It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.
The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there's Locate TV – they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.
It’s been finale week in the US for the main networks, so nothing new for me to try out, but I did watch a movie.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The second in a trilogy of movies that could easily have been squished into one movie or at most two, without losing anything. Considerably better than the first, however, the second sees aspiring burglar Hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) heading off towards the Lonely Mountain with a bunch of dwarves headed by Richard Armitage to help them reclaim their birthright from the dragon Smaug with just a little help from the wizard Gandalf and a certain magic ring. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of extra plotting, largely involving Evangeline Lilly from Lost as an elf who has designs on
Legoland Legolas (Orlando Bloom) but starts getting interested in Aidan Turner from Being Human (UK) instead, and Stephen Fry does an odd turn as the leader of Lakeland Laketown; Benedict Cumberbatch manages to interact with Freeman as the voice and motion-captured body of Smaug without conjuring the memory of Sherlock at any point. But for all the extras, which excel when they try to recapture the more adult feel and tie into the plot of Lord of the Rings, this still feels like a kids movie and not a particularly good one, either, although there are some good scenes recreated from the book at least. Watching it on iTunes, it suffered a bit from not being in 3D since as well as largely being shot like a fairground ride, with dwarves, elves and dragons sliding in and out of shot willy nilly, the colour loss of 3D hides the fact that the CGI is more than a bit rubbish.
After the jump, a round-up of the regulars, with reviews of 24, Agents of SHIELD, The Americans, Arrow, The Blacklist, Continuum, Elementary, Game of Thrones, Hannibal, Penny Dreadful, and Silicon Valley.