Tag Archives: Yul Brynner

The Temple Pyramid of Kukulkan … Kings of the Sun … Part 3

2 Jul


Streisand / Somewhere

Kings of the Sun / 1963

Don’t know how they got permission to use the Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza
Hope they got a some good gold out of it. But it shouldn’t happen. 

No doubt who the Star was.

In his career George Chakiris did have his moments in the Sun (West Side Story, Diamond Head …)

Shirley Anne Field – beautiful, but not very Mayan.

Brad Dexter? Where have we seen him before?
In The Magnificent Seven (1960) also with Yul Brynner.

In Kings of the Sun, Brad gets a new hat. 

Chichen Itza and the Pyramid of Kukulkan

Before CGI there was people!!!

Those steps are steep and jagged.

Here come the Toltecs.

Storming the Pyramid of Kulkulkan.
A dangerous stunt.

Many of the 91 steps are jagged and uneven – and over 12 inches in height.
The Pyramid of Kukulkan incline is also a steep 45 degree angle.
Combined with heat and/or wind and you can have a real problem here.
And a fall on these steps would not be a happy event.

Don’t know what pyramid this is, but it’s a typical Mayan Pyramid.
Coming down is even more treacherous than going up.
Imagine if this guy had fallen at the top.

Coming down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulkan.
You can see it’s no joke – even if you’re young.
I have to  think that they stopped people climbing on the Pyramid for 2 reasons:
– It was destroying the Pyramid.
– Safety. People were getting hurt.

So look at this scene!!! This is insane!
I’m guessing they performed this slowly – then sped up the footage for the Movie??
But it doesn’t look like it.

YUL BRYNNER / A Cautionary Tale / Part 2

30 Jun


Love Song / Elton John / 1971

___________________________________________________________________________________________

1971

I smoked for 7 years.
Not moderately. 2 packs a day.
Combined with drinking, LSD, cocaine, hashish, ??? …
I did everything but heroin.
I was a well rounded abuser.
This was my lifestyle.
My drinking alone would have qualified me as a alcoholic.
I was drunk and stoned much of the time. 

Drugs and booze were readily available back then – and cheap.
Cigs cost about 60 cents a pack. 
A case of beer was $2.75.
In the tavern draft beer was 10 cents a glass. 

I could go to the bar with 5 bucks and drink all night. 
And have enough money left to take a cab.

Then I quit it all.
It didn’t mix with a stronger need that I had.
Spirituality.
I was starting a new chapter in my life.

I had run the gauntlet and made it.

Others … ?

It took 6 months to cough the tar out of my lungs.
I never smoked again and I had no inclination
to do any of that other stuff either.
I was done.

But why did I do it?
I don’t know? I just felt I needed to.
I don’t regret it. But I don’t encourage it.
It’s stupid and destructive.
Avoid it.

When I stopped everything I lost most of my friends.
Our relationship revolved around drugs and drinking.
They didn’t want me around if I wasn’t participating.
I felt the same way about them.

Did I dodge the bullet?
I hope so.

I walked away. 

And started a new life.

 

YUL BRYNNER / A Cautionary Tale / Part One

30 Jun

Yul Brynner

“Now that I’m gone, I tell you: Don’t smoke. Whatever you do, just don’t smoke.
If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn’t be talking about any cancer.
I’m convinced of that”

– Yul Brynner

Yul was from the era (not so long ago) when smoking was sophisticated.

 

So sophisticated.

So dead.

 

The Temple Pyramid of Kukulkan … Kings of the Sun … Part 2

26 Jun


epic-jungle-music / the-legend-of-el-dorado / Keepo

Kings of the Sun / 1963

Several Posters – not bad either. 
Notice the Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza
in the bottom image of the poster above.

Epic I tell ya!

Part 3 coming …

The Temple Pyramid of Kukulkan … Kings of the Sun … Part 1

25 Jun


Kings of the Sun Soundtrack / Elmer Bernstein

Kings of the Sun / 1963

Yes, there was more than one movie made about the Maya.

In 1963 Kings of the Sun ‘blazed across the screen’.
 In the 60’s they loved these huge Historical Epic style films with hundreds
of Extras fighting in large battle scenes.
Not much CGI in those days. 

Reviews were lukewarm. Yet I wonder if this won’t be one of those movies
that becomes more appreciated over time.

One thing you can say about the existing Studio systems of that era 
is that they found and developed great Stars.

One of those great Stars was Yul Brynner.
Even in a lousy Movie Yul’s charisma dominated the Screen.
And guaranteed Box Office.

Between 1944 and 1976 Yul made about 47 Movies –
many of them were Epic style Action productions.

Just a few of Yul’s Epics.

Looks invincible doesn’t he?
He wasn’t. 
Slain my lung cancer in 1985.
He was 65.

Next: Kings of the Sun / Part 2

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

SIx Shooter Bar

cineplex

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

the-magnificent-7-2016-banner

 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 …

antoine-fuqua

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?

the-magnificent-7-why

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:

the-magnificent-7-2016-denzel-meter

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 Magnificent 7 Update 2 … project revived ??

11 Jan

Britt (Coburn): “Nobody throws me my own guns and says run. Nobody.”

From:

The Playlist

‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake Continues With New Writer, But Loses Tom Cruise

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/magnificent-seven-remake-continues-with-new-writer-but-loses-tom-cruise-20131226?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

BY KEVIN JAGERNAUTH
DECEMBER 26, 2013 10:00 AM

MGM are leaving no stone unturned in their catalogue when it comes to remakes. With “Robocop” and “Poltergeist” on the way for 2014, and “Road House,” “Death Wish,” “WarGames,” “The Idolmaker,” “Ben-Hur” and more all in development, the name of game seems to reboots over original material. And that brings us to the classic western “The Magnificent Seven.” In the works for a couple years now, the project gained some serious steam when Tom Cruise put his name to it in 2012, with a writer added over this past summer. But heading into 2014, the redo will need to find another star as a screenplay gets more work.

The Wrap reports that John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr. Banks”) has been brought in to re-write the first draft of the script by Nic Pizzolatto (“True Detective”). For now, it’s just a writing gig for Hancock who has no plans to direct, but with credits to his name including “The Alamo,” “Snow White & The Huntsman” and next year’s “Maleficent,” he knows his way around spectacle. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise has exited the project mostly because his plate is currently full with about five zillion other movies on the go, so he could probably do with one less.

So the remake machine continues on this project, and we’ll ask you this: who do you think can direct or star in this movie and at least attempt to do justice to the original?

__________________________________________________

My Favorite Westerns: 

I’ve already posted my own fantasy cast which I will boldly match up against anybody else’s projections.
Except for Tom Cruise, of course, who has now bailed out. This leaves a VERY large hole – as casting Yul Brynner’s former role was the biggest challenge of them all.

My Favorite Westerns casting for The Magnificent Seven / Remake:

Yul Brynner … TOM CRUISE

Brynner - Cruise

Steve McQueen … VIGGO MORTENSEN

Steve McQueen - Viggo Mortenson

James Coburn … GUY PEARCE

James Coburn - Guy Pearce

Charles Bronson … WILLEN DAFOE

Charles Bronson - Willem Dafoe

Robert Vaughn … BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Vaughn - Cumberbach

 Brad Dexter BRENDAN FRASER

Brad Dexter - Brendan Fraser

Horst Buchholz AARON PAUL

Horst Buchholz - Aaron Paul

Eli Wallach … ANTONIO BANDERAS

Eli Wallach - Antonio Banderas

O’Reilly (Bronson): “I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.”

 

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