829 of 910 people found the following review helpful
From the Eyes of a part Native,
This review is from: The Lone Ranger (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
I wondered why so many gave this movie a negative review when I really like this movie so I read those reviews and I'd like to address some of the more confusing aspects to the story.
First the disclaimers: 1). If one goes to the super market and shops for steak and only brings home cheese, then one is diss-appointed, but if one goes for cheese and brings home some of the best cheese out there then they should feel elated. When you see this movie expect over the top action, funny sequences and a modern retake of the original interplay between the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Don't expect this to be a somber tribute or the old TV series and you'll be able to enjoy it for what it is.
2). I'm only part native but I have been asked "What tribe are you from?" by perfect strangers before I've had the chance to speak more than three words to them.
There are plenty of reviews praising this movie and some reviews which don't understand certain things. I can't shed light on everything, but let me shed light on why this movie is deeper than what most people suspect.
I've been subjected to a lot of the myths and the stories from the drum circles and the dream keepers and I can shed some light on the oddities in this movie.
Here's some things to keep in mind while watching this movie:
Johnny Depp showed a deep sadness and a deep madness (part of being manic depressive) - Most Native Americans can say they lost a relative who died of the depression. The spirit sickness. Sometimes those who get overcome by the depression spend half their time laughing and cracking jokes and half their time wishing to die. Their minds only maintain balance if they are forced to focus on something important in their daily life. Tonto also shows hints of being an untrained shaman (as in one who didn't apprentice under an elder) and as such may be seen as just crazy even by other natives. Part of the mysticism is the balance between doubt and belief and the movie doesn't make the choice for you.
The fact that this movie doesn't spell things out for people and challenges people with the "absurd" is a good thing in my opinion as it can get people to ask questions and to explore things. The movie presents a few mysteries which are always good and I think attempts to persuade people to research Native American culture which is also good. Here are a few things which pertain to the movie.
- Medicine men of many tribes may tell you that the power of the spirit can transcend time and space... pay attention to the bag of peanuts when you watch this movie, you'll see that this is touched upon.
- The term Wendigo is used to address one of the characters in the movie and it does refer to an evil spirit/alternate form of a human being... it is caused by cannibalism and both silver and boiling fat have been attributed as being weaknesses to it (by pouring boiling fat down it's throat or wounding it with silver).
- The Spirit Horse is spirit made flesh and it can show up where it wants and when it wants.
- When nature is out of balance, the spirit world (the Hunting Grounds) are like a reflection to the real world, evil and dark spirits can take hold of or poison the thoughts and behaviors of animals in the real world. From [...] when an individual is out of balance "the individual experiences sickness. While this might be a physical illness, it might also manifest itself as a psychosis." Though that passage spoke about people the same principals are applied to animals.
Now onto the movie: The banter between the Lone Ranger (LR) and Tonto was awesome and reminiscent of the original series (though with a more modern looser sense of what is tolerable or not). Though it is a bit more lop-sided here (yeah Tonto shows a sharper and quicker wit than the LR, but the way Armie Hammer portrayed LR doesn't show a veteran but someone who will become the legendary Lone Ranger ... i.e. think Batman: Year One etc.).
Some of the action scenes were a bit over the top and slap stick in nature, but the film doesn't dwell on these or offer them up in awkward sequences - everything seemed to fit together with great pacing.
The themes showed in the movie weren't aimed at children: LR's unrequited love of his brother's wife, cannibalism, and a major battle scene all justify the PG-13 rating.
The lighting helped set the mood and the photography was great.
The music and sound were a bit too old school Disney family fun initially and was distracting for about the first twenty minutes of the movie, but afterwards actually helped set the mood, pacing and overall theme. (Which is a great job since people do tend to have different musical tastes - in my opinion it would have been slightly better to have the music set initially at a lower volume and then set to gradually ramp back up).
It was definitely a treat to watch. The acting from both male leads was highly entertaining. I paid for my ticket to get entertained and to see an adventure and I got what I paid for.
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Showing 1-10 of 66 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 29, 2013 5:10:47 PM PDT
Brilliant analysis and review. Thank you.
Posted on Aug 30, 2013 3:05:21 PM PDT
What an insightful review.
Posted on Aug 31, 2013 5:05:24 PM PDT
Buddy Love says:
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2013 2:51:05 AM PDT
Hi Buddy... I have a brother named Star. My father's mother is half Shawnee and half Cherokee. His father was a European Mutt. My mom's side said to have native blood in her (amongst others). My verified ancestry puts me at 25% Native, if you add in the unverified parts and give it a light estimate: it'd be about 40%.
I was raised in the states. Growing up I was seen as different, I was called half-breed, and it was always the wrong half for the person calling me that. My white friends would always tell me things like "in the scouts I built a Tipi!" and when we used to play Cowboys and Indians... I could only ever be the Indian. Yet on the reservation they always made me choose the Cowboy.
And other Native Americans have more normal sounding names like Steve and Adam (here's an IMDB list of Native American Actors: http://www.imdb.com/list/2eje60Y5XLk/ ).
By the way this statement you made is logically flawed "You are either a whole part of something, or no part of nothing." When someone asks you for the breed of a dog, do you give them that statement? Or do you say something which makes sense like: "that dog is part German Shepherd and part ...." etc. etc. ?
Posted on Sep 16, 2013 3:06:03 PM PDT
Very much enjoyed this Movie and your comments! I think many didn't understand parts, like Native Indians did trade with others for things, which is why Tonto practiced this and also, at times, some bad men did dress as Indians to place suspicion on them for crimes. That's not being "PC" in this movie, with a "Liberal Native Indian Agenda" many have accused- it's the Truth! I'm aware all Native Indians were not kind, but This Isn't the Story of "All Native Indian Tribes & All Settlers", and I wish folks understood that! There are some reviews stating, "Disney used Johnny Depp to try not offending all with their agenda." What? Johnny Depp IS Part Native American, on his Mom's side! He was also "Honorarly Adopted by another NM Indian Tribe". Also: Before any doubt Settlers ever dressed as Native Indians: Might I refer you to "The Boston Tea Party"! I think Disney, Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp, and Armie Hammer ALL did a marvelous job (and I laughed so loud in the scene Tonto drives the train! Others weren't , but I guess they didn't get the hidden humor "of an Ingine driving an Engine"!) Thanks for your added insight points.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2013 10:56:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2013 10:57:42 PM PDT
Great post, Elizabeth. You should write a review and include those insights in it.
I'm sure many people would find it very helpful in understanding the film.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2013 9:02:23 PM PDT
I do have to say, that my father is *at least* 75% Cherokee...
And his name is Mike;p
It's actually become VERY commonplace to adopt normal sounding names for children to "fit in." I also have a completely normal name, as did my brothers, because there was no need to draw attention to the heritage, so to speak.
As to your comment of "whole part of something, or no part of nothing", allow me to address how ignorant this sounds.
Are you full blooded German? Or French? Or...exactly. Everyone here in America is a mixed breed- and part of everything:)
enjoy our melting pot and accept it;)
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2013 12:36:08 PM PDT
S. Burton says:
This is fun! I haven't seen the movie yet, but I enjoyed this review and the comments.
Posted on Oct 29, 2013 8:53:14 AM PDT
Neat review. I was just curious if what I saw previews of actually had anyone that liked it is why I came here. I just wish they would've called it Solitary Ranger & left the legacy of the Lone Ranger alone. It's like LABELING cheese as steak IMO to use your own analogy. Like I said the previews are enough to tell me to stay away until someday when it's on "free" tv where I might give it a chance but I'm not expecting much based on the previews.
I suppose this movie can't much turn out lower than my expectations which isn't all bad. High expectations often equal a let down.
Posted on Nov 6, 2013 4:43:54 AM PST
DR SHOCK says:
Excellent review, I haven't seen this film, but after reading so many negatives reviews for it, I was pretty much figuring it was a throw away. I will at least be looking to check it out of cable and hopefully like enough to buy someday. I'm one of the few people who got The Green Hornet film which I know most fans of the TV series and comics loathed! I thought it was going to be terrible from my opinion of the trailer, but it surprised the hell out of me.. Hoping I I feel the same about this film......noce job!