What in Steamboat are you searching for?
Andy Bockelman columns
A trying experience like air travel is not meant for the impatient. The people who can’t help but tear into a bag of peanuts seconds after finding their seats are exactly the crowd the makers of “Non-Stop” had in mind as their audience, but it may be the folks with the greater attention span who will enjoy it more.
The time is nigh for the red carpet crowd as the 86th annual Academy Awards approaches, promising a night of glitz and glamour for folks in love with a little golden man named Oscar.
Not every film about the subject of art is as fascinating as the art itself. If the man who painted “The Last Supper” were remembered solely for the misfire that was “The Da Vinci Code,” the Louvre certainly would have far fewer patrons gathered around his most famous works. Even so, the modern-day efforts to preserve the accomplishments of the past are worth looking at in a movie like “The Monuments Men.”
Valentine’s Day is upon us again, and what would the middle of February be without a few selections at the local bijou to provide people with a good date night? Whether you and your significant other are planning to step out on the town or snuggle up at home with a DVD, there are plentiful films to be enjoyed for whatever your liking, many of which have come out within the last year.
As fun as they may be, three-day weekends usually aren’t life-changing events for most people. Then again, the story of “Labor Day” involves far more than just a time to sleep late and eat hot dogs at the annual neighborhood block party.
Watching a man of average build skirmish with someone the size of William “Refrigerator” Perry should have an element of surprise to it, but when you’re asking yourself repeatedly, “Haven’t I seen this before?” that kind of ruins the experience. Such is the problem with “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”
It’s that time again — the time to look back on the past year in cinema and assess what constituted the very best of the film world.
If family issues were tangible, you could mix together decades of resentment, plentiful substance abuse, sprinkle it with adultery, add in a smidgen of incest, stick it in the blender and drink it. It certainly wouldn’t be palatable, but the lesson you’d learn would be akin to watching a movie like “August: Osage County.”
Compared to the hazardous tasks performed around the world by members of our bravest and boldest, recreating the kind of combat conditions they see in an accurate manner is nowhere near as difficult. Even so, staying true to their real encounters is no easy work, as seen in the harrowing depiction of real events within “Lone Survivor.”
When you’re traveling down the highway in an RV and you inevitably crash — because, you know, you thought “cruise control” meant an automobile steered itself safely through traffic — and in the ensuing slow-motion havoc of ricocheting bowling balls, angry scorpions and scalding hot oil flying about as the sounds of “Muskrat Love” are heard, it probably will occur to you that you’ve seen this before. After all, we’ve all had that happen, right? The makers of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” had to get it somewhere.
Last year in “Argo,” we saw a movie about the Central Intelligence Agency going through unusual channels to pull off a vital mission several decades ago. Now, we see a similar kind of story in the same time period in “American Hustle,” albeit with a different government body where apparently “intelligence” is not a prerequisite for being hired.
Somewhere between the cutesy nostalgia of “A Christmas Story” and the vileness of “Gremlins” lie the best holiday films that exemplify how much Christmas can change your whole outlook. You may not think about how depressing some of your favorite flicks appear, but that’s because by the end, all is well even after the worst circumstances.
Last winter, we were reintroduced to a place that a decade before had captivated our imaginations. Reactions to the second attempt at cinematic greatness were varied, to say the least — some hated it, some were indifferent and others claimed, “I liked it, but …” The good thing about “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is it likely will win over some who were put off by the changes made to a beloved classic. Still, the haters have an uphill battle.
If you’re upset by the approach of spring and seeing the snowman in your front yard evaporate into nothingness, fret not. The movie “Frozen” teaches us that the coldest creatures welcome the warmth as much as anyone. You can even kick their head off, and they’ll just giggle and ask for a hug.
You could look at a movie like “Out of the Furnace” and say things only go from bad to worse to rock bottom. Then, once the floor caves in, there’s a new standard for substandard conditions, but that just makes the climb back up all the more important.