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Bad Neighbors in every sense of the word

May 14, 2014
Bad Neighbors in every sense of the word

Quickly it becomes apparent that this 2014 Neighbors has no relation to the 1981 version that was, sadly, John Belushi’s final movie.
They do share the fact that neither one of them is very good.

About the film
Belushi, who died of a drug overdose in 1982, didn’t make many movies.
Two are beloved (Animal House [1978], The Blues Brothers [1980]), one’s a cult classic (Goin’ South [1978 with Jack Nicholson]), one’s highly underrated (1941 [1979, Steven Spielberg’s “worst” movie; it’s jampacked with madcappery – moreso than just about any movie ever made]), and one’s a better than average romantic comedy (Continental Divide [1981, “the only time Belushi got to really act”).… Read the rest

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Spidey vs. Electro, Green Goblin, Rhino and mush

May 7, 2014
Spidey vs. Electro, Green Goblin, Rhino and mush

Surely we’re not seeing the evolution of the superhero movie, are we?

About the film
When the gritty cinematic versions of Batman came along, they were popular for several reasons – among them: they were different.
Now, already this year, we have had two more different takes on the traditional heroic tales.
And there might be another variant loaded up this summer.
Earlier this year came Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Movie Man No. 1,082, a 7).… Read the rest

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Guessing summer’s top 10: More than meets the eye

April 30, 2014
Guessing summer’s top 10: More than meets the eye

This is a rare week – that happens every year – where the Movie Man skips a film, puts on his prognosticating hat, and tries to ascertain what the top 10 movies of the upcoming summer season will be.
It’s never perfect. There’s always some movie that seems to come out of nowhere and is a big hit. Like Ted (2012, Movie Man No. 989, a 3). That film went on to land in the rarified air of last summer’s top 10.… Read the rest

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There’s no place like Heaven for filmgoing believers

April 23, 2014
There’s no place like Heaven for filmgoing believers

We moviegoers are in the midst of a pair of film trends right now (aside from the superhero glut).
One is the Young Adult craze. The Twilight movies kicked off YA in theaters and The Hunger Games series has catapulted it into the stratosphere.
Still, a slew of YA hopefuls crashed and burned in auditoriums (like Ender’s Game [2013, Movie Man No. 1,060, a 6]).… Read the rest

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Are you cool enough to ‘get’ this hipster’s latest?

April 16, 2014
Are you cool enough to ‘get’ this hipster’s latest?

Some people like to go to the movies to escape. Some are curious about how a favorite novel might be adapted. Some love superheroes. Some dig spaceships or being scared.
And some are snooty. The sort who think film is art and any picture not trying to elevate the form is a colossal waste of time and energy. Only dullards go see Spider-Man; with noses in the air, the elite sniff at the common man and venture to the latest Lars von Trier “masterpiece.”… Read the rest

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It’s shield vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America 2

April 9, 2014
It’s shield vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America 2

So far, so good for the recent spate of Marvel superhero movies.
They are on a Pixar-esque run. Of course, even Pixar petered out (thank you Cars 2 [2011, Movie Man No. 934, a 4]).
But it’s still clear sailing for Marvel – the second Captain America movie is pretty good.

About the film
For decades, Marvel and DC, were the Ford/Chevy rivals of the comic book business. Devotees of each defended their preferences fervently.… Read the rest

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How great thou aren’t: Noah awash in weirdness

April 2, 2014
How great thou aren’t: Noah awash in weirdness

OK, Noah was weird enough. Then the movie ended and things got weirder.
The Movie Man has provided the general public with over a thousand glorious reviews. Yet, this was a first.
When Noah (finally) ended, the film (well, digital projection) was stopped and a young man, accompanied by a local police officer (!), called out that he wanted to speak to the crowd about Jesus.… Read the rest

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Here’s a new Muppet character suggestion: Snoozer

March 26, 2014
Here’s a new Muppet character suggestion: Snoozer

Alas, here’s another sequel that sadly lives up to the Second Movie Theory: the predecessor is usually better.
While the Movie Man wasn’t blown away by the Muppets return in 2011 (Movie Man No. 958, a 6), this new one, the sequel, is certainly a lesser effort.

About the film
Muppets’ history goes way back – from early appearances on TV’s Sesame Street to the puppets shooting to the top of the pop culture zeitgeist in the 1970’s in a TV show that every major star of the day scrambled to be on.… Read the rest

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Ultra-violent 300 sequel a marvel in 3-D

March 19, 2014
Ultra-violent 300 sequel a marvel in 3-D

The Movie Man jumped back a week to catch 300: Rise of an Empire for two reasons.
One, he really wasn’t interested in Need for Speed.
Two, he heard that Rise of an Empire was great in 3-D.
Man, that’s true.

About the film
Everyone has some sort of movie genre they prefer.
The Movie Man is partial to comedies, sci-fi/horror, and dramas.
He’s not crazy about war movies or westerns. And a romantic comedy must have some sort of juicer – a favorite actor or director – to get the Movie Man to go that route.… Read the rest

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Time traveling pooch will make Boomers smile

March 12, 2014
Time traveling pooch will make Boomers smile

It’s always tricky to mess with Baby Boomers’ beloved TV shows. Sometimes big screen versions work, sometimes they don’t.

About the film
The latest effort is Mr. Peabody and Sherman, part of what’s likely the single most loved cartoon for Boomers, especially the cool kids who were pre-teens in the 1960’s.
That original cartoon was Rocky and His Friends that began in 1959. Bullwinkle, a dim-witted moose, had several sometimes very weird adventures with Rocky, a flying squirrel.… Read the rest

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