It’s tough at the top, and even the biggest stars are only as good as their last movie.
And when your last movie was one of the biggest flops in the history of cinema, you’d better make sure that your next high-profile project brings home the bacon.
Johnny Depp will be only too aware that The Lone Ranger casts a long shadow, and his output immediately before that titanic turkey was hardly top drawer – Dark Shadows, anyone?
He’s got a string of new projects on the blocks before he returns to the fading Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise for a fifth instalment, and the first of these is flashy sci-fi thriller Transcendence, which officially opens on Friday.
Dark Knight and Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister calls the shots so it looks fantastic, and Morgan Freeman is included in the cast – but the spotlight is on the name above the title.
He’s a boffin who makes himself unpopular banging on about combining artificial intelligence and the power of the human brain, and when he’s fatally wounded by Luddites he uploads his mind to the internet to make sure it’s backed up for the benefit of all. What could go wrong?
Of course his liberated noggin becomes an unstoppable power in this cautionary tale which has all the ingredients of a big box office hit, the sort of film that sparks heated debate on the way home and beyond.
More in the fluffy chick flick category is The Other Woman, in which Cameron Diaz finds out that she is just one of three women her Mr Right has on the go – there’s also wife Leslie Mann and buxom Kate Upton in the picture.
The three team up to teach the serial philanderer – Game of Thrones hunk Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – a lesson he’ll never forget.
There’s nothing new in this frothy female revenge fantasy, more of a girls’ night out choice than a date movie.