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Quentin Tarantino Shares Criticism Of 'The Lone Ranger,' Thoughts On Ben Affleck As Batman & More

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 10, 2013 11:56 AM
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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).

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  • Danny | May 12, 2014 1:47 AMReply

    Being a fan of the older tv series, The Lone Ranger overshot my expectations. It was amazing. It took an old style western and modernized it with superb action, quick gunfights, and modern humor. My parents loved it, I loved it, and my son loved it. Every actor played their character perfectly and I loved how they saved the second villian til the end to reveal. The train scene was the ultimate best. Playing the Willian Tell Overture throughout the fight kept us at the edge of our seats and it did not disappoint. Todays critics seem to only like sex in movies. Star Wars in 1977 got worse reviews than this. I guess they were wrong then too as usual.

  • Taylor | March 29, 2014 7:07 PMReply

    I do agree with the opinions on Batman, although I will say that it wouldn't be impossible to make him an interesting character again. They scraped the surface in the dark knight, in the climactic scene (for me) when he's putting the beatdown on joker in the interrogation room. Joker starts talking about how batman is going to have to break his one rule, killing. And then they never did anything with it. Exploring him having to cross that line for real could be interesting.

  • Manisha | November 30, 2013 12:54 PMReply

    Tarantino, as Depp said in the film,.. 'Youre just a stupid white man' .The film is for kids and kids need to know the true history of America, maybe you do. Maybe some need to be reminded.If you just want to cover up an uncomfortable truth, coz well , it makes you uncomfortable then you're a liar and worse, a coward.Frankly I find your films a bit too gimmicky, lacking substance.. A well shot extremely long commercial more than a film which in a tiny way , inspires someone somewhere to actually think..

  • Who Dat | October 11, 2013 7:15 AMReply

    He's ultimately right about Batman. Which is why Warner Bros should take a note out Grant Morrison's book and stop treating the DC characters as real people and portray them as the mythological archetypes that they are.

  • Kevin | October 11, 2013 2:50 AMReply

    He's right about Batman. It is a boring character. Just because it's a super hero that is darker than others doesn't mean it's any deeper or interesting. All super heroes have been personally vexed in some way and their only resolution is vigilante crime fighting. There is only so much you can do with that. However, Batman can be a fun character to watch.

  • PTD | October 11, 2013 12:51 AMReply

    Check out "Tonto hate Depp Tonto" at

  • Quentin Trainatino | October 10, 2013 8:04 PMReply

    I wanted to hear him say why Into Darkness wasnt on his list.
    (star trek was his no. 1 in 2009, supposedly he is a big Trek fan)

  • LL | October 10, 2013 7:22 PMReply

    I like his taste in films more than I like watching his original features. His films are combo of long winded conversations punctuated by over the top violence. The Mexican stand-off has become a tired stand by in his stories. I do appreciate that he pushes the limits of historical drama by adding unreal fictional flourishes (like in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained).
    It would be nice if he grew up and did a movie like Before Midnight or Frances Ha

  • j | October 11, 2013 4:11 PM

    Only a fool would think Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained were historical dramas. Qt usually has terrible taste in films and he feel obligated to try to be different with his favorite list.

  • Dave | October 10, 2013 2:41 PMReply

    "Because Batman is not a very interesting character. For any actor. There is simply not much to play. "

    says the one who the dullest lead character ever = Django

  • Craig | January 22, 2014 4:33 AM

    Ur a fukking idiot, django? Dullest go back to your mother's basement where you beling you fukking loser. And for the rest of you quentin tarantino is awesome. His films are unique and actually artistic, he is different and better than all the bullshit filmakers in hollywood. Go fukk yourselves.

  • Dave | October 10, 2013 2:42 PM


  • MUNIER SHARRIEFF | October 10, 2013 1:23 PMReply

    "Batman is not a very interesting character" I will admit though '80s Alec Baldwin was my choice for Batman as well.

  • Chris | October 10, 2013 12:44 PMReply

    Why, exactly, is The Conjuring an "oddball" choice?

  • Ian | October 10, 2013 9:18 PM

    Because no one take horror seriously, sadly. Great film, and whoever writes it off due to genre is a twat.

  • Dan | October 10, 2013 12:13 PMReply

    I don't think Quentin went to see The World's End, which is a big shame. Shame on you Quentin.

  • Jeremy | October 10, 2013 1:18 PM

    He's good friends with Wright and the marketing campaign used his quote

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