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A rarity: It is a good Stephen King adaptation

| September 14, 2017
A rarity: It is a good Stephen King adaptation

A few weeks ago, we discussed how seldom a Stephen King writing converts to the screen.
This week was one of the rarities as It is pretty good.

About the film
Reviewing the sad version of King’s The Dark Tower (Movie Man No. 1266, 3 and in the running for Worst of the Year), last month the Movie Man looked back over the history of King on the big screen.
There weren’t a lot of good ones.
But the buzz for It began well in advance, months ago.
Here’s how you build buzz:
The first trailer broke the record for most online views held by The Fate of the Furious (MM #1250, 6).… Read the rest

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The shape of things to come for the rest of 2017

| September 7, 2017
The shape of things to come for the rest of 2017

In a rarity, for the second week in a row, there was nothing but forgettable, lower-rung releases at theaters.
One bad week pops up every few months but two consecutive is freakish.
So, while the Movie Man, while tempted to seek out one of the greatest movies ever made (now in limited re-release), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, he settled for mapping out the rest of the year.

September
While this year’s box office is slumping in comparison to 2016, the summer has been especially paltry. But there’s always another month coming, and the fall is packed with some potentially good films; the scary movie genre is especially well-represented with Halloween on the horizon.… Read the rest

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T2 reissue sends fanboys back to the future

| August 31, 2017
T2 reissue sends fanboys back to the future

With such an average at best week, the Movie Man pulled a quickie and joined in on a heralding of the re-release of a popular movie.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a colossal hit in 1991. Like others before it, the movie got shined up and reissued.

About the film
T2 joins a slew of other movies that have returned to theaters. Recently, it’s a fad to see an old favorite on the big screen again – often, one-shot/one day releases.
Back in the old days before TV and video tape and cable and streaming, popular movies often returned to theaters.… Read the rest

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It takes awhile, but Hitman finally gets there

| August 24, 2017
It takes awhile, but Hitman finally gets there

After a promising start, it looked like The Hitman’s Bodyguard was gonna peter out; it just seemed off.
But then the final 15 minutes got the movie to where it should’ve been all along.

About the film
Pitting/pairing diverse individuals with one another is hardly something new in Hollywood.
While most are “buddy cop” films, there are instances of cons being paired together – like criminals Tony Curtis and Sydney Poitier chained to one another during an escape attempt in The Defiant Ones (1958) – and bounty hunters bonding with their captured prey – Midnight Run (1988) with Robert De Niro collaring Charles Grodin – but, usually the genre is called “buddy cop.”
And, boy, are there a lot of good cop/bad cop; veteran cop/rookie cop; male cop/female cop, etc.… Read the rest

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Horror movie universes now tying together

| August 17, 2017
Horror movie universes now tying together

Tying movies together – including films that you’d think would never be related – is the latest thing in Hollywood.
And Annabelle: Creation has it in spades.
Which is cool.

About the film
There’s a difference between sequels and movies threaded together.
Sequels have recurring characters and are usually a continuation of a plot line.
There might be a flashback in a later series, but sequels are usually straightforward.
The original trio of Star Wars movies is tied together.
The second trilogy jumped back, and now there are movies being dropped between the six specific original releases.
Lately, however, there have been exceptions to the 1-2-3 rule.… Read the rest

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Tower a classic example of messing stuff up

| August 11, 2017
Tower a classic example of messing stuff up

Depending on how old you are, you can likely pick a movie that totally messed up its original source.
Like The Last Airbender (2010, Movie Man No. 884, 3). The Movie Man had no real attachment to that book/cartoon so he just reviewed a boring movie.
But lots of folks have read Stephen King and plenty of them – including King – hate how his books are adapted into movies.
That continues with The Dark Tower.

About the film
While the Movie Man is a King fan, it’s almost impossible to consume everything the prolific author churns out.
(The Movie Man had not read a single word of the detailed, complex Dark Tower series.)
Specific movies – again, depending on your age – pop into minds when pondering King films.… Read the rest

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Sky high hopes not reached in space movie

| August 3, 2017
Sky high hopes not reached in space movie

Luc Besson made one of the greatest science-fiction movies of all-time.
Among the handful of films that have blown the Movie Man away through the decades – this is Movie Man No. 1,265 – The Fifth Element (1997, Movie Man No. 180, 9 [and one of the few 9s that was not Best of Year – that went to another sci-fi picture, Contact (MM #189, 9)]) was one of the biggest surprises.
Besson has a thrilling visual style, and the previews for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets looked to offer eye-popping 3-D effects.
As expected, the movie looks very cool.… Read the rest

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Historical WWII movie approach different

| July 27, 2017
Historical WWII movie approach different

Of all the genres of movies, the Movie Man places war film on the second tier.
Generally, if there’s another choice, he will skip a war movie – unless it’s made by a first-class director or is getting some serious positive buzz.
That’s why the Movie Man – and most of the moviegoing public – chose Dunkirk over Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets this week.

About the film
Like any list, you can find a roster of the “best all-time” of any genre. War movies are no exception.
The Movie Man has seen plenty of them through the years and here’s his top five.… Read the rest

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Third Apes a beast – and that’s saying something

| July 20, 2017
Third Apes a beast – and that’s saying something

Remaking The Planet of the Apes series was a risk.
Especially since the original is a beloved classic and a later reboot was (incorrectly) almost universally booed.
But modern techniques made it possible for the new trilogy to be fantastic.

About the film
The original 1968 movie finally made it to the screen after much delay.
Going in, filmmakers knew the book by Pierre Boule was going to be tough to adapt.
After all, making monkeys talk, eat, and wield weapons while riding horses would not only be tough, but it had to be believable.
It took years, but the props and makeup departments finally achieved their life-like goals.… Read the rest

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Lots of webslingin’ fun in latest Spider-Man

| July 13, 2017
Lots of webslingin’ fun in latest Spider-Man

It’s hard to figure out sometimes why perfectly decent movies are remade around a decade later.
True, another movie watching generation is coming up, but, if the earlier versions are just fine, why churn out others?
The Movie Man is looking at you, Batman and Spider-Man.

About the film
Without question, humanity is getting Batman-ed to death.
Excluding the old serial version from the 1940s and the only real Batman from the mid-’60s TV series, the Caped Crusader is not only getting rejiggered often – but it’s happening again right now. (There was a movie with the great Adam West, too.)
The real Bat-splosion began in 1989 with a phenomenal version of mysterious millionaire Bruce Wayne’s nocturnal doppelganger.… Read the rest

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