The Lone Ranger MOVIE REVIEW

When the reviews for Disney’s The Lone Ranger started to pour in, the movie critics all seemed to have one opinion: the movie sucked. When I watched the movie, I admit a part of me was a little skeptical about the film’s quality. What if the critics were right this time? Usually when almost every paid critic has the consensus that a movie is bad, it usually is. (But of course, the audience has the right to watch whatever the hell they want, and think whatever they want.)

 

Is the movie as bad as critics say?

Is the movie as bad as critics say?

And if almost every critic hates a certain film, people don’t see the film. And if no one sees the film, the company loses money. Thus, the theater loses money, and are less likely to show the movie. And all of this happens because some hipster movie critic says so, just so they can maintain a following of fellow hipsters, and not anyone else.

And as I watched I asked myself if I was watching a different film? Because the story I was watching unfold was actually not too bad. Especially if you take into count the original show. (Which is horrible, and the film rights many of the wrongs of the show. Like having Tonto actually talk in sentences.)

Now that I’m done going on my rant against unhelpful critics, let’s dig into the meat of the film.

When it comes to directors, Disney made a great choice in Gore Verbinski. His first Pirates Of the Caribbean was a work of genius (Wish the others were just as good.) , and Rango proved he also knows what makes a Western tick. The Lone Ranger would’ve been a disaster if they chose someone who doesn’t respect the Western genre.

The action sequences were epic, but at times there was a little too much cgi. I understand, cgi at times is the only choice for certain scenes. But do you really need cgi animals that obviously look like cgi? But what I liked the most was that Verbinski avoided the pitfalls of the poor quality of the original show. Like hats never falling off, gunfights being drawn out forever, cackling maniacal villains, etc.

The directing however only does so much. The actors doing the script justice brings the story to life. And the cast is a good one.

Armie Hammer (The Social Network) plays the titular character of the film, and brings life to John Reid, the man who becomes the Lone Ranger. I know, I know, actor Clayton Moore played the Lone Ranger. Moore was good in his time, but Hammer makes the hero act more like a human being. Moore acted almost like an android, and didn’t have any life save for shooting people, and arresting people.

Johnny Depp, in his 5th collaboration with Verbinski is the breakout performer of the film. When it was announced he would play Tonto, many people, myself included, wonder how a white man like Depp would pull off playing a Native American convincingly. The biggest difference between Depp and Jay Silverheels’ version is that Depp’s version is far more intelligent, and you wouldn’t know Depp was white because he’s so convincing as a Native.

I think the writers from the original TV show did Sliverheels a disservice by making Tonto an idiot. Thus, Silverheels didn’t get a chance to show what he could do as an actor. In this movie, Tonto actually speaks in sentences. And avoids the speaking in third person crap from the Westerns of yore.

Even if you hate Westerns, at least watch it for Depp & Hammer’s amazing performances.

And of course, neither the director or the actors would have a movie without a script. Frequent collaborators Terry Rossi & Ted Elliot, writers of movies such as The Mask Of Zorro, the Pirates Of the Caribbean series, and The Road to El Dorado, worked their magic once again. The two respected the source material, but at the same time add some much needed back story to Tonto and The Lone Ranger.

There is a lot of the same dry humor from the other movies the duo has written. But this film isn’t as funny as Pirates. Like Mask Of Zorro, Rossi and Elliot don’t just focus on the things we want to remember about the “Wild West”. It addresses how greed, and how ignorance and the railroad fractured relations with the Native Americans, and out of control corporations of the day did things.

Unlike the classic show, this movie shows more of a connection between The Ranger, and Tonto. Tonto is more of the mentor, while Reid in many ways is his protege, which actually works quite well. And it finally tells the story of how Tonto became who he is, and why he seeks justice for the wrongs of the world.

The movie will have you thinking for awhile after the credits roll.

Overall, I give The Lone Ranger 4 out of 5 stars!

It’s a very exciting Western that will appeal greatly to a modern day audience. And fans of recent superhero blockbusters will feel right at home. And I think it’s safe to say the movie is better than the show, and it will appeal to Ranger fans who have longed for the characters to “grow up”. 

What to watch before seeing The Wolverine

Last year, when I wrote that guide on what to see before The Avengers, many people thought it was very handy to check out before seeing the film. I thought I would do the same  for what to watch before you see The Wolverine.  Here we go!

1. X-Men: First Class — This movie is the perfect intro to the X-Men movies. It features a younger, and wilder Professor X,  before he was in a wheelchair, and it has Magneto before he became a villain. There are some differences from the other films, but not too many.

2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine — This Wolverine movie was alright, but could have been better. You could have big debates bringing up this movie to X-Men fans. Mainly because of  some inconsistencies, which you will notice from watching First Class. But they are all minor.

3. X-Men — This is the  X-Men film that shot the mutants into even more popularity. This movie is about the team learning to work together. And this was made in 2000, and changed superhero films into a genre adults could enjoy, and washed out the bad taste Batman & Robin left two years earlier.

4. X2: X-Men United — It’s always hard to make a follow up to a movie as good as the first. Thankfully, X2 hits all the right notes. It’s about ,literally, good and bad mutants banding together to stop a common threat. (And this one is even better if you watched Origins, since one of the other characters returns. I’m not telling who.)

5. X-Men: The Last Stand— This one is required to see before The Wolverine, since it takes place a few years before the events in the film. Namely, the person he regrets killing is in this one. It may not be the strongest X-Men film, but it has a lot of good things to know. 

There you have it! 🙂 Now you can get the most out of The Wolverine.

I have also  added a poll, so we can see which movie  is your favorite! Let’s see which film ends up on top. 🙂

Jurassic Park 3D mini review

Welcome to Jurassic Park! 😀

When an older movie that was always good without 3D is converted to 3D, most people are apprehensive about paying to see it in theaters, when you can rent it on DVD. Especially a classic movie like Jurassic Park that most have seen at least once. (If you haven’t rent it ASAP! It’s a modern classic.)

Thankfully, this remaster doesn’t detract from the film but instead adds to it. The dinosaurs, especially the meat eating ones, look more frightening in 3D than they did in the original. Surprisingly, they didn’t have to retouch very much of the special effects. This 20 year-old film had held up incredibly well.

The other great thing about this version of JP, is the sound. Maybe it was just because I was in the IMAX, I don’t know, but the sound seemed like it was much better. The roar of the T.Rex was louder than I remember, and the sounds of dinos moving through the forest was thrilling and I almost wet my pants a few times.

Overall

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars! You won’t regret paying extra for this movie in 3D.

Unreal Engine 4

The Unreal Engine has been used in many games, and recently game like Batman: Arkham City, and Gears of  War: Judgement. If you’ve watched any of the cinematic scenes in these games, the scenes were some of the most realistic CGI images ever used in gaming. These scenes made me wonder about maybe future Sci-Fi and Fantasy films being created using the Unreal Engine.

The new demo of Unreal Engine 4, Epic Games released at GDC (Game Developers Conference) called Infiltrator really makes me think making movies with this graphics tech is plausibly.

Tell me what you think:

Prometheus REVIEW

When a director makes a prequel to a Sci-fi or a Fantasy movie the film doesn’t always garner good reactions from fans of the franchise. (Like with the Star Wars prequel trilogy.) Prometheus is a prequel to the Alien series of movies.

Like Star Wars, Alien is a franchise that has had hits and misses. The first Alien film, called Alien was directed by Ridley Scott and was excellent. (Alien was successful due to making old monster Sci-fi new again.) The second film, Aliens, was directed by James Cameron, and had similar success.

As for the other two, well, they were horrible. They suffered from bad script writing and bad directing (Scott and Cameron skipped out on making these sequels). A part of me thought the series was finished.

Well, then Ridley Scott announced he was making a movie in the same universe as the Alien movies. But this time, there would be other aliens rather than the trademark Xenomorph from the other films. I was rather excited Scott was directing again.

But would Scott mess up this great opportunity? Keep reading to find out! : )

Cinematography

The first Alien came out in 1979. In Scott’s 33 year absence from the franchise, he has grown considerably in skill. I felt like I was walking with the characters among the rocky surface of the alien moon.

Also, the creature and sound effects are some of the greatest I’ve seen in a long time. Scott again has helped set a new standard in Sci-fi films.

Script

The script by John Spaihts (Wrote the film The Darkest Hour.) & Damon Lindelof (Yes Lost fans, he wrote many Lost episodes.) was well put together. The film reminded me a lot of Michael Crichton’s techno thriller novels like Jurassic Park, The Sphere, and Timeline.

You could call Prometheus a Horror movie, but unlike most new Horror movies this film doesn’t have mindless violence. Yes, there is blood, gore, and shocking twists but the movie tackles questions like “Did a creator and/or aliens create mankind or did evolution? If so, why?”, “What is right or wrong to do in the name of science?”, the age old question “Is it possible to cheat death?’, among others.

These questions make the movie a Sci-fi one rather than a Horror flick.

Acting

The cast is pretty strong. You have Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Logan Marshall-Green (Devil), Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class), Idris Elba (Thor), Charlize Theron (Snow White & The Huntsman), and Guy Pearce (Lockout).

The actor who really steals the show is Michael Fassbender. His portrayal of an android is one of the best portrayals of a robot I’ve seen in modern Sci-fi films. And his character is one of my favorite Sci-fi Film Robots of all time.

If you don’t really like Sci-fi and love Dramas, at least see the film for Fassbender.

Overall I give the movie 5 out of 5 stars! Scott has done it again! Prometheus is a great Sci-fi movie for adults. (Keep children far away, since its R-rated.)

*NOTE: Before you see the film I would watch Alien and Aliens first.  There are tons of Easter Eggs.

The Avengers: A guide for what to watch before you see the movie!

Click image to go to Fandango!

The Avengers is coming to theaters on May 4th, and is destined to be one of the biggest movies this year. As a Nerd, I’ve read Avengers comics for years  and have watched movies with Marvel characters since I was an annoying 3rd grader. I know not everyone grew up being a Nerd, and know next to nothing about superheroes. But never fear! I have compiled a list of the Marvel movies associated with the Avengers, and what order you need to watch the films in.

Now, let’s get started! 😀

Captain America: The First Avenger— Since Good Ole’ Cap is the leader of the team, you have to start here, no ifs ands or buts. Also, there are some nice goodies that have to do with the other characters. (Oh, and Iron Man’s Dad is a character. )

Iron Man— I AM IRON MAN!………..Okay, this character has nothing to do with Black Sabbath. This is the story of Billionaire weapons manufacturer Tony Stark, and how he becomes Iron Man. More goodies in this one. And appearance by a one eyed Samuel L. Jackson (That scene is after the credits.)

The Incredible Hulk— Now, you might remember a Hulk movie from 2001 directed by famed filmmaker Ang Lee. Now take a wire brush, cut open your head, and scrub your brain with soap until it hurts, then scream HULK SMASH PUNY DIRECTOR! Doesn’t that feel good getting that horrible movie out of your head? This movie thankfully retells an accurate version of the Hulk origin tale. Oh, and there are some nice Captain America references.

Iron Man 2— Since Iron Man did great at the box office, they had to make another movie! 🙂 This film introduces another Avenger. You’ll find out when you watch it. Like with Iron Man 1, wait to the end of the credits, and you’ll see something that belongs to yet another Avenger.

Thor— Thor the God of Thunder is introduced, along with the world of Asgard, and the beginning of Loki’s evil ways. This is a great tale of learning to be humble. Then, another Avenger makes an appearance, and wait for the credits to end to see a scene that is crucial to the plot in Avengers.

There you go! You are now ready to see The Avengers. See you at the theater! 🙂