Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Director: Peter Jackson
PG-13; 156 mins.
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. (Synopsis by Warner Bros.)
A moderately acceptable middle segment for “The Hobbit” trilogy. While its necessity (and length) are suspect, it picks up more action than the first film—even if everything between the action is filler. The same could be said about the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, so fans of the series should know what to expect. See it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
Fast & Furious 6
Director: Justin Lin
PG-13; 130 mins.
Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian’s (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete. Meanwhile, Hobbs (Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again. (Synopsis by Fox)
This installment wasn’t quite as good as “Fast 5,” not that that’s saying a whole lot. You know what you are in for with one of these films, and it delivers that and only that. Skip it.
Despicable Me 2
Director: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
PG; 98 mins.
Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal. (Synopsis by IMDB)
Slightly better than the original, but is heavily dependent on your personal enjoyment of the Minion crew for entertainment. It’s not one of the greatest animated films ever, but is certainly enjoyable for kids and adults. See it.