Hit and miss action-director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, King Arthur, Olympus Has Fallen) has gone and remade The Magnificent Seven.
The 1960 version was itself, of course, a remake of Kurosawa’s bonafide cinema classic Seven Samurai.
Sony Pictures has assembled a superb cast consisting of Denzel Washington (in full Yul Brenner black attire), Chris Pratt (doing his thing), Ethan Hawke (with a mighty beard), Vincent D’Onofrio (Onofrissance!), Byung-Hun Lee (no stranger to western remakes, with his villainous turn in Kim Ji-Woon’s The Good The Bad and The Weird), and Peter Sarsgaard (always welcome in anything, particularly as a bad guy) combined with a sizable budget have yielded a frothy, high octane unabashedly modern version of the story looking to capitalize on the star power and production values that this property, in all its incarnations, has always had. I could do without the crap cover of House of the Rising Sun, in the below trailer, but that is just personal taste, this looks like a solid popcorn western. Maybe this will be the one to break the curse of westerns at the box-office.
You know the story: A small frontier town of desperate townspeople employ the protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns who for a violent showdown that they know is coming.
We are still loving the phoenix-like renaissance of the Western genre over the past couple years, and it appears that cult indie director Ti West is getting in on the game with In A Valley Of Violence. He has an interesting cast with Ethan Hawke, Karen Gillan (Dr. Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) and John Travolta. But we’re here to talk about this vintage style poster, which almost has a 50’s TV-show style with both the typesetting (“A man can only take so much!”) and the tiny man-on-horse (with dog) on the barrel of the gun. I expect many more posters for this film, as West has a history of getting a lot of key-art for his films (see also, House of the Devil and The Innkeepers in the Rowthree poster archives.)
If we are a tad late posting this trailer for Natalie Portman western Jane Got A Gun, it is apropos of the project from the very start. Scottish auteur, Lynne Ramsay was originally to direct the project, but at the beginning of shooting, she resigned just prior to day one of shooting. Much of the supporting cast walked with her, and now we have the Gavin O’Connor, Joel Edgerton version, which involves a lot of ominous talk, a lot of gunfire, and somehow, a hot air balloon. Against considerable odds, the film is now finished and coming soon to a theatre near you.
The 2015 Western bonanza continues. Check out the trailer below.
In all the James Bond and Star Wars kerfuffle this weekend, we missed the second, more spoiler-heavy trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming 70mm Western. It is nothing you do not already know if you have been following the films production (or perhaps have read the screenplay online?) So, here it is in all its cabin-fever glory.
We’ve got a lot to get to this week! Almost too much. First up is Danny Boyle’s version of Steve Jobs. Despite not seeing any other iterations of his story, I think it’s safe to say we’d call this the best one. It’s been/will be a banner year for westerns in 2015 and though there are some minor quibbles with Bone Tomahawk, Andrew and Kurt mostly had fun hanging out with it – one of us more than the other. For October scares, we take a trip into the snowy Haunted House of Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here. Then it is off to Africa (or is it Netflix?) with Cary Fukunaga, where Idris Alba stars in the gorgeous but brutal Beasts of No Nation. For the Watchlist, Andrew does Flyway and Kurt talks David Mamet and Oliver Stone. Whew!
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
Had I waited a bit longer today to scour the internet for this column, the poster I would certainly have chosen would be this blue beauty for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. It is one of the best movie posters of the year! So, in the spirit of generosity, I give you the ode to the snowy western, negative space, and the power of fire just out of the frame. God, this is beautiful, as I expect the film to be.
With all the excitement for fast cars, flying super heroes, dinosaurs and international spies each summer, some of us who enjoy our slow burn stories from the 19th century have to consider ourselves lucky if we get one western picture (from a big studio) in a year. But saddle up pardner, this year we get/got several. And if the quality of Slow West, The Keeping Room and The Salvation (and some might consider Far From Men or The Homesman 2015 western releases) is any indication, the two we’ve got coming up from Quentin and Craig Zahler are going to be real treats.
Bone Tomahawk brings Kurt Russell back into the western genre and also stars Richard Jenkins, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and holy shit it’s Sean Young!
Though this is a directorial debut from Zahler, this trailer has gotten me pretty excited to get my boots dusty with Bone Tomahawk in between all of the explosive mega-blockbusters coming in this last gasp of 2015.
Bears, Hypothermia, Buried Alive and Tom Hardy, O My! Leonardo DiCaprio goes full on Grizzly Adams in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s long take snow-caked visceral revenge western. We were teased earlier this year with the bleak gorgeous images and ambitious shot-length strategy of the film earlier this year, but this new trailer offers a lot more Tom Hardy, who plays the villain of the piece, and a fair bit more of the plot of the film.
After being left for dead and buried alive after a bear attack, Hugh Glass (A Grizzly Adams bearded Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks out the sonuvabitch (Tom Hardy) who also had a hand in murdering his son. Vengeance and long-take action sequences ensue.
The whole thing looks to be gloriously next-level-big-canvas epic, as Alejandro González Iñárritu continues his mission (along with his Mexican cohort, Alfonso Cuaron) to re-evaluate film grammar and the long take the digital age of cinema.
Prominently featuring Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, I’m getting a very delicious Django meets The Thing vibe here. Paranoia, guns, shacks, prisoners, a laundry list of great character actors (Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Zoe Bell) and a lot of excellent dialogue. It is oh so easy to be all in for this 70mm shot western.