It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since it's directed by Gore Verbinski, who made the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as Rango and The Lone Ranger. And the screenplay by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road) starts well, stirring in some resonant themes amid the growing, gnawing nastiness. Unfortunately, over the film's overlong running time, it just gets sillier and simpler.
The story centres on Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), a rising star workaholic New York broker who's been caught in some dodgy dealings. To redeem himself, he is sent to collect the company's boss (Harry Groener) from a Swiss sanatorium, where he seems to have gone native. Or something. But when Lockhart arrives at the picturesque Alpine castle, things quickly begin to spiral out of control. He's injured in a car crash, forcing him to become a patient at the spa alongside the rather too-cheerful elderly residents, who are undergoing some sort of odd treatment. As Lockhart digs deeper, he runs afoul of the director, Dr Volmer (Jason Isaacs), especially when he befriends the doctor's star patient, the oddly naive Hannah (Mia Goth). And as things get freakier, Lockhart begins to worry that he'll never get out of here.
Verbinski develops a darkly gothic atmosphere from the first frames of the film, and things get increasingly offbeat from there. Some elements are blackly comical, but the overall tone is grotesque, with a special emphasis on slimy eels, which appear alarmingly everywhere Lockhart looks. Meanwhile, Haythe stirs in a convoluted mythology about the mad baron who lived in the castle 200 years earlier. When combined with underlying themes about the stresses of modern-day life and the relative morality of Wall Street bankers, this is all rather intriguing. Unfortunately, these clever textures slip away quickly, leaving little more than a series of repetitive set pieces designed to give the audience the jitters as they remind us of other movies.
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So which movies made Tarantino's list for 2013?
Movie buffs have begun to anticipate Quentin Tarantino's Top 10 movies lists in recent years. The legendary director's run-down of his favorite movies of the year has made for interesting reading in recent years and is often regarded as the antithesis of the Academy's choices of the year's best.
He passed on devising a list last year, owing to Django Unchained, though in 2011 Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris - a wonderful movie that actually went onto win Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars - topped Quentin's list, edging out Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the excellent Moneyball, with Brad Pitt. Tarantino threw in a couple of curveballs with X-Men: First Class, The Skin I Live In, Attack The Block and Warrior.
Continue reading: Quentin Tarantino's Top 10 Movies Of 2013 (So Far)
Everything about this film screams excess, from the ludicrous two-and-a-half hour running time to the whopping scale of the action sequences to Johnny Depp's bizarro costume. But this reunion between Depp and his original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy director Verbinski is a solidly made romp that actually has some genuine laughs and thrills. There's certainly never a dull moment.
It's set in late-1860s Texas, where John Reid (Hammer) arrives to visit his brother Dan (Dale), whose wife Rebecca (Wilson) is John's former flame. After an elaborate prison break, John is deputised and joins the posse of rangers hunting down the escapee. When they're ambushed, John is the lone survivor, nursed back to health by quirky outsider Tonto (Depp), a Native American who knows how to get to the bottom of what's going on here. So they go undercover to find the truth, which involves a secret silver mine, construction on the first transcontinental American railway, and tensions between European settlers and the native Comanche community.
The script is a complex riot of details that resolutely refuse to gel into a coherent picture until the screenwriters are good and ready to fill in the gaps. In the mean time, they throw the characters into a series of madcap action set-pieces that are wildly cartoonish in the way everyone just dusts themselves off afterwards and carries on. From train crashes to horseback chases, this is non-stop action. And Verbinski is an expert at staging these massive sequences, so they're a lot of fun to watch, especially when the film is populated with such energetic characters.
Continue reading: The Lone Ranger Review
Johnny Depp will reprise his role as the Mad Hatter for Alice in Wonderland 2 - but is this really the kind of movie Depp needs to be making?
At the turn of millennium, Johnny Depp made five movies, Blow (2001), From Hell (2001), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Once Upon A Time in Mexico (2003), and Secret Window (2004). The majority of these movies were pretty good and even those garnering mixed reviews featured strong performances from the chameleon, Depp.
Johnny Depp [L] and Armie Hammer [R] In The Lone Ranger
This week, the Hollywood actor agreed up star in a sequel to 2010's fantasy blockbuster Alice in Wonderland. Yes, the film grossed $1 billion, though it wasn't very good. Tim Burton sacrificed all the magic and heart of the original for a pointless 3-D treat, with Depp's Mad Hatter character appearing superfluous - if that's at all possible.
Continue reading: Is 'Alice In Wonderland 2' Such A Good Idea For Johnny Depp?
Could 'The Lone Ranger' be headed for the Guinness Book of Records?
Ok, so by now everyone's well aware that Jerry Buckheimer and Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger is a monumental flop - a serious disaster that could cost Disney $150 million. The Johnny Depp-Armie Hammer starring western took just $48.9 million over the usually lucrative five-day Independence Day weekend - leaving it miles from its $175 million marketing budget, not to mention its $250 million production costs.
Johnny Depp starred as Tonto and Armie Hammer played The Lone Ranger
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney is praying for a return of $150 million abroad, taking its worldwide total to $275 million and $150 million short of its $425 million total budget. "It's very disappointing," said Disney executive vice-president of worldwide distribution Dave Hollis. "Everything was perfect on paper, so today was incredibly frustrating." The problem is, nothing could be described as perfect. If Hollis is referring to Johnny Depp than it's lazy marketing. If he's referring to Verbinski in the directorial seat, or the bloated budget, than it's just stupid talk. The Lone Ranger has received some of the worst reviews of the year - it's a terrible movie - and unfortunately, nobody wants to watch big-budget westerns. Did Cowboys and Aliens teach them nothing?
Continue reading: Where Does 'The Lone Ranger' Rank In List Of Biggest Movie Flops?
Disney is reeling after The Lone Ranger was thumped at the box-office
Disney's head honchos are reflecting on a "disappointing" and "frustrating" few days after its $250 million budget blockbuster The Lone Ranger took just $48 million over an extended five day weekend. The dismal performance marks a serious blunder for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and lead actor Johnny Depp.
"It's very disappointing," Disney executive vice-President of worldwide distribution Dave Hollis told the Hollywood Reporter, "Everything was perfect on paper, so today was incredibly frustrating." The reboot of the 1950s radio show, and 1950s television show, starring Armie Hammer as John Reid, rolled out in theaters on July 3 though Cowen & Co analyst Doug Cruetz predicted a $100 million write down for Disney - which will require explaining.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney stumped up a further $175 million for a worldwide marketing campaign - taking its total budget to $425 million, an incredible amount that will not be matched from box-office and DVD sales. Experts suggest it may earn $150 million for a worldwide total of $275 million.
Disney's The Lone Ranger may struggle to recoup its $250 million budget.
Disney's big-budget The Lone Ranger may only earn $50 million at the box-office this weekend after getting crushed by Universal's Despicable Me 2 in the opening few days of the box-office. The Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig voiced family flick is tracking for a $35 million Wednesday, whereas The Lone Ranger should only take around $11 million.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Despicable Me 2 will prove to be a huge box office hit over the Fourth of July weekend, with strong reviews and the hugely popular Minions leading the promotional trail. Meanwhile, The Lone Ranger - with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer - is likely to take around $50 million, meaning it will need to do huge business internationally to recoup its mega budget of $250 million. Director Gore Verbinski and Depp reunited with Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Buckheimer, though the Hollywood A-lister's casting as Tonto appears to have been a misguided move and audiences appear underwhelmed with Hammer as the Ranger.
Continue reading: Oh Lonesome Me: The Lone Ranger Crushed Early At Box Office
Whether it's poor promotion, bad reviews, or concerns over the representation of Native Americans, Gore Verbinski's 'The Lone Ranger' may come and go rather quickly at the box-office.
You'd be forgiven for assuming Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger was still weeks away from its cinematic release, with animations Despicable Me 2 and Monster's University dominating the movie talk ahead of the weekend's box-office. Hell, people are still talking about World War Z and The Heat more than Johnny Depp's new movie.
Johnny Depp [L] and Armie Hammer [R] Star In 'The Lone Ranger'
The Hollywood actor plays the Native American spirit warrior Tonto in Verbinski's re-telling of the classic story, with The Social Network's Armie Hammer the underwhelming choice as John Reid, aka, the Ranger. It's difficult to figure out why Disney's big-budget new movie has flown under the radar, though a flurry of tragic reviews and grumblings over the representation of Native Americans has severely dented public anticipation.
Director Gore Verbinski is interviewed about his new movie 'The Lone Ranger' in which he collaborates again with Johnny Depp, who starred in his three 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies and his Oscar winning animated feature 'Rango'. He talks about balancing tragedy with comedy, writing in Tonto's perspective and working with Johnny.
Continue reading: Gore Verbinski - The Lone Ranger Video Interview
Oscar winning 'Rango' director Gore Verbinski helms the stunning re-make of the classic 50s Western 'The Lone Ranger' starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp as the title character and Tonto respectively. He discusses how their professional chemistry was a key part of the film on the red carpet at the world premiere.
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