‘Hobbit,’ ‘Anchorman 2,’ lead December movies

By Pat Quinn

It’s time to get excited for this month’s films, even though finals are around the corner. Keep an eye out for these standout movies over winter break:

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

The sequel to “An Unexpected Journey” continues with young Bilbo Baggins and a wizard, Gandalf, helping dwarves reclaim their homeland.

Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman return to the screen with members from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, including Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Christopher Lee as Saruman.

The first Hobbit film drew in a lot of fans; however, the film wasn’t as strong as director Peter Jackson’s previous films. Still, fans have praised this franchise and are anticipating the second movie of The Hobbit trilogy.

“The Desolation of Smaug” has the plot advantage of being the Hobbit’s sequel. The further the characters progress in the plot, the more action audiences look forward to in the film.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

The news team is back and ready to take on the challenge of anchoring a 24-hour news channel. As always, problems erupt.

The hilarious cast of Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Christina Applegate return as Ron, Brick, Brian, Champ and Veronica. There will also be appearances by John C. Reilly and Vince Vaughn.

Although there are very few comedies where the sequel was better than the first, “Anchorman 2” has decently developed characters.

Hopefully the previews did not spoil any of the laughter, so fans can be ready for a ridiculous evening.

Christian Bale releases

Known for his role as Batman, Christian Bale has two movies coming out this month.

He stars in “American Hustle” as a con man flirting with danger, the mafia and the FBI. Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper co-star in the film.

Bale also stars in “Out of the Furnace,” where his character’s brother goes missing after joining an underground boxing club. I recommend checking out this film, which features Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson and Willem Dafoe.