The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Bilbo Baggins, off on an adventure!

As everyone was leaving the theatre, I heard a man asking his companions — in what seemed a very annoyed tone — if he would have to come back again to watch the second part (The Desolation of Smaug, due in 2013). “Well, of course,” was the reply, though either his companions didn’t know or didn’t have the heart to tell him that there’s now also a third part, namely There and Back Again, due in 2014. I’m a little nervous about the whole back and forth between two movies and three, since already the pacing occasionally seemed a bit off in this one.

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The Wolfman

This time, Anthony Hopkins is only visiting the maximum security area.

Face it. Victorian England is perfect as the setting for a monster movie — any monster movie. It’s lit at night only by candles and lanterns, it’s often foggy, the sun doesn’t show up for days at a time, and nearly everyone is superstitious enough to believe in things like ghosts and, yes, werewolves. You fully expect to find a mad scientist around every corner, a curse on every crumbling manor house, and a terrifying creature lurking behind you every time you turn around. Late 19th-century England is the birthplace of every horror movie cliche, basically.

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Captain America

The Captain of the comics versus the Captain of the silver screen.

By some strange coincidence, Captain America looks exactly like the Human Torch. I’m making fun of Marvel just a little — they’d promised a while back that they would have complete continuity among all their movies, probably in preparation for all the Avengers tie-ins, so it amuses me that they cast the same actor as two utterly different major Marvel characters. I have no idea how they’ll explain the coming debacle that is The Amazing Spider-Man. They showed previews, and the entire audience looked vaguely uncomfortable and/or confused. I know I was.
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