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.
InKings 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.
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.
I finally went and saw TheMagnificent 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.
“Justice has a number”
– M7 (2016) tagline
“Remakes? You probably shouldn’t go there.” – My Favorite Westerns
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) 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.
The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review
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:
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:
This is not mere dialogue (quoted from the first movie): It’s Film director and Producer Antoine Fuqua’sopen 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:
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 Brunnerand Denzel Washington.
Denzelis 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 Denzelfirst, because Yulblew 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 …
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 Starsand some very good actors these days … but …
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?
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
Steve McQueen … VIGGO MORTENSEN
James Coburn … GUY PEARCE
Charles Bronson … WILLEN DAFOE
Robert Vaughn … BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH
Brad Dexter … BRENDAN FRASER
Horst Buchholz … AARON PAUL
Eli Wallach… ANTONIO BANDERAS
O’Reilly (Bronson): “I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.”
TOM CRUISE’s departure from a planned remake of the star-studded western has put the project back to square one
HOLLYWOOD studio MGM has “called in the cavalry” to rescue a planned remake of classic 1960 western The Magnificent Seven after Tom Cruise stunned producers by quitting.
Cruise, 51, blamed a personal “scheduling conflict” for his departure more than six months after agreeing to a lead role.
As he rode off into the sunset, studio bosses hired John Lee Hancock, who directed current box-office hit Saving Mr Banks, to re-write what was seen as a troubled script.
The turmoil comes at the end of a year in which the original Magnificent Seven was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of America’s Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. It starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz.
Yesterday a senior MGM source said: “Tom’s departure has thrown a real wrench in the wagon wheel.
“He was the only one of the seven we had cast and would obviously have helped draw other A-list stars into the project.
“Now it’s a case of going right back to square one in terms of casting and having John Lee Hancock re-write the script from top to bottom. You might say he’s leading our cavalry on a rescue mission.
“We’re hoping that once John Lee has completed a first draft of a new script, we will be firmly back on track and in a position to attract some of Hollywood’s best-known actors.”
Hancock, a hugely respected Hollywood figure, is no stranger to the genre, having directed 2004’s Disney remake of another 1960 western classic, The Alamo.
Even before Cruise backed out, studio bosses had become concerned about committing a reported £100million-plus to the film. They saw rival Disney take a financial hit earlier this year as an equally costly remake of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp as Tonto, flopped.
Los Angeles-based media analyst Mike Raia insisted yesterday: “I believe the western can survive and even thrive as a genre.
“However, the onus is on the filmmakers to make their modern versions resonate with today’s younger audiences as well as older fans.”
“You never miss the water ‘til the well runs dry”.
And when all the modern smoke and mirrors finally clear, well …
the well is pretty dry.
No Burt Lancasters, Charlton Hestons, Kirk Douglas’, no Hepburns, Brynners … no Fonda’s, no Wayne’s … no Astaires, no Pecks … nor Cagney’s …
The well is not just dry. It’s gone.
I have a theory. (I always have a theory)
When the old studio film system eventually died it was a costly loss of an incredible artistic fraternity. The old studios and their moguls found and developed great STARS. They searched for and discovered talented people – then trained them – often from childhood up. They had a system; a plan; a program. And it worked. Did it ever. They looked for quality people, ability, character and talent. And found it. The list is so long, I couldn’t write it here.
Oh, it wasn’t perfect. (Nothing is). And many Stars rebelled against it – disliking it’s confinement and regimentation. Eventually it disintegrated.
I wouldn’t say there aren’t some good actors and talented people around today.
“I never rode shotgun on a hearse before.” – Steve McQueen / The Magnificent Seven
I could very easily understand it if Tom Cruise’s rumoured remake of The Magnificent Seven never hits the dusty trail. Though you can surely bet that they want to make this movie … and you can surely bet that Western Fans are very interested (there’s a ready-made market out here).
The same problems that plague (and guns down) most remakes (of any genre) are in strong evidence:
Mainly, THEY DON’T HAVE THE PEOPLE. Oh yeah, they’ve got all the modern production values … the money … and special effects … etc. BUT … where (oh where) do you find a Director like John Sturges (Gunfight at the OK Corral. Last Train from Gun Hill; Hour of the Gun; Bad Day at Black Rock; Joe Kidd; The Law and Jake Wade, etc) ? or (an inspired script) writing like the previous movie … AND (most importantly) THE CAST to match the previously (great) movie – a Western Classic: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach. Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz …
The horrible reality is … you can’t.
For starters, where do you find a Yul Brynner ????
There ain’t any. He was one of a kind. The Man.
Do you see anybody around who can fill those boots ??
I don’t. But I don’t know everything.
So … OK … let’s not give up so easily. Let’s suppose that these nagging points aren’t going to discourage Tom – and he is planning to go ahead – as I’m sure he will.
Let’s play movie maker then … Casting Director … and try to pull this off.
Here we go …
Number 1: Casting Chris
This is going to be the hardest role to cast. It makes or breaks the movie even before it hits the screen … or the fan.
I’m supposing (if this really is Tom Cruise‘s project) that Tom is considering playing Yul Brynner‘s role as Chris.
Will that work? Can he pull it off? Mission impossible?
You know, I like Tom Cruise as an actor. Most of his stuff is pretty good – and entertaining.
BUT … really.
Hmmm. But maybe Tom will look things over
and decide to cast somebody else here.
or will he bravelyshave his head and brazenlyride forward !?! ???
IF he does decide to cast someone else here …
then who ??
Is there a Star around with the charisma, power and presence of Yul Brynner ??