Archive for the ‘Disney’ Category
Who was that masked man?
And what’s with the bird?
Disney’s spin on The Lone Ranger opens tomorrow, and it is a wild, wild ride.
The film follows the transition of John Reid (Armie Hammer) from lawman to outlaw to hero—he’s the title character, you can’t miss him. However, despite the name of the film the real driving force in the story belongs to Reid’s frenemy, Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the dead bird on his head. Reid and Tonto are quickly bonded together by a thirst for vengeance and a flair for theatrics, then they ride all over the screen seeking justice and answers. Hilarity ensues.
The fact that the film is very funny was something of a surprise. Mind you, it isn’t funny in a spoof sort of way, although there are a few jokes at the expense of previous versions of the story, but rather honest laughs based on the situations at hand and the manner in which Reid and Tonto handle them. Also, Silver (best performance by a horse since Animal House).
Even more surprising is the action. Obviously I expected a good amount of it, but it far exceeded my expectations in both quantity and quality. The Lone Ranger is a non-stop thrill ride and I enjoyed every minute.
Mind you, I didn’t think I would.
I had the same misgivings about the casting of Depp, whom I greatly respect, as the rest of the Internet, and I’m pretty sure I would remember someone named Armie Hammer had I heard of him before. I was somewhat apprehensive as I entered the press screening with a bucket of popcorn and lightly salted hopes.
But I have got to admit, it wowed me.
There are sure to be some naysayers that feel the film should have stayed true to the original backstory between Reid and Tonto, or that there are historical inaccuracies regarding railroads, desert hares, and physics, but that doesn’t matter. Their idea of fun is not having any, and who needs naysayers when you have a horse running on the roof of a moving train? That’s summer blockbuster stuff, people.
This is where I would normally put in a spoiler or two, and give you the same basic plot outlines as every other outlet, but I’m not going to waste your time—neither will The Lone Ranger. Go see it.
Parents: I must point out that The Lone Ranger does live up to its PG-13 rating and there is no shortage of death or gun violence. It’s the kind of film that I would let the boys (ages 7 and 10, respectively) watch at home where discussions can be had as needed, but not necessarily in the theater where violence is soaked up, justified, and quickly forgotten. But that’s just me. I’m that guy.
I was going through a box of old photos (the box being a computer) and I realized that our family of four has changed quite a bit throughout the years. For instance, there are four of us, but just seven years ago there were only three! Crazy, right? Also, we go to Disneyland a lot.
One of the most telling timelines of our family’s progression can be found against the backdrop of Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters ride. We have moved many times over the years, but Astro Blasters has stayed true to its mission and as such the attraction allows us to measure our life against it—kind of like a wall covered in pencil marks that registers the sporadic growth of those that lean upon it, but without all the mess.
The story of us riding Astro Blasters is actually pretty amazing, and somewhat melancholy. Tricia and I looked so much younger then—I had hair! And the boys, oh, the boys… so sweet and innocent, back before the world turned them cold and bitter.
It didn’t take long before I realized that I had found the perfect topic for the new Disney Story app, so I loaded the pictures onto the camera roll of my iPhone 4 and I got to storytelling.
I know it comes up a little small on this page (that’s my blog, not the app), so for a better look at the glory of us, please click here for our Disney Story!
Yes, I’m doing a sponsored post to celebrate our anniversary, because if I’ve learned anything in twelve years of bliss it is that when opportunity knocks you best answer. Disney Story knocked, and the rest, as they say, is this post. Besides, I proposed at the Magic Kingdom (I was wearing a Foo Fighters shirt—romantic!), so it’s like circular.
Twelve years ago today Tricia and I were married. Man, we were beautiful. Then time pulled all of my hair out, left a couple of kids on our doorstep, and tricked us into thinking that the then was better than the now, but the truth is, the now is pretty good, too. Take that, Time!
Happy Anniversary, Tricia. Next year, a baker’s dozen!
For the record, I’m wearing a Foo Fighters shirt today, too, but it’s from a totally different tour.
There isn’t a lot of money in professional blogging unless you’re actually good at it. Needless to say, I’m broke. However, there are perks, and like fezzes, bow ties, and the assorted fetishes of Doctor Who, perks are cool. They are the magic beans to my sad and lonely cow. Whatever that means.
I have some perks on the horizon and as such I
am contractually obligated would love to share them with you. You are going to be jealous, and frankly, you should be.
Sometime in the near future I will join a group of bloggers for a Disney extravaganza, that’s right: EXTRAVAGANZA!
We will screen Wreck-It-Ralph, Paperman, Monsters, Inc. 3D, and the big
dead dog, Frankenweenie — the latter comes complete with the red-carpet treatment of which I have grown so accustomed. Seriously, it’s pretty nice. Read the rest of this entry »
It had been a long day full of sunshine, sweat, and shoes soaked from the rapids of a raging theme park river. The boys were 20 minutes away from passing out with bellies full of pizza and the constant construction of lifelong memories being built inside their heads. We had said goodbyes to friends, taken last photos of the wondrous everything, and walked out of gates that are better rushed into. There was nothing left but a tram ride and the taking of it.
We walked across the bricks of the courtyard until we reached the one that we had purchased the week that Zane was born. That was over six years ago. It still rests where it always has, and until progress takes it away, always will. It is a tribute to trips taken, and it will one day serve as a memorial to the trips we had, our names etched beneath the feet of pending grandchildren and those that follow, but today it a big dot on the map of our existence announcing, “YOU ARE HERE,” and our happiness is greatly implied.
The man was old by most standards, though he seemed quite spry, and the twinkle in his eyes was as soothing as it was contagious. He stood beside Zane who was kneeling on his bare, tan knees in a sea of similar stones — an expanding forest of cement stumps with names carved upon them by those in various states of returning, and those that may never come again. The old man stood and watched with a smile both knowing and amused, and from time to time he glanced to me, my wife, and our older son, Atticus, who was watching Zane just as intently but twice as oblivious.
Finally, Zane looked up and noticed the man dressed in white as he stood leaning on a dustpan with a broom pressed tightly against it.
“Is that yours?” asked the man as he nodded toward the brick.
“Yes,” said Zane, and then he looked at the names once more. He traced each letter with his finger as he read them aloud.
“You know,” said the man, “they say that everything at Disneyland is magical.”
The boys didn’t move. My wife only nodded.
“These grounds are part of Disneyland. That means your brick is magic.”
We thought about that for a moment. Then the old man took something small and bright from the apron at his waist and held it between his thumb and forefinger for all to see.
“I found this new penny on these grounds. Right here. That makes it part of Disneyland, too. That makes it very magic.”
He bent down and held the penny in front of my son.
“Take a little bit of the magic home with you,” he said.
He handed the penny to Zane who took it without hesitation, that in itself a rarity for a little boy that always turns sheepish at the word of a stranger. We sat there for a minute and watched him roll the penny around with his fingers before squeezing it tight in his palm and burying it at the bottom of his pocket.
“Thank you,” he whispered.
The old man nodded and swept at something that only he could see.
We walked away a little lighter, somehow fresher and somewhat new. It never dawned on any of us to turn back around.
I suspect that if we had the old man would not have been there. Magic is full of tricks like that, and there is plenty enough for everyone.