Tag Archives: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Cinema Dispatch: The Magnificent Seven

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The Magnificent Seven and all the images you see in this review are owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures

Directed by Antoine Fuqua

The original Magnificent Seven is a movie that’s on my depressingly large list of movies that I really should see at some point and unfortunately I didn’t get around to it before this remake came out.  That said, the premise isn’t all that hard to grasp and it’s definitely trying to reach a new young audience if the advertisements are anything to go on.  That and the addition of Chris Pratt doesn’t hurt either as the guy couldn’t be hotter with the younger demographics after star turning roles in Guardians of the Galaxy as well as Jurassic World.  Does this reinterpretation of one of the most classic stories of all time turn out to be a modern day classic, or is it doomed to live in the shadow of its predecessor?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with the town of Rock Ridge… I mean Rose Creek, being under siege from the EVIL rich guy Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) who wants to drive everyone out of there so he can mine the shit out of the place for gold and other valuable resources.  After burning down the local church and killing a few of the locals, they realize they can’t handle this on their own and they need some help.  After all, they worked too damn hard killing off all the Native Americans to build this town on their land for some rich asshole to take it all away from them!  Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) who is the widow of one of the dead guys goes to a nearby town with her friend Teddy (Luke Grimes) to find some tough guys to chase Bart’s friends out of town!  For their efforts, they find the bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) who then helps them gather the rest of the crew which includes the Chris Pratt archetype Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), an old-timey sniper Goodnight Robicheux (Ethan Hawke), his best buddy with the kick ass name Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), a wild mountain man Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), some random outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Ruflo), and a Comache hunter Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).  Now all of them have their own reason for taking on such an impossible task (some less plausible than others as I still have no idea what Red Harvest is after), but it’s not going to be an easy fight as they’ve got an army to go up against and they have maybe a few dozen farmers to train up and give them support once the shit hits the fan.  Can this town be saved from the onslaught of Bart’s men?  Why exactly did Sam accept this job in the first place, and could he have ulterior motives?  Who thinks they’re gonna accurately predict which ones will die?  Think you can do better than me!?

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For the record, two of my guesses were right!

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Cinema Dispatch: Ben-Hur

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Ben-Hur and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

On the list of unnecessary remakes that no one was asking for ever, I can’t imagine one being worse than this except maybe Citizen Kane or ANOTHER remake of The Jazz Singer.  Hell, I haven’t even SEEN the original Ben-Hur (I know.  Shut up!), and even I can tell this is completely unnecessary!  Oh well.  Maybe this will be a faithful adaptation that understands what made the original so great in the first place and gives its own modern interpretation of those amazing qualities?  Yeah… I doubt it too, but you never know!  Is this a new classic that can stand alongside the original film, or is this a half assed effort that’s hoping to make big bucks on the name alone?  Let’s find out!!

Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) is living his life of luxury as the rich prince of Jerusalem which by this point was embroiled in strife due to the Romans continuing to push into their lands and occupying them.  It’s not of much concern to him though because he’s the one percent, and nothing bad ever happens to them!  Well when his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) goes off to join the Roman army and comes back years later as one of the lead occupies, things get a bit strained and Judah can’t keep living under a rock.  When some shit goes down that’s totally not his fault, his brother ends up enslaving him and sending him to be a rower in a warship until he keels over and dies; leaving the rest of his family to presumably die for whatever trumped up charges the Romans can think of.  Judah eventually escapes after five years however and SOMEHOW washes back up onto Jerusalem (boy was THAT convenient!) and meets some dude who trains chariot racers (Morgan Freeman) who agrees to help him get revenge on his brother and Rome.  Oh and Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) is in the background somewhere.  Will Judah be able to avenge those who were so viciously taken away from him?  What will he find after his five year absence from his homeland?  Wait a minute… is this the story of Biblical Batman!?

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“First I make the cape, then the pointy hat, and then I stab him forty times in the gut. That’s plan A, but maybe I should come up with a plan B just in case.”

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