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[tab title="Movie Review"]

The Lone Ranger - Blu-ray Review

2 stars

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean dream team of Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski, screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer go for broke in their adaptation of The Lone Ranger and trip all over the place with an uneven film that floats solely on its genuine weirdness.  This mega-budget update of a radio western serial takes the long and serious way ‘round a relatively straight-forward plot and doesn’t leave enough room for the laughs and thrills it seriously needs.

It’s not a total “Hi ho” bomb, though, and certainly not as bad as you’ve elsewhere heard or read.  Depp, in the role of the sidekick, uses more of his body for silent comedy beats and Verbinski, a very capable director in the genre, drops more unexpected loopy and bizarre moments (of the type he brought to the more successful Rango) here in the “real” world.  It doesn’t always work and, while the film feels free to explore the expanded territory of the west, the cartoon goofiness never completely gels with Tonto’s unreliable narration or Hammer’s performance.

The plot feels a bit too heavy in the saddle due to the amount of blubber in the story – we’re talking biblical proportions here – and its running time, clocking in at a dusty two and a half hours with only a couple of rousing action scenes, doesn’t help matters.  The streamlined version involves the construction of the intercontinental railroad as one left-for-dead lawyer, John Reid (a relatively aloof Armie Hammer), seeks to bring the killers – an outlaw gang led by Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner) - of his brother to justice.  The killers are framing the Comanche for the attacks and Tonto (Johnny Depp) seeks revenge for his tribe.

What we have in The Lone Ranger is a total disconnect between fantasy and reality that, while encompassing a great deal of land, never tells us anything.  We never get any information on what makes Reid so utterly fantastic as The Lone Ranger.  Thank god the William Tell Overture is used because, without it, riding a horse through a train would just be sad.  Hammer plays Reid as aloof as he possible can and, as The Lone Ranger, comes across more as parody than as serious as the violence in the picture suggests.

There’s a magical bird on Depp’s forehead.  It’s not explained.  Depp’s narrating the story to a little boy after being discovered posing as a museum piece.  Why?  We don’t know.  Neither do the screenwriters who apparently – due to all the undeveloped seeds planted in the script – wrote The Lone Ranger with a trilogy in mind.  And then there is Reid’s dead brother’s wife Rebecca (Ruth Wilson) and her fatherless son.  She’s on the peripherals the entire picture while a romance is hinted at and, after the film’s train-hopping climax, ends up as western genre fodder.

Cue the sunset on this Lone Ranger.[/tab]

[tab title="Film Details"]

The Lone Ranger - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material.
149 mins
: Gore Verbinski
: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott
Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner
: Comedy | Adventure | Action
Never Take Off the Mask
Memorable Movie Quote: "Horse says you are a spirit walker. A man who's been to the other side and returned. A man who cannot be killed in battle."
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 3, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 17, 2013

Synopsis: From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, comes Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films' "The Lone Ranger," a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice--taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.[/tab]

[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

The Lone Ranger - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 17, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Make no bones about it, The Lone Ranger slings its way into your living room in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio on a 50GB disc with stunning results. Every dirt particle, piece of costume, makeup effect, skin pore, and hair on every head and horse can be seen in this finely resolved picture. Blacks are perfect and inky with no crush. There’s also no other compression artifacts resulting in no banding or noise.  It’s a solid transfer with beautiful images.  The same can be said for 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Every gunshot, arrow sling, splintering wood, and explosion comes alive with one of the most aggressively alive surround tracks of the year.



  • None

Special Features:

The special features department is a little lacking for a Disney film.  First up is “Armie’s Western Road Trip” where Hammer takes us through his adventures in the Wild West for 14 minutes. Hammer travels to Rio Puerco and Santa Fe, New Mexico; Moab and Monument Valley, Utah’s Navajo nation; Canyon de Chelly in Chinle, Arizona; and Creede, Colorado; we even get to see both the Comanche and Navajo Nations welcoming the crew to film on their territories.  “Becoming a Cowboy” is an eight-minute segment showcasing Hammer and costars William Fichtner and Ruth Wilson learning how to ride horses, shoot guns, and wrangle chairs. “Riding the Rails of The Lone Ranger” runs 10 minutes and shows how Verbinski built real trains to film with and how they had to prop them on truck beds to drive them through scenic roadways.  One “Deleted Scene” consists of CGI and storyboarding for “Locust Storm/Great Warriors” and finally, a three-minute “Bloopers” segment shows everyone clowning around and flubbing lines.

  • Armie’s Western Road Trip (14 min)
  • Becoming a Cowboy (8 min)
  • Riding the Rails with The Lone Ranger (10 min)
  • Deleted Scene (3 min)
  • Bloopers (3 min)


[tab title="Trailer"]