RSSMovie Man

Into the Woods only occasionally bewitching

December 30, 2014
Into the Woods only occasionally bewitching

A while back, we analyzed the difficulty of bringing a popular stage production to the big screen.
Plenty of adaptations fail – Dreamgirls, Nine (the latter directed by Rob Marshall who made Into the Woods)– while others made the trip and then some – Cabaret, Chicago (the latter also by Marshall).
Into the Woods has been a colossal success since its debut in 1986 and its Broadway arrival in the fall of 1987. (Unfortunately for Into the Woods, it came out in the same awards season as the juggernaut The Phantom of the Opera.)Read the rest

Continue Reading

Director’s Hobbit habit over after gigantic battle

December 22, 2014
Director’s Hobbit habit over after gigantic battle

If you’re a J.R.R. Tolkien lover, these have been a heady 13 years.
No less than six movies have been made from the fantasy author’s sprawling books.
Director Peter Jackson won over doubters with the first adaptation – and fanboys have stuck with him ever since.

About the film
While concern has been raised by Ringnuts (fans of the Lord of the Rings) that a single book – The Hobbit – has been stretched into a trio of movies that has not stopped fans from filling movie houses.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

New Exodus movie plagued by slow stretches

December 17, 2014
New Exodus movie plagued by slow stretches

It’s been quite a year for religious-based movies.
Hollywood’s big budget efforts did OK despite some big blow back from God-fearing audiences.
The smaller movies, however, were the ones that enjoyed more success.

About the film
By the end of April, the Movie Man had already checked out a trio of religious movies.
First came Son of God (Movie Man No. 1077, 6), an extended version of an earlier successful TV series. It was decent.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

It’s a wonderful Christmas movie list

December 10, 2014
It’s a wonderful Christmas movie list

What are the best Christmas movies?
It’s a genre that never dies, especially on TV. Annually, Lifetime churns out holiday themed films nonstop. They are almost always forgettable. This year’s real stinker is Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.
With regularity, Christmas movies get released theatrically, too. They come and go, few have staying power.
This year has produced what could be the all-time holiday turkey, Saving Christmas starring Kirk Cameron. When the movie got lit up by critics – religious and secular – and moviegoers – religious and secular – Cameron ventured to social media to try to get its pitiful early reputation restored.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The critical cold shoulder? Penguins is good fun

December 3, 2014
The critical cold shoulder? Penguins is good fun

Animated movies aren’t automatic moneymakers (unless you’re Pixar).
Dreamworks is 20 years old now and the studio has had its share of hits, too, with just a few misses.
 
About the film
Penguins of Madagascar is Dreamworks’ 30th animated movie.
Only two have underperformed and just one has flat-out lost money.
That dud was The Road to El Dorado (2000, Movie Man No. 333, a 6). It took in just $76.4 million (internationally) with a $95 million budget.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Mockingjay sets up major battle – for next year

November 24, 2014
Mockingjay sets up major battle – for next year

It’s really Star Wars’ fault.
When that movie hit so big in 1977 and word got out that two more were in the pipeline, fans went crazy with anticipation.
It seemed like it took forever for 1980 and 1983 to arrive with The Empire Strikes Back  and Return of the Jedi.
The trilogy craze was on.

About the film
Trilogies had arrived before the Star Wars trio, but they weren’t planned as such.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Sequel 20 years in the making is no less Dumber

November 19, 2014
Sequel 20 years in the making is no less Dumber

Funny is a tricky thing. What makes someone else laugh is flat-out unfunny to someone else. Humor-wise, movies have run the gamut.

About the film
Dumb and Dumber To is the official sequel to 1994’s Dumb and Dumber (Movie Man No. 57, a ‘-’ in those ancient non-numbering days, a 5 today).
This is the real second movie with the original makers; it’s not to be confused with Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd in 2003 – which was a dud that still managed to make its paltry $19 million budget back (it made $26.2 million).… Read the rest

Continue Reading

November 12, 2014

 

It seems we’ve been mighty 2001: A Space Odyssey intensive lately and that’s certainly not going to change this week.
That’s because Interstellar is trying very hard to be this generation’s 2001. And it ain’t by a long shot.

About the film
There are plenty of similarities in the two movies, intentional, of course.
Both have long silent takes of objects, some tumbling, in space. Both use cutting edge technology. Music plays an essential role in 2001 and Interstellar. And both have a mind-bending finale.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Nightcrawler like an old school 70’s crime drama

November 5, 2014
Nightcrawler like an old school 70’s crime drama

“Gritty” movies have been around for a while. From the film noir pictures of the 1940’s and early ‘50’s to the realistic crime movies of the 1970’s, there’s a history of dark, macho movies that evolved into a genre.
Today, movies that look a certain way are deemed to be a throwback to those “gritty films of the ‘70’s” – like Dog Day Afternoon (1975) or Serpico (1973.)… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Smarmy Murray saves generic, feel-good weeper

October 29, 2014
Smarmy Murray saves generic, feel-good weeper

How could anyone not like Bill Murray?
Whether you’ve been there from the beginning – like the Movie Man has from Murray’s Saturday Night Live days – or came along when Murray’s movie career became his focus, he’s consistently funny.

About the film
These days, Murray is famous for not being around. Filmmakers are always seeking him out for work, but he’s known for being hard to find.… Read the rest

Continue Reading