Benz Eye View: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

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The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Pros: 

1.) The one thing you will quickly notice in the movie is the beautiful cinematography.  There are plenty of wide shots that show (or show off) the environment.  They even did well on highlighting certain areas that are important to the situation or plot at hand.

2.) The action is just awesome.  It is the great old western action you have seen a bunch of times before, but it is still done well.  The tense Mexican standoff, the fast hand, the gun being fired off from the hand; you have every great western action moments happen in this movie, and a bit more.

3.) The main cast work well together.  Some get more spotlight than others, but they all look like they belong in this world, and some characters have more chemistry than other characters.  As a result, it can lead to some pretty funny jokes…

 

Cons: 

1.) …That being said, you are not going to remember the actors’ characters.  There are probably one or two people you may slightly remember due to their internal conflict, but they are just easily forgettable, and you may only recognize with them with either one of two things: the actors who are playing them or their race.  You will still like them, but not as much as you hoped.  One good example of a forgettable character is the villain: a cliched black hat cowboy who wants land and power.  Nothing that stands out from these people.

2.) While this is a fun movie, it is a cliched movie.  If you are a fan of western films, there are going to be little to no surprises here.  I can go on and say the cliches right now, but I might as well save it for those who do not want to be spoiled.  I can say this: on the first scene, I predicted what was going to happen in the movie, and I was mostly right.

 

Overall:

The Magnificent Seven is a remake based on the 1960 film of the same name.  Other than hearing its main theme, I have not seen the original film, so I will grade on its own.  For one thing, I feel like I should watch the original, because I get the feeling that it is better than the new one, and probably cleverer.  With that said, I find the remake pretty enjoyable.  It is a fun western movie with great action and actors to boot.  It probably may not be the best western ever made, but it might as well be the best western of the year (as far as I know).  Go have some cowboy fun at HIGH NOON for this movie.

7/10

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Benz Eye View: Snowden

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Snowden

Pros: 

1.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a great actor to play Edward Snowden.  He does so well, it almost feels like he is playing the actual person.  If you have seen videos of Edward Snowden, you may notice that Joseph Gordon-Levitt acts almost exactly like him.  I was not seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Edward Snowden, I am seeing Edward Snowden on-screen (and accurately, I hope).

2.) The one thing that the film does interestingly is how Snowden’s discovery towards the NSA affects his professional and personal lives.  Regardless whether or not you think what he did was right, you get to see why he did it, and how it affected him.  Not only it affected his views on his government, but it also affected his relationship with his girlfriend, Lindsay to the point where they may or may not break up.

3.) There are some interesting symbolism through imagery and cinematography implemented in the film.  It is kind of hard for me to explain it, but the use of symbolism through imagery matches the overall tone and character of the situation.  The cinematography seems to match the camera work from the interviews, acts how Snowden is feeling in certain situations, and makes simple actions seem like a big deal due to the NSA activity…

 

Cons:

1.) …Although, there are times when the cinematography looks dirty.  Meaning, the lens look a little dirty, so the images does not always look clean.  It makes sense in certain scenes, but when it does happen, it feels out of place.

2.) There are plenty of technobabble and political talk in this film, so if you do not understand what they are talking about, or if you are not paying attention, you may get lost on what they are talking about.

3.) It took me a while to think about this, but I realize that the pacing takes its time for a bit too long.  While Snowden is an interesting person, the event we are all waiting for comes near the end of the film.  Everything in between seems a little bit unnecessary.  It dragged the film a bit, and may bore some people.

 

Overall:

Edward Snowden.  That is a name that will go down in infamy for the entire world, especially America.  Some say he is a hero, others say he is a traitor.  For the purpose of this review, I will not discuss the ethics and moralities on what Snowden did back in 2013.  I will leave it up to you to decide on that.  I am going to review the film, and I will not let my personal beliefs get in the way of it (mostly…).  With that said, this is a good film.  It is not one of those entertaining films.  It is more of a thinking man’s film.  It leaves you wondering, did he do the right thing?  For certain people, it ultimately leads to how much they like the film depends on what they think of Snowden himself.  In a film perspective, I recommend it, but do not expect to be entertained, but thinking instead.

8/10

Benz Eye View: Sully

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Sully

Pros:

1.) As usual, Tom Hanks is fantastic playing his role.  In this case, he is a somewhat traumatized, yet responsible character who did his best to save all 155 passengers, and has to deal with the questions asked by the media.  His performance and character makes the film more personal.  All the other actors did great as well, like Aaron Eckhart as the co-pilot.  As Sully points out in the film, they are instrumental to the main character.

2.) It is interesting to see that the plot of the film deals with the aftermath of US Airways Flight 1549, and I am glad it deals with that (mainly because if it is about Flight 1549, this film would be short).  At first, I thought it was a dumb idea, because why would you question someone who saved everyone on the plane.  As it progressed, I can see where the film is going, and it gives out an interesting message.  You will understand when you see it yourself, or maybe this will help.

3.) The plane crash and rescue is very tense and thrilling.  While it is shown in a flashback sequence (so you know everyone survives), you understand how the passengers and the pilots are feeling when this accident happened to them.  It also really helps out in the main plot…

 

Cons:

1.) …Speaking of planes, do not expect the best-looking CG planes you will ever see.  They look like they belong to a video game instead of a movie.

2.) A couple of flashbacks may not be necessary, but if you think about it, they are probably needed to show a bit of backstory for Sully when it comes to the plot.

 

Overall:

I heard about the US Airways Flight 1549 when I was just a sophomore in high school (I feel so old).  I thought it was a great for Captain Sully to save everyone in that flight.  When I heard there is a film about this, and there is more to it, I thought, “What is there to show?  He saved everyone in that plane.  Is it really necessary?”  What the film has shown interests me.  It actually makes sense what happens to Captain Sully after the crash, and I never thought about what happened to him after the crash back then.  With that said, this film is fantastic.  I can think of very few flaws about the film, but the pros outweigh the cons.  If you want to see a film about the events of US Airways Flight 1549, its aftermath, and a personal look at Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, go and see it.  See an actual American hero onscreen.

10/10

Benz Eye View: No Manches Frida

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No Manches Frida

Pros:

1.) This is a pretty funny movie.  Two reasons: the first one is that many of the comedic pitfalls (i.e. many of the delinquent students’ traps on the teachers) make their mark (and establishing how the students treat their teachers badly).  The second reason is the dialogue works well (despite the fact they are speaking Spanish, I find it funnier they are speaking their tongue really fast).

2.) The cast play so well into their roles and their interaction with each other.  You can buy that they are playing teachers, an ex-con playing as a substitute teacher, and delinquent children.  I am not sure how well they are playing their roles since they are speaking Spanish, but if I see a foreign actor playing their role so poorly despite speaking a language other than English, their native language cannot save them.  However, as far as I can tell, they did well, and they express different emotions in certain situations.

3.) Even though it has been done to death before, I appreciate the message and its delivery (for the most part).  You have a story about a man who does not really care about the students, and they feel the same way about the man.  Over time, they realize they need each other to fix their flaws, and they get better in the end.  Cliche, but I do like it.  I also really like many of the sub-plots added in the movie that gives more weight to the message…

 

Cons:

1.) …That being said, the main plot seemed to have gotten lost throughout most of the movie.  It gets brought up, but only twice in the second act.  When it gets into the last act, it gets easily resolved.  Kind of weak, but they at least used that as a romantic subplot that leads to an obvious breakup between the two main leads.  Predictable.

2.) The first half of the movie suffers with editing and pacing issues.  There are plenty of moments when the jump cuts are pretty noticeable and a little disorientating.  For the pacing, it seems like they want jump quickly into the action with small moments of them just slowing down a bit.  It does disappear by the last half, but it is worth noting.

3.) The movie seems to have a problem using many of their side characters.  The characters that spend much screen time in the first half barely appear in the second half, and vice versa on the characters that barely had screen time on the first half.  A good example is the female lead’s best friend.  She spends time in the movie for the first half, but suddenly disappears in the second half.  She comes up here or there, and reappears by the end.  A little inconsistent from what I have seen.

 

Overall:

It has been a long time since I reviewed a foreign movie.  I believe the last foreign movie I reviewed was Instructions Not Included back in 2013.  I thought it was time for me to watch another foreign movie (mainly because I do not feel like being depressed.  Guess what movie that recently came out that fits into that category).  Enter No Manches Frida (WTF, Frida), a movie remake based on a German 2013 film called Fack ju Göhte (F**k you, Goethe).  I would describe this movie as the comedic version of Freedom Writers.  It does very well in its comedy and message, though not as good as Freedom Writers (even though that film is more serious).  Despite that, I enjoy the movie.  If you are in a mood for something funny and new (i.e. foreign), watch No Manches Frida.  Es muy divertido.  Just do not expect anything new in the table.

7/10