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X marks the spot for another successful sequel

May 28, 2014
X marks the spot for another successful sequel

The Movie Man did something he hasn’t done in a long time: He shoehorned himself in amongst hordes of fanboys and fangirls at an advance showing of a movie.

About the film
We’ve discussed before how an audience can affect the enjoyment of a film – negatively through jabberers/phones/babies or positively when like-minded folks pack in to revel in a corporate experience.
In the case of superhero movies, the crowd with the Movie Man was highly twentysomethings-infested who applauded at the end, waited for the final credits stinger while talking excitedly, then huddled outside the theater entrance to smoke and discuss.… Read the rest

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Godzilla rampages through generational childhoods

May 21, 2014
Godzilla rampages through generational childhoods

Who doesn’t like Godzilla? Not many, judging from the fact that the groovy Japanese monster is 60 years old, has been in 40 movies, and this latest cinematic rendition of the creature raked in $93 million over the weekend.
Godzilla is still cool.

About the film
Godzilla first rose from the radioactive briny deep in 1954 in the midst of the Cold War when everyone everywhere was sure the atom bomb was about to destroy mankind.… Read the rest

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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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