"The Hobbit" Sequel and Another "Madea" Movie . . .

Plus Early Releases for "Saving Mr. Banks" and "American Hustle"

Christian Bale and Amy Adams play a pair of con artists forced to work for the FBI to bring down corrupt politicians in the 1970s.  Bradley Cooper is their handler, Jeremy Renner is one of their marks, and Jennifer Lawrenceplays Bale's wife.

It's by David O. Russell . . . the guy who made "The Fighter" and "Silver Linings Playbook" . . . and it's supposed to be a big Oscar contender.

Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney trying to bring "Mary Poppins" to the big screen.  Emma Thompsonplays author P.L. Travers . . . who does NOT want her characters "Disney-fied".

When she refuses to sell the movie rights, he flies her to Hollywood and tries to figure out what she really wants.  Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak are also in it.

Mr. Banks was the name of the dad in "Mary Poppins" . . . so the movie is about "saving" his character, who was actually based on Travers' own father.

Tyler Perry is back as Madea, the over-reacting, wise-cracking, elderly woman he plays in drag.  This time it's Christmas and she's working as Mrs. Claus at a department store.

Then she joins a friend for a surprise visit to her daughter, who they find out has secretly married a white guy.  Tika Sumpter and Eric Lively are the newlyweds and Larry the Cable Guy and "Sister Act's" Kathy Najimy are his redneck parents.

It's the second part of Peter Jackson'sunnecessarily long Hobbit trilogy, with the dwarves and Bilbo Baggins trying to reclaim the dwarf kingdom and their gold from the dragon Smaug.

And this time they actually get to the dragon . . . Benedict Cumberbatch did the motion-capture performance and the voice.  He's the guy who played Khan in the last "Star Trek" movie.

Before they get to the dragon, they also have to fight their way past an army of orcs, evil "wood-elves", and giant spiders.  Martin Freeman is back as Bilbo, Ian McKellen is Gandalf, and Richard Armitage is Thorin, the leader of the dwarves.

Orlando Bloom is back as his "Lord of the Rings" character Legolas.  And Evangeline Lilly from "Lost" is an elf named Tauriel . . . a character they invented for the movie.  The final movie in the trilogy, "There and Back Again", comes out next December.

Like the first movie, this one was shot at 48 frames-per-second.  That's twice the normal rate, and some people think it made the first movie look fake, like a high-definition home video.  But it's supposed to look better this time.  You can also see it in 3-D.

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