Mister Opening Day Matinee and his...

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Mister Opening Day Matinee and his...

...faithful Northern Mediterranean movie-going companion Ronnie Avallone1, took in today's first showing of "The Lone Ranger" at the Hampton Arts.

Did it meet my primary requirement? Absolutely... three times in all... and they didn't shilly-shally as the familiar strains of Gioacchino Rossini's most famous overture filled the auditorium before the end of the first reel.

Of course, that was part of a faux-flashback, another bizarre element of a loosy-goosy screenplay that was splash-screen to end credits sizzle almost completely devoid of any ground beef let alone sirloin steak!

Another major problem is the playing of the two leads... in the title role Armie Hammer has stature (6'5" of it) and Dudley Do-Right good looks, but absolutely z-e-r-o pres­ence. He is, in short, boooor-ing!

(Even so, I'd hate to think that his Clyde Tolson, "companion" to Leonardo DiCaprio's "J. Edgar" Hoover was the pinacle of his career.)

And "Tonto?"

Some revere Johnny Depp as the greatest actor of his generation, and while I can enjoy his work on occasion, it's definitely time for him to retire his loopy Keith Richards-as-Captain-Jack-Sparrow (5X)/Hunter S. Thompson (2X) characterizations.

And worse, Depp was winking at the camera throughout the entire movie, apparently in the hope of selling the audience the idea that there was a joke, and if they paid a little closer attention, they just might get it.

He is actually trying to be two "Tontos" 64 years apart, and Dustin Hoffman did a better job of it in another Western, "Little Big Man," not as a Westerner, but as an ancient Westerner.

Much time could be spent picking out other problems such as a band playing a John Philip Sousa march several decades before it was ever composed, and far too many computer-generated action sequences!

But there were plusses, too... great cinematography by Bo­jan Bazelli, the terrific British actress Ruth Wilson2, brothel madam Helena Bonham Carter hobbling around on a double-barreled 12 gauge prosthetic leg, and the fool-proof locations in Monument Valley, Utah3.

Overall, they aren't nearly enough, though.

This is one Lone Ranger who should never have saddled up again... gorgeous to look at, it's a 149-minute tepid mess4!

  1. We're allowed... we're both mostly retired since our leases weren't renewed; my office is now the PAC Box Office, and his is a brand new empty lot next to Casey's Dance Hall & Saloon.
  2. Sociopath "Alice Morgan" in BBC America's "Luther."
  3. And thank you, John Ford! Another shout out to the legendary film director was a group of Bible-totin' train passengers singing "Shall We Gather At The River?" during a stressful sequence.
  4. When a movie has three writers listed twice each (screenplay &screen story) as well as seven Executive Producers, the smart money walks!


1. EastEnd68 said...

Thanks for saving me the agony of going to a bad movie – actually I'm very disappointed.

Yeah, disappointed is le mot de jour! For $250 million, one would expect more.

Screw big budget effects movies... forget the CGI and give a larger chunk of that budget to the writers and everyone will be w-a-a-a-y ahead!
– Dean

2. Ronnie said...

I saw the movie with Dean and enjoyed his company. I agree that this movie was toooo long. They could have cut a half hour of it and it might have moved along much better.

Thankfully, you were able to enjoy "The Lone Ranger" to a greater degree than I did. We'll find another, hopefully much better, one to take in sometime.

3. Gordie Howe said...

Hey Dean –
I went Friday night with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised – kind of a cute movie – not what you would expect going in with normal expectations.

So thank you for lowering my expectations!


Always a pleasure... I fear, however, that you are signaling that coherency in narrative is no longer important as long... in the instance 149 minutes... and there's movement (human or computer-generated) on the screen.

Sorry, that don't work for Waldo.

4. Gordie Howe said...

Hi Dean –

It also helped that we had free passes.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained... you don't walk on the railroad tracks, you don't get hit by the train.

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