I finally went and saw The Magnificent Seven (2016) the other night.
I had initially said that I wouldn't judge this movie by the original,
but it raises so many issues surrounding modern Film Making - and Westerns
that I couldn't resist.
Being a Film Critic of no renown, I have deferred my critiquing chores to my unfamous and trusted colleague Cecil W. (Wannabe) Ford! Wannabe is not a respected Film Critic, but to make up for that by his high HO (Highly Opinionated) Rating - especially of himself. This, combined with his unique CWF Critique System (whereby each movie is subjected to Wannabe's stringent CWF testing criteria) he arrives at a judgment. Maybe.
Let us proceed.
by Cecil W(annabe). Ford
I like to think that NOTHING is impossible.
But my expectations were not high.
Why? Because a Remake of the Magnificent Seven IS pretty well impossible.
Denzel Washington says right there himself at the start of the movie:
Denzel Washington (Sam Chisolm):
"Took a job - looking for a some men to join us."
Chris Pratt (Josh Farraday):
"Is it difficult?"
This is not mere dialogue (quoted from the first movie): It's Film director and Producer Antoine Fuqua's open admission that there is no way he could make a movie that will equal the Original Magnificent Seven (1960).
You have to give him credit for admitting that. He knew it. And there are definite reasons for that knowledge - things that were beyond his control. I'll get to those ...
The real question is: Why? Why make the movie? Why make movie that you know is going to be compared to the incomparable? If you know something is impossible, then Why attempt it?
Antoine Fuqua's last 9 movies have all made money - including M7 2016.
In Film Making that makes him a SuperStar.
Time for Wannabe's Test # One:
My first Test will employ the trusty CWF Charismometer. This will infallibly measure, Star Power, Charisma, and Casting - vital components in any movie - and the main factors that Fuqua, his Writers, and the Producers ... or anybody - could not match from the Original Magnificent Seven.
We'll start with Yul Brunner and Denzel Washington.
Denzel is a Star. No doubt about it. And a good Actor.
And if he wasn't in M7 2016, it wouldn't hardly be worth a sniff.
But compared to Yul Brynner?
Well, it's a good thing I tested Denzel first, because Yul blew my Charismometer to smithereens.
This is the first reason - and likely most important reason - M7 2016 couldn't match the original.
I will next test the rest ...
Is it just me? or is the Star Power in modern Film not equal to the Star Power of yesteryear - 50's and 60's. 70's???
John Wayne, Cary Grant, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Clark Gable, Bogart, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Fonda, Brando ...
I could go on and on and on. And then start on the ladies.
Yes. we certainly have Stars and some very good actors these days ... but ...
Part 2 ... Coming Soon