Lone Ranger confuses, except when it doesn't 

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Q– Where Does the Lone Ranger take his garbage?

A – To the Dump, to the Dump, to the Dump, Dump Dump...

It's funny because people actually used to take their garbage to the dump, not the "waste transfer station." Just like people used to walk into a theatre for a movie, not a "cinematic experience." The self-overcomplication of human existence can probably be attributed to greed — it's easier to dupe people out of their money if they never really understand what you're talking about in the first place.

But don't worry. All that greed and the need for overstimulation means summer movies are bigger and louder and crazier than ever. The Lone Ranger, as an example, is not that bad if you like westerns and train wrecks and stunts out the hoo-haa. Armie Hammer (The Social Network) plays the Ranger, a lawful man driven to the extreme by a corrupt system. Johnny Depp (Rango) steps in as a white-war-painted Tonto, a mystic Native ninja kind of guy who's quick with the one-liners. Together the odd-couple must chase down a villain, save a widow and her kid, stay out of the whorehouse (it's Disney after all) and keep the West on track.

Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Ring) makes watchable movies and even though his Ranger clocks in at 149 minutes of jarring uneven story and mood, it is not without its charm. The almost-humanly-believable super action setpieces stand out and Verbinski's even slipped in a couple John Locke-style subthemes on human equality and the corruption of big business. Don't expect too much — the pillage of Native American culture is discussed but the film is still very much dominated by "stupid white men." But The Lone Ranger is also imaginative and fresh enough that true western fans might not mind it. And regardless, it's a joy to hear that "William Tell Overture" theme music one more time while the screen explodes with action.

Despicable Me 2 is also playing at the Village 8. It's a snappy little animated superhero/villain role-reversal flick with voices by Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig. Slick visuals help offset a somewhat-less-exciting plot but, for a sequel especially, this is passable family fun.

Next week Grown Ups 2 hits screens (the first one sucked) and the king of summer monster movies stomps into town with Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim, which looks like some sort of jacked up Godzilla vs. Voltron flick. Monsters and robots filtered through the mind of Del Toro is a surefire recipe for awesome.

In other news, the top three corporate take-over/big business movies are:

Boiler Room (2000). Giovanni Ribisi (Lost in Translation) stars as a charismatic college dropout who ends up hustling folks in a backroom stock brokerage firm alongside ace traders like Vin Diesel and Scott Caan. It's a fast-paced, money-is-king drama that panders a bit at the end but it's still pretty fun.

Casino (1995). Or The Godfather, Goodfellas or any mob movie really, because crime is the biggest, most successful business of all. The rise and fall of a Las Vegas casino showcase the grim realities of a the cutthroat business world — you're in until you're out.

Wall Street (1987) is the king of finance movies, but that's a gimme so lets talk about Office Space (1999), the charming first film from Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill). Faced with corporate downsizing and a pair of "efficiency experts" a trio of office drones channel their inner gangsters and fight back with a cash skimming computer program that lands them big money, big trouble and really big laughs. All of these flicks are the download of the week.


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