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A mixed bag of bird seed

 
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A mixed bag of bird seed - 11/8/2013 11:12:40 PM   
Limeylove

 

Posts: 7
Joined: 19/8/2011
The Lone Ranger is a long film. If it had spent more time in the saddle of an action/summer popcorn flick instead of the saddle of serious/historic tragedy film then perhaps we would have got to the climax quicker. It lingers over the massacre of natives a little too long for my liking, taking away from the mystery and heroism of the masked avenger. While delivering many great western cliches as well as pinching a few typical train heist manoeuvres this film is quite good. The action in turn serves its mighty purpose but also prevents a lot of character development, but then we have sat down in front of a Verbinksi film. I can certainly say that this film made me want to be a cowboy again, 12A seems a tad too harsh as a younger audience perhaps would have helped this film more. Go see it. You won't regret it.

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Post #: 31
RE: A mixed bag of bird seed - 12/8/2013 1:02:43 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3940
Joined: 19/10/2005
At a sideshow in a San Francisco fair in 1933, young Will, who idolises a legend known as the Lone Ranger, encounters Tonto, an elderly Comanche Native American, who proceeds to recount his experiences with the Ranger, who actually existed. In Colby, Texas on March 18, 1869, he was a lawyer named John Reid. His train is derailed by outlaws rescuing a prisoner called Butch Cavendish who had been captured by Johnís Texas Ranger brother Dan. He joins Dan and six others in going after the outlaws, but Cavendishís men ambush and kill their pursuers in a canyon. Tonto, who has just escaped prison, comes across the dead men and buries them. However, a white spirit horse awakens John as a ďspirit walkerĒÖ.


So once again we have a would-be blockbuster that is a Western, and once again it has bombed. Does this mean that most filmgoers hate Westerns, the younger kind in particular considering the genre old-fashioned and boring? Itís difficult to say. Several years ago you could have said about the pirate movie, and then along came Pirates Of The Caribbean. True Grit and Django Unchained have been commercial successes, though they were aimed primarily at a somewhat different kind of audience. Who knows, and Iím sure in a few years time theyíll try again. In the meantime, we have The Lone Ranger, and I would love to say that it is rip-roaring fun that in no way deserves neither the bad reviews nor the low box office numbers it is getting. Sadly, I canít. It has good moments, albeit mostly copied from other films, but is overall a shambling mess that canít seem to decide what itís trying to be. Pirates Of The Caribbean in the West sounds like a good thing, but not if the result is closest to the often dreary third film in that franchise. Like that film, The Lone Ranger stumbles along like a shambling drunk, wasting time on random sequences and subplots, then remembering towards the end to give you some action and excitement, and only occasionally providing the giddy lift that you should get from a film like this.

The Lone Ranger first appeared in 1933 in a very long-running radio show, then later on in a TV series, which led to two movie spin-offs. 1981 and 2003 saw two more unsuccessful attempts to bring the character to the cinema and TV respectively, and I guess that the clean-cut hero is a difficult one to make relevant in todayís climate. I think itís rather sad that most heroes have to be Ďflawedí and have Ďdepthí nowadays. Itís now got so bad that we even have Superman, who is supposed to represent the best that we can become, breaking a guyís neck. However, this is the way it is, and thatís presumably why that the makers of The Lone Ranger have tried to make a film that at least half of the time seems like itís trying to be something else. Most notably, theyíve made the Lone Rangerís Native American companion Tonto into his equal, and thatís a decision that works, but little else does. Once again, we have a film that is ridiculously long. You could cut a third out of it and it would be far better.

We open with old Tonto in a museum, soon to be followed by a shot of Monument Valley which should get any lover of Westerns excited. This framing device of Tonto, probably inspired by Little Big Man, is tolerable at the beginning and the end of the film, but gets very annoying when we keep cutting back to Tonto, often in the middle of scenes, elsewhere. The film gets off to a good start with some great action aboard a train, and I must say that straight-away it has a real Western feel, while technically the film is usually first class. Even the CGI is mostly excellent, while there are some great swooping shots courtesy of cinematographer Bojan Bazelli, though itís hard to entirely see where all the money went. However the film starts to grind to a halt once John Reid has died and then come back from the grave. The Lone Ranger and Tonto bicker and bicker, and some of it is quite funny, Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer having considerable chemistry. However, the movie is just content to meander aimlessly as the two go all over the place. At one point, they find themselves in a sleazy town full of freaks and prostitutes, and it feels like Tim Burton [thereís even Helena Bonham Carter looking the way she usually does these days] has just met Federico Fellini, but what the hell is it doing in this movie? Thereís so much wondering around in the desert that even I started to feel really thirsty, and while, for instance, Sergio Leone can take his time with such stuff and let what plot there is gradually reveal itself, Gore Verbinski is no Leone, even if he is quite good at action, and thankfully doesnít indulge in the shakycam, hyper-fast editing crap that plagues modern cinema.

Unfortunately, there barely is any action till the last twenty minutes, when Gioachino Rossiniís William Tell Overture, a piece of music which has been associated with the Lone Ranger since he first came on the radio, begins to play and we are treated to all sorts of crazy action involving two trains. Itís over the top in the best way and gloriously entertaining, and itís a shame that the rest of the film is not like this. Occasionally it tries to be a comical adventure with a fantastical edge, but things such as a wonder horse which, we are led to believe, flies, seem out of place amidst what is the usual attempt at realism and grittiness that is so common these days. Even if much of the nasty stuff, like a heart ripping [which is partially and cleverly shown through glasses Hitchcock-style], is not explicit, there is a somewhat nasty edge to much of the film which is just not necessary. The Lone Ranger doesnít seem to be trying to deliver glorious escapism, but then I donít know what itís trying to do half the time, except to irritate fans of the character, who probably wonít recognise their hero here at all; he is even first seen robbing a bank, and later on smashes someoneís face in with the butt of his gun. Though Iím not a fan, one of the most pleasing things about the Lone Ranger is that, like Superman [at least until Zach Snyder and Christopher Nolan got their hands on him]], he is totally moral and admirable; in short, a terrific role model for kids, and I was looking forward to seeing such a hero, a rarity these days, on the screen. Of course, it wasnít to be.

Sometimes The Lone Ranger seems like itís trying to be one of those pro-Native American Ďrevisionistí Westerns of the 70ís, and thatís commendable because, much like Johnny Depp has said, I also used to be on the side of the ĎRedsí rather than the ĎWhitesí whilst watching old Westerns as a kid and got annoyed because they always lost and were usually negatively portrayed. But a film called The Lone Ranger which promises lots of adventure and derring-do is not really the film to show audiences how the west was really won. Shanghai Noon had positive portrayal of Native Americans and a few jokes containing a bit of social commentary involving them, and thatís all that was needed. Speaking of the Jackie Chan/Owen Wilson starrer, scenes and situations are copied quite often for The Lone Ranger, which despite being so all over the place doesnít show much in the way of originality. At least lots of references to old Westerns [they even feature the favourite hymn of the great Western director John Ford that sometimes showed up in his films] please because theyíre noticeable to fans but donít stick out and take one out of the film.

Hammer, who sounds just like Brendan Fraser, is a little bland in the title role, but heís adequate. Depp has been accused of doing Jack Sparrow all over again, but his restrained performance is actually very different. His dead-pan delivery sometimes makes potentially unfunny lines funny. Hans Zimmerís score is an improvement on his last few efforts, but makes little attempt at a Western flavour, and is generally astoundingly mediocre throughout except when heís ripping off [yet again] Ennio Morricone. I wanted to love The Lone Ranger and tell all those critics they were wrong, but I canít. Itís fitfully entertaining, but overall itís yet another bloated, messy blockbuster from a Hollywood which seems to be finding it increasingly difficult to deliver decent entertainment of this kind. If you want to see Verbinski and Depp doing a Western, youíd be better off checking out Rango.

Rating: 5/10

< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 12/8/2013 1:04:55 PM >


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Post #: 32
RE: A mixed bag of bird seed - 12/8/2013 1:54:29 PM   
Wild about Wilder


Posts: 1652
Joined: 9/4/2010
From: Hertfordshire
Though fairly enjoyable in parts it could've been so much better if it'd had at least half an hour shaved off & as for Hammer being the next Dark Knight not on this showing talk about being a drip the horse had more carisma. Also on another note exactly how many bullets are there in Barry Pepper's six guns as when he was on the train trying to kill Tonto he must've fired at least 20-30 times without reloading?
A mostly enjoyable 7/10 could've been so much more.

< Message edited by Wild about Wilder -- 12/8/2013 1:57:54 PM >

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Post #: 33
RE: A mixed bag of bird seed - 12/8/2013 2:27:20 PM   
paulyboy


Posts: 2560
Joined: 30/9/2005
Really not that bad at all, actually quite entertaining all told. It's a good 45 minutes too long of course and the tone lurches awkwardly between dark and sinister (I'm genuinely gob-smacked they managed to squeeze Fichter's heart eating theatrics into a PG-13) to slap-stick at the drop of a hat, but other than that I really didn't mind it, it's a half decent romp, certainly more deserving of your money than several other blockbusters of recent times I could name.

3/5

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Post #: 34
Great fun - 12/8/2013 5:34:47 PM   
bretty

 

Posts: 197
Joined: 6/10/2005
I have no idea why the US hated this so much, I really enjoyed it. Whether a Depp or a Disney backlash I dunno, but well filmed, well scripted and well delivered. Yes it was a western POTC but it worked just as well as that did. Definitely a four star film worth catching.



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Post #: 35
RE: Great fun - 13/8/2013 3:12:59 PM   
No Diggity

 

Posts: 27
Joined: 16/1/2013
Agree with most comments here...a bit all over the place, but enjoyable in the main...3/5...just to add, im a Depp fan,,,but i found his performance took away from the story...

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Post #: 36
RE: The Lone Ranger - 13/8/2013 5:45:07 PM   
dseys

 

Posts: 176
Joined: 10/8/2012
People always say they want "something original from Hollywood", but when they finally get a blockbuster that's not following the Marvel&co standards, they run away and complain.

There are several tones? There are several subplots? A long running time? Only 2 or 3 action pieces? An actual story's told, and this time it's not just a pretext to join the dots between the action scenes? This is beautifully shot and the director's taking his time to make you feel you're in a real western? For me it's fine. Just like the 3rd Pirates movie, actually... which wasn't everyone's cup of tea, and i perfectly understand why: these movies are not following the rules.

Mhanks to Empire for publishing this review!

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Post #: 37
WESTERN FUN!!! - 13/8/2013 8:05:26 PM   
Ramone87

 

Posts: 70
Joined: 24/12/2011
Entertaining Western Reboot Romp!!


Johnny Depp (Tonto) and John Reid ( Armie Hammer /Lone Ranger) make a great comedy duo in the entertaining fiasco in the same vein as Pirates of the Caribbean. We have it all, action, suspense, mystique and intrigue as an ageing Tonto accounts the legendary days of crime fighting with The Lone Ranger.What's executed nicely is the creation of John Reid into the legendary horse riding, gun slinging masked hero. It all starts at a crackling John ford country pace as the duo are paired up after a skirmish with Butch Cavendish and his bandit crew on a steam train chase.

But the momentum doesn't stop there, as the pair get involved in a conspiracy of great corruption involving the slimy law man Cole played by Tom Wilkinson. Which sets them on many over the top and exciting action set- pieces. mostly on trains obviously. Most stunning is the climax where Tonto and Lone Ranger are on a collision course involving two run away trains. this will have you on the edge of your seat!

But what works best is the finely tuned humour throughout, Depp plays Tonto's Native american roots with fine laughs and sharp wit. Coinciding that with Armie Hammer's bumbling at first inefficient hero they make a great comedy act. It's great fun watching Tonto convince John that his spiritual companion a magical white horse has chosen him to be a 'Spirit Warrior' someone who has crossed to the other side and can't be killed.

Apart from William Fichtners gloriously nasty Butch Cavendish we have other over the top characters, Helena Bonham Carter as brothel owner Red Harrington complete with explosive pistol fake leg and Ruth Wilson and Barry Pepper among others.


So all in all, a good romp and entertaining piece of cinema!!


WATCH IT!!

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Post #: 38
A mixed bag of a movie - 14/8/2013 9:25:30 PM   
soulfood

 

Posts: 62
Joined: 6/10/2005
Johnny Depp has done better movie then this, But i must say this movie is goods

in some parts but very mixed bag of a movie !

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Post #: 39
RE: The Lone Ranger - 15/8/2013 12:09:36 AM   
dconev

 

Posts: 4
Joined: 14/8/2013
The Lone Ranger is way too long, incoherent at times and loaded with clumsy dialogue

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Post #: 40
FLASHMAN - 15/8/2013 1:49:37 PM   
Frank Comiskey

 

Posts: 140
Joined: 16/1/2008
They should had dumped the lamentable 90 minute muddle in the middle and called it 'The Lone Trainger' - in fairness, a film of great imagination, invention & imagery, but Johnny Depp's tedious self-indulgence and Armie Hammer's simpering weakness (did nobody recall 'The Rocketeer'?) kills it as dead as the crow on Tonto's head.

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Post #: 41
FLASHMAN - 15/8/2013 1:49:41 PM   
Frank Comiskey

 

Posts: 140
Joined: 16/1/2008
They should had dumped the lamentable 90 minute muddle in the middle and called it 'The Lone Trainger' - in fairness, a film of great imagination, invention & imagery, but Johnny Depp's tedious self-indulgence and Armie Hammer's simpering weakness (did nobody recall 'The Rocketeer'?) kills it as dead as the crow on Tonto's head.

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Post #: 42
FLASHMAN - 15/8/2013 1:49:43 PM   
Frank Comiskey

 

Posts: 140
Joined: 16/1/2008
They should had dumped the lamentable 90 minute muddle in the middle and called it 'The Lone Trainger' - in fairness, a film of great imagination, invention & imagery, but Johnny Depp's tedious self-indulgence and Armie Hammer's simpering weakness (did nobody recall 'The Rocketeer'?) kills it as dead as the crow on Tonto's head.

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Post #: 43
RE: FLASHMAN - 18/8/2013 8:50:36 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12151
Joined: 30/9/2005
Just come back from seeing this. A very entertaining first half hour, an entertaining final half hour, 90 minutes in the middle that could easily have been trimmed substantially.

Even the William Tell overture felt out of place

3/5. Just.

(in reply to Frank Comiskey)
Post #: 44
Surprised - 21/8/2013 8:50:23 AM   
MOnkeyboy1138

 

Posts: 160
Joined: 16/1/2006
So, I'm going to go on record here as saying of the films I've seen this summer Lone Ranger is probably the one that I enjoyed the most.

Before people lynch me for having an opinion that is different to there own I'm going to try in my best way to give some reasons why.

First of all it was fun, something missing from summer movies of late. I had a big stupid grin, the kind I used to have as a kid on Saturday mornings watching Batman the Animated Series, Darkwing Duck or Tazmania. In short it celebrated absurdism. So many of this years summer movies have no laughs...at all. Man of Steel was so stoically serious, Pacific Rim too (yes there were a few attempts at humour, but tonally very serious), as was Trek. Even Iron Man 3 gave us a less glib and humorous Tony Stark. If you look back at the big summer tent poll movies Jurassic Park had big belly laughs, Indiana Jones too. Nowadays we're so hopped up on symbolism, meaning, and realism that we can't just enjoy.

Secondly this whole summer I have avoided all reviews, all negative or positive press, all press of every kind. I'm slowly learning that no matter what people say about a movie it subconsciously fixes itself and affects your opinions. Going in with no preconceptions really helped me form an opinion entirely of my own (much as I came to the opinion that Pac Rim had no real storyline, just bits in between robot vs monster, and how Trek was just a bad retelling of the only Trek movie that I have genuinely enjoyed).

Thirdly the scenery is just beautiful, the action genius (though not entirely original), and the much derided (from what I'm now reading) framing of the story was actually quite a clever way of 'sensibly' making things over the top (ie. the recountings of a mad man). Hammer was pretty fun in the role, going from naive clutz to a man with a sense of perspective. Sure JD's schtick is wearing a little thin, but he was still very enjoyable. Romantic sub plot could have been excised, but that's a minor grumble. I enjoyed it, you might not have, but that's ok. You like what you like, you loathe what you loathe. You're entitled to your opinion and I'm entitled to mine.

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Post #: 45
RE: A mixed bag of bird seed - 29/8/2013 10:02:48 AM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
I was going to watch this over the weekend, because they'd gotten desperate enough to send out 2 for 1 vouchers. But both of the cinemas I go to stop showing it after tonight... guess it's an even bigger financial flop than I imagined.

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Post #: 46
RE: A mixed bag of bird seed - 29/8/2013 10:31:37 AM   
MOnkeyboy1138

 

Posts: 160
Joined: 16/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

I was going to watch this over the weekend, because they'd gotten desperate enough to send out 2 for 1 vouchers. But both of the cinemas I go to stop showing it after tonight... guess it's an even bigger financial flop than I imagined.


I found that a big problem was that from day 1 in my cinema there were literally only 2 showings, 1 way too early for me to get there from work, and 2 way too late for me to go on a school night. That and the critical onslaught that it's received, it was always going to be doomed.

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You know the thing about Chaos? It's fair

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Post #: 47
RE: The Lone Ranger - 29/8/2013 5:33:01 PM   
MonsterCat


Posts: 7934
Joined: 24/3/2011
From: St. Albans, Hertfordshire
Contrary to what you just posted and what Depp, Hammer and Bruckheimer claimed, I don't know if the critic's reaction makes much of a difference to a film's commercial performance.

I mean, if it truly were the case, Bay's Transformers wouldn't be the massive franchise it is today.

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Films watched in 2013

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Post #: 48
RE: The Lone Ranger - 30/8/2013 8:24:18 AM   
MOnkeyboy1138

 

Posts: 160
Joined: 16/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat

Contrary to what you just posted and what Depp, Hammer and Bruckheimer claimed, I don't know if the critic's reaction makes much of a difference to a film's commercial performance.

I mean, if it truly were the case, Bay's Transformers wouldn't be the massive franchise it is today.


While at first I thought that Depp, Hammer and Bruckheimer were talking out of their collective pretentious arses, I decided to do a little experiment (because I am a sad, strange little man). With the permission of my local cinema I surveyed people going into and out of the building what they were watching/watched, their opinions etc. Somewhere mid way through I asked the question 'will you watch/have you seen the Lone Ranger?' statistically 70(ish)% were a resounding no, the follow up question was 'why?', all but one person said 'it's not supposed to be very good is it', 'the bloke in the newspaper said it was rubbish' or in one case 'Rotten Tomatoes said it was bad'. I know this is just one isolated cinema in the middle of the west country, but it does say a lot.

As for your follow up about Transformers, the original Transformers actually got pretty good reviews, with Empire giving it a sturdy 4 stars. And once you have the punters with one part of a franchise, you've reeled them in for the sequel.

As I tiny Lone Ranger follow up bit, those few who had seen it either were 'pleasantly surprised', 'really enjoyed it' or 'thought it was a big pile of crap'.

I'm not saying criticism is the biggest factor, but it helps sour things. And given the negative press from before day 1 of shooting, I generally am not surprised it's falling on its face.

My overall conclusion is that a critic is expressing a personal opinion, and an opinion only. Treat it as such, and don't let it taint yours. I'm not going to tell people they are right or wrong for liking or loathing this movie or any movie for that matter. Just go take a chance and make the decision for yourself.

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Post #: 49
RE: The Lone Ranger - 2/9/2013 4:20:27 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8409
Joined: 13/4/2006
Good start, exciting ending, but very dull for most of the rest. The leads lacked chemistry and the humour doesn't really spread much beyond the kids audience.

3/10

(in reply to MOnkeyboy1138)
Post #: 50
Buster Keaton's "The General" - 15/10/2013 5:56:20 AM   
colinnaraine

 

Posts: 14
Joined: 19/1/2011
From: United Kingdom
I was really looking forward to watching this but after the exciting beginning and the finale, the middle dragged so much that I had sand in my breaches. Glad I persevered as the finale was my reward - which required two viewings. I could see where the money went, but tighter editing was called for. Movie was too long. Needed more 'Pirates' excitement and more set-pieces. Depp was brilliant but I just can't get excited about trains. That said, this has the most exciting train sequences on celluloid - now Buster Keaton's "The General" comes second.

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Post #: 51
Wrong - 4/11/2013 11:26:54 PM   
Gram Woods

 

Posts: 58
Joined: 18/3/2010
No way does this deserve 4 stars. I usually agree with most Empire reviews but this is way off. I wish you lot would start using a 10 star system instead of 5, or just start using halves. I would say this is 2.5 stars at best. Its ridiculous for the most part and boring, so Depp is quite good as usual but that's not enough, too long winded and slow and felt outdated. How about some fresh ideas please

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Post #: 52
RE: Wrong - 8/12/2013 9:34:06 PM   
UTB


Posts: 9776
Joined: 30/9/2005
I thought this was very deserving of the four stars. Great fun, and pisses on the last 3 Pirates movies from a great height, if the comparison is needed.

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Post #: 53
RE: Wrong - 10/12/2013 2:35:38 PM   
clownfoot


Posts: 7914
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: The ickle town of Fuck, Austria
Jolly good fun indeed.

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Post #: 54
RE: The Lone Ranger - 15/12/2013 6:32:54 AM   
Willy Wood

 

Posts: 125
Joined: 28/1/2013

quote:

ORIGINAL: dconev

The Lone Ranger is way too long, incoherent at times and loaded with clumsy dialogue


I agree, a bit of a mess of a movie.

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Post #: 55
A real surprise - 30/12/2013 8:22:45 AM   
philshepp

 

Posts: 58
Joined: 25/11/2005
I reluctantly watched this over Christmas but ended up loving every minute... a good, old-fashioned bit of fun and a new favourite, tragically overlooked by snobby critics and cynics.

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Post #: 56
AWESOME! - 3/1/2014 4:11:56 PM   
GZ

 

Posts: 26
Joined: 10/10/2011
Ignore every review on the planet but Empire. Watched this at xmas! so good! The fact The Guardian gave this 1 star is a joke! and that guy needs to lose his job 4 real. This film has been so overlooked. Was on QT's top ten films of 2013 and defo mine. The last train scene is like a cross between John Woo and the old Lone Ranger series!!! amazing! Was almost wishing the hero died on the train and was reborn at the end!! Plus a guy gets his heart ripped out felt like the scene in Empire strikes back. Jesus whats not to like. Fuck the snobs, go see this now before you die!

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Post #: 57
BRUCKHAMMERED.... - 13/1/2014 4:57:55 PM   
ROTGUT

 

Posts: 363
Joined: 14/7/2008
Was anyone seriously crying out for a 200 million dollar western remake of Seth Rogen’s Green Hornet movie? I would’ve preferred a more straight forward take on the iconic gunslinger instead of the half baked comedy nonsense which is served up here. Why on earth would they waste the talents of Johnny Depp and throw away a gazillion dollars on a big red flaming Zepplin like this? It sure ain’t Pirates of the Carribean and the schizoid nature of the script means that it’s hard to emphasise or care about anything happening on screen. Depp is fine as Tonto but Hammer never really convinces and looked ill at ease playing a squared jawed hero (ironic when you notice the sheer physical size of the man – he’s a brute!!). Throw in a budding bromance, a grubby cannibal henchman, a bizarre subplot involving a kid visiting an old museum and a couple of million dollar sfx train wreck set pieces ( one where virtually no one even get’s a scratch) and you’ve got a movie which can’t make up it’s mind what it really wants to be. Gritty, straight forward adventure? Comedy? Kiddie flick? The plight of the American Red Indian revisited? With laughs? Thank Christ there won’t be a sequel. TWO STARS


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Post #: 58
Fantastic Movie - 19/1/2014 6:13:26 AM   
potemkin1925

 

Posts: 147
Joined: 17/10/2007
I was on foreign shores when this was released in cinemas and try as I might, I kept missing it everywhere I went.

I got it off iTunes and watched it last night.

Awesome in every way, Hammer and Depp are perfect together. Silver steals the show though. :)

Good old fashioned Western with amazing visual effects, great villains and a lot of laughs.



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Post #: 59
Great fun - 27/1/2014 1:16:52 AM   
RogueElement

 

Posts: 69
Joined: 22/11/2007
Just watched it on Blu-ray and really enjoyed it. I'd much rather see another Lone Ranger film than sit through another Pirates CGI borefest.

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Post #: 60
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