The Magnificent Seven (1960)
With even less screen time to go round than in Kurosawa’s original, the cast only get to provide thumbnail sketches of their characters. However, bearing that in mind, only Vaughn really feels shortchanged on time, while McQueen manages to steal every scene he’s in, even when he was supposed to just be in the background — much to Brynner’s annoyance.Read more here.
Mr. Turner (2014)
There are two stars in Mike Leigh’s biopic of famed British artist J.M.W. Turner: Timothy Spall, grunting his way through the title role with a deceptively layered realisation of an apparently simple but deeply complex man; and Dick Pope’s cinematography, which makes almost every frame look like a rich landscape painting, so that you feel you can almost see the brushstrokes.Read more here.
the virtual definition of brain-off entertainment. The story has the plausibility of a kids’ daydream, the humour is frequently unimaginative, and the action sequences mostly coast on their basic concept rather than trying to elevate them... But for all that mediocrity, I spent 100 minutes feeling gently entertained. I laughed a few times; the action was, as I say, passableRead more here.
Perhaps most remarkable is Dominic West as a veteran homosexual, whose dancing display has to be seen to be believed. Bill Nighy and Paddy Considine are understated as quiet, hesitant characters who have inner steel, and Jessica Gunning makes a similar impact as a housewife who is completely emboldened by the activism. I don’t like just listing actors, but it would be a disservice not to mention Faye Marsay, Andrew Scott, Imelda Staunton… I could go on. Screenwriter Stephen Beresford finds meaningful stories and character arcs for each of these, while director Matthew Warchus controls the story so that it never devolves into a collection of subplots.Read more here.
while the original film does offer Crichton’s superb concept, plus a few straightforward action/suspense thrills, it’s too slight to really deliver on the inherent promise.Read more here.
Also, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...
At the first assembly of the school year, cool headmaster Pastor Skip flips onto stage (“Give it up to the Lord, Jesus is in the house! Let’s get our Christ on, let’s kick it Jesus style! … Who’s down with G-O-D? Alright! Jesus rules! Jesus rules!”), before... Cassandra starts ‘speaking in tongues’ (“mah puhsah issa hot puhsow”), though Hilary Faye sees through it (“she’s saying she’s got a hot p—!”)Read more here.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
the greatest war movie ever made? Maybe... It’s certainly the most influential World War 2 movie of modern times — nearly 20 years later, its desaturated colour palette remains de rigueur for films set in the war. So too its realistic depiction of combat, which is more plausible than some of the Boy’s Own adventures that came before, though not so ridiculously gruelling as some that have come in its wake.Read more here.
More next Sunday.