The Western is still alive and kicking. The same can’t be said for the dozens of bad guys who go up against Denzel Washington and his hand-selected men with guns and knives and arrows for hire. Antoine Fuqua kept some of the lines from the 1960 original movie with Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, but he changed up the story and the characters in the magnificent bunch. Movie goers will recognize most of the ensemble, but may have to search their memories for one character in particular.
The Magnificent Seven is a shoot-em-up western that is not for the faint of heart. For western movie fans, it’s got everything you’re looking for, and then some. The cinematography, stunt work, and special effects are top notch. I for one, appreciated that Fuqua didn’t have blood spewing all over the place, like Tarantino did in Jango. Some horses took nasty tumbles, but I’m sure the action was carefully regulated to protect the animals.
Although Denzel didn’t portray “Chris” as in the original and three sequels that featured Brynner and Lee Van Cleef, he personified a capable leader for his talented group of killers. And though the other characters were different than the originals, watch for similar traits. I mention this for those old enough to have seen The Magnificent Seven, or any of it’s three sequels. Even though Cathryn wasn’t crazy about all the killing, she thought the movie was well done. We give it a 9 our of 10.
In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
by Doug Stanton
A truly amazing story.
It was well researched and written.
I can’t even begin to imagine what the survivors went through. Reading an account of their four days floating at sea with injuries, exposure to the elements and daily shark attacks was an emotionally gut wrenching experience.
The survivors of the U.S.S. Indianapolis are heroes in the truest sense.
Likely To Die (Alexandra Cooper, #2)
by Linda Fairstein
I picked this book up in a small store in Italy, one of only a few English books there.
It was a pleasant surprise and a good read…a bit slow to start, but once I had an idea where the plot was going I had to finish it. The author was a real-life sex crimes prosecutor, who draws from her own experience to tell you a good story.
A very good read.
I booked a no-brainer trip from Pataya Beach to the Kananchuburi province in Thailand, near the Burma border. It is home to the Bridge on the River Kwai, that was made famous by the movie of the same name. For those unaware, it’s where the Japanese used allied prisoners of war to build a railway bridge over the river, and through the mountain pass into Burma.
The shuttle bus picked me up at my hotel at 5:30 a.m. sharp, a despicable time of the day. The birds weren’t up yet, but there were still a couple people drinking at the bar across the street. Not unusual in Pataya. I’d behaved the previous evening, opting for a movie at the local cinema, instead of being one of those people at the bar.
I climbed into the van and saw with my one open eye that there were other people on the bus. Three older black women had nabbed the best seats. The looked like a darker version of the Golden Girls. I wedged myself in and didn’t pay the driver much attention, until he got lost two blocks from my hotel.
Continue reading “Eddie Murphy & The Golden Girls”
Threat Vector (Jack Ryan Universe, #15)
Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
This is my kind of book!
A complicated spy thriller that is meticulously woven together with great drama and action.
I love the Jack Ryan character and the movies that have been built around him.
My only complaint is how Clancy gets a bit too wordy at times, causing me to skim.
As an author, I must say I’m puzzled at how he continues to write books while being deceased. My guess is it helps to have a stable of authors like Mark Greaney who can obviously write, but rely on Clancy’s name for sales. I suppose it’s just like Kentucky Fried Chicken – the Colonel is dead, but we continue to eat his chicken.