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



"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"?
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
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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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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