The Lone Ranger (2013)

Justice is What I Seek, Kemosabe.

The Lone Ranger (2013)The amount of awful things I heard about today’s movie made me desperately want to see it.  Not quite enough to see it in theaters, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to see it.  The studio seemed to try to hide the movie under the rug after that, keeping it off the shelves for about 6 months.  Did they not know I was waiting to make fun of it?!  By the time I finally got the opportunity to see it, I had already watched the people over at Schmoe’s Know report that it was the worst and second worst movie of the year, depending on which host you asked.  But you people are here to find the opinion of the host that really matters: ME!!!!!  So what did I think of The Lone Ranger?  You’ll just have to read more words and find out.  Some of those words will be the people that wrote it, whose names are Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio.  Gore Verbinski directed it.  And the movie also starred Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale, and Barry Pepper.

A young boy at a circus goes into a Wild West exhibit and sees a statue of an elderly Comanche that seems to come to life to tell the boy a story.  The Comanche reveals himself to be Tonto (Johnny Depp), and starts to tell the boy a story about how he met a lawyer named John Reid (Armie Hammer) while trying to exact his revenge on a man he calls a “wendigo,” but is more commonly referred to as Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), notorious outlaw.  Butch escapes and John joins his brother Dan’s (James Badge Dale) search party to try to bring him to justice, but a betrayal leads the slaughter of the entire team.  Tonto arrives and gives the bodies a proper burial, only to realize that John survived, if only just.  Tonto decides that John is a “spirit walker” and unable to be killed, which will be very useful in future fights.  Slightly less useful in future fights is a mask that Tonto gets John to wear.  Even less useful is the moniker of “The Lone Ranger” for someone that is eternally accompanied by a partner and a horse.

This was not a great movie, but I would argue that the amount of hatred received by this movie is unjustified.  It’s just a dumb fun movie.  I might be prodded to say that I enjoyed the experience.  For obvious reasons, it felt like a worse version of the worst Pirates of the Caribbean movie (That would be easily the fourth one, On Stranger Tides) set in the Wild West.  It had some simple story, an odd love story, some funny moments, and some okay action.  Not a whole lot to say about the story in general because of its simplicity.  It’s kind of just a double revenge plot and not much more.  I can say some things about the love story though.  John is in love with his brother’s wife and can move in on her without regrets because Dan’s been killed, instantly proving them both to be shitty wife and shitty brother simultaneously.

There were some pretty interesting and spectacular action scenes that I enjoyed in this movie.  The big train scene at the end was pretty interesting, like in the parts where Tonto was climbing up the ladder on the moving train.  The thing that did the most damage to this action sequence was the fact that they used the Lone Ranger music, the William Tell Overture, during the whole scene.  Look, I understand why they did it.  It was an appeasement to people that loved the original … whatever it was.  TV show?  Radio program?  Both?  Who cares?!  I’m not nearly old enough to give a shit.  But I do know that this music sounds a little goofy and dated by today’s standards and I would’ve been much happier with some random metal or orchestra music in that scene.  You could’ve thrown those old people a bone by playing it during the credits or something, but the people old enough to know that music had probably fallen asleep by then.  4:30 pm is way past their bed time.

One of the things that the Schmoe’s boys hated about this movie was Johnny Depp, comparing his goofy characterization to his performance in Pirates of the Caribbean.  I may be way off base here, but I liked his performance in both movies.  I find them funny and entertaining.  So sue me.  You can have all the money I make doing these things for you.  In fact, you already have it all.  I also found his interactions with Silver the horse to be pretty funny.  And Silver was my second favorite character in this movie!  That horse had a good amount of funny moments, like when it licked the scorpions off of the Lone Ranger’s face and when they found Silver standing in a tree for no good reason.  Of course, another part of the problem with this movie is that my second favorite character was a horse and not the person riding it.  Armie Hammer didn’t really make any impression on me.  His portrayal of the Lone Ranger was not nearly as badass as I wanted him to be, and not nearly as badass as someone being portrayed by someone named Armie Hammer.  With a name like that you should be eating lightning and crapping thunder!  Instead he won most of his victories by accident and dumb luck.  He was starting to come into his own as the Lone Ranger in that last action scene, but I had already written this down in my notes by the time I got there.

The Lone Ranger was beaten up pretty hard, but I feel it was unjustified.  Sure the story was unimpressive and the love story seemed all wrong, but there was some okay action scenes and I found Johnny Depp amusing enough to overcome Armie Hammer not living up to the awesomeness of his own name.  This movie would never really warrant a purchase, but I would feel confident recommending that you rent it from RedBox.  It’s worth a dollar.  The Lone Ranger gets “That was supposed to be a warning shot” out of “Something very wrong with that horse.”

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The Ring (2002)

Before You Die, You See The Ring

OCTOBER HORROR-THON CONTINUES!  I thought this would be more annoying to watch only horror movies for the end of October, but there’s so many different types and different qualities of horror movie that I haven’t yet gotten bored of it.  The movie I’m reviewing today is one of my favorite horror movies.  It’s an American remake of a Japanese horror movie, and even better, it’s a movie that doesn’t use tons of gore to scare it’s audience.  This movie is The Ring, starring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Daveigh Chase, Brian Cox, and Shannon Cochran, and it’s directed by Gore Verbinski.

Katie (Amber Tamblyn) and Becca (Rachael Bella) are talking over a sleepover about a myth of a videotape that is supposedly cursed in a way that will kill the person who watches it 7 days after viewing.  Katie reveals that her and her boyfriend watched the tape a week prior.  Downstairs by herself, Katie starts seeing things moving around, the TV turns itself on when it’s unplugged, and she sees water dripping out of TVs.  Katie mysteriously and horrifically dies while Becca watches.  Shortly thereafter, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) goes to the funeral of her neice, Katie, bringing along her son Aidan (David Dorfman).  Katie’s mother asks Rachel to use her abilities and contacts as a reporter to investigate the mysterious death.  One of her first stops on her investigation is the cabin where Katie and her boyfriend watched the tape, and it is here where the tape remains.  Rachel watches the tape and immediately receives a call telling her she will die in 7 days.  So the first thing she does is show the same tape to her ex-boyfriend and Aidan’s father, Noah (Martin Henderson).  Awful messed up way to get back at an ex-boyfriend, isn’t it?  Later, mother of the year Rachel leaves the killer tape out and Aidan watches it too.  So that family’s fucked.  But the rest of the movie is Rachel unraveling the twisted tale of the tape in order to save her family.  Or at least her and her son.  Fuck that guy, am I right, ladies?

I already mentioned that I liked this movie.  I remember being pretty freaked out the first time I saw it.  I can’t remember if it was this movie or the Grudge, but I went out with my friends afterwards and got really suspicious of a dark hallway.  But the biggest thing that freaked me out about this movie was what happened afterwards.  The next day, I got a call from an unknown number and there was no one on the line.  And a little while after that, I got a bloody nose.  And, of course, 7 days later I died.  Okay, 2/3 of that story was true.  I didn’t really get a bloody nose.  I started my period and just counted that.  Okay, okay.  I didn’t die, but I did get a call and a bloody nose.  And right after seeing this movie, my brain, desiring such a cool event, decided I got the curse of the Ring.  I wouldn’t say I was actually scared that I was going to die, but it was gnawing at me from the back of my mind.

I’m not trying to say that this is the only reason this movie was scary, it actually did horror movies right.  I’ve mentioned before that slasher movies and movies where things pop out and surprise you but call it a scary annoy me.  This movie is the blessed third part of that trilogy: the movie that scares you with suspense.  That’s why I liked this movie.  Plus, it was the first of the Japanese horror remakes, and I’ve liked most of them.  And that’s not to say that this movie doesn’t have any kind of gore to it.  The grotesquely mangled faces of Samara’s victims is pretty horrifying, even in the brief couple seconds you see them in, and the tape itself has some brief ickiness to it, but it’s hardly gore.  What the tape does have a lot of is bizarreness and creepiness.  I did find that this movie didn’t really hold up in scares department.  I assume that suspenseful movies only get one or two shots at being scary and I’ve just seen this movie too many times.  But, if you haven’t seen it yet (and also haven’t seen the countless parodies from Scary Movie or others), then you’ll probably still be able to get a good couple scares out of it.

The acting is very solid in this movie, though most of the cast seems pretty heavily sedated at times.  Naomi Watts really does a good job here.  She gets pretty frantic and emotional as the movie goes along, not only believing that she’s going to die, but her son.  Plus, she walks around in her underwears, and I’m always fond of that.  David Dorfman plays a creepy boy pretty well.  Brian Cox has a pretty conflicted performance that winds up in his suicide by bathtub.  The thing that bothered me about that was that his electrical equipment was way more than we’ve been made to believe is necessary.  He has almost every electrical appliance in his house brought into that bathroom and flicks the switch on his surge protector to fry himself.  What ever happened to the toaster?  Isn’t that supposed to be good enough?

The Ring is a good place to look for some quality scares, if only for the first couple viewings.  I’m already started on the sequel, and already kind of regretting it.  But this isn’t about the money grubbing sequel, so I give the Ring a “You’re gonna die” out of “Seven days”.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others.  It may help me get better.