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Andy Bockelman is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society, and his movie reviews appear in Explore Steamboat and the Craig Daily Press.

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The Bock’s Office: Summer full of unique films if you know where to look

For all the repetition among blockbusters this summer, there have been smaller movies that have shined, some of which already are on DVD and others you still can catch in theaters.

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The Bock's Office: Social strata still the same in future of 'Elysium'

Do you sometimes feel bad worrying about trivial things knowing there are people in the world who can’t get medical care or even decent drinking water? Well, if there’s one thing to take away from a film like “Elysium,” it’s that people with first-world problems still don’t feel bad enough about themselves.

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The Bock's Office: ‘Millers’ a not so family-friendly comedy

Imagine how the Griswold family getaways might have been even more disastrous had Clark been moving a controlled substance, Ellen had a history of taking her clothes off for cash, Rusty was even dumber than usual and Audrey made her home on the streets. Plus, in this scenario, none of them are actually related and there’s a serious love/hate relationship among them.

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The Bock's Office: ‘Wolverine’ rips back into comic fans’ good graces

It takes a lot of determination, and perhaps stupidity, to perform open-heart surgery on yourself, offer up your body as target practice for dozens of archers at once or bear the brunt of an atomic blast. Of course, there are other kinds of bombs that can be more damaging, and if the hero of “The Wolverine” can survive his last solo feature, his threshold for pain clearly is beyond human understanding.

Craig Daily Press welcomes 2 new reporters

The Craig Daily Press would like to welcome two new reporters to our editorial team: Andy Bockelman and Erin Fenner.

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Now playing: Final ‘Dark Knight’ rises to the occasion

Before seeing “The Dark Knight Rises” for the first time, one cannot help but think of the opening of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” and the paradoxical “best of times, worst of times” conundrum.

Business Beat: Insurance agent finalist for national honor

Not everyone is able to put into words their level of commitment to a job well done, but a well-articulated piece of writing can work wonders. Even still, having the actions to back up the eloquence is just as important. Debbie Montgomery proved she had both tools at her disposal by taking home the 2012 Outstanding CSR (Customer Service Representative) award for the state of Colorado from the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research. Montgomery, a commercial lines account executive for Mountain West Insurance & Financial Services, 100 E. Victory Way, received the honor of a certificate of achievement in June.

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At the movies: Drug film ‘Savages’ will harsh your mellow

Who’s the worse criminal: the drug lord who endorses multiple decapitations just to send a message, or the squeaky clean grower who goes bad trying to take back what’s his? In the movie “Savages,” it’s pretty much a dead heat.

Business Beat: Fire safety supplier adds new tenant

You can never be too prepared in case a fire occurs in your home or business. That’s the philosophy embraced by the staff of Craig Fire & Safety, as well as the new business operating alongside them. Extinguisher Solutions opened as a separate business within Craig Fire & Safety, 463 Ranney St., in late June. As the name implies, the secondary supplier specializes in selling and servicing fire extinguishers in addition to related areas.

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At the Movies: ‘Spider-Man’ reboot spins a fresh web

Some movie franchises can go for years without any new additions and still be received warmly by fans when a new entry is released. Considering it comes from a trilogy that has barely had any time to collect cobwebs while sitting on the shelf, “The Amazing Spider-Man” brings new life to a character who’s been around for much longer than we’ve seen him onscreen.

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‘Prometheus’ stirs up something provocative

Who are we? Where do we come from? Why do we exist? That endless line of questions doesn’t get a good answer from your parents when you’re 5 years old, and few people still have a decent response no matter the age of the asker. Even if it doesn’t give a concrete explanation of the meaning of life, “Prometheus” goes further than we could’ve hoped in trying. The year is 2093, and the time is an exciting point in the history of mankind.

At the Movies: Darker ‘Snow White’ is still pretty mild

If you feel like you’ve already seen the fantasy “Snow White & the Huntsman,” that’s no shock, considering every fairy tale has hit the big screen in one form or another throughout the history of cinema. With this particular princess story, your last viewing may have been a little more recent, so which of the pair is the fairest of them all?

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Break out the memory-eraser for 3rd ‘Men in Black’

Movie trilogies are a tricky thing. For every “Toy Story 3” released there are about five disappointments like “The Godfather Part III” that just can’t stand with the origjnal, even on its own merits. Such is the case of “Men in Black 3.” Working for the Men in Black agency can take a lot out of a guy. Years of monitoring and policing alien activities have left Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) hardened to the process, and his partner J (Will Smith) has had more than enough of his associate’s attitude. With the reemergence of a psychotic lifeform named Boris (Jemaine Clement) who has been imprisoned in a moon institution for decades, K warns J he could be killed off at any time. With all the weird, threatening things he’s seen since entering the job, J has little worries for K’s safety.

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At the Movies: Bigger is better in ‘The Avengers’

The more popular comic book movies get, the more we can expect to see. And, the more we see, the greater in scope each one will become until soon all the world’s resources will go to supporting the process. At this rate, perhaps the team that makes up “The Avengers” will have to save us from the future they’ve created. At least until then, we can enjoy the ride.

At the Movies: A return to the good old days with 'American Reunion'

Crazy stories about times gone by are nothing unusual when old classmates meet up to rehash their past. Considering the characters of “American Reunion” have imbibed “special” beer, made love to baked goods and eaten dog feces, their recollections must be a little more unpredictable.

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At the Movies: ‘Cabin’ not your average weekend getaway

When it comes to horror audiences, everyone enjoys a good decapitation or disemboweling, no matter how you slice it. But most may argue is that the details leading up to graphic onscreen violence are what make or break any feature, whether it’s something quick and easy with a hint of the supernatural or painfully intricate and down to earth. Whatever your preferences, “The Cabin in the Woods” will leave you smiling. Or possibly vomiting. It’s vacation time for college students Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Dana (Kristen Connolly), Holden (Jesse Williams) and Marty (Fran Kranz). With an isolated mountain cabin reserved for their use, their plans for the next few days are to do nothing but have fun, fun, fun.

Livin It Up: Spring cleaning — inside and out

Now that the 1040s and W-2s are out of sight and hopefully out of mind, it’s time to awake from your post-winter lethargy and enjoy the world around you. And there’s no better time than this weekend to reinvigorate yourself.

Livin' it up: Grab your putter, learn and party hearty

It only comes but once or twice a year, but Friday the 13th is upon us once again. If you’re the superstitious type, that might cast a pallor over the weekend for you, but you don’t need to rely on luck to enjoy some of the stuff going on the next few days.

Livin' it Up: Happenings to suit crowds big and small

As we make the progression from late season snow to sunny-but-gusty days, it’s nice to get out and about, and this weekend is the time to do it. Just be careful you don’t get swept in any sudden windstorms because as we’ve seen so far this week, even living in the mountains doesn’t prevent us from being on the receiving end of some big breezes.

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At the Movies: Odds favor ‘The Hunger Games’ success

If the creators of “Dancing with the Stars” or “Survivor” had any guts, they’d have a lot higher stakes in their shows for the losers. When you’ve seen “The Hunger Games,” being voted out of a competition seems like a pretty weak punishment compared to those who don’t live to recount their brief time in the limelight.

Livin' It Up: Snow, snow, go away and stay away

This week, spring is supposed to have sprung already. But as any Moffat County resident knows, there’s always the possibility of seeing more heavy precipitation. At least at this point it’ll start melting faster. Even if your golf game or baseball practices have been ruined by snow, there’s still something to get excited about within the following week.

Film rewind: 'John Carter': It's all Martian to me

Not everyone gets to own a pet that has the look of a bulldog mixed with a salamander mixed with a bionic cheetah. Then again, the titular man of “John Carter” isn’t your average fellow, even if he becomes less distinct as the years go by.

Livin' It Up: March Madness may lead to mild hysteria

Filling out your brackets for college basketball’s vast end-of-season tournament can be a job all on its own. Keeping up with every single game to see if your NCAA team goes all the way to the Final Four and beyond is even more time-consuming. While you’re catching all these high-energy hoops, you may want to take a break from time to time. Hey, with games going for the next few weeks, it only makes sense to pace yourself by getting out into the real world at certain intervals.

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At the Movies: ‘One for the Money’ is bankrupt of humor

If you’re planning to view “One for the Money,” but you’re not sure what to expect, the old expression from which it gets its title provides the best advice. As long as you skip over the whole “two for the show, three to get ready” part and jump ahead to “four to go,” by which I mean leave the theater as quick as you can. Unemployment hasn’t been kind to Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl). Months of trying to find a new career after being laid off from the lingerie department of Macy’s have only brought repossession of her car and an eviction notice at her apartment. Applying for a position with her bail bondsman cousin (Patrick Fischler) doesn’t grant her the filing job she’d hoped for, but the idea of being a bounty hunter intrigues her. Even better is the prospect of tracking down her high school boyfriend (Jason O’Mara), a cop who’s been on the run from the courts in disgrace after a drug bust gone bad. Taking home $50,000 for nabbing the guy who dumped her as teenager is all the inspiration Stephanie needs to take up the new line of work, training with an experienced “bail enforcement agent” (Daniel Sunjata).

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At the Movies: ‘This Means War’ means a good time

You know the old saying about the only time when “all’s fair” no matter what the conditions. In “This Means War,” the two environments of that old chestnut combine like you’ve never seen before. In their operations as CIA agents, FDR Foster (Chris Pine) and Tuck Henson (Tom Hardy) always have each other’s backs even when things don’t go as planned. Such is the case with their latest mission, in which a renowned terrorist (Til Schweiger) eludes their capture and swears to track them down and kill them.

Business Beat: Beautiful blossoms fill the holiday

With Mother’s Day a possible exception, the biggest flower delivery date of the year is Tuesday. Some would-be Cupids may have had their gifts planned out for the past month, but others may need a little extra help deciding between the many options available for loved ones. The staff of The Flower Mine, 410 W. Victory Way, has seen booming business within the last two weeks with the onset of Valentine’s Day. Besides a selection of stuffed animals, cards and other knick-knacks, the main seller has been of the plant variety, shipped from all around. “Roses are always the big favorite,” employee Debbie Pfister said. “We’ve got them in all colors — purple, orange, even lime green.” The traditional flower of Feb. 14 is by no means the only one in supply.

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Holiday Movie Rundown: Sad, funny, cute — V-Day viewing for all preferences

The day reserved for telling the people you love just how much they mean to you can invoke some pretty powerful emotions. What with the violent legends regarding the man for whom St. Valentine’s Day is named, it’s no surprise that romance on the silver screen can come in all varieties. Some couples may appreciate the lightness of something like “The Proposal,” while others may find the tragic “Love Story” their best bet. If you’re looking for something to snuggle up on the couch with, but you’re not sure which of the varying degrees of devotion in classic and current releases is for you, peruse the following list to determine where you stand on the Movie Love-o-Meter.

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‘Haywire’ heroine has neither sugar nor spice

When you’re making a movie, getting all the individual details right is something that can take years to master. Yet, even when you’ve got all the elements in place, things can still go “Haywire.” As a special contractor for the American government’s cloak and dagger operations, Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is used to dealing with people trying to kill her. After a stressful mission to Spain that nearly costs her life, she’s hardly enthusiastic about jumping back into action. But, her boss (Ewan McGregor), who also happens to be her ex, is insistent that she’s the only one who can handle the latest job brought to him by his contacts (Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas). Meeting with a British agent (Michael Fassbender) in Ireland and going undercover as his wife is an easy enough task. Perhaps too easy.

Business Beat: Tax season is underway

With forms like W-2s and 1099s firmly in hand by now to be furnished to the Internal Revenue Service for the 2011 tax year, it’s time to get started on the annual task. But, before you lick the envelope or click the “submit” button on the electronic version of your 1040, be sure you have all the information you need. Changes in 2011’s tax process includes a two-percent decrease in Social Security deductions in paychecks, the abolishment of the Making Work Pay credit and an extra two days to file. “April 15 falls on a Sunday this year, and the next day is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., so the IRS will be closed that day, so the deadline is April 17,” said Chris Jones, an accountant at Jones & Associates, Inc. “Actually, it’s almost like we have an extra three days since it’s a Leap Year.”

‘Contraband’ snatches story from others of its kind

You can find a lot of things in cargo containers that probably weren’t supposed to leave their country of origin. Speaking of which, if you open those big metal doors, the light of day might reveal the pilfered plotlines of the crime drama “Contraband.” In a previous life, Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) was the best smuggler in the business, able to find a way to bring anything and everything into the port of New Orleans. Those days are behind him now, as he tries to go down the straight and narrow path, providing for his family, lest he end up like his incarcerated father (William Lucking). When his wife’s (Kate Beckinsale) younger brother (Caleb Landry Jones) is brutalized following a failed attempt to bring cocaine into the country, Chris isn’t too happy about having to clean up his mess. That means getting back in touch with scumbags he never wanted to see again — in this case, bottom-dweller Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), who demands thousands of dollars as repayment for the botched drug deal.

Livin' It Up: Big-ticket weekend

With Super Bowl Sunday looming, fans of Eli Manning and Tom Brady alike are waiting for the biggest game of the year. With the eyes of the nation on the action happening in Indianapolis more than 1,200 miles away, it’s easy to forget the assortment of things happening on the home front the next several days.

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At the movies: ‘Joyful Noise’ volume doesn’t undo uplifting theme

If life’s got you down and you don’t know where else to turn, there are always groups of people who can sympathize. And, if you want to don a purple robe, maybe you can help them make some “Joyful Noise.” When Bernard Sparrow (Kris Kristofferson), the director of his church choir, passes away unexpectedly, the town of Pacashau, Ga., doesn’t know how to handle it. Beyond grieving, the small town populace is up in arms about who will lead them to glory as the musical ensemble competes in the annual gospel competition, in which they have always come up short.

Business Beat: Area auto dealer joins manufacturer sales effort

The icy months of January and February may give some vehicle owners cause to consider purchasing a new car better suited to winter conditions. The problem is that it may not be the best time financially for some people. But, kicking the tires in certain car lots may result in better savings than you’d think. Cook Chevrolet and Subaru is participating in the Factory Challenge, a sales drive designed to increase numbers in dealerships at the beginning of the year, running throughout February. Owner Scott Cook said the quota for the challenge is 150 units between the dealerships he owns in Craig and Steamboat Springs, which applies to both new and used vehicles.

Singing, dancing, games abound this weekend

After a slow entry into 2012, things are starting to heat up around here, with a busy few days for the people who want to do it all. Just be sure to take some time to breathe, folks. ■ If you’re a child enrolled in preschool through fifth-grade or the parent of someone this age, you can’t miss the literacy carnival running from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Sunset Elementary School, 800 W. Seventh St. Be sure to bookmark it in your day planner.

Business Beat: Dance studio owner to return to teaching

For someone trained in the art of movement, staying in one place can be torture. But, one of the best known members of the Craig dance community will be returning to do what she loves best. Jeni Giedd, owner of Just Dance, 500 Yampa Ave., steps back into the role of dance instructor starting today following a lengthy maternity leave. Giedd, who has taught dance in Craig for five years at multiple locations, gave birth to her son, Kasen, in November. After participating in and studying dance her whole life, Giedd said she played a smaller role in her dance classes in the months leading up to motherhood.

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Now Playing: ‘Chipmunks’ sequel about as solid as a sandpile

If Bob Denver proved anything during his time on “Gilligan’s Island,” it’s that only disaster can come on a tropical destination from a hyperactive inhabitant who’s always clad in a crimson shirt. But, the Skipper’s “little buddy” couldn’t have been anymore tiring than the title character of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.” It’s vacation time for the world’s two biggest musical trios. On their way to an international awards show, the Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon and Theodore (voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney), and the Chipettes, Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor (Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, Amy Poehler) are guests on a transatlantic cruise promising sun, fun and more.

Livin' It Up: Knit, sculpt, talk politics — whatever it takes to stay warm

With winter cold still hitting the area hard, people in Northwest Colorado are in need of something to keep their minds off the weather, which can be harsh at best.Keep indoors with this week’s lineup of things to do.

Business Beat: Clothing store ends run in Craig

Sharyn’s Upscale Consignment Boutique, 29 W. Victory Way, recently closed its doors. The clothing outlet, which offered shoppers the chance to trade old apparel for new, had its last day of business Jan. 11. “It’s kind of a bittersweet thing,” owner Sharon Martin said. “I’ve really loved this and my customers, all the laughter.” Martin first opened Sharyn’s — featuring a quirky twist on her name in the title — in spring 2010. She said she has been splitting her time between the store and Jones Trucking, the business run by her husband.

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NOW PLAYING: ‘Ghost Protocol’ is impossibly good entry in action series

If there’s a match being lit with the flame passed along to a lengthy fuse, it can only mean one thing: dum-dum-dum-da-da-da-dum-dum-dum-da-da-da-dum … In case you couldn’t interpret a musical interlude spelled out in words, I’m talking about “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.” In his dealings as an agent for the Impossible Missions Force, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) can’t stay out of trouble for long.

Livin' It Up: Strike gold — on stage, screen or in your junk drawer

There’s never a bad time to discover a new hobby or learn more about things you’ve always been curious of. This week has plenty of opportunities to do both within Northwest Colorado, as well as the possibility of maybe hitting it big while cleaning out your house.

Business Beat: Company to continue local acquisition’s high standards

Craig’s latest addition to the business community isn’t so much a new face as a familiar one with a new name. Northwest Weed Management Inc., 1581 A St., is now part of the industrial herbicide company Chemical Weed Control. The company was originally founded in 1999 by Chad Running, who passed away in September when he drowned during a camping trip. Running’s widow, Lynnette, completed the deal with Chemical Weed Control owner Donnie Wilson Thursday.

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At the Movies: Scenic views can’t hide family discord in ‘The Descendants’

As the waves lap up the shore, all the driftwood, shells and other beach bric-a-brac are swept out to sea, only to be replaced again by new items again and again. Such is the way of the human mind, with fresh crises filling the role of old problems before they’re even dealt with. A hard lesson, to be sure, but one the people in “The Descendants” have to go through in order to cope with the hand life has dealt them. “Harmonious” has never been a word used to describe the family of Honolulu lawyer Matt King (George Clooney).

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At the Movies: Downey shines through murkiness of ‘Sherlock’ sequel

The olfactory sensation of body odor and vodka might mean little to most people. For the hero of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” it's just one of many observations that keep him from getting one-upped in a world where everybody's trying to futilely stay a step ahead of him. Mass bombings by anarchists all over Europe have rocked the core of 1891 Great Britain as ordinary citizens wonder if their society can hold up under these conditions. Right in the thick of things is super sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.), who is less concerned with these events and more worried about the prospect of losing his partner and best friend, Dr. John Watson (Jude Law). With Watson's marriage inevitable, he intends to associate less and less with Holmes and his erratic behavior, but the world's greatest detective doesn't give his companions up so easily.

Livin' It Up: A New Year with new goals ahead

With all the hoopla of the holidays quieted down, it’s time to start making 2012 count. And, what better time to start on those resolutions than the first week of January? ■ Get more involved in your community by letting people know what’s on your mind for making Craig a better place. Stop by the Community Envisioning Session hosted by the Moffat County Tourism Association at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13. Voice your opinion on the best attributes of the area to advertise to prospective tourists, be it summer’s Whittle the Wood or all the natural beauty that is Moffat County.

At the movies: ‘My Week with Marilyn’ a loving look at one of the greats

Andy Warhol tried to capture her image in silkscreen diptych paintings. Elton John paid homage to her through song. The many attempts to portray one of the most matchless women ever to live don’t do her justice, but “My Week with Marilyn” comes closer than any before. In 1956, the only name in Hollywood is that of Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), the fantasy of every red-blooded male and the envy of every female. Her fame in the U.S. is just as prominent worldwide, with British movie personnel scrambling to get the actress involved in a project in their country.

Movie rewind: Cream of the crop of 2011’s movies — Part 1

Looking back at the end of the year and thinking about all the good times we had in the cinema evokes different kinds of memories for different people. There’s the first half of the year, full of light summer entertainment and the occasional heavy independent film and then the second half, with moviemakers angling for Golden Globes, Oscars and high returns at the box office. Comparing the two halves of the year is an unenviable task, so the only fair thing to do is count down the best of the year in separate lists. Let’s start with the top selections released between January and June.

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At the movies: ‘Zoo’ is nothing new, but still fun

When parents want to make a difference in their children’s lives, most of them will stop short of completely altering their progeny’s world. While a new baseball bat or a college savings bond will suffice for some, there’s at least one dad who decided he wanted his kids to be able to tell people “We Bought a Zoo.” California newspaper columnist Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) has made his mark by tackling big stories about the scary parts of life. But, facing swarms of bees in an apiary suit or a hurricane in a tiny craft was nothing compared to his new escapade: single father.

At the Movies: Ink fades on ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

When filmmakers decide to create their own version of an already popular movie, their process starts with a choice as to whether they will build on what has been done with the material before or start entirely from scratch. In the case of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” the cast and crew clearly worked with a stencil. Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) has just been rocked by a lawsuit from a powerful businessman (Ulf Friberg) who claims he was slandered. With his reputation and bank account demolished as a result, Blomkvist doesn’t have high hopes for the future of his magazine, Millennium, or his own career.

Livin' It Up: 1 holiday down, 1 more on the horizon

Hopefully your Christmas was filled with fun and plenty of heartwarming moments, whether you were watching your kids rip open their presents or camped out in front of the tube for the annual viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Now that the cuddly family part of December has come and gone, it’s time to party hearty for us adults. Finish 2011 in style with any of the many shindigs happening around town Saturday night.

At The Movies: Yuletide spirit comes in all forms on film

When it comes to holiday movies, there are the classics like “White Christmas” and “Holiday Inn” that have become ingrained in our memories for their timeless depiction of a winter wonderland, as have “Ben-Hur” and “King of Kings” for their showing of the Nativity. There are plenty more on the list of favorite viewing on or around Dec. 25, but some films having to do with the topic have fallen by the wayside. But, that doesn’t mean they’re not worth watching, especially for fans of the many subgenres of Christmas movies.

Livin' It Up: Countdown to Christmas

With only a few more shopping days until Christmas, there’s precious little time to waste to make your holiday the best it can be for you and yours. With the holiday falling on the weekend this year, it shouldn’t upset your schedule too much to spend Dec. 24 and 25 at home. But before you settle in for the family togetherness, there are still some fun activities leading up to the big day to bring your spirit to its peak.

Now playing: ‘New Year’s Eve’: Join the party if you dare

If noisemakers, party hats and glasses shaped like numbers aren’t your thing, “New Year’s Eve” likely isn’t your flick. But, if you like all those in addition to half the stars in Hollywood packed into one feature, you’ve found yourself a new holiday favorite. Around the world, people are preparing to say farewell to 2011. However, if you want to do it up right, the only place to be is in The Big Apple, preferably in Times Square for the biggest party of all.

At the Movies: ‘Hugo’ a glorious, gleaming visual experience

By this point in the year, you’ve probably tired of superficial popcorn movies with halfhearted effects. If you’re hoping to rekindle your love of movies, all you need to do is get a ticket to meet a child named “Hugo.” Within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931 lives a boy named Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield). He has managed to stay out of trouble and out of an orphanage by keeping out of sight and performing maintenance on the station’s many clocks, a task left to him by his drunken uncle (Ray Winstone), who has since absconded. Hugo’s sense of survival is coupled with a need to repair a project of his late father (Jude Law), a mechanical man that the boy believes may contain a secret.

Livin' it Up: Dashing through the snow, in song or in reality

If you’re hoping for a quiet, uneventful lead-up to Christmas Day, you’re going to have to work extra hard to not get swept up in the festivities. Ebenezer Scrooge himself would have a difficult time staying away from some of the holiday activities in store for Northwest Colorado throughout the next week. ■ Start things off with a moment of remembrance Thursday at the fifth annual Celebration of Life Tree event at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, 745 Russell St. Commemorate the loved ones in your life with a decorative ornament and visit with others doing the same.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Arthur Christmas’ is full of good cheer

Not everyone can lull a pride of hungry lions to sleep chanting “Silent Night” and swinging glow-in-the-dark slippers. But, if anyone is foolhardy enough to try, it’s “Arthur Christmas.” Dec. 24 is the biggest night of the year at the North Pole, as a staff of hundreds gears up to assist Santa Claus (voice of Jim Broadbent) in delivering gifts to two billion children across the world. With the jolly old man’s son, Steve (Hugh Laurie), overseeing everything, Santa and his elves have managed to make their yearly excursion smoother then ever this year with everyone working at their peak in each skill set.

Andy Bockelman: 1st ‘Breaking Dawn’ segment nears ‘Twilight’ conclusion

At one point or another during pregnancy, every expectant mother jokes that the new life growing inside her is trying to kill her. In “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” this mommy is right on the money. The time has come at last for the wedding of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire soul mate, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). As preparations are made for her to walk down the aisle, Bella can’t help but marvel at what the future will hold, a baffling concept since the phrase “Till death do we part” will have no significance once Edward brings her into his family as a bona fide vampire, with immortality only one of the perks. A honeymoon on a private South American island sets the tone for an amazing life together. That is, until an uninvited guest changes everything.

Andy Bockelman: Summarizing this week’s social scene

Stepping into the shoes of a legend is never easy, but I’ll do my best as I try to take over for Michelle Balleck in getting Northwest Colorado details about the local social scene. Fortunately, there’s plenty to work with for the following week. ■ Get an early start on the weekend with two separate events Thursday night that will let community members mingle, and maybe learn a little something. The Craig Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors will host its Business After-Hours Mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. at THPK Accounting, 555 Breeze St. The free event is a festive way to get to know Chamber members with food, drinks and prizes. Call in your RSVP to 824-5689 or email it to

Fall flick rewind: Harvest of movies has both good and bad apples

As we head toward the end of the year, the studios prepare their best and brightest in the hopes of grabbing gold. For some movie viewers, this may be the only time going to the theater may be worth the price of popcorn and Pepsi, but the months leading up to awards season has had its triumphs with some autumn films proving powerful. Then again, other entries have shown exactly why the period between the end of summer and the beginning of winter doesn’t bring in the biggest crowds.

Business Beat: Local hotel under new ownership

A Craig hotel is now operating under new ownership. Holiday Inn & Suites, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13, is part of the portfolio of GF Management, based out of Philadelphia. Renee Campbell, director of sales and marketing for Holiday Inn, said the staff learned of the change in ownership in September. “They were originally supposed to take over Oct. 19, but it got pushed back to Nov. 23, that was their first day here,” she said. Campbell said the change is barely discernible for guests, since GF has yet to make alterations. “If you didn’t know that we were under new ownership, you wouldn’t know the difference,” she said.

Andy Bockelman: ‘J. Edgar’ breaks no laws, but offers little historical insight

When you’re responsible for taking on the criminal element of an entire country, some of your personal information is bound to be on a need-to-know basis. Based on what we already know — or think we know — about the enigmatic, eponymous man of “J. Edgar,” peering deeper into his dossier could unearth some very significant revelations. Or could it? Bright, ambitious and rigorous to a fault, young law enforcer John Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) is resolute in his crusade to stomp out anarchy in 1920s America. His tactics on the job with the Justice Department lead to a promotion as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Tower Heist’ snatches some good laughs

Most thieves have the sense to wear ski masks or at least pantyhose on their heads when they’re in the middle of breaking and entering. When the rookie burglars of “Tower Heist” have to settle for Peruvian chullos with pom-poms, there’s little doubt they might not be the best in the business. At Manhattan’s premier apartment complex The Tower, everyone on staff from Lester the doorman (Stephen McKinley Henderson) to general manager Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) is devoted to providing wealthy residents with the best service money can buy.

Business Beat: Winter weather necessitates snow tire sales

With the first day of winter come and gone, Northwest Colorado is far from immune to the driving conditions that come with the coldest months of the year. Snow, slush and ice will be in plentiful supply on the highways, city streets and back roads of the region. And if you haven’t already taken the precautions to deal with these, the time is now to contact your preferred tire dealer. Fred Shaffer, owner of Big O Tires, 1111 W. Victory Way, said he is still receiving requests for snow tires. “We’ve been selling them for three months, that’s when we started to advertise,” he said. “It gets really busy at that time. It’s the nature of the business.”

Andy Bockelman: ‘Happy Feet’ sequel still dancing up a storm

If every ballet recital or musical came to a screeching halt because its youngest troupe member did a face-plant and peed themselves out of embarrassment, we’d probably have a lot less opportunities to take in the arts. Fortunately, when such a thing occurs in “Happy Feet Two,” it’s only the beginning of a bigger story. Emperor penguins Mumble and Gloria (voices of Elijah Wood, Alecia Moore) have long since found their place in the dancing, singing landscape of their part of Antarctica. Their son, Erik (Ava Acres), isn’t so lucky, feeling ostracized from his more melody-inclined brethren, so much so that he runs away from home.

Andy Bockelman: Double the Sandler insanity in ‘Jack and Jill’

When Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase “Fish and visitors stink after three days,” he must have had a houseguest such as the one in “Jack and Jill” in mind. But, even Poor Richard himself would long for a nice rotting trout after spending 24 hours with the second half of this duo. It’d probably be more attractive, too. Thanksgiving is a time reserved for family.

Business Beat: Salon set to bring in extensive product line

Whether your mane is long, short, curly, straight or any other variation, you can likely find what you need in way of hair care all in one convenient locale. As of Nov. 10, Studio 7, 2017 W. Victory Way, is an official carrier of KMS California hair products. The KMS line includes more than 60 types of shampoos, conditioners, gels and other items. “To the best of my knowledge, I think we’re the only place in town that carries their full line,” owner Megan Mudge said. “They’re very extensive, and we just had a company rep from Grand Junction talk to us about all they have to offer.” Studio 7 also sells products from brand names like Moroccanoil and Matrix, as well as implements like hair dryers and curling irons. But, tools for the tresses aren’t the only objects available for purchase, with nail accessories and tanning creams ready for customers to buy.

Andy Bockelman: Third ‘Paranormal’ entry keeps scare streak going strong

They say history repeats itself, but just as the exact source of this theory remains uncertain, so does the first occurrence of many phenomena. “Paranormal Activity 3” doesn’t quite give us an answer as to what’s going on in future events, but now we know a little more about just what’s going on in this horror series. In 1988, sisters Katie and Kristi (Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown) live an idyllic life with their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and her devoted live-in boyfriend, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith). The two girls are happy enough, but Dennis can’t help noticing Kristi’s creation of an imaginary friend named Toby who she fixates on intensely.

Business Beat: Thrift store offers items old, new

One way that Lucille Strange helps people remember her last name is with the phrase “Never talk to strangers.” But, once you step foot in her store, her personable attention will guarantee you never think of her as a stranger again. Strange is the proprietor of Stop & Shop Thrift Store, 2255 W. Victory Way, a business specializing in goods both second-hand and otherwise. The store’s grand opening was Oct. 21. “We’ve got old and new stuff here,” she said. “We have a very good selection for kids. We’ve got a lot of school supplies at a very low price, and they’re all brand-new.”

Andy Bockelman: ‘Puss in Boots’ is near-purrfect animation

Any pet care specialist will tell you that cats don’t like being sprayed in the face with water. It may go without saying, but most users of a litter box also don’t care to be smacked in the head with a guitar. Luckily, we have cartoons like “Puss in Boots” to hammer the point home. Some people know him as Frisky Two Times, some as the Chupacabra. But, most refer to him as Puss in Boots (voice of Antonio Banderas), a cat unlike any other, both because of his famous footwear and his legendary fighting skills.

Andy Bockelman: Good or bad, ‘Big Year’ is for the birds

Spending a Saturday morning armed with a pair of binoculars and a notebook may not appeal to everyone, but for a select few, this is paradise. It’s hard to tap into that mindset, but “The Big Year” does its best to do just that. Every year, bird enthusiasts across the country migrate from point to point to get a glimpse of North America’s favorite fowls.

Business Beat: Area cell tower technician wins national award

Connecting the mountainous regions of Colorado and Wyoming with the rest of the world can be a perilous task. One of the men responsible for this accessibility is riding high as a result of his hard work. Union Wireless employee Matt Myers won the “Toughest Site Competition” sponsored by Anritsu Company for his work maintaining Union’s cell phone towers. Anritsu first announced the results of the competition in October.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Real Steel’ has both spots of rust and glimmer

With all the bizarre source materials that inspire movies today, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood started to turn to the world of plastic. Just take a look at the “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots” kind of creations in “Real Steel.” Human sporting events are almost completely a thing of the past by 2020, with the sport of robot boxing all the rage. Caught up in the fever is seasoned fighter Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman), who’s never quite been able to make the transition to using a remote control resulting in a long string of losses, busted competitors and wagers gone bad.

Business Beat: Craig Realtor awarded statewide distinction

Providing people in Northwest Colorado with good service on their real estate transactions is something the staff of Brass Key Realty, 840 W. Victory Way, does regularly, but it never hurts to get an acknowledgment of how their talents are appreciated. Brass Key broker Otis Lyons recently received the Land Realtor of the Year award from the Colorado Chapter 5 Realtors Land Institute.

Andy Bockelman: Weird watches, spooky screenings

The last day of October can mean only one thing people plugged into the media world, and no, I don’t mean celebrating the birth date of John Candy, Jane Pauley and Vanilla Ice. Spending All Hallows Eve with a marathon viewing of horror movies while ignoring trick-or-treaters is a time-honored tradition for the couch potato crowd, but finding new scares year by year can be a tough task.

Now playing: Reproduced horror film is no ‘Thing’ of beauty

As anyone who’s ever used a Xerox machine can attest, making a copy of a copy of a copy rarely results in something worthwhile. Considering the agenda of the creature in “The Thing,” that lesson seems especially appropriate. Columbia University paleontology graduate student Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has just been approached with a very unusual offer, of which she only knows two details: it involves traveling to Antarctica and it could change the face of the world. The high level of confidentiality alone is intriguing enough, leading her to accompany a Norwegian scientist (Ulrich Thomsen) to a site where something astonishing has been found by a research team.

‘Footloose’ remake has the right steps

Everybody wants to keep their kids away from bad influences. Underage drinking? Naturally. Offensive music? Well, OK. Dancing?

Andy Bockelman: ‘50/50’: Half funny, half heartwarming

It takes a mighty talented group of people to turn one of the worst things in the world into something humorous, but the cast of “50/50” manages to beat the odds. Adam’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) life could be better, but it could also be much worse. He’s got a job that’s more or less rewarding, a best friend (Seth Rogen) who’s usually supportive of him and a girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) he loves. Well, pretty much.

Business Beat: Pet store hosts grand opening, preps for new additions

Giving your furry friends a healthy lifestyle is crucial, and it all starts with what goes in their food bowl. Paddy Whack, 400 Mack Lane, specializes in all-natural pet food and supplies. The business had its grand opening Saturday. Owner Kelly Davidson has raised and competed with dogs for five years.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Moneyball’ hits a grand slam

Throwing around the old horsehide seems simple enough when you watch the pros do it on TV. But, for every pitch that hits the mitt, numbers go up and down for both teams, and the process goes on and on until the bottom of the ninth. Hardly anybody would consider calculating the figures afterward to be entertaining, but “Moneyball” is all about making something big out of many miniscule integers.

Business Beat: Chiropractor to offer new service as part of transition

The recent closing of an institution that has been in Craig for decades has affected many people, but a fellow business in the same field is working on straightening out the process. Craig Chiropractic Clinic, which closed Sept. 30, has transferred its patient files to the office of Whole Body Alignment, 820 W. Victory Way. Dr. Carolyn Gochee said she will be assisting former patients of Craig Chiropractic.

Andy Bockelman: ‘I Don’t Know’ who would like this

Remember when your mother could clean the entire house, sew your Halloween costume and still have dinner ready at 7 p.m.? Throw in a relentlessly taxing office job on top of that and more than likely, she’d be able to cope, leaving you to say, “I Don’t Know How She Does It.” The demands of a career in high finance are intense enough for Bostonian Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker), but coupled with the needs of her family, the juggling act can sometimes be too much to take.

At the movies: 'Contagion': It's hard to miss the fever

When your nose is stuffed up and you have the chills, it’s natural to curl up in the fetal position and feel like you’re awaiting the sweet release of death. But, the symptoms of the common cold are nothing compared to what the people of the world face in a movie like “Contagion.” When his wife Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to their Minneapolis, Minn., home from an international business trip, Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon) is expecting nothing out of the ordinary for their Thanksgiving holiday. Although Beth is feeling a little under the weather, the two of them chalk it up to jet lag — until she collapses unexpectedly, resulting in a visit to the emergency room from which she doesn’t come back.

Andy Bockelman: ‘The Debt’ a taut tale of long-kept secrets

After a summer season filled with non-stop movement and idiotic dialogue to accompany it, it’s refreshing to see a movie that doesn’t need to be hyperkinetic and loud. Such is the case of “The Debt,” a film that can convert stillness and silence into genuine thrills handily. In 1965, Israeli Mossad agent Rachel Singer (Jessica Chastain) and colleagues David Peretz (Sam Worthington) and Stephan Gold (Marton Csokas) are tasked by their government to track down and apprehend Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen).

At the movies: ‘Apollo 18’: Houston, we have a conspiracy

Strolling around in darkness can be scary enough. Walking inside a crater with only the occasional flash of light is even worse, especially if you see the kinds of things the men in “Apollo 18” have to glimpse. In 1970, NASA scaled back its Apollo space missions because of budgetary concerns. Four years later, the newest space flight, Apollo 18, is a go once again. However, the lunar mission is kept under strict scrutiny compared to previous projects, with the U.S. Department of Defense insisting on secrecy. The crew involved is uninterested in publicity as long as they’re able to be part of something important on behalf of their country.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Idiot Brother’ is one sweet guy

What would you call someone who always believes the best in people and tries not to be hateful of anyone? Most folks would probably refer to a person like that as a good guy to have around, but there are three sisters who think of this hypothetical man as “Our Idiot Brother.” After a massive blunder that leads to incarceration, nice guy Ned (Paul Rudd) is hoping to get his life back on track. But, during his time in prison, his girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn) has moved, bringing in a new lover (TJ Miller) and claiming Ned’s golden retriever, Willie Nelson, as her own.

Movie rewind: summer offerings ranged from tedious to terrific

As with any seasonal selection of movies, this year’s summer cinema has had plenty of winners and losers. But, between films about braggart buccaneers, punch-happy robots, boy wizards and rapidly evolving simians, some features managed to have slipped through the cracks in terms of getting much attention. While the lack of a decent viewership is justifiable in some cases, other movies in theaters between May and August should have received more accolades. Here’s a breakdown of some of the flicks you may have missed but can still catch on DVD, as well as those you should be glad didn’t come up on your radar.

Business Beat: Craig liquor stores offering specialty brew

The customer is always right. The phrase means a lot to owners of local liquor stores, which is why they’ve tapped into a new market. Gluten-free products are now available at numerous liquor stores in Craig, including Loadout Liquors, Elk Liquor Store and Dark Horse Discount Liquor. A representative from Lariat Lee Liquors said the store is also checking into stocking the specialty product.

Andy Bockelman: No need to mark your calendar for ‘One Day’

Every couple has anniversaries of special occasions in their time together. Their first date, first weekend away together, first time they teamed up to kill a bug under the kitchen sink. But, as the pair in “One Day” shows us, there’s no greater signpost for a couple than the first time they didn’t sleep together. What’s the customary gift for that one?

Andy Bockelman: ‘The Help’ a delightful down home tale of social change

It seems like a lifetime ago that people of different races were forced to use different seating sections, drinking fountains and even bathrooms in public places. Going back to that era, “The Help” gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “toilet humor.” In the early 1960s, the women of Jackson, Miss., have a social strata much like the rest of the South — white women marry and have children and the black women in the community dedicate their time to helping them raise their babies, as well as taking care of other household duties. Once the children are grown, the cycle starts anew for the next generation as they employ their former nannies to raise their own children.

Business Beat: Craig computer, copier dealer expands sales territory

In the Internet age, people can connect faster than ever. And, one Craig vendor is working to make it easier still for people in the Yampa Valley region. As of Thursday, The Copy Shop and Computer Corner, 99 E. Fourth St., is officially the premier dealer of Toshiba products for Northwest Colorado. The arrangement came as result of fellow Toshiba dealer, Pilot Office Supply of Steamboat Springs, selling to Advanced Copier Solutions, also of Steamboat.

Andy Bockelman: ‘The Change-Up’ needs a few modifications

In Hollywood’s grand tradition of body-switching movies, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But, when both yards look like a dried-out auto parts graveyard such as in “The Change-Up,” is there any point in wishing you had someone else’s life? Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman) is an Atlanta lawyer who splits his time between countless hours at the office and the demands of his wife (Leslie Mann) and kids. His lifelong best friend Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds) couldn’t be more different, spending his days smoking weed and making half-hearted attempts to jumpstart his acting career while devoting nights to the pursuit of women. During a night of heavy drinking, the two make the same confession to each other: “I wish I had your life.”

Andy Bockelman: World dominance is no monkey business in ‘Planet of the Apes’

As the saying goes, the path to hell is paved with good intentions. Though it may not seem quite as intimidating, the same kind of fate comes to pass in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” In the future, San Francisco neurogeneticist Will Rodman (James Franco) may have found the key to doing away with debilitating mental conditions.

Now playing: No love for Carell’s ‘Crazy, Stupid’ comedy

You know how love is easy to explain, simple to understand and a snap to find whenever you need it? Of course you don’t because no one does. That’s the point the people behind “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” try to get across, but their efforts to elucidate the details of such a complex, intangible subject are much more drawn out than necessary. At one point, Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) had it all — loving wife (Julianne Moore), great kids (Jonah Bobo, Joey King) and a general sense of contentment. That was before he learned just how unhappy his wife was, leading to her having affair and their marriage breaking up.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ no rootin’-tootin’ good time

In the Wild West, if you had an enemy, you had to watch that they didn’t blast you with a laser cannon when your back was turned. Likewise, on many distant planets, six-shooters and shotguns settle all disputes when mere words won’t do the job. That assessment may sound backward, but in “Cowboys & Aliens” it’s all the same whether you’re on Dodge City’s Main Street or the surface of Mars.

Business Beat: Sports bar owner adds new visual appeal, preps new restaurant

If you’re driving west into Craig on U.S. Highway 40 and suddenly have the urge for a burger and a beer, The Other Place Sports Bar & Grill will likely be one of the first places to catch your eye. The OP, 534 E. Victory Way, recently set up a flashy new sign, complete with LED lights. Owner Delbert Knez said the new roadside flair has had a significant impact on his business since he installed the sign three weeks ago.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Friends’ benefits from cute costars

If three movie versions of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” can come out in one year, it stands to reason that having more than one film within 12 months with the exact same premise of a man and woman trying not to have a romantic relationship can’t be any worse. Fortunately for the creators of “Friends with Benefits” their attempt remains closer to the Tom Cruise level than that of C. Thomas Howell.

Andy Bockelman: Sincere approach makes ‘Captain America’ strong superhero movie

Some images are timeless, even if the intent behind them changes year after year. When the hero of “Captain America: The First Avenger” socked Adolf Hitler square on the jaw on his first comic book cover, he ingrained himself in the minds of the country he loves. In 1942, the U.S. war effort is well underway, as young men across the nation drop everything in their lives to serve their country in the Armed Forces. While Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) may have just as much gumption as all the other boys shipping off, his 98-pound weakling frame doesn’t show it. One recruiter after another says he can forget about being a soldier, but upon meeting scientist Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) he finds his ticket in. Thanks to the doctor’s recommendation, Rogers gets the opportunity to show his worth to skeptical military training supervisors (Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell).

Andy Bockelman: ‘Bosses’ is horribly funny workplace comedy

We’ve all had issues with the people who give us our paychecks. For some, the most part intense part of the workday might be having an argument with one of the higher-ups. For others, such as the one of the leads of the comedy “Horrible Bosses,” daydreaming about dragging his supervisor across the office by his necktie and throwing him out the window is what keeps hope alive. For friends Nick, Kurt and Dale (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day), work wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t each have to answer to their own personal antichrist.

Business Beat: Mall salon expanding store area

If you’re looking for a place to get all your pampering without having to run all over town, look no further than Centennial Mall’s Tumbleweeds & Lace Salon.

Andy Bockelman: Thanks for the magical memories, Harry Potter

The moment has come when fantasy characters and the audiences that love them are closer than ever. As the forces of good and evil involved in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” steel themselves for the most deciduous moment of their lives, that same sense of finality spills out into a crowd ready for an ending they knew had to come sooner or later. Though he’s gone through so much in his seven years as a wizard, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is coming closer and closer to his final task.

‘Larry Crowne’ is light, likable life lesson

Last summer, crowds of all sorts were bored stiff by “Eat Pray Love,” a story of someone finding their purpose after making some drastic life changes. While that leading lady returns in the similar “Larry Crowne,” the heavy-handedness of her last movie thankfully doesn’t carry over.

Now playing: 'Larry Crowne' returns Tom Hanks to role as America's favorite Joe Schmoe

Last summer, crowds of all sorts were bored stiff by “Eat Pray Love,” a story of someone finding their purpose after making some drastic life changes. While that leading lady returns in the similar “Larry Crowne,” the heavy-handedness of her last movie thankfully doesn’t carry over. Surrounded by friendly people and raking in multiple “Employee of the Month” awards, Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) loves working for retail outlet UMart. But, his genuine enjoyment of his job doesn’t count for much with the corporate bigwigs who have determined Larry to be unfit for advancement because of his lack of a college degree, firing him rather than keeping him where he is.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Bad Teacher’ makes the grade

In the field of education, the pecking order starts with the infinitely dedicated instructors, followed by their enthusiastic but less effective colleagues, then the slightly incompetent and finally the people who have no business whatsoever standing at the head of the class. And, situated a few rungs below the lowest of the low is the subject of the comedy “Bad Teacher.” Inspirational educator-themed movies like “Lean on Me,” “Stand and Deliver” and “Dangerous Minds” have had a profound impact on the career of Chicago middle school English teacher Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz). They give her something to show her students throughout the school day while she catches a nap or takes a nip of liquor.

Andy Bockelman: Third ‘Transformers’ installment little more than nuts and bolts

Although the soundtrack of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” contains no music whatsoever by Pink Floyd, the progressive rock group’s seminal album still comes to mind when describing it. It’s the kind of movie that will definitely make a lot of “Money,” possibly cause a little “Brain Damage” and hopefully be forgotten with the passage of “Time.” Ever since their arrival on Earth, the Autobots of Cybertron have been assisting the U.S. government in containing the most dangerous threats to security, be they human or the evil Cybertronian counterparts, the Decepticons. While Autobot leader Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen) and his crew have been hard at work, one of their human friends isn’t quite as busy.

Andy Bockelman: New model of ‘Cars’ has faulty design

Back in 2006, we saw a racecar learn how to take life in the slow lane. Five years later, his creators have taken that “stop and smell the roses” philosophy, stomped on the gas pedal, and driven in the other direction in “Cars 2.” As the hottest racer in America, Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) has everything a car could want: four national championships, devoted fans and a best friend who adores him. But, having a pal like Mater the tow truck (Larry the Cable Guy) can have its disadvantages, especially when he accidentally gets McQueen involved in a high-stakes international race.

Andy Bockelman: A bon mot on behalf of ‘Midnight in Paris’

When an auteur filmmaker inserts himself into his movies but doesn’t want to actually appear, he’s got to choose carefully who will represent him onscreen. After having Jason Biggs, Will Ferrell and Larry David portray a version of him, the creator of “Midnight in Paris” may have finally found a good proxy.

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I’ll take ‘anxiety’ for $800, Alex: One man’s musing on attempted game show stardom

What is a dream? For some people that may be a question, but for me it’s the answer, or at least the way it has to be phrased. Let me elaborate. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a knack for retaining trivia tidbits, layer upon layer of informational items useful to some — or no one — depending on how much or little they need to know about a given subject.

Andy Bockelman: In brightest day, in blackest night, ‘Green Lantern’ retains some might

The last set of movies that pertained to the ownership of a piece of jewelry turned out very well for Hollywood. While the comic book feature “Green Lantern” isn’t likely to lord over the Oscars like a certain trilogy, the tale of the ring involved in it has its moments. When he’s in the air, test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a sight to behold as he performs incredible aerial feats that others could only dream of.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Super 8’ a wonderfully wistful monster movie

With iPhones and flashy video recorders on hand today, it’s easy to forget that once upon a time there were pieces of equipment much like this that actually needed a thing called film to run properly. “Super 8” takes us back to these glory days and may just bring a tear to your eyes as surely as whipping out the old home movies.

Andy Bockelman: The anxious moments of my 'Jeopardy' tryout

What is a dream? For some people that may be a question, but for me it’s the answer, or at least the way it has to be phrased. Allow me to elaborate. For as long as I can remember, I have had a knack for retaining trivia tidbits, layer upon layer of informational items that are useful to some depending on how just how much you need to know about a given subject. Growing up, much of my knowledge wasn’t something that was likely to turn a profit, as I had yet to see a booth at career day for people who specialized in lyrics to “Weird Al” Yankovic songs, vintage Nintendo games or “Seinfeld” catchphrases. But, once I hit my sophomore year at Moffat County High School, one thing led to another, yadda-yadda-yadda, and then I was part of the school’s Knowledge Bowl team.

Andy Bockelman: At the box office: Second ‘Hangover’ has less potency

In any story, the opening sentences have to set the scene, with phrases like “Call me Ishmael,” and “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” coming to mind. When you hear something like, “It happened again…” there can be no doubt that you’re watching “The Hangover Part II.” The last time Phil, Stu and Doug (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha) got together for a bachelor party, it was a disastrous night made all the worse by Doug’s brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis).

Business Beat: Bank of Colorado to host barbecue fundraiser

For anyone looking for an inexpensive lunch for a good cause, the Bank of Colorado staff has what you need this week. Bank staffers will host a barbecue for the community from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in the building’s parking lot at 250 W. Victory Way. A hot dog plate will be $3 and a hamburger plate $5, with other picnic-style food also available. “People can come by, or we’re also doing pre-orders,” said Audrey Anna Charchalis, a loan officer for the bank. “If any of the businesses in town want to pre-order for their employees, we can bring them to them.”

At the Movies: ‘X-Men: First Class' now in session

There are many things you can learn from “X-Men: First Class.” For example, never trust a girl who can change the color of her eyes and perhaps more seriously, don’t traumatize a kid with godlike abilities without expecting major repercussions. In 1962, things are changing across the globe. New music, new fashions, new species …

Andy Bockelman: ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ reaches new heights of awesomeness

The protagonist of “Kung Fu Panda 2” goes against some standards set for action heroes. For example, he lacks the ability to walk three flights of stairs without puking and his tummy rumbles even in the middle of a fight. But, once you light a fire under this big black and white cannonball, get out of the way and prepare to watch the fireworks.

Andy Bockelman: She-power is ever-present in ‘Bridesmaids’

Ideally, when all the single women line up after a wedding to catch the bouquet, they have some sense of decorum. However, if any of the gals from “Bridesmaids” show up at your ceremony, be ready for some hair-pulling, scratching and elbow-throwing. Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) life has been in a constant state of disarray lately.

Andy Bockelman: Fourth ‘Pirates’ is as waterlogged as the rest

In a place where water drips upward and enormous ships are vacuum-packed in tiny bottles, a lot of things don’t make sense. While the financial need for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” seems perfectly rational, that kind of logic doesn’t make the full journey from the account’s office to the poop deck.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Fast Five’ keeps its action in low gear for too long

With any successful movie series, there has to be a point where the makers admit that there is a conclusion somewhere on the horizon. Though it’s taken long enough, it would seem that the people responsible for “Fast Five” and all that came before it are aware that there is indeed a bottom to the gas tank. When last we left FBI Agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), he was about to say goodbye to his career by liberating good friend Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) from prison.

Andy Bockelman: Despite formulaic story, ‘Something Borrowed’ has something unique

Before getting married to the man of her dreams, every bride needs a few things to fulfill tradition. But, when her fiancé becomes “Something Borrowed,” does she really need to bother worrying about anything else? While in law school, Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Dex (Colin Egglesfield) looked like they were always on the verge of taking their friendship to the next level. But, that was before Rachel’s best friend, Darcy (Kate Hudson), caught Dex’s eye.

Andy 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. But then again, so does garbage.

Andy Bockelman: Superhero movie ‘Thor’ brings the thunder

As you go into the theater to see “Thor,” you need to be adequately prepared to see some astonishing feats, performed by a man who’s more powerful than a locomotive and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Wait, that was another guy… Well, this particular hero also comes from another world and wears a red cape, but the piece of hardware he carries sets him apart from others of his kind.

Andy Bockelman: Fourth ‘Scream’ movie can still shock just as well

When Dorothy chanted “There’s no place like home” at the conclusion of “The Wizard of Oz,” it served to remind people of all the coziness and warmth that comes with your hometown. For the heroine of “Scream 4,” the old adage has a slightly different implication. It’s been 15 years since Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) survived the Woodsboro murders that catapulted her to an unwanted celebrity status.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Water for Elephants’ an eye-catching circus film that runs a little dry

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, are you ready for a stupendous show the likes of which you’ve never seen? Wait, you say the story in “Water for Elephants” has been done before? Well, that kind of kills the hoopla, but the show must go on!

Andy Bockelman: Historical drama ‘The Conspirator’ has powerful modern moral

For anybody who thinks that history ends within the pages of textbooks, the period piece “The Conspirator” will show just how wrong you are. In April 1865, the United States is wrapped in jubilance following the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee effectively ending the Civil War.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Hanna’ an exciting and sometimes moving chase film

Most of us have no problem understanding the intricacies of light bulbs, television, indoor plumbing and small appliances. But, unlike the main character of “Hanna,” most of us weren’t bred in captivity for a singular purpose. Having lived in the remote Scandinavian woodlands with her father, Erik (Eric Bana), all her life, 16-year-old Hanna Heller (Saoirse Ronan) has been raised to be able to depend on herself. In peak physical condition and ever vigilant to any threat that might come up, the two of them are waiting for the day when they must face off against their greatest enemy.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Arthur’ remake is more elaborate, but not quite as rich

From Prince William to Paris Hilton, the offspring of the rich and powerful have never been more popular nor less useful in our society than today. But, for all the tabloid opportunities provided by today’s trust fund babies, the titular character of “Arthur” beats them all hands down. Don’t believe it?

Andy Bockelman: ‘Rio’ flies a little too close to the sun

After seeing the animated feature “Rio,” I now know why the caged bird sings — and drinks hot chocolate and plays with a remote-control car. Such domesticity might explain why he doesn’t do the one thing he’s meant for, but that doesn’t mean he can’t learn with his brethren. Even if it means taking the easy way out and hitching a ride atop a hang glider.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Soul Surfer’ coasts along the wave of feel-good stories

The list of athletes overcoming adversity is an ever-lengthening one with varying results. While the “never say die” young sportsman of “Soul Surfer” is about on par with the likes of Roy Campanella and Lance Armstrong, she definitely looks better in a bikini.

Andy Bockelman: Drug thriller ‘Limitless’ crashes too soon

For those of us who grew up in the “Just Say No” era, it may be weird to see a movie that maintains that drugs are indeed the answer to life’s problems, but watching a film like “Limitless,” it’s impossible to take away any other moral. Sorry, Nancy Reagan. Struggling scribe Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) has the world’s worst case of writer’s block. Unable to find motivation to start his book, his days have been little more than killing time.

Andy Bockelman: Sleazy actioner ‘Sucker Punch’ has no power behind it

Pop quiz: Which of the following doesn’t belong? A. Bloodthirsty Spartan warriors. B. Superhero vigilantes with suspicious motives. C. Exotic dancers with overactive imaginations. D. None of the above. If you answered D, then you clearly haven’t seen how much of a departure the movie “Sucker Punch” is for its director.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Hop’ is one sweet sugar rush

The market for movies about musically talented rodents has been dominated by “Alvin and the Chipmunks” in recent years, but before the singing trio gets too comfortable at the top, they might want to let the main character of “Hop” have his say. For millennia, the Easter Bunny has overseen the biggest holiday of spring. The tradition of distributing colored eggs and other goodies to children around the world has been handed down from father to son for years — until now.

Andy Bockelman: Second in ‘Wimpy Kid’ series is almost as strong

Being mobbed and beaten by a gang of grannies while you’re in your tighty-whities isn’t something that any pre-teen boy would want, but when it happens to the young hero of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” it’s just the tip of the iceberg. With the horrors of sixth grade finally behind him, Greg Hefley (Zachary Gordon) is cautiously optimistic about the new school year. But, even though he’s gotten in the swing of things in middle school, he’ll never get used to life with his brothers.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Paul’: Calling all space cases

When you think of life forms from other planets, you’d think they’d have names like Spleevax, Krrrr or Zornag, with amazing abilities to match their unusual monikers. While the titular alien of “Paul” has a pretty humdrum handle, he certainly doesn’t lack any special powers, chiefly the talent for making an audience burst with laughter.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Red Riding Hood’ wraps itself in thoughtful tone

In its many previous incarnations, the villain of “Red Riding Hood” has been described in varying sizes. Somehow, phrases like “What big ears you have…” and “What big eyes you have…” seem more fitting when we’re talking about a creature the size of a Clydesdale, but that doesn’t make it much more frightening. What is scary is the mistrustful nature of the people that he threatens.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Adjustment Bureau’ in need of some fine-tuning

When you can turn a doorknob and go from a women’s bathroom to Yankee Stadium to a busy Manhattan street to the base of the Statue of Liberty in a matter of minutes, you’d think you wouldn’t have to worry about being followed. But, if your pursuers are involved with “The Adjustment Bureau,” you’d be wrong. In 2006, New York congressman David Norris (Matt Damon) is on track to become the newest member of the U.S. Senate.

Andy Bockelman: Good concept of ‘Mars Needs Moms’ undone by alienating animation

Remember the children featured in “The Polar Express” who didn’t quite look authentic even being modeled after real actors? Their kind have come back once again in “Mars Needs Moms,” but at least the majority of characters here aren’t supposed to resemble actual people. Rambunctious 9-year-old Milo (Seth Green, voice of Seth Dusky) has it rough.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Beastly’ has moments of beauty, but story’s unattractive

Among the many invaluable life lessons in “Beastly” is the axiom that you should treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Considering most of us learned The Golden Rule in kindergarten, that should give you an idea of just how well-developed the moral tone is in this teen romantic fantasy.

Andy Bockelman: Gnarly 1980s clichés prominent in ‘Take Me Home Tonight’

In making any movie about the 1980s, there are always some go-to story elements. Among the other bits of same old, same old in “Take Me Home Tonight” are an orgy of ridiculous proportions, a stolen auto and at its center, a loser craving redemption. With those minimal requirements covered, the cocaine, rolled-up jacket sleeves and break dancing are just gravy.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Rango’ brings shades of Western greats to animation

Just when you thought you’d seen and heard it all, along comes a hillbilly jug band playing “Ride of the Valkyries.” And even that isn’t the most bizarre thing about the animated Western “Rango.” When his world, along with the terrarium he calls home, is shattered, a pet chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) separated from his owners is stranded on a desert highway.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Hall Pass’ is typical Farrelly brothers shenanigans

You know you’ve been married for too long when Applebee’s, Chili’s and Olive Garden are your first choices to pick up girls. But, as the men of “Hall Pass” learn, hitting the singles scene can be just as terrifying as storming the beaches at Normandy. Best buddies Rick and Fred (Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis) aren’t unhappy in their marriages, but that doesn’t mean they can’t daydream about the prospect of other women.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Just Go With It’ just doesn’t come together

Looking for a movie that isn’t too challenging and gets gradually more ridiculous as it goes? You might be tempted to turn your nose up at it because of the far-fetched premise, but hey, “Just Go With It.” Whether it’s uneven eyebrows, breast augmentations or facelifts, L.A. plastic surgeon Danny Maccabee (Adam Sandler) can do it all.

Andy Bockelman: ‘I Am Number Four’ is far from No. 1

With most movies about aliens, you’d expect to be mesmerized by all kinds of exciting technology and exotic creatures. As the most appealing thing about “I Am Number Four” is a shape-shifting beagle named after Cleveland Browns great Bernie Kosar, it’s safe to say that the “wow factor” isn’t in play here. When teenager John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) moves from the tropics of Florida to the ironically named small town of Paradise, Ohio, it means a lot of changes: new house, new school, new name.

Andy Bockelman: Oscar breakdown 2011

Oscar time is upon us again, and as the red carpet is unfurled in Hollywood for the 83rd Academy Awards, those of us in the real world prepare for office betting pools and other friendly wagers regarding the outcome. While you’re waiting for the biggest night in cinema, take a moment to ponder whether the most hyped and popular movies and performances of the last year are most deserving of taking home the famed little gold man.

Andy Bockelman: New cartoon is ‘gno’ Shakespeare, but still entertains

No matter how acclaimed a classic theatrical work may be, there are always ways to keep it up with the times. If the animated update “Gnomeo and Juliet” is any indication, William Shakespeare might have garnered even greater accolades for his most famous play if he’d only thrown in a few lawn jockeys and whirligigs as supporting characters. But, what’s done is done …

Andy Bockelman: Scarey moments few, ineffective in ‘The Rite’

How do you make a movie on a controversial subject like exorcism when the definitive story has already been told? It’s a tough task to undertake, but the makers of “The Rite” give it their all. Displaced and disillusioned about his life, seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) no longer knows what to make of God, even after being ordained as a low-level clergyman.

Andy Bockelman: Love comes in many forms for Valentine movie-viewing

The date of Valentine’s Day has both drawbacks and benefits. The middle of February eliminates the majority of outdoor couples activities, unless you consider snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing to be aphrodisiacs. But, the good news is that if you and your sweetheart are snowbound, you can snuggle up in front of the TV and fall in love all over again with some of the best romantic movies ever made. But, what is it that makes your heart swell up?

Andy Bockelman: ‘Country Strong’ features sharp music, flat story

The strum of an acoustic guitar, a chorus of melancholy lyrics and the remnants of a few too many empty whiskey bottles littered across the floor. Like any movie about the world of honky-tonk, “Country Strong” has these basic elements down, but as the music plays on, it doesn’t resonate quite as strongly as it should for those in the cheap seats.

Andy Bockelman: ‘King’s Speech’: A majestic historical biopic

When you go to a movie, you expect any stuttering to sound rehearsed and phony, particularly with heavy usage. Yet, with “The King’s Speech,” despite having the eponymous character’s dialogue endemic with flubs and falters, it never sounds the slightest bit fake. As the technological advances of the world become greater and greater in the 1930s, so does the visibility of the British monarchy, a fact not lost on Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, the Duke of York (Colin Firth).

Andy Bockelman: ‘Green Hornet’ flies askew as action comedy

Remember the paunchy comedian that starred in “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express” who made us laugh by playing an average guy whose greatest talent is spouting pithy rejoinders? Naturally, he needs to play a superhero in a movie, right? And to make it even better, he’ll still be funny. Can’t fail, right?

Andy Bockelman: ‘Yogi Bear’: Not quite smarter than average family film

Sometimes when you’re out among nature, it’s hard to resist providing sustenance for all the cuddly critters of the forest — a few breadcrumbs for a hungry deer, an apple core for a friendly raccoon. But, other times the local fauna takes the initiative to get its own food, even if not all the animals can pull off the pork pie hat and tie ensemble of “Yogi Bear” while satisfying their munchies.

Andy Bockelman: ‘True Grit’: A dusty dirty, dominant Western remake

When you wear an eye patch, your capacity for successfully using a firearm is questionable at best. At least, that’s the case for people who don’t have something called “True Grit.” When her father is shot and killed in 1878 Arkansas as a result of a trivial argument, 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) has to step up and handle her family’s affairs, namely tracking down the culprit who left her mother a widow.

Andy Bockelman: ‘The Tourist’: Not worth the price of a passport

It seems that whenever Americans travel to Europe, amazing things can happen. However, the filming of “The Tourist” is not one of those things. The biggest excitement in Wisconsin math teacher Frank Tupelo’s (Johnny Depp) life is what he reads in spy novels. But, while he’s glancing over the latest page-turner on a train from France to Italy, he meets someone who changes everything. Elise (Angelina Jolie) is a beautiful, cryptic British stranger with whom Frank is instantly smitten. And, to his disbelief, she is actually interested in him, too, inviting him to join her once they reach their Venice destination.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Black Swan’: A beautiful dance with dark movements

Pursuing a future in ballet involves endless sacrifices: time, physicality, sanity. Well, maybe that last one isn’t something that every hoofer has to forgo, but then, the girl in “Black Swan” is a bit of an odd duck. All the world’s a stage and life is merely one big dance performance.

Andy Bockelman: Newest ‘Fockers’ offers little in terms of laughs

Remember that time you had a fight to the death with your wife’s father in the middle of a ball pit? Of course you don’t, that would be stupid. But, even this isn’t the most moronic thing in the so-called comedy “Little Fockers.”

Andy Bockelman: ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ is agreeably silly fantasy

By now, everybody is familiar with the revelation that Darth Vader is, in fact, Luke Skywalker’s father. And, while the presentation of this scene has been parodied countless times, there are still people who have yet to see it. Of course, like the hero of “Gulliver’s Travels” finds, you have to seek them out.

Andy Bockelman: My top film entries of the year — part 1

Every year, movies come and movies go, with some making more of an impact than others. But, with so many worthwhile entries, the idea of compiling a top 10 list for the year seems impossible. Instead, it seems more appropriate to list the top 20 in two lists of 10.

Andy Bockelman: ‘The Fighter’ is a knockout sports drama

When a boxer steps into the ring, he expects to have a challenge in front of him. However, as the protagonist of “The Fighter” comes to find, sometimes it’s among one’s own family that you’ll wind up on the ropes.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Tron’ is dynamite digital adventure

Video games and computer systems today tend to make the electronics of yesteryear look more like an abacus or a hammer and chisel than cutting edge technology. But, more than likely, 30 years from now, top-of-the-line materials like “Call of Duty” and Blu-ray disc players will end up left in the dust. However, if we continue the way we’re going, humanity will still look about the same on the surface. At least, if you care to view “Tron: Legacy” as a techno prophecy.

Andy Bockelman: Both offbeat, mainstream films help make Xmas merry

Everybody celebrates the holiday season with their own traditions. And, no matter what your plans are, you’ll likely wind up watching some yuletide film selections, whether it’s inescapable favorites like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Home Alone” and “A Christmas Story” or hard-to-find, so-bad-it’s-good features such as “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” But, as with any genre, Christmas-themed movies have their own subsets and branches for multiple tastes. So, whether your favorite thing about the holiday is the fellowship, the generosity or guzzling gallons of eggnog, you can probably find something to your liking from the following list, arranged by categories.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Love and Other Drugs’ is good medicine

Life got you down? Is the daily grind too much to take? What if I told you I had a pill that could solve every single one of your problems? Well, then I’d be lying, but that’s why movies like “Love and Other Drugs” were created, to take your mind off your troubles. Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is good at two things: selling merchandise and bedding women. And, in his new job, one plays into the other constantly.

Andy Bockelman: New ‘Narnia’ entry treads shallower waters

Where can you find a minotaur, a gang of bouncing, one-footed dwarves, and a kid who recites terrible poetry, all in one place? You can search all over if you like, but you’ll only find these things collectively in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

Andy Bockelman: ‘127 Hours’ is harrowing tale of survival, self-discovery

From the guy who brought you the lives of junkies in “Trainspotting” and zombies in “28 Days Later” comes a story that can motivate just as well as it can make you squirm — “127 Hours.” Life’s not worth living unless you’re outdoors. That’s the philosophy of sportsman Aron Ralston (James Franco), who spends as much of his free time as possible trekking around the splendor of nature.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Morning Glory’: Not the best part of waking up

Films like “Broadcast News” and “Network” have shown audiences just what goes into the thought process of television production and give a clear picture of where the medium is headed, for better or worse. While “Morning Glory” has the same intent, the screen is much more static-filled. When you’re married to your job, getting laid off is even worse than divorce.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Morning Glory’: Not the best part of waking up

Films like “Broadcast News” and “Network” have shown audiences just what goes into the thought process of television production and give a clear picture of where the medium is headed, for better or worse. While “Morning Glory” has the same intent, the screen is much more static-filled. When you’re married to your job, getting laid off is even worse than divorce.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Moonlight Mile’ lesser but still worthy entry in mystery series

When a writer takes a decade-long break from his most famous characters, you can bet that the new results will be a little different. But, as long as the scribe in question still brings the same skills to the table, there’s not much reason to complain. Such is the outcome of Dennis Lehane’s “Moonlight Mile.” Patrick Kenzie was once a prominent Boston private eye, but his current situation is less satisfying. Working part-time surveillance for a high-profile security firm and getting strung along with the promise of permanent work, worrying about his family is more of a priority than the thrill of a good case.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Unstoppable’ doesn’t quit being entertaining

Just when you think that there’s been a disaster movie made with every conceivable subject matter, the genre keeps chugging along. And, if that’s not an appropriate segue for the movie “Unstoppable,” then what is? As a rookie at the Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad, conductor Will Colson (Chris Pine) is none too happy about having to work with his new partner, Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington), an engineer who’s been with the company nearly 30 years.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Tangled’: A fairy tale with few split ends

It’s been said but never conclusively proven that blondes have more fun. But, for the title towhead of “Tangled,” that expression probably rings truer than it would for most, since she’s never been out of her room. There’s no finer thief in the land than Flynn Rider (voice of Zachary Levi) and consequently, no one gracing more wanted posters. But, he may have gone too far in his latest heist, stealing the tiara of the kingdom’s beloved, long-lost princess.

Andy Bockelman: Fall movie selections that aren’t quite so holiday

With the start of the holiday season, the name of the game is “feel-good,” with plenty of films lined up to give audiences moments of motivation, touching sentiment, or just a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. But, for those who prefer material that has less of an intent of forceful happiness behind it, here’s an overview of recently released movies — some of which are already on DVD — that focus on stories you generally wouldn’t want to watch when the whole family is in town for Turkey Day. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t make a good viewing experience. Well, some of them, anyway.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Due Date’ a familiar road movie with good guffaws

There are worse things than being trapped in a Subaru Impreza with a talentless actor, his ugly dog and a coffee can full of human ashes. Nothing jumps to mind immediately, but the makers of “Due Date” show us that circumstances can always get worse.

Andy Bockelman: First half of ‘Harry Potter’ finale has viewers ready for Round 2

Would-be wizards and witches, have your wands at the ready. The newest entry in the saga of the most famous magic-maker of the millennium has hit theaters, and you may want to have something to grab onto. And the constant sense of impending danger is only half the story in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1.”

Andy Bockelman: ‘Megamind’ is hardly thought-provoking, but still a fun cartoon

A life of super-villainy is a lonely one and not for the faint of heart. Why do you think Lex Luthor is such a grouch? The title character of “Megamind” can sympathize, not only in the disappointment of being foiled time and again but also in the ostracism involved with having a head that looks like a bowling ball.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Paranormal’ sequel has same scares, less surprises

A baby crying at 3 a.m. is normal. A baby crying at 3 a.m. because he’s being dangled in midair by an invisible spirit is something else entirely. Such is the conundrum in “Paranormal Activity 2.” The Reys are a typical San Diego clan consisting of Kristi (Sprague Grayden), Dan (Brian Boland) and Dan’s daughter from a previous marriage, Ali (Molly Ephraim). With the arrival of baby Hunter (Jackson Xenia and William Juan Prieto), the family is complete.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Jackass’ is vile, juvenile and stupid ... and hilarious

The traditional gift for a 10th anniversary would be something made out of tin or aluminum accompanied by a bouquet of daffodils. If you’re looking to give something to the boys of the “Jackass” franchise, a better present might be a set of crash helmets or a group discount on tombstones. No sense in being unprepared.

Andy Bockelman: New and vintage — the best in Halloween creature features

Just as “Sleepless in Seattle” gets demand viewing on Valentine’s Day and the old family cassette of “It’s a Wonderful Life” gets a little more worn out each Christmas Eve, so does the movie-viewing world spark to life come the end of October. With hundreds of choices in what to view around Halloween, it’s hard to pick out what can give you the best fright, especially if you’re picky about what makes your skin crawl.

Andy Bockelman: New and vintage — the best in Halloween in creature features

Different horror movies can still produce the same results of terror

Just as “Sleepless in Seattle” gets demand viewing on Valentine’s Day and the old family cassette of “It’s a Wonderful Life” gets a little more worn out each Christmas Eve, so does the movie-viewing world spark to life come the end of October. With hundreds of choices in what to view during Halloween, it’s hard to pick out what can give you the best fright, especially if you’re picky about what makes your skin crawl.

Andy Bockelman: ‘My Soul to Take’ is lazy effort for horror master

As the night for creepy movies comes ever closer on the calendar, audiences prepare to scare themselves silly whether through classic horror fare or whatever new material is out for Halloween. And, if you go through enough of the slasher films of the last few decades, you’ll notice a similar pattern in this year’s “My Soul to Take.” But, what else is new?

Andy Bockelman: ‘Let Me In’ is viable vampire flick

If there’s one thing that horror movies like “Carrie” and “The Craft” have taught us, it’s that picking on the weird kid in your class will end badly for you, a tried and true lesson that is furthered in the spine-tingling scare show “Let Me In.” In 1983 Los Alamos, N.M., life is not happy for 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee). His mother (Cara Buono) barely wants him around, his father has virtually no connection with him, and school is just a series of beatings and death threats from his classmate Kenny (Dylan Minnette).

Andy Bockelman: ‘Secretariat’: Always root for the underhorse

If there’s one thing Disney has taught us from “The Mighty Ducks,” “The Rookie,” “Air Bud” and too many more movies to count, it’s that the best results in sports always come when the odds are against you. That lesson is furthered in the equine epic “Secretariat.” In 1969, Denver homemaker Penny Tweedy (Diane Lane) is called back home to Virginia upon the death of her mother. At the family horse farm Meadow Stables, business has been in decline for years along with her health of her father, Christopher Chenery (Scott Glenn).

Andy Bockelman: ‘Guardians’ features legendary animation, soaring storyline

In asking what big animation studio will next make its mark, you may want to keep the word “who” in mind. This isn’t because you’ll want to inquire about one person above others, but because such a word makes it that much easier to connect with the heroes of “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.” In days long ago, the owl world was at war, with the noble warrior Lyze of Kiel leading the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a parliament of owls sworn to protect the world from evil.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Social Network’ connects with all users

Remember the dark ages of mass communication when “friending” someone meant actually talking to them and interfacing on a regular basis? It’s hard to believe those backward times were plaguing us less than a decade ago. Speaking of something that’s hard to believe, let’s discuss “The Social Network,” the story behind this media breakthrough and the man who heralded a new dawn in human connections.

Andy Bockelman: Yawn-inducing antics run high in ‘You Again’

Everybody has things about their past that they’d like to forget. That seems to be the chief thought in the comedy “You Again,” although for the cast members involved, it seems that starring in such a movie will be something they’ll need time to get over. Marni Olsen (Kristen Bell) is one of the top public relations workers in California, dating back to her first client — herself.

Andy Bockelman: ‘A’ is for acerbic humor

American literature can affect readers in very different ways. How many kids in high school didn’t want to be a whaler after reading Herman Melville or a bootlegger after poring over the prose of F. Scott Fitzgerald?

Andy Bockelman: ‘Wall Street’ sequel sees slight drop in stocks

For an actor, returning to a famous character can sometimes work out well, as in the case of Paul Newman in “The Color of Money,” or be an unmitigated disaster, as in Al Pacino in “The Godfather Part III.” But, sometimes such a venture can result in being perfectly in the middle, like the star of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Investment banker Jacob Moore (Shia LaBeouf) is a prodigy in the financial world. Earning a seven figure paycheck at one of New York’s most prestigious firms and coming home to his loving girlfriend Winnie (Carey Mulligan), 2008 looks to be a very good year for him.

Andy Bockelman: ‘Machete’ hacks away at topical material

Someone once said, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.” While that’s a nice pearl of wisdom about non-violence, much can be gleaned from getting one’s hands bloody, too. And, if the B-movie material in “Machete”

Daily Press welcomes 2 reporters to staff

The Craig Daily Press editorial department recently added two reporters to its team. Ben McCanna joined the Daily Press on Aug. 24 as the newspaper’s education and health care reporter, replacing Nicole Inglis who is now the arts and education reporter for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Andy Bockelman took on the role of interim sports reporter on Saturday, replacing Ben Bulkeley.


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