“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
A year after every pointy-ear-wearing fan’s dreams were fulfilled and the tale of Bilbo Baggins was brought to the big screen, audiences will be treated to the second installment in “The Hobbit” trilogy. On Dec. 13 “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will hit theaters just in time for a post-finals celebration. The film promises to be enjoyable for almost any viewer. If your fancy isn’t tickled by dragons, hobbits, elves and dwarves, then the film’s all-star cast, including Ian McKellen and Benedict Cumberbatch, promises to turn in performances that will leave many counting down the days until the third installment comes to theaters next year.
“Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
November 22 marks the return of the Katniss Everdeen — the girl on fire. This time, however, she will be facing a very different set of adversaries. “Catching Fire” picks up less than a year after the events of The 74th Annual Hunger Games in a world torn apart by a rebellion that Katniss played a part in starting. In an attempt to solve this problem, Gov. Snow decides the 75th Hunger Games will pit the winners of the previous Hunger Games against one another in the arena. Those who have read the book know that the result of this plan is a showdown viewers will not want to miss.
After the wrapping paper is discarded and the stockings are abandoned, what’s a better way to spend Christmas afternoon than watching Keanu Reeves fight his way through hundreds of obstacles in an attempt to defeat an evil witch-dragon? Correct answer: Nothing. “47 Ronin” tells the story of an underdog swordsman (Reeves) who discovers he is the one person who is capable of leading an elite squad of dedicated samurai warriors who have sworn to subdue a terrible evil in the land. What the movie lacks in original plotlines it makes up for in physical actors. With a cast including Hiroyuki Sanada and Reeves, “47 Ronin” promises to be a martial arts experience worthy of your Christmas afternoon.
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Also releasing on Christmas Day is the next of what seems to be a continuous stream of movies directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Decaprio. “The Wolf of Wall Street” follows the story of a young man whose revolutionary approach to stock trading leads his company to enormous fiscal success. Just as his world is reaching its climax, however, Decaprio gets some unwanted attention from FBI agents who are questioning whether his rise to glory was managed in a strictly legal manner. Although this movie might contain content not appropriate for the children at family Christmas celebrations, it is safe to say that the performance of such great actors as Decaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughy will be worth the price of a ticket.