Captain Fantastic (2016)
Directed by Matt Ross
Captain Fantastic has a name that will probably not attract you to give this movie a shot, but please do. The movie is a dramatic portrayal of a single dad trying to make the best children he can, with the fear that they would never be prepared enough for what is out there.
The movie plays on your emotion, with many sentimental parts all tied up together to make you go aww. None regardless, the movie’s dramatic showcase is entertaining and thrilling as we see the struggles a father faces as he raises his six (6) children away from civilization. He home schools them to a higher standard than their pairs, teaching them survival skills and hand-to-hand combat.
His children can on their own hunt, cook and survive in the woods by themselves.
Virgo Mortensen’s performance as a father of six reminds me of Captain von Trapp in the musical classic Sound of Music, where Christopher Plummer who plays the Captain tries to raise his kids the best way he knows how. Ben (Virgo Mortensen) also attempts to make the best out of his kids the best way he knows how.
The smaller children acting performance are to die for, not taking anything away from Virgo his performance is memorable, but the child actors left a mark and I looked forward to seeing them as they made me wish my children would be as strong and courageous as these little ones.
The movie did very well at different film festivals winning awards with Matt Ross winning a directorial award at the Cannes Film Festival of this year.
The movie introduces us to Ben (Virgo Mortensen) and his family as they celebrate his eldest son passage to manhood. We see him and his family hunt and cook what they killed as they lived together in the woods. Sad news hit them as their mother (Ben’s wife) killed herself, she had a mental illness and was in the psych hospital.
Ben’s manner of raising his children involved telling them the truth and not afraid nor does he stop them from saying their mind or cursing.
Ben contacted his wife’s father for his wife’s body so he can cremate her according to her wishes, bur Jack (the wife’s father) kicked against the idea, blaming ben for her death and promised to have him arrested if he shows up for the funeral. Ben and his children crashed the funeral and those actions and further actions will probably lead to him losing his beloved children.
The movie had a very fun and welcomed twist in the end.
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
The only reason I decided to go see this movie was because Denzel Washington starred in it, having seen Seven Samurai (1954) which is a good movie, I could not imagine what Fuqua was going to make out of the age old classic. After seeing this movie, I can comfortably say he made nothing out of an already written script which just need a modern touch to make it memorable. When you are done seeing this movie, everything about it is left behind on the seat of the theater as the movie had no memorable moment or character to hold on to.
Denzel Washington did his part same with the other cast of Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Martin Sensmeier to make this movie very much enjoyable, but in the end it seems they enjoyed themselves more making this movie than I did watching it.
Their enthusiasm and power was exciting enough to keep me wanting to see how the movie will end. With that in mind for a movie based on a 1960 remake of the same name which in turn is based on the Japanese Film Seven Samurai (1954) the director Antoine Fuqua [Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and The Equalizer (2014)] wasted much of our time assembling the seven man crew than he should have, as that was the problem I had with the original Japanese film.
More than half of the movie is just talk about the oncoming battle to save this town, but to be honest the battle was worth seeing and it was fun to see how the men put their life on the line to end and win the fight.
The movie is more than two hours long, and I believe a shorter version would have made the movie much better.
The movie plot is very much similar to its predecessors on which this movie is based on. Here, Sam (Denzel Washington) was approached by a pair of threatened home owners for help. Their town is being overrun by an industrialist named Bogue, one of the pair Emma saw her husband and a group of her town’s people murdered by Bogue’s men as they tried to stand up to him.
She and a friend approached Sam with all the money the town had to come save their them.
Sam agreed to help and went about recruiting as many gunslingers he knew and saw to follow him on this quest which would probably lead to their deaths.
He arranged a group of seven and they trained as many of the towns people who could carry arms to prepare for the fight against Bogue.
The movie is a massacre of lives and is not worth the trip I took to go see it.