1) Director Peter Jackson has done it again. With the second installment of the Hobbit books, Jackson brings us The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Picking up where An Unexpected Journey leaves off, Desolation follows Bilbo Baggins, the dwarfs, Gandalf, and other characters of Middle Earth as our hobbit hero searches for the Secret Door leading to the dragon Smaug. The film keeps with the impressive special effects, settings, and costumes of its predecessor and is worth the extra admission for 3D. Hold off on the bucket of Pepsi, though, as this movie is 160 minutes. Check Fandango or your local theater for showtimes.
2) I haven’t actually met anyone who wasn’t a fan of Tom Hanks, and with good reason. In Saving Mr. Banks, Hanks and co-star Emma Thompson dazzle the screen with their portrayals of Walt Disney and author P. L. Travers, respectively. The story follows Disney in his attempt to make Travers’ book, Mary Poppins, into a movie. Both characters are stubborn: Disney because he promised his daughters to make the movie, and Travers because she wants nothing to do with a film version of her beloved book. We might know how the story ends, but sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination, as demonstrated in this film. See Fandango or your local theater for showtimes.
3) Savoy Restaurant’s Savoy Jazz Mondays continues tonight with the Roger Humphries Trio featuring vocalist Judi Figel . 6 – 10 p.m. No cover. 2623 Penn Ave., Strip District.
4) The Balcony Big Band is hitting only high notes in a Monday night performance at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. No cover. 103 Slade Ln., Warrendale.