Day 267: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

mag7headerEver 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. 

236679-the-magnificent-seven-2016-movie-wallpaper-07-1280x794Out 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.

Day 262: Seven Samurai (1954)

seven-samurai-2It’s Sunday and there’s only 14 left in the year so that could only mean one thing and that it’s Sunday At The Classics. On September 23, the remake of The Magnificent Seven is going to be released into theaters, but what people do not realize is that the original film was a remake itself. So for today’s film, I am featuring the film that started it all in Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. A village in Japan is constantly under attack from a gang of more than thirty bandits. The village is scared and they no longer know what to do until the granddad (Kokuten Kōdō) suggests that they grab some samurai to protect the village. After seeing a Ronin named Kambei (Takashi Shimura) rescue a child, they ask him to save the village and he agrees as he hires six other samurai to help him against the bandits. The film stars Toshirô Mifune (Rashomon) as Kikuchiyo, Daisuke Katō (Yojimbo) as Shichirōji, Isao Kimura (High And Low) as Katsushirō Okamoto, Minoru Chiaki (The Hidden Fortress) as Heihachi Hayashida, Seiji Miyaguchi (Ikiru) as Kyūzō, Yoshio Inaba (Throne Of Blood) as Gorōbei Katayama, Yoshio Kosugi (King Kong Vs Godzilla) as Farmer Mosuke, and Kamatari Fujiwara (Kagemusha) as Farmer Manzo. 

seven-samuraiThis is probably the longest movie that I have viewed for the whole entire challenge so far clocking in at three hours and 27 minutes long. I do have to say however that it was well worth it because this was one piece f cinematic history right here. Akira Kurosawa was a master of his craft whether it was writing or directing because there are still films being made today that borrow from him. He was also the inventor of the Rashomon Effect (click the link to read about it) which is something still used today. You can see where all of the elements of The Magnificent Seven were taken from just by watching this film. The one thing I have to say is that Toshirô Mifune was electrifying in this film. You looked forward to seeing him on camera with his charismatic performance. I would definitely name him the MVP of the film because he definitely stole the show the first minute he was on screen. The rest of the seven were also very good actors including the old veteran Ronin Takashi Shimura who was very confident in his role and was the basis for Yul Brynner’s role. The cinematography was absolutely amazing and the editing was great as well. So you can see why this film is such a classic and why it’s is praised. My favorite scenes in the film besides the scenes with Mifune were the battle scenes. The battle scenes were literally the last part of the film and so well done. You have to understand that it was 1954 so the sword playing may not be perfect, but you get it. I definitely recommend this film to any cinephile out there that has not yet seen this yet. Do yourself the favor and watch it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.