The Lone Ranger - Review




Directed by Gore Verbinski

Starring Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp and Tom Wilkinson 

Aged Comanche Tonto (Depp) relates his days with John Reid (Hammer) and how the sole survivor of a massacre of Texas Rangers by the notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) and his gang became the masked man bringing justice in the Old West. Corrupt railroad men, stampeding buffalo and a comedy horse all play their parts.

After years of 'production problems', changing writers and ballooning budgets, all I can say is that I welcomed this movie with a wide grin and am so happy that The Lone Ranger has eventually rode onto our screens because it was certainly worth the wait. What I love about the film is that it is so well crafted - it feels glossy and expensive but unlike the Man of Steel blockbuster, this film is still full of heart and human emotion. The Lone Ranger is the ultimate feel good movie of the summer with a stellar cast and soundtrack to boot. 

The action sequences atop of numerous moving trains are breath taking, gripping and extremely well choreographed. Far too often movies are padded out with unoriginal action sequences and reliance on green screen. Whereas Bruckheimer and Verbinski bravely took the logistical challenge of making an authentic set out on location in the scorching hot desert heat. It leads to more legitimate acting when the actors are genuinely in the elements against the weather instead of an air conditioned studio in California. This is partly where the spiralling cost would have come from but it was certainly worth it in my opinion at least; and I just hope it doesn't deter other big film makers from filming as much as possible for real. The Lone Ranger is a pleasure to look at - stunning vistas and immersive close ups that really bring the beauty and grit of the wild west to life. 

Armie Hammer exudes an aura on and off screen that screams leading man. He is a joy to watch; enthusiastic and full on but in a way that is never too much. Surprisingly comedic, John Reid keeps energy high and his relationship with Tonto is both funny and sincere all at the same time. Johnny Depp is hilarious and truly did flesh out and embody Tonto with great depth and originality. The casting of Harry Treadaway as Butch Cavendish's right-hand-man was inspired. If anyone could play a crazed villain with a penchant for crossing-dressing legitimately - it's him. 

I definitely agree with Depp and Hammer, who were recently quoted defending the movie by stating that the reviewers had made their mind up about this film before they even stepped foot in the movie theatre. They knew it had cost a lot and they knew its production had been plagued by troubles so perhaps The Lone Ranger did look like it could be a John Carter-style flop. But it isn't and it's truly sad that people aren't going to see it. They don't tend to make real movies like this any more; real acting and real wholesome heart in a western genre. 

Rating: 8

"Sometimes it's good to just tune out and watch a hero. There's something for everyone!" - Armie Hammer

Starter For 10 - Guest Review




Directed by Tom Vaughan

Starring James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall and Alice Eve

Driven by his thirst for knowledge Brian Jackson (James McAvoy) stumbles through his first year at Bristol University. Whilst seeking his dream of appearing on University Challenge Brian falls for a fellow team mate Alice (Alice Eve). Hoping for romance, knowledge, success and trying not to become the wanker his childhood friends think he will become Brian embarks on his journey.
We all know there aren’t many intelligent painfully funny British comedies out there, about a boys’ search for wisdom. However this Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions holds all the qualities we have come to associate with Mendes. This adaptation of David Nicholls' best selling novel is full to the brim with well-groomed witty humour. If you’re thinking of About A Boy, ignore this. Cast your mind to The History Boys and add more √©lan.
Determined to make his deceased Dad proud Brian heads off Bristol University where he encounters many new life experiences, moving away from home, smoking his first spliff, falling head over heal for a girl, brawling with his best mate and repeatedly making school boy errors. These blunders continue from the first to the last minute - [SPOILER!] cheating in the final of University Challenge- ruining his childhood dream.
With the overwhelming 80s nostalgia booming from every soundtrack “Boys Don’t Cry- The Cure” there’s no chance of mistaking the backdrop of Thatcherism. Political views are prominent as ever as Brian gets swept up in every campaign from women’s rights to equality in order to befriend the doting Rebecca Ebstein (Rebecca Hall). Jumping at the chance to join the University Challenge Team, he meets his first love- Alice Harbinson- which is shortly lived. After making an unexpected encounter with her naked parents or as they see it trying to “seduce Mrs Harbinson”- their relationship quickly deteriorates. 
Round of applause for this outstanding cast, without these supporting roles the plot would just crumble. Who would think that Catherine Tate known for her comedy could bring a heart warming, sensitive side and of course dry humour to the film. Popping up throughout with her beloved “Mr Wippy”- Des (John Henshaw) really makes a splash from the first moment we meet him. You either love him or you hate him. Patrick Watts (Benedict Cumberbatch) plays the most convincing ostentatious captain- constantly supplying top class comical moments.
Let’s face it there aren’t many humorous intellectual films about today without being destroyed by cheap jokes- this films is an exception. At its centre Brian Jackson, youthful and enthusiastic, played by the gorgeous James McAvoy, delivers comedy in a dramatic sense on various levels. Your emotions will surge right through this film from start to finish. In contrast with the mixed feeling for Margaret Thatcher, James McAvoy is becoming one of the great actors of his generation- with Narnia and Shameless under his belt at this point- his undisputed reputation is growing.
Like most University memories this film is full of funny, embarrassing and life changing moments which will stay with you forever. It is top of its league for comedies this year. A definite must see.

Rating: 8
A big thank you to our guest reviewer Katie who was kind enough to contribute to the blog with this great review!

Kill Your Darlings - Teaser Trailer


If you have been following this blog for a while you may or may not have noticed how much of a raging Beat freak I am. Anything Ginsberg, Kerouac or Burroughs related and I am invested. Specifically I have been buzzing about Kill Your Darlings from pretty much its inception because as well as the story it had a stunning cast of Dane DeHaan, Daniel Radcliffe and Elizabeth Olsen. 

The teaser trailer is precisely that and seems to come to an abrupt end at thirty seconds however we do get some exciting shots. Dane DeHaan looks incredible as a cocky, young Lucien Carr who is shown getting up on a table in a library much to the shock of other students. Daniel Radcliffe's take on Ginsberg's voice sounds pretty fair to me and it's nice to see him back in round glasses! Michael C. Hall is briefly shown in his role as David Kammerer but little is alluded to his seedy role in the plot (based on Burroughs and Kerouac's novel And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks.) Columbia University looks spectacular and the wardrobe of the period feels en pointe. 

No word yet on the UK release date, but be sure that if and when the news breaks I will be all over it! Here are a few links to other posts on the topic of Kill Your Darlings from the past year or so. Given the fact I have waited an age for this teaser trailer I am not disappointed. Excuse me whilst I go and watch it another 10 times...

Kill Your Darlings Update

On The Road, Kill Your Darlings, Howl

Kill Your Darlings New Set Pictures

Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg

Lucien Carr 

Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr

Wasteland - Official Featurette

This Brit heist thriller is definitely one I am looking forward to, hoping it gets a wide release because the cast is full of bright young talent and this featurette looks promising. Check it out! What's interesting is that Luke Treadaway seems to have maintained the northern accent that he speaks with throughout the movie instead, whereas Iwan Rheon has reverted back to his Welsh accent having used a Yorkshire accent in the film too. Are we detecting the early stages of method acting in the eldest Treadaway twin?