THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

The Magnificent Seven doesn’t start with fanfare. No blaring horns to signal the American West, no soaring strings to complement the vast vistas before the camera, no cinematic shots of warring bandits cresting a hill, no legends and no heroes. Instead: ominous tones and close, shaky shots of a wagon delivering gold to a heavily watched bank. Cut to a church where a debate rages between the parishioners. Should they stay or should they go? Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is coming to pay pennies on the dollar for their land — which he will strip-mine and pull every last ounce … Continue reading THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

THE NICE GUYS

What does it take to make a good movie these days? Money? Star power? A dedicated auteur? A pastiche of ideas that resemble a movie? On the surface, The Nice Guys looks like a movie: it’s got Warner Brothers’ money, it’s got Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in the leads, it’s got writer/director Shane Black doing Shane Black shtick and it’s got murder, mystery, hard-boiled detectives and the gritty streets of L.A. set in 1970s post-modern neo-noir. Check, check, check, double-check. On the surface, The Nice Guys should be a good movie, but surfaces can be deceiving. Set in smoggy … Continue reading THE NICE GUYS