Tagged: Dane Rhodes

The Magnificent Seven

 

 

Summary: Seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th September 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Screenwriter: Nic Pizzolatto, Richard Wenk, Akira Kurosawa (original script), Shinobu Hashimoto (original script), Hideo Oguni (original script)

Cast: Alix Angelis (Clara Wintrhop), Mark Ashworth (Preacher), Walker Babington (Dicky), Jackson Beals (One Eyed Lucas), Emil Beheshti (Maxwell), Haley Bennett (Emma Cullen), Thomas Blake Jr. (Earl), Matt Bomer (Matthew Cullen), Sean Boyd (Topper), Sean Bridgers (Fanning), Vic Browder (Arcade Jones), Ryan Brown (Ken Pigeon), Vincent D’Onofrio (Jack Horne), Griff Furst (Phillips), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Vasquez), Cam Gigandet (McCann), Luke Grimes (Teddy Q), Ethan Hawke (Goodnight Robicheaux), Clint James (Fenton), Cedric D. Jones (Curtis), Vinnie Jones (uncredited), Jonathan Joss (Denali), David Kallaway (Turner/Blacksmith), Derek Lacasa (Len Pigion), Dylan Langlois (R.L. Garrett), Carrie Lazar (Leni Frankel), Byung-hun Lee (Billy Rocks), Heath Lemme (Heath), David Manzanares (Referee/Eddy), Rictchie Montgomery (Gavin David), Jody Mullins (Caleb Frankel), Matthew Posey (Hank Stoner), Chris Pratt (Josh Faraday), Dodge Prince (Anthony), Chad Randall (Bartender/Powder Dan), Dane Rhodes (Sheriff Harp), Peter Sarsgaard (Bartholomew Bogue), William Lee Scott (Moody), Martin Sensmeier (Red Harvest), Billy Slaughter (Josiah), Denzel Washington (Chisolm), Kevin Wayne (Monday Durant)

Runtime: 133 mins

Classification: M

OUR THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

One question always has to be asked when a remake of a film surfaces… why was the remake made? Was it because a director thought he had a more creative or ‘modern’ way to tell the original story? Was it because a team of filmmakers thought that current day technology could improve on what was made decades ago? Sadly, none of these questions seem to answer that question about the remake of the legendary western The Magnificent Seven (which itself was a remake of Seven Samurai).

Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) this remake sees honest lawman Chisolm (Denzel Washington – American Gangster) recruited by innocent widow Emma Cullen (Haley BennettThe Equalizer) whose husband was murdered when he stood up against corrupt gold mining company owner Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard Green Lantern) who has taken a town hostage as he takes land via violent means.

When Chisolm is convinced to take on Bogue and his men in a bid to rescue the town he puts together a group that includes gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt – Guardians Of The Galaxy), burnt out Civil War veteran Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke – Good Kill), tribe hunter Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio Law & Order: Criminal Intent), knife expert Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee Terminator Genisys), native warrior Red Harvest (Martin SensmeirLilin’s Brood) and the wanted outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo Cake).

There are of course positives and negatives to this remake. One of the positives is getting to see Denzel Washington play yet another strong leading man, and I would be lying if I said it’s not great to see a big budget Western back on the big screen, hopefully this is a start of a lot more.

Sadly though the negatives outweigh the positives. While the film holds up its entertainment value and looks visually good the disappointing thing is that this is modern remake doesn’t offer the audience anything different to what we have been watching in this genre for the last fifty years. There’s no new tactical ways for a battle to be fought out or even any new creative ways to shoot the movie by Fuqua and his team.

The other big disappointment is the screenplay. While the film does at times raise the suspense and tension it misses other key moments that really could have made this a better film. It is really believable that a native American warrior would fight on the same team as a tribe hunter without any form of hostility or tension? Likewise there needed to be a better explanation to why Chisholm joins the fight in the first place… the explanation comes way too late in the film. Don’t even get me started on the weak CGI graves at the end of the film either.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment though is how the screenplay lets down the cast. Denzel Washington gets a chance to star in this film… the rest don’t. Chris Pratt is obviously there for comic relief (a hat that certainly doesn’t fit his character) and ends up just playing the same character he did in Guardians Of The Galaxy. The rest of the cast seem to end up playing clichés though with Manuel Garcia-Rulfo completely wasted in his role. The only other upside with the acting is with Emily Bennett who does more than enough to suggest that she can be a leading lady in the future.

The Magnificent Seven may be enough to entertain a modern audience and provide the odd bit of suspense throughout. But for seasoned fans of the Western genre the film offers nothing new and will easily be seen as a fair bit weaker than the original.

Stars(3.5)

 

 

 

Greg King:

John Sturges’ classic 1960 western The Magnificent Seven made stars out of Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn (who all later appeared in Sturges’ epic WWII adventure The Great Escapein 1963). Sturges’ film was inspired by the Akira Kurosawa’s classic The Seven Samurai, regarded by some critics as the greatest action movie ever made. Kurosawa was inspired by the Hollywood westerns of the 50s, and, ironically, his film influenced many westerns that followed including the spaghetti westerns of the late great Sergio Leone. The 1960 film was a huge success and spawned a couple of sequels and even a short lived television series. And now we get this remake from director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen, etc) who knows his western tropes and has in turn borrowed heavily from some the great directors of the genre, from John Ford through to Eastwood, Peckinpah and Leone.

It’s 1879. The small but peaceful farming town of Rose Creek is under threat from ruthless and greedy mining magnate Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), a robber baron who is desperate to corner the market on all mining activities in the region. Anyone who opposes him is either viciously beaten or killed, and the megalomaniacal Bogue has assembled a veritable army of mercenaries and lawless types to enforce his will. But the newly widowed Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett, from The Equalizer, Hardcore Henry, etc) wants to stop Bogue. She approaches bounty hunter Sam Chisholm (Denzel Washington) and pleads with him to help. Chisholm agrees and sets off to round up an assortment of gunslingers to make a stand in what could well be a suicide mission. (Sounds familiar? It was a key plot device of films like The Dirty Dozen and the recent Suicide Squad.)

This time around the seven he assembles are a much more racially diverse bunch. Apart from Chisholm himself there is Faraday (Chris Pratt, from Guardians Of The Galaxy and Jurassic World), a wise cracking card sharp and gunslinger; the boozy Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), a sharp shooter who is still damaged by his experiences of fighting in the Civil War; his knife wielding offsider Billy Rocks (Korean action star Byung-hun Lee); the hulking John Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio, from Full Metal Jacket, etc), a renowned and feared Indian hunter; the Texican gunman Vasquez (Mexican actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo); and the comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier), who has been cast out of his tribe. This motley crew have just seven days to train the frightened townsfolk in the skills necessary to fight back against Bogue and to defend their village.

The build up to the key siege of the town is a little slow. There are several scenes of the men sitting around in a saloon and drinking and talking, and these scenes slowly tease out character details and backstories, and show the slow camaraderie that develops between them before all hell breaks loose. There is fair amount of humour here to leaven the violence.

Unlike many recent remakes that have tarnished the memories of the original film (think Ben Hur, etc), this new take on the classic The Magnificent Seven is quite good. It exploits the tropes of a traditional western in its formula. Many of the classic westerns of yesteryear explored the myth of one good man standing up to evil on the wild frontier and dispensing justice. But writers Richard Wenk (The Equalizer, etc) and Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective, etc) also effectively use the formula to explore some more contemporary themes of corporate greed, courage, loyalty, heroism, sacrifice, and even a hint of feminism that will resonate strongly with modern audiences.

As he showed with Olympus Has Fallen, Fuqua knows how to stage some exciting and spectacularly visceral action sequences. There is an early gunfight in the dusty streets of Rose Creek that is tense and well-staged, and it sets the scene for the climactic attack on the town. This rousing 30 minutes action sequence is the highlight here, a gritty and violent and superbly choreographed set piece full of gun play, carnage and pyrotechnics that doesn’t disappoint. In the original, the villainous Calveros brought just thirty bandits to attack the village; here Bogue brings a veritable army of a hundred men, plus a deadly Gatling gun, to the fray. This version of The Magnificent Seven has the highest body count of any western since The Wild Bunch.

The film looks good thanks to the widescreen cinematography of Fuqua’s regular cinematographer Mauro Fiore that captures the harsh beauty of the epic landscapes. The film also features the last soundtrack composed by the late James Horner, and the music also pays homage to Elmer Bernstein’s memorable theme music for the 1960 original.

Performances are a bit of a mixed bag. This is Washington’s third collaboration with Fuqua (following his Oscar winning turn while cast against type in Training Day and The Equalizer) and the director seems to be able to tap into the meaner side of an actor known for playing essentially decent characters with strong moral fibre. Pratt brings a jocular and easy going charisma to his role and he provides most of the comic relief. Sarsgaard comes across as the cliched bad guy with no redeeming features whatsoever, and he does all but twirl his moustache with a cliched performance as Bogue, who is filled with contempt for the poor struggling and hardworking farmers. Hawke brings some pathos and nuances to his performance as the former soldier wrestling with a form of psychological disorder following his experiences, and he is the most complex character here. Bennett’s performance as the feisty Emma reminded me a little of Hailee Steinfeld in the recent remake of True Grit.

As a genre, the western has been dead for many years despite some attempts to bring it back to life on the big screen with films like Tarantino’s superb and violent Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, and the visually stunning The Revenant, etc. This reimagining of the classic The Magnificent Seven is a solid western, full of action, gunplay, and featuring a strong ensemble cast that should appeal to audiences.

Stars(3.5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Magnificent Seven (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Magnificent Seven Reviews: You can also listen to our The Magnificent Seven reviews on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #195.

Trailer:

Django Unchained

Summary: Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django Unchained stars Academy Award®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz).  Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty.  The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive.

Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways.  Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side.  Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.

Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award®-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation.  Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award®-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave.  Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them.  If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Todd Allen (Dollar Bill), Michael Bacall (Smitty Bacall), Ned Bellamy (Rice), Christopher Berry (Willard), Edwick Browne (Joshua), Kesha Bullard (Crazy Sadie), Jarrod Bunch (Banjo), Laura Cayouette (Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly), Amari Cheatom (Roy), Dennis Christopher (Leonide Moguy), David Coennen (Mr Wigglesworth), Kim Collins (Randy), John Michael Corbin (Samson), Bruce Dern (Old Man Carrucan), Leonardo DiCaprio (Calvin Candie), Omar J. Dorsey (Chicken Charlie), Jamal Duff (Tatum), Doc Duhame (Ellis Brittle), Ato Essandoh (D’Artagnan), Jamie Foxx (Django), M.C. Gainey (Big John Brittle), Nichole Galicia (Sheba), Miriam F. Glover (Betina), Walton Goggins (Billy Crash), Dana Michelle Gourrier (Cora), Gary Grubbs (Bob Gibbs), Jonah Hill (Bag Head #2), Lee Horsley (Sheriff Gus), Cooper Huckabee (Lil Raj Brittle), Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen), John Jarratt (The LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. Employee), Don Johnson (Big Daddy), Kinetic (Franklin), Rex Linn (Tennessee Harry), Escalante Lundy (Big Fred), Richie Montgomery (Overseer Johnny Jerome), Franco Nero (Amerigo Vessepi), Johnny Otto (Dr. Brown), Michael Parks (The LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. Employee), Sharon Pierre-Louis (Little Jody), James Remar (Butch Pooch/Ace Speck), Dane Rhodes (Tennesse Redfish), Kim Robillard (Saloon Keeper Pete), Sammi Rotibi (Rodney), James Russo (Dicky Speck), Lewis Smith (Jinglebells Cody), David Steen (Mr. Stonesipher), Craig Stark (Tommy Gilles/Pedestrian), Don Stroud (Sheriff Bill Sharp), Quentin Tarantino (The LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. Employee), LaTeace Towns-Cuellar (Cleo), Mark Ulano (Gabby The Banker), Misty Upham (Minnie), Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz), Kerry Washington (Broomhilda), Danielle Watts (Coco), Tom Wopat (U.S. Marshall Gill Tatum)

Runtime: 165 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Django Unchained’ Review: 

Remember the Western genre? The genre of film that your Dad used to pull out and make you watch when you were a kid. A genre full of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood in his early days? Well now Quentin Tarantino has taken the whole genre and turned it on its head with ‘Django Unchained’ a sensational film that already puts its hand up for film of the year.

The film opens with Django (Jamie Foxx – Horrible Bosses, Rio) being forced to walk across a freezing landscape as part of a slave chain gang. But then he is rescued by a dentist-come-bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz – Carnage, The Three Musketeers) who wants Django to help him track down two cruel slave owners that have a bounty on their head.

Schultz offers Django a deal, if he will help point out the two wanted men he will teach him to shoot, will give him a freedom and will also help to hunt down his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington – A Thousand Words, TV’S Scandal). With the first part of the deal done Django and Schultz learn that Broomhilda is now owned by the cruel and nasty Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar, Inception) is supported by his workers including his loyal man-servant Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson – Zambezia, The Avengers) and the rough-and-ready Billy Crash (Walton Goggins – Officer Down, Lincoln).

Tarantino’s script is brilliant from start to finish. The dialogue flows so well that even dialogue scenes seem to just flow by quickly while the tension that Tarantino manages to develop throughout the film draws the audience right in. The fact that he has created ‘good guys’ that the audience can’t help but like only enhances that tension when they find themselves in danger.

‘Django Unchained’ does has your typical Tarantino style which means it is extremely violent, so violent in fact that the shootout at Calvin Candie’s mansion must have ‘bled’ dry the fake blood supply in holiday. And while some have criticized the amount of violence and the use of the magic ‘n’ word in the film it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to work out that those are two of the things that make the film’s natural feel so realistic.

Of course like many of Tarantino’s films the wonder director once again brings the best out in his cast. Christoph Waltz pulls out a remarkably display of character acting while Leonardo DiCaprio seems to morph into Jack Nicholson as he relishes the chance to play the vile Calvin Candie. And if you’ve never been a fan of Jamie Foxx then this is the film that will win you over.

‘Django Unchained’ is Quentin Tarantino at his absolute best… yes folks it’s even better than ‘Pulp Fiction’.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Django Unchained′: Check Episode #17 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Django Unchained’. Dave’s other review of ‘Django Unchained’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 5/5

IMDB Rating: Django Unchained (2012) on IMDb

 

Summary: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter explores the secret life of our greatest president, and the untold story that shaped our nation. Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (director of Wanted) bring a fresh and visceral voice to the bloodthirsty lore of the vampire, imagining Lincoln as history s greatest hunter of the undead..

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 2nd August, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 5th December, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Screenwriter: Seth Grahame-Smith

Cast: Frank Brennan (Senator Jeb Nolan), Cameron M. Brown (Willie Lincoln), Dominic Cooper (Henry Sturges), Marton Csokas (Jack Barts), Jaqueline Fleming (Harriet Tubman), Lux Haney-Jardine (Young Abraham Lincoln), Curtis Harris (Young Will), Alex Lombard (Gabrielle), Anthony Mackie (Will Johnson), Joseph Mawle (Thomas Lincoln), Robin McLeavy (Nancy Lincoln), John Neisler (Rev. Dresser), Dane Rhodes (Captain Slash), John Rothman (Jefferson Davis), Rufus Sewell ((Adam), Jimmi Simpson (Joshua Speed), Alan Tudyk (Stephen A. Douglas), Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln), Erin Wasson (Vadoma), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Mary Todd Lincoln)

Runtime: 105 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Review:

As a film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter seemed doomed before it even opened in cinemas. People judged the film by the title itself and came up with the conclusion that the film must be a comedy. Let’s be blunt the film is anything but a comedy, anyone that has seen the work of director, Timur Bekmambetov (Yolki 2, Six Degrees Of Separation) will now that he doesn’t shoot comedy. No Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is just as action-packed and just as gory as his two massive hits Wanted and Nightwatch.

Based on a  graphic novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (TV’S The Hard Times Of RJ Berger & Vendettas), who also coincidentally wrote the screenplay here, the film tells the story of Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker – Westward!, Coach) in a way that the history books certainly don’t. Here Lincoln is a young man who swears vengeance on Jack Barts (Marton Csokas – Dead Europe, Dream House) a business owner who Lincoln sees kill his mother.

Through a chance meeting with the mysterious Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper – My Week With Marilyn, Captain America: The First Avenger), Lincoln learns that Barts is a vampire and that America is full of them. Sturges trains Lincoln and soon he is a vampire hunter who is sworn to protect humans from the likes of Adam (Rufus Sewell – All Things To All Men, TV’S Mystery!) who has a very nasty (and bloody) plan for America.

Of course, Lincoln chooses to ignore the ‘no friends for a Vampire Hunter’ regulation and soon his friends Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie – Man On A Ledge, 10 Years), Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson – Hello I Must Be Going, TV’S Breakout Kings) and love of his life Mary (Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Smashed, The Thing) are all mixed up in this deadly battle.

The fact that some people believe that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is going to be a cheesy film is almost insulting as it is anything but. Bekmambetov makes this a stylish action film, that despite the fact he falls back on the slow-motion shots too much, generally looks good. His fight scenes are well chorographed and certainly don’t spare the audience from the violence at hand, while the scene of the train crash on the bridge is one of the best sequences you will see on the big screen this year.

Credit must also be made to Seth Grahame-Smith who does a sensational job with the script. His fictional part of the story fits well into the non-fiction side of Abraham Lincoln’s life and despite the fears of many it never feels like this film is insulting to one of America’s greatest leaders.

If you like well put together action films then you certainly won’t be disappointed with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Other ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Reviews By Dave Griffiths:http://www.helium.com/items/2354425-movie-reviews-abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter-2012

Rating: 4/5 Stars

IMDB Rating:Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) on IMDb