Magnificent Seven (2016)

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With this being my second film review and the fact that I actually had to wrack my brains to try and remember if I had seen the first one with Yul Brynner and I must say I was sceptical and I still don’t really know. But as I have now seen this one I’ll give it my review.

As I said I was sceptical, but I was also looking forward to it; as I have just written my review for Forsaken I was expecting a difference and one of the things that I thought would be a let down was I assumed it was going to be packed with special effects but I was pleasantly surprised when I noted that there were not as many as I had thought. First, it opens as a classic western (a plus for me being a western lover) would start with the intro and the beginning scene was of the townsfolk of Rose Creek holding a meeting in the town church discussing how to get rid of the evil industrialist, Bartholomew Bogue, played by Peter Sarsgaard who has set upon their town during the gold rush, what ensues triggers the story which led to the town hiring bounty hunter Sam Chisolm to rid them of Bogue and his extremely ruthless “army”, what makes this story exciting is it emerges that there is history between Chisolm and Bogue.

Once hired Chisolm goes about hiring his band of six men, starting with Chris Pratt whose character I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the film, not only is he a talented gunfighter (Hollywood style) his character is fairly amusing, a cocky character but not at all a character to dislike, the second best character for me was a tossup between Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio) or Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) who plays a Comanche, so keeping in line with his Native American roots.

The cast is a diverse one and does make the film, including Ethan Hawke, who plays a civil war veteran suffering from the after-effects of the war and really brings his diversity to the screen in this role – I cannot say he was amongst my favourite characters but he does play a good part, along with his sidekick, South Korean actor and martial artist Byung-hun Lee (Billy Rocks), but I promise their are no high-kicking antics from this Taekwondo expert, that would have been a put off and even though I enjoy martial arts I do think it would have prompted my rating to be even lower.

I have decided that this needs a second watch and so there might be an edited version of this review but it was enjoyable enough. Denzel Washington is his usual talented self but I will say he seems to have unlimited ammunition and his sixshooter seems to have an unlimited capacity cylinder which was a minor setback for me which is why I have given it the rating I have, it is however Hollywood and so to be expected.

So, when you take off to see this film, enjoy it for I unfortunately do not see this a genre making a comeback to screen. Unless I decide to settle down and do my screenwriting course. It would be great to have some more original stories come back to screen rather than remakes.

Enjoy the film, feel free to write comments up on how you found it.

Forsaken (2016)

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A western which I like to describe as the western of heart I have been waiting for. Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Demi Moore, Brian Cox and Michael Wincott.

John Henry Clayton (Kiefer Sutherland) returns home after many years away after first going to the civil war and then having become a gunslinger. He returns to his estranged father Reverend Clayton (Donald Sutherland) to find his mother having passed away. Their community has come under threat from a ruthless businessman (Brian Cox) clearing the way for the railroad with a band of ruthless outlaws who has also hired a gunslinger and gentleman, Dave Turner (Michael Wincott).

As westerns have become a dying genre I feel that this film has not been given the credit that it deserves. Filmed in Alberta, Canada this film offers spectacular scenery and the movie itself is heartfelt. My feeling is that many reviewers and critics have become corrupted by the later westerns which offer special effects and stunts that would have been unusual back in the day and not expected of a cowboy back then, whereas Forsaken is filmed in a classic style western and offers much more reality than most modern westerns. Of course everyone enjoys the modern films with explosions and gunfights which in all reality would not be possible and in real life would get the “gunslinger” killed, we all need an escape from reality at times but Forsaken keeps it real, there are no special effects to speak of and the scenes that take place are from a scenario which could happen.

Demi Moore, being the most beautiful woman to come out of Hollywood, to date plays her part very well, as usual and Michael Wincott is probably the best character in this film, a gentleman who has been hired to do a job and is not your typical bad guy. Donald Sutherland is as usual very good as is Cox. Who’s character you will come to dislike intensely, but as we all know, Cox plays a bad guy very well.

What else makes this for me is the father-son cast between Donald and Kiefer.

If you are anything like me who loves a good western you will feel like you know the characters. I love how this movie was written and enjoy the pace of the film and the story. It keeps it real.

What I also find helps me with a film is watching the extras before I watch the feature film (once I purchase it on DVD/Blu-Ray) to see what the cast and crew went through to make the story a possibility to best fit their audience. In the making of the film there is an amusing part with Michael Wincott who’s words are “seconded” by the whinnying of one of the on-set horses.

My review is entirely of my own opinion, we all have our preferences. You should watch this film and judge for yourself, but if you like a western this is a must watch. All the roles are played well.

Take a watch, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.