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Cap’s battle royale is really Avengers III

May 11, 2016
Cap’s battle royale is really Avengers III

The Movie Man went out of his way to avoid finding out too much about Captain America: Civil War.
These days, of course, it’s hard to do – he could not help but discover that Spider-Man shows up and that a few newcomers and some old Avengers end up being on different sides of an issue.
But, overall, he avoided a lot and that paid off in the auditorium.

About the film
One thing the Movie Man heard often was how fantastic the airport fight was.
Going in knowing too much about a movie can be a bummer because you focus on waiting for specific scenes instead of the actual movie.… Read the rest

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Sing along on this trip down movie music lane

May 4, 2016
Sing along on this trip down movie music lane

This is Movie Man No. 1,200, and he promised something different.
Back in May 2009, he detailed the history of music on  soundtracks and its popularity on radio in an essay that ran in a Fine Arts Special in the paper.
You might have missed it; if you did, some of that is found below.

The old days
In the early days of cinema, sound was understandably a big deal. In fact, the first “real” talkie, The Jazz Singer (1927) was mainly songs not dialogue.
Marlene Dietrich became an international star when she sang in The Blue Angel in 1930.
Musicals got popular quickly with songs highlighted in movies like Golddiggers of 1933.… Read the rest

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Killer queens await the Huntsman this time

April 27, 2016
Killer queens await the Huntsman this time

The problem with some movies that continue a story is that their predecessors are not always easily recallable.
And sometimes you have to wonder why there’s another movie at all.

About the film
Waiting a year between movies can make follow-ups suffer.
Certainly, the 1977/1980/1983 Star Wars had no problems nor did the Lord of the Rings trilogy of 2001/2002/2003.
But lately, some series are hurting.
While the Hunger Games did just fine (and, sigh, Twilight, too), other Young Adult adaptations are struggling.
Most recently, it happened to the Allegiant books.
After Divergent and Insurgent, the third movie just released – Allegiant – performed much more poorly.… Read the rest

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New Jungle Book: Shere-ly the best version yet

April 20, 2016
New Jungle Book: Shere-ly the best version yet

Disney is ingenious when it comes to making money.
From TV shows to theme parks to movies both live action and animated, the conglomerate continues to find ways to rake in the cash.
In the last few years, the Mouse House struck on yet another method to stuff its piggy bank.

About the film
Someone some time back suggested remaking classic Disney animated movies – or taking familiar characters – and reimagining them with live-action. Or a combination of computer generation and live-action – either way, the film would seem new.
The ploy has worked big time. When a movie makes half a billion dollars worldwide, it garners attention.… Read the rest

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Love her or hate her, McCarthy is sure Bossy

April 13, 2016
Love her or hate her, McCarthy is sure Bossy

As he said last week, the Movie Man is a fan of Melissa McCarthy – and The Boss won’t ratchet up the lack of affection many others feel toward her.

About the film
It wasn’t her scene-stealing role that won him over – the Movie Man thinks Bridesmaids (2011, Movie Man No. 930, 4) is vastly overrated.
Even though the Movie Man is big on McCarthy, he actually skipped one of her movies, Tammy, in 2014. Also, the Movie Man wasn’t knocked out by her in Identity Thief (2013, MM #1022, 6) either.
It was The Heat (2013, 1042, 7) that won the Movie Man over; McCarthy is flat-out hilarious in it – and it’s where her daring, risqué character that popped up in Bridesmaids is reined in (somewhat) and becomes much funnier.… Read the rest

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Summertime guesses come early this year

April 6, 2016
Summertime guesses come early this year

It’s a little early, but the annual April lull is here and the big time movie slate is already lined up for the summer.
So the Movie Man is ready to make his annual Top 10 predicitons on what the biggest moneymaking films of this summer will be.
Lets’ go week to week – noting the movie the Movie Man will likely go see – then he will make his daring Top 10 predictions.

May
6 – Captain America: Civil War. No other movie of any substance is willing to take on this juggernaut.
13 – Snowden. Expecting Cap to dominate for at least two weeks, no studio is willing to take it on for 14 days.… Read the rest

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Batman fights Superman as DC universe rises

March 30, 2016
Batman fights Superman as DC universe rises

The critics hated it, but that didn’t keep the fanboys from filling up auditoriums once Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice finally arrived.
It became one of the greatest openings of all-time – which was pretty vital since DC Comics is trying so valiantly to mimic the movie success of the Marvel universe.

About the film
Tying movies together has become a Marvel staple. Films tease future movies and characters show up in others’ movies.
Once audiences buy into the concept, a timeline of movies can be made several years into the future.
Marvel’s upcoming calendar includes:
Captain America: Civil War – May 6
Doctor Strange – Nov.… Read the rest

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I know you are but what am I? You’re just bad

March 23, 2016
I know you are but what am I? You’re just bad

Yes, the Movie Man said last week he’d look at Divergent: Allegiant but a couple of more important topics have arisen – and that sent the Movie Man back to the old days…for now.

About the film
Of course, the way to watch a movie these days are changing.
While there’s still nothing like sharing the cinematic experience in a corporate atmosphere with a huge group of folks, other options keep clogging the traditional process.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Technology began changing moviegoing since the arrival of the video tape. (Well, TV was a giant game changer, of course, but we’re talking more recently.)
The fact that you could literally buy a movie and watch it over and over again at home on tape was incredible.… Read the rest

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The return of the Cloverfield monster? Kinda

March 16, 2016
The return of the Cloverfield monster? Kinda

It’s not really a sequel, but it’s kinda one. It’s not a tricky one-off like one horror movie series is famous for.
But, again, it’s not a direction continuation of its kinda like-named predecessor either.
It’s 10 Cloverfield Lane – and it’s pretty darn good.

About the film
J.J. Abrams – who, if he had created only Lost, would’ve made his mark – managed to make a movie with almost no one knowing about it. That’s a minor miracle these days.
In 2008, he pulled off the same feat with Cloverfield (Movie Man No. 755, 8) – a found footage film that was a super monster movie.… Read the rest

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Zootopia is an animated movie for grown ups

March 9, 2016
Zootopia is an animated movie for grown ups

Forever, Disney was the king of animation.
Then came some upstarts that embraced modern technology and suddenly the old school, hand-drawn style of animation seemed a million years old.
But Disney has caught up.

About the film
Zootopia is already becoming such a hit that it’ll likely be one of the top animated movies of the year.
It’ll take some endurance to reach the upper echelon of the biggest moneymakers.
Like many lists, there are different ways of ranking.
Here are the top 10 biggest moneymakers worldwide:
1. Frozen (2013, Movie Man No. 1064, 7) – $1.28 billion
2. Minions (2105, MM #1148, 6) – $1.16 billion
3.… Read the rest

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