The Good, Bad, and Ugly Marketing of ‘The Lone Ranger’

Aura Bogado

“The Lone Ranger” debuted in theaters in time for the July 4 holiday, and while Johnny Depp’s decision to play Tonto—a fictional Native sidekick to the white cowboy—has drawn attention and criticism, the film’s release means that all things Native are unusually relevant—and marketable. And that can be a good, bad, and very ugly thing, all at once. Tonto action figures are already being sold as “Native American warrior spirit” caricatures. The Lego Corporation is pushing its “Comanche Camp” toys. And Subway is hawking plastic soft drink containers with Tonto snapshots.

Oscar-Winning ‘Django Unchained’ Arrives on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

“Django Unchained” is a perfect example of the phenomenon. On its surface, the movie is a basic spaghetti western built on unlikely plotting and characters. Tarantino even uses old-school title sequences, like those from the “Grindhouse” project that he and Robert Rodriguez produced. These obvious nods to B cinema are exactly the things that make the movie so enjoyable because Tarantino is a master at walking the line between satire and drama.


Mindy Kaling to Aziz Ansari: The Rise of Indian-American TV Stars

Lisa Tsering

 Writer-actress-producer Mindy Kaling, best known until now as Kelly on the Emmy-winning comedy “The Office” and the author of a New York Times best-selling memoir, will navigate the singles scene as the star of “The Mindy Project,” which premiered Sept. 25 on FOX. Kaling joins other Indian-American actors and writers making a mark on American TV this season — with stars such as Aziz Ansari and Kunal Nayyar continuing their successful runs on hit shows and rising child actor Karan Brar in Disney’s tween series “Jessie.”


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