“The CineMagic 8-Ball” – In Theaters 03/08/13

When so many movies are released each week and trailers often seem better than the movie itself, what should one do? In this precarious situation, we consult the The CineMagic 8-Ball (TM) to help us see through the nebulous marketing haze. Doing so just might save us all a disheartening trip to the cinema and spare us the shelling out for $7 popcorn and ridiculous concession stand prices. See what the 8-Ball says about this week’s releases…

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DEAD MAN DOWN

In New York City, a crime lord’s right-hand man is seduced by one of his boss’s victims and the two strangers, who are irresistibly drawn to one another, share their mutual desire for revenge. A bit late for a dump month title (must have been tough scheduling in Jan/Feb with so many films hitting theaters the last two months to fit this in) but nothing about this seems appealing. Pity.

The CineMagic 8-Ball says: “Signs Point to Meh

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OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

When Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot – fame and fortune are his for the taking – that is until he meets three witches, Theodora, Evanora and Glinda, who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity – and even a bit of wizardry – Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

Some classic and iconic properties should not be messed with and many times an extension of the beloved story is better left to our imaginations. While everyone involved with the production (Raimi, Franco, Elfman, et al, is appealing and talented), something about this seems fishy. We can’t put our finger on it just yet, but here’s hoping we’re wrong.

The CineMagic 8-Ball says: “Outlook not good

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THE ABC’s OF DEATH

Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters; each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death. This horror anthology, like V/H/S is a film that only caters to the midnight screening crowd and those who call festivals like Fantastic Fest home. With such a varied mix of talented, in-demand and fan-favorite directors having a hand in each segment there’s gonna be something for everyone as long as you know what you’re getting into seeing watching this.

The CineMagic 8-Ball says: “Outlook good

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Also hitting theaters this weekend is the WWII epic drama Emperor, and the quirky coming-of-age film Electrick Children. What will you be seeing? If you’ve seen any of these already, please let us know what you thought below.