Every now and then I take a look at a director I respect or think has a bright future. Today I am talking about Gore Verbinski. He is largely known for his work on the Pirates of the Caribbean films, but he also has a few other films under his belt which may surprise you.
Mouse Hunt (1997)
Starring:Nathan Lane, Christopher Walken, Lee Evans
About two brothers who move into their father’s house. They find during their renovations a mouse and decide to eradicate it. This proves exceedingly difficult. Alright, so this movie isn’t great, but I watched it as a kid. I loved the comedy in it then. So it wins with nostalgia. Add in the talents of Nathan Lane and Christopher Walken for extra flare. This is a 1990’s film for families in all its glory. For Verbinski who is on his first film, I give him a lot of credit. For all those out there that hate this film, while box office numbers do not define success, it helps when they are good. Mouse Hunt Budget- 38 Million, Worldwide box office 122 million.
The Mexican (2001)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Adventure
Starring: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini, J.K. Simmons, Gene Hackman
IMDb: 6.1 of 89,000
A man tries to deliver a cursed gun back across the border all the while having to deal with his wife who wants him to go clean. The Mexican is a bit long and it could use more jokes to justify that. However, any film with Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and James Gandolfini can’t be all bad. This comedy is a slow burn, but it has some good jokes and some heartfelt messages along the way. While not the finest comedy ever made, you could do much worse.
Budget: 57 Million, Worldwide Box Office: 147.8 Million.
The Ring (2002)
Starring: Naomi Watts
IMDb: 7.1 of 262,000+
A cursed videotape which kills whoever views it is investigated by a journalist. I have a long history of hating on this film. After re-watching it with a new appreciation for film. I realized that I was a bit too hard on it. (Oh, I still hate it, but less so.) There are creepy things throughout this movie that give valuable scares. While it will never be my favorite, I can appreciate its atheistic value as a modern horror film.
Budget: 48 Million Worldwide Box Office: 249.3 Million
Pirates of Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Genre: Action,Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Starring:Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly, Geoffery Jones
IMDb: 8.0 of 843,000+
An eccentric captain teams up with a young blacksmith to save their true love. (One being a ship, the other being a woman.) This is a spectacularly fun film. Before we knew it would be a franchise that went on much too long, it was one awesome film. Filled with swashbuckling action (Disneyfied) Johnny Depp’s stock is quite low right now (rightfully so), but at the time of this movie, he was on top of the world. This movie expressed why perfectly. This is easily Verbinski’s best film and it isn’t hard to see why he returned for several of these films.
Budget: 140 Million/ Worldwide Box Office 654.3 Million
The Weather Man (2005)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult
IMDb: 6.6 of 70,000+
A meteorologist in Chicago debates the various aspects of personal versus professional success and their relation to one another. A unique film starring Nicolas Cage. It again may not be everything it could, but definitely more thought-provoking than your average film. For me, this is a very defining movie for Verbinski. It could be better, but it definitely has some merit. It uses the actors well for the roll they are in, and it asks a question which dives a bit below the surface.
This is the first film which suffered for Verbinski. People weren’t interested. I don’t blame them, I didn’t go see it in theaters, but waited to see it on television. Clearly most did that. Budget: 22 Million/ Worldwide 19 Million
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly, Geoffery Jones, Naomie Harris
IMDb: 7.3 of 542,000+
Second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. This film is still plenty of fun. It has great action and humor. A wonderful cast and a developing story. Yes, it is a step down from the original, but it remains a quality film.
Budget: 225 Million . Worldwide Box Office 1 Billion (Anyone who makes a movie which grosses a billion dollars automatically gets several free passes at whatever they want.)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Starring:Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly, Geoffrey Jones
IMDb: 7.1 of 489,000+
The third installment of the Pirates of Caribbean franchise. This time finishing their story (or so we thought) in one final battle. For any trilogy, having three well made films filled with action and some personal growth is important. This movie gets a bit cluttered in how many converging storylines it has, but it also works well enough to be entertaing. (yet, very long.) Budget: 300 Million/ Worldwide: 963.4 Million
Genre: Animated,Adventure, Comedy, Western
Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Ned Beatty, Gore Verbinski, Harry Dean Stanton
IMDb: 7.2 of 190,000+
I love Rango, a 2D film in an ever increasing 3D landscape. It is clever, funny, pays homage to many of the finest westerns. Has a tremendous voice cast. The best of all is it has this beautiful artistic and philosophical value which gets lost in animated movies a lot. One of the smartest animated movies (American made anyway) that you will ever find.
Budget: 135 Million/ Worldwide Box Office 245.7 Million
The Lone Ranger (2013)
Starring, Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Tom Wilkinson
IMDb: 6.5 of 187,000+
A retelling of the popular Lone Ranger story. Spoiler warning (It was an origin story.) This film is long and pretty boring. The acting however is fine, the action (when it happens) is cool. The set designs were of quality. The film could have used a faster pace (better script), but the film overall is not terrible.
Budget: 215 Million/ Worldwide Box Office:260.5 million.
A Cure For Wellness (2017)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Starring: Dane DeHaan
IMDb: 6.7 of 1,000 ratings
About a young executive who goes overseas to track down a CEO at a wellness center. Only to find out that the unorthodox treatment is the least of his concerns.
Here is Gore Verbinski’s latest film which comes out officially on Friday, February 17th in the USA.
While I may be hesitant to watch a film like this in February (Often not the biggest Oscar buzz or the best films in general.) The film looks very unnerving and I can appreciate that sort of thing. Gore Verbinski has proven to be a quality director with a versatile range, though this may be by far his darkest film grounded in some sense of reality. (Not including The Ring which is more fantasy/horror) It also features Dane DeHaan who is not awful in most things he is in.
Budget: 40 Million- Box Office- Unknown at this point, but I’m fairly certain Verbinski’s film will make back all the production money on the worldwide scale.