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Latest Disney animation effort awash in success

November 30, 2016
Latest Disney animation effort awash in success

Plenty of movies get good advance reviews from everything from professional critics to festival-goers to backroom bloggers.
Too often, that buzz is hardly worthy. Right now, Moana arrived with high praise – and it’s managed to keep it.
The Movie Man liked it plenty. But it’s not one of the Disney greats.

About the film
Much of the high praise comes from the fact that the movie – Polynesian themed – utilizes actors of Pacific Island ethnicity.
Back in the old days, actors actually acted. While there were some ridiculous casting choices – like John Wayne as Genghis Kahn in The Conqueror (1956) and the embarrassing Asian impersonation by Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – most of the time, actors were hired then they portrayed whatever background/ethnicity the character required, regardless of their own persuasions.… Read the rest

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Adjusted for inflation: What movie is No. 1?

November 21, 2016
Adjusted for inflation: What movie is No. 1?

This week, the Movie Man had every intention of reviewing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
But the quick turnaround of paper deadlines this week because of Thanksgiving – the News was sent to the press early this week so you could get it before Turkey Day – made seeing it impossible.
However, since there has been a Movie Man in this paper every week since 9/11, he would never disappoint his faithful followers.
So, here’s an essay, something to ponder when you think some comic book movie just set a new box office record.

About those records
Being concerned about how much money a movie makes – especially in its opening weekend – is a recent concern.… Read the rest

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Communicating with aliens theme of sci-fi film

November 16, 2016
Communicating with aliens theme of sci-fi film

 

When it comes to science fiction movies, like horror films, it’s easy to find a slew of them that are just pretty good – decent, but mostly forgettable.
When a superior one from either genre comes along, it’s worthy of highlighting.
The last good horror movie was(2012, Movie Man No. 978, 8).
Now here’s a sci-fi picture that stands out – the best since Gravity (2013, MM #1056, 9, Best of Year) – Arrival.

About the film
You can get into some super-nerd arguments when it comes to choosing the best sci-fi movies of all-time.
Here’s the Movie Man’s list, excluding some classics like The Thing (1982) that is really a horror movie (but see No.… Read the rest

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Marvel winning streak continues with Dr. Strange

November 9, 2016
Marvel winning streak continues with Dr. Strange

The Movie Man is going to do you a favor and delve into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
It’s getting rather detailed and complex so here’s a scorecard on what’s been, what’s near, and what’s in the future.
(The Movie Man is going to exclude TV shows; this recap is all about movie features.)

About the film
While there have been Marvel superhero movies and TV series before, the interwoven tales that comprise the MCU began in 2008 with Iron Man (Movie Man No. 771, 8 Best of Year). It was a colossal hit.
“Phase One” (aka “Avengers Assembled”) had begun – a concept where each picture builds on the other.… Read the rest

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Third Brown adaptation doesn’t burn up box office

November 2, 2016
Third Brown adaptation doesn’t burn up box office

It’s rare when a Tom Hanks movie doesn’t do much.
But that was the case with Inferno which barely made a dent among moviegoers in its debut week.

About the film
Don’t feel too sorry for Hanks and Inferno – it’s in good shape overseas.
But in America, folks chose Boo! A Madea Halloween over the third installment of Dan Brown’s puzzle solving professor Robert Langston.
The first two in the series merited a third, financially.
The Da Vinci Code (2006, Movie Man No. 667, 5) was middlin’ as was Angels and Demons (2009, MM #825, 5) – they are disposable entertainment, quickly forgotten.… Read the rest

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Remake of Rocky Horror is beyond abysmal

October 26, 2016
Remake of Rocky Horror is beyond abysmal

If the Movie Man might quote Riff Raff from the original Rocky Horror Picture Show: “You’ve come on a special night.”
This is a Movie Man like no other – to honor a movie like no other and warn all creatures on Earth and beyond that Rocky’s “reimagining” on Fox TV Oct. 20 is beyond bad.
We begin with a story:

A story
Back in 1975, all kinds of crazy movies were coming out and, being College Movie Man, he saw them all – including one with a tagline of “a different set of jaws.”
College Movie Man called into a radio rock show contest when the question “Who piloted George Pal’s Time Machine?” was asked.… Read the rest

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The Accountant’s body count eventually adds up

October 19, 2016
The Accountant’s body count eventually adds up

There are comeback stories everywhere and Ben Affleck is one.
He’s on a tear right now, from award-winning director to Batman to serious dramas.
Not bad for a guy written for as Bennifer and with one of the worst movies of all-time on his once shining resume.

About the film
Affleck isn’t the first to rebound from rock bottom after smelling the sweet scent of success earlier.
Today, Robert Downey, Jr. is Iron Man. When much younger, he was on the periphery of the Brat Pack but more serious.
Then drugs tanked his career and all looked doomed.
But the Man in the Can arrived, the superhero Iron Man, and Downey’s been on top ever since.… Read the rest

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The (Gone) Girl on the Train stays on track mostly

October 12, 2016
The (Gone) Girl on the Train stays on track mostly

This is one of those movies that come up a few times a year where a specific numeric number doesn’t fit.
Usually, the Movie Man bumps it up; this time, for The Girl on the Train, he went down.

About the film
A big hit as a book – it opened at No. 1 on best-seller lists – The Girl on the Train rode its parallels to the mega-popular Gone Girl.
While that worked for the novels, the movie version of Gone Girl (2014, Movie Man No. 1108, 8) is superior to the movie version of The Girl on the Train.Read the rest

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Burton’s Home filled with old-style throwbacks

October 5, 2016
Burton’s Home filled with old-style throwbacks

Of all the directors who have come along through the Movie Man’s decades of living, one who especially fits his personal sensibilities is Tim Burton.
The Movie Man is a fan of old-style scary movies and creepy, macabre scenes and atmospheres.
That’s why Burton remains one of the Movie Man’s favorite directors; in fact, the Movie Man has missed just one Burton movie.

About the film
One way to look at Burton’s career is to do what Entertainment Weekly recently did – rank them from worst to best. However, the Movie Man hardly agrees with EW. (Recall that the Movie Man did not begin educating the masses until the spring of 1993 – hence the lack of some movies having no numerical ratings.)
16.… Read the rest

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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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