Seven Psychopaths/ The Hobbit/ Parental Guidance

First up this month, Seven Psychopaths (December 7) a “British” movie starring loads of Americans (Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson) and one Irishman (Colin Farrell).

The zany plot follows Marty (Farrell) a struggling writer trying to finish his screenplay ‘Seven Psychopaths’. When his dog-snatching buddies Billy (Rockwell) and Hans (Walken) nick gangster Charlie’s (Harrelson) beloved pooch, the shih tzu really hits the fan. For the rest of the movie they simultaneously try to avoid being murdered while helping Marty finish his screenplay. Do they succeed? There’s only one way to find out!

Next up this month, the first installment of The Hobbit (December 14). For the uninitiated, the story is thus: home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is enjoying his comfortable hobbit life when in bursts wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and a host of similar sounding dwarves (Ori, Bori, Kili, Milli, Vanilli, etc) to drag him on a perilous journey to reclaim their kingdom from avaricious hoarder/ dragon, Smaug. Expect trolls, earnest laments and even a lil bit of Gollum (Andy Serkis, reprising his LOTR role). Now that’s what I’m Tolkien about!

Just one niggle though: at 285 pages,The Hobbit is practically a pamphlet, especially next to the meaty Lord of the Ring trilogy (1,347 pages, not including appendixes) so WHY is it being split into three movies? Still, it’s good to have some more Middle Earth movies. Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!

Finally this month, Parental Guidance (December 28). The set up is thus: retirees Artie (a very bloated Billy Crystal) and Diane (Bette Midler – if you’re under 25, go Google her) are enlisted by their daughter to help care for their semi-estranged grandchildren. You can guess the rest: Grandpa telling ribald, age-inappropriate jokes while Grandma “accidently” indulges the kids with caffeine/speed/some other hilariously unsuitable trash. Like this movie.