Movie Review: THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – a remake of the 1960s original that’s too bland and featureless to justify its own existence

Although I haven’t seen the original The Magnificent Seven for the best part of 20 years, I still retained enough memory of the plot to try comparing it with the 2016 Antoine Fuqua (Southpaw)/Denzel Washington, and from those hazy memories, there didn’t seem to be many large deviations from the plot.  Instead of a village being raided by bandits, it’s a small (and kind of unconvincing) western town bullied into submission by Bartholomew Bogue, a mining company owner (played by Peter Sarsgaard) who wants the surrounding land, and the vein of gold under it.  After a brutal opening wherein Sarsgaard’s armed goons kill a few of the more rebellious townsfolk, the widow of one takes it upon herself to seek vengeance, and a way to stop Bogue from plundering what remains of the townspeople’s land.

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Movie Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 – a sequel that’s better than the original, with a surprisingly strong, character-driven slant.

As soon as Kurt Russell was introduced as Ego, in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2, one specific thought came to – how was he going to die?  Now, to anyone who reads comics, especially those who remember when comics were a good, fun read, it’s no spoiler to say that Ego, The Living Planet is historically one of Marvel’s cosmic villains.  First introduced on the final page of the September 1966 issue (#132) of The Mighty Thor, Ego is defeated in the following issue and vows to never attack anyone else … of course, over the decades, Ego has returned again and again to threaten lots of places and superheroes.  But the specific story I immediately thought of was Fantastic Four #235, a few issues into John Byrne’s legendary run as writer and artist.  And, as it turns out, I was right on the money.  So what does this have to do with the review?  I’ll get to it a little later.

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Movie Review: PASSENGERS – limp romantic drama/sci fi mashup not even Lawrence and Pratt can save.

passengers

Chances are, if you went to see Passengers based on the previews alone, you’d have gone in expecting a sci-fi thriller with a solvable mystery at its core.  The movie, which stars fan favourites Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games trilogy) and Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World) certainly looks that way from the minute or so of carefully edited clips that you get.  The giant, somewhat dark looking spaceship in deep space, the two leads running around while things go to hell – and why are they the only two to wake up?!  So, yeah, if that was what you were expecting, I bet like me, you came out of the theater disappointed.

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