If you ever wanted evidence of a declining culture and the severe impact that liberalism has had on Hollywood specifically, then just watch the newest remake of The Magnificent Seven. The 2016 version was just God-awful, pathetically put together. It was a disaster of a movie that shamefully called itself a western. Clearly the writers, director and production staff had no idea what a western was when they cast Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington in the remake of the 1960s classic, because the film wasn’t even watchable. I struggled through it because as a western I felt I needed to see it for cultural reasons but I will have to say that I was glad to see the end credits indicating that the movie was over because it was a disaster of a film. The original film stared Yul Brenner and Steve McQueen along with several other popular actors from the period. But that movie was a remake of the 1954 film The Seven Samurai directed by the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Those classic films were good—not my favorite by any means because everyone pretty much dies during their big standoff with the villains at the end, but at least you could appreciate the valor. In this modern version all that valor is gone and all you end up with is an anti-capitalists message and a bunch of characters that are so unlikable that you are happy when they finally do die. If you plot a line of Hollywood quality from The Magnificent Seven in 1960 to this modern update in 2016 counting the 1985 film Silverado by Lawrence Kasdan (another remake) you can clearly see a declining culture over time. There’s no question about it.
One of the reasons Star Wars has held up over time is because of the influence of Akira Kurosawa in it. The original Star Wars film was based on the Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. (1958) In those old Kurosawa films character was a defining trait and the valor of combat was a feature of the underlining plot. Several American filmmakers found influence with Kurosawa and essentially turned those plots from samurai sword culture to six guns. In the case of Star Wars it was both, samurai swords became light sabers represented by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo represented the American western’s love of guns as the weapon of choice and so long as that style of filmmaking complete with human valor stayed as the centerpiece of the stories, they continue to endure. All that is very well known, particularly among film makers and film school students—so I would have expected when the production for The Magnificent Seven started in 2014 and 2015 that the entire crew would have known how to make a movie—after all, they had access to all the best stuff from film hardware, budgets, to stunts. They had much more to work with than old Akira Kurosawa did back in Japan when those old samurai films were first being filmed.
I knew the film was in trouble almost from the very beginning when the villain of the modern story went on an anti-capitalist—anti-God rant that was completely out of context with the kind of story westerns are known for. It was a modern political speech that made it impossible to accept Denzel Washington as a suitable replacement for the old Yul Brenner character. There was a way to put a black actor in that role and still have a good movie—but these idiots missed the point completely focusing way too much on the racism and not nearly enough on the character itself. Who cares if the guy was black because the character was so unlikable? The filmmakers were entirely too focused on the progressive trends of our modern society and selling those trends to the public than in making a classic western filled with American values. It simply went through the motions, put cowboy hats on people and called it a western with the type of story that might as well have been a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton. And obviously, she lost the election that took place just a few months after the September release of the 2016 version of The Magnificent Seven. So the studio found itself on the losing side of philosophy—and the movie just fell flat.
I personally love westerns and it is a real tragedy that Hollywood no longer knows how to make them. When Disney tried to make a remake of The Lone Ranger—which I thought was good, they even missed the main point—that westerns are about values—not the action. Western gun fights mean nothing unless the characters in them exhibit a notable valor that justifies the conflict. But modern filmmakers just don’t get it—and that is astonishing considering all the study of great films that go on to this day. With the resources that film schools have to study this situation you’d think they’d get it, but they don’t. That is essentially why Hollywood is failing. You can’t attack the essential premise of American values and expect a western to work. Westerns are not about the hats and the guns—but rather the values for which those things represent.
Needless to say I expected a lot more. While The Magnificent Seven was filming Chris Pratt was in talks to be the next Indiana Jones so I figured that these filmmakers would utilize the star power of the young actor to make a really special western for modern audiences. No. All they could manage to do was create some progressive piece of crap that only people who supported Hillary Clinton for president could understand—those weird liberal types with that strange skin, downturned mouths and empty eyes who made up her supporters. They are not like most people, the liberals who supported Hillary Clinton are physical manifestations of their rotten philosophy and it actually shows up in their molecular make-up. There just aren’t enough of those people to support a modern western. People who like westerns are not the kind of people who voted for Hillary Clinton so these film studios are missing the point. I have no doubt that westerns have a place in modern cinema. I’m sure Clint Eastwood could still make a good western because it takes a filmmaker who understands the genre. But these skinny pants directors of this modern age have no idea what a western is. They can watch them, and try to duplicate them, but they just don’t get it.
And that brings us to the new Han Solo film that just brought Ron Howard in with just three weeks of production left on the schedule. From the very beginning Kathy Kennedy made it clear that this Star Wars film was to be inspired by Fredric Remington and the Phil Lord and Christopher Miller directors just weren’t getting it—due to their impulsive jokes for which they are known. She had to go to Ron Howard who has roots on Happy Days and the Andy Griffin Show to get a director who could get their mind around this modern western set in space. I hope it works out because honestly we are a culture desperately in need of westerns once again produced for modern audiences. It doesn’t matter if its horses or space ships the values of westerns are about people and valor, not just stunts and guns. Akira Kurosawa would have never done so well with his samurai films if he had just had sword fights. It was his characters that carried his films and inspired many of the great westerns that came out during the 1950s and 1960s. Hopefully Hollywood will learn from these mistakes—but obviously when it came to The Magnificent Seven, their efforts were not so magnificent—but rather pathetic.
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