It seems like the perfect combination: take the guy who directed Snatch, Sherlock Holmes (the Robert Downey Jr. versions), and RocknRolla, and let him make a spy movie that stars Superman and The Lone Ranger. Oh, and set it in the 1960s, where men were men and you had to rely on your wits and your talent instead of letting technology do your dirty work. Sounds pretty badass, right? Well, movie-goer, you’re in luck – because The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an amazingly-cool movie that’s fun to watch and easy to enjoy.
The Lone Ranger
A massive disappointment at the box office and in the minds of the majority of critics (the film has a 30% score on Rotten Tomatoes), The Lone Ranger carries with it a stain of failure that will likely never wash out. When we see or hear about that movie and anything connected to it, it conjures negative thoughts, but in truth, there are a lot of people who really liked Gore Verbinski’s take on the legendary Lone Ranger/Tonto mythos. I’m not one of them, but there are a lot of people. I have proof.
Going back to Rotten Tomatoes, 53% of polled viewers “liked” the film and, despite the deluge of negativity that swirled around the film following its theatrical release, The Lone Ranger actually cleared $41 million in home video sales.
My point? Though Hot Toys’ Tonto Sixth Scale figure seems like an odd choice to join a lineup that features characters from beloved Marvel projects, DC projects, Star Wars, GI Joe and the like, there is likely a group of collectors that will be interested in this figure beyond Johnny Depp obsessives (these people would have bought a playset from The Tourist if given the chance) and those who are lucky enough to be Hot Toys completists who gobble up every luxurious figure released (I hate your face and the fat wallet in your pocket). (more…)
It’s the end of the year, and you know what that means: lots and lots of Best and Worst lists! True, but it also means that awards season is just around the corner. Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, AKA: the people who give out the Oscars, announced their short list of 10 potential nominees for the Best Visual Effects category, and you’ll notice a definite nerdy trend amongst the ten films that will be vying for that golden trophy early next year. (more…)
Quentin Tarantino is not only a man with strong opinions regarding movies, but he’s also a bit of a contrarion. Typically, whatever the popular opinion of a movie maybe, you can be guaranteed that Tarantino will take the less-popular point of view, and yes sports fans, QT has done it again by offering praise to The Lone Ranger while downplaying the cultural relevance of Batman. Oh no he didn’t? Yes, yes he did. (more…)
This time on The BastardCast, Jeremy, Jason, and habitual guest Matthew Jackson discuss the latest Batman casting rumors (and Jason’s desperate desire to be Robin), why Johnny Depp should care a little more and suck a little less, and why Peter Capaldi will make a better Doctor Who than a marzipan dildo.
Also on the show: Boba Fett’s new reality TV show, why The Flash sounds like a kinder, fast moving version of Dexter, how DC Entertainment and the ani-Maniacs over at Warner Bros. need to grow a pair and not screw the Flash TV show up, and visual confirmation that Gustavo Fring is alive, well, and still making dope-ass chicken fingers in New Jersey.
Do you need more? Apparently, so did Bruce Willis, because Sly Stallone has taken to twitter in a manly way to possibly diss his former co-star while also announcing that Harrison Ford is entering The Stallone Zone to star in Expendables 3: Rise of the Hernia Sling.
Still not enough? Alright, alright, Harrison Ford also lays out his idea of an acceptable Indiana Jones swan song, Karl Urban gets an offer from one of the boys that he will surely refuse after urging the Star Trek creative team to embrace exploration, and George Lucas‘ dirty little secret about also being Michael McDonald is revealed thanks to “The Butter Song”.
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The BastardCast: Held down from Nerdist-like podcast-y glory by those damn American critics.
I get it. Movie stars, directors, and producers have an obligation to sing a song about how the sun shines out of the ass of every project that they are involved in, always eager to point a finger of blame in the direction of the evil cabal of movie critics when those projects shit the bed.
It’s PR spin.
But if any of them ever took responsibility for the jam soaked turd that they put into the public marketplace — all nice and pretty, wrapped in cellophane and sprayed with perfume — then they’d probably be run out of the industry on a slicked rail.
Case in point: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, and now Mark Wahlberg.
Hammer is a youngling whose first tentpole picture flopped over in the summer breeze like a necrotic cock, so it’s understandable to see him seethe over the public’s lack of adoration for his stab at playing cowboys and whatever the fuck Johnny Depp was supposed to be.
He says that American critics were “gunning for” The Lone Ranger and intimates that they — or we, since I personally dabble in the dark art of film criticism — were obsessed with the film’s production woes and its bloated budget.
Hammer’s co-star, noted thespian Johnny Depp, concurs:
I think the reviews were written 7 or 8 months, probably, before we ever released the thing. […] [The critics’] expectations of it, it must be a blockbuster, this and that, I didn’t have any expectations of that. I never do, why would I?
Pushing Depp’s “Look at me, I’m an interesting artist and above petty commerce” routine aside — despite his expectation to get paid like someone who top-lines blockbusters (and to his defenders, I invite you to look at his IMDB page in search of just five arthouse pictures that he has done since 1995’s Dead Man to prove his worth as an artist and not an utterly generic, take the money and run movie star.), this is the standard issue nonsense from people who are trying to sell a film in international markets.
Remember, those markets know that this is a film that has already been covered in a mixture of granulated shit and five week old hobo piss by its 28% Rotten Tomatometer rating and the fact that Disney is saying that it will possibly lose them $190 million dollars, so of course they’re going to need to be sweet talked.
What I don’t understand, though, is why Mark Wahlberg, who has nothing to do with this bloated whale corpse of a movie, would enter the fray, but Marky Mark unleashed his own funky bunch of bullshit too, saying:
First and foremost, the media is targeting all these movies, […] There’s intense scrutiny on us, way more than before.
It’s worth noting that Wahlberg also laid into the industry a bit, earning a bit of respect before cashing that in defense of Michael Bay, with whom he is now tied thanks to Transformers 4 — a film that, if anything like its predecessors, will be the kind of big, dumb, heavy metal and light worth actioner that Wahlberg maligns in his previous breath.
I don’t want to talk about that, though, I want to talk about Wahlberg’s use of the word “targeting”, because in my view, it’s movie viewers who are being targeted by the Hollywood machine and it is critics — as unsympathetic as we may be at times — who do our best to at least put a fucking shield of insight into the hands of the audience so they don’t get knocked down and cleaned out.
Why is that needed? Well, to put it plainly, movies cost money, they don’t come with a refund policy, and times are tough. It’s that simple. Going to the movies represents a gamble and consumers have no protection against a film’s PR campaign, save for word of mouth and those damned critics and entertainment journalists.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and espouse the virtues of every single film critic.
Let’s face it, some critics are shit, burdened by cynicism and inspired by a backwards set of priorities like the pursuit of access and the puffing of their own ego. These are the people who make you question their ethics as they write up a review while wearing studio swag. The people who cream their shorts for a pull quote, and who get so hard when they see a Re-Tweet from a studio that they pass out from blood loss.
Fuck those people, but they are the minority, not the majority.
The majority of critics are simply offering up their honest opinion about what they are seeing as a way of conveying information. Take their advice, don’t take their advice, it’s up to you.
But if you unequivocally trust people like Johnny Depp, Mark Wahlberg, and Jerry Bruckheimer to be straight with you while they’re trying to sell you their movie, and cheer when they say that critics are the problem, you deserve to get rolled.
More from this author on this topic: Means, Motive, and Opportunity: How We Get Played as Suckers
The Lone Ranger was this summer’s most spectacular Hollywood flop. Now you can watch director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer do the slightly uncomfortable interview dance while trying to explain why those awful critics got it all wrong when it comes to The Lone Ranger. Not one is willing to step up and say there were problems with the film as they try desperately to get people into a theater seat. Face it, even the DVD sales of this one are going to suck.
I have to admit that I have not seen the movie, there were other movies I wanted to see and were willing to plunk down hard-earned cash to see. I’ll just wait for The Lone Ranger to show up on Cinemax.
If you saw the movie and liked it, let us know why. For those of you that haven’t, take a look at the video below and let us know what you think of their sour grapes. Did what they have to say change your mind about seeing the movie in the theater?
I’m going to say it and I’m not going to be the only one who has said it over the last year or so – the idea of a Jerry Bruckheimer produced Lone Ranger film starring Johnny Depp was a bad, bad idea. But they did not listen to my psychic warnings and went ahead with the thing anyways, and now is the time when I get to say, “I almost told you so!” Yes, the Lone Ranger has opened poorly and looks like it will be mimicking last year’s John Carter film with its epic level of financial fail.
The first five-days of the flick’s opening, the glorious July 4th weekend that should have seen some great numbers, only panned out to less than $50 million. This is about one-tenth of what was spent on the movie’s production and marketing. The “experts” are saying that if Lone Ranger continues its current poor trend, it won’t even reach the $300 million mark in total.
In my opinion, it’s no big surprise. After all, the Bruckheimer/Depp cliché-boat sailed long ago once they made a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. Even that franchise is losing ground and the only reason it keeps going is because of the momentum it still has from the first film. Making what essentially looks like Pirates in the old west (i.e.: without the fucking pirates) a bad idea, and they’ll be paying for it to the tune of $200+ million.
What do you folks out there think? Have you had a chance to see Lone Ranger yet? Does it deserve the level of fail it’s achieved?
Thanks to Hollywood Reporter for the heads-up.
Rumors have been swirling around the Internet the last couple of says about Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) taking on the role of Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man in Edgar Wright’s upcoming Marvel Studios movie. Wright took to Twitter to dispel these rumors, or at least throw everyone off the scent for a day or so.
Truth . . . or smokescreen? These days you just can’t tell sometimes. I’m leaning towards truth for this one. The basis for this rumor was just way to weak to lend any credence, but who knows, it could be a fake out move.
What do you think?
Everyone’s been speculating about who will end up playing Hank Pym in Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man movie ever since Edgar Wright showed up at SDCC and played some test footage for the crowd. Nathan Fillion was an Internet favorite for the part, but he’s shot that down a couple of times in interviews. Today we’ve got another of the rumored Ant-Man favorites, Armie Hammer. He recently visited the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier while traveling as part of Disney‘s press junket for The Lone Ranger and this set visit has many people in the know asking, is Armie Hammer Ant-Man?
Amy Nicholson remembered that Wright had also visited the set and cornered Hammer for a few questions, let the Ant-Man interrogation began:
So, you and Edgar Wright visited the Captain America 2 set…
Me and Edgar? Who’s Edgar? The actor?
The director. Edgar Wright.
Is this an act? If this is an act, you’re convincing.
No, it’s not an act. Who’s Edgar Wright?
The supposed director of Ant-Man.
Ant-Man? Oh! Wait! You think you know something! No, there’s nothing! What do you know? What’s the rumor?
That you were spotted on the Captain America 2 set with Edgar Wright.
No, there’s nothing.
I promise. I promise-promise. Ant-Man?
You’re saying it like you’ve never heard of him before.
No, I know the character Ant-Man—like, the comic book character.
You can’t tell me that this is the first time you’ve heard the rumor that you’re playing Ant-Man.
First in my life. I swear to god, cross my heart, hope to die. Amy! [Turns to his publicist Amy, who says, ‘”I’ve never heard of that ever ever. Who’s Ant-Man?”] They make him shrink! You’re a news-breaker right there.
Potentially fictitious, apparently.
Well, it works. [Fake enthusiasm] I’m doing Ant-Man, I’m very excited about it. Me and Edgar.
I did go visit the set, though. Not with Edgar.
Just by myself.
Um… a buddy of mine was working on the movie so I just wanted to go say hi.
! ! ! DANCE ARMIE DANCE ! ! !
Wow, Armie can two-step questions like no ones business. Does this put the nail on the “Who’s playing Ant-Man Coffin?” Not really, but it’s fun to see these actors dance around whatever non-disclosure contracts or letters of intent they must be signing with Disney.
Do you think Armie would make a great HankPym? I know everyone wants Nathan Fillion to jump into the Marvel Universe, but with his Castle contract, that doesn’t look like a near future possibility. What do you think?