As if the holidays weren't busy enough, every year Hollywood manages to pack the theaters with must-see big budget films.
This season's contenders are excitement worthy - "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Anchorman 2."
Lionsgate's second jaunt into the world of Suzanne Collins' book trilogy "The Hunger Games" has already been in theaters since before Thanksgiving, but it's still going strong. Unfortunately I haven't yet had the time to see it, and chances are that if I do make it to theaters anytime soon it'll likely be for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," which is set to debut this Friday.
In preparation for the new Peter Jackson adaptation of one of J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpieces, I picked up a copy of the first of the series, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Fortunately, I had made time last year to catch the film in theaters, which turned out quite good even though I opted to see the 3D version.
So, seeing it on the small screen wasn't so bad for the second time. But, for my wife, who has never seen any of the Peter Jackson adaptations - the experience was less than optimal. Regardless, she enjoyed the film, which we split the viewing of on two separate evenings due to its length. Now that she's been introduced to the series, she'll likely be more willing to see the sequel in theaters. I'd definitely recommend this tactic to anyone who may be having issues exposing their loved ones to Tolkien, because I feel "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has a far greater ability to appeal to a wide audience than those of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
However, if action or fantasy aren't really your thing, you might have better luck with a comedy. "Anchorman 2," the long-awaited sequel to "Anchorman," puts Will Ferrell and Steve Carell back on the screen as newsmen. And, if the trailer is half as funny as the film, movie-goers are sure to enjoy "Anchorman 2" when it hits theaters Dec. 20.
As per usual, here are the highlights and happenings going on in the area.
JSBA To Host Skating And Gymnastics Spectacular Saturday: The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena is poised to host the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.
The show is set to feature Candice Glover, winner of season 12 of "American Idol," four-time World Figure Skating champion Kurt Browning, Olympic gymnast champion Nastia Liukin and the star of Disney's "Let It Shine," Coco Jones.
The cast is also scheduled to include: Elvis Stojko, two-time Olympic medalist, three-time World Champion and seven-time Canadian champion; Joannie Rochette, Olympic medalist and U.S. champion; Lucas Grabeel, star of Disney's "High School Musical"; and many others.
Set to host the event are several other big names, such as Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic figure skating champion; Michael Weiss, three-time U.S. figure skating champion; and Olympic gymnastics champions Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner.
The show will be broadcast nationally on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 5, from 1-3 p.m. Following the initial telecast, the show will be rebroadcast on AXS TV. Also, the show will be posted in its entirety on www.IceNetwork.com for viewing for six months following the NBC telecast.
Tickets start at $55 and are available at the arena box office, 319 W. Third St. in Jamestown, online at www.jamestownarena.com or by phone at 484-2624.
In Our Back Yard Live December Show Set For Tuesday: The December edition of Trinity Guitars' In Our Back Yard Live is set for Tuesday beginning at 6:30 p.m. The show will feature Big Leg Emma and Bill Ward and Amanda Barton.
Trinity Guitars is located at 800 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 665-4490 or search for "In Our Back Yard - Live" on Facebook.
Local Production Of "Rebel Without A Cause" Set For January: James Dean's "Rebel Without A Cause" is set to be performed on the stage of The Willow Bay Theater.
Co-presented by Masked Productions and Hatikvah Ministries, "Rebel" will open Friday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m. The show is set to continue on Saturday, Jan. 18, Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25.
Starring Jamestown native Vince Liuzzo as rebellious youth Jim Stark, the show will include a cast of locals. The role of Plato will be performed by Lars Benson of Bemus Point, and Judy will be played by Shannon Nixon. Newcomers Adam Hughes, Nathan Meelen, Carl Liuzzo, Adrianna Roehmholdt, Stephanie Walker, Steve Cobb, Marge Fiore, Philip Petscher, John Beard and Dr. Russell Lee, will also take the stage. Logan Beard, of Warren, Pa., will serve as director.
Presale tickets for $10 are available online at www.rebelwithoutacause.co, at Wing City Grille of Lakewood and at the Labyrinth Press Co. in Jamestown. Tickets at the door will be $14. For more information, call 708-8879 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email email@example.com or call 487-1111, ext. 253 by Monday.
Blue Grass Jam: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Smokin' 45s: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
Jules R Us Karaoke: 7-11 p.m., Lakewood Legion Post 1286, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood.
Shaky Ray And The Cobalt Blues Band: 8 p.m. to midnight, Seneca Allegany Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
American Ride Band: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Murdock's, 104 E. Main St. in Sherman.
Robert 'Freightrain' Parker: 4:30-8:30 p.m., Seneca Allegany Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
Doc And Bill: 6 p.m., The Corner Coffeehouse, 54 W. Main St. in Frewsburg.
Sammy Slicker Band: 7-10 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
The Chuck Sirko Project: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Seneca Allegany Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.