RSSMovie Man

Racing movie No. 8 busts through box office

April 19, 2017
Racing movie No. 8 busts through box office

You know you’ve got a sure thing when your movie breaks records when it opens, it’s No. 8 of a series, and (at least) two more are planned.
That’s The Fate of the Furious.

About the film
Usually, American movies are released in waves overseas.
Sometimes they open in a few countries before the U.S., but, even then, an international blitz is unusual.
The Fate of the Furious did mighty well in America at $98.8 million.
But elsewhere, it killed and broke the worldwide record of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (2015, Movie Man No. 1181, 8) $528.9 million; The Fate of the Furious collected $532 million with a massive wide release.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Old-timers’ bank heist will please Grandpas

April 12, 2017
Old-timers’ bank heist will please Grandpas

If you’ve been waiting for a movie that is the sort that you’d like to see with an older person who remembers when movies weren’t a bunch of cussin’ and explosions and had a semblance of a plot, then Going in Style is for you.
(Well, there’s some cussin’.)

About the film
To make such a genteel movie today – one that isn’t faith-based – filmmakers went back to 1979 when films like that were far more common.
The original version, much like this new one, is front loaded with older stars of its time.
In 1979, George Burns was huge.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Looks aren’t everything in Johansson movie

April 5, 2017
Looks aren’t everything in Johansson movie

Robots. Automatons. Replicants.
Movie history is full of films about man-made “servants” who end up being anything but.
Plus plenty of them begin wondering exactly what sort of creature/being they are, anyway.
That’s the premise of Ghost in the Shell.

About the film
While comic book movies have taken off – to say the least – anime/manga films have not in America.
They pop up occasionally, especially on TV.
Old timers will recall the wonderfully weird Speed Racer (and Movie Man fans might remember that he liked the big screen version [so highly anticipated in 2008] more than just about any other human [Movie Man No.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Mars attacks (again) and that critter is mean

March 29, 2017
Mars attacks (again) and that critter is mean

The Movie Man sat through a zillion coming attractions for Life these past few months.
Still, the film managed to surprise occasionally.

About the film
This is actually the second movie titled Life that the Movie Man has reviewed – and they are wildly different.
The first in 1999 was a crime comedy starring a couple of guys who had plenty of clout back then – Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.
The Movie Man found it disappointing – Movie Man No. 283, a 4.
This new Life is a sci-fi/scary movie that owes more than a monstrous nod to Alien (1979).… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Live-action Beast really needs some animation

March 22, 2017
Live-action Beast really needs some animation

Leave it to Disney to figure out ways to make even more money.
The studio has piled up billions and now has hit upon the idea to make live-action films of former classic animated movies.
Few are more beloved than 1991’s Beauty and the Beast – plus throw in some controversy and you get a movie that will collect several more hundreds of millions to throw on the Disney pile.

About the film
The first Beauty and the Beast not only raked in the cash, but achieved a couple of firsts.
In 1992, it became the first animated movie ever to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Now that’s a big gorilla: King Kong lives again

March 15, 2017
Now that’s a big gorilla: King Kong lives again

Good ol’ King Kong.
Ever since his arrival way back in 1933, he’s been a cinematic mainstay.
And he’ll be showing up again in 2020.

About the film
That ‘33 King Kong was just another step in the evolution of movies when they were young.
From the amazement of seeing moving pictures a couple of decades earlier, movies had roared forward with detailed plots, tricky camera shots, and involved stories.
King Kong came just two years after Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein freaked out more people than The Exorcist would in 1973.
Instead of using a man in a suit to portray a giant gorilla, the 1933 King Kong utilized stop-motion techniques via small models.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The (shredded) curtain comes down for Wolverine

March 8, 2017
The (shredded) curtain comes down for Wolverine

It’s always nice when a movie with great trailers delivers.
coming attractions have been around a while and the original with Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” was terrific.

About the film
Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine nine times and Logan is likely the last one. (Unless he pops up in the recent X-Men alternate timeline.)
Here are the eight movies before Logan: X-Men (2000, Movie Man #349, 8); X2: X-Men United (2003, MM #506, 7); X-Men: The Last Stand (2006, MM #668, 5); X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009, MM #823, 7); X-Men: First Class (2011, MM #933, 7); The Wolverine (2013, MM #1046, 7); X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, 1089, 7); and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016, MM #1204, 7).… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Slow burn finally pays off in horror film Get Out

March 1, 2017
Slow burn finally pays off in horror film Get Out

Already 2017 is a rarity.
There have been two pretty good scary movies so far this year.
And if you factor in two from 2016, things have been pretty good in the horror movie genre recently.

About the film
The Movie Man liked 10 Cloverfield Lane (Movie Man No. 1193, 7) and Don’t Breathe (MM #1217, 7) last year.
In 2017, Split (MM #1238, 7)was good fun.
And now there’s Get Out.
Made by comedian Jordan Peele, Get Out came about when admitted horror movie fan Peele was looking for a terror film to make.
Pondering on what topic had not been visited too often in the genre, Peele – who is black – set upon racism.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Wall isn’t exactly Great, but it looks cool

February 22, 2017
Wall isn’t exactly Great, but it looks cool

The Movie Man won’t waste time addressing the current fad of railing against the fact that casting directors are not color-blind.
Diversity complaints come too regularly about specific ethnicities not being cast in certain roles, i.e., American Indian actors in Indian roles.
The Movie Man’s stance is let actors act.
So there. Anyway, there’s a white man at the head of a Chinese production, The Great Wall.
It makes sense since it’s the story of a Westerner seeking gunpowder, but the politically correct sorts overlook that.

About the film
There was big hubbub as The Great Wall was under production.
To begin with, it cost $150 million, a lot for a Chinese movie.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

LEGO Batman Movie heroically funny for all

February 15, 2017
LEGO Batman Movie heroically funny for all

It’s sequel city these days at cineplexes – like it has been for many a year now.
Well, actually, sequels go back further than many a year.

About the film
It’s a bit tricky determining the history of the movie sequel – with remakes and reboots and reimaginings to consider, too.
Historically in Hollywood, there have been plenty of series. As far back as 1909, Germans made several Sherlock Holmes films.
That happened later in the U.S. when Holmes and Watson brought the Baker Street duo to local screens. Those Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce – as Sherlock and Watson, respectively – were huge hits beginning in 1939.… Read the rest

Continue Reading