Tank’s Take On “The Magnificent Seven”

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By Jeff “Tank” Hoover

Anticipation has a way to set one up for a big letdown. Perhaps that’s why as we get older we take things as they come and don’t get as excited as kids anymore. Such was the case when my brother and me went to see the “Magnificent Seven.” I saw the previews on TV and had to admit my curiosity was piqued. Normally, Hollywood leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I have learned not to get my hopes up to help suppress my likely disappointment. Perhaps it would be different this time?

I mean, what’s not to like about a Western? There’s all kinds of guns, good conquers evil, there’s hard work, grit and standing up for ones self is the American way of life, to my way of thinking. The pioneers who settled this great land of ours had a rugged individualism, while at the same time helped their neighbors when needed. It’s been a long time since I saw a current movie that caught my interest, made me an active participant and made me feel good after watching it.

This latest portrayal of “Magnificent Seven” did all that, and a bit more.

As we sat in our seats I noticed a common theme. Scattered throughout the dim movie theatre were mostly baby-boomer aged men sporting dad bods and clothes worn for comfort. Loose fitting T-shirts, jeans and shorts with no discernable designer label showing is the universal uniform for us. We were all at least 15 minutes early, another trait of most baby-boomers, as we waited for the previews to start. When the reels were rolling, the younger set filled into any scattered empty seats, their faces lit by the glow of their phones as they got in their last-minute texts.

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Chris Pratt wore this double rig.

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Denzel Washington’s rig.

Old Dogs

The theatre had IMAX capabilities, a complex series of speakers which rocked the whole theatre during explosions, horse stampedes and a lot of gunfire. I had to admit this new fangled auditory enhancement was pretty darn cool and made you feel like you were there. And that big digital movie screen really amped the game up too. This just might be a pretty memorable experience, I thought. And indeed, it was.

Being bombarded and bamboozled during this political season, I have to admit to getting burned out and not knowing or caring as to what is politically correct — a term I despise — and what is not. I’m always getting confused about who or what “we” are supposed to protest and what “we” should support. Sometimes you just go to the movies for the movie, in the hopes of escaping that “other” reality for a few short hours, no matter who’s in it. And so far, I was thinking I’d made the right decision.

After all the ads, previews and coming attractions — it happened! The theme for the “Magnificent Seven” started and I got chills, and for some odd reason some leakage of lacrimal fluid, as I was being transformed to a 10 year old kid again. I was getting excited, and so were the other middle-aged movie patrons. It takes a “kid” from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to know how to enjoy a movie and get into it. Full guttural belly laughs at the funny scenes, gasps during the tense scenes, screams, whoops, and hollers during the shootouts and dead silence when a hero takes one for the team. By golly, baby boomers know how to rock, and it’s contagious.

The younger patrons, devoid of any outward emotion, saw how to really “watch” a movie and started getting into it themselves once they saw it was not only alright, but mandatory behavior to get into character and have some fun. Seems young dogs can learn from old dogs after all.

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A special fancy rig for Indian Red Harvest.

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Gator band and teeth highlight Ethan Hawke’s leather.

Lights, Camera — Plenty of Action!

With the tastefully done special effects and IMAX technology, the gunshots, cannons, dynamite, nitro glycerin, music and the ever mandatory theme of “good conquers evil” had everyone in the theatre vanish for a short time, as they were living it in “reel” life. The two-hour escape from the daily doldrums was both lifting and cleansing to the soul. People were cheering, laughing and just having a great time. It was nice to see.

When the movie was over, everyone was in a good, boisterous mood while being nice and congenial to each other. We were all just a bunch of happy “kids” who shared and experienced a good movie together. Westerns have a way of doing that. I hope Hollywood takes note.

Sam Andrews — leather maker extraordinaire and old bud of my editor at Handgunner, Roy — provided the leather for the movie. He was kind enough to send us some pics he took before he sent them to the production. Fast draw expert Thell Reed was a technical advisor on set and if you know guns and American Handgunner, you likely know who Thell Reed is. There’s plenty of good leather and gun handling in the movie that all sixgunners will appreciate.

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Two pics of Vasquez’s rig, fancied up some too.

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They borrowed Sam’s little Webley Bulldog for a card
trick scene featuring Chris Pratt.

For more info: www.andrewsleather.com

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One thought on “Tank’s Take On “The Magnificent Seven”

  1. Walton Sellers

    Hi, Tank!

    Thanks for writing such a positive review about the remake of a grand old Western. Like you, I am a big fan of the original “Sevens” and now, based on this review, I’ll have to see the movie myself. We “baby boomers” have to stick together. I’m also excited to learn Thell Reed is alive and well. It’d be well worth seeing the film to what he’s taught this bunch of actors about fast-draw techniques.

    Keep up the excellent work, compadre!!!!

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