Movie – The Lone Ranger: C+

lone rangerC+
The first Pirates of the Carribean film managed to find the right combination of campy whimsy and simple entertainment to make for a fun movie. They never quite replicated the formula in the sequels. Nor did they now after turning it into a western based on an ancient show the target demographic has never heard of. Johnny Depp and that pirates-brand action are slopply applied to a boring plot littered with western tropes. It’s sandwiched by ridiculous train action pieces, which are the best parts of the film (the second of which is aided by the Lone Ranger “theme”, the William Tell Overture.) with the trimmings in the middle tasting bland.

Movie – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: B-

A fourth film was definitely not needed for this franchise. It brought nothing nearly as interesting as other films and its locales were less exotic. Voodoo zombies are nowhere near as cool as the skeletal pirates from the first film and ship-controlling Blackbeard is certainly no Squid-Face Davy Jones. Still, the acrobatic action scenes were as free-flowing as ever, but they just no longer dazzle.

Movie – From Hell: B-

The plot progressed in an overly structured (i.e. predictable) series of events, similar to a cabin-in-the-woods slasher film. Some scenes displayed artistic camera work, almost certainly borrowed from the source comic, but overused conspiracy theory and trite dream sequences delivered a truly drab film.

Movie – The Tourist: C-

Much like Primal Fear above, I jokingly guessed the ridiculous twist ending, one I assumed to be too inexplicable to be plausible. The movie couldn’t decide what genre it was. It had quirky moments that were almost funny, action sequences straight out of spy thrillers, and awkward romance scenes from romantic comedies, none of which were particularly well-crafted. My mother put it well saying it was “just an excuse for Angelina Jolie to wear nice outfits and look pretty.”

Movie – Rango: A+

You can tell that Rango is from the same studio that made Happy Feet because of amazing detail in the computer graphics, but unlike Happy Feet, this movie has dozens of characters and each one is unique and interesting. The story is a beautiful collection of western homage and whimsy. The visuals, the voicework, the character interactions, and the plot are all arranged perfectly. Genuinely funny too.