Tag Archives: The Magnificent Seven 2016

Magnificent Sevens … myth, math and aftermath … Part 2

12 Oct


House of the Rising Sun / Heavy Young Heathens

The CWF Charismometer: Test One Continued: 
Measuring Star Power / Charisma / Casting

Fuqua’s Folly? /  Formulathe-magnificent-7-2016-washington-fuqua

“So far, so good.”
– Vin

In a lot of ways a re-make of M7 1960 was a no win scenario. Except of one way: Money. In this, Fuqua knew his formula of Denzel Washington and Action Film couldn’t miss. Though he knew his movie couldn’t match the Original Western as a Western Classic, it was bullet proof as a money maker. Just as Director Sydney Pollack knew that Robert Redford’s Star Power guaranteed Box Office success in the 7 movies he Directed Redford (including Western Classic Jeremiah Johnson – over $50 Million profit), the Box Office take for the previous 2 Washington/Fuqua Action movies: Training Day (2001) ($57 million), and The Equalizer (2014) ($137 million) guaranteed that M7 2016 would be a success. The current Box Office for M7 2016 shows a profit of $46 million – and climbing. Combining all 3 Fuqua/Washington movies, we get about $240 Million profit. So far. Pretty good business. M7 2016 isn’t a Western Classic, but it’s sure going to pay the bills.

Amazingly Wikipedia claims the original Magnificent Seven (1960) was not initially well received in the US – but did well overseas. And despite unclear statistics on it’s overall Box Office, it’s a safe bet that it made it’s money back many times over – and it’s still selling well today on DVD and Blue Ray.

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Casting?

“Once You’ve Met Them …You’ll Never Forget Them”
– A tagline from the original M7 1960

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Most any Western Movie fan can name at least 6 of this guys.

Large ensemble Casts in a movie are a problem. Writers and Directors know how important Character Development is. Because if we don’t connect with the people in the movie, what exactly are you doing? And the larger the Cast, the harder this is. With M7 (1960) however, most of  the Actors had been around for quite a while – they weren’t unknown. They just weren’t Stars yet. We knew Brynner very well; McQueen was known from the TV series Wanted Dead of Alive; Bronson had been kicking around in support roles for years; Coburn had been in several Westerns already; Vaughn had done a ton of TV work; Dexter had also done a lot of TV work – and several movies; even Buchholz had been in about 17 movies by 1960; Eli Wallach had also done extensive TV and movie work.
The point is, we had seen them before. And it’s a lot easier to do movies with ensemble casts if the audience has some familiarity with the Actors.
Frankly, in that sense, the  Casting M7 1960 was brilliant.

Can you name these guys?
the-magnificent-7-2016-the-sevenJustice might have a number, but might lack a name.

If you get 4 of those guys, I’ll send you a Tootsie Roll and a box of popcorn.

In M7 2016 we have less familiarity with the Cast. We would definitely know Washington, and likely Pratt, Hawke, and D’Onofrio though D’Onofrio is so heavily made up, I doubt most people recognized him.
Most everybody else in the movie we are unlikely to know.
This puts M7 2016 at a definite disadvantage as far as the audience (us) is able connect with the Characters – and care about them – not a good thing for a movie.

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Back when Tom Cruise started this whole M7 re-make debate,
I proposed my own Cast:
Tom Cruise, Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Willem Dafoe, Benedict Cumberbach, Brenden Fraser, Aaron Paul, Antonio Banderas.
This would have been a hell of a Cast …
but it also would have broke the bank.

my-magnificent-seven-my-castAnd I still hadn’t figured out who would Direct that thing.

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Coming:

Magnificent Sevens … myth, math and aftermath … Part 3

Magnificent Sevens … myth, math and aftermath … Part 1

10 Oct

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.

the-magnificent-7-2016“Justice has a number”
M7 (2016) tagline

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mgm-lioncolumbia-logo“Remakes? You probably shouldn’t go there.”
– My Favorite Westerns

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The CWF Film Critique System

Being a Film Critic of no renown, I have deferred my critiquing chores to my unfamous and trusted colleague Cecil W. (Wannabe) FordWannabe 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.

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Let us proceed.

The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review

by Cecil W(annabe). Ford

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 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:

Quote:
Denzel Washington
(Sam Chisolm):
“Took a job – looking for a some men to join us.”
Chris Pratt (Josh Farraday):
“Is it difficult?”
Denzel Washington:
“Impossible.”

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).
No way.
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 …

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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?

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Antoine Fuqua’s last 9 movies have all made money – including M7 2016.
In Film Making that makes him a SuperStar.

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Time for Wannabe’s Test # One:

Test One: The CWF Charismometer
Measuring Star Power / Charisma / Casting

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.

Charismometer says:

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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.

the-magnificent-7-2016-yul-meterBOOOM!

This is the first reason  – and likely most important reason – M7 2016 couldn’t match the original.

I will next test the rest …

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Those Thrilling Stars of Yesteryear

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

 

The Magificent Seven / 2016 The Reviews …

9 Sep


ballad of a well-known gun / elton john

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My Opinion ??
This movie will make money.THE MAGNIFICENT 7 2016 - poster 2

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The Magnificent Seven … 2016

2 Sep

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The Magnificent Seven (2016) will be released Sept. 23 in theaters across North America.  It will also premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival announced on Sept. 8 as the festival’s opening night attraction.

We won’t have to long to wait to see if this Remake is going to be Heroic – or shot down.

THE MAGNIFICENT 7 2016 - Denzel Washington

Unfortunately there are signs of trouble.

How so?

Most every Movie these days is ‘Pre-Screened’  – viewed by test audiences. The feedback from these Pre-Screening sets certain things in motion. If response from Pre-Screening is GOOD, almost nothing else needs to be done. Celebrate and release the Movie.
If NOT, other things can happen.
Certain scenes may be reshot, added, or edited.
If the response is TERRIBLE, the Movie might straight to DVD – No Distribution – and hope for some sales there while not incurring any more expenses.
That couldn’t happen to this movie – it’s a highly anticipated big production remake of a Western Classic. And it has Denzel Washington.
Yet if the Pre-Screening feedback either POOR or UNFAVORABLE – then more Promotion and Advertising might be in order – to bump interest.
This seems to be what is happening with The Magnificent Seven (2016). I have NEVER seen as many Trailers for ANY Movie that has ever existed than what we see for The Magnificent Seven (2016). I’ve almost lost count, but I’d guess there’s about 15 so far!! Including recently profile Trailers for each of the Seven characters. 

That’s a bit scary.

Not necessarily an indication, but …

Trouble in the Industry

And there’s other things to fear. The Movie Industry has been taking some major hits in general. This summer nearly every anticipated Summer Blockbuster lost money. Millions – and Multi-Millions. They were scorched. And unfortunately for Film Makers, this is not just indicative of poor economy, but of radically changing Viewing Trends by audiences. I believe Home Theatres, large TV Screens, and easy access to movies on your TV via Netflix, Shomi, and other Entertainment services are deeply cutting into the Theatre market. And this is not just a flash trend – it will continue – and become even more so. The Theatres and Film Makers had better catch on quickly. Very quickly. We are living in an age where markets can radically change and swing overnight. Volatile.

Hopes

All this being said, I hope the New Seven is great. Though we all love the original Magnificent Seven  a Classic – and I have no expectations that this will match that, that doesn’t mean I wish any evil on this Remake. I like Denzel Washington and most of Cast are pretty decent.

We’ll just have to see …

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