Day 342: Bullitt (1968)

bullitt-car-chaseThere are films that I truly believe that people need to see before they die or before they end a challenge. I found one of those films that believe it or not I have never seen in Bullitt which is today’s film. Steve McQueen (The Magnificent Seven) plays no holds barred cop Bullitt who is really good at his job. That is until one day when a government witness who was put under his protection was killed. Now he’ll dive head first into the criminal underworld to try and catch the guys who did this especially with the DA (Robert Vaughn) breathing down his neck. The film also stars Jacqueline Bisset (Murder On The Orient Express) as Cathy, Don Gordon (Lethal Weapon) as Delgetti, Simon Oakland (West Side Story) as Captain Sam Bennett, Norman Fell (Three’s Company) as Captain Baker, Robert Duvall (The Godfather: Part II) as Weissberg, Georg Stanford Brown (Stir Crazy) as Dr. Willard, Felice Orlandi (Another 48 Hrs.) as Albert Renick, Pat Renella (Moonchild) as Johnny Ross, Vic Tayback (Papillon) as Pete Ross, Justin Tarr (The Rat Patrol) as Eddy, Carl Reindel (Tora! Tora! Tora!) as Carl Stanton, Ed Peck (Heaven Can Wait) as Westcott, John Aprea (The Game) as the killer, Paul Genge (The FBI Story) as Mike, and the film was directed by Peter Yates (Krull).

bullitt-charger-mustang-1I am certainly glad that I get to cross this one off the list and one question for all of you. Why is it that San Francisco had all the bad ass cops from Bullitt to Dirty Harry? I am not complaining, but that is where they seem to come from back in the late 60’s and 70’s. One of the coolest sequences of the film is definitely the car chase scene with Bullitt’s 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback and the bad guy’s 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum which is a slight bit faster than the stang. The chase scene really made you feel like you were in the car with McQueen and the camera angles from inside the vehicle with him. That definitely sets him part from everyone else and very cool to have in the film.The foot chase towards the end of the film was also pretty good and suspenseful, but not like the car chase (Obviously).  It was great to see Jacqueline Bisset who was definitely the eye candy for the film and for the most part the film contained good acting. McQueen was the strong silent type who when he needs to, he’ll tell you like it is. Besides the car chase scene, the cinematography is pretty decent in the film and the writing was OK. The film is pretty bad ass, but it is what it is and you understand that going in. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 321: The Ultimate Warrior (1975)

the-ultimate-warriorFor this week’s Ass Whoopin Wednesdays film, I wanted to do something a little different and lately I have become a huge fan of the legendary Yul Brynner (The Magnificent Seven). So, I decided that I was going to cover one of his films in The Ultimate Warrior (no not the wrestler) for this week’s film. It’s 2012 A.D. and the world has gone post apocalyptic where gangs are now running the streets and you have to be careful when venturing out or you’ll die for the clothes on your back. One leader of a peaceful gang called the Baron (Max von Sydow) hires a fearless fighter by the name of Carson (Brynner). Carson agrees to help the Baron lead his people to a place where there is no more violence, but a familiar enemy in the area could prove to be monkey wrench in their plans. The film also stars Joanna Miles (The Glass Menagerie) as Melinda, William Smith (Any Which Way You Can) as Carrot, Richard Kelton (A Guide For The Married Woman) as Cal, Stephen McHattie (A History Of Violence) as Robert, Mel Novak (Game Of Death) as Lippert, Darrell Zwerling (Chinatown) as Silas, Lane Bradbury (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) as Barrie, and the film was directed by Robert Clouse (Enter The Dragon). To see the rest of the review, please click here to go to Moshpits and Movies.

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.

Day 223: The Magnificent Seven (1960)

magnificent-seven-posterI am once again going down my list of films to watch, but today’s film is on the list for a separate reason. When I heard that they were remaking The Magnificent Seven, I told myself that I had to watch the original before seeing the remake and so here it is for today’s film. Every year, a village in Mexico is terrorized by the thief Calvera (Eli Wallach) and he steals their crops and kills any villager that dares stand up to him. That is until one day when three of the villagers come to America to hire a gunman by the name of Chris Larabee Adams (Yul Brynner) to help save the village. Adas will then go ahead and hire six of the best gunfighters around to help him out and form the Magnificent Seven which is made up of Vin Tanner (Steve McQueen), Bernando O’Reilly (Charles Bronson), Lee (Robert Vaughn), Harry Luck (Brad Dexter), Britt (James Coburn), and Chico (Horst Buchholz). The film also stars Rico Alaniz (The Life and Legend Of Wyatt Earp) as Sotero, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos (The Professionals) as Hilario, Rosenda Monteros (She) as Petra, Robert J. Wilke (High Noon) as Wallace, and the film was directed by John Sturges (The Great Escape).

the-magnificent-seven-boothillI am going to be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of Westerns, but there are exceptions to the rule that make me change my mind. After all, westerns are basically American folklore hence a reason why they were so popular at one time or another. The Magnificent Seven is definitely the exception to the rule as it was definitely one of the best westerns I have ever seen besides Tombstone. Yul Brynner is at his absolute best as he commands the screen while newcomer Horst Buchholz provides with plenty of moments of laughter that keep us going throughout the film with naive personality. Eli Wallach should also be mentioned into the conversation as he plays the antagonist of the film and a very good one to boot. One of my favorite scenes is in the beginning of the film because it helped set the tone for the rest of the film. It’s the scene where Yul’s character first meets Steve McQueen’s as they do the impossible by taking the body of an Indian through Boot Hill. It just shows how daring they are and how willing they are to do the right thing. The story was excellent and very well written and the cinematography was good as well as they captured all of the action. If you are a fan of westerns then this is one you have to check out because it’s hard to find the flaws of the film. I am going to give The Magnificent Seven an A for a final grade. Now, we wait until September 23RD for the remake to come out.