Starring: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn
Plot: An oppressed Mexican peasant village hires seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Good Americanised Remake
Story: The Magnificent Seven starts as the small Mexican town gets visited and raided by Calvera (Wallach) and his men, they promise to back again for more too. Worried about the future of their village the town goes in search for a defence against the raiders and find seven cowboys, Chris Adams (Brynner), Vin Tanner (McQueen), Chico (Buchholz), Bernardo O’Reilly (Bronson), Lee (Vaughn) Harry Luck (Dexter) and Britt (Coburn) who all come for different reasons.
The gunmen set up a defensive line ready to do battle as the town is ready to go to battle against the Calvera and his men, who will come out on top in this battle to protect a small town.
Thoughts on The Magnificent Seven
Characters/Performance – The seven gunmen all have different reasons for going to this town, but the one thing they all have in common if just how deadly they are with a weapon which is the most important characteristic needed for our characters. Calvera is the villain of the piece and easily a great by the book villain needed for this film.
Performance wise, instead of going through all the actors it would be fair to say each and every one of the cast does a great job in the roles they are playing.
Story – The story one a small group of gunmen protecting a small town from raiders is a remake of the Seven Samurai, which was one of the most popular films ever made. This version brings the story to the American audience dealing with the cowboys battles which does work but doesn’t change the formula to make anything complicated for the audience.
Action/Adventure/Western – The action is all big cowboy style which works for the film, the music adds to the adventure side of the film which is fun through a situation that is darker. The western theme also works because it makes it easy to relate to for the American audience.
Settings – The settings are simple but effective for the film as we know we will be in the old west for this battle.
Final Thoughts – This is yet another classic film that took me time to watch and it gave us a mega cast of big names, simple to follow story and a western worth watching.
Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actress
Opinion Battles is back, much like last year when we look at the Oscar winning Actors, we are going to dive into looking at our favourite Oscar Winning Actresses, just what will make our list and what would you have picked?
Next Round is Most Anticipated Movie of 2018 – Closing Date Friday 3rd February 2018
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Brie Larson – Room
I may have picked a modern winner, but for me this is one of the best acting performances I have ever seen, Brie must carry this movie with her performance that must be strong for her son, while also being the victim of the kidnapping and multiple rapes. We do see how her character must learn to live again which is just as difficult as she would have imagined, she won the Oscar and not a single person got close to her this year in either sexes performances.
Starting off the year with a tough choice to make, however Julie Andrews winning for Mary Poppins is really fantastic. There’s so much to love about the character of Mary Poppins and how she is portrayed that its really hard to imagine her played by anyone else (especially seeing as Emily Blunt will be attempting to take on the role this year). However, its memorable and a standout performance to make Mary Poppins be so charming.
I thought there’d be loads to choose from for this but, looking at the winners, very few favorite actresses of mine have Oscars. How does Jennifer Lawrence have an Oscar & Amy Adams doesn’t?! I was surprised to find that my choice for this is probably Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins. I didn’t even know she’d won an Oscar for that! That’s cool. Julie Andrews rules. (But she should have an Oscar for The Sound Of Music…) 🙂
It’s a tough one as there are so many options and there were a few viable contenders but Hilary Swank’s turn in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar winning film is a powerhouse performance and Swank delivers in all of the physically demanding scenes (it’s obvious that she underwent some intense, gruelling training) as well as showing plenty of depth and emotion everywhere else.
She steals the film from everyone else and her character is layered and oh so determined.
Asking favorite Oscar winning performance from an actress in a lead or supporting role is a tough one. There have been so many wonderful performances over the years that it is so difficult to pick the best. So I decided to go with the role that has given me the most joy in my life and that is Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins. I believe Mary Poppins to be the perfect family film and it all relies on Andrews’ performance to make it work. Mary needs to be kind and wonderful but have a bit of an aloofness to her. She’s mysterious and strange but warm and comforting all at the same time. Julie Andrews captures all of that and more. Plus, of course she has an amazing singing voice. One of the greatest ever. I love her interactions with Mr Banks and how she outsmarts him every time. I just love everything about the movie and her performance in it.
This moody thriller was a chance for Jane Fonda to lose her “sex kitten” label and play a prostitute who attracts a client who wants to kill her. In her autobiography, Fonda says she hung out with call girls and Pimps for a week before filming, and when none of the Pimps thought she was worth “representing”, she told Director Alan J. Pakula to cast her friend Faye Dunaway instead.
Luckily, he rejected that offer and she shines as a world-weary, wannabe Actress who sells herself in order to keep the world at bay. A young Donald Sutherland is the naive Private Investigator who thinks he can save her in more ways than one.
A terrific film that captures life in New York as the 70’s were about to unfold, with a frank honesty new to cinema at the time as well.
Here is the poster, plus a link to 3 great 70’s films: Here
Looking through the Best Actress options, I was struck by how few there were that I genuinely loved. Even so, Emma Stone in La La Landand Kathy Bates inMiserycame close, but the best one I think belongs to Sally Field for Places in the Heart. As a Southern woman who suddenly becomes a widow, she displays both vulnerability and an unflinching resilience, opening her home to helpful strangers and refusing to lose her farm if she can muster the strength to prevent it. As her second Oscar win, her acceptance speech is where she was misquoted as saying “You like me. You really like me.” Yes, Sally Field, we do.
Writers: Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich (Screenplay) Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich, Adrian Molina (Story)
Starring: (Voice Talents) Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil
Plot: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.
Tagline – The celebration of a lifetime
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Magnificently Magical
Story: Coco starts as we meet Miguel a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician, his family in Mexico have forbidden any music with his grandmother Abuelita refusing to let Miguel even hold an instrument. When Miguel learns that he is related to the greatest musician in all of Mexico Ernesto de la Cruz, he wants to follow his dream and follow in his great-great grandfather’s footsteps.
On the day of the dead, Miguel tries performing music using Ernesto’s guitar, but only finds himself transformed to the land of the dead, where he meets his dead relatives, but he refuses to give up on his dreams of music until he gets the blessings of his ancestors, with the help of Hector who is desperate to visit the land of the living as no one remembers him.
Thoughts on Coco
Characters – Miguel is a young Mexican boy that dreams of becoming a musician, but his family forbid it, when Miguel refuses to give up on his dream he must travel through the land of the dead to learn why his family isn’t letting him play music, an adventure he will never forget, that will define his life. Hector is the hustler skeleton that helps Miguel try to find Ernesto, he uses his know how to guide Miguel through the city of the dead. He is trying to find a way to be remembered by the living so, he doesn’t fade away forever. Ernesto de la Cruz is Miguel great-great grandfather who is one of the most famous musicians Mexico ever produced. We have the family in both the land of the living and the dead that love and want to support Miguel.
Story – The story follows a young boy with dreams of being a musician against his family’s wishes. He wants to break the family tradition, but a trip to the land of the dead will show him why his family is against him ever being a musician. The story dives into Mexican culture, playing on the ideas of the spiritual beliefs and family traditions and teaches you to never forget family whatever they might have done to hurt you.
Adventure/Comedy/Family/Fantasy/Music – The adventure that Miguel goes on is unlike any Pixar character as he goes through the land of the dead. The comedy seems to mostly come from Dante the dog who will make you laugh in every scene. The whole story revolves around family and can be related to by anyone. The fantasy world of the land of the dead look fantastic and plays into the idea of never knowing what is on the other side. The music has a couple of memorable songs which drive the story and even play on the emotions.
Settings – The settings show is visual beautiful as we see the land of the dead looking something special to visit.
Animation – Pixar is always going to get you seeing wonderful animation style that we know they can do.
Scene of the Movie – Learning the truth.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – The opening 30 minutes is run of the mile animation.
Final Thoughts – This is a magical movie that teaches us the meaning of the family and remembering the importance of them all. This will make you smile and even cry at times.
This month I won’t be doing reviews at all, just a small discussion to what I enjoyed last year, you will be able to find my reviews by following the link HERE
First, They Killed My Father
Why I’ve Picked this choice – This is a very difficult watch as it follows the story of the Cambodian author and human rights activists Loung Ung as we follow her childhood under the Khmer Rouge. Angelina Jolie directs this movie and it shows that she has the talent behind the camera too. The stars of the movie give fantastic performances with Sareum Srey Moch being the complete stand out of any child actor this year. If Netflix is getting an Oscar Nomination this will be the film that gets it.
January is here and that means award season and for the whole of January I will be looking at a range of best and worst subjects, before going into what I think are the true best nominations.
June Squibb – Table 19
Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip
Tara Lee – Moon Dogs
Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
Sylvia Heoks – Blade Runner 2049
Tessa Thompson – Thor Ragnarok
Elizabeth Olsen – Ingrid Goes West
Reason – This was a very hard decision, these actresses gave us wonderful supporting performance this year. I have gone with Tiffany because her performance was so outrageous giving us a moment to laugh at in every single scene she is in, this also came from a film not many people saw coming.