Monday, July 15, 2013

A Movie Review--Hi-Yo Silver, Away!

Yes, after seeing the new version of "The Lone Ranger" I thought I would write and give some of my impressions of the movie.  Having seen the television series back in the 60s when the Lone Ranger would ride through the black and white western scenery and shout, "Hi-yo Silver, Away!" weekly in answer to a person who asked, "Who was that masked man?" I thought I would share some of my thoughts regarding this new re-make of that western classic.  I am not going to get very technical and describe the cinematography or try to analyze the intricacies of the film but I simply want to talk about the effect of movies on society today through the lens of this film.

I had seen an interview with Johnny Depp a couple weeks ago and learned that much of the movie was filmed in Colorado with the cast using Creede as their home base.  I actually saw landscapes in the movie that reminded me of Colorado...bluffs and buttes and mesas that look very much like the southwestern part of the USA.  I did not see anything that looked like Texas to me, even west Texas or Big Bend, although the opening of the movie said it was in "Colby, Texas" which must be a mythological setting because I cannot find a town in Texas with that name, even in Texas mythology.  The opening setting in the fictional Colby was supposed to be where the transcontinental railroad was being built.  Again, a historical non-fact--the transcontinental railroad did not go through Texas.  It was built across the midwestern states and southern Wyoming to meet the other track coming from the west and they met in Promontory, Utah.  Precisely, the eastern track started in Council Bluffs, Iowa and the western track began in Sacramental, CA and they met in Utah.  Texas was way too far south to have anything to do with it.  This is a movie, of course, so we can suspend our historical accuracy for the sake of the story, I suppose.

One thing that I do not like in movies is violence.  I know this is a western so we must have cowboys and outlaws having a shoot out or two and even cowboys and Indians battling it out and both of those were included in the film.  What I did not think was necessary was gratuitous violence and torture such as one outlaw cutting the heart out of a dying cowboy.  I actually hid my eyes and could not watch that scene...the thought of it was too gory for my imagination much lest to see it depicted on the screen.  I know this is an action movie but such gore is not necessary for general audiences, in my opinion.  I detest violence, whether real or in films, and rarely go to movies that I know have a constant flow of violence in them.

This movie is a bit like the old cliff-hangers of the melodramatic genre.  The heroes of the film...The Lone Ranger and Tonto...were again and again in danger of dying, just to be rescues at the last moment by some miraculous act.  I also liked the horse Silver and all the thing he could do that normal horses cannot do...such as ride on a roof or across the top of a moving train in order to rescue The Lone Ranger.  Silver was called a Spirit Horse by Tonto so I guess he had special powers that ordinary horses do not.

The movie is way too long---2 1/2 hours---in case you have trouble sitting that long after drinking one of those large drinks at the movies.  I have taught myself over the years never to drink at the movies because I cannot sit that long if I do.  I am glad I saw it.  It was a good comedy picture mixed in with all the action.  Johnny Depp's Tonto is a good rendition of the character even though he is a bit goofy and not in the serious mode of the Tonto from the long ago television series but perhaps that is what the character is supposed to be for this particular show.  I did not like the idea of him being an old man and working in a sideshow at the fair, though.  That seemed rather cruel.  Perhaps the movie was to point out the cruelty of humans and how that cruelty can be based on greed, as was evident in the picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment