Night Moves (1975) A (very) Belated Review

I first saw the Gene Hackman starring, Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde) directed film Night Moves many years ago, perhaps somewhere in the 1980’s. I thought it was ok and presented an interesting take on the classic pulp private detective, which I will get into in a moment, but not all that much else lingered in my mind.

Over on a bulletin board I got into a discussion about the film and, as I was flying (It seems that’s about the only time I have the ”free” time to actually watch something), I decided to give the movie another go.

I’m glad I did.

Here’s the movie’s trailer:

What I remembered about Night Moves was that Gene Hackman’s detective character, Harry Moseby, was something of a failure as a detective. I recalled that, while he was a very decent man and he tried very hard to do what was right, he missed clues, both subtle and obvious. He wasn’t in the class of a, say, Inspector Clouseau and the film does not ridicule his faults, but this winds up being an interesting reversal of one of the more standard cliches of the pulp detective fiction genre.

If you’ve followed these classic detective works, there are certain things many of the detectives in the works have. Women are attracted to them and they know how to use their fists and/or weapons. They are often very sardonic/sarcastic but insightful. Regarding the later, they often see through situations and other characters with an almost god-like understanding.

Harry Moseby is an intelligent man who tries his best to do what’s right but, in the course of the movie, we find he’s misses things that us regular mere mortals would likely also miss. This is the central theme of Night Moves, though its presentation is done in sometimes very subtle ways. I suppose I’m spoiling things a bit by saying the case he’s involved in does eventually get ”solved”, but if one thinks about it Moseby’s presence may have made things far worse for everyone concerned rather than any better.

Moseby’s lack of awareness is presented early on when (MILD SPOILERS) Moseby quite by accident (again, showing his general lack of awareness) find out his wife is cheating on him. The trailer above gives this away but its only the first instance where Moseby is unaware of what goes on around him. Later in the film and with another character, Moseby shows off a chess moves (it too is shown briefly in the trailer above) involving a ”knight” that was played in a professional match back in the 1920’s (Knight moves, so to speak!). Moseby notes how the chess player missed a certain move and how he likely regretted it his whole life.

That, in a nutshell, is the movie’s way of telling you Moseby is in for a similar circumstance.

Having said all the above, what delighted me about the film was the realization -something I didn’t known way back when- was that the plot of Night Moves hews very closely to both Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep and, especially in the movie’s wrap up, to Dashiel Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon.

Now normally I wouldn’t be too happy about a movie taking so much from other works, but in this case they did it in mostly clever ways. Moseby is hired, as in The Big Sleep, by wealthy Arelene Iverson (as opposed to wealthy General Sternwood), an older woman who was once a minor figure in Hollywood’s golden age, who says her very wild step daughter, Delly Grastner (a very young an alluring Melanie Griffin) is missing (In The Big Sleep, Detective Phillip Marlowe is hired to check in on the very wild Carmen Sternwood). Arlene is the embodiment of the golden age of film’s darker side, a bitter alcoholic who is all too wise to the way women are used and abused in this ”magic” town.

Moseby gets to work and, in short order, figures out where Delly is hiding and eventually goes across the country and to Key West (another homage, I suppose, to a film like Key Largo) to get and retrieve her. There he meets Paula (Jennifer Warren, who is simply fantastic), another world weary woman who’s seen too much and done too much. There is an attraction between the still hurt Moseby, who has yet to deal with his wife’s infidelity. In Paula we have a good approximation to The Big Sleep’s more world weary Vivan Rutledge, Carmen Sternwood’s big sister, who was played so fantastically by Lauren Bacall in the movie version of The Big Sleep.

After a shocking find (I won’t go into more spoilers), Moseby takes Delly home and to her -we find- hellish life.

While his case is resolved, the story is only beginning at this point and to reveal much more would be criminal (pun intended).

Suffice to say that things aren’t entirely what they seem and Moseby’s just starting to realize how entangled many of the characters are, and how this leads to multiple murders.

Just as this movie presented characters who were close approximation to The Big Sleep’s General Sternwood, Carmen Sternwood, and Vivan Rutledge, we have James Woods (in a very early role) playing Quentin, a surly mechanic, who is clearly meant to echo The Big Sleep’s Owen Taylor, the Sternwood’s chauffeur. Further to that, we also have a close approximation to the character of Rusty Regan from The Big Sleep as well. And when the movie reaches its climax, we have certain fascinating elements of The Maltese Falcon appear in the movie’s climax.

And, if you look closely enough, Harry Moseby’s character in Night Moves seems to be something of an approximation and expansion of Sam Spade’s doomed partner, Miles Archer, from The Maltese Falcon. In that novel, Archer’s wife has an affair with Spade and winds up losing his life in the case that Spade eventually takes up. Was Archer, like Moseby, someone who didn’t see all the angles? Regardless, its fun to see Sam Spade’s name evoked in the above trailer.

Moving on from the echoes to other works, I have to especially note the terrific acting by Gene Hackman. There’s a reason he’s a legend in the movie industry and I have to say this may be one of his all time great roles. Having said that I would also reiterate Jennifer Warren was also terrific and its a shame she doesn’t seem to be very well known today.

Night Moves is an easy recommendation, especially to fans of the pulpy detective novels of yesteryear. The movie cleverly uses many plot details and ideas and presents something new and fresh yet which delightfully echoes the best of what came before.

So I highly recommend the film.


There is something that needs to be brought up, something that probably relates more to the era in which this film was made and which, IMHO, is something that detracts from the overall work.

Night Moves is a movie that, I felt, fell under the ”male gaze” problem other works have. The three main female characters presented in the film all have nude scenes and, frankly, it felt like director Arthur Penn was doing this to spice things up when it wasn’t really needed (there’s plenty of steam between Bogart’s Phillip Marlowe and Bacall’s Vivian Rutledge without the need to show her nude!).

Worse, Melanie Griffith’s Delly Grastner is presented in the film as under age (I’m not certain what the actress’ age was when filming, but my understanding is that she too was …gulp… underage at the time). She’s a wild child, a girl (not a woman yet) who sleeps around and does try to seduce Moseby as she seems to think this is her function in life. At one point in the film, a character talking to him notes about Delly that ”there ought to be a law” and Moseby says ”There is.”

That’s all good and well but why then present several scenes where Ms. Griffith is nude? It seems like the movie wants to eat their cake and have it to and, truthfully, that sort of stuff should make today’s viewers very uncomfortable.

Regardless, that’s perhaps the only blemish on an otherwise very well done film.

The New 2021/2022 Novel Update #17

So last week Saturday I posted that I had finished reading through and putting down the red ink revisions for Draft #6 of my latest novel.

I wrote I felt the novel was nearly done and, as if to prove that fact, today and six days later I can announce that I’ve put all those red ink notes into the Word file and the book is ready to be printed out one more time and given a -perhaps last!- red ink-revision before putting those edits into the Word file.

If you’ve been around here you’ll know that as my novels get closer to be finished up, I tend to need less time to do these revisions. The earlier drafts require quite a bit of reworking and revisions and it is not unheard of that a draft can take me several months to finish up. The fact that I was able to put all these revisions into the Word file in less than a week speaks to how close I feel the book is to being finalized.

So perhaps tomorrow (its getting a little late today) I will print this puppy out and give it a read through.

If all goes well, my next announcement should confirm whether we’ve reached the last draft or not!

Fingers crossed!

THE NEW 2021/2022 NOVEL UPDATE #16

It’s Saturday the 14th of May and its not quite lunch time and I’ve just finished the read-through and red ink revisions of Draft #6 of my latest novel…

…and I’m freaking ecstatic.

One of the very best feelings in the world for an author is reaching a point where you feel like your novel is just about done. With regard to this book, that’s exactly where I’m at at this point in time.

The revisions happened pretty quick considering I did spend one weekend flying out -and therefore was unable to do any work on the book- so in reality I’ve taken maybe a little over two weeks to go over this books and write my revisions down.

Even better is the fact that, in looking over the revisions, I suspect it won’t take me much more than a week to transfer those revisions into my Word file and print the whole thing out once again.

When I do that, I intend to give the book one more read through but I feel confident in saying this will be the final one.

So, if all goes well and I’m not delayed by anything, maybe another week or so to add those revisions to the Word file, maybe another couple of weeks at the most to read it one final time, then maybe less than a week or so to add whatever final revisions are necessary.

The book will be ready by June, there is no question about this.

Let’s see when exactly I’ll have it available for purchase!

Stay tuned, it won’t be long now!

The passing of Neal Adams and George Perez

If you’re into comic books at all, the two names I posted in the headline should be well known to you.

For those who aren’t into comic books, it’s fair to say these two were among the titans of the comic book art community and their passing is cause for great sadness.

Neal Adams burst onto the comic book scene in the late 1960’s with a style of artwork which seemed to take the power of the late Jack Kirby but merged it with a more “realistic” style.

An Interview With Neal Adams - Legendary Artist and Creator Rights Advocate  — Nerd Team 30

His first jobs at DC comics generally involved doing covers, though eventually he gravitated to some supernatural stars, including Deadman…

Deadman Book One : Various, Adams, Neal, Infantino, Carmine: Books - Amazon

…as well as The Spectre. The Spectre (1967-1969) #4 eBook : Adams, Neal, Adams, Neal,  Adams, Neal, Adams, Neal: Kindle Store

The folks at DC comics got real smart and, together with writer Denny O’Neil, the two would go on to what is perhaps their crowning achievement, taking the character of Batman -who at the time was mired in the more campy, Adam West TV show-esq pattern- and play him far more straight… and scary. Detective Comics (1937-2011) #395 eBook : O'Neil, Dennis,  Robbins, Frank, Giordano, Dick, Adams, Neal, Adams, Neal, Kane, Gil,  Anderson, Murphy, Giordano, Dick: Kindle Store
The first Neal Adams/Denny O’Neil Batman feature, “The Secret of the Waiting Graves”, from Detective Comics 395

Neal Adams had a knack for mixing his superheroics with gothic and supernatural elements, and this fit the character of Batman incredibly well.


Perhaps the highlight of Neal Adams’ work on Batman, though, did not feature such gothic elements, but was rather his -and writer Denny O’Neil’s- reinterpretation of what is Batman’s nemesis, the Joker.

O'NEIL and ADAMS on Bringing Back the JOKER | 13th Dimension, Comics,  Creators, Culture
The Joker become a murderous, dangerous lunatic again in the Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams interpretation presented in Batman 251

While Batman had become softened with the Batman TV show, The Joker had also become a far less “dangerous” criminal. As presented on the show, he was a literal clown, laughing and carrying on and never really all that scary. Neal Adams, along with author Denny O’Neil, changed that with the classic Batman #251.

But Neal Adams’ work wasn’t limited to simply making Batman -and his villains- scary again. He, along with Denny O’Neil (again) created the villainous Ra’s Al Gul, who would be featured in the first Christopher Nolan directed Batman film. The character’s daughter, Talia, was also created by the team and she would appear in the third and last of Nolan’s films…

Batman (1940) #244 FN- (5.5) Neal Adams Cover & Story Ra's AL Ghul Cover

The team of Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams would also collaborate on the Green Lantern/Green Arrow comic, which was one of the very first comic books to deal with societal issues…

Green Lantern Green Arrow #85 Facsimile - Signed by Neal Adams

Perhaps the most famous sequence from their run in this series is this one, which addresses the issue of racism…

So You Want to Read Comics: Green Lantern / Green Arrow — You Don't Read  Comics

Neal Adams would work for Marvel comics as well. During the time he was working at DC he reinvigorated a moribund Marvel franchise which looked like it would wither on the proverbial vine and be completely forgotten. I’m referring, of course, to The X-Men…

X-men #59 - Neal Adams art & cover - Pencil Ink

His run on this series would inspire others to follow and enhance his work, including artist/writer John Byrne who, early in his career, very obviously emulated Adams’ style.

In the 1970’s Adams’ comic book work lessened, though in the later 1970’s he co-wrote, plotted, and pencilled what I consider the best Superman story ever created, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (1978) DC Treasury Edition comic books 1978

To be very clear, the concept of this comic sure did seem, even back then, silly as hell, even for a much younger me. But damn if Neal Adams didn’t deliver the goods, creating a story that drew you in and wowed you with its power and humanity.

During the 1970’s Neal Adams was also a loud voice for artist’s rights, shaming DC comics into giving a stipend to Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster -both of whom had been discarded by the industry by that time and who were in financial need- on the eve of the release of the Superman movie and was also instrumental in getting artists their original artwork back, so they might sell it and gain some money for it.

Neal Adams would spend the 1980’s and much of the 1990’s doing less work for the big companies and releasing self-published works. In more recent years, he returned to Batman, Deadman, and Ra’s Al Gul for limited series. While those series to my eyes didn’t quite recapture the glory of prime Neal Adams work, they were welcome additions to my library.

He accomplished so much in his career and he will be missed. Mr. Adams passed away on April 28th, 2022.

Neal Adams - Wikipedia


Two days ago and on May 6th of 2022 the comic book industry would receive another shock: Artist George Perez passed away.

George Pérez - Wikipedia

Mr. Perez became one of the bigger names in comic books in the generation of artists who followed Neal Adams. His first published work would appear in Marvel’s Astonishing Tales #25, in a backup parody of the main feature, which introduced the character of Deathlok…

Legendary Comic Book Creator George Pérez Reveals He Has Stage 3 Pancreatic  Cancer - Bounding Into Comics

From such humble beginning Mr. Perez would draw some of Marvel’s greatest heroes, including the Fantastic Four…

George Perez and Joe Sinnott Fantastic Four #176 page 2 Original | Lot  #93714 | Heritage Auctions

…and the Avengers.

Avengers 200 Marvel 1980 NM- Captain America Iron Man Thor Hawkeye Vision |  Marvel comics covers, Avengers comics, Marvel comic books

What distinguished Mr. Perez from many other artists was his love of shoving as many characters and background as possible (or what seemed impossible!) into his pages. He had such a love of the characters that he would show readers as many as he could fit, all lovingly detailed.

In the early 1980’s he moved from Marvel Comics to DC comics and it was there he arguably had his biggest impact on the field, starting with his work on the Justice League of America.

Justice League Of America #184 Darkseid Justice Society DC classic cover  nm- | Comic Books - Bronze Age, DC Comics, Justice League of America,  Superhe... / HipComic

But it would be his work, alongside writer Marv Wolfman, that would truly set him up as the premiere artist of that decade, starting with their work on The New Teen Titans…

The New Teen Titans Omnibus 1: Marv Wolfman, George Perez: 9781401231088:  Books

Many fans at the time felt Wolfman and Perez were simply “copying” the success of Marvel’s X-Men but the series became very much its own thing and was successful as such.

Wolfman and Perez, though, had another card up their sleeves…

Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 by George Perez : r/comicbooks

Crisis On Infinite Earths was an incredibly ambitious twelve-issue series first released in 1985. The goal of the series was to trim down the multiverse aspect of DC Comics (for the record, I feel that proved in the long run to be a mistake, from a storytelling point of view) and try to streamline the DC universe.

While I had my issues with the end result of the series’ story, there was nothing at all wrong with Mr. Perez’s magnificent artwork. The twelve issues of Crisis allowed Mr. Perez to draw virtually every single character in the DC universe, from incredibly minor to very well known, along with creating a few new characters along the way.

I seriously doubt there is any other artist, alive or passed, who could have accomplished what he did in this series without either going completely crazy or taking years of extremely hard work to achieve.

It seemed Mr. Perez had reached his pinnacle. However, there was still one other major accomplishment to come, the Marvel and DC crossover event he longed to do his entire career, Justice League vs the Avengers

Justice League vs Avengers by George Perez : r/comicbooks

While they were publishing rivals, there were occasions Marvel and DC Comics would allow special event crossovers. They did this twice with Superman meeting up with Spider-Man, Batman with Hulk, and Justice League going up against the Avengers in the limited series published between 2003 and 2004.

George Perez had first been approached, and delivered a few pages for, a JLA/Avengers team up book but it was torpedoed before it was published. He would get his chance to do this again some twenty years later and delivered a magnificent product.

As if he was capable of not doing so!

Sadly, Mr. Perez would suffer from various health issues which limited his ability to continue working on his beloved comic books. A couple of months ago it was announced he was suffering from stage 3 cancer and knew he had a limited time left. Marvel and DC, magnanimously, allowed the JLA/Avengers series, collected in a TPB, to be republished to help Mr. Perez and his family with their medical and other bills, though it seems the limited nature of this reprint allowed speculators to blow up the resale price of the book and… yeah, greed can do bad things to people.

I never got to meet either Neal Adams or George Perez and now, I never will and that’s a real shame.

Two titans of the comic book industry passed away a mere week apart.

Such a sad series of events, even as their works ensure we will enjoy their talents for years to come.

On Writing…

Got into an interesting commentary tangent yesterday with some people online about writing and figured I’d cut and paste it here, if you’re interested…

The first bit is rather brief and involves what I think are two things all authors should keep in mind and/or do:

1) Ingest a lot of fiction, chew on it, see what works and -sometimes even more importantly!- what doesn’t work. The more awful a work and the clearer you can see what makes it “awful”, the better because that teaches you the things you may not want to do.

2) I feel author Elmore Leonard created a fascinating list of 10 writing tips but its the final one that I like the most: Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Yes, it sounds snarky as hell but there is a startling clarity to this.  What he’s saying is don’t run up the page/word count just for the hell of it.  Hone your story into a razor sharp book, one where a reader will love every word and won’t find their eyes glazing over at any points.

That led to this longer posting where I elaborate a bit about what I wrote above…

Like many would be writers way back when, I also looked into the “How to” books on writing, up to and including the Stephen King book which I mentioned way upstream.

The bottom line, I’ve found over time, lies in the two things I pointed out. I’ve always been super curious about reading and/or watching stories (whether on TV or Movies, etc.). After a while, I began to detect patterns to stories, some of which were eventually categorized in other works (the “hero’s journey” being one of the biggies, though at the time I didn’t recognize its categorization!).

And I was highly critical about the things I would read and or watch. I would see where the things worked and very much paid attention to what didn’t. If a book, for example, started very well but lost me at some point, I would try to figure out why it did so. Likewise with movies. And if I felt everything worked, I’d also try to understand why as well.

This subsequently becomes applicable to one’s own fiction writing. You develop that understanding of what is in your mind “good” versus what you feel is “bad” and you obviously try to steer your work in the former rather than later direction.

Experience becomes key. My first novel took forever for me to write because not only was it my first attempt at such a beast (I had written shorter stories before that) but also I was just finding what worked for me from a technical standpoint.

Today, as I’m about to finish off my 13th full work, I have an understanding about the techniques I didn’t way back when. As I noted upstream, I tend to want to start a novel with a reasonably clear idea of how it begins and, even more importantly, how it ends. This doesn’t have to be written completely in stone, but the general ideas should be there and should be intriguing enough for me to take the next step.

The biggest struggles I have are in writing the connective middle, getting the reader (and me, the writer!) from Point A to Point Z. Here I fall back on my memory of all the stories I’ve ingested and try my hardest to create something that is as unique as possible. I loathe the idea of retreading a story and strive to make something that is my own. By virtue of the fact that there are so many stories out there, mine cannot be some 100% “new” thing -that’s impossible- but I do strive to give readers a ride and surprise them with whatever it is I’m offering them.

And that’s where the Elmore Leonard quote comes in, especially when I get to the later stages of the revision process. I also loathe the idea of having readers’ eyes glaze over with either paragraph upon paragraph or page upon page worth of stuff that doesn’t in the end make your story any better.

Back when I was in College and had a creative writing class the teacher talked at one point about Henry James’ theory of the “organic form”, ie the idea that a novel or story is like a human body and that every organ, muscle, cell, etc. has a purpose in said story. In some ways this ties in directly to Elmore Leonard’s quote in that you want your story to be razor sharp and not have any extraneous (beware, highly technical literary jargon follows) bullshit muddling the overall work.

When I finish my first draft of a novel, in general it can be at a low of 50,000-60,000 words. As I revise the book in the early stages I’m often adding material into it and the book can bulge up to 100,000 to 130,000 words. But once I have the book “locked down” and know all the elements I’ve wanted to include in the work are there, I start to pare things down, to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. The book will then generally become thinner, word count-wise, and by the end I’ll have a work that usually (but not always) winds up in the 85,000 to 110,000 word range. 

The latest big news…

Yeah, lots of news going on and haven’t been ’round these parts for a while now.

I suppose the two biggest issues of this day are the continued fighting in the Ukraine against Russia. It’s a horrible situation initiated by a lunatic who seemed to think he could just waltz into Ukraine with his mighty army and everyone would simply give up when faced with their overwhelming might.

The reality, if it weren’t for all the lives lost and cities destroyed, would be the stuff of bitter comedy. The Russian forces have been exposed as under-trained, ignorant of what they are doing (not their fault), and brutal (very much their fault). The fact that Ukraine looks to be about to go on the offensive and is only miles from the Russian border is yet another element that almost makes you want to laugh at the ineptness of the Russian forces… but again, only if we were to ignore the rapes, murders, general war crimes, and savagery this war has created.

Oh, and you gotta love how some Russian media is mulling the use of nuclear weapons as a potentially legitimate thing going forward.

Way to make a bad situation all the worse, eh?

Speaking of which, the leak a few days ago about Supreme Court Judge Alito’s Roe v Wade ruling, effectively gutting it, has also sent out shock waves across the country.

I suppose we once again have one of those “if it weren’t so fucking terrible it would be a comedy” type situations. Love this short video, presented on twitter, from The Daily Show

The Daily Show on Twitter: “These judges make lying fun. It’s the Black Robe Comedy Tour!

Serious shit, truthfully, yet also hilarious because it’s so fucking true as well.

Alito and his ilk, as so clearly presented above, lied their way into their Supreme Court “jobs” and now are in hiding because of the furor of this ruling, something they claimed beforehand to “respect”.

I’ve noticed that some of the more right wing elements out there, for instance, the truck drivers who were creating blockades in Washington DC, were perplexed when people shouted at them and gave them the middle finger.

“How can you be against us when we’re trying to free you?” I recall one such demonstrator stated.

It’s a delusion, truly. A feeling that you know what’s right and everyone else is going to go your way, even though you clearly don’t know what’s right and a majority of people are very much against your actions and ideas.

The anti-choice crowd doesn’t get that but let’s see what happens in the upcoming elections. Their hubris might yet be their undoing.

One hopes.

Finally, there’s the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard trial.

For those living in a cave, Johnny Depp’s career has really sunk in recent years, partially because he’s been in a string of absolute stinker films and because, he claims in this lawsuit, of an editorial Amber Heard wrote which talked about -without mentioning Johnny Depp by name- being in an abusive relationship.

I can’t seem to wave a dead cat around the internet without smacking into Johnny Depp fanatics who are livid about Amber Heard and demand “justice” for Johnny and damnation for her.

And… I can’t understand it.

I’m not a Amber Heard “fan”. I’m not a Johnny Depp “fan”. I’ve seen a few of the things presented in trail so far and Johnny Depp, IMHO, strikes me as a deeply vindictive man who is trying his absolute best to destroy another person, that being Amber Heard.

His career, from what I’ve read and seen, was already very much on the rocks BEFORE that 2018 editorial came out which he claims so defamed him so already I’m wondering what this whole lawsuit is about.

There were plenty of stories about him allegedly being out of control on movie sets, of allegedly consuming mass quantities of alcohol and drugs and often supposedly arriving late to work without any idea of his lines or what he was even supposed to do. Interestingly, in the trail at one point he was asked about the movies he was recently in (perhaps to get at this point I just mentioned) and he replied he had no idea of the films he had just done and couldn’t name any recent works.


A trail in England brought by him and against a newspaper over reports of him being abusive resulted in a very clear loss for Depp and a finding by the court that he was indeed abusive and therefore the paper he was suing had not defamed him by stating this.

I can’t help but think when all is said here in this trial, we’re going to see much the same result.

Is Amber Heard a “good” person? I truly don’t know. There is some evidence, I have read, for at least one pretty gross thing she is supposed to have done on his bed… but as gross as that is, is it abusive? Depp himself, of the stand, stated that he couldn’t help but “laugh” at that.

So… ok?

Depp claims she cut/slashed his finger, but there are contemporaneous tweets and interviews where Depp himself says he did it to himself. Was he lying then and isn’t now or is he lying now and wasn’t then? What are we supposed to believe in that case?

There are those who say both of them engaged in abusive acts and its certainly possible, but I wasn’t there nor were many of them so its kinda engaging in speculation, no?

One probably should let the trail work itself out and each side present their evidence and what happens will happen, whether Depp be vindicated or not.

Having said that, one thing I already feel works very much against Depp I’ve already mentioned above: The idea that Heard’s 2018 op-ed somehow was solely responsible for his career nosedive and not the many bad movie choices he made from roughly 2012’s Dark Shadows on.

I mean, not counting that film, these are some of the major movies he has been in since 2013:

The Lone Ranger (2013, a pretty big box office flop), Transcendence (2014 another box office flop), Into the Woods (2014 ditto), Mortdecai (2015, does anyone remember this one?), Black Mass (2015), Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016… I suppose this one was a success, but was it in the league of the Harry Potter films in terms of box office? Also, if memory serves, he only appeared at the very end of this film in exactly one scene, no?), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017, a definite box office success but also the film where many of the stories of his alleged bad behavior on set and the need to use stand ins to get things done originated. Again, this movie was released a full year before Heard’s editorial), Murder on the Orient Express (2017, I suspect this film did well but it was a very big ensemble cast and Depp’s role was pretty small, though pivotal, as he was the murder victim), and, going into 2018, we had such minor fare as Sherlock Gnomes (a cgi animated film that I doubt many remember now), The Professor (has some decent reviews but does anyone remember this one?), and the more well-known Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (this is his last foray into the J.K. Rowling series as by this point he was indeed being viewed as toxic).

Anyway, a lesser actor may well have fallen far more quickly based on the string of unsuccessful works he was in along with the reputation -whether true or not- he had developed.

Either way, it’s in the news and a source of curiosity, certainly, if nothing much more.