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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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Scorch Trials heats up young adult Maze series

September 23, 2015
Scorch Trials heats up young adult Maze series

With The Hunger Games being the cinematic Young Adult gold standard (excluding the Harry Potter series which belongs to another untouchable galaxy and the insanely profitable Twilight films that folks can’t forget about fast enough), all others aimed at a teen audience seem to be piled up in a jumbled logjam.
In that cinematic series pile-up is The Maze Runner.

About the film
The first Maze Runner (2014, Movie Man No. 1105, a 6) had its moments but was hardly memorable (just like most young adult adaptations).
While the original didn’t light up the box office – it made $102.4 million, enough to green light, The Scorch Trials, the second of three movies – it did better than a lot of YA series films.… Read the rest

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M. Night Shyamalan returns for a nice Visit

September 16, 2015
M. Night Shyamalan returns for a nice Visit

It must be tricky to come out of the cinematic blocks like a shot, sustain momentum for a while, and then seemingly flame out. That’s what happened to M. Night Shyamalan.

About the film
While Shyamalan had a moderate success as a writer – he penned Stuart Little (1999, Movie Man No. 318, 6) – he soared to fame via the third movie he directed, The Sixth Sense (1999, which the Movie Man famously did not see, choosing that week instead Mystery Men [MM #299, 5].)
It’s easy to forget the hubbub The Sixth Sense caused; it made almost $300 million in America and was required viewing.… Read the rest

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Run don’t walk away from A Walk in the Woods

September 9, 2015
Run don’t walk away from A Walk in the Woods

The concept: Two well respected actors reaching one more time for previous heights from decades earlier.
Those types of movies pop up occasionally and another one has, A Walk in the Woods.
And, as too often happens, the movie isn’t that great.

About the film
For a while there, no actor was hotter than Robert Redford. After acting in a slew of TV shows in the 1960’s – his lone appearance on the original Twilight Zone “Nothing in the Dark” is one of the great ones – he gained some fame opposite Jane Fonda in Barefoot in the Park in 1967.… Read the rest

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How things went and how things are gonna go

September 2, 2015
How things went and how things are gonna go

A few times a year, the movie slate is really bad.
This is one of those weeks, so that’s when the Movie Man takes the time to review his summer film predictions and map out the rest of the year.

Summer guesses
There’s always a hit that comes out of left field.
And there’s a sure-fire thing that misses.
Here’s how the Movie Man guessed what the top 10 movies of the summer of 2015 would be:
10. Pixels (MM #1150, 6)
9. Ant-Man (MM #1149, 7)
8. Tomorrowland (MM #1144, 5)
7. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (MM #1158, 8)
6.… Read the rest

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Game adaptations take another Hit, man

August 26, 2015
Game adaptations take another Hit, man

The Movie Man did not know Hitman: Agent 47 was based on a video game.
Cinematic history says video games do not make good movies – in fact, one of the worst movies ever made was 1993’s Super Mario Bros. (Movie Man No. 2 [yes, 2!] a 2, Worst of Year – and that’s the case with Hitman: Agent 47.

About the film
The summer film glut is officially over. This week’s choices were paltry, so the Movie Man settled into Hitman: Agent 47.
Gamers always long for their beloved favorites to become hit movies. It almost never happens.
Rare exceptions include Tomb Raider (2001, MM #409, 5) and its sequel Cradle of Life (2003, MM #519, 5) and the seemingly endless string of Resident Evil movies.… Read the rest

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