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The game stands tall, the movie not so much

September 17, 2014
The game stands tall, the movie not so much

The Movie Man dipped back – for the last time in a while, hopefully – to a movie that has been out a spell, When the Game Stands Tall.
It’s a film that fills more than one niche; it’s an inspirational movie, a sports picture, and one with a spiritual bent made, in part, by a “religious studio.”
 
About the film
Cinematic history is full of inspirational movies, some of them sports films.… Read the rest

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Food movie light on weight, heavier on corn

September 10, 2014
Food movie light on weight, heavier on corn

With rare exceptions, women as they age don’t get primo, meaty roles.
Age is much less often an issue for men actors than women.

About the film
Three female actors seem immune to the cinematic “glass ceiling” – Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, and Helen Mirren.
Dench, 79, continues to impress; looking back, her career is laden with every sort of award.
She appears in art house movies like last year’s Philomena (2013, Movie Man No. 1073, 7) and blockbusters like the 2012 James Bond thriller Skyfall (MM # 1008, 8).… Read the rest

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CG-free November is a 1970’s spy throwback

September 3, 2014
CG-free November is a 1970’s spy throwback

There are plenty of actors who cobble together successful careers, following a now-traditional path – struggle early, move up on the ladder a bit, hit it big, then fade late career.
Pierce Brosnan is one of those.

About the film
Brosnan’s path to success – he is 61 – began from humble made-for-TV movie beginnings to a hit TV show starting in 1982, Remington Steele, with a role in a cult sci-fi/horror movie, Nomads (1986), mixed in.… Read the rest

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Latest graphic novel adaptation plenty graphic

August 27, 2014
Latest graphic novel adaptation plenty graphic

The follow up to 2005’s Sin City (Movie Man No. 606, a 5) took its time arriving. It’s finally here just over nine years later and, unfortunately, it suffers from the same woes of the original.

About the film
The first one wasn’t a colossal hit at $74.1 million. But it had its fanboy base and that grew via in-home viewing.
This sequel is similar to the original with a couple of exceptions.… Read the rest

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Old Expendables soon to become Dependables?

August 20, 2014
Old Expendables soon to become Dependables?

Well, you can’t blame a guy for trying.
Sylvester Stallone has been churning out movies as he approaches the latter stage of his life. And a slew of them just haven’t been embraced.

About the film
With a couple of exceptions, Stallone has had an astonishing stretch of snubbed movies. That duo of accepted films – Rocky Balboa (2006, Movie Man No. 698, 6) and The Expendables (2010, MM #892, 6).… Read the rest

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These Turtles? Heroes on a half (hearted) shell

August 13, 2014
These Turtles? Heroes on a half (hearted) shell

The fourth decade of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has arrived and here’s a new movie for a new generation.
The Turtles have had their ups and downs through the years.

About the film
The Turtles were first conceived in November 1983 when a couple of artists jokingly sketched out four turtles in ninja attire with weapons.
The Turtles’ origin story is patterned after Marvel Comics’ Daredevil. A canister bounces off a truck and the radioactive goo inside creates superpowers.… Read the rest

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Marvel-ous streak continues with Guardians

August 6, 2014
Marvel-ous streak continues with Guardians

The big gamble paid off and it’s official: Marvel Studios is on the kind of roll Pixar enjoyed. Marvel can seemingly do no wrong.

About the film
The studio created a Galactus-sized plan. Not only would a series of movies be made – some of them utilizing far from popular characters – but they would interlock with each other and be projected out for years in a series of “phases.”… Read the rest

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Purge binges on violence and social comment

July 23, 2014
Purge binges on violence and social comment

Hollywood folk will tell anyone who will listen that they usually have no idea whether a movie they just made will be a hit.
History is littered with “can’t miss” movies that cratered at the box office.
There is no fool-proof genre – one that, no matter the professional input or source – will be a guaranteed success.
That goes for thrillers, too.

About the filmRead the rest

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Dawn rises to the occasion as in Apes sequel

July 16, 2014
Dawn rises to the occasion as in Apes sequel

The Movie Man has visited before how rare it is when a sequel equals and (rarely) even surpasses the original.
While it doesn’t happen often, sometimes a second movie is mighty good. This is one of those times.

About the film
This recent Planet of the Apes reboot, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, follows a 2012 film that followed what many consider a disastrous “revisiting” of the 1968 original by quirky director Tim Burton back in 2001.… Read the rest

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Walk like a man to check out Jersey Boys

July 9, 2014
Walk like a man to check out Jersey Boys

Musical biographies occasionally pop up and soon more than usual will be landing in theaters.
If the newcomers are as good as Jersey Boys, then we’re in for some groovy movies.

About the film
(The Movie Man said he was going to see Tammy this week, but, since he’s like the common man only substantially more educated cinematically, he read the endless horrid reviews and witnessed its lukewarm weekend performance and passed. [The Movie Man’s tricky; he doesn’t always go see what he teases.])… Read the rest

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