On Robin Williams' Last Film And This Weekend's Wide And Special Releases.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Director: Shawn Levy.
Writer: David Guion, Michael Handelman
Cast: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Ben Kingsley, Rebel Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan.
Playing At: Wide.

I wish I didn't have to write this, but Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is indeed Robin Williams' last film. Yes, this is the last time you'll see him shine on the big screen in a new movie. I do hope you spend this weekend with this film for that important sole reason alone.

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.
Director: Peter Jackson.
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson (screenplay); J.R.R. Tolkien (novel).
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving.
Playing At: Wide.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is an adrenaline-fueled, superb bookend to the Hobbit franchise. Granted, I'm saying that while admittedly not being fully up-to-speed on all of the necessary Hobbit lore. I'm just in it for the big-ass battles. Our very own Javier Fuentes knows his Hobbit shit, though, and he has a completely different view of the film than I do.

Annie.
Director:
Will Gluck.
Writer:
Will Gluck, Aline Brosh McKenna (screenplay); Thomas Meehan (stage play book); Harold Gray (comic strip Little Orphan Annie).
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne.
Playing At: Wide.

This Annie is a remake of the beloved 1982 beloved classic classic of the same name, and it stars Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis in the title role. You may remember her as Hushpuppy from one of the coolest indie films from the last decade, Beasts of the Southern Wild. This the third time Annie has been made into a feature film. The first two were wildly successful, and with Wallis’ charm, I don't see why this shouldn't follow suit. Plus, our very own Javier Fuentes dug it

Antarctica: A Year on Ice.
Director: Anthony Powell.
Writer: Anthony Powell, Simon Price.
Cast: Anthony Powell, Genevieve Bachman, William Brotman.
Playing At: Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art.

Anthony Powell is brave and damn stubborn. In Antarctica: A Year on Ice, he documents what it’s like living in Antartica for a whole year. Y'know, just the coldest place on planet Earth, no big deal. It's a fascinating film. A must-see for documentary enthusiasts.

The Shining.
Director: Stanley Kubrick.
Writer: Stephen King (novel), Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson.
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

Yes, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is one of the greatest horror films of all time. Have you seen it? Good. Now see it again at the Texas Theatre. Then pick up the book sequel called Doctor Sleep. It's not nearly as chilling, but it's a good read on Danny (the boy in Shining) one he's all grown up as an alcoholic still seeing dead people.

It's A Wonderful Life.
Director: Frank Capra.
Writer: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra (screenplay); Philip Van Doren Stern (story).
Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore.
Playing At: Texas Theatre and Inwood Theatre. Also playing at the Angelika Film Center (Dallas) on the 21 and 24.

It’s Christmas, so it's time to watch one of the best films ever made about this time of the year. Just make sure you see the right one: Frank Capra’s It's A Wonderful Life was shot in black and white, then was colorized for the DVD release some years back. I wouldn't recommend watching that newer version. This is a fim that needs to be seen exactly how it was shot – in black and white and on 35mm. Lucky for you, this is the presentation Texas Theatre is showing. Were I you, that's where I'd see it.

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