Monday, July 22, 2013


So let's just get this straight right now: You're going to see a movie that Jerry Bruckheimer produced and Gore Verbinski directed.  You are there for explosions and gags, loudness and stunts, huge sprawling set scenery, elaborate costumes.  Don't complain about a lack of realism or historical accuracy or coherent compelling storyline - you've got BRUCKSPLOSIONS!  And in some, Johnny!!!!

There was a plot of some kind.  It involved an introduction (some movie wizardry that aged our boy
Tonto-Johnny to about 113 years old) and then a little hints at backstory, a CRISIS involving A DIRTY UGLY VILLAIN and then a reluctant- buddy-cop-movie kind of thing where our two heroes are thrown together and must learn to...get along?  Work together?  There's a family honour / revenge / death avenging theme, because it's a western and is therefore required.  And there is a love interest subplot, but no sex of course, this is a Disney thing so you're allowed to see multiple bad guys getting shot but no kissing, geez, and there is also a plot twist, helpfully telegraphed halfway in so you totally see it coming and therefore feel pretty smart about your plot predicting abilities!  And oh yeah -- TRAIN STUNTS -- plural, take note, and stuff blows up and burns and there are flames the usual token gunshots, and also HORSE STUNTS... anything I'm forgetting?  Did I mention JOHNNY and HORSE?

Let's explore in pictures. (Which, sadly, I borrowed without permission because I still don't know how the internets work.)

Here's Tonto getting himself into a situation with this ridiculously handsome young do-gooder.  Seriously, I bet if you look up "MOVIE STAR" in the dictionary you find a picture of Armie Hammer. This is a theory that assumes you know what a dictionary is. Also I love this guy's name and wonder if it's a short form for "Armand" in which case his parents were nuts and hilarious.  Armand Hammer.  That's great.  


I've been having small groups of young riders for extended summer vacation lessons; we ride in the morning, then spend a couple hours after lunch drawing pictures and laughing at chickens until their parents come get them.  Our rides consist of fun games like mounted scavenger hunts and fake horse shows.  I'm thinking of adding TRAIN STUNTS to my repertoire.  Not sure where I'll build the train track. I haven't even gotten around to building a bridge and gate for my trail obstacles. (And when I say "I" of course I mean Jethro and Bucky.)

 There is the possibility that I could be corrupting these kids though... after settling on their new cowboy names I warned them not to go robbing any trains.  

Back off, Calamity Jane and Crazy Kate!

Our hero Tonto meets up with the real hero, White Horse.  He's not called Silver till the end.  Outlaw Enforcers of the Law don't always have time to name their horses, I guess.  Well it takes time to settle on something suitable.  In any case, Tonto doesn't need to name the horse.  They have a bond that transcends trivial things like names.  


Let's talk about this horse for a second or ten.  Usually there are about four horses to play one.  That makes sense.  Every star needs a stand-in and a trailer to go escape to. Of course the star horse has to go back to his trailer and chill -- only his trailer has better, more healthy refreshments, I'm sure.  

Quick half-assed research on my part tells me that this is a Quarter Horse who's name is Silver in real life.  

Y'know, I don't think I've ever seen a white QH.  The horse in the pic above is somewhat QH shaped, I guess.  (I suspect that's not a gelding though?)  (Not to be looking where I shouldn't or anything.)  In any case, at least one horse was a real character, and the editors did an awesome job of sticking all those great expressions into the right scenes!!

Did I mention Helena Bonham Carter is in this?

I think she's just in it because she's really cool and instantly flashes things up necessarily.  Yes she is shooting an unruly patron of her establishment with her leg.  Is this disturbing?  On several levels.  But Disney has a way of making things seem totally acceptable.  Also, she's Helena Bonham Carter.  So, okay?

There's also a villain named BUTCH CAVENDISH which sounds like the result of a Western Movie Villain Name Generator. 

They went full on ugly for this guy, erasing any doubt in our minds that HE IS BAD.

It turns out that Tonto is nutso craze balls shamanistic outcast obsessive crazy insane.  

And speaking of which:


Yet all those train stunts, and the scene that made me guffaw in disbelief was the white horse guzzling down a beer then belching.  GAH.  HORSES CAN'T BURP.  Heck yes, exploding bridge aerial train stunt, but you make a horse burp through the magic of movie wizardry and you have just ruined my suspension of disbelief!!!!!!!! And I remind myself once again that I'm really here for the Brucksplosions.

Well, heck, Tonto said it.  "There is something very wrong with that horse."

Know what else was good/bad in a so unrealistic it had to funny kind of way?

Tonto and the good lawyer turned outlaw ranger in a mask are up to their necks in dirt.  (Wrong headed stereotype?  Pirates didn't really make anybody walk the plank either.  Brucksplosions, people.  Brucksplosions.  Focus.)

That clever white horse comes up to the rescue. 

He cleverly drops one of those carefully draped reins so that his Ranger can grab the rein and get pulled out of the sand.  The horse backs up and pulls him out.  

He's very clearly got a curb bit in his mouth.

I'm sure not everybody in the theatre twitch and writhed with suppressed laughter at this.  A curb bit?  He's going to back up and that rein is going to... I can't even explain the fake science involved to do this because either my brain blocked it out or my eyes were squinted shut from giggling.  

Mind you I'm totally okay with this magical movie horse loping down the roof of a moving train, walking on the roof of a burning barn (although I'm fundamentally opposed to barn fires) and showing up in a tree.  Heck why not.  He's magic!

Here we have a lovely white horse loping through town.  Probably a getaway scene.  By the way, in my mind, when I coax Phoenix into his lazy lumbering lope, we look almost exactly like this!!! 

Notice the horse in this picture is all white.  He's (She's???) so white that the skin around the eyes and nose is pink.  Scroll through the pictures and you'll see that we've got a couple different horses here.  Anyways I think this one is very cute and always looks amused.  

I absolutely LOVE everything about this picture.  Let's count it out:

  1. Armie Hammer is wearing a brilliant red suit.  He looks striking and fun and cool but yet playfully formal!  
  3. Johnny proves that he is his own man by once again giving a gentle metaphorical middle finger to the unwritten rules of style.  I'll wear a suit... but only with scuffed up boots and a pile of chains around my neck instead of a tie! 
  4. That horse.  He's totally clocked into work today.  Yep, press event, photographers, handlers, the talent stands here, I'm cool.  Ten more minutes and it's hay net time.  
  5. I appreciate the work that goes into getting a white horse white.  I have a white horse.  I totally lucked out because she has brown legs.  But she still ends up with grass stains all over her rump and withers.  Luckily, she's not a movie star.  
  6. One of my favourite hobbies is to imagine horses having human thoughts.  Considering the above point, maybe what this horse is really thinking would go like this: As soon as Hunky and Handsome there are done with me, I'm going home and the first thing I'm gonna do is have a nice roll in the juicy green grass ahhhhhhh....!
  7. Nifty bridle there.  

In case you're wondering, and don't mind a spoiler, when our Lone Ranger finally decides on "Silver" as a name for his horse, he tries out his HI YO SILVER, AWAY! thing and dorks it up so hard that the crazy buddy with the dead bird on his head can't deal with it.  

And this goes seamlessly with how I also look in my mind when Copper gets a little fidgety and impatient.  

Cuz y'know, I don't like it when she does that and I am encouraging her not to but she is just so flashy and impressive when she's eager to get moving.  Sometimes I wave my hat around and it causes a lovely flare around the sun.  

Would I recommend this movie?  Yes, if you like horses and villains and heroes and Johnny and things blowing up in imaginative and unlikely ways.  Which I do.  Just promise me you'll laugh when the horse belches and whisper to the person beside you (hopefully someone you know, don't go see this alone, you need a post-viewing discussion partner) that horses can't belch and isn't that funny.  

I'll be over here, trying to figure out how to make a fake train stunt for my trail course...


Laura said...

It was a fun movie, if you were able to ignore the silly stunts and the belching horse... Gotta love Johnny and Helena. :-)

That guy's name is actually Armand (Armand Douglas Hammer, in fact.) I was laughing about that too. Turns out he is from a fancy pants oil tycoon/real estate mogul type family...

Heidi the Hick said...

OH well good thing he decided to get a rewarding and lucrative career to fall back on! Snort haha!

It was a fun movie. I'd see it again.

jay said...

Armand Hammer is the great-grandson of the orginal Armand Hammer who created the company of Arm & Hammer. ;)

Heidi the Hick said...

Ha! Look what I'm finding out here. Blogging can be so informative!

I kind of live it that he shortened his name to Armie. It's a name that makes me want to ruffle his hair and pinch his cheeks. I'd need a ladder of course.

Anonymous said...

Fun fact, two of the horses used to fill Silver's role are from Ontario! Two white Thoroughbreds bred by Blazing Colours Farm :)

Heidi the Hick said...

I heard they were from Ontario but didn't know anything else - that's pretty cool.

mugwump said...

I'm ready to go now.

Heidi the Hick said...

But I haven't built my train stunt yet!!

jules said...

Armand Hammer. AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Heidi, you crack me up!

I can't wait to see this movie!