Andy Bockelman columns
Memory is a tricky thing. A movie you held in high regard more than 10 years ago may remain in your mind as the best thing you’ve ever seen, or it could just as easily be replaced by the next big fad. Most viewers aren’t likely to forget the feature that preceded “Finding Dory,” yet most who watch this sequel will be remembering it for new reasons.
With a cast of people who have appeared in “Game of Thrones,” “The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Terminator” and other fantasy and sci-fi franchises, you might expect “Me Before You” to be a little less than grounded, but wizards and White Walkers are a cinch to believe in over the idea that a tragic romance will work out in the end.
When you’re looking for a priceless bird statue, you call Sam Spade. When you need a heroin trade upended, you call Popeye Doyle. When you’re searching for a missing person but still have plenty of time for shenanigans? That’s when you call “The Nice Guys.”
So far this year, we’ve seen the guy dressed like a flying mammal fight the man in the long johns and cape, not to mention the regenerating nutcase who should be subject to mattress tag penalties for removal of his mask. Who’d have thought the dude who carries around the red, white and blue circle squaring off with the genius in the crimson and gold metal suit would feel the most natural? Either way, so begins the summer movie season with “Captain America: Civil War.”
You may know the basic narrative of “The Jungle Book,” but it’s a testimony to moviemaking when something with decades of familiarity can make you jump out of your seat in surprise at the fur, scales, claws and fangs that seemingly come out of nowhere. It almost makes you wish they could figure out something better than a red diaper for the hero to wear.
Recent movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Big Short” have shown us how insane corporate antics can be, primarily from a male perspective. With “The Boss,” we see the ladies’ take on the business world through a highly progressive topic — baked goods.
There are few superhero clashes that every comic book fan has wanted to see on the big screen more than that of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” a youthful eagerness kept in check by a steadfast decision to hate the outcome before even seeing it. The casual film viewer should never trust a fanboy’s assessment on anything within pop culture, but yes, there are good reasons for the negativity you’ve already heard.
As “Zootopia” shows, there are a lot of things that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom, but it’s only when you see a critter freak out about nudity that you start to see how alike we can truly be.
The 88th annual Academy Awards takes place this Sunday, and even amid the various Hollywood outrages about snubs, boycotts and all the political hubbub that’s part of the battle for the statuette, the show must go on. Here are my selections for the likely winners based on both trends and gut instinct, as well as a few thoughts on whether or not the heavy favorite is indeed the best of the bunch.
Protecting the innocent and providing a positive role model for today’s youth to emulate is all well and good, but there’s something to be said for someone who can unleash a litany of swears between eviscerating his enemies and still be the most likeable guy on screen. Enter “Deadpool.”
Valentine’s Day: a portion of the calendar devoted to romance that also happens to occur right in the dead of winter. No wonder Hollywood has so many love stories out this time of year. Whether your tastes have you wanting to flock to theaters to see Nicholas Sparks fare “The Choice,” the rom-com “How to Be Single” or the alternative period piece “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” — Jane Austen absolutely would have written Elizabeth Bennet as a slayer of the undead if she had thought of it — remember there is a bounty of options, many that have been released in the past year or two.
Any good sequel should allow a storyline come full circle, but like a pair of pants attempting to cover a gargantuan gut, “Kung Fu Panda 3” doesn’t quite get there.
Another year has come and gone, and the highlights have shone through greatly. Some of the best movies have found widespread audiences and made lots of cash, while others remain obscure. Here are my thoughts on what was most worth watching.
Society tends to take for granted the idea that the people in charge of the economy know what they’re doing and have the world’s best interests at heart. You don’t need a movie like “The Big Short” to tell you that’s not exactly the truth, but sometimes a point can’t be made enough times.
Long stints of intensive conversation, bloodshed that’s a little too stylish to be realistic, music from movies that have little to do with the subject matter onscreen — if you didn’t already know who made “The Hateful Eight,” you could probably hazard a guess based on these traits.