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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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Clash of the Titans: Poppins vs. Mickey Mouse

December 30, 2013
Clash of the Titans: Poppins vs. Mickey Mouse

Before we get to the final official review of 2013, let’s look back on the Best and Worst of the Year.

Year in review
Overall, ‘13 wasn’t a bad year for movies. Perhaps there were no classics, but the Movie Man awarded just one ‘3’ – very rare.
Best of the Year:
10. Hunger Games: Catching Fire (7). It lacked the near-perfection novel adaptation of the first one, but it was still solid.… Read the rest

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This just in: 2nd Anchorman painfully unfunny

December 23, 2013
This just in: 2nd Anchorman painfully unfunny

Comments from Will Ferrell pictures are not alone in inserting themselves into the Movie Man family. Like with many other films, Movie Family picks up comic sayings and they become part of the Family’s historical record.

About the film
That’s happened twice with Ferrell.
No one can go swimming anymore with Movie Family and not hear “Cannonball!” from the first Anchorman picture (2004, Movie Man No. 568, 5).… Read the rest

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Dragon movie has some serious draggin’ in it

December 18, 2013
Dragon movie has some serious draggin’ in it

The Movie Man came out of The Desolation of Smaug, the second of three Hobbit movies with a familiar feeling.
Remember when the second Star Wars trilogy arrived? The Hobbit is experiencing the same kind of comparisons with its original film trilogy.

About the film
The purist fans of the original Star Wars were appalled when the next three films were released; the second threesome did not approach the acclaim – publicly or critically – of the 1977, 1980, and 1983 movies.… Read the rest

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Just what is the best movie ever made? Depends…

December 11, 2013
Just what is the best movie ever made? Depends…

Like declaring Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band or Nevermind or Midnight Memories the greatest album of all-time, picking out the best movie ever made is no easier.
Just like with those records – by The Beatles, Nirvana, and One Direction, respectively (the Movie Man had to look up that last one; surprisingly One Direction is not on his playlist [since he’s not 8]) – it depends on whom you ask: grandpa, dad, or kid.… Read the rest

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Frozen ices old concepts about Disney and girls

December 4, 2013
Frozen ices old concepts about Disney and girls

A great animated movie is good fun for everyone.
Right now, there are a couple of examples out there where one cartoon is being panned and the other lauded.

About the film
The movie being praised right now is this week’s Frozen. The turkey is Free Birds.
Disney’s Frozen arrived with much praise as well as kudos for the opening short. Free Birds has been dissed, even with a primo position right before a holiday, Thanksgiving – and a plot about that holiday.… Read the rest

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Second Hunger Games solid but the first was better

November 25, 2013
Second Hunger Games solid but the first was better

Whenever popular books are made into movies, the result can mighty varied.
Novels are often highly detailed and enjoy the luxury of spending long stretches building characters and settings.
Movie adaptations almost always have to hack out some – often a lot – of material to squeeze the gist of the story into the different medium.

About the film
The Movie Man was blown away by how great the first version of The Hunger Games was last year.… Read the rest

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Thor oughly average bad guys hurt Marvel sequel

November 13, 2013
Thor oughly average bad guys hurt Marvel sequel

Sequels are tricky things. When a movie hits, it’s rare when the follow-up is as good or better.
Sometimes they’re still pretty good, but just a notch below the original.

About the film
Marvel Comic superhero Thor, like Iron Man, was a second tier character. While the God of Thunder certainly had his devotees, the Big Boys were always Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.… Read the rest

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It’s kids versus killer aliens in angsty sci-fi thriller

November 6, 2013
It’s kids versus killer aliens in angsty sci-fi thriller

Sometimes a protest arises against a movie. And it can be for a variety of reasons.

About the film
Protest can come because of the subject matter of the film; Catholic review boards are famed for “banning” a wide array of movies through the years.

Some liberals gripe about pictures pushing Christian themes; lefties wondered how peace loving Christians could embrace the ultra-violent hard R The Passion of the Christ (2004, Movie Man No. 549, an 8).… Read the rest

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Gross is sometimes funny in Bad Grandpa

October 30, 2013
Gross is sometimes funny in Bad Grandpa

What is funny?

Why is Blazing Saddles (1974) one of the funniest movies ever made and the “lauded” Superbad (2007, Movie Man No. 732, a 2) so unfunny. One man’s gross-out is another guy’s eye-watering laugh riot.

And that’s the sweet spot Bad Grandpa tries to exist in – some will love it and some will be horrified at what passes for humor these days.… Read the rest

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