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Tony Grist

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The Lone Ranger [Aug. 7th, 2013|09:43 am]
Tony Grist
If you're my age you'll remember watching the Lone Ranger on TV on Saturday afternoons. If you're any younger you won't. He was a cross between Roy Rogers and Superman - and one of a bunch of silly, campy, sexless, older-brotherly, cowboy heroes designed to appeal to prepubescent boys. He came, he went, he wasn't greatly missed.

Some  silly, campy, kids entertainment franchises have never gone out of the public eye. Batman has always been around in print and has kept showing up on TV and in the movies. He doesn't have to be revived, just restyled, because he has never been away.  But the Lone Ranger just stopped dead circa 1960.  You want to relaunch him now, you have to use jump leads. Only us whiskery old grand-dads remember him as a living force and not necessarily with any great fondness. If you're putting a lot of money into him now, be warned; you're effectively starting from scratch.

And that's why the movie slumped. It's got nothing to do with the critics.

PS. I quite like Johnny Depp, but he can't ensure profits just by turning up. I don't believe any movie star can these days.
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2013-08-07 10:56 am (UTC)
There's also the issue of a non native American playing a native American. Imagine the furore if he'd blacked up, yet this is simply seen as not mattering!.

Jay Silverheels (not his real name) who played the original Tonto was at least a genuine native Canadian.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-08-07 01:08 pm (UTC)
I don't know whether that affected box office, but it might have done. I notice that Depp has been defensive about it in interviews. Apparently he's got Commanche blood- and that's his justification.. As it happens, my kids all have a soupcon of Cherokee blood but it anyone cast them in a movie as native Americans there'd be derisive laughter all round.
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From: cmcmck
2013-08-07 01:21 pm (UTC)
Quite! I have Romani blood amongst others but I sure as hell wouldn't have the brass neck play the Gipsy woman as usually portrayed.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2013-08-07 05:21 pm (UTC)
In a way, we can bend over backward for this one. Mr Depp has some Comanche blood. I'm not sure how much. And he IS Johnny Depp. But...


Edited at 2013-08-07 05:22 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2013-08-07 05:47 pm (UTC)
I believe Johnny Depp has some Native American ancestry, even though it is not enough to be considered legally Native American, nor would be be accepted at a Pow Wow. However, my ex-husband was born in the same city that Depp was born, and I used to live right across the river. There are a LOT of people in that area who would be considered nothing other than white, but have, like Depp, some Native American ancestry. These folks are all very proud of their Native American ancestry, and consider themselves "part Native American."

However, unfortunately, these folks would also be considered by the outside world as "Redneck"... a term which is, in itself, full of racial stereotyping, and, for some reason, this is kind of racial stereotyping is acceptable because it affects white people.

What I am saying here is that Johnny Depp probably did not see anything wrong with him playing a Native American, because in his mind, he is. He certainly looks the part, much more than my ex-husband would, even though my ex is either an eighth or a quarter (I forget which). Either his grandmother or his great grandmother actually lived on a reservation.
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From: artkouros
2013-08-07 12:28 pm (UTC)
Us old folks just wait on the DVD.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-08-07 01:11 pm (UTC)
And that's true as well.

I haven't been to the movies for ages. The films they're making these days are not intended for the likes of me.
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[User Picture]From: Michael John Grist
2013-08-07 02:45 pm (UTC)
I personally am sick to death of Johnny Depp dressing up funny, putting on make-up and a silly voice, and calling it a movie.

It's the 6-year-old kids 'putting on a show' for their parents, and its just embarrassing to see a grown man do it again, and again, and again.

Plus the insensitivity of him playing a Native American, spoofing one, we should say, is just mind-blowing. I saw half the trailer and wanted to gag. Awful, awful taste. If I was Native American I'd want to burn this movie to the ground for it's protrayal of my people, by this jack-in-the-box idiot.

Sigh. I think now Edward Scissorhands was the high point.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-08-07 05:10 pm (UTC)
He's talking about giving up acting. I wouldn't try to stop him.

He'd done good work in the past. For a while he showed excellent judgement in his choice of roles. Scissorhands isn't a film I like very much but his performance is inforgettable. There have been straight roles too. Donnie Brasco for instance- and the version of Hunter Thompson he played in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And I have a weak spot for Jack Sparrow- because I adore pirates...
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2013-08-07 02:58 pm (UTC)
I am SO angry about this that I could spit. I LOVE the L.R. and all he supposedly stood for. This movie screwed it all up. All of it. For that I could learn to dislike Johnny Depp a lot.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-08-07 05:14 pm (UTC)
If you're going to revive one of these iconic old characters you've got to do it with love- and I don't suppose any of the people involved in The Lone Ranger did it because they care about the characters.
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[User Picture]From: Michael John Grist
2013-08-07 11:46 pm (UTC)
Apparently Johnny Depp loved the Lone Ranger, grew up watching it, and always harbored a dream to play Tonto. In much the same way he always loved Dark Shadows, and always wanted to be the vampire.

Seems like a game of make-believe to me, where only Johnny gets served. Dark Shadows was utter crap. I have no doubt Lone Ranger is too.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-08-08 07:58 am (UTC)
It's not good for any artist to get as rich and powerful as Johnny now is. Anything he wants he gets. There's nothing to kick against, no-one to tell him to get real.

And the art suffers.
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