Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

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Do I really need to say something? My love of westerns has been proclaimed on this blog so many times that it should be burnt into your brains by now. So yeah… let’s review a western.

Ladies and gents… “The Magnificent Seven”!

The town of Rose Creek is being held under the boot of the villainous Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard). So it’s up to a band of badasses led by Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to get over there to save the town and stop Bogue. It’s a tale that’s been told a million times. The plot in this movie does nothing new in terms of drama, but I didn’t really mind. You can tell that the plot here wasn’t meant to be an epic masterpiece that would grip us with it’s impressive dramatic heft. It’s just aiming to retell a classic plot for a newer generation without pandering to a certain demographic. And I thought the plot here was realy fun and pretty well realized.

The characters in this movie are all so fun and entertaining. Denzel once again knocked it out of the park, but there was never any doubt about that… it’s Denzel, he’s awesome! Chris Pratt was very likable and fun in his role as this gunslinger who likes card tricks and also being a little bit of a jerk. Ethan Hawke was great as troubled sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (actual name, I love it). Byung-hun Lee played Ethan Hawke’s sidekick/friend and he was really cool in the movie. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo played the outlaw of the gang, Vazquez, and he was really fun. Martin Sensmeier played the native American man Red Harvest, and he was a badass. Then we have Vincent D’Onofrio as the human bear, Jack Horne… how do I put it? He was really over the top… and I fucking loved it. D’Onofrio is an actor who knows how to be over the top in a role in just the right way, and that is exactly what was shown here… and he was awesome. Peter Sarsgaard was just the right amount of slimeball as Bogue, and he did it very well. And Haley Bennett was great as this determined young woman that hires Chisolm to help the town out. Overall, the cast was really good.

The music in this movie went through some interesting developments. It was originally set to be composed by James Horner, who had begun working on it before filming even began. However he sadly passed away before it could be officially finished, so the task was given to Simon Franglen to finish it. And the score for this movie is great. Tense, exciting, fun… perfectly fitting for the movie, really elevating a lot of the scenes. What was also kind of fun was that they played the theme from the original “Magnificent Seven” during the end credits. So you could say that the music in this movie was quite… magnificent (*crickets*). Jokes aside, rest in peace Mr. Horner… you did great and you are missed.

This movie was directed by Antoine Fuqua, a director I’m a bit of a fan of. And he proved once again that he is a really good director. This movie looks terrific, some of the shots actually made me go “Wow!”. Also, the action here is pretty badass. When action is happening in this movie, it is fast-paced, intense, fun, and awesome! There are a few standout moments in this movie, and those moments are two pretty badass shootouts. This movie was also surprisingly violent for PG-13. I’m not saying that there was a ton of blood and gore, but it gets pretty violent for a PG-13 movie. I’m not saying it gets quite as brutal as “Casino Royale”, but it is still pretty violent.

This movie has gotten some pretty good reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 63% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 54/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“The Magnificent Seven” is an incredibly fun western movie. Is it a mindblowing and dramatically impressive film? No, but that was never the point of this film. It has a fun plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great action. Time for my final score. *Quick draws envelope*. My final score for “The Magnificent Seven” is a 9,54/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “The Magnificent Seven” is now completed.

More movies like this, please.

Movies I’m looking forward to in 2017

Hi there guys, and welcome to this little post of mine. New year, new movies! I know that we’re a bit over a week into the new year, but I can justify this post by saying that no movies I’m looking forward to have come out yet. So this list still works. Ha!

Rule #1: My list, not yours, so no bitching allowed. We’ve gone through this time and time again, so it should be burnt into your god damn heads by now. Cool? Cool.

Rule #2: This will not be a ranked list of my most anticipated movies of the year. There are so many movies I’m looking forward to this year that it will be impossible for me to rank them. I’m just listing the ones that I’m looking forward to, nothing else.

Rule #3: I am not including any of the movies that were limited in 2016 and got full releases in early 2017. I’m just not going to, including them would be cheating.

I only have one honorable mention for this, and that is “The Dark Tower”. I am a big fan of the book series, and I am cautiously optimistic about the film adaptation set to be released later this year. But we haven’t seen any footage yet, so it’s impossible for me to be genuinely excited about it.

With that out of the way, here are my most anticipated movies of 2017.

Justice League Dark.

Kicking off this list is an upcoming DC animated, direct-to-video feature about Batman (Jason O’Mara) gathering up some mystic/supernatural heroes to stop an overwhelming supernatural threat. These animated movies can be very hit-or-miss for many, but I am always looking forward to them. It’ll be nice seeing the DC animation team tackel the more supernatural side of the DC universe. Also, Matt Ryan came back to voice John Constantine… and that makes me all kinds of happy.

Logan.

Here we have possibly my most anticipated movie of the year. The trailer is great, and we already know that Hugh Jackman is fantastic as Wolverine. And James Mangold has proven himself as a very capable director, so I am sure that this will be a great film. I just know that I will cry in the cinema when I go see this. If not for a well made/sad scene, then at least because I know that this will be the last time I’ll see Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in their iconic “X-Men” roles.

War for the Planet of the Apes.

I am a big fan of the last two “Planet of the Apes” movies, I thought they both brought a lot to the franchise. “Rise” was great, and then “Dawn” came out and turned out to be even better. Matt Reeves did such a fantastic job with that movie that I have no real worries for this new one.

Justice League.

The DCEU hasn’t faired the best in terms of critical reception. As for my opinions: I thought “Man of Steel” was really good, I thought “Batman v Superman” was okay, and I haven’t seen “Suicide Squad” yet. Now, despite the mixed reception of these movies, I am still looking forward to this movie. I am a little bit reserved, but it still seems like it could be a somewhat entertaining action movie. Plus, you can’t deny the excitement of seeing all these characters come together on the big screen for the first time.

John Wick: Chapter 2.

The first “John Wick” was such a big surprise. It was a fantastic action movie that just came out of fucking nowhere. It also featured the best performance we’ve ever seen from Keanu Reeves. So I am super excited for the sequel, which we’re not gonna have to wait too long for. Also, I am really excited about seeing Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne reuniting… I just love “The Matrix”, okay.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The first “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a pretty big surprise in terms of both quality and profits. Not only did it make a shit-ton of money, but it also became my favorite MCU movie. It had everything I needed: Action, humor, interesting characters… space. So I am of course incredibly excited about this sequel which looks prettty great.

Baby Driver.
This movie has no trailer yet, but I am still very excited about it. Why? Firstly, the cast is pretty great. And secondly, it’s written and directed by Edgar Wright. Yeah, this is some exciting stuff.

Star Wars Episode 8.
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No title, no trailer, no nothin’. But it’s motherfucking “Star Wars”, so of course I’m excited. “Star Wars”!

Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spidey’s (Tom Holland) appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” was one of my favorite things in any movie of 2016. Which of course made interested in seeing this version of the character in his own movie. Then a whole bunch of months later the first trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” drops and yeah, I’m on board. If anything, it looks fun. And Michael Keaton seems like he will make a pretty intimidating Vulture. Yeah, this is pretty exciting.

Wonder Woman.

Another DCEU movie coming to us this year, and it looks really interesting. Even though the character of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) felt very shoehorned into “Batman v Superman”, she was very entertaining (her entrance into the final battle being a standout moment). So I am interested to see what she’ll do in ehr very own movie, set during World War 1, and getting acquainted with the only Chris that Marvel hadn’t already snagged yet. I’m at least hoping for some badass action scenes featuring this badass woman.

Kong: Skull Island.

I am a fan of monster movies. I am also one of the few people that legitimately liked 2014’s “Godzilla”. So I was already excited for another “King Kong” movie. Then this trailer came out and it was pretty cool. Also, Tom Hiddleston looks a lot like Leon Kennedy from “Resident Evil 4” in this trailer. Long story short, I want to see a giant gorilla wreck some shit!

The Fate of the Furious.

Wait, this stupid franchise actually became good!? Yeah, it kind of did. “Fast Five” was great, “Fast & Furious 6” was good, and “Furious 7” was really good. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are. From “Point Break” with cars to really big, loud, and stupid action fests that actually entertained me and also somehow gave a touching send-off to one of it’s primary castmates… Yeah, this franchise is full of surprises. And this movie looks just as stupid and fun as the last few.

Alien: Covenant.

I love “Alien”. I think I love “Aliens”. Three and four we don’t talk about. We also don’t talk about the “AvP” movies. And I liked “Prometheus”. And this movie looks like it can get tesne and scary… like “Alien”. There’s not much else to say… I’m excited.

Resident Evil: Vendetta.

No, not the stupid fucking live action bullshit. This is the third part in the animated “Resident Evil” movie franchise. I actually reviewed the previous two movies if you wanna know my thoughts on them, you just have to search “Resident Evil” to find them (#ShamelessPlug). But long story short, they are enjoyable and I am really excited for this third installment which looks stupid and really fun.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
The first “Kingsman” was a giant surprise. It was a January movie that actually turned out to be great… yeah, who would have thought. It was a terrific action movie that also kind of parodied the spy genre without actually mocking it. And with the director and star of that movie returning for the sequel… yeah, I am really excited.

Mute.
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“What?”, I hear you asking. “Mute” is an upcoming Netflix original science fiction movie directed by Duncan Jones. You know, the very talented director that made “Moon”, “Source Code”, and “Warcraft” who also happens to be the son of David Bowie. The movie will star Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd (pictured above with a glorious mustache), and Justin Theroux. I am a big fan of Jones’ previous movies, so this is a no-brainer for me to put on this list. Also, my love for science fiction is a factor in my excitement. Duncan Jones has stated that this is set in the same universe/timeline as “Moon”, so I am interested in seeing how the two movies tie together.

The Shape of Water.
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This, my friends, is an upcoming fantasy movie by Guillermo Del Toro… and that’s really all I need. I am always excited about new Guillermo Del Toro movies. Sure, “Crimson Peak” wasn’t the best, but it was still not bad. I’ve enjoyed every Del Toro movie I’ve seen, so I am excited for this movie, especially since it has such a great cast.

Blade Runner 2049.

I was incredibly skeptical about this movie for the longest time. Sure, it had a terrific cast and a fantastic director, but a sequel to “Blade Runner”, released over 30 years later? Come on… no. Then this trailer came out and I am on board. It shows just hte right amount of stuff. It sets up the tone, it sets up some mystery and intrigue… it’s perfect. Yeah, I’m on board.

The Commuter.
The only reason why this is on the list is because it’s another action-thriller from director Jaume Collet-Serra and actor Liam Neeson. That’s it. I am a fan of their previous three movies, so I am just excited for this. I don’t expect a mindblowing thriller, just an entertaining action-thriller.

Dunkirk.

It’s a war movie directed by Christopher Nolan… how the fuck could you not be excited?

So those were a whole bunch of movies I’m excited for this year. What are you guys excited for? Leave any and all answers in the comments!
Have a good one!

“Constantine” is back (sort of)!

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Good evening guys, I hope you’re all doing well. Let’s talk about an interesting announcement!

So it has been announced by DC/the CW that “Constantine” will get his glorious return… sort of. What the hell am I talking about? “Constantine” was a short-lived series on NBC, and it was based on the comic book character of John Constantine (Matt Ryan), an exorcist/demonologist with a devil-may-care attitude and a troubled past. The show was canceled after only 13 episodes, probably due to low(ish) ratings. Despite that failure it garnered a pretty solid fanbase. And to be completely honest, I am part of that fanbase. I loved “Constantine”, it was a very entertaining and engaging fantasy-thriller show that unfortunately ended with quite the twist/cliffhanger. Matt Ryan was fantastic in the role of John Constantine, and I wanted to see more of him in that role! So you can imagine how happy I was when he popped up in an episode of “Arrow” season 4, because not only did it give me more of Ryan as Constantine, but it also meant that there was a possibility of him popping up even more in the CW’s “Arrow-verse”. And now we finally got the announcement that he would get his own show… sort of. Instead of a live action series that you could watch weeknights on the television, it will be an animated series on CW seed, the channel’s online streaming service where you can also watch “Vixen”, another CW animated series that ties into the “Arrow-verse”. But hey, it at least means we’re getting more of our favorite DC demonologist. Even better, Matt Ryan will be back to voice the character… which he also did for the upcoming DC animated movie “Justice League Dark”, which I am really excited for! While no official release date has been set, the animated “Constantine” series will most likely air in the later parts of this year.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited for this new “Constantine” animated series? And what are your thoughts on the short-lived NBC series? And while we’re at it, what are your thoughts on the Keanu Reeves “Constantine” movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one!

Movie Review: Hell or High Water (2016)

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Neo-western, a genre that has me quite fascinated. For those that don’t know, a neo-western is a movie (or show, or book) that has the feel of a western, but is set in more modern times. A great example of a neo-western is my favorite tv show “Justified”, an action-drama about a modern day cowboy. And I’ve made it very clear time and time again on this blog that I’m a huge fan of westerns, which makes the neo-western genre even more interesting to me.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hell or High Water”.

Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) are brothers. And together they are robbing a bunch of small banks in the state of Texas because they need money for reasons that I won’t get into, in case you don’t already know. But while the brothers are out and robbing these banks, a Texas ranger (Jeff Bridges) is trying to catch them, as one last big victory before his retirement. And from that we get a slowly burning heist thriller that grabbed me from the first first scene and held onto me for the entirety of the runtime. It’s a very plot that kept me invested in every scene. It’s a tense and dramatically investing plot that I absolutely loved.

What I appreciate about the characters in this movie is that they were given a lot of time. Like I said, it’s a slowly burning heist thriller, so we spend a lot of time getting to know these very interesting characters. Chris Pine really surprised me in this movie. I mean, I already liked him as an actor (“Star Trek”, yo!), but this is so different from the stuff I’ve seen him previously do. His performance is so subdued in comparison to what I’ve seen him in before, and I think he was fantastic here. Ben Foster, holy fuck, that guy was absolutely terrific in this movie, he really disappeared into his character, I didn’t recognize Foster, all I saw was his very unhinged character. Jeff Bridges was really good in the movie… there’s not much else to say here. We also had Gil Birmingham as Jeff Bridges’ partner in this movie, and he was really good too. Really, there were no bad performances in the movie at all.

The score for the movie was composed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, and the stuff they composed for this movie was pretty damn great. I thought the music they composed for “The Assassination of Jesse James”  was some of the best I ever heard, so when their names popped up in the openign credits of this movie I got excited… and that excitement was totally justified by the excellent music they had composed for this movie. There’s also a decent amount of country music in this movie, and I think it all fits the movie very well.

This movie was directed by David Mackenzie and wow, this was a very well directed movie. You can tell that the scenes here are deliberately slow paced, and it was pretty refreshing seeing that. So when violence/action finally happened it had more of an impact than if this would have been a straight-up action movie. not saying that a straight-up action movie would have been bad, I’m just praising this movie for being different. The cinematography is also gorgeous, and Taylor Sheridan’s writing is really solid. It’s a tightly made movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 88/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Hell or High Water” is an absolutely excellent heist-thriller. It features a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *GET ON THE GROUND!*. My final score for “Hell or High Water” is a 9,90/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “Hell or High Water” is now completed.

Jeff Bridges with a mustache is one of the greatest things ever.