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And here we are at the end of the Naughts; the Decade of the Sequel. And the Decade of the Remake. And the Decade of Franchise Films. It could be worse...it could be the 1980s again. Enter the man, the myth, the Mitch ... to give us his thoughts on the best and worst films of these last ten years. Mitch gives us his 100 best films from 2000-2009, his 25 worst films, and his top ten guilty pleasures. A great read to wrap up the decade from our talented film and entertainment scribe.
As is tradition for The Mitch Man here at TheClevelandFan.com, he uses the last weekend of the year to look back on what we saw at the theaters in 2009. Mitch calls 2009 an interesting year for movies overall. Not as many "excellent" films as in 2008, and a lot more dogs. But he calls 2009 a very good year for original films and even if the top of the box office charts are cluttered with sequels and remakes, there were quite a few gems to be found. Mitch gives us his best and worst movies of 2009, in this, our final column of our fourth year on the web.
Merry Christmas to you and all your family and friends from all of us at The Cleveland Fan! With the holiday week, it's going to be a bit light on the News and Rumors. So for more substance, look toward the Upcoming Biggies, as there are lots of new trailers listed there, as well as release dates for next Spring/Summer's anticipated blockbusters. As far as new theater releases? Mitch calls it the biggest week of the year. "Sherlock Holmes", "Up In The Air", "It's Complicated", "Nine", and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel". Mitch previews them all in The Crystal Ball.
For those of you who have very little time to spare this week due to the last minute Christmas shopping and all, Mitch will make it simple for you and give you a one-word review of James Cameron's "Avatar": "WOW!" It's been twelve years in the making for Cameron with this film, and according to our trusty film critic ... the wait was worth it. Mitch says to say Cameron succeeded here is a complete understatement, and that what he saw on screen, in 3D, was nothing short of breathtaking. The Mitch Man reviews "Avatar" for our readers in his latest.
It's all about "Avatar" this weekend at the theaters, which released today amid big time buzz and super early reviews. We're dispatching The Mitch Man to the theaters this weekend to review it for us, and you'll see his thoughts on the film on our front page sometime early next week. And next week ... is a HUGE week for new theater releases. Mitch touches on Avatar, next week, the Golden Globes, the frontrunners for '09 Best Picture, and all the latest Hollywood rumors and news in this Friday's Crystal Ball.
That Morgan Freeman would star in a biography of Nelson Mandela is not the least bit surprising. That Clint Eastwood should direct Freeman in this role is also not the least bit surprising. But what is surprising is the story they use in showing us the man who was tasked with holding his country together after the discontinuation of oppressive racial segregation under apartheid. Rather than creating a biography of the life of Mandela, "Invictus" shows us a snapshot of a brief period of time that helps define the man, a country, and its people, and how they started the process of re-uniting with a sporting event serving as the catalyst. Mitch reviews the highly acclaimed "Invictus" for our readers in his latest movie review here at TCF.
Once upon a time, vampires were some of the nastiest creatures out there in movie-land. Evil bloodsuckers without an inch of remorse or compassion. But yet, there has also always been somewhat of an allure to vampires. Even with that, vampires have universally been the villains throughout the history of cinematography; no matter how charming they were. And then something changed; vampires went mainstream. Suddenly, vampires are "heroes". And it's clear ... Mitch Cyrus isn't a fan of this development. Nor is he a fan of the "Twilight" film that he reviewed for our readers in his latest trip to the theaters.
A big week for movie releases as we head towards the holidays. The animated "The Princess and the Frog" and "Invictus" (directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Matt Damon both hit the theaters today amidst very positive buzz. And on DVD? Three biggies. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", "The Hangover", and "Inglorius Basterds". As he does each Friday, The Mitch Man gives our readers the 411 on all the latest films out at the theaters and on DVD.
Being a sports website, we dispatch our trusty film critic Mitch Cyrus out to review every sports themed movie that hits the theaters. And unlike most, "The Blind Side" got good advanced reviews and even a little Oscar buzz. It is the story of Michael Oher, an homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman (played by Sandra Bullock) and her family. Mitch reviews the film for our readers in his latest.
An uncharacteristicly weak holiday weekend for theater releases this weekend, with "Old Dogs" (starring Robin Williams and John Travolta) as the most notable release. The coming weeks have some biggies though, with the latest from Clint Eastwood ("Invictus") and James Cameron ("Avatar") highlighting the coming slate of releases. Further down the pike? A collaboration between Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg, "Shrek 4", "Scream 4" ... and some other projects Mitch updates us on in this week's Crystal Ball.
The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs and proposals, which posit that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on or around December 21 in the year 2012, which is said to be the end-date of a 5,125-year-long Mayan Long Count calendar. In English? Some believe the end of the world is coming three years from now. And you just knew someone was going to make a CGI-heavy film about it. We dispatched Mitch to the theaters to see 2012 for us, and he has some pretty strong thoughts on this one.
Three pretty notable theater releases as we get into the holiday season, which always features a slew of big films being released. Tonight, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon", "The Blind Side", and "Planet 51"all hit the cinemas, and Mitch has thoughts on all of them in this regular Friday night piece he does for us. Mitch also tells us about the week's big DVD releases, and some big projects being worked on ... including "Spider Man 4", the latest "Star Trek" film, and a movie based on the insanely popular video games "Call of Duty".
Successful poker players may lose many small pots and still be totally happy, for their goal is to win the occasional big ones. The same thinking comes naturally in football. When the "Browns are in a fourth down, "moving all in", in the meaning of going for it, is worthwhile only if the odds for success are good enough. In most other cases, itï¿½s probably wiser to just "fold" the hand, as in punting the ball away. In the same way, winning or losing a single yard means nothing as long as they manage to get a first down.
Mitch is getting back into the swing of things with his weekly Crystal Ball column, in which he cringes this week at just how bad the reviews for Roland Emmerich's "2012" have been. It's this week's most notable theater release with "Pirate Radio" being the other one. We also get the release of "Star Trek" on DVD. Mitch hits on all three of these films as well as all the latest Hollywood news and rumors in this week's version of The Crystal Ball.
Sometimes you watch a movie, and you enjoy it for no apparent reason. "The Men Who Stare at Goats" is one such movie. It's satire, but not great satire. It has very good, but not great performances from two of the lead actors, along with semi-disappointing performances from the other two. It has a plot that meanders about all over the place, without ever making much sense. And it has an ending that leaves you a bit befuddled, but not totally confused or upset at the conclusion. So why did Mitch enjoy it? He tells us in his latest movie review.
After taking a break from writing for the past few months, I am elated to announce that The Mitch Man is back. Mitch has been with us from day one, penning movie reviews, writing about the Browns, doing his popular "Sopranos" and "24" recaps, and contributing on a slew of other topics as well. In his return to the front page of the site, Mitch brings back the weekly version of his "Crystal Ball" column, and also explains why he has been away. Welcome back Mitch!
Another fall, another Bruce Willis Sci-Fi action film, this one called "Surrogates". The plot line takes us to the "not so distant future", where robotic technology has evolved so much that humans can now stay indoors 100% of the time, using their "surrogate" robot to interact for them. We sent The Mitch Man out to the theater to check this one out for our readers, and he ended up handing out a rating to it that he rarely doles out. Mitch reviews "Surrogates" for our readers.
And we bid a not-so-found adieu to the month of September. And Mitch isn't sure which side of him is happier to see this month end; the Sports Fan wanting to forget about the horrible start to the Browns season, and the end of the disastrous Indians year, or the Movie Fan who saw nothing but crud released this month. So as we go into October, for Movie Fans, there are some things to look forward to. While the big ticket movies won't come out until next month, there are some potential gems starting this week. Mitch tells us about them.
It's baaaaaaaccckkk! Sorta. Simply put, the movies and videos that come out during September and October are 99% crap. So rather than putting himself and our readers through a Chinese Water Torture routine of discussing the banality of it all in a weekly drip, drip, drip fashion (or is it flop, flop, flop?), Mitch is going to slowly ease back into this by giving a high level oversight of the month all in One Swell Foop. Luckily...we now have FOOTBALL to watch, so who cares how much this tripe stinks?
Always great to see The Mitch Man on the front page of The Cleveland Fan. We sent our trusty film critic out to go see Quentin Tarantino's heavily hyped new film, "Inglorious Basterds". Mitch had high expectations of the film, based on Tarantino's reputation and the advanced buzz generated about the project. And while it wasn't quite what he was expecting, Mitch felt it lived up to the hype, calling it Quentin's best film since "Pulp Fiction". He reviews it for our readers in his latest.
"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" was to be Mitch's final review of the "Summer Season" due to his semi-sabbatical ... a well deserved respit after nearly four years of highly entertaining columns and film reviews for us here at The Cleveland Fan. So he went to see Harry and the rest of the Hogwarts crew last Thursday. It's a week later, and he's finally able to put SOMETHING to paper...but not what he expected. And that "something" is just to say that he can't truly do a fair review of this movie. Mitch explains in his latest.
In the action-thriller Public Enemies, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann directs Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard in the incredible and true story of legendary Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger (Depp), the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover's fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public. We sent Mitch to the theaters to see this one, and he reviews it for our readers today on TCF.
It's a kinda sad day for The Cleveland Fan. But, as the old saying goes; there is a time for everything. For Mitch, it's time to go on hiatus for a little while. After 3 ï¿½ years writing for this site, and 394 articles to his name, The Mitch Man is going to spend some time away as he concentrates on a couple of other projects (non-writing) that currently demand his attention. Fret not though, he'll be back later this year. But for now, Mitch bids adieu with what could be the final Crystal Ball in TCF history.
Since its debut almost three weeks ago, Todd Phillips' raunchy buddy-comedy "The Hangover" has gone on to be The Shock of the 2009 Summer Movie schedule, raking in over $150 million so far domestically, far outpacing other anticipated blockbusters like "Terminator Salvation", "Angels & Demons", and "Land of the Lost". At the rate its going, it will easily blow past the $200 million mark, which would make it the highest grossing comedy since 2005's "The Wedding Crashers". Mitch reviews the film for our readers in his latest.
Luckily, at this time of year, there are a lot of things to do that don't require going into a movie theater, as it's been a Summer of Crap so far ("Star Trek", "Up", and "The Hangover" being the only exceptions), and it's not going to get any better this week says Mitch. Enjoy Father's Day Weekend! Play some golf. Watch the US Open golf. Cook out. Spend some time with the family. It's Friday night ... it's The Crystal Ball.
Having just gotten back into the swing of reviewing films after a few weeks break, Mitch had a choice of a couple of movies that had been getting great press since their release. One was the latest Pixar animation film to astound audiences; "Up". The other was the surprise breakout hit of the summer; "The Hangover". Instead, he chose to go with the new release, "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3", thinking he could really use a good adult drama, instead of a "kids show" or a raunchy comedy. He gives us his thoughts on the film in his latest movie review for us here at TCF.
It was an interesting week at the box office last weekend, as we had our first surprise hit in the raunchy comedy "The Hangover", and our first big flop as Will Ferrell's "Land of the Lost" tanked with the critics and the public. Mitch is back to talk about that, along with news about The Hobbit films, a new cast member for Season 8 of "24", and what's coming out this week at the theaters and on DVD. It's Friday, so it's time for The Crystal Ball.
A good weekend for movie buffs. Pixar has a new film called "Up" that hits the theaters, and according to all reports, Pixar has done it again. "Drag Me To Hell" also hits the theaters, and we've got a couple intriguing DVD releases. Mitch also hits on this week's latest film/televisions upcoming projects, including the latest from Ridley Scott, the new season of "Dexter" (can't wait), and news on "Shrek 4". It's Friday night on TCF ... it's The Crystal Ball.
It seems like it happens every Summer. Some highly anticipated big budget extravaganza hits the screens...and the screens would prefer to hit right back. For 2009, Mitch says that tradition will continue with "Terminator Salvation", a disappointing downer of a movie with a one-note performance by its leading actor, a heartless script, and a director without a clue as to handle the legacy given to him by James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mitch reviews the film for us here at The Cleveland Fan.
Ron Howard's new movie "Angels & Demons" is written by the same man who created the controversial "The Da Vinci Code", Dan Brown. That novel polarized Christians across the world, and the brouhaha surrounding the 2006 release of the movie based upon that novel, starring Tom Hanks, resulted in it being an almost-must-see film and a financial success, pulling in over $750 million world-wide. Based on those numbers, you knew a sequel was coming. We sent Mitch out to review it for our readers.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Hope you have lots of great plans going on this weekend. Picnics, camping, travelling, watching the Cavs win (knock on wood). So you want to go to the movies this weekend as well? No problem. "Star Trek" is still playing to packed houses. For the rest of the releases? Mitch says this has been a very disappointing Summer Season so far. And talks about that, as well as all the week's theater and DVD releases in The Crystal Ball.