December Sneak Peeks

By on December 11, 2013

December brings hobbits, dinosaurs, and the story behind Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins.” Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters this month.

by Jane Boursaw


HObbit2Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 12/13. Ok for kids 12+.

Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels.

Yay! Another ‘Hobbit” movie! After successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest – without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Lake-town, it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain, and burglar Baggins must find the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. But where has Gandalf got off to? And what is his secret business to the south? Find out in this second installment of “The Hobbit.”


madea-christmas-posterRated PG-13 for sexual references, crude humor and language. In theaters 12/13. Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.

Madea gets coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas, but the biggest surprise is what they’ll find when they arrive. As the small town prepares for its annual Christmas Jubilee, new secrets are revealed and old relationships are tested while Madea dishes her own brand of Christmas Spirit to all. Tyler Perry directs, produces, wrote the script, and yes, stars in this year’s “Madea” movie. Sure, these movies are predictable, but the message is always good.


saving-mr-banks-posterRated PG-13 for thematic elements, including some unsettling images. In theaters 12/20. Ok for kids 12+.

Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Ever wonder about the story behind Disney’s classic family movie, “Mary Poppins”? Now we’ll know. When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book by P.L. Travers, he made them a promise – one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt (Tom Hanks) comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer (Emma Thompson) who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine (good for her!). But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly travels to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.


walking-dinosaurs-7Not yet rated; likely PG. In theaters 12/20. Ok for kids 7+.

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

The BBC television series strides its way to the big screen with this live-action/CG-animated feature film following a courageous young dinosaur on an incredible adventure through the prehistoric world. See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth with this ultimate immersive experience, utilizing state of the art 3D that puts you right in the middle of an epic prehistoric world. Awesome.


walter-mitty-poster-3Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 12/25. Ok for kids 12+. Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels.

In this comedic adaptation of James Thurber’s short story, Ben Stiller stars as Walter Mitty a milquetoast proofreader for a publishing firm. Walter is incapable of standing up for himself, so he retreats into his fantasy world, where he’s heroic, poised, self-assured, and the master of his fate. Stiller directs from a script by Steven Conrad, with Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, and Shirley MacLaine rounding out the starring cast.



One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Boursaw is founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane, a family entertainment site specializing in movies, TV and celebrities. Visit her at or email

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