Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases For the Week of 9/23/16
Magnificent Seven (PG-13)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmier, Peter Sarsgaaard
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua
Based on: Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and John Sturges’ Magnificent Seven
There is a scene in John Sturges’ classic 1960 western, The Magnificent Seven, where Steve McQueen keeps toying with the hat in his hands to upstage the film;s “star,” Yul Brenner. In the “updated” version, none of the actors would dare to try such a stunt with Denzel Washington. Instead of a dusty Mexican village terrorized by a bandito, we watch a post-civil war town held hostage by a White industrialist. Joining the poorly paid fight are seven, purposefully diverse outlaws—a bounty hunter, gambler, sharpshooter, tracker, assassin, bandito and Comanche warrior. With Nic Pizzopallo and Richard Wenk’s tepid script, and Antoine Fuqua constantly asking himself “would grandma like this?” it is James Horner’s music and Mauro Fiore’s cinematography that carry the film.
2 a pieces of nothin’ new here toast
Starring: Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammar, Jennifer Anniston, Ty Burrell, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
The people who brought us Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Muppets Most Wanted, and The Lego Movie team up with Warner Animation Group for this film. The fast-paced storyline involves the new CEO of the stork baby-delivery business retooling the company from carrying babies, to air-delivering packages. Years pass, and a boy whose parents are “too busy” to create a sibling for him writes a letter to the now shuttered stork factory. Despite many problems, a new baby girl is created for delivery but inexplicably ends up being raised by shape-shifting wolves. Got that? Good, cause there’s a lot more artfully rendered improbabilities to come.
2 pieces of way too much going on here toast
London Road (NR)
Starring: Olivia Colman, Anita Dobson, Tom Hardy, Kate Fleetwood, Clare Burt
Director: Rufus Norris
In 2006 the murders of five women in the English town of Ipswich was compared to those committed by Jack the Ripper. Using transcripts of interviews from the people involved at the time, Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork created a stage-musical of the events which have now been made into this film. Directed by Rufus Norris, the same man who directed the stage play, he result is either avant-garde theater in the mold of Sweeney Todd, or a jarring juxtaposition of real-life backgrounds and untrained singers trying hard to convey the horror of what happened. Wisely, they avoid re-enactments of the murders.
2 pieces of “what’s this then?” toast