MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE

 

THE PLOT THUS FAR

An oppressed Mexican peasant village assembles seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

WHAT WE THOUGHT

The Magnificent Seven could be mistaken for just another of the many Westerns that were turned out in Hollywood during this era. But there is a certain something that keeps The Magnificent Seven unique. Part of it is the concept borrowed from the earlier Japanese film, but some of it lies in the attitude of the seven mercenaries referred to in the title.

Much is made here of the difference between fighting for money, fighting for justice, or fighting for a future. While this version of Kurosawa’s epic contains all the philosophical leanings of the original, it isn’t nearly as long-winded or languid. The downside to this is that it isn’t nearly as moody or powerful. In fact, one can easily see the difference between American and foreign cinema simply by comparing Shichinin no samurai with The Magnificent Seven. One is incredibly dark and downbeat most of the time. The other mostly has a score that is so major it wouldn’t sound out of place in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Differences in feeling aside, the ultimate question is whether this version of the story manages to entertain. The hardest challenge any film faces is keeping the audience amused while all the exposition is laid out. Here, the exposition is kept to a minimum while carefully inserted between some fast-paced, albeit very mild action sequences.

The Blu-Ray comes with the original featurettes, trailers and commentary from the Special Edition DVD. It’s nice and all, but I’m left wondering if there’s something out that we’re missing. The A/V Quality is a revelation with a transfer that shows off the full frame on the home entertainment screen for the first time ever. The high bitrate at 31 MBPS shows no signs of dirt and works as an amazing testament to FOX’s ability to remaster the MGM titles. I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!

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