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The Lone Ranger is like Sharknado. It makes me want to believe. It is one of the best movies I have seen in over a year.
The movie began using a story telling device. Nothing outstanding. But yet the cinematography compels you. I think, in the advent of so much CGI in our movies, that the cinematographers should be held to a higher standard. Unless they are trying to create a masterpiece like ‘Sharknado’, in which case, I could give a shit – just tell me a story that is impossible in a fun and entertaining way yet maintain the logic throughout the movie.
The settings are true without being gratuitous. I will watch it with my daughter and son and explain to them about for every mile of track laid for the railway that someone died, and I will tell that that is why the world needs someone like The Lone Ranger. There is a place of ‘ill reupute’ called ‘Red’s’ in the movie, which was a place for working men to have a good time, and based on how it was displayed, everyone did have fun without actually screwing on the tables. And I could reasonably explain that to my children. The only part of the movie that I would have a problem explaining to my kids, is the part that needs the least explaining yet at the same time was the most graphic.
The scene I describe is where the bad guy eats the heart of the good guy. It’s not shown graphically, only inferred, but it is is shocking, and parents need to be waare of it. But the funny thing is, I’m confident that kids can grasp the concept of what happens, and when they watch it, might be shocked by it, but the horror will come from the parent’s discover that their kids actually grasp and understand it without themselves becoming serial killers.
That being said, I would never let my adolescent kids watch a Tarantino movie until past puberty. Tarantino has make his career from pastiche and homage – taking films that an elite few have seen and an exponential number of others have claimed to appreciated. Gore Verbinski has taken the passion every boy has about being a hero, watched every possible Lone Ranger movie and television serial, and made a movie that the veteran western-movie-watcher can appreciate, and fall in love with like every other movie watcher.
Johnny Depp is infallible. No reasonable movie-goer can argue that. This movie is no exception. I’ve read before that actors should never work with animals or children, because both will show them up. Without giving too much away, Johnny Depp manages to act with an animal and not come off as going too far. Please, see the movie.
The character of The Lone Ranger could have been played by anyone who was willing to be a lead character who was willing to be carried along by the strength of a supporting actor, and that list is short. Armie Hammer had nothing to lose and did a stupendous job of pulling off the role of reluctant hero.
I’ve enjoyed the roles that William Fichtner in his past roles – Kent in Contact (bar none – one of my favourite movies, a movie based on a novel written by Carl Sagan, starring one of my favourite actress of all time, Jodie Foster), the captain of the guards in The Longest Yard – but in this role, he manages to personify ‘the bad guy’. One of my favourite novels is one from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is “The Wizard and Glass” and if the series of movies ever comes to life, Fichtner must play Eldred Jonas.
Helena Bonham Carter has perhaps ten minutes of screen time at most, yet she takes over the screen for every second.
I don’t know the history of The Lone Ranger (my dad tried to tell it to me but I didn’t listen – I just wanted him to bring the bad guy to JUSTICE) but the story that the movie told is one that I wanted to believe. I have not ever grasped how it is my wife can react so viscerally to the television shows she watches, yet I had no problem justifying my outright laughter and otherwise out-of-character physical reactions to the twists and turns of the movie. My wife, God bless her, did not make fun of me.
And, I think, the best part of the movie for me, and the most telling, is when she turned to me just as the theme music of The Lone Ranger started to play (to those of you who don’t know that music – please, watch the movie anyway – once you see it, you’ll know what I mean. You’ll have to trust me on this one).
“Honey,” she whispered. “This is the part of the movie you’ve been waiting for.”
And, after two hours of compelling story telling, great acting, and twists and turns, when that theme music started to play, I have to admit, as a forty year old man with two kids, a wife, a mortgage, the following fifteen minutes had me giggling and screaming like a nine year old boy.
This movie does not deserve an Oscar for anything other than cinematography, for it was truly spectacular. I completely expect that there was CGI in the movie, but it was secondary to the story, yet the story could not have been told without out. As an example, I have zero desire to see Avatar because the story itself was poorly told by actors who relied on the tech to tell the tale and, subsequently, I have never watched it. I love Titanic (much to the chagrin of my wife, who is of the opinion that there’s no need to watch it because she already knows how it ends- “The ship sinks”) because even without James Cameron having built a replica of the Titanic, Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet carry the movie more than any sum of microprocessors could.
This movie deserves to be watched by people who love movies, people who want to see a hero and what it takes to make one. It should be watched by husbands and wives for a good time, and by fathers with their kids so that everyone knows what a champion is all about, and by mothers with their children, so that the kids can see why Mommy cries whenever Daddy kicks ass.
Please. Go. Watch it. You won’t be disapppointed. Goddamnit, but can’t I hear that theme music right now as I type this.

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