RSSMovie Man

Compton: Straight Outta the gate to No. 1

August 19, 2015
Compton: Straight Outta the gate to No. 1

It looks like the Movie Man made the right choice by going to see Straight Outta Compton over The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The former exploded box office analysts’ expectations while the latter tanked.

About the film
At its base, Straight Outta Compton is just another rags to riches, musical biography, an example of record executives taking advantage of a band with something new.
But there was more with NWA (N-words With Attitude). They were saying things in music that had never been recorded before. And that scared a lot of people at the time – and still does today.
Dr. Dre, a group member who is now a billionaire, called the daring approach that became gangster rap “reality rap,” and its rawness and vulgarity – not to mention its flagrant disdain for authority – made them conservative pariahs.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Fantastic Four reboot anything but fantastic

August 12, 2015
Fantastic Four reboot anything but fantastic

Oh, my, the advance buzz was right about the Fantastic Four. While the Movie Man had some hope based on previews, negative rumblings began months ago – and, boy howdy, were they right.

About the film
Sometimes it takes a while to get a superhero movie right.
The Hulk went through a few efforts before studios finally figured it out.
The Movie Man liked the 2003 version directed by Ang Lee with Eric Bana as Bruce Banner (Movie Man No. 513, a 7); however, fanboys hated it. (That movie, by the way, is on the books as one of the movies that made one of the greatest drops in its second week of release, 69.7 percent.)
Another attempt was pretty good, too, the Movie Man thought.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Seems Impossible but Rogue Nation best M:I yet

August 5, 2015
Seems Impossible but Rogue Nation best M:I yet

Say what you want about Tom Cruise – his private life might not be too impressive but his film career sure is. Cruise is a movie star.

About the film
Every Mission: Impossible movie has been mostly good, a claim that almost no series can make.
The first M:I movie came out in 1996, directed by crazy maverick Brian (I love long tracking shots) De Palma. It was good (Movie Man No. 129, 7) if kinda muddled. It made a whopping $181 million in America – that of course means sequel city.
In 2000, Mission: Impossible II, directed by action specialist John Woo, did even better at the box office with $215.4 million.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Pixels doesn’t one up Sandler’s film reputation

July 29, 2015
Pixels doesn’t one up Sandler’s film reputation

Critics are tearing apart the latest Adam Sandler movie; Pixels, despite a cool premise, could not even win the week.
Pundits wonder if the end has arrived the Sandler who has not had a Sandler-esque hit in years.

About the film
Despite what you might hear, it’s possible to see a decent Sandler movie.
Billy Madison (1995) was funny and so was Happy Gilmore (1996). The Wedding Singer (1998, Movie Man No. 221, a 5) had its moments. The Movie Man liked 50 First Dates (2004, MM #547, 6) okay as well as Hotel Transylvania (2012, MM #1002, 6).
Critics (not the Movie Man) have lauded a couple of his serious efforts, especially Punch-Drunk Love (2002 – the Movie Man skipped it [as he does with many Sandler movies even though he’s not a Sandler hater] for The Santa Clause 2 [MM #481, 5]).… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Ant-Man tunnels its way into Marvel pantheon

July 22, 2015
Ant-Man tunnels its way into Marvel pantheon

Marvel Comics has mined its catalogue for its most popular heroes: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, and the Avengers all have made a ton of cash. (It looks like the upcoming FF is going to be much better than its predecessors.)
Iron Man (2008, Movie Man No. 771, an 8, Best of Year) – still the top Marvel movie for the Movie Man – was a second tier character, much like this week’s Ant-Man.

About the film (spoiler)
Comic nerds know that Ant-Man was actually an original Avenger. And it was super scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) – the original Ant-Man – who created Ultron, the villain in the current Avengers’ hit, not Tony Stark.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Minions: Mellow yellow fellows say hello again

July 15, 2015
Minions: Mellow yellow fellows say hello again

The first Despicable Me (2010, Movie Man No. 885, a 7) was mighty good even without those strange gibberish-uttering yellow beings devoted to Gru running around everywhere.
It was the critters that took off in popularity, however, and the public still can’t get enough.

About the film
Minions is a cinematic kin to the Penguins of the Madagascar movies. The creatures and penguin were not part of the central plot of their films, but they caught eyes.
However, while Penguins of Madagascar (2014, MM #1115, 7 [the Movie Man liked it way more than most people]) did not perform nearly as well as experts expected at $83.3 million, Minions has exceeded already high expectations.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Arnold comes back again to Terminate stuff

July 8, 2015
Arnold comes back again to Terminate stuff

Nothing hurts your head more than a time travel movie.
There’s all kinds of crazy rules (depending on the film’s conceit): you can’t touch yourself in the future or past; you can’t step on anything (see the classic 1994 Simpsons episode “Time and Punishment” in “Treehouse of Horror V”); things will get wonky in the future if you fiddle with any past event.
It’s that latter one that the Terminator series deals with.

About the film
This is the fifth Terminator movie.
The original in 1984 was one of those movies that became a must-see for sci-fi nerds – and it remains one of the essentials for anyone seeking out the genre’s Golden Era canon (with the original Star Wars trilogy, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, and…well, we’ll just stop there or we’ll fill up the page).… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Ted 2: Simply ‘1’ of the worst movies ever made

July 1, 2015
Ted 2: Simply ‘1’ of the worst movies ever made

The seemingly impossible has occurred: A worse movie than Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (Movie Man No. 1136, 3) has arrived.
Ted 2 is awful – so horrible that it goes down as one of the all-time terrible movies in the history of cinema.

About the film
The Movie Man isn’t one to give out many 1s – it is far and away the number readers are least likely to see. (Well, there has never been nor will ever be a 10 – only Movie Wife merits that high cotton rating.)
This is Movie Man No. 1,146 and Ted 2 is only the fifth 1, dating back to 1993.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Emotional rescue theme of Pixar’s latest hit

June 24, 2015
Emotional rescue theme of Pixar’s latest hit

For a long time, the genius animators at Pixar seemed to never miss; it looked like they would produce an endless series of exceptional movies.
However, a few years back, the winning streak ended for the studio. But it has righted the ship with Inside Out.

About the film
The Movie Man has seen every full-length Pixar movie. Here they are from best to worst.
1. Finding Nemo (2003, Movie Man No. 510, 9, Best of Year) – with Shrek (2001, MM #405, 9, Best of Year), Nemo is the best animated movie ever
2. Toy Story 2 (1999, MM #315, 9, Best of Year) – most prefer the other two TSs but this one edges out those other greats
3.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Fourth Jurassic Park movie is a real monster

June 17, 2015
Fourth Jurassic Park movie is a real monster

 

As usual, it’s sequel/series city this summer. That’s been the case for quite a number of years now. In fact, we’ve already seen several sequels/series continuations arrive so far this year.

About the film
While Jurassic World has proven to be a colossal box office hit, the majority of 2015 sequels have done nicely so far, too.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 tanked big time back in February at a mere $12.3 million, but Insurgent, the second Divergent movie, did much better.
The Movie Man also skipped The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but, sadly, caught Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (Movie Man #1135, 3, and currently the Worst of the Year).… Read the rest

Continue Reading