The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp and directed by Gore Verbinski, was released into theaters this past weekend. Although it has taken some harsh criticism, in my eyes it was some good, summer fun that hit on some very high, entertaining notes as a perfect break from, yet more, record-breaking heat across the country. The Lone Ranger is action-packed and thrilling but, more importantly, told the story of how this land was, truly, conquered - by slaughtering the natives that once graced these grounds. In this, it is exciting, funny, and thrilling but, beats to the dark drum that Disney can play so very well in the messages it conveys about the reality of humankind.
So, what is my problem with review platforms like, Rotten Tomatoes giving The Lone Ranger bad marks? Well, they suck. It's a collaboration of a whole bunch of critics - some of which have no business writing as they have no imagination or personality, whatsoever, and seem too young to even know of the Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger was a good, wild ride. The cinematography was done in most excellent fashion and the cuts and stunts(many of which Johnny Depp did, himself) were brilliant.
Sure, there was some cheesy stuff - they, definitely hammed-it-up but, it's The Lone Ranger, afterall.
Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, makes certain to provide some of the deep cheese that helps this childhood icon to be, exactly, what he is. He is the very person who makes him wear the mask while, all the while, he makes fun of him for his ego, his character, and the very outfit he wears. He is a true, American legend and why shouldn't we make a little fun of ourselves. Think of some of what some of us grew up on - Ultraman, Flash Gordon, Six Million Dollar Man, - we just have to laugh at ourselves, this country, and culture.
With scenery shot in such places as the great, John Wayne's, Monument Valley and Arches National Park, The Lone Ranger draws upon the Spaghetti Western providing its' audience with a thick plot, rich in treachery, heroism, betrayal, and outright brutality. Yes, this is Disney, folks. It is heartwarming and endearing but, as it always has for generations, presents itself under the veracity of realism. It is, somehow, for kids and, yet, somehow not.
For this film, I am going to recommend a wine pairing of a varietal that followed, much, the same path to California as that of the Spaghetti Western- Zinfandel. Zinfandel is a varietal that, first, came from Croatia to Italy where it became, Primitivo. It is one of the first varietals brought over by the Italian settlers and planted, here, in our great state.
One of my favorites and crafted by a good buddy of mine, Doug Hackett - who, truly, lives with an independant spirit - a lone ranger - is Dogwood Cellars. Receiving double gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, this zinfandel is stellar, by all accounts. Rich in character and plot like a Spaghetti Western, this dark and sensual wine provides all the allure of an old west brothel with the depth in character of one of our favorite American icons, The Lone Ranger. Thinking of warriors who earn and deserve a purple heart, enjoy Dogwood Cellars Zinfandel, remembering, as Disney wants us to, who really put up the best fight when their world was taken away - the true spirit of independence - Native Americans.