Saturday August 23, 2014 9:23 a.m. MDT
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Andy Bockelman columns

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The Bock’s Office: ‘The Giver’ suffers from sameness

Rarely are the days to come presented in a positive light when it comes to the movies, and “The Giver” is no exception. Of course, everything looks bleak when you’re seeing it all in black and white.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Into the Storm’ hits you hard but makes little impact

When you’re talking about a force of nature with unimaginable power that leaves behind only destruction, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Kardashian family. A close second would be that of Hollywood and its seemingly endless supply of mediocre versions of stories that have been told many times, among them the newest disaster film “Into the Storm.”

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The Bock’s Office: Joy level of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is out of this world

In a business where bigger isn’t always better, it’s good to see a movie like “Guardians of the Galaxy” that’s huge in every way but still dares to be small where it counts. And, not just in having a trigger-happy star that’s only two feet tall.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Lucy’ a mind-bender in more ways than 1

When someone claims to be “expanding their mind” when they indulge in heavy substances, it’s usually just a throwback to the spirit of the Summer of Love and a rationalization of a deeper issue. The heroine of “Lucy,” on the other hand, can claim that what’s going into her body is indeed changing how she sees things, including, but not limited to, the very fabric of the universe.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Sex Tape’ arouses little interest

Three hours, one minute and 42 seconds sounds lengthy enough for a feature film. When you consider this is the span of the piece of the accidental amateur skin flick causing all the problems in the comedy “Sex Tape,” it seems downright infinite. And while the movie itself is only half this duration, it somehow seems even longer.

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The Bock’s Office: Newest ‘Apes’ is the dawn of something great

When “Thus Spake Zarathustra” began booming in the introduction for “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the hairy creatures involved were just starting to evolve at an extraordinary rate. The music of Richard Strauss may not be used in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” but the animals of its story are already well past the point of no return in no development, whether you believe that to be a good thing or a bad thing.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Tammy’ is a road movie that misses its exit

The underlying theme of most films that take place behind the wheel is that the destination is less important than the personal journey people embark on while getting there. If that’s so, what are we to make of a movie such as “Tammy,” where it seems the parking brake is stuck for most of the action?

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Earth to Echo’ a spacey, scattered kids movie

It’s exciting to think that a species from light years away would come all the way to our planet to touch our lives. When the result is a movie like “Earth to Echo,” that thrill is considerably lessened.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘22 Jump Street’ keeps on shooting high

There are few things worse in the film world than a sequel to a surprise hit that crushes the magic of the first of its kind. The makers of “22 Jump Street” seem to be so aware of this, they wrote it right into the screenplay.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Dragon’ franchise still has the flame

Hulking creatures with fangs, horns, claws and plenty more hazards on their bodies may sound frightening, but “How to Train Your Dragon 2” shows us they’re all a bunch of softies if you know how to treat them right.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Fault in Our Stars’ is a bright look at a dark topic

Surrounded by blockbusters of every kind, “The Fault in Our Stars” may not be the kind of film you’re used to in the summertime cinema. But, if you’re looking for a thrill of a different kind, and you’re stocked up on Kleenex products, it’s one that should be on your list.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Maleficent’ is mostly a snoozer

The more you know about the early lives of Tom Riddle or Anakin Skywalker, the more you understand how they became the people of notoriety they did. Still, do terrible childhoods and broken hearts necessarily make someone more captivating, powerful or magical? In the case of “Maleficent,” not really.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Blended’ more family-friendly than most Sandler movies

Here’s the story of a lovely lady, a guy who couldn’t be less like the man named Brady and five children with varying emotional issues that can easily be solved in the timeframe of two hours — “Blended.”

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The Bock’s Office: Go, go, ‘Godzilla!’

As Blue Öyster Cult so eloquently put it, “history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man,” a statement often applicable in the cinema. Even so, the newest version of “Godzilla” is an exercise in rewriting the past that could mean BÖC needs to retool some of the lyrics of one of their top songs.

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The Bock’s Office: Good boundaries make good ‘Neighbors’

We know what the university experience is like for ages 18 to 25 thanks to classics like “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds,” but seeing it through the eyes of someone outside the student body doesn’t inspire hope for the future. Maybe that’s why “Neighbors” is a lot less amusing than it means to be.

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