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I like Gore Verbinski quite a bit.
I liked his early films like "Mousehunt" and "The Ring," but when he made "Pirates Of The Caribbean," it was like a whole new filmmaker suddenly emerged. Suddenly he was revealed as an amazing action director, a guy who could stage an elaborate sequence on several different fronts, juggling everything with a visual clarity and a sense of geography that is staggering.
As action cinema in the last decade has devolved into a flailing incoherence where shaking the camera to obscure what's happening has replaced creating great action, Verbinski has become an increasingly rare bird. He has also established himself as a very canny gamer of the ratings system. You look at his version of "The Ring" or his "Pirates" films or "The Lone Ranger," and you can see just how much he's managed to sneak by under the guise of a PG-13.
I think it's been interesting to watch Jerry Bruckheimer's successful reinvention of himself and his brand in the wake of his partner Don Simpson's death. Bruckheimer was a big purveyor of R-rated action, but he has managed to gradually turn himself into one of Disney's most important producers.
Both of these guys made themselves available to chat many times during production on the second and third "Pirates" films, and I've always enjoyed chatting with them about their work. I like those films quite a bit, and talking about the choices they made was always a pleasure. This time, I was far less enthusiastic about the finished product, but I wanted to give them a chance to explain their choices and their approach.
As I was leaving, I asked Gore if there's any chance we're ever going to see his take on "Bioshock," a movie he's wanted to make for a while now. He says the two main issues with it are still a problem. It's very expensive, and it's going to get an R-rating. If Verbinski can't figure out how to get that one by the ratings board, it may indeed by a no-win situation.
And as far as "The Lone Ranger" goes, you can read my review here. And now that the film's playing in theaters everywhere, you can make up your own mind this weekend if you're interested.