Last week, Quentin Tarantino somewhat surprisingly and randomly dropped his list of his Top Ten Films Of 2013 (So Far), that featured its own amount of surprising and random choices. Ranging from indie fare like “Afternoon Delight,” “Before Midnight” and “Frances Ha” to oddball choices like “The Conjuring” and “Kick-Ass 2,” perhaps the most curious selection in the unordered list was “The Lone Ranger.” The summer’s critical and commercial bomb seemed to find favor with Tarantino, but in a recent interview with French weekly Les Inrockuptibles (print edition, not yet online), he shares his criticisms of the Johnny Depp western and brief thoughts on his top ten. (Apologies in advance if the translations aren’t exact.)
“The first forty-five minutes are excellent,” Tarantino stated about “The Lone Ranger” before conceding, “…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?’ ” So far, so good, but then the helmer gets into what didn’t work for him.
“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,” he said, continuing: “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,” he added.
When the interviewer points out that “Django Unchained” had its fair share of gruesome depictions of slavery, Tarantino offers up a slight defense. “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]”
As for the other films on his list? He says “Frances Ha” reminded him of a Paul Mazursky film, notes that “This Is The End” is nothing less than “the funniest film of the year, by far” and that “The Conjuring” is the first movie he’s liked by James Wan. And for “Kick-Ass 2,” he says Jeff Wadlow “wrote and directed it with a real auteur approach.” And it should be noted that in Les Inrockuptibles, “Gravity” isn’t listed in his top ten, but “Fruitvale Station” is slotted instead.
And that’s not all.
Tarantino was also asked for his thoughts on Ben Affleck playing Batman in the “Man of Steel” sequel. “I have to admit that I don’t really have an opinion,” he said. “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.”
Thoughts? Share ’em below. When the full interview becomes available online, we’ll let you know. Until then, here’s the weirdest homage to “Reservoir Dogs” we’ve seen in a while, courtesy of the staff at Blackpool Hospital in the U.K., who reference the film—ear-slicing and all—as part of a training video to encourage staff to get flu vaccinations (via The Mirror).