Monday, July 8, 2013


    Some times a scene presents itself and leaves me awed by the wonder of it.
     This morning two fawns, spotted still, only days old, were bounding through the open space north of our house on the ridge.  They seemed to hop and leap on all four hoofs  as though flubber had been attached. I was so amused by  their fascination with near flight I didn't want to leave to grab a camera. They were like kids on a trampoline. I don't know a whit about cognition in deer, but it sure looked like joy.

     Note to critics-What do you expect?  The first and last thing you need to know is, it is after all, THE LONE RANGER!
     Director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp have worked together so often, and so effectively when Depp is animating a costume with a character of his creation, it had to be good even if it was bad.  But it is not bad. 
     It is grand telling of American Iconography.  The big west, is BIG and gorgeous.  The action is big, huge and on a scale that could set the standard of western action scenes. The villains are classic renderings-sinister, nasty, vicious and BIG. In a way, they are the mold for such characters, despite that such tales have been around since the Lone Ranger rode on the radio.  There is an honesty too.  Big business hustlers riding rough shod, controlling land, abusing Chinese workers, lying and cheating to Indians, and using the Army for their own venal purpose. Ooops, how did some real history get so cleverly laid into this big, almost comic book entertainment?
     Arnie Hammer's Lone Ranger has that same "good guy" nobility of Clayton Moore's portrayal, though more human, quirky and real.  
    Depp's Tonto is indeed a masterpiece. Strong, not a subordinate or side kick, clever, witty and with his own tortured tale that makes his "back story" such a powerful motivation.  Without giving up too much, the scenes of the old Tonto are powerful. Depp took the icon to a complex, rich and proud new strength and standard.
     It's the Lone Ranger-true to form, as you may remember it from kid hood. But better, because it is more funny, more action packed, more beautiful cinema graphically, more nuanced, more honest, more political and BIGGER!
  See you down the trail.


  1. Loved the film and companions.

  2. But no one can replace Clayton Moore and Jay Siverheels Kemosabe, at least not in my memory

  3. I have a lot of western writer friends who are saying the same thing as you, Tom. It's a fun version... Hopefully, word of mouth will save this movie. On a side note, I was at a convention last week and was talking with Glendon Swarthout's son, Miles, and they just finished shooting The Homesman, with Meryl Streep, Hillary Swank, and the little girl from True Grit for a release next year. Westerns aren't dead yet...

  4. Linda and I saw the movie last Friday afternoon. I really enjoyed it. Even bit the bullet and had popcorn and a diet coke!!! Linda posted a photo of the Lone Ranger promo outside the theater. One of her responses was from a friend of hers, Jeffrey Lyons, the movie critic.

    "Nice photography. Filled with historical mistakes, and they're made to look like an Old West version of "The Odd Couple." Obviously written by a trio (always a bad sign; maybe more chipped in) who didn't grow up loving The Lone Ranger Hammond portrays him as a nervous twit, a la Brendan Frasier in "The Mummy." Why use Monument Valley UTAH as the backdrop for Texas? Why have the band play "Stars and Stripes Forever" in a scene set in 1869 when that march wasn't written until Christmas Day, 1896? Why have him sporting Colt .45 "Peacemaker" revolvers which didn't arrive on the frontier until 1873? Why does he mount Silver from the RIGHT side, something only Apaches ever did...anywhere?
    And why the mask? Everyone in town knows who he is. A disgrace."

    Tom, I'm much more in agreement with you! Nice review...

  5. I'd decided to pass on The Lone Ranger because of the bad reviews but you've convinced me to change my mind. I think I WILL see this.

  6. Yes, yours is the first good review I've seen of it. But SWMBO and I still want to see it because of Johnny Depp. Coincidentally we just watched Depp's "Dead Man" yesterday. Now THAT'S a weird Western.