Last Friday saw the return of Hollywood veteran Denzel Washington in the latest film The Magnificent Seven, which Ster Kinekor in similar fashion released on the same day to local audiences.
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The film is an anticipated one due to it being a remake of a popular 1960 classic of the same name and its cast.
Interested audiences can now go and watch the film at most of the Ster Kinekor outlets.
Estimates going into the weekend have placed The Magnificent Seven’s United States opening box office weekend at $40 million plus.
The film marks the third team-up between Washington and its director Antoine Fuqua after The Equalizer (2014) and Oscar winning performance of Washington in Training Day (2001).
The Magnificent Seven bolsters Hollywood leading man Chris Pratt as Josh Farraday, Ethan Hawke (Goodnight Robicheaux), Vincent D’Onofrio (Jack Horne), Byung-hun Lee (Billy Rocks), Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Vasquez), and Martin Sensmeier (Red Harvest). Washington plays the leader of this merry band of men, Sam Chisolm.
Set in the 1870s shortly after the Civil War, a town called Rose Creek is put under the siege of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (played by Peter Sarsgaard), which results in the residents enlisting the help of seven outlaws.
These outlaws are bounty hunter Chisolm, gambler Faraday, sharpshooter Robicheaux, tracker Horne, assassin Rocks, Mexican outlaw Vasquez and Comanche warrior Harvest, who have to protect them while they prepare for the anticipated violent confrontation.
However, upon meeting the town’s residents, the seven find themselves fighting for much more than money in what is Fuqua’s signature style of emotionally well-placed set action pieces.
The film marks the first time Washington and Fuqua collaborated for a PG-13 rating movie, no doubt to broaden the appeal to audiences.
One positive of the film is the chemistry between the actors, specifically Washington and Pratt, who really carry the film forward.
The film also has a solid emotional core and does well to expand each of the main characters forward.
Rotten Tomatoes, international critic website, has awarded the film a 59% rating. However, everyone knows what level two-time Oscar winner Washington is at.
Last weekend saw the release of the 100% Rotten Tomato critic proof horror film, Blair Witch.
Blair Witch opened to a dismal $9,5 million opening weekend in the United States in tradition of critic proof films not finding an audience in mainstream cinema.
As of Wednesday, the film sat on a global haul of $16,6 million off a reported $5 million production budget.
The film is a sequel to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, which tells the story of three film students, played by actors who use their real life names for the film — Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C Williams — who travelled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch. The Blair Witch was a legendary local murderer and the students wanted to uncover the mystery surrounding the person or entity.
Over the course of several days, the students interviewed people in the town and gathered clues to support the story’s authenticity. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises, which ultimately leads to their demise.
Blair Witch tells the story 20 years later after the 1999 cult classic.
In this one, James Allen McCune plays the character James whose sister and her two friends vanish into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland while researching the legend of the Blair Witch, leaving a trail of theories and suspicions in their wake.
This prompts James and his friends Peter played by Brandon Scott, Ashley (Corbin Reid) and film student Lisa (Callie Hernandez) to venture into the same woods each with a camera to uncover the mysteries surrounding their disappearance.
What works in this film’s favour is that it follows what makes a successful sequel work, namely, bigger stakes, character development and a premise to weave all the film elements together.
Blair Witch is also told in found footage format where the film is represented as if it were discovered film or recordings. This has been a very popular method used in horror film genre.
Meanwhile, the movie Sully continued its impressive run, sitting at $76,84 million as of last Wednesday in the United States, for a global haul of $101,14 million.
Unfortunately, When the Bough Breaks has only mustered a $23,82 million box office haul in the United States with a global of $24 million as of this last Wednesday. But, the film’s low budget of $10 million does well to save the face for the production company, Unique Features.
What happened with the film was that its release date got drowned out while it failed to utilise its unique premise. The premise of fighting a deranged surrogate who is also carrying your baby is unique and only lacked more emphasis on this premise.
Not to leave The Magnificent Seven with all the glory, this weekend also saw the release of 3D animation film Storks.
Storks taps into the popular tale used to tell children of how they are born, being delivered to parents by a type of bird known as Stork known for carrying considerable quantities with their beaks.
The film tells the tale of a company called Cornerstone known for delivering babies — or at least they used to as they now turn to the postal service business to increase profits. Now, they deliver these packages for a global internet retail giant.
The story takes place when the titular character Junior (voiced by actor Andy Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork lands in hot water when the Baby Factory produces an adorable but wholly unauthorised girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble, Junior and his friend Tulip (Katie Crown), the only human working at the company, race against time to make their first baby drop before the boss Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) finds out.
The film acts as counter programming for the weekend and features a lovable tale made from a popular story told to children on how they are born. It also features a few laughs, enough to drive the emotional core of the film.
Emotionally driven, with some laughs, Storks is just the latest entry of family-friendly films of 2016.