Quentin Tarantino Elaborates on His Criticism of THE LONE RANGER; Comments on Ben Affleck as Batman

     October 10, 2013


There’s no telling when we’ll see the next film from Quentin Tarantino, but the filmmaker has become quite chatty as of late with regards to what 2013 had to offer by way of new films and comic book movie news.  Last week, Tarantino revealed a list of his top 10 films of 2013 so far, and the compilation was unsurprisingly a grab bag of everything from indies to blockbusters; in addition to pics like Gravity and Frances Ha, the filmmaker included This Is the End and The Lone Ranger.  Many were a tad disappointed that Tarantino didn’t elaborate on any of his choices, but now the director has decided to comment on his list, specifically focusing on his criticisms of The Lone Ranger.  While he was at it, he also chimed in on the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman.  Hit the jump to read on.

the-lone-ranger-james-badge-dale-armie-hammerSpeaking with Les Inrockuptibles (via The Playlist), Tarantino defended his decision to put The Lone Ranger on his Top 10 list:

“The first forty-five minutes are excellent…the next forty-five minutes are a little soporific. It was a bad idea to split the bad guys in two groups; it takes hours to explain and nobody cares. Then comes the train scene—incredible! When I saw it, I kept thinking, ‘What, that’s the film that everybody says is crap? Seriously?’”

Tarantino went on to say that he did have some issues with the Gore Verbinski epic:

“That being said, I still have a little problem with the film. I like Tonto’s backstory—the idea that his tribe got slaughtered because of him; that’s a real comic-book thing. But the slaughter of the tribe, by gunfire, from the cavalry, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. The Indians have really been victims of a genocide. So slaughtering them again in an entertaining movie, Buster Keaton style… That ruined the fun a bit for me. I simply found it…ugly. Making fun of this, when America really did it, it bothered me…That doesn’t stop it from being a good film but they could have done without that.”

the-lone-ranger-johnny-depp-armie-hammerOne might say Tarantino is being a tad hypocritical given that he used slavery as a backdrop for an entertaining movie in Django Unchained, but the director waved off that criticism:

“I didn’t make Lone Ranger…that’s two different things. I did an examination of America. I tried to juggle with different things and, frankly, I think I did it better than them,” he said. “I don’t know, let’s just say that it was ugly. And violent. And boring. And it happens right in the middle of the film’s bad part, anyway. [laughs]“

The director went on to expand on a few of his other choices, calling This Is the End “the funniest film of the year by far,” saying Frances Ha reminded him of a Paul Mazursky film, noting that The Conjuring is the first James Wan movie that he’s liked, and saying Jeff Wadlow “wrote and directed [Kick-Ass 2] with a real auteur approach.”  Moreover, the Top 10 list that Tarantino provides in the French publication swaps out Fruitvale Station for Gravity.

The ever-talkative Tarantino also weighed in on the “Ben Affleck as Batman” debate, saying he’s pretty ambivalent on the casting:

“I have to admit that I don’t really have an opinion. Why? Because Batman is not a very interesting character. For any actor. There is simply not much to play. I think Michael Keaton did it the best, and I wish good luck to Ben Affleck. But, you know who would have made a great Batman? Alec Baldwin in the ’80s.”

Baldwin was reportedly in the running for the Batman role in Tim Burton‘s first film (as was just about every actor at the time), but obviously the part went to Keaton.  Hopefully Tarantino releases a full Top 10 list at the end of the year after he’s seen the rest of what 2013 has to offer.  There’s still no word on what Tarantino’s next film will be, but if he sticks to the schedule he’s followed in recent years, we might see the pic as early as 2015.


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  • Raptor Jesus

    ‘This is the End’ was a comedy? Seriously? When you not only don’t laugh during a movie you don’t even smile…. it’s hard to say it’s a comedy.

    I thought it was more of a pointless ego trip for the cast.

    • Josh Kaye

      You may be in the minority here. This isn’t a bashing of your opinion, I won’t say it’s a fact either. I personally loved and enjoyed it. While I don’t agree that it was the funniest film of the year, it certainly was enjoyable. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way proven by both rottentomatoes and IMDb. To each their own though.

      • Joseph M

        It felt like those videos on YouTube where some guy thinks we’re all interested in seeing whatever crazy shit he and his awesome buds got up to one night. For comedy, I’m holding out for the next Ron Burgundy. Stay classy, Collider.

    • Corin Prendiville

      That wasn’t the experience I had at the theater, pretty much everyone was laughing throughout the film. Maybe you just have a crap sense of humor.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Maybe he doesn’t like crude profane films….

      • Norrtron

        Then what the hell did they go see it for?

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Why dontcha ask him?

      • http://twitter.com willpowersjr86

        Pretty sure it’s possible to go see a movie and then not like it.

      • markfive

        Raptor Jesus is an idiot. He posts on AICN as well – he’s a well known moron over there.

      • axalon

        He could also, you know, have different tastes and stuff…

      • Roy Batty

        Maybe everyone checked out their brain at the door?

    • Christian Leroux

      What?! It’s hard to make me laugh, and I was folded in two on the ground. I guess I’m partially biased because Jay is from my home city of Montreal, but there are moments that you can’t deny are piss-inducing funny. If you didn’t find it funny, it’s because you didn’t check your brain out at the door.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        You were on the ground, writhing, and pissing yourself as you watched this? Were you watching The Last Exorcism or This is the End?

      • Roy Batty

        Wrong. If a film isn’t funny, it’s not because I didn’t “check my brain out at the door”. It’s either because the film isn’t funny, or it isn’t funny to me. In fact most good comedies tickle the brain, and that in turn, makes you laugh. By the way, your statement makes no sense. If you check your brain OUT at the door, you look at it near the door and move on. Or you take it with you like you “check out” a library book. If I were to check my brain AT the door(like you do with a coat in a restaurant or club), then I wouldn’t have my brain with me(figuratively) when I watch the flick..get it?

      • Steve

        Dude’s first language is likely French. So he used a strange idiom. So what? Don’t be a dick.

    • Norrtron

      How is it an “ego trip” when they’re making fun of themselves and the vapid Hollywood culture? I think you completely misinterpreted the movie.

    • SomeGuy

      It’s not a requirement to go into a comedy and laugh, or a horror movie and scream. If you judge a movie entirely on that factor, then you are not fit to judge a movie at all.

      • Raptor Jesus

        Comedies are the easiest movies to review.

        If you laughed it was funny. If you didn’t it wasn’t.

      • markfive

        Um. Yeah – and the vast majority of American audiences and critics laughed their asses off. I would ask you what your idea of a great comedy is, but like most people who bash everything, you’d probably be to afraid to, as you’d be vulnerable to criticism of your own choices.

      • Guest

        So we shouldn’t judge how funny a comedy is by laughing, we should judge how funny it is by what exactly…crying? Sneezing? Itching? The whole point of a comedy is to MAKE YOU LAUGH. If it doesn’t, it’s not funny.

      • gwiz30

        That has to be one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read. If you don’t judge a comedy by how much you laughed, how exactly do you judge it?

    • Slop_j30

      Yes, everyone has personal tastes, everyone’s sense of humor is their own, blah blah blah, but I can’t imagine going to “This is the End” and being disappointed to the extent Raptor Jesus was. This movie was exactly what it was played up to be. I can’t imagine the thought process that would lead someone to see a trailer, read a review, or buy a ticket, for “This is the End” and then not laugh (or smile!!) once. There are millions of people who would not enjoy the experience at all, but that should’ve been clear from any preview or description of the film. To see it and be disappointed? Sure. To see it and literally not find one scene/line funny? Absurd, unless you went into it with your mind made up.

    • markfive

      The film’s critical reception and its box office would disagree with you – big hits on both counts. You’re in the minority – and if you didn’t laugh during the film, you have no sense of humor – and if you thought it was an “ego trip”, then you missed the entire point of the movie, which was to make fun of celebrities.

      • Raptor Jesus

        Agreed – mine is the minority opinion here. But the ‘making fun of celebrities’ thing….when it’s being done by celebrities is another layer of ‘oh, aren’t we cute’.

      • markfive

        Oh, come on.

      • Joseph M

        Box office success doesn’t equate to quality. By that approach, Miley Cyrus and her millions of YouTube hits means she makes quality music.

  • dungeons and draccus’s

    SACRILEGE! Batman not an interesting character? He is one of the most compelling, interesting, cool, and badass characters IN comic books! The only characters I think that could equal Batman in interestingness are V, Marv, Rorschach and John Constantine. Certainly nobody on Marvel’s list, except maybe Punisher…

    • Corin Prendiville

      Any # of the X-men are more interesting, Ghost-Rider is far more interesting, and lets not forget non-DC/Marvel characters like Spawn. Most comic book characters weren’t all that interesting until the 80s (at least not the heroes), its the villains that really bring character to life in the comics.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Freaking Ghost Rider? Are you kidding me? I will give you Wolverine and Magneto, but that is ALL. It’s the villains, yes, and the antiheroes, that make em count!

      • Corin Prendiville

        Are you basing your opinion off the movie or off of the comics because Ghost Rider in the comic is definitely a lot more interesting than Batman in the comics. Obviously the Ghost Rider films were completely botched, but then again so were the Spawn films; no movie has given Spawn justice yet, but when one does it’ll be spectacular. Batman on the other hand has had several quality films.

        Anyways, I do enjoy comics far more for the villain than I do the hero which is why I’m such a sucker for anti-heroes and could care less about the men in tights and shiny capes. Batman is redeemed mostly by his excellent adversaries and because hes a little bit twisted inside. Superman on the other hand is beyond being saved.

        Let it be known that when I was saying comic book characters better than Batman I truly meant comic book, not the film adaptation versions of these comics. The Ghost Rider films are horrid, but sit down and read the comic and you’ll be impressed.

      • trollhunter

        hahahaha really?! You should stop watching films, seriously, like right now. Unbelievable :D

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Yep. You said it.

    • axalon

      Batman is interesting, but Tarantino was saying that he’s not very interesting to play. When I think of Christian Bale’s best roles I usually think of other movies before I get to Batman. And I thought he was a terrific Batman.

      • dungeons and draccus’s

        Superman is even LESS interesting to play…

      • AjMaximus

        And I’d reckon American Psycho might feature top on that list. Where he played “Bat-eman”.

    • alfred

      batman’s villains, unfortunately, are far more interesting, which is why the batman films by nolan tended to focus on the bad guy once the origin was out of the way. i liked those films ok, but for some reason, batman has become more and more wooden and the most interesting thing about him, the world’s greatest detective element, didn’t play (for me). wolverine is a character with many different notes, but they all feel cohesive. he can be stoic like batman too, but you tend to feel wolverine’s pain more. he is much less *perfect* than batman, and hence, more relatable.

      • RiddleThemThis

        Personally, I think Nolan’s films didn’t treat batman as batman. Now, i’m not someone who is up to date on recent batman comics, but I think of batman as 2 characters. Bruce Wayne: playboy and Batman: World’s greatest detective. I personally think that when they do future batman films, they should focus more on the detective side of his character as the recent films had little to no detective work.

      • alfred

        Yea, the detective work felt really fudged. Batman pitched it over to Alfred and Fox and his technology, rather than using his instinct. I felt Nolan’s films were just ok, not great. I think he’s a very thoughtful filmmaker, but any superhero is tough to crack. It’s easy for me to monday morning QB, but ultimately if most of Batman’s fans are happy, then the films were a success. Perfection is an illusion. I love a lot about Batman, but someone is going to have to be more inventive with him to thrill me, but it has to live within the confines of the character. The handling of a hero that disappointed me the most is Man of Steel. The fact that Clark *let* his father die was probably the worst, most soulless choice anyone could ever envision. Would have played much better if Clark didn’t listen to his dad, rescued his dad, and thus – exposed himself. And then had to leave. But again, I’m on a computer, not in the jungle.

  • NMphotog

    I don’t see how Bruce Wayne and Django are all that different.

    On the other hand, it would explain why Tarantino gave Chris Waltz all the best dialog.

  • kps

    Bit surprised not to see World’s End on his list. I know he’s an Edgar Wright fan as well.

  • Liderc

    Keaton was a terrible batman, Bale will go down as the best batman of all time. I have to question his opinion if he liked Lone Ranger. It was one of the worst films of all time.

    • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

      Blasphomy! Keaton was by far the best Batman and set the Gold standard in acting that all have tride to emulate after he vacated the position. Bale had the physical side down but that was it. Keaton made up for his lack of physical size with his awesome acting abilities.

      • Liderc

        Sorry, it must be a generational thing but Keaton is not a good actor, not in his Batman films anyways.

        I can’t take him seriously, Bale I can take seriously as Bruce Wayne.

      • jocab_w

        “WHERE’S THE TRIGGER?!?!??!!?”

      • Farrell

        Keaton is not a good actor…then why did QT cast him in Jackie Brown. QT doesn’t cast bad actors, except himself.

      • Arthur Dent

        Keaton was great as Wayne/Batman! He played it a bit differently, but I really loved Batman 89.

        I really liked Bale as well, though. It’s not an either/or thing.

  • Ramone

    “still no word on what Tarantino’s next film will be,…” I thought Killer Crow was gong to be his next film, no? http://screenrant.com/quentin-tarantino-killer-crow-django-trilogy/

    • jack

      rumors and speculation…can’t believe anything anyone says about future Tarantino movies until the man himself says something

      • Zack Daley

        Right? I’m still waiting on Kill Bill Volume 3 AND his Prohibition Era movie

      • Arnprior

        I’m still waiting on The Vega Brothers…

      • RiddleThemThis

        He has to remake Come Drink with Me first.

      • markfive

        Tarantino making a period, 30′s-era gangster film would be amazing.

    • Blues


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  • jocab_w

    I understand what Tarantino means. Batman, by his very nature, is a character that refuses to grow or change. He’s given opportunities to change (“Tonight you’re going to break your one rule”) and doesn’t take them (“Oh…you just couldn’t let me go, could you? … You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you?”). It’s what we love about him and characters like him (Rorschach, for example).

    Actors tend to go for roles that have a compelling arc or transformation. Batman maintains. He has to.

    Also, outside of his Superman monologue in Kill Bill, Tarantino has shown very little affinity towards comics, so take what he says with a grain of salt, fanboys. It’s not like Chris Nolan or some authority on Batman is saying this.

    • alfred

      rorschach is the real deal. love him. would watch movies all about him if i could.

  • AjMaximus

    “Glengarry Glen Ross” Alec Baldwin would have made a killer Batman indeed. He did pull it off in the underrated “The Shadow” which had some similarities with Batman Begins as well.

  • Seanpb

    What happened to his ‘Superman Returns’ essay?

  • Roderick

    It’s amazing Tarantino watched, and liked The Lone Ranger, and can still say “I didn’t make Lone Ranger…I did an examination of America.”

    Because being an examination of America, its origins and myths is the main thing that makes The Lone Ranger a good movie. Without that it’s just Pirates of the Caribbean without the tiresome plot twists.

    • markus

      Exactly, Roderick.

      And the slaughter of the “Indians” was in fact treated very seriously and tragically in the film. Not in a funny way at all.

  • Raptor Jesus’s baby

    Rango is one of the greatest animated films ever made.

    Gore Verbinski can clearly do great things.

  • The Flobbit

    Quentin is obviously a great director, but I can stand the sight of his huge chin, five-head, and obnoxious face. He’s no better as a person, really, but WHAT A DIRECTOR.

    • Sam Simian

      He may very well be a great director, but I could never get past the feeling that he’s an insufferable hipster douchebag. Every word that comes out of his mouth seems to confirm this, so I continue to steer clear of his movies.

      • The Flobbit

        You should try one or two. He’s pretty good, though like most great directors (Spielberg, Nolan, Tom Hooper) he tends to be overrated.

  • pinkincide

    “Free Pass With Alec Baldwin”. Renewed for another season.

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