3 items from 2013
Resurrecting the Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp must’ve sounded like one of the all-time Hollywood no-brainers when it was pitched to Disney in 2011. After all, the mysterious masked man used to be the all-American icon with the greatest chase-music (“The William Tell Overture”), the greatest sidekick (Tonto), and the greatest catchphrase (“Hi-yo, Silver, away!”). Plus, though Depp is playing a boldly reimagined Tonto opposite Armie Hammer’s Ranger, he was reuniting with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the creative triumvirate that made Disney billions with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But getting The Lone Ranger into »
- Jeff Labrecque
The last time “The Lone Ranger” appeared in theaters some 32 years ago, the hopes of the filmmakers were boosted at a test screening. As the unknown actor playing the title character bucked his horse and shouted “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” and the William Tell Overture thundered on the soundtrack, the audience went absolutely crazy, recalls producer Walter Coblenz.
“The executive from Universal who was there said, ‘It is previewing better than ‘Jaws,’ ” Coblenz remembers.
As it turned out, that 1981 screening was the high point for “The Legend of the Lone Ranger,” which was both a notorious flop (the $18 million-budgeted film grossed just $12.6 million) and a public relations debacle before the movie even opened. Those who worked on the 1981 production chuckle at the mere mention of the film, made at a time when producers and studios were mining ’30s and ’40s serial characters for an emerging box office driven by blockbusters and merchandising opportunities. »
- Ted Johnson
A Planet Fury-approved selection of notable genre DVD releases for the month of January.
Effects guru Robert Hall’s semi-autobiographical film about a small town teen (Reaper's Bret Harrison) who has aspirations to become a special effects artist. An opportunity to manage the town’s local haunted house is thwarted by his alcoholic stepfather and the staunchly religious views of the surrounding population. The solid supporting cast includes That 70’s Show’s Laura Prepon, Hellraiser’s Ashely Lawrence and Kevin Gage. Written and directed by Hall, it’s an affectionate coming-of-age drama that works in spite of an uneven narrative that falls apart in the final half hour. Hopefully this new extended cut will remedy the scripting problems of the original release.
Special Features include:
* Never-before-released extended cut of the film.
* Making-of Featurette
* Audio commentaries with the writer/director and cast. »
- Bradley Harding
3 items from 2013
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