Monday, 26 September 2016

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review by Carleton Rutter

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Cast: Denzil Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmier


What’s it all about?

Seven gun men in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against a gang of murderers and thieves.


What are my thoughts?

The Magnificent Seven marks Antoine Fuqua’s first foray into the Western genre. It’s the third time however that he has teamed up with Denzil Washington after The Equalizer (2015) and Training Day (2001).

This movie is a remake of the 1960 classic starring Yul Brynner and Steve Mcqueen et al, which in itself is a remake of the legendary movie Seven Samurai (1954) directed by one of the masters of cinema, Akira Kurosawa.

It’s been a while since a Western featuring such a strong cast has surfaced. Westerns though are timeless. Within the genre itself, directors can choose which path to take. Whether it be action-orientated, a quiet character study piece or even a comedy. It’s one of the most diverse genres in Hollywood.

​Hanging it’s hat in September therefore as opposed to a full stand off in front of the townsfolk with some of the bigger spectacle movies of the summer, led me to believe that this movie was not really summer box office material.


Well, nothing could be further from the truth, The Magnificent Seven would have been probably quicker on the draw than most summer movies. I had a great time with this movie. Before I get into some of the specifics, it was just great to see a Western again. Western’s are one of my favourite genres.

At the heart of the movie is of course the seven men who slowly come together throughout the first act. There is great chemistry throughout the group. Denzil Washington who largely plays Brynner’s character (Although different name) is sublime in the lead. Economy of movement, expression and emotion. I felt he played this part in a very similar way to his character in The Equalizer last year. Subdued confidence. He was superb.

Chris Pratt as Josh Faraday a sharp shooter with a penchant for card tricks and magic was also very good, but at times I felt he was a little misplaced, a modern man in a period movie. Vincent D’Onofrio was also excellent as Jack Horne a high pitched one man axe wielding band who decides to join the gang to help fight the bad guys. Ethan Hawke and Byung-hun Lee also had excellent chemistry as a double act who made two more of the seven. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Vasquez an outlaw of Spanish decent and Martin Sensmier as Red Harvest a Native American round the posse off nicely.

On the flip side, Peter Sarsgaard as Bartholomew Bogue the movies main antagonist is effective but underused. He's a nasty piece of work make no doubt, but his character is not really developed. Is therefore one note and ultimately comes off as a weak villain.

As for the movie itself it is beautifully shot, featuring stunning vistas and brilliant tracking cinematography. Kudos to Fuqua for producing such a competent looking Western fresh out the gate. The score which was originally slated to be solely completed by James Horner had to be rounded out by Simon Franglen after the tragic and untimely passing of the great James Horner. The result is the score is nicely understated with a catchy signature tune that develops throughout the movie. For those of you who pine for the classic original score by Elmer Bernstein, fear not stay sat during the end credits and you can sing to your hearts content.


There is a nice light touch that trickles throughout the movie with some great moments of humour. Predictably most come from Pratt’s character but D’Onofrio is also very funny. There is also a particularly humorous scene when the gang train the town on how to defend themselves.

After the relevant graphic violence as well of last years The Equalizer, I thought that Fuqua would similarly take his opportunity to make his mark in this genre. He decides though to damp it down with the majority of the violence taking place off screen, firmly placing this movie in a more accessible position for families with older children.

The pacing of the movie is good, although the first act does take a little while to get going. Fuqua and the writers though do a great job of developing the central characters and our empathy for them. Also developing our sympathy for the town. This is in large part down to the excellent performance by Haley Bennett as Emma Cullen the lady who hires Washington. Everything is therefore nicely ratcheted up that leads to the inevitable show down finale which does not disappoint

I highly recommend The Magnificent Seven, will it be seen as a classic Western in years to come – no. But hopefully it will be seen as the movie that breathed new life into a timeless genre. Antoine Fuqua set out to make a balls to the wall action adventure and in that, indeed he did. So saddle up, partner - the boys are back in town.

The Magnificent Seven is on general release in the UK from today.

Movie Review by Carleton Rutter
http://www.moviemanuk.net

Competition: Win Invasion Earth on DVD

Invasion Earth is released on DVD October 3rd. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis:
Famous self-help Guru, Dr. Carson travels to his new facility with eight young addicts with the aim of helping them through their troubles and integrating them back into society. Unfortunately for them society is about to be dismantled as a military force, not from this world, begins a hostile take-over.

Can these youngsters escape the facility and if they do, will it even make a difference?

Reviews
"You will not be able to look away" - 28DaysLaterAnalysis.com

"Worth checking out" - CinemaCrazed.com

"Will keep your attention the entire time and even had me begging for more. 4.5/5" - RepulsiveReviews.com

Win This:
Invasion Earth [DVD]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...


Who directs Invasion Earth?

To enter Email us on competition@beentothemovies.com with your answer, along with your name and address.

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 10-10-16
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Competition: Win Fight Valley on DVD

Fight Valley is released on DVD October 3rd. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis:
When the body of a young martial arts fighter is found on the rough streets of Fight Valley, her sister, Windsor, arrives to try and uncover the truth of her mysterious death.

She soon realises that in order to survive in this town she will have to fight. Training with the most feared and respected ex-fighter around, Windsor prepares herself to come face-to-face with her sister’s killer in a battle for justice.

Stars
Susie Celek, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg

Directed by Rob Hawk

Win This:
Fight Valley [DVD] [2016]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...


Who directs Fight Valley?

To enter Email us on competition@beentothemovies.com with your answer, along with your name and address.

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 10-10-16
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Competition: Win Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV on DVD

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is released on DVD October 3rd. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis:
Kingslaive is told through the eyes of King Regis, while Final Fantasy XV follows the journey of Prince Noctis. The two tales entwine to weave a stirring story of father and son. The film also sheds light onto deeper discoveries of the game world.

Featuring beautiful, state-of-the-art CG technology in all its glory, Kingslaive goes beyond the game franchise to deliver a true action film experience—an epic adventure for all. The magical kingdom of Lucis is home to the sacred Crystal, and the menacing empire of Niflheim is determined to steal it. King Regis of Lucis (Sean Bean) commands an elite force of soldiers called the Kingsglaive.

Wielding their king’s magic, Nyx (Aaron Paul) and his fellow soldiers fight to protect Lucis. As the overwhelming military might of the empire bears down, King Regis is faced with an impossible ultimatum – to marry his son, Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae (Lena Headey), captive of Niflheim, and surrender his lands to the empire’s rule. Although the king concedes, it becomes clear that the empire will stop at nothing to achieve their devious goals, with only the Kingsglaive standing between them and world domination.

Win This:
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV [DVD] [2016]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...


Who is the voice of Nyx in FFXV?

To enter Email us on competition@beentothemovies.com with your answer, along with your name and address.

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 10-10-16
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

6 Of The Best Cult Teen Horrors


Every few years, a film comes along that speaks to teens and becomes a cult hit. From the iconic Ghostface calling his victims in Scream to the blood-soaked prom prank in Carrie, these moments are relatable and overdramatic – perfect for the younger generation. Friend Request is the latest in this dark and twisted trend, where social media is used to terrorise a group of students.

Laura has 800 friends on social media, but when she accepts a friend request from a quiet girl in her class she quickly realises how dangerous the click of a mouse can be. Soon a dark spirit takes control of Laura’s account and one by one, her friends are killed in the most brutal ways. As part of the release of Friend Request on Blu-rayTM and DVD now, we wanted to take a look at some of the best teen cult horrors of all time.

Carrie (1976)
Carrie received two Academy Award nominations, and launched the careers of various young actors including John Travolta. The film follows the shy teenager Carrie, who has an overbearing mother and is bullied by many students at her school. When she becomes the victim of a cruel prank to crown her Prom Queen and dump a bucket of pig’s blood over her on stage, Carrie unleashes her telekinetic fury upon innocent and guilty students alike, destroying her high school gymnasium and trapping the students inside to feel her wrath.

Halloween (1978)
Arguably one of the most successful horror franchises of all time, the Halloween saga began with a moment which shocked cinemagoers everywhere. When six year-old Michael Myers dressed in a clown costume brutally murders his sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife, the child is committed to a psychiatric hospital until he escapes at the age of 21. The psychotic murderer returns to his home town and begins stalking high school student Laurie Strode, killing anyone who gets in his way.

Scream (1996)
This American slasher mocked the clichés of horror movies by openly referencing classics like Halloween and Friday the 13th. The film introduces the mysterious and now infamous killer known as ‘Ghostface,’ who creepily calls and taunts his victims before murdering them. The film focuses on Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her friends, who try to work out the identity of Ghostface while he goes on a killing spree until only Sidney remains, or so we think…

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Another classic from the 90s, I Know What You Did Last Summer follows four friends a year after they killed a fisherman with their car and dumped his body in the water. When Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) receives a mysterious letter claiming that her crime was seen, the group set off to track down who they think is responsible for the note as they are persued by the ‘figure in a rain slick.’.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Freddy Krueger made his way onto our screens in 1984 wielding his blade-fixed glove, stalking and slashing the teens of Springwood, Ohio in their dreams, or rather, nightmares. Johnny Depp received his on-screen debut as Glen Lantz, a stubborn teenage boy who refuses to accept that the nightmare murderer is real despite seeing his friends and girlfriend fatally slashed by an unseen force.

Friend Request (2016)
A modern day cult horror movie in the making, Friend Request is a breath of fresh air for the genre. Using social media as the medium to strike terror into teens, the film brings horror into the 21st century by highlighting how much we share online and how that could be used against us. Laura is one of the most popular girls at college, and suddenly receives a friend request from the awkward and lonely Marina. After accepting, Marina becomes jealous and angry when Laura doesn’t hang out with her, prompting an unfriending. But this is a decision that Laura will live to regret, if she can survive that is.

FRIEND REQUEST IS OUT ON BLU-RAYTM AND DVD NOW!