Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast

Films Opening 12/13/13

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (R)

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitrage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lily

Directed by: Peter Jackson

In this second of Peter Jackson’s films based upon J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins has been transformed from being the terrified  “burgler” of the first film, into becoming the leader of his ragtag band of 13 dwarves. Purists will still growl in despair about how characters and events which were never part of the book take up a great deal of screen time. However, fans of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films should be delighted with the side trips to the lair of the Wood Elves, to meet master-archers Legolas and Tauriel, and our introduction to Bard the Boatman of Laketown. The best bit (which tis a long time coming) is the incarnation of Smaug the dragon. This scaly, fire-breathing CG critter almost makes having to wear those pesky 3-D glasses worthwhile.

3 pieces of unlikely Middle Earth hero toast 




Despicable Me 2 (PG)

Starring the voices of: Steve Carrell, Kristin Wiig, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong

Directed By: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin

Your level of delight for this film should be in direct proportion to how much you like (or hate) those little yellow minions. The reformed evil genius Gru is back, and challenged every instant by parenting the three “leeetle goooiils” he adopted in the first film. To complicate things, Gru is recruited by the Anti Villain League to thwart the latest cadre of evildoers. We watch with delight as the cartoon villains hideouts top anything we’ve seen in a Bond film while those omnipresent minions merrily roll along.

3 and 1/2 pieces of I really like Gru toast


Fast and Furious 6 (PG-13)

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez. Tyrese Gibson

Directed By:  Justin Lin

The tragic “life imitating art” death of Paul Walker should put a cautionary pall on what was Walker’s final film in the lucrative F&F franchise. Otherwise, it’s the same faces, same shiny cars, same crashes and explosions, same bikini-clad or tight-jeans-wearing girls in the crowd scenes, same break the rules ethos, same KACHING! at the box office. The only difference may be a respectful moment of silence or two from Walker’s numerous fans.

3 pieces of testosterone-laced popcorn fare shaped by a real-life tragedy toast