Takaisin

SAVING, CATCHING, HOBBITING

For Hicksflicks.com, Dec. 6, 2013

The two biggest movie seasons are summer and the holidays, specifically the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

The difference is that during the summer new movies are generally dominated by action thrillers and big-ticket comedies, light-minded fare in keeping with vacation months and fun in the sun, while the fall brings more serious pictures, many of which are aiming for Oscar gold.

And during the holidays, Hollywood tries to offer a solid mix of both.

Hence, we see "All is Lost" and "Captain Phillips" and "Nebraska," but also "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "Frozen."

We all have films we look forward to and most of the biggies will draw a lot of us into the theaters. But every now and then, something looks really intriguing, something that seems intelligent or artful or nostalgic or heart-tugging — or perhaps all of those elements.

Trailers can be deceptive, offering up the best moments, the funniest jokes, the liveliest characters, or they might give so much away you feel as if you've see the Reader's Digest version of the film. Why pay to see the entire thing when you already know every plot point and twist?

Among the films opening over the next few weeks are two ready-made blockbuster sequels, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," along with an array of comedies and dramas that may be hits or wild misses … too soon to tell. As always, though, many look interesting.

Only one has me excited, however: "Saving Mr. Banks" (PG-13), opening Dec. 20, set in the 1960s and chronicling in comic form the true story of Walt Disney's difficulty in getting English author P.L. Travers to allow him to make a movie of her most famous novel, "Mary Poppins."

The trailer is fun all by itself. Hanks seems perfect as Disney and Emma Thompson makes a great Travers, and their conflict and banter should could mean first-rate entertainment. Co-stars include Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Bradley Whitford.

I don't know if Disneyland is "the happiest place on Earth," but the Disney factory turns out some great movies from time to time, and I hope this is yet another.