Tag Archives: film

Magnificent Seven

t-magnificent-seven-remakeI love Westerns. It’s probably because of my favourite films when I was young: Giant. Blazing Saddles and the Magnificent Seven. The soundtrack to the latter never fails to fill me with childish excitement.

The remake by Antoine Fuqua is great. But it’s missing something. The older version was slower, perhaps even dragged in places, but it had a slow burn to it that the slicker new version is missing.

the-magnificent-seven-poster-2_1200_1778_81_s-720x720Nevertheless, it’s still moving. There’s something noble in the story and I think that’s part of the romance of this classic underdog tale.

Denzel Washington reprises Yul Brenner’s role brilliantly. Chris Pratt tries to play it mostly straight, though he is still funny. Lee Byung-hun is a brooding Billy Rocks and I must admit, it’s nice to see a diverse cast**

The part I really loved is that at the end, the Black guy, the Mexican and the Native American make it out alive. (for a change).

**mmmm some stereotypes there particularly for the Native Americans…but I would say character development on the whole was a bit underserved. It felt a bit rushed to get the seven together so that there could be more time for battle scenes, whereas the original I think was just long and spent a lot of time with brooding cowboys.

Tagged , ,

Make it Good

Stop press: There is a new Macgyver in the works (well, it’s news to me) and the show’s creator has confirmed that the lead will definitely be a woman. NPR speculates that it may even be a woman of colour.

I love the fact that the moment we’re having in TV at the moment means that a woman of colour fronting the show is a real possibility. Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Sleepy Hollow are just a few of the shows paving the way.

But it also comes on the crest of a trend of remaking some old favourites with women. Like the all-female Ghostbusters that’s coming out soon.

I have just one heartfelt prayer*: let them be good. It’s one thing to have a woman front and centre, but the key is always good writing and believable characters, otherwise it’s an easy slide into arguments on tokenism.

Representation matters; make it good.

*I have another prayer: Gina Torres (Firefy, Suits) for Wonder Woman!

Tagged , , , , ,

The Play’s the Thing

The year is young, but there are already a few things I think I’ll be following or seeing this year.

Apart from 12 Years a Slave, I’ll be looking forward to watching Belle, the story of Dido Elizabeth Bell, the mixed-race daughter of a slave who was raised by her uncle the Earl of Mansfield, who was then Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and who made a landmark ruling that paved the way for the abolition of slavery. I’ll also be following the blog of UCL’s project into the British legacy of slavery, which taps a rich seam of history that we don’t often look into in this country.

I usually despair of the lack of plays that I want to see in January, then find myself whisked away by a spoil of theatre across the city from February onwards.

Last year I was gutted to miss The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic. I heard it was fantastic and I can only hope it will return one day. I did have the pleasure of seeing A Season in the Congo and have just (literally, my credit card is still steaming) bought tickets to Sizwe Banzi is Dead, which starts on 6 February:

SizweBanziisDead326

It’s 1972 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and Sizwe Banzi’s passbook gives him just three days to find work. No work and he’ll be deported. That was four days ago.

So when Sizwe stumbles across a dead body with a passbook, he asks himself – does his identity card really define who he is? Could he give up his family and his name in order to survive?

I can’t wait to find out.

Tagged , , , ,