The Magnificent Seven

As part of my Western kick, I watched The Magnificent Seven today. My overall impression is that it simply pales in comparison to Kurosawa's original Seven Samurai. I think by watching these two movies one after the other, you could easily see the difference between a typical Hollywood film, and the more stylish, intelligent source material for that film. On the other hand, I did enjoy it, just not as much as I expected to. I was also pleasantly surprised by a nice little deviation at the end from Kurosawa's version. It was rather nice not seeing the exact same film, just set in Mexico/Texas, instead of Japan.

Several things detracted from this film. First was some terrible, horrible acting by the actors playing the Mexican villagers. I know that acting styles were different in 1960, but this was just a pitiful attempt at acting. It was just completely dead and boring. I suppose overall it just didn't feel as epic as Kurosawa's. Despite the ideas of fighting for money, honor, or the freedom of others, the music and tone remains consistently upbeat. The happy score, even at the end, often seemed really out of place.

The Magnificent Seven was just ok. I was disappointed, probably just because I had set my expectations too high. Now I'll just wait until I can go back to the video store and rent my next western. And, hopefully I'll start Deadwood soon. Exciting!

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