Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Magnificent Seven

Movie:  The Magnificent Seven

Rating:  3 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:    There’s gold in them hills, and Bart Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) means to get every nugget of it for himself.  If that means he has to threaten, terrorize or kill every sodbuster in Rose Creek, then that’s what he means to do.  One of the few citizens with the gumption to stand up to Bad Bart is Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett).  She hustles over to nearby Amador City, and as luck would have it, makes the acquaintance of Sam Chisom (Denzel Washington), a duly sworn warrant officer in Wichita, Kansas and seven states.

Emma pleads her tale of woe to Chisom, who is not especially inclined to intercede on her behalf until the name of Bart Bogue comes up.  Apparently Sam Chisom has some knowledge of what a scurrilous rogue Bogue is, and maybe even some past history.  For whatever reason, Chisom and new acquaintance Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), who also seems pretty handy with a gun, set off to settle matters with Mr. Bogue.  They wisely come to the conclusion that more help is needed if they are to have any chance against Bogue and his small mercenary army of thugs and scurrilous killers, so along the way they pick up five more compadres to aid in the cause.  They run into Goodnight Robichaux (Ethan Hawke), a sharpshooter of some renown, along with his side kick Billy Rocks, a knife throwing son of a gun.  Then there is Vasquez (Manual Garcia-Rulfo), a Mexican bandit, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onfrio), a mountain man, and finally Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier), a Comanche warrior alienated from his tribe.  This motley crew with deadly skills are all that stands between the good people of Rose Creek and oblivion.  There will be a showdown….

This film is solid entertainment with more rootin’, tootin’ shootin’ than any 3 westerns combined.  It takes quite a while to get to the confrontation, but will hold your interest until you get there.  For those movie fans acquainted with the classic version of The Magnificent Seven, it is not an exact remake.  Some general plot points are the same, but different enough to keep you interested.  Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt hold their own against the earlier duo of Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen.  The new cast probably doesn’t have the star power with the rest of the 1960 cast that boasted Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn.  Still, it is a fun gallop into an exciting old west yarn.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Church Pastor – “This is the Lord’s house!  No place for guns.  There are women and children!”

Bart Bogue to Town’s People – “You’re standing not only in the way of capitalism but God.  I’ll give you $20 for each parcel of dust.”

Emma to Bart Bogue – “What kind of man are you?  What did these people ever do to you?  For land?”

Bart Bogue – “Leave the bodies where they lay.  I want them to look at them a few days.”

Chisom to Emma – “You seek revenge.”  Emma – “I seek righteousness.  But I’ll take revenge.”

Faraday – “Would you like to see another magic trick?  The disappearing ear.”

Chisom to Sheriff – I need you to send him a message.”  Sheriff – “You already sent him a message.  You’re not going to like the answer.”

Faraday – “Oh good, they brought their pitch forks!  We might stand a chance after all.”

Chisom – “I believe every man has the right to choose where he dies.”

Theme Music:  Yes, if you wait for the end of film credits you will get a bit of Elmer Bernstein’s classic theme song from the 1960 movie.

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Sully

Movie:  Sully

Rating:  5 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   On January 15, 2009, the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 were in a hurry to get on their plane at La Guardia Airport and get on to Charlotte.  It was just another routine day filled with normal concerns, until their plane took off.  Then 208 seconds in the air later, they found themselves on a jet making an emergency landing in the Hudson River.  The “Miracle on the Hudson” was the fact the plane landed safely and intact, and that all 155 passengers and crew were quickly rescued with only a few minor injuries.

The fact that Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) performed an amazing feat of flying under very adverse conditions is not questioned.  But hours after the plane ditched in the water, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is examining the actions of the crew under a microscope, and serious questions are raised.  Did Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) make sound decisions?  Could they have made an emergency landing back to La Guardia, or nearby Teterboro Airport?  These questions and many others hang over the pilots’ heads, while the media frenzy swirls about them and anoint them as national heroes.  One very possible outcome, if fault is assigned to Sully, is loss of a pension after 42 years as a pilot.  Sharing this concern is Sully’s wife Lorraine (Laura Linney), who must agonize alone while Sully and Jeff Skiles remain sequestered and run the gauntlet of the NTSB investigation.

This is just a terrific movie on every level.  The action scenes showing the brief and terrifying flight of US Airways 1549 is riveting.  Likewise, the tension building up to the NTSB hearing is suspenseful and eye-opening.  The public had no clue of the drama going on behind the scenes.  Clint Eastwood at 86 years old is still the master film maker; this is his best film since Million Dollar Baby.  Naturally, the acting is first rate.  Tom Hanks captures the dedication of Captain Sully perfectly, who is tortured by doubts as he must handle the burden of defending his actions.  Hanks must get a Best Actor nomination from this film.  It has been 21 years since he won the Oscar for Forrest Gump, and about time he gets recognized again.  See this movie; I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Sully to NTSB – “It was not a crash; it was a forced water landing.”

Lorraine to Sully – “I’m thinking of running over the press with my car.”

TV Reporter – “Why Captain Sullenberger made the decision only he can answer.  But we now know it was the wrong decision.”

Jeff Skiles – “Can you believe they charge $5 for a Snickers?”

David Letterman to Crew Members – “What was the first thing you heard coming from the cockpit?”  Crew – “Brace for impact!”  Letterman – “Ever hear that from the cockpit before?”

Katie Couric – “How do you feel when people call you a hero?”

Jeff Skiles to NTSB – “If he had followed the damn rules, we’d all be dead!”

Air Traffic Controller – “I guess you haven’t heard.  I lost FL 1549.”  Friend – “I guess you haven’t heard.  He landed the son of a bitch!”

Sully – “No one warned us.  No one told us we were going to lose two engines at a lower altitude than any plane in history.”

The real Sully to FL 1549 Passengers – “We will be joined in our hearts and minds forever.”

Theme Music – Clint Eastwood is a very talented man.  He wrote the music for the theme song Flying Home, and co-wrote lyrics with Tierney Sutton.

Post Credits – Stay for the credits and see many of the real passengers with Captain Sully and his wife Lorraine.  She makes a point of thanking them for the Christmas cards they still receive from them.