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Second Mall Cop movie got robbed of laughs

April 22, 2015
Second Mall Cop movie got robbed of laughs

 

Movie Wife has a ready answer as to why movies like Paul Blart: Mall Cop and this week’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 are so successful. Excluding animated movies, there are few silly, PG films aimed directly at kids. She’s right.

About the film
Eyes opened back in 2009 when the original Blart raked in big money, taking in an out-of-nowhere haul of $146.3 million domestically. (The Movie Man passed on Blart in ’09; he instead reviewed My Bloody Valentine 3D [Movie Man No. 808, a 4].)… Read the rest

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Man, The Longest Ride is certainly aptly titled

April 15, 2015
Man, The Longest Ride is certainly aptly titled

Chick flicks will be around forever. While TV networks like Lifetime cater to the same crowd that often devours “bodice-ripper” novels, many women love a full-bore romantic movie, too.

About the film
The Longest Ride is yet another adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. When The Notebook became such a colossal success, Sparks became a go-to for female-centric books.
Like with every other romantic/dramatic movie, every icky plot trope can be found: a cute meeting; differing personalities must find a way to overcome their seemingly impossible separate worlds; an old person is introduced, mirroring the modern day relationship with one that took place decades ago; lots of flashbacks; long, slow kisses; someone has a terrible secret from the past; there’s an inevitable break-up; finally one partner sees the light; everybody ends up happy.… Read the rest

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Furious car movie is anything but fast

April 8, 2015
Furious car movie is anything but fast

As expected, Furious 7 – yet another sequel in the Fast and the Furious series – destroyed the April record book.
With its gigantic take of $144 million, you can be sure that another movie looms in the series – even with the death of a major actor, Paul Walker.
His isn’t the most famous post-death role, but it’s up there.

About the filmRead the rest

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Home is a safe place to take your children

April 1, 2015
Home is a safe place to take your children

In these days of social media, everyone is a critic.
And, sometimes, their cyber-waves can cause damage to a movie.
Certainly Tweeters and Facebookers had a go at one of the voice stars of Home these last couple of weeks.

About the film
Lots of folks were not too crazy about the heavily-tattooed Rihanna being the star of a child-slanted animated movie.
Her music isn’t exactly kid friendly with songs like “S&M” and albums that are slapped with Explicit Content labels.… Read the rest

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Guns and gazes: The revolution is so angsty

March 25, 2015
Guns and gazes: The revolution is so angsty

Teens are the primary audience for many movies and that’s certainly true for this recent spate of adaptations of Young Adult novels.
From Harry Potter to the Twilight werewolves and vampires to Katniss Everdeen, teen moviegoers can make or break a YA franchise.
For all the hits above, plenty of YA movies miss big time. Then there’s the Divergent series.

About the film
The Movie Man did not officially review Divergent; that week, last March, he chose Muppets Most Wanted (2014, Movie Man No. 1080, 4).… Read the rest

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Bibbity-Bobbity-Bore: Cinderella lacks magic

March 18, 2015
Bibbity-Bobbity-Bore: Cinderella lacks magic

This week’s Movie Man will have a couple of Downton Abbey references. And mentions of some old Disney cartoons.

About the film
Cinderella is a continuation of one of the many areas in which the Mouse House rules. There are cable channels and shows, straight-to-video movies, Broadway versions of early Disney production, and even ice shows.
Now, the studio is taking old animated movies/characters from decades past and creating live-action films.… Read the rest

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Robot movie looks good, but it’s a rattle trap

March 11, 2015
Robot movie looks good, but it’s a rattle trap

Despite massive advance publicity, Chappie underperformed substantially at the box office. That’s because it’s not that hot. Still, its director, Neill Blomkamp, is the owner of not one but two exceedingly rare Movie Man freak facts.

About the film
(Well, really, this is nothing “about the film” Chappie. It’s a quick trip through the upper regions of Movie Man history.)
Chappie is Movie Man No. 1,129; the Movie Man arrived in the summer of 1993, appeared sporadically then became an essential read a few years later and now has been for decades.… Read the rest

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Focus not picture perfect but it’s still plenty fun

March 4, 2015
Focus not picture perfect but it’s still plenty fun

How can anybody not like Will Smith? As with Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks, he’s beloved.

About the film
Smith has made great decisions from the beginning.
From music – with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Smith (the “Fresh Prince”) won the first-ever Grammy for Best Rap Performance in 1989 for “Parents Just Don’t Understand” (beating out, among others, LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali” and Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It” which can be seen/heard several times daily on a Geico commercial) – to TV – where The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is in constant syndication – he proved to have a golden touch right off the bat.… Read the rest

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Costner breaks the tape in another sports movie

February 25, 2015
Costner breaks the tape in another sports movie

Disney is wise.
The studio makes superhero movies. They create kid-friendly pictures, animated and otherwise. They produce an annual nature film every Earth Day. (This year it’s Monkey Kingdom.)
And they put out old-timey movies that appeal to adults who long for a feel-good, inspirational story – the kind that land on the AARP Movies for Grown-Up Awards list.  That’s McFarland, USA.

About the filmRead the rest

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Stylish ultra-violent spy homage packs a punch

February 18, 2015
Stylish ultra-violent spy homage packs a punch

Last week’s movie, Jupiter Ascending (Movie Man No. 1126, a 3), was delayed from the previous summer.
Like many postponed films that get jettisoned into the dead zone of February, Jupiter Ascending was not very good.
Kingsmen: The Secret Service was also pushed back – from late last year until this month. But, in a rarity, it’s a major studio February release that isn’t horrible.… Read the rest

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