VIDEO: The Lone Ranger (2013)

Mendo takes on last year’s controversial flop, which recently joined the hallowed ranks of films that have been nominated for both Razzies and Oscars. Also, there’s some stuff about MAGFest at the beginning, and a bunch of absurd silliness scattered throughout that makes very little sense. In retrospect, Mendo may not have been the best person to tackle this film, but tackle it he shall! Keep an eye out for some of your favorite members of Team Agony Booth!

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  • Muthsarah

    I especially liked the format of this video. Unless they all looked like this. As you said, it’s been a lil’ while.

    • MichaelANovelli

      This episode was constructed differently in that it was filmed in bits and pieces while I was sick, before I filmed the main bulk of the review. This gave me more time to experiment with skits and bits. I’m glad you liked it! ^_^

      • danbreunig

        I liked this style too; having all the skits and bits performed solo and mixed throughout adds a nice flexibility that I haven’t seen this frequently yet within a Hack Attack. I want to see you play with this technique more in future videos. And how they made the British That 70s Show based on a 1990 song by 80s band Asia escapes me.

        So, that’s Magfest, is it? I gotta say, I thought that everyone would get a speaking role for this video. Looks like everyone had a lot of fun, which is all that matters–not least of which because all of you were finally together within two feet of each other!

        • MichaelANovelli

          It’s important to mix things up once in a while!

      • Zorha

        There’s a time for structure and a time for unadulterated chaos,

        Why does this sound like a dropped lyric from The Byrds?

        Anyway, glad to hear you had a blast at MAGCON, not so much about the crud that sounds like followed. Although I must say, seeing Joey flip you the double bird? Priceless.

        • MichaelANovelli

          Yes, Con Flu is the price I pay to see my friends once a year. Oh well, the important thing is that there were sandwiches!

  • John Wilson

    I feel like “The lone Ranger” was a deconstruction of darker reboots of movies and reboots themselves. You have the young boy(representing the audience) being told a different view of a well told story. The movie starts with us think the lone ranger becomes a robber. But we know as a audience that can’t be true because the lone ranger is a pure character. This is played many throughout the movie as the movie gets more into the original lone ranger mythos . Tonto may disagree with this. But by telling the story,he becomes part of the mythos too. Fading into the movie in a “2001:Space odyssey” way as the movie fades out. I thought this was one of the best movies of last year. And thanks for knocking down “12 years a slave”. Thanks for the review:)

    edit Tonto from toto

    • MichaelANovelli

      I just feel 12 Years A Slave would have been better if it wasn’t so obsessed with “look how depressed I can make you!” And, you’re welcome! ^_^

      • John Wilson

        Try “Beloved”,its a lost classic:)

        • MichaelANovelli

          Hmmmm, Wikipedia says it has Oprah in it. I may have to check it out!

    • $36060516

      Dorothy’s dog is in this movie? Or are you referring to the band that recorded “Africa?”

  • $36060516

    I enjoyed this video. Creative and fun!

    (Though I do disagree with your quite possibly facetious argument that anyone who doesn’t like “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies and McDonalds food doesn’t experience joy. It’s possible that such people have actually experienced many great moments of joy in their lives with which to compare the experiences you named and thus find them quite inadequate by comparison!)

    • Sofie Liv

      I ones enjoyed McDonalds food, i don’t any-more.

      It litterately makes me feel bloated and sick when I go there, whereas good quality food makes me feel so great. I LOVE food!

      How-ever, I do enjoy the original pirates of the carribean movie immensly, it was one of my favourite movies growing up!
      Second one, flawed, but has enough great in it, to make it worthwhile.

      Third one.. erhm.. erh.. not very good, unfortunately.

      Fourth one, now we get over it’s so bad that it’s good territory, with so much randomness and so many things that doesn’t make sense going on. It’s funny in its sillyness, though it’s not worth taking seriously.

      This movie is shit though, I knew that the moment i saw the trailer, and it was one of those movies where I just groaned asking. “Oh god why?”

      • Muthsarah

        The fourth one is a bit muddled, but it’s got enough new material that it kinda works, especially if you’re not expecting the lightning in a bottle of the first one. The problem with the franchise as a whole is that they take too long telling their story, they milk their jokes for too long, and they sometimes even needlessly double-back on themselves. Speaking of bloat, if Depp’s the face of the franchise, the bloat is its guts. If they had gotten a good script editor and a director/producer who would listen to them and tightened these flicks up, the first movie could have been the greatest popcorn flick of a generation; it had so much great stuff in it. It was going great, until the huge fight between the Interceptor and the Pearl resulted in absolutely nothing of substance, and it just slowed down a lot when they went back to the Isla del Muerte a second time (begging for a script re-write), making an already long movie longer. One big battle scene on a ship (and one in the town), one trip to the pirate’s lair, one pair of comic relief idiots. That’s plenty. Keep it tight. The movie was 80% brilliant and 20% waste. Still, I saw it four times in theatres. I’ve never done that before or since.

        The second two could have similarly been combined into one really, really good one if they had jettisoned all the crap with the magic and the British admiral guy and the hour wasted in Singapore (none of which led to anything meaningful) and the scenes entirely based around Jack (which drove his comic antics into the ground and killed the joke way too early) and instead focused on the Davy Jones/Bootstrap Bill/Kraken stuff ONLY and resolved it in the end, letting Jack return to being the comic relief instead of the main character.

        The first one was still fresh when it came out – the jokes were new, the story was new, and Depp’s turn was magnificent. The sequels just spent 2.5 hours giving us the same jokes and the same fights the first one did, though blowing them up to truly cartoonish proportions, and taking even longer doing it. The only times either of them worked was when they tossed in something new and actually gave them center-screen. Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones was awesome in the second one, but completely wasted in the third by him not being given anything new or even interesting to do, becoming a weak second banana to a truly boring villain and given half of the climactic fight scene, as just another sword-swinging special effect instead of a Nighy-voiced abomination with shades of Captain Nemo and the myth of the Flying Dutchman. The fourth one would have been a perfectly serviceable third one, methinks. It would have been a disappointment, still, but there was potential for an excellent story there with Angelica, Blackbeard, the Spanish, and the mermaids all adding something new and Jack and Barbossa remaining the links to the old ones.

        I haven’t seen Lone Ranger, and it’s not because of the “racist” angle. It’s because it seemed to be proudly wearing every failing of the PotC franchise on its sleeve, but without having a proper Jack Sparrow. Still, I suppose its worth a viewing, once Netflix gets it. I survived Wild Wild West.

        • MichaelANovelli

          I find, like most movies, Pirates makes more sense if you accept it on its own terms. Plus, it’s the closest we’ll ever get to a Monkey Island film, so I’ll take what I can get!

          • Muthsarah

            PotC had lots and lots of good things to it, and a lot of things I’m surprised weren’t cut (Jack and the pirate roll call scene, and Jack’s long conversation with the idiot Redcoats felt like vintage deleted scenes). A 2 1/2 hour family action Disney movie? Even looking at it pseudo-objectively, that’s too long. And shortening it in the script phase would also save money on a very expensive shoot. But suggesting that scenes be cut and the plot shortened by removing redundancies isn’t “accepting it on its own terms?” How exactly COULD you critique a movie, then?

            EDIT: I think I understand your new avatar. I think…. I just heard. And I just watched Nash’s latest vid. Like I can almost say that I just saw him earlier today.

          • MichaelANovelli

            We call that the “Critic’s Paradox.” It’s something we all wrestle with. ^_^

          • $36060516

            While covered from head to foot in KY?

          • MichaelANovelli

            Only on Saturdays. 😉

          • $36060516

            Glad you didn’t ask how long I was dwelling on that image.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Dwell as long as you like. We can take it! ^_^

      • MichaelANovelli

        Oh, I LOVE food, as well, but I’m not always in the mood for “real” food. And, let’s face facts, here, you bite into a Double Quarter Pounder, it’s like eating a hug! ^_^

      • $36060516

        Your video about working on feeling better and the healthy food in your fridge was quite inspiring. I had no idea you needed to eat better as you’ve always been an excellent representation of the many advantages of your gender, but keeping the blues away is very important.

  • Cristiona

    Huh. I could have sworn that clip of the Baron was from Sugar Hill. Guess not.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Baron?

  • The movie is a tale told by an idiot, and so long as you taken it on those terms the movie makes sense.
    Some times things get dark, so he throws in a joke with the horse. Or it slows down so Tanto Drags the Ranger to help explore a brothel. He is trying to tell a story about his friend, his friend’s legacy; entertain the kid, and try not to make himself cry when he watches his people get slaughtered again.

    • MichaelANovelli

      That’s about my estimation of it…

  • Thomas Stockel

    I think part of the reason why I didn’t like Depp as Tonto is he looked pretty silly in the trailers and he’s speaking broken English like Jay Silverheels from the Lone Ranger television series, which today seems just a bit racist. Also from what I heard it take a long, long time for the Ranger to finally appear. Did the movie really need to be two and a half hours? I think maybe if they had been more responsible regarding the budget and run time and not given the appearance of being deliberately racist then maybe the film wouldn’t have been both panned and could have at least not been such a bomb.

    Anyway, great review, Mendo!

    • MichaelANovelli

      Well, the Ranger is there for most of the movie, he’s just not the Ranger for a good chunk of it. I didn’t mind so much the way Depp spoke, since it was so over the top it felt like it was deliberate. Not sure how that worked, but it did…

      • Hitchmeister

        The other thing is, Johnny Depp talked like that, but none of the other Native Americans did. They spoke perfectly normal English and said, “We don’t know what’s wrong with him. That’s why we call him Tonto.” So his speech patterns were not a racial stereotype, he was just a lunatic.

        • MichaelANovelli

          I don’t know how people missed that. Depp’s performance was over the top even by HIS standards!

  • MichaelANovelli

    In retrospect, I’m glad I slipped in that bit about Days Like These. I thought it might be a waste of potential material, but then again, this saved me the trouble of having to watch it again to review it. ^_^

    • Muthsarah

      Well, I’m of two minds on this issue:

      Cheesy, crappy Anythings seem right up your alley, Mr. Mendo, especially if they DON’T have any sort of following stateside.

      On the other hand, I do honestly think I woulda been happier had I never known of such a show’s existence. Because it seriously never crossed my mind that a show like That 70s Show needed a cross-the-pond translation for the Limey set. Like the typical Briton wouldn’t have been able to follow the show, what with the THICK Wisconsin accents and deep Carter-era-Upper-Midwest references. Seriously, “Fez” was…Scandinavian? Was Britain EVER awash in Scandinavians? Since the days of Alfred the Great or whatnot, at least? Fawlty Towers kinda played up the Southern European immigrant, like 30+ years ago and I figured Poles ‘n stuff woulda been at least relevant in the 1990s and very early 2000s. They made “the foreign guy” into a lily-white guy with vague-but-not-un-Germanic-foreigner tendencies?

      Hey, it’s not a big deal to me. We’re all the same fundamentally. Spaniard, Pole, Swede. Who really gives a bleep? But I know lazy, focus-group-derived condescension when I see it. This show’s runners thought I was an idiot. Even though I wasn’t gonna see it, ‘cuz I was 8000 miles away. And they prolly didn’t know I existed. But still, I feel offended. VERY offended. Litigiously offended. Because I once was actually in England. And all they showed was Top Cat and Two and a Half Men. So I feel justified in blaming them for anything and everything. You have no idea how I suffered those three days of convalescence. Their idea of television is indefensible.

      EDIT: Wait…this is the Lone Ranger review. What does this hafta do with That 70s Show? I think I needta watch it again, just so I know exactly what it was I was commenting about…..

      You….are chaos. With a mustache.

      EDIT AGAIN: Wait…didn’t I already comment on how French Count Jackula seemed in that cameo? I woulda sworn I did. I did say that, right? I don’t think I woulda edited myself. Did someone else just edit my comment? Was I swearing or something? I wouldn’t be surprised if I had been. Not at Jackula though.

      • MichaelANovelli

        And, near as I can tell, even though White Fez is Scandinavian, they were still trying to go for the vaguely South American shtick that Original Fez was going for. Well, the good news was Days Like These tanked HARD and they ended up just having to bring over the real That ’70s Show, anyway. Kinda have to wonder what the point was…

        • Muthsarah

          I seriously don’t know. You DID kinda grow up in Europe, right? Army brat? Darmstadt, maybe? I don’t recall. Think it imparted any vaguely-European mindset unto your once-possibly-tiny-but-still-likely-mustachioid baby head?

          • MichaelANovelli

            Well, yeah, but Britain is this whole other island, you see. ^_^

            I think the main issue is that That ’70s Show is American to the core. To my knowledge, England didn’t have a big backlash against Japanese auto companies, or the same sort of small town culture where stories like Dazed And Confused would take place. I dunno, I just get the impression that Days Like These was made by people who thought that That ’70s Show was funny but didn’t truly understand why…

          • Muthsarah

            Well, yeah. Near as I can tell, the “story of England” of the 70s and 80s was about how $#!++y their economy was, and about how they were being slowly taken over by punk rockers with mohawks. Or something.

            But, hey, America has no excuse. “We” tried adapting and Americanizing Red Dwarf. And for that, we are eternally damned.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Hell, from what I learned in Australia, we tried to adapt it TWICE!

          • Muthsarah

            What?! Twice? We tried to steal Red Dwarf…twice? We tried to (kinda sorta but if it had worked, absolutely) steal Doctor Who. But Stealing Red Dwarf Twice? I’ve looked this stuff up, and I’ve never heard something that crazy.

            I dunno. I don’t live by the TV Guide. Seriously, Caroline in the City killed television for me forever.

          • MichaelANovelli

            I think only one ever made it to air, but it seems there’s a second pilot kicking around the internet, somewhere…

      • $36060516

        “Was Britain EVER awash in Scandinavians?”

        They are now, but only in the form of Scandinavian murder mystery TV shows.

  • Hitchmeister

    I agree with you. Maybe this movie wasn’t cinematic greatness, but I enjoyed it as mindless summer fun. I would love to leave it at that. I just get irritated by people telling me I shouldn’t be allowed to like it.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Unfortunately, this film will likely be remembered in the same way we remember that film where John Wayne played Genghis Khan: absolutely hilarious!

      • $36060516

        Hope this one wasn’t filmed on atomic fallout land too…

  • gasmaskangel

    This review is probably the most entertainment I’ve ever gotten from The Lone Ranger.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Thanks! My reviews are turning into mini-movies, aren’t they?

      • gasmaskangel

        That they are.

        • MichaelANovelli

          Of course, that means it takes longer to make them. Oh well…

          • Muthsarah

            Well….quality is probably worth an extra week or so. And this was, again, a fantastic review. Seriously, consider making this your standard style; not inflexibly, just maybe a starting point. Yeah, one review a month isn’t much, and I hope you can do something more than that (granted, I don’t know your working/other stuff in life circumstances), but if you went into a review intended for something like this….maybe it wouldn’t take that long.

            Which brings me to my main point: What’s your next review? And will it soon be what you know I want it to be? It’s been a long time. Did you really despise the movie THAT MUCH?

  • That Person

    Sorry, but I have to do this. In regards to the racism issue that you brought up, why it’s ok to cast historically white characters as minorities but when it’s reversed, people go up in arms and boycott movies. Generally speaking, when movie producers choose to cast minorities in historically white roles, they usually don’t try to pass them off as white. Minorities are cast in those roles because the producers decided the movie needed more ethnicity. For example in the Twilight Saga (and I apologize for using this as an example, but it’s the first movie that came to mind), they cast a string of minority actors to play Bella’s school friends when in the books everybody was white. They also left out the part where people become white after being turned into a vampire, But they don’t cast white people to play that character’s biological parents. When a white person is cast in a minority role, they’re still that minority. The role of Tonto is still a Native American character, yet they chose an actor who is predominately white, similarly to hiring two white actors to play Inuit characters in The Last Airbender while having everybody else in their village played by actual Inuit people. It’s racist because it’s obvious. if they chose to go the Last of the Mohicans route, people probably wouldn’t have been as offended, although the best route to take was still go with an actual Native actor

    I’m sorry, I’m Native, there are so few Native characters in Hollywood that this whole situation really irks me.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Oh, no worries. If you can’t have an honest conversation, then you have failed as a critic. Now, as you’ll recall, the issue that I took with the controversy had more to do with how out of hand it got, rather than the substance of the argument. I really cannot say one way or the other how this made people feel, but I do know when people need to take a step back and calm down. I completely agree that they should have gotten a Native actor to play Tonto, but, as an honest critic, a white actor playing Tonto is indicative of a flawed thought process behind the scenes, not a sign of the overall quality of the film, itself.

      Now, as to when I brought up the reversed casting thingy, it was during the bit when was personifying the two sides as drinking straws (or “straw men”). The idea was to satirize the reductive logic people were bringing into the discussion. “Rawr! Only minority actors should play minority parts,” versus, “Rawr! We need to get past race as a society, and, by the way, here’s a detailed discussion about the race of the actor,” respectively. I perceived the controversy as lacking substance, and played it for comedy.

      As I said in the review, I had only ever heard from one person how this whole ordeal made him feel. Other than that, my own experience amid the hype leading up to the film was that no one outside of the film press actually seemed to care.

      I hope this explains my position a little better. ^_^