Friday, December 13, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

My View:  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug  (2013)  PG-13  Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the dwarves continue with the quest to defend Erebor, their home, from the Dragon Smaug.  This film moves at a much  brisker pace then the first Hobbit film, and the action sequences are quite enjoyable and well staged.  I loved Evangeline Lily as Tauriel, a new character who is a fierce, butt-kicking elf with an attitude.  She does the action sequences with gusto and flair, making her character very believable.  It is also nice to see Orlando Bloom return as the elf warrior, Legolas.  The scenes with the Dragon Smaug are fun to watch, and Benedict Cumberbatch does an outstanding job as the voice of the Dragon.  This film is worth seeing in 3-D as the many action sequences use the medium to its full effect.  I will warn you that the film is 161 minutes long, so pack a lunch.  My Rating:  Full Price  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Website
Indiefest:  The Armstrong Lie (2013) R  A documentary that covers seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and focuses on the accusations that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and then lied about it.  Filmmaker Alex Gibney was given complete access to Armstrong’s 2009 comeback attempt at winning an 8th Tour, and he developed a rapport with Armstrong that continues to present day.  The film is a fascinating look at a man so driven to be the best, he was willing to do anything to get to the top and then fought dirty to stay there.  Armstrong is shown to be a man whom you support, or you are considered the enemy, and the film really brings this across.  This film gets much more in depth with the subject than the famous Oprah interview did and shows us a man trying to own up to his past downfalls.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  The Armstrong Lie Website

Forgotten Film:  Zero Effect (1998)  R  Darryl Zero (Bill Pullman) is the world’s greatest detective.  There's just one problem - Darryl won’t leave his apartment for anything.  So he hires Steve (Ben Stiller) to be his right-hand man who manages any activity that requires going out into the world.  The two are hired to investigate a blackmailing case, and, as the case widens, they get involved in a 20 year old mystery.  Pullman, in one of his best acting jobs, is brilliant as the odd Darryl.  Stiller works well with Pullman and is able to convey his wonder for his boss.  The film starts out as a comedy, but it’s a really a fine, well thought out detective film with a very quirky lead character.  It has a lot of twists and turns in the plot to make it a fun film to experience.  My Rating:  Full Price  Zero Effect website

In Memory of Ed Wood ( A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  The Legend of Hercules (2014)  It’s never a good sign when the lead actor in the film, in this case, Kellan Lutz, says only two lines in the 2 min 15 second trailer.  And, this film is directed by Renny Harlin, who hasn’t directed a good film since the 90’s.  The Legend of Hercules Website

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD / Blu-ray):  Fast & Furious 6  (2013)  PG-13  I surprisingly like this film, mostly because the guys in the Furious gang are portrayed as super heroes.  It’s a fun action-filled ride with big stunts and fast cars, plus, the longest runway the world has ever seen.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Fast & Furious 6 Webstite

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:  Horse makeup

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  One Chance  (2013) PG-13 The true story of a shy, bullied shop-worker who sings amateur opera at night.  He tries out for “Britain’s Got Talent” and gets on the show.  One Chance Info
Until Next Time!

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