TRUST THE SPIRIT HORSE

lonerangerTHE LONE RANGER (2013)
3 out of 5 stars

The story starts as Tonto, a Native American warrior, recounts the tale of how John Reid became the legendary Lone Ranger. It is 1869 and the railroad business is expanding but at the expense of the land of the Comanche Native Americans. John Reid’s brother, Dan, and his Rangers are ambushed and killed by the gang led by outlaw, Butch Cavendish. All were dead until a spirit horse awakens John as a spirit walker and Tonto advises him as he tries to avenge his brother and bring Cavendish to Justice.

At 149 minutes, it is pretty long and some parts might be slightly draggy. The build-up to the final scene really takes quite a while. But, at least the music was entertaining as it is an extended arrangement of Gioachino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”.  It takes a man to wear the mask throughout the movie and Armie Hammer has the voice and face to do so. But it wouldn’t be complete with Johnny Depp’s eccentric take on Tonto especially when he interacts with the Spirit Horse. Helena Bonham-Carter’s ivory leg is a plus.

MAGIC AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

MIRROR MIRROR (2012)
– 2 and a half out of 5 stars 

This is one of two adaptations of Snow White coming out this year, and obviously, this is the lighter adaptation.

Armie Hammer is super dashing as the Prince and I can tell why the Queen (Julia Roberts) is at lost for words whenever he appears shirtless. The dwarves are more brutal and they really have character, even though some of them are smitten with Snow White. The ending was slightly different though I predicted it as soon as I saw the necklace (SPOILER?).

Like any Tarsem film, the colours are amazing and so are the costumes. One thing I didn’t get was the music video playing during the end credits. A little too Bollywood for my style.

EVEN GREAT MEN CAN BE CORRUPTED

J. EDGAR (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the lead, J. Edgar Hoover, in this biopic about the FBI director, how he rose to power and his personal, allegedly closeted life.

OMG. Leo and Armie! First of all, I have got to say that the makeup team that was responsible for Leo’s, Armie Hammer’s and Naomi Watts’ ageing were really good. I mean, even the whites in their eyes looked yellow and possibly filled with cataracts. And it was much more creepier seeing Armie Hammer old because he was balding much more than the old Leo.

The most prominent case on this movie is the Lindberg kidnapping and it told of how Hoover kept track of the serial numbers on the ransom money, hired experts on handwriting and wood – evidence from the case that would lead him to the kidnapper that went scotfree for two years. Seeing as how this takes place in the early 1900s, it was like CSI for the early ages.

Leo’s acting was powerful and convincing as usual, too bad he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. There were quite a number of familiar faces too – Ed Westwick (!), Josh Lucas and Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice).

HIT REFRESH

THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars

Adapted from The Accidental Billionaire by Ben Mezrich, The Social Network tells the story of how Facebook was founded.

In 2003, after Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg was dumped by his girlfriend, he creates a website that rates the attractiveness of Harvard female undergraduates. The site gathered 22,000 hits within a few hours before the server crashed. Zuckerberg caught the attention of the Winklevoss twins, who approached him to help them with their site, The Harvard Connection. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg enlists the financial help of his friend Eduardo Saverin when he comes up with the idea of “thefacebook”, an exclusive social networking site for Harvard students. The site becomes a hit and even attracts the attention of Napster co-founder, Sean Parker.

Told from different points of view, you get to decide who you believe to be right or wrong, and if every event happened for a reason. Like that animal cruelty story that busted Saverin and the party which got Parker busted for cocaine possession. The story is also interlaced with the two lawsuits involving the Winklevoss twins and Saverin.

Relationships are build as easily as they are broken and I think it helps to be smart with your words because you never know when it might be used against you. But you’ve got to admire the genius of Zuckerberg, who in the presence of existing social networking sites like Friendster and Myspace, manages to create one that attracts these youngsters with exclusivity and relationship statuses. And the algorithm that Saverin came up with in minutes! Goodness, these people are geniuses! But in the end, what everyone is concerned with is their ambition, social status and money. Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest millionaire, but you’ve got to ask if he did all these to be somebody or to prove something to somebody. Great show, though you have to be mentally prepared because they speak really fast.