He’s back again for a whole new generation of audiences, The Lone Ranger. This time though he seems to play second fiddle to the real star of this movie, Tonto. The Lone Ranger(PG-13) opening Wednesday July 3rd again tells the story of the masked man who helps those less unfortunate and with the aid of his trusty Indian friend Tonto becomes the talk of the West. The only difference is Tonto seems to be the mastermind behind it all and The Lone Ranger is just a bratty guy who really for the most part doesn’t want to get involved in anything if he doesn’t have too.
In the beginning, we find John Reid(Armie Hammer) headed back to the old west where his brother, sister in law and nephew live but he gets involved in a prisoner breakout aboard a train where he meets the Comanche Tonto(Johnny Depp) who is also tied up along with the sinister Butch Cavendish. Well Cavendish escapes and goes on to wreak havoc in John Reid’s circles causing Reid to get together with Tonto to find Cavendish and put an end to all this killing.
The Lone Ranger is a very interesting movie, to me it’s really the story of Tonto and how he turned this mild mannered man into a fighter for justice and the right thing to do through force and smartness. Johnny Deep really shines in this movie and you know from the beginning that this is his vehicle. Armie Hammer does a good job of playing the Lone Ranger but there are times when you want to slap him across the face and say wake up man. I loved character actor William Fichtner’s portrayal of the ruthless bad guy in the movie gunslinger Bruce Cavendish who is the kind of guy who you love to hate. I wasn’t too interested in the love story between the Lone Ranger and his love interest because I never really felt the love between the two characters. The story does get complex and intricate and I did think the movie was a little too long but there was a lot of story so I guess I would rather them fill us in then cut it short and we feel short changed or cheated. I was and still am trying to find out if The Lone Ranger is a comedy or a drama, well maybe it’s a dramady. Look, let’s be honest, the real star is Johnny Depp and he shines. He does a unique way of telling the story and shows that Tonto was more than just a sidekick which I enjoyed. Tonto brought a lot of humor to this role and it almost seems like Depp was channeling his Jake Sparrow as well or maybe that character can never leave him in the overall scheme of things.
The Lone Ranger has its flaws but I thought it was trying to have some fun and adventure which I give them credit for. Maybe to some they will have failed in this but to me they succeeded. Depp shines and is a pleasure to watch and for me is worth the price of admission; don’t tell me you were going for any other reason anyway. Look, you get all the trusted Lone Ranger things, Silver Bullets, Tonto’s Ke-mo Sah-bee and of course the William Tell Overture. I think you can take a chance on The Lone Ranger but it will not please all…..enjoy it for what it is an action, adventure, dramady…….Hi Yo Silver Away.
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***UPDATE*** The Clippers have pulled off a three team trade with the Suns & Bucks. The Clippers will send Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Phoenix, the Bucks receive two 2nd round picks, while the Clippers receive JJ Reddick and Jared Dudley.
With the off-season officially here, its time to take a look at our local teams and which directions each of them could (or possibly even SHOULD) go, going into the 2014 season. Both the Clippers and Lakers had high expectations headed into this past season, only to be sent home packing in the first round. Both teams have holes to fill, both teams have a big name player who is on the market as a free agent.
Lets start with the Clippers who for the better part of a week were mired in on again/off-again rumors of their acquisition of Boston Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers. The deal was finalized this past week and now the Clippers officially have the best coach in franchise history (not including Larry Brown of course). And for the first time ever, dare I say the Clippers have the best coach (Rivers) AND the best player (Chris Paul) in Los Angeles.
With the acquisition of Rivers and CP3 officially back in the fold the Clippers will be on par with the best teams in the Western Conference again this season. But despite the Clippers' wealth of talent, they still managed to take a step back in the post-season this year, losing in the first round of the playoffs to a team that they defeated in the same stanza last year in the Memphis Grizzlies. So what does a team that is already deep and already talented need? The change in philosophy the Doc Rivers brings will definitely help.
Rivers brings a tough, defensive minded style of play that the Clippers haven't had since the days of Mike Dunleavy (sooo long ago I know). Drafting Reggie Bullock out of North Carolina gives them another wing player who can stretch the floor, make hussle plays and play quality perimeter defense that was greatly lacking at times last season. In other words...so long Matt Barnes.
The good news is that even after signing Paul to a max contract, the Clippers will still have enough cap room to use the full mid-level exception that they can give any free agent (thats a 5 year contract worth about $30 million). Here's a short list of players who the Clippers could pursue (a few in which they have already have begun pursuit) to either give that full-midlevel or at least a portion of it to:
Pros: Would provide the Clippers with another backcourt scoring option
Cons: Volume shooter;Extremely similar to Jamal Crawford
Pros: Tough, defensive minded guard who played for Doc Rivers in Boston and would set the tone for the Clippers defense on the perimeter
Cons: Limited as an offensive player and does not stretch the floor as a shooter – something the Clippers DESPERATELY need.
Pros: Deadly 3 point shooter and excellent overall scorer when given enough minutes/opportunities
Cons: Plays little, if any, defense
Pros: Streaky scorer who can get hot at a moments notice
Cons: Umm, how much time do you have?
Pros: Former Clipper who is a better than average spot up shooter and can create off the dribble
Cons: Shot selection and on-court focus can be questionable at times
Pros: Comes back home in a reserve role; still an effective mid-range shooter, hussle player and shot blocker
Cons: Have a hard time believing Donald Sterling would be able to forgive him for spurning the Clippers in the 11th hour during free agency a few years ago
Pros: Plays hard every night and never gets out-hussled; a Doc Rivers type of player
Cons: A bit undersized for the power forward position and limited offensively
Pros: Solid mid-range shooter and post defender despite his size
Cons: Few, if any, considering what his role on the Clippers would be
The free agency period is still in its infancy and it'll be interesting to see what direction the Clippers take. Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe are the only players currently on the roster. And Butler and Bledsoe have been on the trading block all off-season.
As for the OTHER team that plays in Staples Center...I'll talk about their free agency and off-season scenarios in another post next week. I'll promise you, itll be much shorter than this one. Who knows? By then, their most important off-season move may have already been made [Dwight Howard].
By Krystina Ramey
Allllllllright hockey fans, I promised you some puck action last time, and as Kevin Figgers says, I deliver on my promises. So here goes. Now, not surprisingly, there are a lot more basketball videos out there than hockey, so I had to dig for a few of these. But I think they’ll still be sure to delight, nonetheless.
In much the same fashion as I did in the NBA edition, I’m going to start off with some teams that didn’t make the playoffs. This time that’s the Colorado Avalanche and the Calgary Flames, Northwestern Division opponents in the Western Conference. Not only did these 2 teams not make the playoffs, they both finished in the bottom 5 of the NHL this year.
Fret not, Flames & Avs – it might not be totally your fault. It looks like all parties involved could use a little improvement… even the sportscasters.
(Listen closely at 0:15)
In all fairness, he wasn’t technically wrong… I mean, after all, the guy’s name is Peter… don’t those 2 words kinda mean the same thing?
Remember that stretch I was talking about? Yea, well, here it begins. Dennis Wideman, a current defenseman for the Calgary Flames, used to play for the St. Louis Blues, who faced off against the LA Kings in the 1st round of the playoffs this year. (That works, right? Former playoff-team member?) As all of you reading this should know, the Kings came back from a 2-game deficit to win 4 straight and advance to the 2nd round. They eventually tasted defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, but… where was I? Oh yea, Dennis Wideman. So it turns out the current-Flame-former-Blue was yet another to fall at the feet of the Blackhawks… just, more literally.
One of the best shootout performances I’ve ever seen. Period.
Keep that forgiving nature and stay with me here as I bring you Dion Phaneuf, who represented the Toronto Maple Leafs in their 7-game, 1st-round loss to the Boston Bruins this year. Now, he may be a member of that squad now, but I’d be foolish not to go back in time and grab this little gem from his days in Calgary. Tough guy decided that he wasn’t having any of what Ruutu was serving him, so he dropped gloves. How’d that work out for you?
At first glance, it seems as though Ruutu isn’t interested in fighting, which might explain why he turns away before Phaneuf even loses his balance. But if you watch again, you’ll see Ruutu actually came out with the upper hand here, as it’s his stick wrapped around Phaneuf’s leg that causes the defenseman to fall. Sneaky, sneaky…
Best part: The announcer’s cackling laugh. Now that’s a man who’s enjoying himself.
Straying from the professionals for a moment, I plucked this little ditty from the grasp of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, more specifically the Cornwall Colts in Cornwall, Ontario. We all know the best part of a hockey game is a fight, and this team was just looking to deliver. What ensued, however, may go down as one of the lamest 60 seconds of hockey in Canadian history. I say Canadian, because, I’m sure we Americans have had some pretty sorry moments of hockey. Just watch.
Notice they began playing the “Chicken Dance” at the end of the clip. Pretty fitting seeing as how that’s exactly what that scuffle just was.
Never fear, I bring this all back into relevance here. Just down the street from the Cornwall Colts live the Ottawa Senators… ever heard of ‘em? Little brothers always want to do as big brothers do, so it seems the Colts were just trying to emulate their professional counterparts, who decided to host a chicken dance of their own a few years back. Mind you this took place during a matchup against the division-rival Montreal Canadiens, both of whom made the playoffs this year. See? Told you I’d make it all relate.
I think the moral of the story here is, “We may have beaten out 14 other teams to make it to the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean we’re smarter.”
The defending Stanley-Cup champs didn’t quite make it this year, falling in the 3rd round to what would become the new kings. But that didn’t stop LA fans from supporting their guys, and the Kings are no less stars to their loyal subjects. This front row momma proved that point, making a painful error at the chance at a piece of Kings history. What would you do for a Mike Richards hockey stick?
Watch the baby closely.
The funny part is, you can tell Mike Richards just saw what happened, but he doesn’t know whether to be concerned or laugh!
Although I wanted our LA Kings to repeat, the Lord’s Cup went elsewhere this year. Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks on bringing home their 5th Stanley Cup in franchise history. The series against the Bruins was epic, keeping hockey fans and bandwagoners alike on the edge of their seat. Which is good, because there’s nothing LESS exciting than winning a Stanley Cup like this… as the Blackhawks themselves did back in 2010…
Interestingly enough, that game went into overtime as well. Blackhawks can’t seem to not do it in dramatic fashion. My favorite part of that whole scene comes at 0:55 when the coach takes his arms down from around the other 2 coaches and straightens up his jacket, like, “Yea, um… *clears throat* Yea let’s just wait and see what they call here… yea, you didn’t see us celebrating…”
Speaking of celebrations though, I only wish the Blackhawks would’ve taken a hint from this Kazakhstani team and put on half the show these guys did. However, being that this is the Russian Major League, I imagine hockey win celebrations are like American football touchdown dances for them…
Being that this is in… some foreign language (?)… the first 35 seconds are unimportant.
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There back and better than ever, no I’m not talking about the lead character Gru(Steve Carrell) I’m talking about the Minions. That’s right, the minions are back and worth every minute of the follow up Despicable Me 2 opening Wed July 3rd and rated PG.
Gru is needed by the Anti- Villain League or AVL to help stop a new threat and since the AVL are unable too they want Gru to be the one who can. The problem is that Gru, who walked away from the villain business at the end of the first movie, still wants nothing to do with it. He has been enjoying his time taking care of his three girls, Margo, Agnes and Edith and this suits him just fine. Gru also has the help of his minions who are ready to assist at his beckoned call. However, as most movies go Gru is pulled back in and with the help of a trusted agent Lucy(Kristen Wiig) from the AVL, they set out to find the culprit in their own unique way. Along the way we are introduced to Eduardo(Benjamin Bratt) who owns a restaurant in the mall area that Gru and Lucy are staking things out at as well as his son Antonio who seems to have a special eye of Gru’s oldest Margo.
Despicable Me 2 is a very thought provoking comedy in the sense that sometimes it’s way above the child intellect talking to the adults but the characters are so down to earth plus the minions themselves bring the child interest back into the fold. What can you say about the Minions, they as always are the main focus for me and I’m sure for the rest of the viewing audience. Their slapstick humor brings back the days of the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers. I sat there not being able to wait for the next time they hit the screen, I would definitely go see a movie with the Minions only, that’s how interesting and funny they are. The minions also bring the story together as they play a major role in the development of it.
Despicable Me 2 gives you more of the same but isn’t that what you wanted in the first place. Steve Carell is once again dead on and the girls are so loving and uniquely children that you can’t help but fall in love with them again. I don’t think it was as funny as the original but the minions steal every scene that they are in and that’s enough for me to overlook the less humor. I really liked Despicable Me 2 because it sent me some place else for a couple of hours and gave me some fun and laughs along the way. Go see Despicable Me 2 and find the minion in you.