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Denzel’s Western remake pretty Magnificent in places

September 28, 2016
Denzel’s Western remake pretty Magnificent in places

It’s a good month when Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington both have movies out.
And both are decent.
Hanks’ Sully (Movie Man No. 1,219, 7) was a hit and judging from the packed – and much older than normal – audience at The Magnificent 7, Denzel’s will be, too.
But first, let’s visit a topic that we haven’t talked about in a long time…

About the film
….trailers.
The previews before The Magnificent 7 were super – with one outstanding – for the most part.
The lesser of them was Split, the next M. Night Shyamalan movie. It’s about a guy with 23 different personalities who kidnaps three girls.… Read the rest

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Blair Witch returns to nauseate sensitive moviegoers

September 21, 2016
Blair Witch returns to nauseate sensitive moviegoers

It’s not very often that a phenomenon comes along in the movie business these days.
But one did in 1999.

About the film
Back in those ancient days (technology wise), getting the word out about a movie usually consisted primarily of trailers shown on TV and in theaters.
But the dawning of what would eventually dominate most humans today – social media – was looming its evil head.
A little film – made for a mere $60,000 – was an out-of-the-blue hit at the Sundance Film Festival. The Blair Witch Project was hailed as something new, exciting, and actually terrifying.
The movie exploded beyond all expectations when a mysterious internet campaign popped up.… Read the rest

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Sully flies high with Hanks and Eastwood

September 14, 2016
Sully flies high with Hanks and Eastwood

There are movie stars then there are movie stars.
Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood are firmly in the latter category.
And, for the first time, they’ve made a movie together, Sully.

About the film
Both Hanks and Eastwood are giants with decades of experience.
The Movie Man believes that Hanks is tied with Denzel Washington as the best American actor.
Eastwood is in a sphere all by himself, however.
You can’t find a major moviemaking category that he has not been part of: actor, director, producer, writer, composer, and musician.
Of course, he began as an actor.
Monster movie fans like the Movie Man know that Eastwood had parts in two beloved scary movies in the 1950s – Revenge of the Creature and, especially, Tarantula, both in 1955.… Read the rest

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Modern day Western sticks with viewers

September 7, 2016
Modern day Western sticks with viewers

It’s rare but Hell or High Water managed to pull it off.
In the Movie Man’s storied history – this is Movie Man No. 1,218 – he has experienced every kind of emotion one can undergo in theaters.
And Hell or High Water’s is an unusual one.

About the film
The Movie Man has laughed, cried, been bored, scared (rarely), grossed out, disappointed, excited – you name it in auditoriums.
Sometimes, however, a movie manages to do something unique in a moviegoing outing: It lingers.
That’s what has happened to the Movie Man with Hell or High Water. It’s the sort of movie that gives you pause well after you’ve left the theater.… Read the rest

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Breathe deep the gathering gloom – and run

August 31, 2016
Breathe deep the gathering gloom – and run

There’s a fine line between a horror movie and a thriller.
Sometimes there are obvious examples of horror – like an undying monster – and thrillers – like Shutter Island (2010, Movie Man No. 865, 7) – but at times it’s harder to define.

About the film
Don’t Breathe was unveiled at the South By Southwest film festival earlier this year in Austin. It didn’t even get a title until that moment.
The movie was a hit there and horror/thriller fans have been waiting for it.
Another reason fright fans had been anticipating Don’t Breathe was director Fede Alvarez who filmed the remake of Evil Dead in 2013.… Read the rest

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Offbeat animated Kubo too deep for children

August 24, 2016
Offbeat animated Kubo too deep for children

It’s not often that an animated movie gives the Movie Man pause but Kubo and the Two Strings did.
Maybe that was to be expected because it’s from the same studio – Laika – that made one of the most loved/hated animated movies ever, Coraline.

About the film
The Movie Man loved Coraline (2009, Movie Man No. 813, 7), especially on repeated viewings.
Another plus is how rich the 3-D was; the very final shot after the end credits remains one of the most mind-boggling 3-D uses ever.
As much as many, like the Movie Man, enjoyed Coraline, there’s a vast internet trumpeting against it.… Read the rest

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Latest Disney remake kid-friendly but dull

August 17, 2016
Latest Disney remake kid-friendly but dull

This is Movie Man No. 1,215 (you’re welcome).
Sometimes he’s seen some terrific movies.
Some are disappointments.
Some are surprises.
And some are like Pete’s Dragon – immediately forgotten as he exits the theater.

About the film
Everybody has a touchstone childhood movie.
Often, they are Disney animated movies and that’s the case with some that are even off the usual beloved list, classics like Bambi (1942), Fantasia (1940), or The Lion King (1994, Movie Man No. 31, 8).
Those second tier Disney movies can be really good – like The Emperor’s New Groove (2000).
And for some of a certain age – now adults – there’s Pete’s Dragon which is actually an animation/live-action combination.… Read the rest

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DC still trying to mimic the Marvel model

August 10, 2016
DC still trying to mimic the Marvel model

You gotta give it to DC Comics – they keep plugging along.
Marvel remains the cinematic superhero gold standard and DC has adopted Marvel’s approach by mapping out a series of interlocking movies for years to come. But DC still remains the junior varsity.

About the film
Certainly, moviegoers keep giving DC chances.
The Batman movies were big (but keep reading – they set a troubling trend for DC) and who doesn’t like Superman as a character?
The two most recent DC films both opened huge, despite weak critical reception.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Movie Man No. 1,195, 7 [the Movie Man liked it much better than many]) opened huge at $166 million.… Read the rest

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Damon returns as mystery spy Jason Bourne

August 3, 2016
Damon returns as mystery spy Jason Bourne

The original filmmakers and Jason Bourne are back after a one movie hiatus.
This release brings the series to five movies – that’s quite a few.
There are 13 novels – three by originator Robert Ludlum and 10 by Van Lustbader.
So, look for a few more films in the future; the question is, how long can Matt Damon stay in shape?

About the film
The first movie was The Bourne Identity (2002).
The Movie Man passed on it when it was originally released, checking out instead Scooby Doo (Movie Man No. 461, 5 – in the Movie Man’s defense, he was on vacation in Hawaii and just watched the film that best fit his time frame that day).… Read the rest

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Star Trek 13 one of the lesser entries of series

July 27, 2016
Star Trek 13 one of the lesser entries of series

Well, heck.
The Movie Man had high hopes for the latest installment of the rebooted Star Trek movie series.
Sadly, it’s not super; but there’s hope since a fourth film is already in the works.

About the film
While Star Wars has been hogging all the press in recent years, Star Trek should be getting its fair share.
After all, it’s the TV series’ 50th anniversary and a new televised series is on the way from CBS next January.
The Movie Man is well versed in the Star Trek universe; he’s no Trekker (fanboys hate “Trekkie”), but he’s seen everything.
Here’s the history of the movie series:
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) – lots of fans don’t like this version but it’s one of the Movie Man’s favorites.… Read the rest

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