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Richard Cotter


the lone ranger

If THE LONE RANGER is an attempt to rebirth the Western, I’m afraid it’s still born. With its unwieldy length, imposition of an old Tonto retelling the story, a dreadful deadpan Depp bordering on dull, this poisons the well of Western box office as devastatingly as an asbestos inhaler. The best thing that can be said of THE LONE RANGER is that its set pieces are worthy of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, but are so mismatched in the feeble narrative as to be puzzling rather than palpable.


we steal secrets

It’s interesting, ironic even, that the Fourth of July is the release date of Alex Gibney’s remarkable documentary WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS. American Independence Day seems a suitable date to examine an act that has its perpetrator, Bradley Manning, on trial for treason against the United States under violations of Articles 92 and 134 (the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Espionage Act), the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, a capital offense. The court martial has commenced and may well continue past July 4.


raising the curtain

Through archival footage and interviews with existing veterans, this is a vibrant, compulsively watchable series that explores all facets of show business in Australia, from the indigenous, impresarios, vaudevillians, circus acts, imports, playwrights, hoofers, actors, and cross dressers. Barry Humphries and Reg Livermore give frank and fertile interviews about their careers and inspirations for their iconic cross-gender creations, Dame Edna and Betty Blokk Buster.


dead man down

DEAD MAN DOWN (MA) teams Colin Farrell with the original girl with the dragon tattoo, Noomi Rapace, in a screwball guns a blazing revenger. It reteams Rapace with her Dargon Tatoo director, Niels Arden Oplev in his American feature debut. This is a shoot ‘em up that shatters preconceptions that the genre is in danger of being just unimaginative dross.


a gun in each hand

Opening the Spanish Film Festival tomorrow and then going into general release shortly after, A GUN IN EACH HAND evokes some swaggering macho Western, but in this case of this Catalan comedy, it’s a delicious and sublime irony. An ensemble piece about a bunch of Barcelona based boys – middle aged men, but still boys – coming to terms with their failures with women, careers, and life in general.

Australian Cinema, Cinema

satellite boy

The fact that home is an old drive-in is amazingly symbolic – the screen that projected white fella dream time is now run down and obsolete- its surrounded by a big sky that’s a natural planetarium at night and rock paintings that are ancient and exciting. As one character says of them–better than Tolkein.


the internship

Google gets the giggles in THE INTERNSHIP, re-teaming THE WEDDING CRASHERS duo of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Here they play a couple of dinosaurs whose time has run out – literally. Salesmen for a watch company, wrist chronometers have ceased to sell, and they are forced into early clock-off by their employer, John Goodman, who plans to retire with his wife



What the Dickens! GREAT EXPECTATIONS transposed to Arkansas with Matthew McConachy as Magwitch? Well, not quite, but MUD from writer/director Jeff Nichols certainly has echoes of Great Expectations as well as Mark Twain’s Huck Finn tales.

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