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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:

Ant-Man

We take a look at the most popular movies and TV shows searched for the internet over the past week.

  1. Ant-Man (2015) – Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Hayley Atwell, Michael Pena
  2. Into The Woods (2014) – Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt
  3. The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies (2014) – Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett
  4. American Sniper (2014) – Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Cole Konis
  5. Game Of Thrones (2011) – Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke
  6. Unbroken (2014) – Jack O’Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund
  7. taken 3 (2014) – Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
  8. The Interview (2014) – James Franco, Seth Rogen, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan
  9. Inherent Vice (2014) – Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston
  10. Agent Carter (2015) – Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj
  11. The Imitation Game (2014) – Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech
  12. Gone Girl (2014) – Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
  13. American Horror Story (2011) – Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy
  14. Birdman (2014) – Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough
  15. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) – Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
  16. The Walking Dead (2010) – Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Steven Yuen
  17. Galavant (2015) – Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen
  18. Interstellar (2014) – Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy
  19. Arrow (2012) – Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson
  20. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) – Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
  21. Cinderella (2015) – Lily James, Hayley Atwell, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett
  22. Friends (1994) – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc
  23. The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death (2015) – Heln McCrory, Jeremy Irvine, Phoebe Fox, Leanne Best
  24. Sons Of Anarchy (2008) – Charlie Hunnam, Mark Boone Junior, Katey Sagal, Kim Coates
  25. The Equalizer (2014) – Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, David Harbour

Madagascar 3

Summary: Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 13th September, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 9th January, 2013

Country: USA

Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon

Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach, Eric Darnell

Cast: Cedric The Entertainer (Maurice (voice)), Jessica Chastain (Gia (voice)), Sacha Baron Cohen (Julien (voice)), Bryan Cranston (Vitaly (voice)), Nick Fletcher (Frankie The Dog (voice)), Steve Jones (Jonesy The Dog (voice)), Vinnie Jones (Freddie The Dog (voice)), Frances McDormand (Captain Chantel DuBois (voice)), Tom McGrath (Skipper/First Policeman (voice)), Chris Miller (Kowalski (voice)), Jada Pinkett-Smith (Gloria (voice)), Andy Richter (Mort (voice)), Chris Rock (Marty (voice)), David Schwimmer (Melman (voice)), Martin Short (Stefano (voice)), Ben Stiller (Alex (voice)), Conrad Vernon (Mason/Second Policeman (voice)), Frank Welker (Sonya (voice))

Runtime: 90 mins

Classification:PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ Review: 

It’s not often that three films into a franchise that the series seems to be getting stronger, but that is certainly the case with Madagascar because Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted could well be the strongest film in the series… sadly it also seems like it will be the last.

This time around begins with Alex (Ben Stiller – The Watch, Towerheist), Marty (Chris Rock – What To Expect When You’re Expecting, 2 Days In New York), Melman (David Schwimmer – The Iceman, John Carter) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith – Madagascar 2, TV’S Hawthorne) still trapped in Africa and beginning to believe that they will be stuck there forever as it is clear that the Penguins really aren’t returning for them.

Still believing there is a way back to New York they head to Europe to find the Penguins but in doing so cause a disturbance that leaves the evil Captain Chantal DuBois (Frances McDormand – Moonrise Kingdom, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) chasing after them, eager to add a lion’s head to her trophy wall. In a bid to escape Chantal and her mad cronies the New York refugees join a circus with the likes of Gia (Jessica Chastain – Lawless, The Dark Fields), Vitaly (Bryan Cranston – Total Recall, Rock Of Ages) and Stefano (Martin Short – Frankenweenie, TV’S The Cat In The Hat Knows A lot About That), but when they lie about their circus experience they are left have to proving themselves.

There is absolutely no weakness with Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted at all. The screenplay works well and captivates the audience from start to finish. Even more importantly the film appeals to both adults and children alike, and despite the fact that there are jokes that are aimed for adults they certainly aren’t anything that is damaging to children.

Credit must also be given to the three directors involved – Eric Darnell (Madagascar 2, Madagascar), Tom McGrath (Megamind) and Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs Alens, Shrek 2) – who for once used the 3D technology to enhance the film and not just as a gimmick. Together these filmmakers go back and visit the original fun that 3D can create, things appearing to be flying at the audience etc while the psychedelic 3D circus that they create is some of the best 3D animation that you are ever likely to see.

The voice cast certainly come to the party as well, the usual cast are fine as always while it seems Frances McDormand really enjoyed the task of playing the ‘baddie’. The clear standouts however were Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator, Hugo) who seems to capture ‘fun’ in his voice like no other as well as Bryan Cranston and Martin Short who seem to enjoy playing around with some thick accents.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is a sensational animation that needs to be seen on the big screen and in 3D.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted′: Dave’s other review of ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 4/5

IMDB Rating: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) on IMDb