Film Review: AQUAMAN (USA 2018) ***

Aquaman Poster
Trailer

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

Director:

James Wan

Writers:

David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (screenplay by), Will Beall (screenplay by) |5 more credits »

As much as I have complaints about the new Superhero DC comic AQUAMAN film adaptation, I have the highest regards for the film’s director James Wan.  Born In East Malaysia, (a neighbour of Singapore where I was born), Wan is the only Hollywood successful director from that region.  Wan was a skinny teen like myself, and his early photos reminds me of myself.  He has gained fame and fortune through his talent and horror films like he SAW franchise, INSIDIOUS and the CONJURING films.  He also brings on board Patrick Wilson from the latter two movies to play the villain in AQUAMAN.

Wan is known for his excesses.  Excesses abound in the 2 and a half hour action blockbuster aquarian fantasy AQUAMAN, played with aplomb by Jason Momoa.  There are plenty of images and CGI effects to gawk at.  The film looks amazing.  See it in IMAX and one will feel that one is in a gigantic fish tank as in one of those big aquariums found in big cities.  As far as super-action hero movies go, there is plenty to satisfy the fan base.   Superhero action fans will no doubt leave the theatre cheering, as in the case  of the promo screening I attended.   Surprise guest Patrick Wilson was present .  Who can ask for anything more? 

But one can.  The film lacks any good plot development, character intelligence and spicy dialogue.  When Aquaman is told that he has to save the underwater and land worlds by claiming the throne, all he can say is  ‘duh!’.  The script does not offer him any good one-liners either.  Lazy writing leaves a lot of unexplained and choppy facts in the story.  The effect of the evil that the villains do is brought down several notches by making them misunderstood beings.  One scene shows AQUAMAN as a boy at a city aquarium bullied by other kids, when a shark in the tank comes to the rescue.  Where did the boy, who is supposedly born and bred by the lighthouse keeper father find residence in the city and who where his foster parents?  That one scene appears from nowhere and conveniently disappears.  The key that only unlocks the trident with droplets of water is far-fetched bulls**t.   The climatic fight underwater by the edge of the cliffs makes no sense.  No one can fall off a cliff underwater.

The story begins in the year 1985, though Aquaman existed in comics way before then.   In Maine, lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison ) rescues Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), the princess of the underwater nation of Atlantis, during a storm.  They eventually fall in love and have a son, Arthur, who is born with the power to communicate with marine lifeforms.  Atlanna is forced to abandon her family and return to Atlantis, entrusting to her loyal advisor Nuidis Vulko  (Willem Dafoe) the mission of training Arthur.  Under Vulko’s guidance, Arthur becomes a skilled warrior but is rejected by the Atlanteans for being a half-breed and ultimately leaves Atlantis behind.

There is a subplot that really looks out of place with an invasion in which Arthur confronts a group of pirates attempting to hijack a nuclear submarine.  Their leader, Jesse Kane, dies during the confrontation while his son, David (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), vows revenge against Arthur.   David later targets Atlantis at the behest of Orm (Patrick Wilson), Arthur’s younger half-brother and Atlantis’ king who uses the attack as a pretext to declare war on the surface.  All thistles to Aquaman having to retrieve a trident (like the Sword in the Stone) and battle Orm to ave the world.  Yes, all action here films involve saving the world.  The inter-racial subplot looks too obvious a political correct move.  We have seen all this before time and again.

Still, as far as Warner Bros. DC super hero film adaptations go, (example the awful BATMAN v. SUPERMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD), AQUAMAN, as in WONDER WOMAN is one of the better films.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDkg3h8PCVU

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Happy Birthday: Johnny Depp

johnnydeppHappy Birthday actor Johnny Depp

Born: John Christopher Depp II
June 9, 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA

Married to: Amber Heard (3 February 2015 – present) (filed for divorce)

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

A Nightmare on Elm StreetA Nightmare on Elm Street
1984
dir. by Wes Craven
starring
Amanda Wyss
Depp

Alice in Wonderland Movie PosterAlice in Wonderland
dir. Tim Burton
Stars
Mia Wasikowska
Depp

PLATOONPlatoon
1986
dir. Oliver Stone
Starring
Charlie Sheen
Willem DaFoe

Cry Baby
1990
dir. John Waters
Cast
Depp
Amy Locane

EDWARD SCISSORHANDSEdward Scissorhands
1990
dir. Tim Burton
Starring
Depp
Winona Ryder

Ed WoodEd Wood
1994
dir. Burton
starring
Depp
Martin Landau

DEAD MANDead Man
1995
dir. Jim Jarmusch
Starring
Depp
Crispin Glover

Fear and Loathing in Las VegasFear and Loathing in Las Vegas
1998
dir. Terry Gilliam
Cast
Depp
Benicio Del Toro

SLEEPY HOLLOWSleepy Hollow
1999
dir. Tim Burton
Starring
Depp
Christina Ricci

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICOOnce Upon a Time in Mexico
2003
dir. Robert Rodriguez
Starring
Antonio Banderas
Salma Hayek
Depp

THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARLPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
2003
dir. Gore Verbinski

Finding Neverland
2004
dir. by Marc Forster
Starring
Depp
Kate Winslet

Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryCharlie and the Chocolate Factory
2005
dir. Tim Burton
Starring
Johnny Depp
Freddie Highmore

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
2006
dir. Gore Verbinski

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN AT WORLD'S ENDPirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
2007
dir. Gore Verbinski
Starring
Deep
Keira Knightley

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
2007
dir. Burton
Starring
Depp
Helen Bonham Carter

PUBLIC ENEMIES Movie PosterPublic Enemies
2009
dir. Michael Mann
Starring
Johnny Depp
Christian Bale

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Movie PosterThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
dir. Terry Gilliam
Stars:
Christopher Plummer
Lily Cole
Heath Ledger

The TouristThe Tourist
dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Angelina Jolie

MOVIEBLOW
2001
dir. Ted Demme
Starring:
Johnny Depp
Penélope Cruz

RangoRANGO
dir. Gore Verbinski
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Isla Fisher

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
dir. Rob Marshall
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Penélope Cruz

MOVIE POSTERTHE RUM DIARY
dir. Bruce Robinson
Stars:
Johnny Depp

movie posterA NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 6
1991
dir. Rachel Talalay
Starring
Robert Englund
Yaphet Kotto

MOVIE POSTERHUGO
dir. Martin Scorsese
Stars
Asa Butterfield
Chloë Grace

MOVIE POSTER21 JUMP STREET
dir. Phil Lord
Chris Miller
Stars:
Jonah Hill
Channing Tatum

MOVIE POSTERDARK SHADOWS
dir. Tim Burton
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Michelle Pfeiffer

MOVIE POSTERTHE LONE RANGER
2013
dir. Gore Verbinski
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Armie Hammer

MOVIE POSTERWHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE
1993
dir. Lasse Hallstrom
Stars:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Johnny Depp

MOVIE POSTERTRANSCEND
ENCE

2014
dir. Wally Pfister
Stars:
Johnny Depp
Kate Mara

TAKE A LOOK AT 100 PHOTOS OF JOHNNY DEPP

SEE – 2010 PHOTO

SEE – 2011 PHOTO

SEE – 24 JUMP STREET PHOTO

SEE – ABS PHOTO

SEE – ALICE IN WONDERLAND PHOTO

SEE – AND KIDS PHOTO

SEE – ANGELINA JOLIE PHOTO

SEE – ANIMATION PHOTO

SEE – BACKGROUND PHOTO

SEE – BARBER PHOTO

SEE – BATMAN PHOTO

SEE – BEACH PHOTO

SEE – BEARD PHOTO

SEE – BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO

SEE – BEFORE NIGHT FALLS PHOTO

SEE – BENNY AND JOON PHOTO

SEE – BLACK BEARD PHOTO

SEE – BLONDE PHOTO

SEE – BODY PHOTO

SEE – BOOTS PHOTO

SEE – BUTT PHOTO

SEE – CALENDER PHOTO

SEE – CAPTAIN PHOTO

SEE – CARTOON PHOTO

SEE – CLOSE UP PHOTO

SEE – CROSS DRESS PHOTO

SEE – CRY BABY PHOTO

SEE – DARK SHADOWS PHOTO

SEE – DAUGHTER PHOTO

SEE – DEAD MAN PHOTO

SEE – DESKTOP PHOTO

SEE – DILLINGER PHOTO

SEE – DON JUAN PHOTO

SEE – DONNIE BRASCO PHOTO

SEE – DRAWINGS PHOTO

SEE – EDWARD SCISSORHANDS PHOTO

SEE – EW PHOTO

SEE – EYES WATSON PHOTO

SEE – FACE PHOTO

SEE – FACIAL HAIR PHOTO

SEE – FAMILY PHOTO

SEE – FASHION PHOTO

SEE – FEET PHOTO

SEE – GANGSTER PHOTO

SEE – GIRLFRIEND PHOTO

SEE – GLASSES PHOTO

SEE – GOATEE PHOTO

SEE – GQ PHOTO

SEE – GUITAR PHOTO

SEE – HAIR PHOTO

SEE – HANDSOME PHOTO

SEE – HAT PHOTO

SEE – HEADSHOT PHOTO

SEE – HIGH SCHOOL PHOTO

SEE – HOT PHOTO

SEE – JACK SPARROW PHOTO

SEE – JEANS PHOTO

SEE – JEWELRY PHOTO

SEE – KATE MOSS PHOTO

SEE – KEITH RICHARDS PHOTO

SEE – LIPS PHOTO

SEE – LONG HAIR PHOTO

SEE – MAD HATTER PHOTO

SEE – MAIRE CLAIRE PHOTO

SEE – MIDDLE FINGER PHOTO

SEE – MODEL PHOTO

SEE – MUSCLES PHOTO

SEE – NAKED PHOTO

SEE – NICOLAS CAGE PHOTO

SEE – NOSE PHOTO

SEE – PENELOPE CRUZ PHOTO

SEE – PEOPLE PHOTO

SEE – PIC PHOTO

SEE – PIRATES PHOTO

SEE – PLATOON PHOTO

SEE – PONYTAIL PHOTO

SEE – POP STAR PHOTO

SEE – POSE PHOTO

SEE – PREGNANT PHOTO

SEE – PREMIERE PHOTO

SEE – PROFILE PHOTO

SEE – RED CARPET PHOTO

SEE – RIDDLER PHOTO

SEE – ROLLING STONE PHOTO

SEE – SEXY PHOTO

SEE – SHIRT OFF PHOTO

SEE – SHOES PHOTO

SEE – SHORT HAIR PHOTO

SEE – SMOKING PHOTO

SEE – SUNGLASSES PHOTO

SEE – SWIMSUIT PHOTO

SEE – SWORD PHOTO

SEE – TATTOO PHOTO

SEE – TEENAGER PHOTO

SEE – TIM BURTON PHOTO

SEE – TUXEDO PHOTO

SEE – VANESSA PARADIS PHOTO

SEE – VANITY FAIR PHOTO

SEE – WALK OF FAME PHOTO

SEE – WALLPAPER PHOTO

SEE – WIFE PHOTO

SEE – WINONA RYDER PHOTO

WATCH TOP JOHNNY DEPP MOVIE SCENES

10. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, 1984 – Watch Depp bed and blood scene

9. ED WOOD, 1994 – Watch Depp in drag scene

8. FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, 1998 – Watch Depp opening scene. As Hunter S. Thompson

7. SWEENEY TODD, 2007 – Watch singing Depp

6. SLEEPY HOLLOW, 1999 – Watch Johnny Depp sex scene with Christina Ricci

5. BLOW, 2001 – Watch Johnny Depp as George Jung

4. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, 2003 – Watch Depp the Pirates playing Jack Sparrow

3. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, 1990 – Watch Johnny Depp as Edward the cutter with Winona Ryder. Snow scene

2. PUBLIC ENEMIES, 2009 – Watch Johnny Depp sex scene with Marion Cotillard

1. THE ASTRONAUT’S WIFE, 1999 – Watch sex scene with Charlize Theron

BONUS VIDEOS:

JOHNNY DEPP ARSENIO HALL – Watch 1991 interview promoting Edward Scissorhands

DEPP TRIBUTE – Watch Johnny Depp Tribute Video

Happy Birthday: Amber Heard

amberheardHappy Birthday actor Amber Heard

Born: Amber Laura Heard
April 22, 1986 in Austin, Texas, USA

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTSFriday Night Lights
2004
dir. Peter Berg
starring
Billy Bob Thornton
Lucas Black

Drive Angry 3DDRIVE ANGRY 3D
dir. Patrick Lussier
Stars:
Nicolas Cage
Amber Heard

Never Back DownNever Back Down
Directed by Jeff Wadlow
Starring
Sean Faris
Heard

Pineapple ExpressPineapple Express
2008
dir. David Gordon Green
Starring
Seth Rogen
James Franco
THE INFORMERS Movie PosterThe Informers
2009
dir. Gregor Jordan
Starring
Billy Bob Thornton
Mickey Rourke
Kim Basinger

ZOMBIELAND Movie PosterZombieland
2009
dir. Ruben Fleischer
Starring
Jesse Eisenberg
Emma Stone
Woody Harrelson

THE STEPFATHER Movie PosterThe Stepfather
dir. Nelson McCormick
Stars:
Penn Badgley
Dylan Walsh
Sela Ward

MOVIE POSTERTHE RUM DIARY
dir. Bruce Robinson
Stars:
Johnny Depp

MOVIE POSTERPARANOIA
2013
dir. Robert Luketic
Stars:
Liam Hemsworth
Gary Oldman

 moviesTHE WARD
2011
dir. John Carpenter
Stars
Amber Heard
Mamie Gummer
MOVIE POSTERMACHETE KILLS
2013
dir. Robert Rodriguez
Stars:
Danny Trejo
Alexa Vega

MOVIE POSTERALPHA DOG
2006
dir. Nick Cassavetes
Stars:
Emile Hirsch
Justin Timberlake