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Blu-ray Review The Magnificent Seven Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    A Mexican village beset by bandits looks to defend itself with seven hired gunmen in John Sturges's canny Hollywood remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai." The Blu-ray release features decent picture and sound quality and all the extras from the 2001 DVD special edition.



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    The Magnificent Seven
    Release Date: Available now
    Studio: MGM Studios / 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
    Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX"
    Year: 1960
    Rating: NR
    Running Time: 2:08:06
    MSRP: $19.99






    THE FEATURE

    EXTRAS



    Video

    1080p high definition 2.35:1

    Standard and high definition



    Audio

    DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 2.0, Spanish 5.1

    Stereo



    Subtitles

    English SDH, Spanish, French

    English






    The Feature: 4.5/5


    A Mexican village beset by bandits looks to defend itself with seven hired gunmen in John Sturges's canny Hollywood remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai." With the likes of Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Brad Dexter, Robert Vaughn, and Eli Wallach, the film could have buckled under the weight of its cast ego and star power, but Sturges harnessed the collective strength of its actors and created one of cinema's great westerns. The film's clever dialogue, rousing action sequences and poignant moral about the importance of home holds up to this day. The power of composer Elmer Bernstein's film score also can't be overstated, with its iconic Aaron Copland-influenced orchestration and themes. Though Hollywood remakes of international films usually produce eye rolling among casual and serious moviegoers alike, successes like "The Magnificent Seven" show how a derivative work can ultimately stand on its own and even side-by-side with its source of inspiration.


    Video Quality: 4/5

    Accurately framed at 2.35:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec, the film image is often quite breathtaking with its panoramic framing and deep focus, but some may find the ever-present edge haloing and occasional source flaws distracting. Indeed, fine detail in even the widest of shots would be the transfer's best feature if not for the rather noticeable ringing in the film's medium close ups. Black levels and contrast are generally well rendered, though one too many shots look a little too opened up or flat compared to the punchier ones around them. Color is more consistent, however, the earthy palette in the Mexican desert looking rich and nicely saturated.​


    Audio Quality: 4/5

    Dialogue in the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is crisp, detailed and intelligible, though the surround mix never goes beyond a few directional gun shot effects. The front-dominant mix is effective, however, and presents Bernstein's award-winning film score with great detail and dynamic range.​



    Special Features: 4/5


    The extras include all the items from the 2001 DVD special edition and offer an interesting look behind-the-scenes and analysis of the film's legacy.



    Commentary with James Coburn, Eli Wallach, Assistant Director Robert Relyea, and Producer Walter Mirisch: The group has good camaraderie and offer a number of entertaining anecdotes around working together and with Sturges.



    Guns for Hire: The Making of the Magnificent Seven (46:54, SD): 2001 documentary chronicles the film's optioning, development and filming in the sometimes competitive, male-dominated atmosphere. The piece also spends some time on the Academy Award-winning score by Elmer Bernstein and highlights from the script by William Roberts, Walter Bernstein and Walter Newman.



    Elmer Bernstein and the Magnificent Seven (14:48, SD): Goes into further detail about the score's themes, characteristics and influences, with expert commentary from film music historian Jon Burlingame. Produced in 2001.



    The Linen Book: Lost Images from the Magnificent Seven (14:47, SD): Archival photographs serve as a starting point for some choice memories from Eli Wallach and Assistant Director Robert Relyea. Produced in 2001.



    Theatrical Trailers

    • Trailer A (2:46, HD)

    • Trailer B (3:03, HD)



    Still Gallery (4:05): Includes over 50 archival photographs, poster art and publicity materials, sized for high definition resolution.


    Recap

    The Feature: 4.5/5
    Video Quality: 4/5
    Audio Quality: 4/5
    Special Features: 4/5
    Overall Score (not an average): 4/5



    MGM Studios turns in a decent presentation for one of the great westerns of cinema. With the inclusion of all the extras from the 2001 DVD special edition, the Blu-ray makes for a worthwhile upgrade from DVD...given the right price point. And despite its less than perfect technical qualities, it's still the clear choice for those adding the movie to their collections for the first time.
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Thanks Cameron for the review. As a big fan of Seven Samurai, I look forward to this retelling of the story. I liked Fistful of Dollars' turn on Yojimbo, so I have high hopes for this. One question: is this an exclusive for some box store? I looked it up on Amazon and could only find the Magnificent Seven Set for $41, and I really have no interest for The Return of the Magnificent Seven. Additionally I'd like to give HTF revenue so if it's available on Amazon can HTF provide a link so you can get credit for my purchase? Many thanks! EDIT - never mind I found the Amazon product page. However I still would like to give HTF credit so if you have a link I'll follow it when you can provide it. I'll probably purchase this tomorrow.
     
  3. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    It was a Target exclusive for many months. I picked it up for about $10 when it came out. It just went into general release (Target may still have copies at this price point). David
     
  4. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    http://www.amazon.com/Magnificent-Seven-Blu-ray-Yul-Brynner/dp/B004J04KXU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314759858&sr=8-1 I think links get turned into HTF links.
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to pick this up at Target for months. Just did so, and the "exclusive"-wrapped copies are still there for $10. I've never seen the film, so am greatly looking forward to it.


    That said,


    "the ever-present edge haloing" ..... WHY??
     
  6. Ralphie_B

    Ralphie_B Stunt Coordinator

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    I managed to snag this for $7.99 (7 - how appropriate) during a sale, and it was well worth it indeed. I have to say, I wasn't ever pulled out of the movie by edge haloing, but I did see some of the inconsistencies mentioned in the review (i.e. some scenes more 'punchy', next to others more 'flat'). While I was watching on a large screen (106"), my projector is a 720p DLP -- that may have been a factor into my not noticing the haloing so much.
     
  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
    Reviewer

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    I finally pulled this out of the "to watch" pile and gave it a spin this afternoon. The film retains its entertainment value wonderfully, and the cast is so much fun, each of the stars creating memorable characters.

    Yes, the film could use some tender, loving care if this were ever to be released in a new edition. The bonus materials are nice, but this classic ought to have an even stronger transfer.
     

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