Weekend Movies: An ‘Unexpected’ Lack of New Movies

No joke, aside from that little orc & hobbit movie, I could only find two new limited releases opening this weekend.

The long-awaited prequel series to Peter Jackson’s Oscar-sweeping ‘Lord of the Rings‘ trilogy kicks off this weekend with ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘. J.R.R. Tolkien’s slim book is being stretched into three long films. For those fans wondering, ‘An Unexpected Journey’ only covers the first six chapters of the novel, fusing lore from ‘The Appendices’ with new made-up content. This should-be simple tale of a Hobbit helping 13 dwarves reclaim their city from a dragon is loaded with what seems like filler, but ultimately has a surprise impact on the story at hand – not to mention the stories to come.

The question moviegoers are asking isn’t whether you should see ‘The Hobbit’ this weekend or not – because you definitely should. The question is, how should you see it. There are several options: IMAX 3D, IMAX 3D with HFR (high frame rate), 3D, 3D with HFR, or standard 2D. Unless you like your television with the unnatural and choppy Tru Motion setting engaged, the 48 frames-per-second HFR option isn’t recommended.

If you’re a fan of J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek‘, then seeing ‘The Hobbit’ in IMAX might just make your experience even better. Select IMAX showings will play the first nine minutes of next summer’s ‘Star Trek into Darkness’. Click here to see if an IMAX near you will feature this preview.

Opening in a very limited release is IFC Films’ Sundance 2012 acquisition ‘Save the Date‘. Starring Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie and Mark Webber, the film succeeds in a way that only an indie romantic comedy can. Caplan plays a girl scared out of a long-time relationship when her boyfriend proposes. Now a free woman, she has a hard time deciding what she wants. Check out my Sundance interviews with Caplan, Brie and director Michael Mohan for a little more insight.

Finally, the only other new movie this weekend is ‘Any Day Now‘. ‘The Others‘ director Travis Fine tells the dramatic story of a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) fighting for the legal custody of a handicapped teenager.

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