sports movies we have seen already.  It is more subtle than Friday Night Lights but it is also not an interesting biographical take like The Social Network.  Aaron Sorkin co-wrote Moneyball.  Sorkin is a brilliant screenwriter with quick moving, smart dialogue (the likes of The West Wing and The Social Network).  Moneyball’s dialogue is not bad but not as snappy as it could have been.  The movie may have benefitted from being edited down a bit.  I think I had high expectations as it had gotten such amazing reviews and I came out a little underwhelmed.

Just Drive

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Drive had me with its opening scene.  A man with cold eyes looks in his rearview mirror waiting to drive two robbers away from the scene of a crime.  They run into trouble as the police chase them and the driver jumps out into a parking garage and disappears into the crowd.  Ryan Gosling gives an incredibly strong performance (his star seems to be rising as he gives consistently powerful, poignant performances: see Half Nelson and Lars and the Real Girl).  In Drive, Gosling transforms himself into a man who is a stunt car driver by day and a crook by night (he drives the getaway car for criminals).  His nameless, almost anonymous character, is a sociopath with no aversion to violence.  He is an antihero, yet you still root for him as he fights for the only things he has probably ever loved, a young woman and her son.  In this movie the lines are blurred, as they always are in real life, between what is right and wrong and who is good and who is not.  I am starting my countdown and beginning my list of predictions for Oscar nominations beginning with 50/50 and Drive.  Hopefully, there will be a nod for cinematography (great art direction here) as well as for Ryan Gosling.  Albert Brooks will also get a Supporting Actor nod I predict as he is blood-chillingly good as the suave gangster (almost as scary as Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds).  The music is also wonderful and memorable, a welcome blend of indie and electro-rock.  In fact, the soundtrack is on the Top 10 list on iTunes.  Watch out particularly for the haunting “Nightfall” by Kavinsky and Lovefoxxx (Kavinsky – Nightcall (feat. Lovefoxxx), “A Real Hero” by College featuring Electric Youth, and Cliff Martinez’s “Hammer.”

 

Contagion: A Cold Disappointment

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

There was great hype surrounding Contagion with it stellar cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Ehle.  Unfortunately, the trailer for the movie proved to be much better than the movie itself.  The trailer also proved to be misleading as Contagion felt more like a documentary than a suspense movie.

The film is about the worldwide spread of a disease that is like the bird flu.  Maybe the science was close enough to the truth and something like that could actually happen in real life but Contagion still seemed long and a waste for its talented actors.  The biggest problem may be that we do not care about any of the people in the film.  We are not allowed to get close to them as the movie jumps from one incomplete story to the next.  It could have benefitted from a Steven Spielberg-esque hero.  Matt Damon comes close, but close enough.  Gwyneth Paltrow has no role and Marion Cotillard and Kate Winslet are sadly wasted as well.

The only memorable thing about the movie is a factoid that we touch our faces 3,000 times a day, which is the most frightening part in the movie itself.  Overall, Contagion comes off cold and sanitized.

 

 

50/50 Movie Review: 100% See-Worthy

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Too rarely do recent movies exhibit a certain humanness or sensitivity.  50/50 has both.  Focusing on the relationships and event the mundane occurrences in everyday life rather than delving into all the medical complications like a documentary, 50/50 walks a fine line between being light and funny and still captures the ultimate sadness and gravity of its subject matter, cancer.  We see the main character, Adam, go through diagnosis, chemotherapy, counseling, and a life or death procedure.  We root for this young man not only because he has cancer, but maybe also because we realize how fragile the difference is between being here one day and gone the next.  When he says, “I haven’t even been to Canada or told a girl I love her,” I laughed and cried.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is phenomenal (in my opinion, Oscar-worthy) as he portrays this 27-year old man with cancer and all of his ups and downs, denial, anger, fear and strength.  In Adam’s breakdown in a car, Gordon-Levitt captures all of these feelings with one line, “I’m tired of being sick.”  What grounds the movie is not everything miraculously changes because he has cancer.  His girlfriend cheats on him, his father still has Alzheimer’s, he lives in the same place before and after.  The experience adds to and perhaps shapes a part of his character, but it does change his character.  50/50 does such a fine job capturing the realness of the downs of something so dire as cancer as it also relays the humor and silliness of the everyday ups (talking to girls, getting a new dog, finding a new friendship).  The not so everyday and the everyday live in the same realm after all.  Anna Kendrick, as the nervous new therapist, Seth Rogen, as the soft long-time friend, and Angelica Huston, as the ever-worrying mom, also add great performances to an all-around good movie.

 



Where have all the good films gone?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Where have all the good movies gone?  The Netflix queue should not be a cause of anxiety and fear after all.  The former lament is probably usually taken pretty lightly, however, with films, like literature, we can see places we may never see, learn about things we are not familiar with, and meet people we would have otherwise never known or considered.  I have been watching a lot of old movies (I have been addicted actually) lately.  Thank goodness for TCM (Turner Classic Movies) because otherwise it is really hard to find classic films.  Blockbuster is bankrupt and Netflix does not have the greatest selection.  There is everything from the piercing Jezebel, to the hilarious Arsenic and Old Lace, to the terrifying Psycho and the frightening in a much different way The Ox-Bow Incident, to the heartbreaking The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, to the thoughtful Wild Strawberries.  What do we have on this side of the coin?  The only movies recently that may even be considered for awards are Woody Allen’s redemptive, whimsical Midnight in Paris, the quiet, humanistic Win Win (with Paul Giamatti), and the fantastic finish of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (a long shot for the Oscars perhaps but one never knows-why hello Lord of the Rings finale).  On a quick side note, it is frustrating also how small indie films only go to select theaters or big cities, as if the general public would not appreciate a smart, poignant film over another blase hit-you-over-the-head action film.  I am personally tired of the gross-out horror films, campy superhero comic book movies, and the worn-out, forgettable rom coms.  With most films now basically not even earning a 50% on the quick movie review go-to site, Rotten Tomatoes, it is not even worth the trek to the movie theater.  Many movies that we may see in previews do not make it to the big screen and instead just go straight to DVD anyway.  The problem is, though, that going to the movies is an escape.  With everything going on in the world, just taking a break to go to the movies is underrated.  Plus, unless you are one of the rare people in the world that has a home theater, everyday annoyances and distractions make DVD watching at home a bore.  Another problem is that I guess you could say that a good movie nowadays is as rare as a good character role for an actress.  By “good” I mean seldom is there an independent, strong, or even conniving role for women.  There were more of those in the 30s, 40s, and even 50s almost unbelievably!  We are supposedly close to equality between men and women but many of the actresses today are stuck  playing either the girlfriend or the mother.  I digress.  Maybe it is the economy (even affecting those millionaire producers-gasp!) but hopefully films will once again become well-made, thought-inducing, and satisfying.

2011 Summer Blockbusters

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

With all of the summer blockbusters, or lack thereof, out it can be hard to navigate and decide which ones are worth the ten dollars (sometimes even more with 3D, and they all seem to be in 3D).  There is nothing worse than coming out of the movie theater disappointed, with a headache, or even worse, frustrated due to the lack of fluidity and feasibility in the plot.  Leave that last feeling at the door and just enjoy yourself when seeing Cowboys and Aliens and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  First up, Cowboys and Aliens is a fun, albeit strange, ride.  There is some good fun with the Clint Eastwood-esque gun-wrangling, bar-clobbering cowboys but throw in a bunch of random, funny-looking aliens and you have got an interesting blockbuster (I was going to say “movie” but decided against it).  All in all, Harrison Ford is at his best again and Daniel Craig is not too shabby to look at.  There are plenty of seat-jumping parts as well.  The best part possibly?  When the cowboys are about to have a throw down and all of a sudden in fly the alien ships!  Next up, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  When I saw the previews for this film at the start of the summer I said to myself with a snort, “I am not seeing that.”  My bias stemmed from flashbacks to the cheesy Mark Wahlberg remake and I had only heard of the original with Charlton Heston.  I thought, “Eh, what the hay,” and took a chance.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I found myself actually rooting for the apes sometimes (I am sorry, but they do not turn to violence until pushed and *spoiler alert*: humans actually bring the virus that wipes out mankind and leads to ape rule on themselves).  Caesar, leader of the apes, is more sympathetic than many of the people in the film.  There are even some obvious questions brought to light about how far invention should go and how finding compassion and kindness for those who are different than us can be difficult at times.  Standouts in the film?  James Franco does a solid job in a role that generally seems to fit him-vulnerable protagonist.  Tom Felton also does a wickedly good job as a spoiled, mean son of an animal shelter’s owner.  One last thing, the CGI effects really are amazing.

Bridesmaids-A Nice Surprise

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I’ll admit I was skeptical when I first started hearing about the movie Bridesmaids and seeing the trailers for it.  The name sounded frightening enough, out right about the time of most weddings and thoughtless rom coms or chick flicks, including the Brides Wars of a few years past and the Something Borrowed out now.  These two movies not only had Kate Hudson in common but they also lacked the charm and humor at least of past movies like My Best Friend’s Wedding (that at least also had some justice, unlike Something Borrowed-recommended to not waste your money on that one).

It is nothing new to say that strong, leading roles for women have been disappearing faster than good, solid movies in general.  A bunch of women in a Judd-Apatow-like, gross-out comedy though?  Call it old-fashioned but for some reason The Hangover would not work as well with a group of four women.  It is not really fair but it just is not as funny.

Bridesmaids then was a pleasant, hilarious surprise.  There were a few pretty gross scenes (who can ever forget the dress store scene when the women all have food poisoning) but the movie’s best part was its heart.  Amidst the over-the-top gags and laugh-out-loud scenes there were some touching, quiet moments, especially between the two best friends (played by Maya Rudolph and a wonderfully quirky  Kristen Wiig).  More along the lines of Superbad, there is also a great part where Melissa McCarthy’s funny, take-charge character helps Kristen Wiig’s character out of her funk by literally biting her derriere and saying “I’m life.  It’s unfair and I’m biting you in the ass!”

Overall Bridesmaids was one of the funniest movies of 2011 and came together quite nicely.  Also, instead of leaving the movie theater with a headache, as most spring movies in the dead-zone after the Oscars and between summer blockbusters tend to give, I left the theater still laughing.

The End of Pirates (We Can Only Hope)

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Enough Disney.  We know you like to rake in the money from Pirates of the Caribbean but no more of your sequels!  You’re up to the fourth one now with no end in sight and in talks for a fifth and sixth one next.  Somehow people still get sucked in, including this writer, I must admit sadly.  I saw the fourth one-Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides-so what?  I hoped for some sort of an ending for Captain Jack Sparrow but alas instead left the theater dissatisfied and with a headache.  There is really was nothing new, except for a lackluster Penelope Cruz who came off looking exhausted more than intrigued by Captain Jack.  Mermaids were the only new thing, and frankly the only interesting thing.  At least they kicked ass.  Disney supposedly wanted to keep the plot tightly under wraps until the release but they needn’t have bothered.  Old pirates who we thought were dead are still alive and reappear and basically everyone just wants to find the fountain of youth.  When they finally reach it, though, the fountain is pitiable and kind of sad.  Could they not have afforded at least a believable fountain of youth, one that didn’t look like the garden fountains they sell at Target?  Maybe they ran out of money by the time they had to film that scene.  All I can say is forget the plot being implausible (we know that-it is a fantasy after all), it made no sense whatsoever.  Please put us all out of our misery and end this string of what we call films.  Johnny Depp may still look good and be enjoying himself but most of us certainly aren’t.