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Cafe Doom  |  General Discussions  |  General Discussion  |  The Magnificent Seven
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Author Topic: The Magnificent Seven  (Read 6351 times)

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Offline delboy

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The Magnificent Seven
« on: January 25, 2010, 07:14:14 AM »
Watched this old movie Saturday morning (before doing my writing - not instead of!  :afro:). I've been reading a lot about screenplays recently so I watched it with one eye on dialogue (my eye's are clever like that... actually it was early and everyone else was asleep so I had the sound turned down very low and subtitles on... thus my eyes really were in charge of hearing). It's amazing what they got away with in terms of dialogue. Some of it, written down, was very poor, but with all the visuals going on and the story driving forward it didn't matter. Talking of story.... there were several points where I thought, nah, that does add up, they wouldn't do that...

There's a lesson to be learned here. I'm not quite sure what it was, beyond the fact that i think maybe I try too hard to get everything right, when it might be better just to get everything out there.

Derek
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Grillmeat

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010, 09:13:52 PM »
I loved that movie as a kid.  The movie it is copied from-Seven Samurai-is pretty cool as well.  :afro:
I think you can get away with a lot more in terms of dialogue and depth of character with movies because of the immersive nature of the visual experience. We (as in humanity) are very visual creatures. You are right, there are a lot of things that worked well in the movie that would not have worked in a written story.
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Offline Caz

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 01:49:35 PM »
I watched an action movie called Pathfinder at the weekend. The Viking's dialogue, they're a raiding party attacking native American Indians, is subtitled and awful. It mostly consists of 'Let's get 'em.' Most un-Viking like.
I also watched a film called 'Moon' a while back. Not a lot of action in it but the dialogue and story are great.
Each film has its merits, I liked both of them, and I guess it proves that the quality of dialogue is dependent on the depth of story...pretty obvious I guess. Ho hum. 
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Offline Rev. Austin

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 03:05:58 PM »
I quite enjoy films with "direlogue" in (I think Total Film magazine coined that term, or maybe not) because there's a sort-of masochistic amusement to be gained from seeing someone with a big gun in front of a door going "I'm going to blow this door in!" and then doing exactly that, with high explosives.   :grin:

I wouldn't, however, enjoy reading the book equivalent because the lack of a visual robs it of any goofy charm.  Unless it's something so ridiculously absurd you can't help but enjoy it (I point to Guy N Smith's Night of the Crabs as a prime example of this: "Fucking hell, it's another one of those bastard crabs!" cries one bloke when he sees...another giant crab!)
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Offline delboy

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 08:47:35 AM »
Following on from A Fistful of Dollars and the Magnificent Seven, I sat down and watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid this weekend. It's a little slow in places but the dialogue is much better - essentially that's all the story is about, the relationship between the two men, and the dialogue is used to illustrate this. Great stuff!
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Geoff_N

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 12:45:07 PM »
Interesting too to listen to the dialogue in TV soaps, especially in the UK. Sometimes a conversation is entirely in the type of cliches we'd be slated for as fiction writers. They get away with it because the cliches in soaps make the viewer lazy and comfortable. That's my theory.

Offline delboy

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2010, 05:49:58 AM »
This weekend's film subjected to the scrutiny and criticism of someone who knows nothing about movies was Taken starring Liam Neeson. The film is about an hour and a half long - the perfect length for a movie- and the time passed very quickly in this all action thriller. Basically, Neeson plays an ex Special Services type character who's daughter gets kidnapped and he, single-handedly, goes after the baddies and saves the day. The people I watched the film with thought it was great and the best film they'd seen in ages.

But although I enjoyed it - and was caught up enough in the action not to notice the dialogue (which is what this thead was really about) I found that certain aspects of it were quite disappointing. (There may be spoilers below - but I'll do my best to keep them vague)

Firstly, it's a story that's been done so many times. Nothing wrong with that. We all love a tale of a seemingly regular guy going after the monsters, and special services type people / spies are always intriguing and cool. But here, there was nothing new added to the mix. It all seemed very much painting by numbers. Even the foreshadowing scenes where we were first shown that Liam had the necessary hand-to-hand combat skills to make the rest of the picture work felt a little clumsy (I thought the same about the numerous foreshadowing moments in Avator - maybe I'm finally learning enough about story to recognise such moments more clearly for what they really are, and in that recognition comes disappointment. Also future 'surprise' moments lose any surprise, as instead I'm sat awaiting them, mentally ticking them off to see if my 'foreshadowing monitor 'is working well). But more importantly, there was never any suspense. Others said it was a white knuckle ride and they were on the edge of their seats. But for me the huge problem was that everything came too easily to the MC. Okay, he's in a terrible and desperate dilemma, a 'ticking clock' has been (again clumsily) set in the background, and the situation looks both impossible and hopeless. Then with no real problem he finds everything he needs to finds (usually at a first attempt), everything he does works, he has the necessary (often improbable) contacts and skills and support and hardware and money to be able to walk through the plot. There was one moment when he got caught and I thought "Finally, here we go..." but within seconds he had again (inconceivably) escaped and it was back to killing lots of people and succeeding with no hint that he might fail.

There's a huge lesson here - we need to make things real tough for our MCs.

Anyway, there were also loads of unanswered questions and plot holes, but it was that ease of success that marred it for me. Plus the car chases and their accompanying soundtrack (which, no one would argue are the main elements of any movie, possibly excluding historicals) were crap.

It's worth looking at as it's relatively short for a modern film and the writers did a good job of making a cold-blooded killer and torturer seem somewhat sympathetic (by making the stakes so high). But I'm beginning to wonder if (a) there are no good Hollywood movies at the moment or (b) I'm just getting grumpy in my old age.

Del
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Ed

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 01:56:59 PM »
How about A + B, Del? :afro:

Yeah, I saw the film, too. Wasn't overly impressed for the same reasons you say. It was all a little too easy. Even the makers of the James Bond films have sussed out how to make their films more gritty and believable than this. Can't say I noticed the dialogue very much, though. It's an action adventure film, so we can't expect too much of the dialogue :smiley:
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Offline Caz

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 02:30:40 PM »
I watched a movie the other night, made in Hollywood I guess, and it was excellent.

I don't really analyse films too much, there either good or bad in my book but I think this one had something going for it that sets it apart from the rest. The film is 'The Wrestler' and stars Mickey Rourke. It's not a sport I have much interest in but then the film's about so much more than the sport. It's about the end of a career and the life it affects if the truth be told.

This film nearly slipped under my radar so I thought I'd give it a mention. Great stuff.   :afro:
Some may say slaughtered is too strong a word...but I like the sound of it.

Offline delboy

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 05:38:36 AM »
I quite like Mickey Rourke. He seems to be the most rock'n'roll of actors. I enjoyed those early movies of his such as Diner and Rumblefish and Angelheart. Might have to look out for The Wrestler.

Thanks for the heads up!

Derek
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Frank Menser

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2010, 01:56:09 PM »
Certain films fall within that never-never land called "Formula." They are predictable and comfortable because the audience knows what to expect and so there are few if any surprises. That being said it does allow the viewer to pay more attention to dialoge which can be pretty cheesy.

Part of the fun in watching old movies though, is watching how acting and film techniques evolved. I love older films because they had less tricks to rely on and acting was more critical to the success of the film. The Seven is full of steriotypes and for the most part, played reasonably well. This is not high drama so grab a popcorn and relax...its just there to entertain. ;)

Offline delboy

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2010, 05:26:52 PM »
Hey Caz, based on your recommendation I watched The Wrestler this evening. Great movie. I much prefer a character-based movie like that to some of the more, uh, explosive fare, that's out there these days. Mickey Rourke was awesome.

Derek
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
Robert B. Parker

Offline Caz

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Re: The Magnificent Seven
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2010, 06:32:23 AM »
 :cool: It's a real gem that film, one of Rourke's best.
Some may say slaughtered is too strong a word...but I like the sound of it.

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