Eventually I may go back to try to figure out why The Lord of the Rings trilogy works so well and this one doesn’t. Desolation of Smaug, like last year’s An Unexpected Journey, gets the job done well enough. I’m not mad at it. But by the time “The Two Towers” was over more than a decade ago I was fully enthralled. Not so much here.
Dir. J.J. Abrams
(2013, PG-13, 123 minutes)
During an interview on The Daily Show promoting Star Trek: Into Darkness, I think director J.J. Abrams unintentionally copped to dumbing down the Trek franchise to attract a wider audience. Specifically he said, “I never liked Star Trek when I was a kid … it always felt too philosophical to me … [Star Trek fans] were much smarter than I was. I couldn’t get it, and so we tried to make it work for people like me …”
Dir. Tomas Alfredson
(2011, R, 127 min)
I saw Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with a friend of mine. “I’m … confused,” she said as the end credits began to roll. “Me too,” I concurred. We were both relieved; at least we weren’t alone. As she reported to me later, she encountered a woman in the ladies’ room with whom she discussed the story. My friend gave our interpretation of the ending. The other woman implied we were mistaken but was coy about the details, saying, “You’ll have to read the book.”