Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol IMAX Movie Review

This mission is impossible, to make Tom Cruise into our favorite action movie star again but damn if this isn’t the greatest action thriller of the year!  You don’t have to choose to accept this mission, but if you do, you’ll love it (and if you IMAX it, it will blow you away).   

One Word Movie Review: Kaboom-apalooza

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is the best action thriller of the year. It is Bond without the silly fantasy, Bourne without the jerky camera work and Tom Cruise without the smirk and pretty boy looks.  .

Add in the IMAX theater projection of big picture and big sound and you have the greatest movie experience of 2011.  Forget 3D, forget everything you hate about sequels, forget all the Tom Cruise star baggage  and, most of all, forget all your stereotypical spy genre plot twists and go see this movie.

Movie/Market Analysis

The Movie Mood for audiences is PositiveMission Impossible: Ghost Protocol had my mixed audience (male, female, old and young) thrilled from start to end.  Even with the premium ticket prices for IMAX, the theater was crowded and enjoying themselves.

MarketBOB’s Movie Review Sentiment Indicators, the GQS (Genre, Quality, Story) rate Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol an emotional BULL.  Somehow it seems fitting to end 2011 with a great movie about the most difficult thing to do, yet you suck it up and take on the challenge of getting it done.  We live in a world where the solutions seem to be impossible indeed, but perhaps a franchise re-boot like this will help change the mind-set of many who think we’re destined to fail.  A mission is only impossible if we accept that it is.

Bear Movie Mood to Continue Next Week

The record $283.5 million worldwide box office gross for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn I confirms the drawing power of vampire love around the world.  The horror of undead romance, living forever with your cold-hearted spouse seems to attract the young female movie fan in droves, with 80% of the audience being female and 50% over the age of 25.

The movie itself is dull and slow, with very little happening unless you have been waiting years to see Bella’s wedding dress.  The movie mood remains bearish (continuing the Immortals low quality rating) and the losses last week in the DOW Jones as it dropped -2.9%.  With the current risks in the market all focused on the bond market and the political leadership unwilling to make the hard choices, we face more uncertainty and continued bouncing around in correction territory with the latest rumors and economic statistics.  We will eventually break out one way or another, but the movie mood indicates the move will be to the downside.

 

Immortals Hammers The Box Office In The Balls

Immortals took top spot this weekend with $32 million domestically and $36 million overseas to slay the competition.  This sadistic, slow-moving and bloody splatter-fest is a hit with young males who like this sort of visceral gore and glory.  Of particular note, amid all the violent scenes, is the fate of a traitorous bastard who receives a giant hammer to the testicles in glorious 3D.  It is a turning point in the movie, making every guy cringe in his seat.  See my review below for all the details.  This is a negative movie mood for the future, signalling the rise of blood lust and revenge against all who aspire to be gods.

The Dow Jones rose 1.4% last week, as leaders changed in Greece and Italy.  Perhaps this is good news, at least it was viewed that way.  However, Immortals makes one feel the mood is turning epic for blood and a swift blow to the balls.  We shall see.

Puss In Boots Repeats as Box Office Champ

Puss In Boots dropped only 3% at the box office from last weekend’s $34 million gross, a spectacular second weekend that no other movie has done this year. Partly it was due to moving the debut ahead a week to the normally horror-festive Halloween weekend and also because of the snow storm which hit the East Coast last weekend. Yes, these were factors but let’s not discount the audience’s movie mood of hope for the future and fear about our current economic situation.

MarketBOB understands completely the lack of interest in Tower Heist, a predictable revenge robbery story where the villain is a Wall Street 1%-er who ripped of pension funds from his employees. They decide to take revenge by stealing from him, a desperate gambit to reclaim their stolen futures. Now who really thinks this premise is a humorous setting for laughs? It hits home to everyone and promotes the solution of breaking the law as the best way forward for the little guy. Now this would be popular as a drama, like the robbers of the 1930’s glorified by Little Caesar and Public Enemy, but as a comedy? We’re too close to this reality every day in the headlines to find much humor in this plot. Add in some aging comic talent and we’ve got the formula for avoidance at the theater and a quick viewing later on Netflix or some other streaming service (who knows how many we’ll have in a year from now?)

Puss In Boots is a quality family movie, a fairy tale with great charm and artistry, well worth the price of admission. Even the gloom surrounding the surprise Greece Referendum over their bailout only dropped the Dow Jones -2% last week. It could have been a lot worse. The surprise follow-through for Puss In Boots confirms the overall hope people have in the future, despite all evidence presented in the media. However, there will always be events like the Greece Referendum to toss our confidence in the predictability of a bright future clear out of the window. Fear of the unknown remains the dominant movie mood this year, but family fare like Puss In Boots will always find an audience willing to look further down the road, past where most politicians can kick their cans.

Here is the latest MarketBOB Long Wave, showing the correction which started with Captain America and the recent attempts to bounce back. Next week we have the dismal Jack and Jill, the oscar-contending J Edgar and Greek hero Theseus in Immortals.

MarketBOB long wave Nov 6

MarketBOB Long Wave with the recent Captain America Correction

Greece Offers Haircuts at 50% Off!

Last week’s market action was all about containing Greece as Europe’s leaders hammered out a deal to “solve” their sovereign debt issues. Greece is just the worst case, as Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and probably France (down the road a bit) all wait for their trips to the barbershop. The Dow Jones rose over 3.5% for the week on the good news out of Europe and some improvement in domestic economic numbers. These events triggered the traders to boost the market (for more on the complex trading action last week, read John Mauldin’s column)

For movie lovers, this weekend was not about Greece but an escape from fear (Paranormal Activity 3) and back to family fare with Puss In Boots (see the MarketBOB Review in a previous post) topping the box office with a new Halloween record of $34 million. With an increase in both the consumer confidence index and consumer spending, the positive movie mood we’ve seen for over a month continued (the Paranormal Activity at the box office resulted in Normal Activity in the financial markets). The MarketBOB Long Wave continues to recover from the earlier correction:

Marketbob Long Wave October

Is the correction coming to a close?

Movies coming soon appear to be an lackluster group until November 18 and the release of the third Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn Part 1, or Bella’s Having a Baby. Is there anyone out there pumped up to see another Harold and Kumar movie, this time in 3D? Or maybe Eddie Murphy in Tower Heist? We do have Immortals coming up (set in Ancient Greece), but it is not discounted 50%.

Real Steel punches to the top of the box office

The plot of Real Steel may be mechanical but the robots really come to life!  You can bet your shiny metal ass this father and son tale will have a happy ending and at least one robot will be drinking an oily de-cappuccino as his head bites into a hydraulic-powered knuckle sandwich.

One Word Movie Review: Mechanical

Real Steel opens with everything you need to understand the theme of this movie: vast farmland, wind turbines, guitar-strumming folk song and a big, chunky International Harvester van driving along a deserted back country road.  This heartfelt father and son story is all about technology displacing our traditional jobs; thus the dirt farmer harvesting the wind as the robots box for our amusement.

Movie/Market Analysis

The Movie Mood for audiences is PositiveReal Steel is a fable about coming back from the depths and getting that second chance to mend your ways.  Charlie has been a horrible dad for the past eleven years yet somehow, he battles back to fulfill the Hollywood dream of success, happiness, love and wealth beyond his wildest dreams.

MarketBOB’s Movie Review Sentiment Indicators, the GQS (Genre, Quality, Story) rate Real Steel an emotional BULL. With all evidence to the contrary, we still hope for a bright future for ourselves and especially our children.  Any story that delivers this dream picks up our own hopes for a better tomorrow, even if we know this is really a fantasy.  That’s why we go to the movies, to escape our real world for a few hours.  In that context, Real Steel is an escape to a world of happy endings and dreams that come true and that’s a good thing.

Real Steel MarketBOB Movie Review

 

A Dolphin Tale swims above New Crap Movies From Hollywood

Audiences voted with their money this weekend to watch a feel-good family tale about a dolphin without a tail.  Rejected at the box officer were new movies: 50/50, a cancer dramedy, R-rated comedy What’s Your Number? and the horror flick Dream House.

The movie mood seems to be searching for comfort and the familiar, retreating into family fare.  A good animal movie reminds us of the honesty and affection we have for cute critters who do not judge us, but share the same core values we think we all share.  Unlike our economic animals who prey on our emotions, these cuddly dolphins and lions which have topped the box office personify the great qualities of loyalty and community; reminding us that we’re all sharing this world and need to feel compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves.  Everyone needs help and we should be offering it to all, even if they aren’t all as cute and innocent as a dolphin or share the qualities we most admire in a charming lion cub destined to be king.

The Dow Jones squeaked out a 1.3% gain for the week but ended September with a drop of over 2% after starting out with two gains on optimism over European “action” on their sovereign debt issues.  If we are entering an era of world-wide debt contagion, what does the average person do?  Retreat to the movies and ignore all this political ineptness and obscure financial problems.  Go swim with the dolphins.  Embrace the circle of life.  Hug you family.  What else can you do if we’re facing a worldwide depression?  Don’t worry, we’ve seen it before and the movies helped us in the 1930s.  Hollywood makes money matching movies to our moods and they will again, once they stop making useless crap like What’s Your Number?