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Time traveling pooch will make Boomers smile

March 12, 2014
Time traveling pooch will make Boomers smile

It’s always tricky to mess with Baby Boomers’ beloved TV shows. Sometimes big screen versions work, sometimes they don’t.

About the film
The latest effort is Mr. Peabody and Sherman, part of what’s likely the single most loved cartoon for Boomers, especially the cool kids who were pre-teens in the 1960’s.
That original cartoon was Rocky and His Friends that began in 1959. Bullwinkle, a dim-witted moose, had several sometimes very weird adventures with Rocky, a flying squirrel.… Read the rest

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Groovy hippie Jesus a Hollywood throwback

March 5, 2014
Groovy hippie Jesus a Hollywood throwback

We’ve discussed before about great untapped movie audiences – Hispanics and Christians to name a couple.
The former is proving its clout with recent Spanish-speaking movies becoming successes in America, like Instructions Not Included which made a whopping $44.5 million in the U.S. last fall.
The latter (to which the Movie Man belongs) is more fickle. We made The Passion of the Christ (2004, Movie Man No. 549, an 8) the biggest moneymaking R-rated movie of all-time.… Read the rest

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Explosive ancient math: Gladiator +Titanic =Pompeii

February 26, 2014
Explosive ancient math: Gladiator +Titanic =Pompeii

The Movie Man expected a big ‘ol chunk of epic cheese with Pompeii. Based on dorky trailers, it looked like a standard 3 or so.
However, surprise!, it’s better than that. It ain’t great, but it’s no 3 either.

About the film
A famous movie faux pas is the 1969 picture Krakatoa: East of Java about the most infamous eruption of all time back in 1883. The giant volcano that blew its top was actually on the west coast of Java, not east.… Read the rest

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RoboCop: Part man, part machine, all boring

February 19, 2014
RoboCop: Part man, part machine, all boring

Not many people are crazy about the reboot of RoboCop.
Some wondered why remake a beloved classic. Sci-fi fans sang that song about Total Recall (2012, Movie Man No. 994, a 6) and horror fans really didn’t need another Evil Dead (2013, MM #1,034, 4). It’s true for all genres; if a movie is really a hit initially, why remake it?
One argument for remakes is that cinematic technology can make the original better. Another mention is that it’s a chance to bring a classic to a new generation.… Read the rest

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(Almost) Everything Is Awesome! in The Lego Movie

February 12, 2014
(Almost) Everything Is Awesome! in The Lego Movie

Just when making movies based on popular toys appeared to have run its course – the Transformers were big but Battleship (2012, Movie Man No. 983, a 4) tanked – along comes a film about Lego building blocks.
And it’s fun.

About the movie
Sometimes you can just tell that a movie is going to be a hit. (The Lego Movie raked in over $69 million in its first weekend and earned rave reviews.)… Read the rest

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Lost baby movie delivers amid minor controversy

February 5, 2014
Lost baby movie delivers amid minor controversy

The Movie Man did what he said he would do; he jumped back to a 2013 movie instead of one of the two boring-looking new releases (That Awkward Moment and Labor Day [the latter already being ridiculed for the “pie-making scene,” an so-inadvertently-bad-it’s-horribly-painfully-funny Ghost pottery-making sequence mirroring]).
So, the Movie Man took Movie Wife to see the sort of movie that usually gets a small release in America and they found the British, “based on a true story” Philomena.… Read the rest

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Frankenstein’s monster movie lacks electricity

January 29, 2014
Frankenstein’s monster movie lacks electricity

Ah, Frankenstein’s monster!
That wonderful creature from the Movie Man’s youth has been through hundreds of film incarnations.
Some were cool and some really bad. This latest attempt, I, Frankenstein, is one of the lesser efforts, sadly.

About the film
The Movie Man will admit that he’ll cut some ratings slack to monster movies.
While the campy Godzilla remake of 1994 was weak (Movie Man No. 235, a 4 [however, a new, much more serious version of the giant Japanese monster arrives May 16 and it boasts a fantastic trailer]), he was generous to the new King Kong that Peter Jackson made in 2005 (MM #644, 8).… Read the rest

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Spy reboot worth the wait only for die hard fans

January 22, 2014
Spy reboot worth the wait only for die hard fans

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit broke the record for the trailer the Movie Man saw the most times.
It began running way back in the summer of 2013, heralding a Christmastime release. Every film seemingly played the JR:SR coming attraction.
Then, out of the blue in the fall, an announcement came that the movie was getting bumped in to the cinematic death pit of January/February (unless you’re a horror movie; they seem to do quite well in January).… Read the rest

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Period movie has actors doing the awards Hustle

January 15, 2014
Period movie has actors doing the awards Hustle

There are all sorts of movies and everyone has their favorite genre.
The Movie Man prefers comedies, horror/monster (good horror/monster, rare today), and movies that dare to be or look different.
Down the preference ladder for the Movie Man is war pictures. That’s why he skipped Lone Survivor – which substantially out-performed projections to win the weekly box office race – and dipped back to American Hustle, a movie that you’ll hear more and more about as the awards season engages.… Read the rest

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The nitty gritty: Witty Mitty not long for the city…pity

January 8, 2014
The nitty gritty: Witty Mitty not long for the city…pity

Christmastime – often Christmas Day – often brings not only peace, love, and happiness but a bevy of movie releases.
So, invariably, some movies get lost in the year-end glut. Some surprise at their lack of excitement generation (this year, it’s Grudge Match, a comedic fight movie with Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro that is really taking it on the chin, making just $24.8 million so far) and others – long believed to be duds by studios hoping to reclaim at least some sort of return, are dumped – praying the holiday cinema rush for the hits will spill over into their weaker release (the Movie Man is talking about 47 Ronin [$32.7 million]).… Read the rest

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