The fact the film is long, boring and forgettable is both inescapable and unforgivable
The MovieIts likely that despite the overwhelmingly disappointing reviews that Bruckheimer's The Lone Ranger has been collecting since it's release that there remains a pocket of people who dismiss the naysaying and profess the movie's popcorn entertainment values. Even in the face of an indisputably lazy and frustrating screenplay, terminally dull and lifeless script and way below par performances from an otherwise excellent cast, there will be some who find the movie fun and take it at face value. However, the fact that the movie is too long, too dull, excessively boring and almost entirely forgettable is both inescapable and unforgivable. Though I'm loathed to say this of another human being, I think Jerry Bruckheimer would be far better off giving his billions of dollars to a worthwhile cause, or perhaps even investing them in bettering his abilities behind the camera, than just throwing them at special effects. For all it's woes though, it's most definitely a veritable showreel for modern day CG effects right from the get go, it's just a real shame that they don't belong in what should be a traditional western movie with a twist. Eye candy and little more, I'd be remiss if I didn't warn you off this sanctimonious tripe that bears such little resemblance to the character you're likely to be expecting that it's completely unrecognisable.
PictureSay what you will about the screenplay and the underwhelming performances, The Lone Ranger certainly looks the part as it zings onto Blu-ray with a blisteringly beautiful 2.40:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. When you've picked your jaw up off the floor (whether it be there for the poor movie or the stnning visuals in the opening scenes), you'll notice that the image is about as sharp as you've ever seen. I'm talking crystal clarity here folks, and it's a behemoth of an image. Rich in blacks and deep inky blues, with a heavily graded picture that's without a doubt one of the finest I've scene on Blu-ray to date. The grit and grime comes from the clever green and blue hue and whilst it's very noticable, it takes nothing whatsoever from the enjoyment of the image. The grain structure is fantastic too, and manages to perfectly balance the video presentation between feeling filmic and feeling weird and liquid. No signs of any artifacting or DNR or unwanted edge enhancement. Altogether The Lone Ranger boasts some truly stunning cinematography, and absolutely dreamy lighting, peppered with a somewhat unhealthy dose of CG, to make as near as I've seen to a perfect picture on Blu-ray. Outstanding.
SoundBoasting an equally impressive DTS-HD MA 7.1 surround, The Lone Ranger seems to have the full package in all but the movie itself. Dialogue is crystal clear, occupying mostly the centre channel. High frequency detail is second to none. Surrounds are given a work out from start to finish, whether bolstering the pounding soundtrack so typical of Hans Zimmer, which is a little uninspiring at times, or filling out the delicate ambiences, or reflecting the sharp and penetrating crack of gunshots. In the bass department you're unlikely to be disappointed either, with an almost constant use of the LFE channel that I found could get a little tiring after a while, but at relatively low volumes it seems to be fairly well balanced and only starts to irritate at louder violumes. Likely intentionally mixed so for the standard home theatre, and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it at all – if you like your movies big and epic, then cracking this one up certainly ticks the relavant boxes. Just about as bombastic as they come, the audio presentation is every bit the equal of The Lone Ranger's excellent video presentation.
Bonus ContentArmie's Western Road Trip
Fifteen minutes of Armie Hammer waxing lyrical about the setting of the movie which seems to be largely Monument Valley and New Mexico. Interesting to watch, but I have to say I find Mr. Hammer a little irritating. This is my opinion only though and shouldn't be taken as a reflection on the quality of this featurette.
Becoming a Cowboy
The actors get put through their paces in Cowboy bootcamp. Comments from Director Gore Verbinski about how necessary he felt it was for the actors. Feels like filler if I'm honest as I took little pleasure from watching the actors learn how to lassoo a plastic calf or shoot a gun.
Riding the Rails of The Lone Ranger
Ten minutes of discussion about the railroads in the 19th century and how they went to great lengths to recreate that same sort of railroad building. Perhaps slightly longer than it needed to be, but reasonably interesting nonetheless.
A short look at a couple of deleted scenes, one, a locust storm which is shot in animatic form with subtitles and soundtrack and some sfx only. I was surprisingly impressed with this scene and how well it was spotted. Worth a watch.
Less than five minutes of moderately amusing bloopers from what looks to be a fairly unfunny reel, the highlight of which is likely to be Johnny Depp being Johnny Depp with a horse.
In SummaryMuch as you might expect from a Disney movie, The Lone Ranger doesn't exploit the opportunities presented to it to do something compelling with a character that's been revered for so long and by so many. Instead, despite being helmed by an Oscar winning director (albeit for an animated movie) in Gore Verbinsky, The Lone Ranger fails to find it's feet and ends up being heavily dependant on Johnny Depp's charisma. Even that hit's an all time low with his performance as Tonto. It may be what some would describe as popcorn entertainment, but for me, no amount of popcorn could save this abysmal effort from the Pit of Disappointment.
However, the Blu-ray release from Disney goes above and beyond in terms of audio and video presentation – it's up there with the best looking and sounding Blu-ray's I've ever seen, so if you're looking for a demonstration level disc to show off your new kit, look no further. There's also a modest offering of featurettes in the extras if you want more after sitting through the two hour lobotomy that is the movie.
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