Calgary Herald

Bob Thompson’s picks:


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): This is how Harrison Ford stopped being typecast as Han Solo from Star Wars. The first and best Indiana Jones adventure includes wit and wonder and a sword-versus-gun confrontat­ion worth the price of admission.

The film feels like a Saturday afternoon matinee special because that’s exactly the tone Steven Spielberg wanted.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003): Johnny Depp went from being box office poison to A-list headliner with clout on the basis of his Oscarnomin­ated Captain Jack.

The pithy pirate is really a crafty version of a slightly warped Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones with extra foppishnes­s thrown in for good measure. The movie, and Depp, are the perfect blend of frivolity and fantasy.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986): Skipping school was never so much fun. Mostly, we have Matthew Broderick’s Bueller to salute for the entertaini­ng teen trip into breaking rules, even if it might go down on a permanent record. The supporting players have moments, too (look for stoner Charlie Sheen).

Little Miss Sunshine (2006): Think of the ensemble as a band of marvellous misfits. They unite on the way to a kids’ beauty pageant, but not before encounteri­ng some horrible hardships along the way.

The dark comedy is a slow-build journey but a fulfilling one thanks to the commendabl­e talents of Toni Collette, Alan Arkin (Oscar winner), Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano and Abigail Breslin (Oscar nominee) playing the indomitabl­e spirit that is Little Miss Sunshine hopeful Olive Hoover.

Star Trek (2009): Some directors have creative nerve. That would be J.J. Abrams, who took on the demanding task of rebooting the iconic Star Trek franchise.

Abrams has skills (and extra nerve as he is rebooting the Star Wars series, as well).

But his most impressive accomplish­ment might have been casting his Star Trek. It starts with Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, who takes us on a new yet familiar space exploratio­n as funny and exhilarati­ng as fans were hoping it would be.

 ?? Paramount Pictures ?? Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Skipping school was never so much fun.
Paramount Pictures Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Skipping school was never so much fun.

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