THE LONE RANGER: Not Half Bad

Self loves summer.  She loves summer for, among other things, action movies.  Big, loud, action movies.  Michael Bay movies.  Superhero movies.

This summer, in contrast to previous summers, the choices seem rather muted.  Her favorite movies (so far) have been:

She would also like to add The Reluctant Fundamentalist, but that came out in the spring.

And she also really liked the Sarah Polley documentary exploring her mother’s secrets, Stories We Tell.

Anyhoo, now to a discussion of The Lone Ranger, which self had been looking forward to seeing for months.  Notwithstanding awful reviews.  And Eric Snider making fun of elderly women who were watching and commenting non-stop (presumably for the eye candy of Armie Hammer?  Or Johnny Depp?  Or both?)

During self’s screening (first show, Redwood City Century 20), a fight broke out.  Between an elderly white man and a tall African American man.  Self was so glued to the screen that she didn’t actually notice there was a scuffle until a manager came running in with a flashlight and said, “Knock it off!”  Then, the two combatants stood up and began accusing the other of having started the fight.

“He hit me!” the African American man said, indicating the white man.  Who, honest to God, was something like 70 years old.  The man was holding his nose or his mouth.  His hand was bloody.  What???

The manager asked the elderly man.  “Did you hit him?”

“Yes,” the elderly man said.

“Why’d you do that?” the manager asked.

“I don’t know,” the man said.

“OK, both of you out,” the manager said.

By the time the two men had exited, self had missed A Very Important Scene.  The one where Armie Hammer decides to don the mask.

Here are the positives:

  • Armie Hammer
  • Johnny Depp  —  Yes, indeed, self did not think Depp’s depiction was in any way inappropriate.  It’s kitsch, OK?  The whole concept of The Lone Ranger is kitsch to begin with.  You don’t go into a summer movie starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer and expect deep social commentary.  For the life of her, self could not understand how the Salon.com movie critic could spend his entire review discussing ONLY Johnny Depp.  For the record, his performance didn’t remind her at all of Jack Sparrow.  There may have been some gestures that Tonto and Jack Sparrow had in common —  they are, after all, portrayed by the same physical body — but she did not sit through The Lone Ranger being reminded of Pirates of the Caribbean.  And, come on, Armie Hammer!  He’s a great choice to play the Lone Ranger.  He has the right air of innocence, and a kind of nonchalance about his looks.  He might even be, as she’s read somewhere on the web, Brendan Fraser 2.0.  Sorry if this makes self sound like one of those women Eric Snider was poking fun at.  But that is her honest-to-God opinion.
  • the William Tell overture
  • Helena Bonham Carter’s multi-tasking scrimshaw leg
  • James Badge Dale’s dashing derring-do in the early fight scenes (This guy is suddenly everywhere!  He was in World War Z as a battling Marine, and also in Ironman 3)
  • the wendigo references (Self has had an affinity for wendigo stories, ever since watching Antonia Bird’s Ravenous, the movie that began her Guy Pierce love)

The woman who plays the Damsel in Distress reminded self somewhat of the young Elizabeth McGovern.  She was fine — self realizes Emily Blunt cannot be in everything.

And Barry Pepper is in this movie as well, playing a rather grizzled member of the United States cavalry (He was much more grizzled in his other role this year, the movie where the Rock played a man trying to spring his son from prison by turning informant.  Self cannot for the life of her remember the name of that movie.  Was it Snitch?)

Anyhoo, that’s it.  This summer’s movies have been rather disappointing, but not this one.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic 5

The week’s prompt from the WordPress Daily Post site was:  SHARE A PICTURE THAT MAKES YOU NOSTALGIC.

Nostalgic for June 2012: Self spent the month at a writer’s retreat called Hawthornden, in southern Scotland (She was supposed to go in 2010.  Anyhoo, it was worth the wait)

Every evening, after dinner, she and the five other writers in residence would gather in the Hearth Room to chat and exchange stories.

She loved Scotland.

This Chair was Sad.  It's already starting to miss us.

This Chair was Sad. It was already starting to miss us.

There were two other American writers:  Allison and Marylee.  The others were:  a Canadian, a Scottish poet (who teaches in southern England), a British poet who teaches in the Creative Writing Program in Oxford University.

June in Scotland was wet.  This view (from a window of the Hearth Room) was typical:

The Crags in Deep Rain

But, self loved the wet, the air of mystery provided by a fine Scottish mist. Sometimes it felt like being suspended in a cloud.

There was one other place that gave her that “floating” sensation: the main house of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, high up in the mountains of Woodside, California.  She was there in July; at night, fog rolled in from the surrounding hills.  On one such foggy night, self remembers, she and the other residents got a hankering to roast marshmallows in the fireplace (and actually did).  Unfortunately, she wasn’t into taking pictures then so she has nothing to show for the time she spent there, boo.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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