Is Johnny Back? I Think So!

Johnny Depp is far from Willy Wonka in “Black Mass”, a gangster film based on the real life James “Whitey” Bulger and his criminal activities. The movie was released by Warner Brothers on Sept. 18.

 Whitey Bulger (Depp), prior to becoming a fugitive and one of FBI’s Most Wanted, was involved in organized crime occupying South Boston. In 1975, he became an informant for the FBI and got away with at least 19 murders.

 Directed by Scott Cooper and starring an ensemble cast, “Black Mass” is a typical crime movie with some grotesque scenes (you know when a murder is underway) and a looming investigation. Some say not to compare this to the classic “Goodfellas” or even “The Departed”.

 There’s not much excitement to the movie until, of course, Depp shoots someone from afar or chokes someone to death. And there’s little humor; the scene in which the audience is introduced to Bulger is an example of maybe a few giggle-worthy moments.

 It is an intense movie, for sure. The trailers made sure to let us know that. Johnny Depp gives an enthralling performance. He glares at you through the screen with those icy blue eyes (courtesy of eye contacts), and sports sleeked back hair and shades. He’s rather intimidating, and you could forgive him for all the crappy movies that he’s put out in the past. But quite honestly, it’s impossible to look past the obvious makeup. I tried but it was all I saw. I couldn’t help but think about Tom Cruise in “Collateral.” Yes, really.

 Another performance that I thought was amazing was that of Joel Edgerton as former FBI agent John Connolly, who was childhood friends with Whitey Bulger. Conflict of interest much? Oh yeah.

 And I can’t forget about our favorite naked white girl, Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”), who’s only in the movie briefly as Bulger’s girlfriend. She doesn’t get naked in this, by the way.

 Could “Black Mass” be nominated for “Best Picture” at the Oscars? I’d say no. It’s good, but not great. It’s quite forgettable except for a few key scenes, including the dinner table scene that we see in the first trailer. Depp could indeed be nominated for “Best Actor” and/or Edgerton for “Best Supporting Actor”. I wouldn’t be surprised whichever way it goes.

 And even though we’re used to seeing Depp in lots of makeup (“The Lone Ranger”, “Mortdecai”), this time around he’s actually playing a human being… just doing inhuman things.

 Watch the official trailer below and find movie times near you here.

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