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Andy Bockelman: ‘White House’ action movie a real downer

It’s been roughly 200 years since the last time the most safeguarded building in the free world went up in cinders.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Get Low’ is highly enjoyable comedy-drama

No matter where you live, it seems like there’s a crotchety old man who makes everyone live in fear. But, as the curmudgeon of “Get Low” proves, there are two sides to every story. In 1930s Tennessee, Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) is a social outcast. With a nickname like “The Mysterious Hermit of Caleb County,” you’d hardly expect him to be popular, but he has lived in isolation in a forest shack for more than 40 years, leaving people in all the surrounding towns to gossip about just why he has separated himself from society.

Andy Bockelman: ‘American’ is smart but slow tale of international intrigue

If there’s one thing Hollywood knows how to make, it’s a slam-bang action movie. But, do the makers of European art house cinema share the same style? That’s the biggest question of all in “The American.” The life of a gun for hire is a dangerous one, something that professional assassin Jack (George Clooney) knows now more than ever. After a disastrous incident in Sweden, he’s ready to get out of his line of work, which means not looking over his shoulder everywhere he goes.

Andy Bockelman: Summer cinema offered small victories, blockbuster disappointments

Each summer offers an array of movies that bring excitement, emotion and more into the lives of viewers for two-hour increments. As with any year, getting to the theater during the sunnier months can be an arduous task, especially when you don’t want to waste your hard-earned cash on something that isn’t worth the price of popcorn, let alone admission.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Scott Pilgrim’ — Dating, growing up, defeating evil, whatever

Just when you thought that the shy, awkward young man archetype has been played out, a hero steps forward and pulls a flaming sword from another dimension from deep within his chest. If that description sounds weird, just wait: It’s one of many surreal moments in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” In the faraway land of Toronto, Canada, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a meek twentysomething without much happening in his life beyond being a second-rate bassist in a third-rate rock band.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Piranha’ has nasty bite, but gutsy methods

What’s more disgusting than seeing a person devoured by an unstoppable killing force? If you disagree when I say the debauchery of college kids on vacation is more deplorable, just take a look at “Piranha 3-D.” To paraphrase another famous fish movie: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the theater…” Lake Victoria is a small, picture perfect little Arizona town for about 50 weeks out of the year.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Expendables’ an indispensable action flick

Remember the days when action heroes were big, dumb brutes who were always easy to cheer for as they doled out their brand of justice? One of the stars of “The Expendables” certainly did, so he made his movie accordingly. When government agencies need someone who can do a dangerous job fast and efficiently, they call The Expendables, a group of soldiers for hire who perform every task as if it were their last, because in their line of work, it very well may be.

Andy Bockelman: “Eat Pray Love” heartburn at best, heartbreak at worst

Sometimes you need to travel the world to truly learn who you are and what you’re capable of doing in life, taking in all the cultures, cuisine and companionship you can. And, sometimes you may as well save a year and a lot of money in airfare by just stretching on a yoga mat for a half-hour, heating up a can of Chef Boyardee, turning on the TV and snuggling with your cat. Such is the lesson to be learned in “Eat Pray Love.”

Andy Bockelman: ‘Salt’ a slightly stale, but not entirely flavorless spy film

If you’re trying to find a summer espionage thriller that challenges your intellect with new ideas and unexpected twists, you may want to wait until next year. However, if you’re looking for an action heroine in a slinky ensemble, it sounds like you could use a dash of “Salt.” As a CIA agent, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) has seen, done and heard it all. So, a last-minute interrogation of a Russian defector (Daniel Olbrychski) is no huge effort for her, even though this ex-spy has a story that baffles, explaining a Russian plot to destroy the United States from within through the use of unsuspecting American citizens brainwashed by the KGB.

Andy Bockelman: Off-kilter humor dominates in ‘The Other Guys’

There are movie cops who do great things. They clean up the streets, protect the public, and sort out corruption on the force. And then there are “The Other Guys.” Det. Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) has always wanted to be a cop, but he never could have imagined that going into a career with the New York Police Department would have been like this. A major slip-up on the job has resulted in his forced partnership with the force’s weakest link, Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell).

Andy Bockelman: ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ is fulfilling entrée in summer lacking laughs

What would you do with an acquaintance who offers you money when you hit him with your car? And then goes on to use a phrase that most of us left in the fourth grade and begs you not to embarrass him? Well, you could take him to the movie “Dinner for Schmucks,” but the humor might be over his head. Tim (Paul Rudd) is a smart guy, a hard worker, a one-of-a-kind presence at the Los Angeles investment firm where he is employed. Because of this, he’s a shoo-in for a promotion, and he knows it.

‘Charlie St. Cloud’ is mournful, confusing tearjerker

What if instead of being suspenseful and creepy, “The Sixth Sense” was just melancholy and weepy? It would probably be a lot more like the drama “Charlie St. Cloud,” for one thing, and Haley Joel Osment would have faded into obscurity. Fortunately, the star of the newer of the two still has something going for him. Besides abnormally thick eyebrows.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Inception’: Sweet dreams are made of this

How do you top one of the most-hyped movies ever made? Most directors might be intimidated to take the next step, but the maker of “Inception” has proved that even in between creating installments of material that’s heavily in demand, he can make a great film in his sleep. There’s no security like the human mind, especially during unconsciousness. At least, that used to be the case.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Despicable Me’ mixes cuteness and ray guns with good results

What if Daddy Warbucks had made Little Orphan Annie sleep in a hollowed-out antique bomb and gave her a piece of old newspaper to use as a bathroom? Would the sun still come out tomorrow? Probably so, but if the anti-hero of the cartoon “Despicable Me” had the chance, he’d try to swipe the celestial body.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Knight and Day’ works well on Cruise control

One of the driving themes behind most movie pairings is the idea that opposites attract. Of course, the real moneymaker in Hollywood is to augment that idea further by saying “attractive opposites attract.” And no matter how dissimilar you and your significant other may be, you’ll find a thing or two to share about the latest romance/action/comedy, even if you’re as different as “Knight and Day.”

Bockelman: ‘Jonah Hex’ tells the story of a dull, dusty, dirty gunslinger

The term “dead or alive” applies to the job description of bounty hunters, but for the title character of “Jonah Hex,” replacing the “or” with an “and” seems more appropriate. Once a proud defender of the Confederacy, former soldier Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) no longer has an allegiance to the South. Or the Union, for that matter.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Eclipse’ ushers in darker, deeper tone in ‘Twilight’ series

It took two false starts, but “The Twilight Saga” finally starts to show some fangs with its latest release, “Eclipse.” Life in Forks, Wash., is slow for most, but for teenager Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), time is almost standing still. While most of her classmates can’t wait for their high school graduation, there’s a big event she’s looking forward to even more: becoming a vampire.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Jonah Hex’ is a dull, dirty gunslinger saga

The term “dead or alive” applies to the job description of bounty hunters, but for the title character of “Jonah Hex,” replacing the “or” with an “and” seems more appropriate. Once a proud defender of the Confederacy, former soldier Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) no longer has an allegiance to the South. Or the Union, for that matter.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Karate Kid’ remake has punch, but less force

What’s more important to take into consideration when making a movie about martial arts — honoring the individual sanctity of ancient disciplines or preserving the title of a film franchise? That’s just something you may want to consider before watching the remake of “The Karate Kid.”

Bockelman: ‘Toy Story 3’ is multi-generational heart-warmer with plastic coating

A good family film can bring together kids and adults through common ground. With a little help from Hasbro, Mattel, Fisher-Price and the like, Pixar Animation achieves such a goal once again with “Toy Story 3.” At 17, Andy Davis (voice of John Morris) is a little old for playtime, a fact that has hit hard on his once cherished toys. Though they’ve been dreading it for years, cowboy doll Woody (Tom Hanks), action figure Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the inhabitants of Andy’s toy box are unable to accept that their owner no longer needs them.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Toy Story 3’ is multi-generational heart-warmer with plastic coating

A good family film can bring together kids and adults through common ground. With a little help from Hasbro, Mattel, Fisher-Price and the like, Pixar Animation achieves such a goal once again with “Toy Story 3.” At 17, Andy Davis (voice of John Morris) is a little old for playtime, a fact that has hit hard on his once cherished toys. Though they’ve been dreading it for years, cowboy doll Woody (Tom Hanks), action figure Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the inhabitants of Andy’s toy box are unable to accept that their owner no longer needs them.

Andy Bockelman: ‘A-Team’ is A-OK action flick

Just when you thought the 1980s were long gone, remnants of the decade make a return: an endless supply of stogies, the Mohawk, the black GMC van with the red stripe. Ladies and gentlemen, “The A-Team.”

‘Prince of Persia’ a sand-swept waste of time

What can you say about a movie such as “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time?” Well, like sands through the hourglass, these are the days … Wait, that’s from something else entirely. But then, if you’ve seen this movie, you’ll know it really doesn’t deserve a catchy tagline.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Robin Hood’ misses the mark

The concept of “rob from the rich and give to the poor” has been a popular one in America in times of economic trouble. One would think reinventing the character who first embodied that ideal would be a surefire way to energize the masses, but if the new rendition of “Robin Hood” is any indication, it just isn’t worth the effort.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Iron Man’ sequel a tad rusty, but it does the job

Whoever said it ain’t easy being green obviously didn’t take into consideration the difficulty of being red and gold because even the gleaming armor covering the title character of “Iron Man 2” can’t protect him from everything.

Bockelman: The hits and misses of spring’s flicks

As the summer movie season comes once again, we reflect on movies from the last few months — some of which are either still in theaters or already on DVD — a period between the more influential films of the year and the high energy popcorn flicks of May, June, July and August. And while not every movie of the winter and spring months is a keeper, occasionally quality does show itself in this dry spell.

Andy Bockelman: Carell, Fey make ‘Date Night’ all right

Heading out on the town with your significant other: fun and a good way to keep a marriage fresh. Zooming down the street in a sports car tangled around a taxi while being shot at: not so fun and possibly grounds for divorce.

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Andy Bockelman: Don’t bother with ‘Bounty Hunter’

Seeing one of the stars of “The Bounty Hunter” slung over the shoulder of their co-star stirs up memories of Charles Grodin in the same position with Robert De Niro in “Midnight Run” nearly 25 years ago. Granted, it’s a sexier look with the former pair, but that’s about the best thing you can say about their movie.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’: Was sixth grade this bad for everyone?

Whether your days were filled with wedgies, swirlies, cooties or something worse in the years between elementary and high school, anyone can identify with the prepubescent kid in question in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

Andy Bockelman: ‘Ghost Writer’ is haunting, provocative mystery

Who determines things like facts, truth and history? Ideally, these are concepts that everyone could agree on, but as the characters of “The Ghost Writer” find out, it’s just not that easy.

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Andy Bockelman: ‘Green Zone’ is tiring so-called thriller

Movies of political intrigue often are centered on a controversial issue. Although the subject matter of “Green Zone” is based on something that has raised a lot of eyebrows, it plays it disappointingly safe, especially considering that it takes place in the middle of a war.

Andy Bockelman: ‘She’s Out of My League’: Disparities in dating

For those who haven’t heard the portmanteau term “moodle,” it breaks down to “man poodle,” a guy considered cute and likable but not dating material. And that unique breed has a unique problem in “She’s Out of My League.”

Andy Bockelman: Does the Oscar always go to the right person?

As the biggest night of the year in movies, March 7 will honor the best and brightest of 2009’s films at the 82nd annual Academy Awards. Just as with every year, the time-honored tradition should provide shocking moments along with sure things as the Hollywood elite prepare for the gold.

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Andy Bockelman: ‘Lightning Thief’ lacks electricity in mythic interpretation

For any normal kid, having sensory control over water fountains or being able to hold your breath in the pool for seven minutes may seem peculiar. But for the eponymous hero of “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” those are the more ordinary parts of your day.

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Andy Bockelman: ‘Valentine’s Day’ is here to stay

“Life is like a box of chocolates” is a pretty appropriate analogy for the romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day,” except the lesson of “you never know what you’re gonna get” is replaced with a moral more along the lines of “too much sugar in one sitting can make you nauseous depending on your tolerance.”

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Andy Bockelman: ‘When in Rome’ a lively date movie

The romantic comedy “When in Rome” not only provides an acceptable excuse for date night, it brings audiences a glimpse at a few of the finer things in life, such as art, magic and physical beauty. And sausage.

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Andy Bockelman: ‘Book of Eli:’ Knowledge is power after collapse

In a post-apocalyptic world where water, ChapStick and batteries are among the most valuable commodities on the planet, one item remains the most cherished and coveted of all: “The Book of Eli.” Mankind has reached a point where human life no longer holds any worth.

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Andy Bockelman: ‘Up in the Air:’ Mid-life crisis at 20,000 feet

Our country may have a plethora of unique topographical features, but they all tend to run together when you’re “Up in the Air.”

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Andy Bockelman: Film fantastic — part 2

2000s offer wide array of films for all tastes

Part 1 of this end-of-decade review was published in Friday’s Craig Daily Press. Below are my notable film picks of the year for 2005 through 2009.

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Andy Bockelman: Appeal of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is elementary

Before there were Batman and Robin, Crockett and Tubbs or most any other crime-fighting duo, there was a pair of investigators that set the template for detective stories henceforth. But the heroes of “Sherlock Holmes” are a tad different by today’s standards.

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Andy Bockelman: Appropriateness of ‘New Moon’ story wanes

Who could forget their senior year of high school? With the friendships, the prospect of the future, the love triangle with two different creatures of the night … Or was that last example just in “New Moon?”

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Andy Bockelman: ‘The Box’ a disappointing story

"The Box" screenplay is the weak point of writer/director Richard Kelly’s third feature. Reworking the structure of Richard Matheson’s short story “Button, Button” — also made into an episode of the 1980s redo of “The Twilight Zone” — Kelly expands it with an unfortunate outcome.

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Andy Bockelman: Not too early for ‘Christmas Carol’

The Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year, usually eclipsing Thanksgiving. One thing you can give thanks for is that the 2009’s interpretation of “A Christmas Carol” didn’t come out before Halloween.

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Andy Bockelman: Genuine scariness in 'Paranormal'

Sometimes the best movies come from a minuscule budget and an unerringly realistic presentation. "Paranormal Activity" fits the bill. Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston are a San Diego couple with a problem: Micah's house has been a little unsettling with weird noises and the unmistakable presence of an otherworldly nature.

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Andy Bockelman: I think I 'Saw' this movie 5 times already

It's finally happened. There are now as many entries in the "Saw" horror series as there are live-action "Star Wars" movies. And like its past couple predecessors, "Saw VI" makes "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones" look like "The Empire Strikes Back" in terms of keeping up the good name of a franchise.

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Andy Bockelman: Prepare for the full force of female friendship in 'Whip It'

Coming around the corner from out of nowhere is the feel-good sports movie "Whip It." Just be careful that while it charms you, you don't get socked in the eye.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Love Happens' is a lackluster love story

Not many great romances start with one person pretending to be deaf and the other flipping them off in retaliation. But, just when you least expect it, "Love Happens."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Informant!' espionage and business don't mix - and that's funny

What do you get when you cross the main characters of "Erin Brockovich," "Catch Me If You Can" and "The Office?" The daring, deceptive, deluded amalgam wouldn't even come close to the off-the-charts, seriocomic corporate antics of the man known as "The Informant!"

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Andy Bockelman: 'Jennifer' sets up a new body of expectations

When playwright William Congreve coined the phrase, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," it's a shame he didn't have an extra 300 years to stick around. After seeing "Jennifer's Body" he may have altered his most famous quote to include teenage girls.

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Andy Bockelman: On a scale of 1 to 10, '9' ranks highly

If you only like your cartoon characters squeaky-voiced and silly, then that's your prerogative.

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Andy Bockelman: Tarantino's new film is gloriously sadistic cinema

When a film begins with the introductory disclaimer "Once upon a time in Nazi-occupied France :" there should be no doubt you're in for a gamble of a movie experience.

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Andy Bockelman: Don't make time for 'The Time Traveler's Wife'

If you could do anything over again, would you? Spend more time with family members, work harder on your career, not waste your money on "The Time Traveler's Wife?"

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Andy Bockelman: 'The Goods' comes fully loaded with comedy

If there's one thing Don "The Goods" Ready (Jeremy Piven) knows, it's how to move cars.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Public Enemies' is a welcome but wavery gangster picture

Ah, to be back in the days when fedoras were still in style and radio was the top communication medium. Of course, in between trips to the soup line, you had to be sure not to run into some "Public Enemies."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Harry Potter' just as magical sixth time around

Eye of newt and toe of frog may make fire burn and cauldron bubble, but irrepressible infatuations and other teenage worries cause the toil and trouble of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

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Andy Bockelman: 'My Sister's Keeper' keeps viewers' attention, thanks to cast

In between the expected sci-fi and fantasy epics of summer, there has to be a pit stop in reality at the movies. Enter the tearjerker du jour "My Sister's Keeper."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Transformers': Less than meets the eye

What do you do when you have a hit movie? Make it again.

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'Land of the Lost' is lost cause TV remake

The dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" and "King Kong" may have been mindless creatures, but at least they didn't take their battles against humans personally. If you really need to see a giant reptile that's sensitive about his intelligence, maybe "Land of the Lost" is for you.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Up' balloons Pixar's good reputation

Ready for a grand-scale epic that the entire family will love? All you have to do is look "Up."

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Andy Bockelman: Heavenly artworks, devilishly dull acting

The film adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code" brought to life the global adventure of Dan Brown's novel of the same name. While the disappointment of that version lingers, the follow-up "Angels & Demons" is an improvement, although still hardly divine.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Star Trek': Logic dictates a fantastic ride

In preparing for the sci-fi summer blockbuster "Star Trek," get ready to boldly go where no movie-goer has gone before - with the exception of the past 10 movies.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Witch Mountain' is sometimes spacey, sometimes fun Disney remake

Are you stranded on a distant planet with the government after you? E.T. may have phoned home, but if you're smart, you'll take a clue from the young heroes of "Race to Witch Mountain" and ally yourself with a former professional wrestler.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Watchmen' is super, yet flawed edition of graphic novel

The smell of diesel exhaust from a mechanical avian named Archie, the sound of justice as a criminal's body crunches against the pavement, the surreal sight of man and woman as they peel each other's faces off like the layers of so many onions - all these sensory experiences and more explode off the screen in the revision of the cape and cowl set, "Watchmen."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Shopaholic' is addictive, sweet comedy

Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) has a philosophy: a girl can never have too many clothes. Or shoes. Or accessories.

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Andy Bockelman: 'He's Just Not That Into You' is unrelatable mush

February is a month for romantic comedies, with some inexorably being less bearable than others. And if the negative title of "He's Just Not That Into You" doesn't give you a clue as to which column it belongs in, nothing will.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Gran Torino' a wrenching but rewarding watch

Not only does the drama "Gran Torino" showcase a classic American car, but also the work of a classic American filmmaker.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Doubt' is a provocative religious drama

With an unflinching skepticism and a powerful cast, "Doubt" tackles still-relevant topics in a nostalgic era.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Benjamin Button' is curiously perfect

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" approaches the most crucial, philosophical aspects of our existence - love, friendship, death, etc. Most impressive is the fact that the movie handles such questions in reverse.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Bedtime Stories' is fun family fantasy

If the family film "Bedtime Stories" features nothing else, it is the first and probably only medieval/Western/gladiator/outer space hybrid movie ever made.

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Andy Bockelman: So many movies, so little time

The past several months have seen a wide array of films, some of which still are in theaters; others already are on DVD. The following is a selection of movies released between August and December 2008.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Seven Pounds' lacks true emotional power

The drama "Seven Pounds" is meant to be a feel-good film, but it comes off as more of a feel-OK feature.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Boy in the Striped Pajamas' features humanistic drama

Featuring an unusual angle on a distressing topic matter, the wartime drama "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is a look at one of the most shocking periods in the history of mankind through the eyes of a child.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Four Christmases' offers lots of laughs

Among other things, the holiday comedy "Four Christmases" shows us that doing anything in quadruplicate is pointless when you can't get the original right.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Bolt' electrifies family audiences

In a world where hamsters roam free and Styrofoam packing peanuts are considered Kryptonite, super dog "Bolt" reigns supreme.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Pineapple Express' makes for a sweet ride

If you have always wanted the opportunity to see a movie that contains a crucifix constructed from rolling papers, then the comedy "Pineapple Express" is right up your alley. If not, well...

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Andy Bockelman: 'Step Brothers' a brilliantly dumb laugh-fest

Ah, childhood - a time of rubber Chewbacca masks, bunk beds and mother-made grilled cheese sandwiches. For most folks, it ends at 18, but the main characters of "Step Brothers" will not give up the sweet life without a fight.

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Andy Bockelman: 'WALL-E' one of Pixar's best

Hath not a robot eyes? If you prick him, does he not spill motor oil?

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Andy Bockelman: 'Kung Fu Panda' equals big, fat fun

What do you get when you cross Bruce Lee with Winnie the Pooh? The awesome animated star of "Kung Fu Panda."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Speed Racer' more than cinematic eye candy

Featuring an endless spiral of camerawork, a veritable eruption of colors and a fully-clothed chimpanzee is the live-action version of the classic cartoon "Speed Racer."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Redbelt' conveys nature of discipline

Most movies about the subject of martial arts are either unnecessarily violent or unsuccessful in conveying the philosophical nature of the discipline, but the drama "Redbelt" is an astute look at the topic.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Iron Man' soars, sets tone for summer

Streaking across the sky with a flash of scarlet and yellow is this year's lead-in to the summer movie season, "Iron Man."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Miss Pettigrew' sweet natured, smart

For a film that hearkens back to the good old-fashioned screwball antics of the Golden Age of Cinema, be sure to check out "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Nim's Island' a fine family film

Eleven-year-old Nim Rusoe (Abigail Breslin) lives an amazing life; she and her father, Jack (Gerard Butler), reside on an uncharted island amid the South Pacific.

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Andy Bockelman: Smart, fast-paced '21' is a winning hand

Millions of people flock to the desert paradise of Las Vegas every year to empty their pockets in a fleeting attempt to win big. These people are gambling. An elite few gamers head to Sin City to do something entirely different: count.

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Andy Bockelman: Not a bad 'bit'

Calling all victims of high school bullying.

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Andy Bockelman: Other than customs, 'The Other' is flawed

The confusing, bed-hopping nature of King Henry VIII's court is examined in the period piece "The Other Boleyn Girl," showing a rather skewed view of the Middle Ages.

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Andy Bockelman: It's Oscar time

As Sunday nears, Oscar fever reaches its highest fervor.

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Fun in the sun

At the very least, 'Fool's Gold' an escape from winter doldrums

Ah, to be on the Florida coast right now. Experiencing all the sun, surf and explosions? Such is the action of the Sunshine State in the new movie, "Fool's Gold."

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Andy Bockelman: 'P.S.': Don't take your husband

Receiving correspondence from beyond the grave may be portrayed as eerie in most movies, but in "P.S. I Love You" it is considered purely romantic.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Atonement' a stunning drama

Featuring a virtual whirlwind of emotions and a particularly gorgeous and ornate production design is the beautifully heartrending period piece "Atonement."

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Andy Bockelman: Not quite a 'Legend'

But still a must-see for thrill seekers

Imagine if when Tom Hanks appeared in "Cast Away," he and Wilson the Volleyball were constrained to save all of humanity. Transport him to Manhattan, and you have the movie "I Am Legend."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Sweeney Todd' dark, powerful film

Guaranteed to send shivers down your spine and forever frighten you from getting a haircut is Tim Burton's version of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Juno': One of the year's best films

A topic like teenage pregnancy may not normally seem like an appropriate subject for comedy, but that wall is broken down in the indie hit "Juno."

Andy Bockelman: Walk your way to 'Walk Hard'

In the mood for an inspirational and stirringly real musical biopic? You may not find those traits in "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," but you will find an endless cacophony of laughs.

Andy Bockelman: Movies to mark the Christmas season

In the multitude of Christmas movies made, there have been some truly awful ones. Seeing the Governator slug it out with a rampaging reindeer ("Jingle All the Way") or grimacing as Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito ogle their own daughters ("Deck the Halls") is enough to dampen anyone's holiday spirit.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Golden Compass' resonant, but heavy-handed, loses direction

The new fantasy adventure film "The Golden Compass" is undoubtedly resonant in its deep messages, but its heavy-handed approach loses direction along the way.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Emporium' enjoyable ride

Boasting an overabundance of oddities as well as one of the most peculiar titles of film history is "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium."

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Andy Bockelman: Simply put, 'Comeback' is not good

The sports spoof "The Comebacks" may boast some all-star comedic talent, but almost every moment of the movie is worthy of the bench.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Gone Baby Gone' one year's best films

The crime drama "Gone Baby Gone" is a powerful piece of cinema that should keep viewers engrossed.

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Andy Bockelman: Move over, Mary Poppins; Scarlett Johansson's the new nanny in town

Move over, Mary Poppins. There's a new nanny in town; Scarlett Johansson in the insightful film "The Nanny Diaries."

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Andy Bockelman: 'No Reservations' about seeing this movie

The romantic comedy "No Reservations" is a relief for anyone who wants to see a chick flick that does not put its story on the back burner.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Hot Rod' and hot slap-stick comedy

The new comedy "Hot Rod" plays like a suburban version of a Las Vegas stunt spectacular, but its minimalist set pieces combined with a ridiculously dynamic hero make for a riotous affair.

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Andy Bockelman: Film version of 'The Simpsons' a much-needed break

In an event that has been inevitable for the past 20 years, "The Simpsons" has made the transition to the big screen.

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'License to Wed' nothing new

"License to Wed" shares a lot of similarities with a movie like "Meet the Parents," but this time, the hapless hero must deal with a whole different kind of father. Ben and Sadie (John Krasinski, Mandy Moore) are a young couple whose romantic history has been nothing but roses. Once Ben proposes, they think that married life will be just as wonderful. However, Sadie's wish to be married in her family's church by the illustrious Rev. Frank (Robin Williams) becomes more of a complication than they could imagine.

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Andy Bockelman: 'Harry Potter' another dose of movie magic

Everyone's favorite boy wizard is back for his fifth feature film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

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Andy Bockelman: One of the best action heroes ever returns to film

The newest chapter in the action series will not disappoint die-hard "Die Hard" fans: "Live Free or Die Hard."

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Andy Bockelman: 'Ratatouille' is a palatable piece of animation

From the studio that made you love bugs, monsters and fish comes the next logical choice: rats.

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