I'd like to make some comments on Johnny Depp.
Now, I like Johnny Depp, and the man can act, and I WILL watch him, so he's not really an entry into the thread.
However, he's kind of getting on my nerves lately. Ever since he did Pirates of the Carribean (I liked the first one) he's become this flamboyant weirdo that doesn't do much of substance anymore. He's known for doing quirky roles from early on (Edward Scissorhands, Benny and Joon, etc), but now it's like that's his thing. I have a theory on this. Perhaps it could be that he has given up on ever winning an Oscar, although he's had a number of worthy performances, as if he's said "f**k it" and is just going to phone in roles that give him the kind of paycheck that Jack Sparrow did.
When I think of performances like Donnie Brasco or Finding Neverland I think "this guy is good. Why doesn't he get more award credit?" Then, when I see that he doesn't, I guess I can't blame him too much for Alice in Wonderland if it gives him a big paycheck. But I do miss the old Johnny Depp.
He's a member of the Burton Crew. All me to elaborate.
The Burton Crew is basically a group of people trying to be more "artistic" then "Realistic" and fighting against dull realism in film. Members of this group include Tim Burton, his wife Helen Bonham Carter, and Johnny Depp. This is why Depp is a lead role in most of Burton's films.
Alice in Wonderland (Not the lead but a major character)
I think his Flamboyant roles are great but he isn't always flamboyant. He's compatible with many roles.
Jack Sparrow: Flamboyant
Edward Scissorhands: Depressed
Sweeney Todd: Psychotic
Alice in Wonderland: Flamboyant AND insane (in a good way)
Ed Wood: An ignorant little prick (And stupid)
It all has to do with "German Expressionism". Basically back in the early 1900's a bunch of German people got sick of realistic films and decided to make films more art based and twisted. Sort of like a pre-cursor to "Film Noir". Burton is obsessed with the concept of bringing back the expressionist style and Johnny Depp is willing to help. Depp has a similar view on artistic film writing.
Pirates of The Caribbean by Gore Verbinski was something different. It had more realistic looking sets but the characters and the idea of the undead pirates was just up Depp's alley.
Don't argue with me about Johnny Depp. I'll talk forever.