Fall for a typical western storyline with amazing characters. I’m giving The Magnificent Seven an A.
When a money hungry mine owner, Bartholomew Bogue, takes over the town of Rose Creek, he kills those people who stand in his way, enslaves men to work in his mine and burns down the church. A widow seeks revenge when she hires bounty hunter, Chisholm, played by Denzel Washington to destroy the man who murdered her husband.
Chisholm recruits a band of outlaws, gamblers, bandits and friends to take on Bogue. Each man has his own reason for going after the dangerous mine owner. In addition, each of the seven has his own secrets he’s hiding, most especially Chisholm. This violent standoff is the town’s last stand, and maybe each outlaws.
Chris Pratt is hilarious as gambler, Faraday. His snarky wisecracks provide many of the laugh-out-loud moments, while Vincent D'Onofrio’s, Jack Horn is eerie with his Bible verses juxtaposed with violence. The characters are three dimensional, with realistic Native American and Mexican representations unlike many of the earlier westerns. No funky sombreros nor ‘me-talk-white-man’ speak.
A remake of a remake. The original movie was a Japanese movie about seven samurai who fought against large numbers to protect their village. The 1960’s Magnificent Seven was directed by and starring Yule Brenner in the Chisholm role. There were differences in the storylines and characters from the 1960 movie and this one.
For people who enjoyed the original, this movie does have some of the same lines but has an updated feel. For those who haven’t seen the original, this movie will keep you wondering what will happen next. The ending shocks you, as we learn more and more about each of the characters’ motivations. Other than the typical western storyline of one man or a small group against the larger evil, this movie entertains.
Privacy is only an illusion. This movie shows the real life events of the man who helped create and expose the government’s hacking programs. I’m giving Snowden a B+.
Edward Snowden came from a family of military veterans but a degenerative bone disorder lands him in a hospital bed rather than the front lines. With his self-taught skills in computers and coding, he lands a job in the intelligence community, where he is fast tracked through the ranks. He quickly learns that the government is doing more than spying on its enemies.
Oliver Stone directed Snowden. He’s best known for Wall Street and Platoon. His directing style served this movie as it provided a different look at Edward Snowden than was offered up in the media. This movie presents the facts from Edward’s point of view, which opens up talking points about government security and personal privacy.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Snowden as a man in crisis. The voice he uses can be a little annoying though as it appears he has to carefully think about his dialect while speaking to keep in character. Shailene Woodley plays Edward’s girlfriend, Lindsey, as a long-suffering woman who gave up everything for him. It would have been just as easy to skip her part altogether, except it brings about the few scenes of nudity. Scott Eastwood as Snowden’s boss in Hawaii was underutilized. He’s an actor who should be carrying movies now, not serving as a second banana.
While a compelling movie which has you thinking, Snowden comes off as a one-sided patriotic story about doing what is right, even if it means going against the government. This movie was timed to coincide with the upcoming election and even shows an unflattering snippet of Hillary addressing Snowden facing the music. In addition, Edward’s residency visa is almost up in Russia. He’s going to be forced to leave the place where he’s been safe for the last three years. What will happen to Edward Snowden at that point is up in the air. The government would like him to face charges for espionage, which he is willing to do, if he can get a fair hearing.
Snowden is a movie about personal conflicts and how one man handled them. This movie isn’t a fluff piece but has depth, allowing for philosophical discussions. It’s not for the little ones but might be a good movie to watch and discuss with your teenage children.
One miracle, one hundred and fifty-five people saved, and a split-second decision. I give Sully an A.
When birds take out both engines of US Airways Flight 1549, immediate decisions must be made in order to bring the plane down safely. Captain Sullenberger, “Sully’s” choices and the aftermath of those decisions is detailed in this film adaptation of Sully’s autobiography, “Highest Duty.”
Clint Eastwood begins the movie with a bang and does a wonderful job of showing the landing from many different angles as well as from many people’s perspectives, from the NTSB to the ferryboat captains whose quick thinking helped save the trapped passengers.
As Sully, Tom Hanks brings emotion to the role as we see Sully come under fire from the NTSB for the decision to put the plane down on the Hudson rather than making it back to one of the nearby airports. While I am grateful to the federal government for making flying safe, they come off as the bad guys in this movie as they tear apart Sully’s actions. Viewers see the stress brought on, from nightmares to questioning his own abilities.
The NTSB questioned his drinking (he hadn’t had any in 9 days prior) to his relationship with his wife. They wondered if he had low blood sugar. Never once were they grateful for the saving of lives but appeared more concerned about the loss of the plane. According to tests and simulations, they believed that the plane could have made it back safely but only when Sully had them factor in time for making decisions did they see how it really happened and the miracle which occurred.
As a person who grew up with planes and even flew in the military, Sully had many hours of experience which helped with the forced water landing. However, the miracle wasn’t only on Sully’s shoulders. It was the work of everyone involved from the passengers who did what was told, to the ferries in the area and NYPD water rescue to the Red Cross and flight crew. This miracle couldn’t have been possible without all of them. And in light of the previous horrors caused by planes in New York, the Miracle on the Hudson was a redemption moment for New York.
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