Movie Diary 12/9/2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Peter Jackson, 2013). With less kid humor and fewer diversions (still rather talky, I think), this one is indeed an improvement over An Unexpected Journey. The movie needs more Bilbo, however. (full review 12/13)

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Justin Chadwick, 2013). Mostly dutiful, though the performances by Idris Elba and Naomie Harris go a long way toward animating the great leader’s life story. (full review 12/25)

Muscle Shoals (Greg “Freddy” Camalier, 2013). Will they ever run out of these documentaries about side pockets of the great era of rock music? I hope not. This one’s about the studio (two competing studios, actually) in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, that place credited on the back of innumerable LPs of the 60s and 70s, causing considerable confusion for my adolescent mind.

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