Ever since I watched the original film Seven Samurai and it’s remake 1960’s The Magnificent Seven, I became really excited to see the remake of the remake in Antoine Fuqua’s (The Equalizer) version of The Magnificent Seven which hit theaters today and is also our film for today. In a small mining town of Rosewood, the residents there are being terrorized by a land thief by the name of Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). He is relentless in stealing all of their land and he is killing the men of the town. Until one day when a couple of the townspeople in Emma (Haley Bennett) and Teddy Q (Luke Grimes) travel to look for some help. They find a bounty hunter by the name of Chisolm (Denzel Washington) who will hire six other guns to try and protect the town from Bogue before he kills them all. The rest of The Magnificent Seven are Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) as Josh Faraday, Ethan Hawke (Gattaca) as Goodnight Robicheaux, Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) as Billy Rocks, Vincent D’Onofrio (Men In Black) as Jack Horne, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Cake) as Vasquez, and Martin Sensmeier (The Hub) as Red Harvest. The film also stars Cam Gigandet (Easy A) as McCann, Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Matthew Cullen, and Dane Rhodes (Deja Vu) as Sheriff Harp.
Out of the two remakes, I still think I am a fan of the original over this one because the 60’s one had a magic to it. However that is not a statement from me saying that this film was not any good because it is quite the opposite. It has been a really long time since I had seen a new western come out that I loved. The last one I liked was the 3:10 To Yuma remake that starred Christian Bale. What made that one so good in my opinion was the caliber of the cast that was in that film. That also bodes true for this film which featured a marvelous cast that had me enjoying every minute of the film. Denzel is Denzel so you don’t need to question his performance in the film cause it was grade A. Chris Pratt continues to amaze me with his performances, but I have to give props to the rest of the seven because they were the guys that had to perform along the two colossal names in the film. They are just like the original Magnificent Seven which each guy is his own personality and you wouldn’t think they would band together because they are so unique. I definitely like that they changed it up a bit with the characters adding a Native American to the team, I thought it was cool. I loved the interactions between the characters which meant that the writing was good, but what I loved most about the film was the final showdown. That was definitely the money shot of the film because it was epic and the way it ended was justified (you’ll see what I mean). I thought that it was an excellent film despite what critics might say, but it helps if you love westerns as well. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
I had been promising myself for a long time that I wasn’t going to watch the movie version of Jem and the Holograms because of how different it was from the TV show version. Nevertheless, I break a lot of those and here it is. For Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peeples), life is about as ordinary as it can be for a teenager in California. Although that will not last very long when Jerrica’s sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott) uploads a video of her singing a song simply as Jem. The video catches on very quickly and she becomes an overnight sensation on Youtube which leads her to sign with Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis) and Starlight. What originally started as a chance to save her families home from foreclosure will now send Jerrica on a quest to find her true self and overcome the odds as Erica looks to break her from her sisters. The film also stars Aurora Perrineau (Freaks Of Nature) as Shana, Hayley Kiyoko (Insidious: Chapter 3) as Aja, Molly Ringwald (Pretty In Pink) as Aunt Bailey, Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door) as Rio, Barnaby Carpenter (Unlaced) as Emmett Benton, Nathan Moore (Thank You) as Zipper, and the film was directed by Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation).
There are obviously a lot of differences between the television version of the film and the film version. That is mainly what pissed off a lot of the Jem and the Hologram faithfuls who loved the TV show. Hence the reason, the film was instantaneously pulled from theaters after a very poor outcome at the box office in it’s first week. In the TV show, Jem is an adult who runs a label and a home for foster kids versus the fact that she is a foster kid with her sister living with an aunt in obscurity in the film version. She touches the star earrings in order to become Jem in the TV version versus pulling the Hannah Montana routine of a simple wig in the film version. There are so many differences that we can talk about, but how was the actual film itself? I actually found myself at times enjoying the film even though I know it’s a cornier version of Hannah Montana. They used a lot of youtube videos as part of the overall soundtrack and they showed the clips in the film so all of the users can thank them for the 15 minutes of fame. The film at times also had a documentary style to it with a lot of confessionals thrown in from fans when ever Jem faced a dilemma. So, the film was a little different and all over the place, but the music was actually a little decent. I could see the songs being pop chart hits that’s how catchy they were in my opinion. It’s definitely a film that I think you’re kids are going to enjoy and maybe it will be a gateway to the show for them. Just take into consideration that it’s not the same. Stick around during the end credits to see an old rival of Jem and the Holograms from the TV series. Too bad, we may never get another film. I am going to give the film an C+/B- for a final grade because I’m on the borderline with the grade.