Screen gems: What’s ahead in movies and on TV for the week of Dec. 8

 
 
 <span class="leadin"><strong>Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas </strong></span>
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

Big screen

Opening Friday

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (PG-13): Peter Jackson’s second installment in his trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel promises wonderful special effects, lots of dragon action and a return appearance by The Lord of the Rings’ Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Also back is Jackson’s ridiculously long running times (this one runs 161 minutes).

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (PG-13): Writer-director Tyler Perry reprises his signature role, doling out heart-warming wisdom and laughs in a small town preparing for its annual holiday celebration.

Rene Rodriguez

Small screen

Bonnie & Clyde (9 p.m. Sunday, A&E/Lifetime/History Channel): Yet another take on the Depression-era bandits who cut a wide swath of stick-ups and murders through Texas and the Midwest. In this sort-of-feminist version, directed by Bruce Beresford, Bonnie is the boss of the gang. See full review, 1M.

Orphans of the Genocide (8 p.m. Thursday, WPBT-PBS 2): The slaughter of as many as 1.5 million ethnic Armenians living under Turkish control during World War I led to the coining of the word “genoicide.” Nearly a century later, the Turkish government denies any systematic campaign to wipe out its Armenian citizens. This documentary forcefully argues otherwise.

White Christmas (7 p.m. Saturday, AMC): Frothy and formulaic it may be, but this 1954 musical about a couple of World War II vets trying to help out their old commander after he’s been jettisoned by the army and battered by fate has a real heart. Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, as if you didn’t know.

Glenn Garvin

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">A WINDOW ON ETERNITY: </span>A Biologist’s Walk Through Gorongosa National Park. Edward O. Wilson. Simon & Schuster. 149 pages. $30.

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    Naturalist’s book gives hope for wildlife preservation

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">LAST STORIES AND OTHER STORIES</span>. William T. Vollmann. Viking. 704 pages. $36.

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    Tales of worldy travels take ghostly turn

    Among contemporary American authors, William T. Vollmann’s project is unique. There is simply no other writer on the map who purchased a Thai sex slave, tried to fight with mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan and almost died in the Arctic Circle. And that’s just for starters. Vollmann has traveled to war zones, pored over the U.S.-Mexico border and made a study of the world’s destitute. His mammoth curiosity encompasses questions of war, morality, economics, lifestyle, gender, aesthetics, art and music.

Miami Herald

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