It’s the original THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN- or is it? (United Artists 1960)


cracked rear viewer

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There’s a large hue and cry about the upcoming remake of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (and remakes in general) among classic film fans. “How dare they”, it kind of goes, “Why, that’s blasphemy!”. The truth is, Hollywood’s been cannibalizing itself since almost the beginning, and remakes have long been a staple of filmmakers. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is a remake of Akira Kurasawa’s Japanese film SEVEN SAMAURI, moved to the American west by producer/director John Sturges . And while quite frankly most remakes can’t hold a candle to the originals, this 1960 action epic can stand on it’s own as one of the great Western adventures.

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Sturges assembled a macho cast to tell the tale of bandits terrorizing a small Mexican village, and the seven hired guns who take on the job of defending them. Top billed is Yul Brynner as Chris, the black clad gunslinger who puts together the crew. First among them is 

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4 Shots From 4 Films: The Bedroom Window, L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys, 8 Mile


On Tuesday I was shocked and saddened by the news that filmmaker Curtis Hanson had died of a heart attack.  Hanson was a great director but he was also an underrated one.  In a career that spanned 45 years, he only directed 16 films.  He was a genre director, one who often seemed to be more interested in being a storyteller than an auteur.   However, I would hold his body of work against almost any other director in Hollywood.  L.A. Confidential inspired me to learn more about film noir and whenever I need to be reminded why I wanted to become a writer, I watch Wonder Boys.

These 4 shots come from 4 films directed by Curtis Hanson.  Rest in peace and thank you for the movies.

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Bedroom Window (1987, directed by Curtis Hanson)

The Bedroom Window (1987, directed by Curtis Hanson)

L.A. Confidential (1997, directed by Curtis Hanson)

L.A. Confidential (1997, directed by Curtis Hanson)

Wonder Boys (2000, directed by Curtis Hanson)

Wonder Boys (2000, directed by Curtis Hanson)

8 Mile (2002, directed by Curtis Hanson)

8 Mile (2002, directed by Curtis Hanson)

Music Video of the Day: Here I Go Again by Whitesnake (1982, dir. ???)


Happy Birthday, David Coverdale! I already did the very memorable 1987 version on Kitaen’s birthday. For Coverdale’s birthday I figured it was appropriate to look at the 1982 version. I never knew this version existed. It’s instantly forgettable for sure, but it’s not bad at all. The style of both the song and the music video is quite different from the 1987 version

Aside from the opening bit with Coverdale alone, the rest is a just a well-filmed concert performance. Despite the appearance, Wikipedia seems to indicate that it was indeed still lip-synced. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about here visually. I know it’s simple, but I love that everything appears to be drenched in colorful light. I also like that the band appears to be playing in tight quarters during the majority of the performance. It gives it less of a “We are playing to the back row” and more a “Welcome to the club. Here’s Whitesnake singing Here I Go Again!”

It also is a metal video of its time. The 1987 version is drenched in the 1980s. You could almost hear the director say, “Cut! Accept, you’re next. Europe, you come up right after they are done. We’ll film the scenes with Tawny later.” Here you can imagine that this concert hall is just a short drive from that snow surrounded studio where Rush is in the music video for Limelight. Both of which look like pre-MTV music videos. An even better example is that it looks like the music video from 1978 for Toto’s Hold The Line.

Mainly what I want to say with all these words is that this video is probably only known because EMI decided to post it on YouTube back in 2009, and it too captures the same power and enthusiasm in Coverdale’s performance as the 1987 version does. However, in this version it feels personal for him whereas the 1987 version he is great, but aloof and kind of just having a ball.

As for the song alone, they do say “hobo” instead of “drifter”. I don’t really notice any other lyrical changes. The way they perform the song again plays to the way the video was shot this time. It starts off expansive like the video. Then it gets tight and tough like the close quarters performance belted out with blood and sweat by Coverdale.

Which version do I like better? The 1987 video hands down is the better music video. However, I do like both versions of the song. I like to go hiking when weather and my health permit. This version I can hear as I am powering up hills. The other I can picture playing as I go for a long drive to clear my head when times are tough.