Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Film Review: "The Conjuring" (2013).




The film’s opening scroll reads, "Since the 1960s, Ed and Lorraine Warren have been known as the world's most renowned paranormal investigators. Lorraine is a gifted clairvoyant, while Ed is the only non-ordained Demonologist recognized by the Catholic Church. Out of the thousands of cases throughout their controversial careers, there is one case so malevolent, they've kept it locked away until now." Which is not what you’d expect from the director of Saw and Insidious in this summer’s The Conjuring. This supernatural horror film directed by James Wan. The film centers on paranormal real-life investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren and the 1971 Harrisville, Rhode Island case involving the Perron family.

Edward "Ed" Warren Miney (September 7, 1926 – August 23, 2006) and Lorraine Rita Warren, née Moran, (born January 31, 1927) were American paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting. Edward was a World War II US Navy veteran and former police officer who became a noted demonologist, author, and lecturer. His wife Lorraine was a professed clairvoyantand a light trance medium who worked closely with her husband. They have claimed to investigate over 100,000 cases that included the controversial and infamous Amityville Haunting, in which they were the first investigators on the case.

Development of the film began over 20 years ago when Ed Warren played a tape of Warren's original interview with Carolyn Perron for producer Tony DeRosa-Grund. DeRosa-Grund made a recording of Warren playing back the tape and of their subsequent discussion. At the end of the tape, Warren said to DeRosa-Grund, "If we can't make this into a film I don't know what we can". DeRosa-Grund then described his vision of the film for Ed. DeRosa-Grund wrote the original treatment and titled the project The Conjuring. For nearly 14 years, he tried to get the movie made without any success. He landed a deal to make the movie at Gold Circle Films, the production company behind The Haunting in Connecticut (2009), but a contract could not be finalized and the deal was dropped. DeRosa-Grund allied with producer Peter Safran, and sibling writers Chad and Carey Hayes were brought on board to refine the script. Using DeRosa-Grund's treatment and the Ed Warren tape, the Hayes brothers changed the story's point of viewfrom the Perron family to the Warrens. The brothers interviewed Lorraine Warren many times over the phone to clarify details. By mid-2009, the property became the subject of a six-studio bidding war that landed the film at Summit Entertainment. However, DeRosa-Grund and Summit couldn't conclude the transaction and the film went into turnaround. DeRosa-Grund reconnected with New Line Cinema, who had lost in the original bidding war but who ultimately picked up the film. On November 11, 2009, a deal was made between New Line and DeRosa-Grund's Evergreen Media Group.

Pre-production began in early 2011, with reports surfacing in early June that James Wan was in talks to direct the film. This was later confirmed by Warner Bros., who also stated that the film would be loosely based on real life events surrounding Ed and Lorraine Warren. In January 2012, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson were cast to star in the film. That same month, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor were also confirmed for roles in the film. Principal photography began in late February 2012. Lasting for 38 days, shooting took place primarily at EUE/Screen Gems Studios as well as other locations in and around Wilmington, North Carolina. The film concluded its principal photography on April 26, 2012. All scenes were shot in chronological order. The film was in post-production in August of the same year. Around 20 to 30 minutes of footage was removed from the first cut of the film, which initially ran at about two hours in duration. After positive test screenings, the final edit of the film was locked in December 2012 and awaited its summer release.

The film stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor as Roger and Carolyn Perron. The cast gave brilliant, strong and sympathetic performances. Especially for Wilson and Farmiga who, in preparation for their roles, traveled to Connecticut to spend time with Lorraine Warren, who also visited the set during production. Over the course of spending three days at the Warren home, both actors took in information that could not otherwise be achieved from secondary research. "I just wanted to absorb her essence. I wanted to see the details, she has such mad style. I just wanted to see — the way she communicates with her hands, these gestures, her smile, how she moves through space", said Farmiga on her observations of Warren.

This is the scariest film I've seen in years—the only scary film I've seen in years. If you want to be shaken—and I found out, while the picture was going, that that's what I wanted—then The Conjuring will scare the @#!*% out of you. The film is an expert telling of a supernatural horror story ... The climactic sequences assault the senses and the intellect with pure cinematic terror. It is also an amazing film, and one destined to become at the very least a horror classic. Director Wan's film is profoundly disturbing to all audiences; especially the more sensitive and those who tend to 'live' the movies they see. Suffice it to say, there has never been anything like this on the screen since The Exorcist (1973). There's a theory that great films give back to you whatever it is you bring to them. It's absolutely true with this film - it reflects the anxieties of the audience. Some people think it's an outright horror-fest but I don't. It is based on a true story about a normal American family who fell prey to supernatural hauntings and would make people think about the existence of the supernatural.

Simon says The Conjuring receives:


Saturday, 27 July 2013

NZIFF Film Review: "The Bling Ring" (2013).




"I think we just wanted to be part of the lifestyle. The lifestyle that everybody kinda wants." Which sums what the meaning of The Bling Ring. This satirical black comedy crime film based on actual events. Directed, written and produced by Sofia Coppola, it features an ensemble cast including newcomers Israel Broussard, Katie Chang and Claire Julien, as well as Taissa Farmiga and Emma Watson. Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers, Rebecca (the ringleader), Marc, Nicki, Sam and Chloe, known as the Bling Ring, use the Internet to track celebrities' whereabouts in order to rob their homes. Victims included Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox, Rachel Bilson, Audrina Patridge, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr.

The Bling Ring, sometimes called the "Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch", "The Burglar Bunch", or the "Hollywood Hills Burglars", were a group of 7, mostly of teenagers based in and around Calabasas, California, who burgled the homes of several celebrities over a period believed to have been from around October 2008 through August 2009. In total, their activities resulted in the theft of about $3 million in cash and belongings, most of it from Paris Hilton, whose house was burgled several times. However, over 50 homes were reportedly targeted for potential burglary. The ring members included Rachel Lee, Nick Prugo, Diana Tamayo, Johnny Ajar, Roy Lopez, Jr., Courtney Ames and Alexis Neiers. They were all found guilty on counts of burglary and were all sentenced to prison for 30 days to 4 years. Some of them have been released, except for Ajar - who was reported to be back in jail in May 2013.

Emma Watson's character, Nicki, is closely based on Alexis Neiers. "Twitterers meet Nicki, Nicki meet twitterers", Watson tweeted. "Nicki likes Lip Gloss, Purses, Yoga, Pole Dancing, Uggs, Louboutins, Juice Cleanses, Iced coffee and Tattoos." Alexis Neiers wasn't particularly impressed. "Close but I've never & would never wear that", she tweeted about Watson's wardrobe—but she was quick to add, "It has been a blessing to work with Mrs Coppola & I'm still in shock that Emma is playing me. I am sure she will be fantastic." Watson said that she prepared for her part by watching The Hills and Keeping Up With the Kardashians to "understand the psychology" of her bling- and celebrity-obsessed character. She said that she also listened to Britney Spears' Femme Fatale album to get into the mind-frame of her character. American Horror Story star Taissa Farmiga joined the ensemble cast, as well as Leslie Mann, Israel Broussard (Flipped), Katie Chang, Claire Julien and Georgia Rock. Besides Watson and Farmiga, Coppola chose relative newcomers to play the group of teens.

It's hard to remember a film that mixes disparate, delicate ingredients with the subtlety and virtuosity of Sofia Coppola's brilliant The Bling Ring. There's an outrageous quality here, a satirical humor that speaks to the public’s needs and obsessions of celebrity life. It covers familiar territory for Coppola, but the film remains a hypnotic, seductively pensive meditation on the nature of celebrity life, anchored by brilliant performances from the cast.

Simon says The Bling Ring receives:


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Film Review: "The Wolverine" (2013).




"Life is a gift. Immortality a curse" which is what sums up The Wolverine. This superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine. It is the sixth installment in the X-Men film series. Hugh Jackman reprises his role from previous films as the title character, with James Mangold directing a screenplay written by Christopher McQuarrie, Scott Frank, and Mark Bomback, based on the 1982 limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. In modern day, Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he becomes embroiled in a conflict in an unknown world as he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed.

McQuarrie was hired to write a screenplay for The Wolverine in August 2009. In October 2010, Darren Aronofsky was hired to direct the film after Bryan Singer rejected. The project was delayed following Aronofsky's departure and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. In June 2011, Mangold was brought on board to replace Aronofsky. Bomback was then hired to rewrite the screenplay in September 2011. The supporting characters were cast in July 2012 with principal photography beginning at the end of the month in Kurnell, New South Wales before moving to Tokyo, Japan in August 2012 and back to New South Wales in October 2012.

The film stars Jackman as Logan / Wolverine (respectively), Haruhiko Yamanouchi, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Svetlana Khodchenkova and Tao Okamoto, in her debut role. The performances in this film were all fantastic. Jackman brought a great performance once again that not only stole the show, but added a new layer of emotional and physical complexity to the role. Regarding Logan's struggle with immortality, Jackman said, "He realizes everyone he loves dies, and his whole life is full of pain. So it's better that he just escapes. He can't die really. He just wants to get away from everything." Yamanouchi gave a great performance as Yashida, the head of a Japanese technology empire and the man Wolverine once saved during World War II. Sanada gave another great villainous performance as Shingen Yashida: Mariko's father, and crime boss. Khodchenkova gave a great, wicked performance as Viper: a mutant, who has an immunity to toxins and one of the film's main protagonist. Lastly, Okamoto gave a great debut performance as Mariko Yashida, Yashida's granddaughter and Logan's love interest. Okamoto had been known for her modeling with Ralph Lauren. Over the course of watching performances by models starring in their debut films, Okamoto is one of the few models-turned-actress that actually succeeded in delivering a great perfomance whose personality and chemistry with her leading man were nothing but pure emotional gold for a movie fan who longs to see a great emotional plot within the context of a movie like this.

Although its loyalty to its source material is sliced and diced. However, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the spirit of its character while being a solid piece of entertainment.

Simon says The Wolverine receives:


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Film Review: "The World's End" (2013).




"Tonight, we will be partaking of a liquid repast as we wind our way up the Golden Mile. Commencing with an inaugural tankard in The First Post, then on to The Old Familiar, The Famous Cock, The Cross Hands, The Good Companions, The Trusty Servant, The Two-Headed Dog, The Mermaid, The Beehive, The King's Head, and The Hole in the Wall for a measure of the same, all before the last bittersweet pint in that most fateful terminus, The World's End… we will be in truth blind - drunk!" This what you’re in for with The World's End. This British science fiction comedy film directed by Edgar Wright and written by Wright and Simon Pegg. It is the third in the Cornetto trilogy, following Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). The film follows a group of five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier. But as they unwittingly attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for humankind.

The World's End began as a screenplay director Edgar Wright wrote aged 21 titled Crawl, about a group of teenagers on a pub crawl. He realised the idea could work with adult characters to capture "the bittersweet feeling of returning to your home town and feeling like a stranger". Wright said he wanted to satirise the "strange homogeneous branding that becomes like a virus", explaining: "This doesn't just extend to pubs, it's the same with cafés and restaurants. If you live in a small town and you move to London, which I did when I was 20, then when you go back out into the other small towns in England you go 'oh my god, it's all the same!' It's like Bodysnatchers: literally our towns are being changed to death." After the story was complete, Wright and Pegg examined a list of real pub names and "tried to make them like tarot cards" to foreshadow the events of the story. All twelve pubs in the film use identical signage on menus and walls, reflecting what Wright called "that fake hand-written chalk" common to modern British pubs. The exteriors of the fictional pubs were shot at locations in Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City, with altered signage.

The film stars Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike. The performances in this film were some of the most hilarious performances I have ever seen. I believe no other filmmaker, apart from Seth MacFarlane and Wright himself, had directed actors to make me laugh my head off in the theatre. I enjoyed the performances from Pegg, Frost, Considine, Freeman, Marsan and Pike. Also it was a nice change to see that Pegg plays the 'idiot' or the 'incompetent' of the group when he was known to play the 'serious' and the character who had to carry the responsibility. But this time we see Frost take on that role when he was known to the 'clown' and 'idiot'.

The brilliant minds behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz successfully take a shot at the sci-fi genre with The World’s End. The result is a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody.

Simon says The World’s End receives:


Saturday, 20 July 2013

NZIFF Film Review: NZIFF Presents 'Goblin Plays "Suspiria" (1977)' (2013).




"Susie, do you know anything about... witches?" This question is at the heart of Suspiria. This 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento. It is the first of the trilogy Argento refers to as The Three Mothers, followed by Inferno and The Mother of Tears. In a stormy night, a newcomer and American dancer Suzy Bannion arrives in Freiburg coming from New York to join a famous, expensive and fancy ballet academy for three years of training. But she gradually comes to realize that the house and its staff are actually indeed a coven of evil witches hell-bent on chaos and destruction.

Suspiria is noteworthy for several stylistic flourishes that have become Argento trademarks. The film was made with anamorphic lenses. The production design and cinematography emphasize vivid primary colors, particularly red, creating a deliberately unrealistic, nightmarish setting, emphasized by the use of imbibition Technicolor prints. It was one of the final feature films to be processed in Technicolor. The title and general concept of The Three Mothers came from Suspiria de Profundis, an uncredited inspiration for the film. There is a section in the book entitled Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow. The piece asserts that just as there are three Fates and three Graces, there are three Sorrows: Mater Lacrymarum, Our Lady of Tears, Mater Suspiriorum, Our Lady of Sighs and Mater Tenebrarum, Our Lady of Darkness. Scriptwriter Daria Nicolodi stated that Suspiria's inspiration came from a tale her grandmother told her as a young child about a real life experience she had in an acting academy where she discovered "the teachers were teaching arts, but also black magic." This story was later confirmed by Argento to have been made up.

Italian prog rock band Goblin composed most of the film's musical score in collaboration with Dario Argento. Goblin had previously scored Argento's earlier film Deep Red (1975) as well as several subsequent films following Suspiria. Like Ennio Morricone's compositions for Sergio Leone, Goblin's score for Suspiria was created before the film was shot. It has been reused in multiple Hong Kong films, including Yuen Woo-ping's martial arts film Dance of the Drunk Mantis (1979) and Tsui Hark's horror-comedy We Are Going to Eat You (1980).

Suspiria is lavish, no-holds-barred witch story whose lack of both logic and technical skill are submerged in the sheer energy of the telling. Ultimately, the film fails mainly because it lacks restraint in setting up the terrifying moment, using close-ups and fancy camera angles gratuitously and with no relevance to the story. The movie's distinguishing feature is not the number or variety of horrible murders, but the length of time it takes for the victims to die. This is a technique that may have been borrowed from Italian opera, but without the music, it loses some of its panache. The film is shot in vivid colors, at some striking angles, and the background music is Verdi rather than heavy metal. But the script and acting are largely routine.

Simon says Suspiria receives:





See photos of the show below




Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Film Review: "Monsters University" (2013).




"School Never Looked This Scary" Which is what kids should excited for when Monsters University hit cinemas. This 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film was directed by Dan Scanlon, instead of the previous directors, Pete Doctor, Lee Unkrich and David Silverman. It is the fourteenth film produced by Pixar and the prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc., the first time Pixar has made a prequel. Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn't always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door and shows a look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University and how they overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Bob Peterson, and John Ratzenberger reprise their roles as Mike Wazowski, James P. Sullivan, Randall Boggs, Roz, and The Abominable Snowman, respectively. The film also stars Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Charlie Day, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina and Nathan Fillion. The performances in this film were all as great and varied as their monstrous counterparts. Crystal and Goodman return just as humorous and great as ever. They brought the same enjoyable vibe from the first film. Buscemi's performance was a great performance but was not as strong as it was in the first film. Hayes and Foley brought a hilarious performance as Terry and Terri, the two headed Oozma Kappa fraternity member. Day brought a great performance and was impressed with his last performance in Pacific Rim (2013). Mirren brought one of her most chilling performances in a children's film. Her performance was the epitome of what you would expect from a stereotypical dean of a college: cold, methodical and frightening. Molina gave another unexpected performance in a tiny role for this film. His performance was an excellent example in the sense that you did not know it was him. As an actor that is a great achievement in itself. Lastly, Fillion gave a wonderful performance and it was great to see him on the big-screen since my days of following him on Firefly (2002), Serenity (2005) and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008).

Monsters University is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling and scare tactics that has gone to waste. The movie is so stuffed with "fun" that it went right off the rails. What on earth was the gifted director-mogul John Lasseter thinking – that he wanted kids to come out of this movie was that was nothing more than a rehash of the original. The original was fun and was met with warmth and open arms, this film however is totally… average. The film does what many sequels ever do. It essentially remakes the earlier film and attempts to deem it a “sequel” or “prequel”, the creative team, at Pixar, fail somewhat to delve deeper into their characters while retaining the fun spirit of the original film.

Simon says Monsters University receives:



Thursday, 11 July 2013

Film Review: "Pacific Rim" (2013).




"Today... At the edge of our hope, at the end of our time, we have chosen not only to believe in ourselves, but in each other. Today... we face the monsters that are at our door and bring the fight to them! Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!" Which is why you should get excited for Pacific Rim. This Science Fiction Kaiju film directed by Guillermo del Toro. The film is set in the near future where soldiers pilot giant Mechas into battle against invading giant monsters who have risen from a portal beneath the ocean. As the war between humankind and the monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.

Del Toro wanted to "honor" the Kaiju and Mecha genres while creating an original stand-alone film. The director made a point of starting from scratch. He cautioned his designers not to turn to films like Gamera (1965), Godzilla (1954), or The War of the Gargantuas (1966) for inspiration. Rather than popular culture, he drew inspiration from works of art such as Francisco Goya's The Colossus and George Bellows's boxing paintings. Forty Kaiju were designed, but only nine of these appear in the film. Del Toro avoided making the Kaiju too similar to any Earth creatures, instead opting to make them otherworldly and alien. Certain design elements are shared by all the Kaiju; this is intended to suggest that they are connected and were designed for a similar purpose. Each Kaiju was given a vaguely humanoid silhouette to echo the man-in-suit aesthetic of early Japanese Kaiju films.

Gipsy Danger, the American Jaeger, was based on the shape of New York City's Art Deco buildings, but infused with John Wayne's gunslinger gait and hip movements. Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, was based on the shape and paint patterns of a T-series Russian tank, combined with a giant containment silo to give the appearance of a walking nuclear power plant with a cooling tower on its head. Crimson Typhoon resembles a "medieval little warrior"; its texture evokes Chinese lacquered wood with golden edges. Striker Eureka is likened by del Toro to a Land Rover; the most elegant and masculine Jaeger, it has a jutting chest.

The movie stars Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman. Hunnam's performance was terrific. Hunnam did not glamorize nor did he bring the typical rock-star edge to the character. Like Hunnam, Kikuchi also brought emotional complexity and depth to female action character. Elba gave an incredible performance as a strong surrogate father figure to both Hunnam and Kikuchi. Finally, Perlman's performance was a wonderful performance, playing a character with such cool swagger that is very reminiscent to Han Solo from the original Star Wars trilogy (1977, 1980 and 1983) and Quint from Jaws (1975).

Pacific Rim is a really rather brilliant vomitorium of viscera, a monster movie with dreams of becoming a textbook for mad surgeons. Del Toro avidly lavishes his texture on the film, giving it a kiss of distinction. It's an elegant monster brawl of a picture with dread and yearning part of the sheer mass and scope. To conclude, It’s bizarre, loud, romantic and dynamic.

Simon says Pacific Rim receives:


Monday, 8 July 2013

Film Review: "Despicable Me 2" (2013).




The film’s taglines include "More minions. More despicable" and "When the world needed a hero, they called a villain". These are used to describe Despicable Me 2. This 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film and the sequel to Despicable Me (2010). Produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures, directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, who both directed the last film. Steve Carell, Russell Brand, and Miranda Cosgrove reprise their roles as Gru, Dr. Nefario and Margo. Kristen Wiig, who played Miss Hattie in the first film, voices agent Lucy Wilde. New cast members include Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo and Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, head of the Anti-Villain League. While Gru, the ex-supervillain is adjusting to family life and an attempted honest living in the jam business, a secret Arctic laboratory is stolen. The Anti-Villain League decides it needs an insider's help and Gru is recruited to help in the investigation. Together with the eccentric AVL agent, Lucy Wilde, Gru has to deal with a powerful new super criminal.

The performances were just fun and humorous as they were in the first film. Carrell's inflectious peformance as Gru, his Slavic, Bela Lugosi/Ricardo Montalban and fun ex-villain does the trick, as before in the first film. Brand's performance was great again and was a delight to see him again. His performance as Dr. Nefario continues to amaze me as I ask "how in the world did he achieve that kind of performance?" Cosgrove's performance in the previous film was fun but had very little characterization. But this film, likely, the filmmakers had developed more characterization into the character for this film and was just as fun in the last film. Wiig in this film was wildly fun and surprising as her name suggests. It was her character's clever hesitations and comic timing that helped steal the show. Bratt gave a great performance as Eduardo, the villain of the film (*spoiler alert!*). Oppose the kind of role that made him famous on Law & Order. Lastly, Coogan's performance was humorous despite his minimal amount of lines, but as I said 'humorous' just like his name - Silas Ramsbottom ("bottom").

It may not be as fresh as the original, but the humor and colorful secondary characters make Despicable Me 2 a winner in its own right. The film is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor. The storyline arc may seem a tad cliché to some moviegoers, but it offers enough action, comedy, and classic Steve Carrell performance to save it from total oblivion. To conclude, the creative team at Illumination Entertainment have prevailed, serving a strong sequel. It may not be better than its predecessor, but it is just as emotionally satisfying. Finally, it is heartfelt and hilarious, smart and silly, action-packed and never violent for the children.

Simon says Despicable Me 2 receives:


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Film Review: "The Lone Ranger" (2013).




"It was a ranger... A lone ranger." This what you should expect in The Lone Ranger. This Superhero Action-Adventure Western film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and directed by Gore Verbinski. Based on the radio series of the same name, the film explores the Native American warrior Tonto recounting the untold tale of how the transformed John Reid, a man of the law, became a legend, and the duo's efforts to subdue the immoral actions of the corrupt and bring justice in the American Old West.

The ownership of The Lone Ranger property was shifted ambiguously from The Weinstein Company to producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Entertainment Rights. By May 2007, they had set the film up at Walt Disney Pictures under the leadership of then studio chairman Dick Cook. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who had worked with Bruckheimer and Disney on the Pirates of the Caribbean film series (2003-Present), were being considered to write the script, and entered final negotiation in March 2008. Disney then announced in September 2008 that Johnny Depp would be portraying Tonto. The script was subsequently rewritten by Justin Haythe. In September of 2010, Gore Verbinski was hired to direct. Actor Armie Hammer was selected to play the Lone Ranger, a role that Bruckheimer described as being written for "a young Jimmy Stewart character". On August 12, 2011, Disney announced that production on The Lone Ranger would be delayed due to budget concerns accosted by CEO Bob Iger and then studio chairman Rich Ross. On October 2011, Disney confirmed that the film was back on track after the budget was reworked to give the studio a chance to recoup its costs. Filming was initially reported to begin on February 6, 2012, for a projected release date of May 31, 2013, which was subsequently moved to 4th of July weekend of that same year. Principal photography began on March 8, 2012. The shoot was met with several problems including inclement weather, wildfires, a chickenpox outbreak and the death of crew member.

The film stars Armie Hammer in the title role and Johnny Depp as Tonto. With William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper and Helena Bonham Carter. The performances in this film were poorly portrayed. Depp was terribly portrayed because due to the fact that, quite simply, he is not a First Nation. Which he did get a lot of controversy for, even though the filmmakers did have the presence of an advisor from Nation. In addition, his portrayal was nothing but a combination of cheap laughs and dull seriousness. Hammer's performance was terrible due to his lack of leading role experience as an actor. I felt he was not the one and was not ready for this kind of role with the amount of weight that the character had to carry throughout the film.

While The Lone Ranger looks terrific and delivers its share of western adventure thrills, however, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization. The film is intended to foster a franchise for Disney and will probably fail. Does it get the job done for the weekend action audience? No, it does not. Not at all. This is worse than the last Disney effort John Carter (2012). 


Simon says The Lone Ranger receives: