So if there’s one thing a 14 hour plane ride is good for, it’s catching up on movies I’ve missed. Here are brief thoughts on four films I plowed through on my way to Japan last month.
The Magnificent Seven
Watched this on a whim, mostly due to the impressive cast. Decent Western with good setting, although the story would have been stronger if it was more along the lines of its synopsis. It wasn’t a bunch of guns for hire that grew to care the more they learned about the situation, as their “leader” Washington was never there for the money in the first place. It hampered the themes a bit. Also, some characters (such as Pratt in a remarkable performance) were much more interesting than others and stole the spotlight when the movie focused on them. Still, overall this was pretty compelling.
Here we have the first of three movies I had waited on because of less than favorable reviews. As will become a theme for all three, it was better than I expected.
Though their trademark “shaky camera” fight scenes always leave me near nausious, I enjoyed the previous three Jason Bourne movies and was happy with Damon’s return to the role. This was definitely a retread in numerous thematic ways, but I thought the story fit with and expanded upon the previous narratives nicely. Not fantastic, but good enough.
Well first off this wasn’t nearly as horrible as I’d heard. It was a mixed bag though, with highlights and weakness throughout the film. My biggest worry from what I’d seen in trailers was Smith as Deadshot, and those worries were both justified and unfounded. Smith actually played a fine character and played it well, but it didn’t feel like Deadshot at all. Writing weakness there. Similarly while this was an ok action film with some interesting plot and character touches, it didn’t feel like Suicide Squad. Glad I checked it out, but nothing I ever need to see again.
From word of mouth I expected a trainwreck from the latest X-Men movie, and in contrast I found a solid story that built off of First Class and Days of Future Past well. It’s admittedly not as good as those two films and so big in scope some characters (looking at you Psylocke) got shorted in the script and were underdeveloped. The overall arc was good though, Apocalypse was a worthy foe, and my biggest worry (Magneto as a Horseman) was done logically.
So overall I spent a pretty enjoyable time on my flight with four films that provided both nothing extraordinary and nothing really bad. I don’t regret either skipping them at the theaters nor eventually watching them.
5 replies on “Quick Takes: Magnificent 7, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad, and X-men: Apocalypse”
After watching Kiuosawa’s original Samurai Seven, and loving it beyond what I thought I would, I could never bring myself to watch the western adaptation, so the remake held negative appeal for me.
I am really looking forward to the Bourne movie, but glad to know about the shaky cam. That REALLY turned me off in the 3rd movie, but maybe if I’m expecting this time, I won’t be so distracted?
I’ve enjoyed the previous 2 alternate Xmen movies, so am looking forward to this. Never been a huge X fan so where the movies depart from the comics doesn’t matter to me because I don’t even realize it departs. Ignorance truly IS bliss 😀 And any Psylocke is good!
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I still haven’t seen Seven Samurai, somewhat surprisingly. Need to rectify that sometime.
Yeah, it helps a little to be ready for it.
Heh. I’m a huge comic fan so usually go in with prior knowledge, but can generally accept movie changes as long as the stories are internally consistent and the core of the characters are kept (like in Nolan’s Batman trilogy or the Marvel Universe movies). I was worried about Magneto, simply because in the comics the idea of him playing second string villain to ANYONE is pretty ridiculous, but they did it well. Suicide Squad on the other hand I just couldn’t shake it off the comparisons. The movie didn’t feel right. It probably didn’t help that there’s an excellent animated feature (“Assault on Arkham”) that did a great job with them.
Hmm, agree, but more Psylocke > any Psylocke. 😉
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Ahhh, Psylocke. You are right on that. More is always better.
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