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The Lone Ranger (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 17, 2013 by  



loneranger

If you have never ever heard or watched “The Lone Ranger”, then this popcorn comedy/action film may entertain you.  Otherwise, if you did grow up with the original, just be prepared to watch something that is different from “The Lone Ranger” that you grew up with.

Images courtesy of © 2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Lone Ranger

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 149 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1, English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, Subtitles:English, SDH, French, Spanish

COMPANY: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Sequences of Intense Action and Violence and Some Suggestive Material)

Release Date: December 17, 2013

Directed by Gore Verbinski

Screenplay by Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio

Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski

Executive Producer: Johnny Depp, Eric Ellenbogen, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Mike Stenson

Associate Producer: Morgan Des Groseillers, Tom Engelman, Shari Hanson, Pat Sandston, Shari  HAnson, Melissa Reid

Music by Hans Zimmer

Cinematography by Bojan Bazelli

Edited by James Haywood, Craig Wood

Casting by Denise Chamian

Production Design by Jess Gonchor

Art Direction by Jon Billington, Naaman Marshall, Iain McFadyen, James F. Oberlander, Brad Ricker, Domenic Silvestri

Set Decoration by Cheryl Carasik

Costume Design by Penny Rose

Starring:

Johnny Depp as Tonto

Armie Hammer as John Reid (Lone Ranger)

William Fichtner as Butch Cavendish

Tom Wilkinson as Latham Cole

Ruth Wilson as Rebecca Reid

Helena Bonham Carter as Red Harrington

James Badge Dale as Dan Reid

Bryant Prince as Danny

Barry Pepper as Fuller

Mason Cook as Will

JD Cullum as Wendell

Saginaw Grant as Chief Big Bear

Harry Treadaway as Frank

JAmes Frain as Barret

Joaquin Cosio as Jesus

Damon Herriman as Ray

Matt O’Leary as Skinny

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will stop at nothing to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium – but that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. Max (Matt Damon) agrees to take on a life threatening mission, one that could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

In 1915, Zane Grey wrote the book “The Lone Star Ranger” which was based on Texas Ranger Captain John R. Hughes or U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves.

The story of the Western hero would continue in the ’30s with the radio series but “The Lone Ranger” would become an American icon during the late ’40s and early ’50s thanks to the comic book series, movies and the popular television series.

The radio series would also spawn a spin-off featuring The Lone Ranger/John Reid’s  son Dan, who would become The Green Hornet.  And like “The Lone Ranger” and his sidekick, Tonto.  The Green Hornet would have a sidekick named Kato.

But as The Lone Ranger was a cultural icon to many during the ’30s through the ’50s, attempts to bring back the western hero has failed.

But in 2013, filmmaker Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Carribean” films, “The Mexican”, “Ring”) would direct the latest film, “The Lone Ranger” and is an origin story of how John Reid became The Lone Ranger and how he and Tonto became partners.

And now the film will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Disney in Dec. 2013.

“The Lone Ranger” begins with a sideshow at the San Francisco fair in 1933.  As a young boy approaches an Indian Comanche Native American statue, the statue is actually a living being and the man begins to tell the boy a story about John Reid and Tonto.

A big fan of “The Lone Ranger” (John Reid), the story that the Indian tells is about the two robbing a bank.

But when the boy questions the story about the Lone Ranger being a hero, the Indian begins telling the boy a story about the origin of John Reid and Tonto.

How John Reid (portrayed by Armie Hammer) was an attorney taking a train back to his home in Texas, not knowing that on the train is the outlaw Butch Cavendish who is chained and being sent to for hanging after being captured by Sheriff Dan Reid, the brother of John.

But Cavendish’s men come to derail the train and rob the people.  Inside the train is an Indian named Tonto (portrayed by Johnny Depp) who wants revenge to kill Butch Cavendish (portrayed by William Fichtner) but is stopped by John, who tells him that his goal is to have Butch punished by the legal system.

Unfortunately, the truck derails and Butch Cavendish chains both John and Tonto and he escapes with his men.  Despite Tonto using his axe to free them both, Tonto is put in jail.

But as John is reunited with his brother and his brother’s family, Dan (portrayed by James Badge Dale) deputizes John and eight of them head off to catch Butch Cavendish and his men.

But as the group rides out to the mountain range, they are ambushed by Cavendish and his men and everyone is shot to death except Dan and John.  But when John is shot, Dan comes back to rescue him and is shot.  As both men lie on the ground wounded, John is barely conscious, while Butch comes face to face with Butch Cavendish to exact his revenge on trying to capture him.

Butch Cavendish cuts off Dan’s heart and kills him and John witnesses his brothers death and passes out.

Meanwhile, Tonto finds the dead men and buries them.  But he sees a white horse and also John awaken and feels that John’s resurrection may be due to a spirit.

As both men both want their revenge on Butch Cavendish, they agree on a one-time partnership.

Meanwhile, rumors of Indian outlaws killing people in villages have put fear in people’s hearts, but the truth is that its impostors (Butch Cavendish’s men) posing as Indians which both John and Tonto come in to contact with them and beats them, while one has escaped.

But they find out that Cavendish’s men have captured Dan’s wife (portrayed by Ruth Wilson) and their son.

As one has escaped, he tells Butch Cavendish that they were beaten by a Lone Ranger and an Indian.

But as both the Lone Ranger and the Indian work together to go after Butch Cavendish, can these two complete opposites work together for the greater good!

VIDEO:

“The Lone Ranger” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).  Picture quality is very good and features plenty of detail.  Closeups show detail that show skin pores, Tonto’s paint and the sweat and grime on John Reid’s, even Red Harrington’s strands of hair can be seen quite clearly.  You can even see the dust on the Lone Ranger’s white hat.

The film is rather fascinating for its use of colors.  There is somewhat of a warm and also cool variation of colors at times. But it’s the look that director Gore Verbinski and Bojan Bazelli were going for.

Black levels are nice and deep and for the most part, the film has no signs of banding, artifacts or any other issues.

Picture quality is fantastic!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Lone Ranger” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS Audio 2.0.  The film utilizes the surrounding channels very well.  From the opening action scenes on the train, to various action scenes in which one scene, you can hear a burning house, burning embers, pretty much the ambiance of that setting all around you.  Bullets and arrows zip, horses hoofs galloping, great directional sound and crystal clear dialogue, music and overall sound effects.

Subtitles are in English, SDH, French and Spanish

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Lone Ranger” comes with the following special features:

  • Armie’s Western Road Trip – (14:37) Actor Armie Hammer talks about the road trip and the enjoyment he had traveling to locations for “The Lone Ranger”.
  • Becoming a Cowboy – (8:03) Executive Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and the cast discuss the boot camp that actors had to take in order to prepare for the film.
  • Riding the Rails of the Lone Ranger – (10:39) A featurette of re-creating the building of the rail road and making it authentic by creating five miles of real railroad track for the film.
  • Deleted Scene Locust Storm/Great Warriors Must Adapt – (3:49) Deleted scenes in computer generated format.
  • Bloopers – (3:51) Outtakes for “The Lone Ranger”.

EXTRAS:

“The Lone Ranger” comes with a Blu-ray, DVD and Disney digital copy code for the film. Also, a slipcover is included.

I was fortunate to have grown up during a time where “The Lone Ranger” was on television and having a grandfather who was very passionate about westerns.

The Lone Ranger was an iconic hero and while many films tend to showcase Indians as savages, “The Lone Ranger” would feature a white man working alongside with an Indian.

“The Lone Ranger” was a man who fought for justice but against corruption, even from those who appeared they were from the side of justice or the wealthy who were corrupt.

The TV series was entertaining and like many other westerns on television, the characters were dedicated to their cause, men who wanted to protect and for the most part, characters that inspired you.

And like many children, I would go to the local store, wear cowboy boots, have guns and a cowboy hat and wanted to be like the Lone Ranger.

The 2013 film was not that inspirational, nor was it “The Lone Ranger” that my generation and other generations grew up with.

This film was more of an action comedy,  and the last time I watched a film that was an action comedy set in the west was the “Shanghai Noon” films nearly a decade ago.

And the total opposite storyline of two men who have nothing in common, trying to stop criminals has been done in “Shanghai Noon” and part of me wanted to enjoy this film for The Lone Ranger, not to see him as some type of whiny man.  For the majority of the film, you find yourself wanting to see more of Tonto than the Lone Ranger.

Johnny Depp’s Tonto is heroic and also hilarious and it’s probably the best part of the film is watching him in every scene.  Mainly because by the time we see any semblance to the original “The Lone Ranger” is two hours into the film.

But if the goal of Gore Verbinski was to take the hero  to a new direction for a new generation not familiar with original Lone Ranger and wanted to make a straight-up popcorn action film, then he succeeded.

The film is full of action and a lot of humor that will no doubt attract people who love Gore Verbinski’s work and wanting to see Johnny Depp in another action film.

But for the many who grew up with the Lone Ranger, any remake that is different from the original may leave a bitter taste in the mouths of people.

And for me, the film was too comical and perhaps I would have loved to see a more serious, perhaps darker version of the outlaw of justice.  But as a comedy, there were scenes that made me laugh, but are you supposed to be laughing?

And so far, both “The Lone Ranger” and even its spin-off “The Green Hornet” were given comedy/action film adaptations and it just doesn’t feel right.  Personally, for me anyway.

While “The Lone Ranger” was not a terrible film, it was a film that I was highly anticipating but it was far different than the Lone Ranger than what I was expecting and I was a bit disappointed.

As for the Blu-ray release, “The Lone Ranger” offers fantastic picture quality and an awesome, immersive lossless soundtrack.  Also, a few special features are included.  But for those who enjoyed the film or are much more open to it, will no doubt enjoy this Blu-ray release for its awesome PQ and AQ.

Overall, if you have never ever heard or watched “The Lone Ranger”, then this popcorn comedy/action film may entertain you.  Otherwise, if you did grow up with the original, just be prepared to watch something that is different from “The Lone Ranger” that you grew up with.






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