Disney's The Lone Ranger Movie Review

Disney's The Lone Ranger Movie Review

Initially, I was very excited about the 2013 version of the movie The Lone Ranger.  I will readily admit that I was enthusiastic only because of the presence of Johnny Depp as Tonto and not because I was a fan of the original series or even, for that matter, cowboy movies in general.  When the movie was released to disappointing reviews, it fell down on our must see list and eventually disappeared off the bottom.

Recently, on my rounds as an ebay seller, I picked The Lone Ranger blu-ray disc up at a consignment store figuring that I would be able to check out the movie and then sell it to earn some if not all of my money back.

But hey, I was surprised that the movie was such a fun romp. Once we stopped wanting it to be like something we thought it should be it was a hoot.  It was way over the top and often ridiculous and unbelievable but it was funny and, by the end, I was really enjoying it.

Here's a peek at the movie via the official Disney movie trailer:

Be aware that despite the fact this movie was made by Disney, it is PG-13 and, as Matt Zoller Seitz of Roger Ebert's website says, "it is all at once violent and sweet, clever and goofy." I agree and it is definitely not appropriate for children.

Blu-ray.com has praise for the blu-ray version, saying that it lives up to expectations of video and audio but that they wish there had been more special features. I enjoyed the following comment that blu-ray.com made about the movie, "There's some dark Looney Tunes-esque fun to be had, especially between Hammer and Depp, so long as you're willing to switch off the critical portions of your brain, you might just be able to enjoy the movie on its own terms."  I agree totally with that comment, too.

Noteworthy, the Ebert reviewer thinks this movie may eventually be called "misunderstood." I guess only time will tell.

Would I recommend it? I do think so, with the above comments kept in mind. It's a fun movie just take it as such and don't expect too much.

Have YOU seen Disney's version of The Lone Ranger? What did you think?

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Julianne Moore & Mockingjay

Julianne Moore & Mockingjay
We're starting to hear and see more information about the next installment in the movie version of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay.

Academy Award nominated Julianne Moore plays President Coin.  On this brief video she talks about her love of the books and determination to be in the movie, about the Mockingjay movie and about her role as the President, which she says is the only role that she could have played.

Is Ms. Moore lucky to have this role? Well, perhaps she is but I believe that her acting talent probably had something to do with it, too.

Julianne Moore is a British-American actress and a four-time Academy award nominee. One of her earliest roles was on a daytime soap opera, As The World Turns and one of her more recent efforts is The Kids Are All Right. I believe The Kids Are All Right was somewhat of an unexpected hit, emerging from Sundance and going on to great critical acclaim. I'll look forward to seeing her as President Coin in Mockingjay.

Anyone else anxious for the next movie?

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The best Hunger Games gift ideas.

New Gringotts Bank Ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

As one who has had the good fortune to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, I am thrilled with how the new WWOHP ride, Escape From Gringotts is shaping up.

The only problem with being so excited, of course, is that I'm not sure when or even if I will have the opportunity for a return visit any time in the near future. However, if I were a Harry Potter fan considering whether or not to go to Universal Studios in Orlando, the presence of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be tempting and I know, from personal experience, that a visit to WWOHP is well worth it for Harry Potter fans.  Additional attractions, like this Escape From Gringotts ride would only sweeten an already amazing attraction.

Here's a behind-the-scenes peek at the new Gringotts Bank ride for you via Youtube:

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Saving Mr. Banks Movie Review

We enjoyed the movie Saving Mr. Banks last night. It is a movie that has been on my list for awhile given my interest in the history of Walt Disney's world but it did take us awhile to get around to seeing it.

If you are wondering if you need to watch Mary Poppins before you watch Saving Mr. Banks, I will tell you that you don't need to but that you might like to. We did not watch it first but if you are not familiar with the Mary Poppins story, or if you simply enjoy good movies, I would consider doing so.  Now that I have seen Saving Mr. Banks, I think rewatching Mary Poppins beforehand would have been a good idea.

Saving Mr. Banks tells two stories. It shares the story of how Walt Disney collaborated with P.L. Travers to let make the Mary Poppins book into a movie and of Travers' childhood.  It is therefore set in Hollywood, California, in the 1960s and in remote Australia in the early 1900s, where Travers grew up.

Here's the official movie trailer:

I think Saving Mr. Banks was nicely done and should appeal to any adult who enjoys a sweet movie.  I only say adult because I am not sure that the storyline would appeal to children. There's absolutely nothing 'adult' or objectionable in the way of violence, sex or swearing in this film.  If you're a fan of Disney, you will likely enjoy this film. If you love the Disney Parks, you will likely really enjoy the brief visit within this movie to Disneyland.  Saving Mr. Banks will also appeal to people who are interested in things retro and vintage, like the style of the 1960s.

The cast is an impressive line up with Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Disney. You will also spot Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths and Kathy Baker.

A couple of things to note from the movie that will make you smile:

First, did you spot the Hidden Mickey in the cover art here on this page? If you didn't look again and you'll quickly see what I mean. To be perfectly honest, I just noticed it myself. CLEVER, don't you think?

Second, when you watch the movie there is a car that keeps showing up in the background. That is, a car other than the Lincoln that chauffeured Travers around and that actor Giamatti actually drove himself. (More about his driving accomplishment here.) My husband noticed the repeat appearances of one car in particularly and it definitely seemed odd but I have been unable to find out WHY that same car keeps showing up in different scenes. Was it an accident or was it deliberate? I don't know.

If you're interested, you will find more goofs from Saving Mr. Banks here on IMDb.

Anyway, I would recommend Saving Mr. Banks because it is a peek into the history of Disney and of the making of the movie version of Mary Poppins.  It is a nice movie, not likely to offend. RECOMMENDED.

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at the movies!

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