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Live-action Beast really needs some animation

| March 23, 2017
Live-action Beast really needs some animation

Leave it to Disney to figure out ways to make even more money.
The studio has piled up billions and now has hit upon the idea to make live-action films of former classic animated movies.
Few are more beloved than 1991’s Beauty and the Beast – plus throw in some controversy and you get a movie that will collect several more hundreds of millions to throw on the Disney pile.

About the film
The first Beauty and the Beast not only raked in the cash, but achieved a couple of firsts.
In 1992, it became the first animated movie ever to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.… Read the rest

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Now that’s a big gorilla: King Kong lives again

| March 17, 2017
Now that’s a big gorilla: King Kong lives again

Good ol’ King Kong.
Ever since his arrival way back in 1933, he’s been a cinematic mainstay.
And he’ll be showing up again in 2020.

About the film
That ‘33 King Kong was just another step in the evolution of movies when they were young.
From the amazement of seeing moving pictures a couple of decades earlier, movies had roared forward with detailed plots, tricky camera shots, and involved stories.
King Kong came just two years after Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein freaked out more people than The Exorcist would in 1973.
Instead of using a man in a suit to portray a giant gorilla, the 1933 King Kong utilized stop-motion techniques via small models.… Read the rest

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The (shredded) curtain comes down for Wolverine

| March 9, 2017
The (shredded) curtain comes down for Wolverine

It’s always nice when a movie with great trailers delivers.
Logan’s coming attractions have been around a while and the original with Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” was terrific.
 
About the film
Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine nine times and Logan is likely the last one. (Unless he pops up in the recent X-Men alternate timeline.)
Here are the eight movies before Logan: X-Men (2000, Movie Man #349, 8); X2: X-Men United (2003, MM #506, 7); X-Men: The Last Stand (2006, MM #668, 5); X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009, MM #823, 7); X-Men: First Class (2011, MM #933, 7); The Wolverine (2013, MM #1046, 7); X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, 1089, 7); and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016, MM #1204, 7).… Read the rest

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Slow burn finally pays off in horror film Get Out

| March 2, 2017
Slow burn finally pays off in horror film Get Out

Already 2017 is a rarity.
There have been two pretty good scary movies so far this year.
And if you factor in two from 2016, things have been pretty good in the horror movie genre recently.

About the film
The Movie Man liked 10 Cloverfield Lane (Movie Man No. 1193, 7) and Don’t Breathe (MM #1217, 7) last year.
In 2017, Split (MM #1238, 7)was good fun.
And now there’s Get Out.
Made by comedian Jordan Peele, Get Out came about when admitted horror movie fan Peele was looking for a terror film to make.
Pondering on what topic had not been visited too often in the genre, Peele – who is black – set upon racism.… Read the rest

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Wall isn’t exactly Great, but it looks cool

| February 23, 2017
Wall isn’t exactly Great, but it looks cool

The Movie Man won’t waste time addressing the current fad of railing against the fact that casting directors are not color-blind.
Diversity complaints come too regularly about specific ethnicities not being cast in certain roles, i.e., American Indian actors in Indian roles.
The Movie Man’s stance is let actors act.
So there. Anyway, there’s a white man at the head of a Chinese production, The Great Wall.
It makes sense since it’s the story of a Westerner seeking gunpowder, but the politically correct sorts overlook that.

About the film
There was big hubbub as The Great Wall was under production.… Read the rest

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LEGO Batman Movie heroically funny for all

| February 16, 2017
LEGO Batman Movie heroically funny for all

It’s sequel city these days at cineplexes – like it has been for many a year now.
Well, actually, sequels go back further than many a year.

About the film
It’s a bit tricky determining the history of the movie sequel – with remakes and reboots and reimaginings to consider, too.
Historically in Hollywood, there have been plenty of series. As far back as 1909, Germans made several Sherlock Holmes films.
That happened later in the U.S. when Holmes and Watson brought the Baker Street duo to local screens. Those Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce – as Sherlock and Watson, respectively – were huge hits beginning in 1939.… Read the rest

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Rings sounds death knell for horror series

| February 9, 2017
Rings sounds death knell for horror series

Once again, the Movie Man found himself the only person in an auditorium, watching what he knew going in was probably not a very good movie.
But, he does it for you to 1) verify that, indeed, the film is stinker and 2) so you don’t have to.
And, believe the Movie Man, you should pass on Rings.
He will give it a cursory review then delve into his Top 15 most anticipated movies of 2017.

About the film
For some reason, another Ring movie was made. Already there were the Japanese originals and a pretty good American version, The Ring (2002, Movie Man No.… Read the rest

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Gold is more alright, alright than some think

| February 2, 2017
Gold is more alright, alright than some think

Boy, the bloom came off the Matthew McConaughey flower quickly.
It was just in 2013 that he was on top of the world with the success of TV’S True Detective and an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club (2014).
However, since then, it’s been hit and miss – with a couple of substantial misses lately.

About the film
Forever, McConaughey was a pretty boy from Texas (Uvalde to be exact, but he’s now an Austin boy who has ensconced himself as the No. 1 UT-Austin football fan) who made successful rom-coms, dramas, and action movies, usually without his shirt on.
Without question, he was successful with the formulas.… Read the rest

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Split’s fun – and it has a whammy trick ending

| January 26, 2017
Split’s fun – and it has a whammy trick ending

The Movie Man saw previews for Split for months.
With that kind of advance build up, there’s always a chance of a letdown.
But what has helped Split is that word got out about its supposedly knockout of a trick ending – from a guy who has unleashed some tricky endings.
Who could resist that? Few, apparently, because it was easily the No. 1 movie of the week.


About the film
Last week, we discussed how actors have managed to revive careers that looked like they were dead in the water.
The same argument can be made for director M. Night Shyamalan.… Read the rest

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It’s gangsters vs one another and the KKK

| January 19, 2017
It’s gangsters vs one another and the KKK

Ben Affleck is one of those Hollywood rarities – he managed to salvage his career.
Like Robert Downey, Jr. and, to a lesser extent (at least right now), Mel Gibson, Affleck overcame public disdain and is now back in the good graces of the ticket-buying public and Hollywood big wigs – actually, he’s a big wig again now.

About the film
Live By Night is Affleck’s fourth movie to direct, but he also has had success acting, producing, and writing.
It was the latter that garnered him his first great attention; he wrote, with Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting (1998, Movie Man No.… Read the rest

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