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The Good Dinosaur is simply just that – good

December 2, 2015
The Good Dinosaur is simply just that – good

Pixar’s second movie in one year – a rarity – has arrived with The Good Dinosaur. It could hardly be more different looking than the earlier one, Inside Out (Movie Man No. 1144, 7), and that’s a good thing.

About the film
This has been the year of 7s for the Movie Man, another rare thing. With The Good Dinosaur earning a 7, that’s five 7s in a row: Bridge of Spies; Spectre; The Peanuts Movie; and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
In case you think the Movie Man is getting soft, it’s happened twice before: 2000 – Original Kings of Comedy; Almost Famous; Remember the Titans; Meet the Parents; and The Contender and 2001 – Bandits; From Hell; K-PAX; Monsters, Inc.; and Shallow Hal.Read the rest

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Hunger fans dying to see franchise finale

November 23, 2015
Hunger fans dying to see franchise finale

The conclusion of the popular Young Adult series The Hunger Games went the Harry Potter and Twilight route and split the final book into two parts.

About the film
The cinematic rendering of The Hunger Games has been a success of Potter and Twilight proportions.
The difference between the YA trio of blockbusters is how well they performed worldwide.
In America, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013, Movie Man No. 1063, 7), the second of the four films, is the 12th biggest moneymaker in U.S. history with $424.7 million.
The first one, The Hunger Games (2012, MM #975, 9 [a rare 9 that wasn’t Best of Year; that went to Hugo]), sits at No.… Read the rest

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You’re a good, gentle movie, Charlie Brown

November 18, 2015
You’re a good, gentle movie, Charlie Brown

People are still yapping – incorrectly – about the terrible live-action version of the beloved 1966 cartoon TV classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (That movie, The Grinch [2000, Movie Man No. 377, 9, Best of Year] remains a holiday tradition at the Movie Man house.)
When word got out that a Peanuts movie was being made with evil computer generation, generations of Charlie Brown fans – from the comic strip and television specials – generated angry rants and basically went cyber-nuts. They needn’t have worried.

About the film
This is not the first Peanuts movie to be theatrically released. While most of the famous productions are from TV – primarily annual classics A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) – there have been four movies that reached auditoriums.… Read the rest

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Craig goes out on top as buff Bond in Spectre

November 11, 2015
Craig goes out on top as buff Bond in Spectre

The Movie Man is a cinematic genius like no one else of course.
He noticed something that almost no other human saw in the latest James Bond, Spectre.
But first…

About the film
Excluding Tomorrow Never Dies (1997 – back then, the Movie Man chose Titanic [#212, an 8]), the Movie Man has seen every Bond movie since the Movie Man began his journalistic reign in 1992.
They are:
Goldeneye (1995, MM #102, 7)
The World Is Not Enough (1999, MM #316, 7)
Die Another Day (2002, MM #484, 7)
Casino Royale (2006, MM #692, 7, Best of Year [that wasn’t much of a year])
Quantum of Solace (2008, MM #799, 6)
Skyfall (2012, MM #1008, 8 and the most profitable Bond ever, the only one to reach more than $1 billion internationally)
This week, here’s Spectre, another 7; clearly the series is consistently good – which makes the rumor that this one, Bond No.… Read the rest

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Cold War Spies movie is an Old School drama

November 4, 2015
Cold War Spies movie is an Old School drama

Tom Hanks continues to prove he’s a phenomenal actor with Bridge of Spies.
And Steven Spielberg is leaving a legacy like no one before.

About the film
Spielberg is famed for directing some of the greatest movies ever. No one can match his successes, not even Martin Scorsese. Spielberg’s mark on cinematic history is colossal.
He’s made great movies in every genre:
Horror – Jaws (1975)
Sci-fi – Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Action – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Kids’ movie – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Drama – The Color Purple (1985)
War – Schlindler’s List (1993, Movie Man No.… Read the rest

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Oh, it’s definitely the Last Witch Hunter all right

October 28, 2015
Oh, it’s definitely the Last Witch Hunter all right

While the Movie Man often references box office results because it’s a blatant indicator of a movie’s acceptance, a film can be good – even great – and draw far fewer viewers than a crappy one that’s popular.
Looking at the pure numbers can be misleading; however, last week’s box office was like no other before – and The Last Witch Hunter was part of it.

About the film
All new releases/expanded releases last week tanked big time. That allowed The Martian (Movie Man No.1159, 8) to return to the No. 1 spot after dropping out for a week. That’s a relatively rare occurrence, but it happens – just like a Top 40 song might dip for a week then return to No.… Read the rest

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Peak an homage to gory, ghostly classics

October 21, 2015
Peak an homage to gory, ghostly classics

The Movie Man hates it when several good movies come out on the same weekend since he always focuses on just one to review.
With Goosebumps, Bridge of Spies, and Crimson Peak, that’s what’s happened. The Movie Man pulled the trigger on the latter, skipping Spies – a Steven Spielberg movie starring Tom Hanks. If you throw out a few cameos/small parts, the Movie Man has not missed a Hanks movie since 1993’s Philadelphia. With Denzel Washington, Hanks remains America’s greatest actor.
But Halloween nears and not seeing Crimson Peak seemed wrong. Sorry, Tom.

About the film
The Universal monsters – Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy – made scary movies fun.… Read the rest

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The Intern: shines early but then it’s no sale

October 14, 2015
The Intern: shines early but then it’s no sale

The Movie Man had planned on going to see Pan this week, but that did not occur because of circumstances beyond his control.
So he dropped back a little to catch The Intern which is a bummer because Pan would’ve been fun to talk about since it’s one of the big failures of the year.
Well, let’s talk a little about it anyway.

About The Film
There have been four big-budget movies that have been true misfires so far this year: Jupiter Ascending, Tomorrowland, Fantastic Four, and now Pan.
Each has a slightly different story.
Jupiter Ascending arrived with bad buzz, and, like Pan, its release date got bumped around, a bad sign.… Read the rest

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The Martian says: Pay attention in science class

October 7, 2015
The Martian says: Pay attention in science class

It’s always nice when a good movie follows a bad one.
That’s what’s happened this week: The Martian helped get the poor taste of Hotel Transylvania 2 (Movie Man No. 1169, 3) from the Movie Man’s mouth.

About the film
The Martian went through a release date change which can often be a red flag.
The movie was originally set to debut Nov. 25 amid the year-end glut. But, seeing how Gravity (2013, MM #1056, 9, Best of Year), another space film, did so well with its early October release, The Martian was moved up.
It was the second move for The Martian.… Read the rest

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Hotel No. 2 toothless in the humor department

September 30, 2015
Hotel No. 2 toothless in the humor department

Sometimes the Movie Man can still be surprised.
He’ll see a movie that he loves and no one else does.
And he’ll hate something others revere.
It’s happened again.

About the film
The Movie Man, in his great wisdom, refuses to be swayed by others’ reviews. He likes some pictures others hate and vice versa.
Perhaps the greatest example of the Movie Man loving a film that many revile is The Grinch (2000, Movie Man No. 277, a 9, Best of Year).
Or maybe Contact (1997, MM #189, 9, Best of Year) – the Movie Man was blown away by all of it and others simply shrugged.… Read the rest

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