Half in the Bag Episode 56: White House Down and The Lone Ranger

by: RedLetterMedia

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half in the bag I just sit in the coffee can hello and welcome to half in the bag I'm Jay hmm and we just saw two things that were recently released into theatres that the studio is telling us their movies that's right Jay the films we saw this week are White House down and The Lone Ranger White House down is the new film from acclaimed director Roland Emmerich the cinematic genius behind such films as the patriot independence day' godzilla' The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 whoo one of my personal favorites in this film Magic Mike and Jamie Foxx pretend to be characters in a movie that is about as plausible as a Roland Emmerich film Jamie Foxx plays President James Washington the President of the United States the White House gets blowed up and Magic Mike protects him by shooting the bad guys with his gun also his little daughter is in danger and he wants to prove that he's a good father has this plot been done before I don't think so thanks Roland Emmerich I hope someone shoves a club up your ass this is probably the most enjoyable Roland Emmerich movie I've ever seen which is saying very little because I've hated pretty much all of his movies I didn't see a couple of them but I'll get right on that but the first two-thirds of this movie or so kind of the Roland Emmerich miss seemed to be scaled back a little bit there's still some of the dumb tropes like the the father whose daughter is mad at him because he doesn't pay attention to her and all that stuff but the father-daughter relationship I really could see I there wasn't the really bad out of place humor and the the pandering and schmaltz that his movies have until the end and then it gets horrible yeah but there's so action that I thought was kind of fun there's only one sequence in the whole movie that I felt sort of felt appropriate for a premise like this which is there's an extended car chase scene on the White House lawn and the president has a rocket launcher and that's like okay it's getting goofy now but it's just that one scene and then the rest of it's pretty bland and bloodless and crappy yeah I think the car chase scene was the one moment in this movie where it became goofy and self-aware and I actually laughed out loud that felt more of like a like in her older action movie like an 80s Early 90s action movie well that's the thing I'm glad you mentioned 80s or 90s action movie because I actually saw Olympus has fallen which is basically the identical movie and that movie was dumb this movie's dumb they're both dumb in their own ways but Olympus has fallen is is 80s action movie dumb it's like Rambo movie dumb oh really yeah and and it's really good actually there's there's more realistic violence like at one point he says I'm gonna stab you in the brain and I'm gonna stab you in the brain that's an extra line that's an actual line that's great and then at the end he does indeed stab him in the brain spoilers Wow um but it was a little more gritty more realistic this movie was um it almost felt like a cub Mel Brooks comedy it felt like a like a like a Naked Gun movie at times like the way like the way it was filmed and just the look of it that's funny that you mentioned Naked Gun because I was thinking the spoiler James Woods is a bad guy in this movie he's one of the first of many predictable plot twists as far as the characters but during his scenes I was thinking and I liked James Woods I think he's a good actor but I was like he comes off comical in this role and I was thinking of like it's the same as putting like Leslie Nielsen in that part I was thinking that during the movie I was like you could put Leslie Nielsen in this movie I did have the same in same effect

I know you're in the piece no they're gonna stick that thing out there and go to work damn right there's there's actual an actual line of dialogue at the end of this movie that it made me laugh out loud it's not the line where Maggie Gyllenhaal now says to the president mr. president China Russia India all the nations of the world just called and they love your peace plan that's like an actual line of dialogue oh yeah I know just called they love your peace plan and they vowed to have world peace but there's a line where um Channing Tatum is running around and and she's like you have ten minutes to turn off the nuclear arms codes or World War three starts yeah like verbatim like like literal World War three is going to start well that's exactly audience go oh it's bad yeah she's not speaking metaphorically right it's literal and I'm like oh yeah there's no subtlety or there's no subtlety in this movie ever everything is like that the movie kind of like the premise of the movie was just so so stupid and unrealistic that it reminded me of just like like a very very low IQ security guard sitting somewhere like watching the door at a Walmart and and that's his fantasy and it'll be a secret agent and I saved the president when people come and try to blow up the White House and like that was portrayed as reality in this movie I was like okay well take it over the limit turn it into a complete comical farce or or don't sew pants off not George we gotta go we gotta go it's it almost just makes you tired I feel like I've just been beaten yeah I'm lying on the floor and Hollywood movies just keep punching me in the face and it won't you just keep going like this stop stop and they just keep punching you and then at some point you just die again this is a developing story there has been an explosion absolutely shocking

it's now okay to make a movie where the US Capitol blows up and the White House blows up and we see panic and chaos like 9/11 no one's gonna yell too soon because it's now been over a decade yeah so who's got a White House diehard script I know there's a hundred of them out there diehard in the White House who's got him then they find them and what was this the magic year where it just happened well it's happened before in movies if Armageddon and deep impact and there's those two volcano movies there's ants in a bug's life like it just happens I think it's coincidence as a coincidence or other Hollywood spies that go so it's those making this let's make this before they make that I don't know I can't confirm that the only case I can confirm of that is being when golan-globus split up Oh in Cannon Films split up they both went off and made their own Lambada films what can you not maybe now with the rocket while trying to turn okay let's talk about the plot to this movie okay um uh let's specifically let's talk about the politics of this plot um who are the villains in this movie uh white men that's right because we don't want to offend anybody so old white men you're safe with even though it creates a complete lack of interest in anything that's happening when every villain in every movie is an old white guy no crazed right wing nut jobs who go as far up as the Speaker of the House have a have a dastardly plan and he has a magical treaty that will create world peace oh yeah just like that it's he met with the President of Iran and shook his hand and the President of Iran said let's sign a magic tree peace treaty that will create world peace and the the crazed right-wingers don't want that because the the military-industrial complex which makes billions of dollars off war will lose money so the the Speaker of the House is willing to nuke the White House and and creating a nuclear war and blow up all of the Middle East to keep money flowing into the military-industrial complex which is completely plausible but I you know I was with the movie at this point yeah stupid let's just call SEAL team 6 and they come in here to get us we have a Scrabble Sat phone and residence great Rosana of course by the way john cale same SOI someone says write a script about die hard in the White House okay ah well you have to have the the down-on-his-luck security guard who gets caught up in everything a la John McClane you have to then you have to have a really good reason for someone to try to take over the White House terrorists or whoever yeah no one in their right mind is going to try to pull that off for a bunch of money like like Hans Gruber right some random building in Los Angeles maybe the White House no second you get in you're fucked you know like you're fucked you're not going to get out of there alive so you have to have a really good reason you have to be a crazy person who wants to try to get nuclear launch codes to just to blow up the world because you're nuts and if you're that nuts no one's gonna follow you that's why I was like just scratching my head going all these guys I guess they labeled them as racists and home militant nut jobs that that love the Ku Klux Klan and hate the president so that's why they would do that but really like I say like I'm gonna go hire a bunch of military guys to come help me what's the job well it pays really well what's the job we're gonna storm the White House but you're gonna get paid really well once once once they give us our ransom and let us walk away all I remember is speaking of them being fucked as the one of the the secondary bad guys shoots and kills somebody and the little daughter says you're going to jail for that and it's thinking for that so so you have James Woods who's crazy and a bunch of other crazy guys and then and then he has a brain tumor - he's a brain tumor which is pressing on his frontal cortex which is making him do irrational things but also smart enough to pull off a job like this and the computer genius guy is also a little off so a rational computer genius guy would go no no thanks I'm not that dumb the most inept insane people in the world are able to take over the White House and the only hook that it has is you're seeing the White House be destroyed that's pretty much it you might as well not even have a plot just show that is it disaster porn its disaster porn as Oliver Roland Emmerich's movies are like that yeah he loves seeing the White House be destroyed so much that he's gonna give himself a little pat on the back in this movie about the fact that he's done it before they have a reference to Independence Day in this movie I think the FBI should come knockin on those door mm-hmm he might be something we have some questions about the film's you're making

so let's talk about performances okay Channing Tatum's in it and come see the movie in theaters June 28 all right we're done talking about performances let's move on when did Maggie Gyllenhaal start looking like an elderly woman ie I noticed that um especially like her first scene when she's doing the interview with him and she says he's like giant bags under her eyes she is she has like um crease lines on her face yeah yeah well see she's always looked kind of like a sad turtle and in this movie she just looks older than she is yeah she looks like she's James Woods is age she's a very poor lighting um and and she has a lot of wrinkles on her face from saying Gyllenhaal all the time what's your Maggie Gyllenhaal what do you think about that Richard Jenkins I like Richard Jenkins I've always liked Richard Jenkins he's a good actor he deserves better than this I thought his James Woods I thought Richard Jenkins was gonna be like a character that redeemed himself in the end little shy awkward to the house character and um and then at the end he just becomes like a comical won't easily cuz mustache twirling villain yeah yes they're dragging him away he's like you'll never get me yeah yeah yeah yeah it's so bad and even like that the White House is still on fire it's like five feet from them the Channing Tatum is wounded and mortally wounded and bleeding and he's just like you're the one who's the bad guy let's call your pager number you can't prove a thing I'll get you yet

so Mike would you recommend white house is falling white house is falling uh no no I feel redundant saying it's dumb it's the dumbest thing I've ever seen that's not true I might be no I just feel tired at this point the best thing I can say about this movie and maybe this is why I would say it was the most enjoyable roland emmerich movie I've seen is that the disaster porn is sort of located it's centered on just one place it was cool for me because it was only one place I've never really done that instead of globally where we see everything blow up that sort of confines it a bit in a way that makes it feel a little more restrained than his other movies it's great to have a person who allows you to bring in your voice and bring in your ideas and and these poor actors in this movie I mean sure they're getting paid but it's it's like were the butt of a joke and everyone that's making this movie is just in on a joke laughing all the way to the bank yeah this movie is a huge spectacle helicopter and tons of people and things on fire and I mean it's pretty amazing basically just saying a bunch of bullshit and you know you're getting paid and I get that but you know they're all just laughing at us yeah and though they're like all the dumb flyover people the dumb fat cows eating popcorn we'll all eat this up and they're just laughing oh I wonder about Roland Emmerich's motivation is that it um I um I actually was um is he doing this completely cynically and just laughing or does he think that he this is like does he think of himself as like a spheal like early Spielberg like I'm making broad entertainment for a wide audience that everyone can enjoy like what do you think his motivation is roland emmerich the world's greatest con artist or delusional auteur you decide you

so Jay did you see any other movies oh yeah I actually just saw before midnight which is the Richard Linklater film it's of course the third in a series of movies he's been doing over the course of almost 20 years now which is a really sort of interesting experiment yeah well I went to a revival screening a little independent art house theater of true foes the 400 blows Oh brilliant brilliant film that's funny that you should say revival screenings because I went to a screening of hearts of darkness which is of course the documentary about the making of Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse Now brilliant documentary being really into it it's amazing to see the process and and the breakdown you know and everything that went into making that brilliant brilliant film yeah I'm glad with all these other screenings were going to that we still had time to see The Lone Ranger eight men wrote in to Kenya I dug seven graves the men you seek think you are dead better to stay that way you want me to wear mass justice is what a man must take for himself The Lone Ranger is the new film from a bunch of people who got together and said let's make an old idea new again put Johnny Depp in it and laugh all the way to the bank these people are now unemployed the film stars Arm and Hammer as The Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as another one of his eccentric characters who wears a stupid hat so Mike what did you think of The Lone Ranger uh yeah I fell asleep during it actually during several segments really I did great I have to take you in you hear me would you call this movie a mess it's almost a mess it's not quite but it definitely has tone issues well well here's the thing okay um the talk of the town is that the Lone Ranger is a big-ass flop it only took in 19 million dollars on its opening weekend and a costume two hundred and seventy billion dollars to make and it's I think it's helping to bankrupt Disney you only wear masks there come a time when good man must wear masks what went wrong J what is wrong with the Lone Ranger everybody wants to know uh well I think the biggest thing is that nobody gives a fuck about The Lone Ranger I think that would be the biggest thing there's a complete lack of interest in a Lone Ranger movie but well there was a complete lack of interest any Pirates of the Caribbean movie well that that was something that was completely out of nowhere though the lone Ranger's been around nobody cares anymore it's not one of those things that you can revive like you know the comic book movies or what something else they bring back like horror franchises like make a new nightmare home street movie make a new fraud Friday the 13th movie well if nobody's interested in a new Lone Ranger movie no but nobody was interested in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie either that's something where you go like what but but it's the fact that the movie works so setting that aside Lone Ranger yeah one was the hell was that on TV thirty I don't even know yeah I like The Lone Ranger like it's so antiquated it's out of date and you can even like it's it's it's almost like don't touch it because you got a guy as an Indian running around and it's like yeah you know I'm angry because white men talk with two tongue so it's not that it's what's wrong with the movie you can you can take some old crappy idea put a twist on it make it work why didn't this movie work for you um well a big part of it is the fact that it's tonally all over the place there's I don't know it starts off entertaining enough it's sort of light-hearted and and then halfway through there's they get on a train and it goes on for an hour with them on this train and it's all serious and there's double crosses and drama and whatever and they get off the train and there's all this stuff with the army fighting the Native American tribe and it's just people like brutally violently murdering each other with arrows and rifles and it's horribly like depressing and you're watching it you're saying I thought this was supposed to be fun and then and then it gets wacky and goofy and it brings the old Lone Ranger theme back for the end and you're like wow how did we get here now so I think that's it it's sort of like whiplash you're all over the place on what I think you're supposed to be feeling emotionally and then that sequence that whole train sequence where they have that song playing I guess we should say this is the climax of the movie it's a fun scene there's two trains they're on tracks right next to each other there's lots of jumping back and forth from one to the other there's a ladder that's being swung around and it's it's a lot of fun and it's got the classic Lone Ranger music plane but that's the only time in the movie that that plays and it comes after 45 minutes of bad drama and and slaughter and war and you're like what am I supposed to be feeling here it's a fun scene but it lacks any emotion yeah it lacks any any heroism any excitement because we're trying to stop an old man from taking a bunch of silver that he mined and making 65 million dollars with it and becoming the head of his own corporation now like that's that's what we're trying to stop and it's like that and and even star trek into darkness it was a crazed Admiral who was power-hungry who wanted to militarize the Starfleet for his own evil purposes and as an inside thing we we can't have a bad guy it has to be cynical you can't wave the American flag because that's patriotic and corny I was more interested in the the sub bad guy who they establish earlier in the movie as being the bad guy yes creepy he's dirty he's a fucking cannibal for some reason which is really dark and weird for a movie like this but you're you were given a sufficient motivation to dislike him and want to see The Lone Ranger defeat him the guy ate his brothers fucking heart yeah which happens in the movie by the way a character gets a knife shoved into his chest and his heart dug out and eaten all I know is that a man killed my brother if we ride together we ride for justice justice is what I seek well let's continue talking about the the cynicism of the way the source material is treated in this as I mentioned the Lone Ranger for the most part is sort of like a bumbling buffoon he's treated as a joke Tonto is no longer the the loyal you know proud Native American he's a crazy person that's maybe lying about everything throughout the whole movie and then the whole movie is told in flashbacks and the wrap around - it is him is like a carnival freak show attraction like that's his fate something very wrong with that horse is that elderly woman that was in front of us in the screening of this and when the Lone Ranger theme came on at the end she was like because she recognized something from being a teenager there was an elderly woman with dementia or she had some sort of problem with her but she started clapping oh yeah it's at the movie and and everyone's like what oh you have emotions we're just here to be bombarded with picture and sound for two hours and then leave Oh movies make you feel something what what is this lady from the past oh yes she's a hundred and five years old ma'am do you remember a time when movies made you feel something oh yes I watched Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable back in the pic did you feel something what was that like

so yeah who you think is the main villain in the movie is a cannibal which is pretty bizarre for a Disney film he's referred to by Johnny Depp as Tonto as the the Wendigo which is like a Native American a monster that eats people or something like that so they keep saying Wendigo in the movie a lot every time he said Wendigo I kept thinking of one of my favorite films of all time bounds by blood Wendigo the morning was the potential being possessed by an evil spirit the Windigo was called once possessed the human host would supposedly become violent and obsessed with eating flesh uh the witches which is a wonderful film released by uh killer wolf films oh yes director lenka Basinski who is my favorite filmmaker done a good job here for the most part I did what you told me to you're right you have I don't believe involving the local authorities was part of our deal yes also my favorite filmmaker what a coincidence Len CAPA since KEB KEB Basinski jr. well sure just going to have to ask you

what do we do when we make a lone ranger feature well the first thing they do is they come up with a checklist you got to put Tonto hiyo silver of the the classic Lone Ranger theme I'd put all these things in there and then you give that little notepad with the checklist to the writer and he goes what mmm and then he just comes up with some dumb plot about revenge and profits but what do you do about the Tonto character you just cast Johnny Depp cuz everybody loves him and he can get away with anything everybody loves Johnny Depp and he's played a whole bunch of different characters with wacky makeup and costumes on so he's the least likely to offend especially if you put Indian war paint on him that's that's a race-neutral Indian war paint which is just black and white smeared well because you can't go brown face yeah but Johnny Depp he can't be a Native American and we cannot cast one so you're left with this conflict and then to further distance ourselves from the material will make him a crazy person yeah he's not just a noble and Noble Native American who's working with a Lone Ranger to solve crimes or to right the wrongs yeah reform justice it'll also be the smarter of the two to make it seem a little bit better that he's the sidekick it's really more of the hero and the Lone Ranger is more of the sidekick really on you thority granted me by the state of Texas I'm hereby arrested you so how many of these movies have to flop before the studio starts to really panic and say maybe we should try something new uh I guess I would have to look at their their bank account information question J

as we stated before the overseas markets are very important now which is why villains and all movies now are crazy Americans yeah especially in political realistic films like White House down or anything in that genre it's our own military or our own insiders that have gone nuts it's never an outside threat right an outside threat is racist and offensive and we especially China we know touched a hand we love you China we recut our movies for China we cast new actors and do different versions of films like where's the artistic integrity in that like Jai are you saying that Hollywood are a bunch of sellouts and traitor well I think especially right now like with we're super her super hero movies are add and movies like this like I think people want to see a hero like I think people would want to see a Superman that they can get behind and be like yay Superman or or any of these other characters and we're sort of denied of that everybody's mopey and whiny or or they're not really the hero and things have to be dark or have a new twist or new angle and there's certainly room for that with the right material sure not everything has to be that even though the Lone Ranger flopped remaking another something similar to it is still a saver but then putting 200 million dollars in an unknown product

well where are we at with the Lone Ranger J uh don't bother C unit I guess nobody did so it doesn't matter anyway I'm glad that at the end they brought the Lone Ranger theme back because it's manipulative but it sort of gave you the illusion that you're seeing something exciting yeah yeah and then it's that

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