Archives for posts with tag: Antoine Fuqua

Grade B

Director Antoine Fuqua teams up again with Denzel Washington to remake “The Magnificent Seven,” a story of farmers and miners who are being forced out by a rich, vicious gold miner (played by Peter Sarsgaard).  Those who take Sarsgaard’s deal are given the short end of the stick; those who refuse the deal will wish they had taken the deal.   But a handful take an alternative route: hire their own gunmen to fight Sarsgaard and his henchmen.

The townspeople end up with seven hired men: a peace officer extremely fast with a pistol; a sneaky gambler who likes to use magic to get the upper hand on his enemies; a notorious killer; a sharpshooter; an Asian who is fast with guns and knives; a legendary tracker; and a Native American deadly with a longbow.  Seven against a hundred.  But the seven have an edge…they have time to fortify the town and set up their defenses; and they have dozens of civilians at their disposal to train and help in the upcoming fight.  The good guys are confident of their chances to win; unfortunately, Sarsgaard has his own surprise for the seven and the rest of the townsfolk.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Magnificent Seven” is the scene when Sargaard brings out a Gatling Gun (an early machine-gun) to bring hell to those who dared oppose him.  This scene gives a major wow factor, and it also gives its biggest shenanigan.  Why did Sarsgaard wait until his men were getting their asses kicked to bring out his special weapon?  Also, at the range the Gatling Gun was used for in this movie, I wonder how effective the bullets would have been once they reach the town.

The Western movie, as far as I know, is an art form originally created in America.  As long as entertaining movies such as “The Magnificent Seven” keep getting made every few years, this American art form will never die.

— M

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Antoine Fuqua has directed another solid, action movie that is better than most in the genre.  Movie fans everywhere, take note of this man, as he is fast rising to the top of the action movie director list.  “Olympus Has Fallen” stars Gerard Butler as a former, Secret Service operative who fell from the President’s favor because Butler made a hard choice in order to save the President; and now, over a year after that incident, Butler is attempting to rescue the President and many others who have been taken hostage in the White House by North Korean terrorists.

Half way into the first act, terrorists attack the White House from the air and ground.  This action sequence — which lasts about 15 minutes — is extremely intense and very bloody.  Just when you think the attacks are over, it starts again from another direction.  The White House throws everything at the terrorists; but those defending the White House are eventually overwhelmed due to the numbers, firepower, tenacity, and planning of the terrorists.

Many are calling “Olympus Has Fallen” as “Die Hard” in the White House.  This is a huge disservice to this movie, as many of the “Die Hard” movies after the first, and most of the derivatives of “Die Hard,” are not well made.  Most could not be taken seriously because of the crazy, way over the top, cartoon-like violence.  “Olympus Has Fallen” stands apart from the rest because of its serious tone and brutal violence, which includes executions and torture of high-ranking members of the White House.  Also, the terrorists’ ultimate goal was to kill every American.  It’s easy for the audience to emotionally connect with this movie and get behind Butler to kill every one of those terrorist scum who dared invade our country.

One of my most memorable, movie moments of “Olympus Has Fallen” is the scene when the terrorists, after they defeated the defenders of The White House, take down the U.S. flag (which is in tatters due to the bullets and shrapnel hitting it) and throw it over the side.  Mind you, I’m not a patriotic guy who likes to wave the flag and follows and believes in our politicians like a stupid sheep; but that scene had me pissed.   I guess I was just being territorial.

As for my most memorable, movie moment of  “Olympus Has Fallen,” that would have to be the scene when Butler is on the phone talking to various military leaders, and they mention to Butler about the terrorists hacking into “Cerberus.”  Butler asks what is “Cerberus,” and the military leaders are debating if they should tell Butler because the subject is classified.  Butler responds with something like, “I think this is the moment of the proverbial I need to fucking know.”  I appreciate guys who make smart-ass comments to their bosses who make stupid statements!  They remind me of…me!

One last statement as to how much I like “Olympus Has Fallen”: when this movie comes out on Blu-Ray, and the price falls to $10, I shall buy it.  For those who aren’t in the know, I only buy movies that I really like and plan to watch over and over again.

M

 

 

If you like action movies that has elements of government conspiracies and corruption, I think you will like “Shooter” very much.  Mark Wahlberg plays a United States Marine Corps sniper who was betrayed by the US government during a mission in Ethiopia.  After getting payback at the ones who crossed him and his spotter, he retires from the USMC and lives a solitary life — except for his large dog — up in the mountains somewhere in the US.  The peace in his life is broken when a high level, government agency visits Wahlberg and asks for his help in foiling a possible, assassination attempt on the US President during an upcoming speech.   Wahlberg accepts the mission, an assassination attempt is made on the President, and Wahlberg is set up to take the fall for the shooting.   This leads us to fast paced scenes from the second to the third act where Wahlberg is not only trying to evade capture and death from cops and government spooks, he’s also trying to piece together who framed him and why.

One of my memorable, movie moments of “Shooter” is the scene early in the movie where Wahlberg, with the help of his spotter, snipes at moving targets hundreds of yards away in order to help with the extraction of US forces from the killing zone.  This is the most intense sequence of the movie.  The enemy has no idea of exactly where Wahlberg is, they only know the general direction.  So they shoot and lob mortar rounds at Wahlberg, who keeps shooting at the enemy despite all the bullets and explosives hitting all around him.

My most memorable, movie moment of this movie is the scene when the FBI agent who believes in some government conspiracy regarding the assassination attempt on the President has been captured by government spooks.  The spooks install a rig on the FBI agent’s right arm, shoulder, back and head in order to make him shoot himself in the head and make it look like a suicide.   Very wicked s@#t!  I wonder if such a rig does exist.

Antoine Fuqua has done a fine job directing “Shooter,” and I expect nothing less from this man, as he is fast becoming one of the best action/thriller/suspense directors in Hollywood.

“Shooter” gives the added benefit of showing us how complicated sniping is.  It’s not just about putting your target in your crosshairs and pulling the trigger.  The sniper and his spotter have to factor in things like: the weight, composition, and shape of the bullet; the powder that’s in the cartridge; wind velocity and direction; distance; humidity, etc.  I like guns so I love all this stuff.  What!   You’re shocked that I like guns, what with all the mass shootings going on?  Well, about 11,000 Americans die each year due to drunken driving, and I still enjoy cars and booze; just not both at the same time.  If we’re going to be afraid or hate anything that can kill us, then we should also hate knives, water, air, electricity, airplanes, etc.

And for those reading this and are getting very upset with me because I’m not showing the proper amount of “let’s ban guns” yada yada, let me ask you this: where is your outrage regarding the 11,000 Americans who are killed each year due to drunk driving?  Where is your outrage regarding the over 100,000 Americans who die each year due to hospital/medical errors?  Where is all the media coverage on those?   Where are all the tough talk from the politicians?  Where are the quickly enacted laws that will help to prevent all those deaths?   That’s what I thought.

Now sit your $5 ass down before I make change.

M

 

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