1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Brothers, 3,903 Theaters, 161 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Okay, Peter Jackson has gotten a lot of flack for making three films out of one book. I mean, the Lord of the Rings was three volumes, so three films was understood. But the Hobbit was only one. I’m not going to comment on that. I will say that it does take skill that even after cutting that one book up into three films, the second installment is over two and a half hours long. That is a real accomplishment. There’s got to be a lot of auxiliary material to bump the run time up that far.
Anyhow, we rejoin our merry band of adventurers as they reach the stronghold of the dragon Smaug. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) finally has a chance to do what he was hired to do. But facing off against an angry dragon will be a lot harder when Gandalf (Ian McKellen) goes missing.
That doesn’t seem like a lot of plot for two and a half hours. Well, they are introducing Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) into the narrative, two characters that didn’t appear in the original book. That’s got to add at least an hour. I guess the rest of the time will be taken up by walking through the beautiful New Zealand countryside.
Just when you thought the Madea movies, films built around the concept that a tall black man dressed up as a sassy female octogenarian is riotously funny, can’t get any worse, well, you get proven wrong. And all it took was four simple words: Larry the Cable Guy.
The plot…does anyone really need to know the plot? If you find Madea funny, two hours of her bagging groceries would be enough to get you into the theater. If you don’t, there’s no plot summary I could write that would get you into the theater.
Okay, here’s the plot. Madea joins her friend when she visits her daugher and her white relatives out in farm country. Cultures clash.