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Slow burn finally pays off in horror film Get Out

March 1, 2017
Slow burn finally pays off in horror film Get Out

Already 2017 is a rarity.
There have been two pretty good scary movies so far this year.
And if you factor in two from 2016, things have been pretty good in the horror movie genre recently.

About the film
The Movie Man liked 10 Cloverfield Lane (Movie Man No. 1193, 7) and Don’t Breathe (MM #1217, 7) last year.
In 2017, Split (MM #1238, 7)was good fun.
And now there’s Get Out.
Made by comedian Jordan Peele, Get Out came about when admitted horror movie fan Peele was looking for a terror film to make.
Pondering on what topic had not been visited too often in the genre, Peele – who is black – set upon racism.… Read the rest

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Wall isn’t exactly Great, but it looks cool

February 22, 2017
Wall isn’t exactly Great, but it looks cool

The Movie Man won’t waste time addressing the current fad of railing against the fact that casting directors are not color-blind.
Diversity complaints come too regularly about specific ethnicities not being cast in certain roles, i.e., American Indian actors in Indian roles.
The Movie Man’s stance is let actors act.
So there. Anyway, there’s a white man at the head of a Chinese production, The Great Wall.
It makes sense since it’s the story of a Westerner seeking gunpowder, but the politically correct sorts overlook that.

About the film
There was big hubbub as The Great Wall was under production.
To begin with, it cost $150 million, a lot for a Chinese movie.… Read the rest

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LEGO Batman Movie heroically funny for all

February 15, 2017
LEGO Batman Movie heroically funny for all

It’s sequel city these days at cineplexes – like it has been for many a year now.
Well, actually, sequels go back further than many a year.

About the film
It’s a bit tricky determining the history of the movie sequel – with remakes and reboots and reimaginings to consider, too.
Historically in Hollywood, there have been plenty of series. As far back as 1909, Germans made several Sherlock Holmes films.
That happened later in the U.S. when Holmes and Watson brought the Baker Street duo to local screens. Those Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce – as Sherlock and Watson, respectively – were huge hits beginning in 1939.… Read the rest

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Rings sounds death knell for horror series

February 8, 2017
Rings sounds death knell for horror series

Once again, the Movie Man found himself the only person in an auditorium, watching what he knew going in was probably not a very good movie.
But, he does it for you to 1) verify that, indeed, the film is stinker and 2) so you don’t have to.
And, believe the Movie Man, you should pass on Rings.
He will give it a cursory review then delve into his Top 15 most anticipated movies of 2017.

About the film
For some reason, another Ring movie was made. Already there were the Japanese originals and a pretty good American version, The Ring (2002, Movie Man No.… Read the rest

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Gold is more alright, alright than some think

February 1, 2017
Gold is more alright, alright than some think

Boy, the bloom came off the Matthew McConaughey flower quickly.
It was just in 2013 that he was on top of the world with the success of TV’S True Detective and an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club (2014).
However, since then, it’s been hit and miss – with a couple of substantial misses lately.

About the film
Forever, McConaughey was a pretty boy from Texas (Uvalde to be exact, but he’s now an Austin boy who has ensconced himself as the No. 1 UT-Austin football fan) who made successful rom-coms, dramas, and action movies, usually without his shirt on.
Without question, he was successful with the formulas.… Read the rest

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Split’s fun – and it has a whammy trick ending

January 25, 2017
Split’s fun – and it has a whammy trick ending

The Movie Man saw previews for Split for months.
With that kind of advance build up, there’s always a chance of a letdown.
But what has helped Split is that word got out about its supposedly knockout of a trick ending – from a guy who has unleashed some tricky endings.
Who could resist that? Few, apparently, because it was easily the No. 1 movie of the week.

About the film
Last week, we discussed how actors have managed to revive careers that looked like they were dead in the water.
The same argument can be made for director M. Night Shyamalan.… Read the rest

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It’s gangsters vs one another and the KKK

January 18, 2017
It’s gangsters vs one another and the KKK

Ben Affleck is one of those Hollywood rarities – he managed to salvage his career.
Like Robert Downey, Jr. and, to a lesser extent (at least right now), Mel Gibson, Affleck overcame public disdain and is now back in the good graces of the ticket-buying public and Hollywood big wigs – actually, he’s a big wig again now.

About the film
Live By Night is Affleck’s fourth movie to direct, but he also has had success acting, producing, and writing.
It was the latter that garnered him his first great attention; he wrote, with Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting (1998, Movie Man No.… Read the rest

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High hype, yes, but La La Land has its moments

January 11, 2017
High hype, yes, but La La Land has its moments

Sometimes a movie comes out that one group of folks will think is the greatest thing ever and another group – or almost everyone else on the planet – will think is a dud.
That’s where La La Land fits squarely. The Movie Man will note – and will reiterate again later – that most of humanity will not like this movie. But those who buy into La La Land will be more than enamored.

About the film
La La Land fits into the realm of the kind of movie Hollywood loves: It’s about Hollywood! Or at least the fantasy version.… Read the rest

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Sing takes a while but belts out a fine finale

January 4, 2017
Sing takes a while but belts out a fine finale

Two things:
One, the Movie Man said he was going to review La La Land, but it’s in limited release and sold out.
Two, it’s time for the annual look back at the Best and Worst of 2016.

The Year in Review
Nothing like this has happened in the decades of the Movie Man sharing his great mind: No movie managed to rate a 9, or 8 in 2016.
(Twice a 7 has been named Best of Year despite other 8s in the year; it happened in 2002 with Insomnia and in 2006 with Casino Royale.)
That means no less than 19 movies rated 7 this year are battling it out for the top spots.… Read the rest

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Passengers is a sci-fi/rom-com trip worth taking

December 28, 2016
Passengers is a sci-fi/rom-com trip worth taking

 


Sometimes a movie gets an unfair rap and audiences are tainted in advance – some so much that they don’t bother to attend a film they were initially interested in.
That looks like what’s happened to Passengers.

A super trailer primed audiences for Passengers; it looked fantastic.
Then came some weird buzz about the movie. Critics were really tough on it, claiming it was a male fantasy couched in sci-fi.
That claim took a cyber-life and spread, poisoning the movie for many.
Passengers has been unfairly labeled.
If anything, the movie goes out of its way to avoid that sexist trope.… Read the rest

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