The Lone Ranger Premiere, Film Review and Experience

Greetings everyone and welcome to another inside look of some of Hollywood’s coolest events. This blog is dedicated to the brand new film from Disney Studios “The Lone Ranger”. The film directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film stars Armie Hammer, as the masked law man and Johnny Depp, as Tonto the Native American companion of the Lone Ranger. When I first heard that they were going to make the first film version of the Ranger in over 30 years I was excited to relive part of my childhood. My grandfather Sam, had always loved The Lone Ranger since it’s debut as a radio series and then followed by a television series. In 1981, one of the final films we saw together was Hollywood’s attempt at telling one version of the ranger’s story in “The Legend of The Lone Ranger”. I enjoyed the film but as a 9 year old felt it a little slow moving. After hearing about the films premiere date, I knew I had to try and cover it. This was more than just another red carpet to me.

“The Lone Ranger” World Premiere – Disney California Adventure Park

When I got my confirmation to cover film I was super stoked. I didn’t apply with my wire service on this one because they already had too many photographers from my outlet. knowing that I applied as an independent photographer, I knew my name would be at the bottom of the list. The premiere was being held not in Hollywood but in Anaheim at Disney’s California Adventure Park. My biggest fear was not being able to get a spot and shooting from the third row. As always the photographers were bickering with each other. It was way too hot that day to deal with the drama that goes on, so I decided to listen to some music and keep to myself. When my number was finally called we were escorted in by security. Buena Vista Street was set up for the red carpet with “Lone Ranger” backdrops, platforms, bleachers spotlights and of course the already arrived and set up media which included two are’s of photographers and videographers from all over the world. This ended up being an really well organized premiere. I was able to find a spot in the second row. it was easy to see our biggest obstacle would be with the very warm California sun. The Disney staff made sure coolers were stacked with drinks for credentialed media. The staff also passed out Lone Ranger black masks and Silver badges to the crowds of Disney Park patrons. The crowed and press clearly had one actor on their minds as the crowd got larger as the premiere started.

This was going to be my first time photographing Mr. Depp. I have to admit that for the first time in a long while I was excited. I have been a fan of Johnny’s work ever since he replaced an actor on one of my favorite TV shows back in 1990. But the first time I saw one of Johnny’s films it wasn’t till seeing it on cable again that I realized Depp was in one of my all time favorite slasher films 1984’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. I never expected Officer Tom Hanson, to become one of my favorite film actors. Johnny seem to play characters that only he could do. In “The Lone Ranger” he proves it again.

The premiere stated with a “Austin Powers” actor Verne Troyer, and a large number of younger television stars from cable network shows. My first surprise guest of the evening was baseball legend Cal and his wife Kelley Ripken. The fist actor to get a roars from the crowd (mostly teenage girls and some women) was MTV’s “Teen Wolf” Tyler Posey. Krysten Ritter dazzled the press in a really cute dress. I almost didn’t recognize ABC’s “Castle” lead actress Stana Katic, who looked stunning black dress. My favorite surprise guest at the premiere was Emma Roberts. Here is a fashion link from Tom and Lorenzo:

Finally, the moment came that everyone was waiting for, the arrival of Johnny Depp. Slowly making his way down the carpet dressed in a Ralph Lauren suit and sporting a short hair look and wearing black sunglasses. Johnny posed for picture and made his way down the carpet. As he got to one photographer (think her name was Lisa) Johnny stopped and gave her a hug. He clearly looked touched to see her. I assume it must have been someone he knew from back in the day. Johnny continued to walk the carpet waving to his fans that lined up and waited for hours to get a glimpse of the actor.

As Johnny headed towards the theater the still was one important charters we hadn’t seen yet, the Lone Ranger Armie Hammer (The Social Network / J. Edgar). Before he did, I had one more pleasant surprise guest.  Walking down the carpet was a pretty blond who turned out to be Julianne Hough, with her younger sisters. I have photographed her a few times but she always looks different and always ends up being one of my favorites to photograph. After her film co star Barry Pepper sporting long blond hair and a goatee walked the carpet quickly. Finally Armie, arrived at my photo station, wearing a purple suit. After him producer Jerry Bruckheimer and producer and director Gore Verbinski made appearances.Disney did an amazing job with the premiere. The press set up was one of the best ones I saw. Everyone from the list showed up and we even got some nice surpasses. For a fashion take on the premiere, checkout Denise Berry of “Living Dee Life” coverage here:

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The Lone Ranger Film Review

I finally had the chance to catch the film and are my thoughts on it. The film started with a young boy in a Lone Ranger costume in the 1930’s at a museum in San Francisco. There at a native Indian exhibit the boy who was alone in the museum comes face to face with old Tonto. This set up kind of remedied me of “Young Guns 2”. It did create a nice way to tell the story of the masked law man. The film is a fast and fun ride through the old west. I believe that despite some criticism, that Depp was the right person for the role of Tonto. I’m not sure how many actors could have played the role. It was not just about looks or if someone was 100 percent Native Indian. The Lone Ranger could be considered a different kind of hero. He was not as personal and like able as a Super Hero like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne. Tonto was the comic relief and Depp was able to deliver.   Armie Hammer did a solid job as the Lone Ranger. William Fichtner, who I grew to love as a character actor on “Prison Break”,  does a great job portraying the man who killed the rangers brother, Outlaw Butch Cavendish. The film is violent but nothing too harsh. I found the film to be entertaining and recommend that you see it on the big screen.


About Jonathanshensa

I'm a Celebrity Event Photographer, producer and Screenwriter. I also worked with promoting bands and spent 5 years in music management. In my younger days, I was also an Actor, News reporter, DJ, and have worked at Talent, and Management companies. I love the mass media but also love to talk about everyday topics. I want to have a positive and creative impact on the entertainment business. Check out my entertainment blog, "The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood".
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