Vic's Flick Picks
(3 popcorn boxes)
Magnificent might be overkill. “Oddly Self-Sacrificing” or “Very Cool” Seven might be more accurate.
In 1960 director John Sturges made a western starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen (among other stellar actors) which was a “remake” of the classic Seven Samurai by legendary director Akira Kurosowa. The 1960 version has become a cult classic over the years, despite obvious plot holes. No argument though, Yul Brynner is wicked cool. That is your film history lesson of the day.
Director Antoine Fuqua has given us his vision in 2016𠉪nd it looks a lot like the 1960 version, including more plot holes than bullet holes.
Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) is a duly licensed warrant office from Kansas – otherwise known as a bounty hunter. He makes the acquaintance of young widow Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) as she is searching for help in fighting for her little dusty town called Rose Creek. It seems nefarious robber baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Saarsgard) has given the entire town the ultimatum of selling him their land at $20 a parcel (even in the wild west that was a poor price) or be eliminated permanently. Such drama.
Chisolm has his own reasons for taking up her cause, so he puts together a team of outlaws, confederate war heroes and general ne𠆞r-do-well types. Lucky for everyone, including the audience, one of the seven is Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), a gambler, sharp shooter and rascal.
Many of the details have changed in this rebooted western (re 𠇋ooted” – ha! I am so funny) and many have stayed true to the 1960 version. We have great gun fights, a truly evil villain, a righteous leader and a handsome and charming cowboy. Everything that worked in the original still works𠉪nd everything that didn’t work still sticks out in the glaring southwestern sun.
My husband was so excited when the Gatling gun made an appearance, but you have to wonder about how that stationary gun firing hundreds of round per minute in one direction manages to strafe the entire town (even buildings behind buildings). Curious.
Three boxes out of five for Magnificent Seven. This was a good western peppered with outstanding actors who were great fun to watch. Suspend your disbelief on the major plot points and you’ll have a good time. If nothing else, remember it has Chris Pratt. And while I had to wait until the end credits, I was rewarded with the amazing original Magnificent Seven theme composed by Elmer Bernstein. I’m still smiling about that. The film is rated PG-13 for extended scenes of violence.
Check this week’s issue of the Frankenmuth News for a complete listing of shows and times.
I have already given you Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen… can you name the other five actors who portrayed the Magnificent Seven in 1960?
LAST WEEK’S MOVIE TRIVIA
Robert Redford! A friend of mine mentioned she can’t remember the last movie Robert Redford released….it was actually this 2015 film which co-starred Nick Nolte. A Walk in the Woods.
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