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Johnny Depp in Bits and Pieces

The sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean proves, once again, that special effects aren’t funny, and brilliant performances aren’t always repeatable

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"In these moments he takes us behind the conventional hero's stoic mask and allows us to see Jack as case of arrested development , a pre-sexual child pretending to be a man of decisive action and romantic elan. Mostly, though, he's forced to give a bits-and-pieces, fits-and-starts performance, fighting for his life against crowds of the undead and the unfunny...."

more at:http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1210698,00.html

Could you tell me the meaning of "bits-and-pieces"?
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Bits and pieces => odds and ends => miscellaneous items. In this context => a spotty performance.

In the sequel, the critic charged that Johny Depp could only provide bits and pieces, fits and starts performances => sometimes he was brilliant in some scenes, sometimes he was not, just like bits and pieces, here and there, and not projecting a truly brilliant performance as he gave in the first Pirates version “brilliant performances aren’t always repeatable
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No, bits and pieces does not mean "not good" and "fits and starts" does not mean "good."

As Likeguslee said, "bits and pieces" in THIS context means that it's not a whole, solid, continuous performance. In general, it means "a little here, a little there, but not a whole of anything."

"fits and starts" means it starts, it stops, it starts, it stops again, and starts again.

Neither is inherently good or bad.
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Comments  
Good answer, Thank you indeed!
Emotion: smile

I wonder if "bits and pieces" means "not good" and "fits and starts" means good.
 BarbaraPA's reply was promoted to an answer.
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