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Pyramid scheme: Gods of Egypt after your cash

March 2, 2016
Pyramid scheme: Gods of Egypt after your cash

You know those movies that you go into and within four minutes you can tell it’s going to fail. Welcome to Gods of Egypt.

About the film
Gods of Egypt cost around $140 million; that’s a lot, even for today with myriad tax breaks and incentives. Word got out early that it’s a mess and the film faltered its opening week ($14 million).
Sometimes a movie is so bad that it ends up being fun enough to watch; anyone who has seen the classic TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 knows that it’s great fun to mock someone’s life dream of making a movie.… Read the rest

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The Witch only occasionally casts its creepy spell

February 24, 2016
The Witch only occasionally casts its creepy spell

A scary movie man, the Movie Man got bewitched into seeing the hyped-up The Witch.
Like many other viewers, he came away disappointed.

About the film
Scaring veteran moviegoers is not easy.
The usual “jump scares” – where someone or something leaps out suddenly at the protagonist – get predictable.
And if you’ve seen one “torture porn” slasher/splatter movie, you’ve seen them all.
Only occasionally does a fright film pop up to offer something different.
Love or hate The Blair Witch Project, it was different. (And had a cool ending if you could see it through your shaky-camera-induced nausea.)
That got the Movie Man to thinking about the times when a movie has actually either made him jump or truly affected him.… Read the rest

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Deadpool slaughters competition, laughs to bank

February 17, 2016
Deadpool slaughters competition, laughs to bank

Well, Deadpool certainly killed ‘em. The R-rated Marvel “superhero” movie broke almost every standing February record as fans and the curious poured into theaters.

About the film
While the character of Deadpool – “The Merc with the Mouth” – has had a cult following, a film version seemed unlikely since most comic book movies are rated no worse than PG-13. But there have been R-rated comic book movies made before.
Like a PG-13 Deadpool would be weird, so would a non-R Punisher. Three cracks at the merciless vigilante have been made – with Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane, and Ray Stevenson.… Read the rest

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Coen Bros. are hit and miss – Hail! this big miss

February 11, 2016
Coen Bros. are hit and miss – Hail! this big miss

Two.
Two chuckles.
And the Movie Man was the only other person who emitted any sort of noise during Hail, Caesar!
Unless you count the occasional snore or exit conversations which included “the most boring movie I’ve ever seen” from a sixtysomething woman and “that was really horrible” from a same-aged woman a row up.
And those are comments from people old enough to remember the “studio era” from the 1950’s that the movie is satirizing.
Indeed, it was painful to sit through.

About the film
The Coen Bros. are a curious duo.
They have made some of the greatest American movies ever and have also released some films that immediately disappeared.… Read the rest

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Third time’s a winner for Kung Fu Panda

February 3, 2016
Third time’s a winner for Kung Fu Panda

You never know about animated (or regular) movie sequels. Too often the quality drops rapidly from the original – especially by the time No. 3 arrives.

About the film
That’s not the case with Kung Fu Panda, however.
The first was fun enough (2008, Movie Man No. 776, 6) and the sequel (2011, MM #932, 6) had laughs.
The third one in a series being better is unusual.
About the only instance where No. 3 stood with the first two is Toy Story 3 (2010, MM #882, 8).
The third Ice Age movie, Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009, MM #833, 7) was way better then No.… Read the rest

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Dirty Grandpa: Old people are unfunny, too

January 27, 2016
Dirty Grandpa: Old people are unfunny, too

Sometimes you go to a movie where you know it just has too many things stacked against it.
Then, there’s the on-the-street rumble from the common man that the film is just not that good.
Plus critics are savaging it.
That’s Dirty Grandpa.
It’s horrible, another gross-out, ha!-old-people-are-cussing effort that has almost zero laughs.
However, this is Movie Man No. 1,186 and, for the first time, he experienced something that had never happened ever before to him in an auditorium.

About the film
That rare occurrence? Three red band trailers unspooled.
Seeing a single red band – for restricted audiences only – trailer hardly ever happens.… Read the rest

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Be Hart-less and don’t Ride Along this time

January 20, 2016
Be Hart-less and don’t Ride Along this time

The Movie Man tussled with seeing a new film or picking up a holiday release that had been out a few weeks.
He chose the former – with Ride Along 2 – and he knows now he should’ve gone to see Spotlight.

About the film
There’s no doubt that Kevin Hart is on fire. One preview before the movie was for an upcoming concert film that boasted of his latest standup tour being the biggest, most profitable comedy tour ever.
In the film world, while it seems like he just hit it big, he actually has a whopping 63 credits on his cinematic resume.… Read the rest

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Hardcore Western will be unbearable to some

January 13, 2016
Hardcore Western will be unbearable to some

Here’s a great opportunity to compare and contrast two seemingly similar movies – The Hateful Eight and The Revenant. The latter is far superior to the former.

About the film
The Revenant is filled with violence, gore, and some sexual content – the same traits that ride through The Hateful Eight (Movie Man No. 1183, 4).
Yet it all makes much more sense in The Revenant.
In Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, all the R-rated shenanigans seemed to be there just for shock value.
That’s not the case in The Revenant (for the most part). In Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s version of the American frontier, things are grimy and oh, so dirty.… Read the rest

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Another Tarantino dud – unless you’re cool, man

January 6, 2016
Another Tarantino dud – unless you’re cool, man

Somehow, occasionally a filmmaker becomes the snobs’ and critics’ pet and that’s surely the case with Quentin Tarantino.
Not with the Movie Man, however.

About the film
The Movie Man is no contrarian. He’s not afraid to like popular directors like Steven Spielberg rather than turning his nose up at a filmmaker just because they are successful. A good movie doesn’t have to be made by a director like Wes Anderson, beloved indie god of the coffee sipping, neck-bearded hipsters.
Tarantino is another one the you-just-don’t-get-it crowd loves to crow about.
He’s a film nerd certainly, with an admirable vast knowledge of cinema – good and bad.… Read the rest

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Chipmunks make the Movie Man list, the bad one

December 29, 2015
Chipmunks make the Movie Man list, the bad one

Oh, my. What a way to end a cinematic year.
Pew-yew, the latest (and last?) Alvin and the Chipmunks movie is very bad.
But first – let’s look at 2015’s other bad movies. And some good ones.

2015
Time for the annual review of the year’s best and worst.
Best of Year:
10. Paddington (7) – consistently funny with several laugh out loud moments
9. Jurassic World (7) – great computer generation and enough humor to remind us of the earlier movies (see No. 3)
8. Kingsmen: The Secret Service (7) – exciting and suave with killer action scenes (keep reading)
7.… Read the rest

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