Movies releasing today: Hobbits, Anti-heroes and Man-hoes

Actually, 2 of the weekend's 3 new releases have been screening in South African cinemas since Wednesday. However, if you've been saving up your movie viewing for the long weekend, or, even better, the start of your Christmas holidays, here are the latest additions to the local cinema circuit.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
Load up that backpack with supplies. Make sure you have enough pipe weed... because we're trekking through Middle-earth again. Based on J. R. R. Tolkien's classic fantasy adventure, The Hobbit (Part 1 of 3) is basically a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It centres on hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who, in his youth, is chosen by wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to join a band of dwarves who want to reclaim their treasure from Smaug the Dragon. Peter Jackson is back in the director's chair, and the movie is stuffed with characters familiar and new. Look out for the returning likes of Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Andy Serkis. Trailer Tuesday profile here.

Screening in 2D, 3D and, in Johannesburg and Durban, the brand new 3D HFR format, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been receiving good but not exceptional reviews. With a running time of just under 3 hours, the film apparently feels bloated and slow, especially to begin with. This said, there's lots of humour, great action scenes and plenty of visual wizardry on display. Currently 74% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

Crime noir meets sci-fi in this twisty time-travel tale. In the near future, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a young, specialist hitman living the high life. All he has to do is execute mob targets who are sent back from the future. Problems arise though when his future self (Bruce Willis) appears for extermination, and promptly escapes. Also with  Emily Blunt, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels. Trailer Tuesday profile here.

Sporting a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 94% Fresh, Looper is evidently one of the must-see films of 2012 (if you can handle the risk of over-hype). It's intelligent, stylish and well acted, already beginning to collect accolades for its writing, especially. Read Kervyn's full review of Looper right here.


Bel Ami:
This romantic drama is based on the 19th Century French novel of the same name, and is screening in limited release. Bel Ami tells the tale of an ambitious young journalist, Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson), who strategises and seduces his way up the social ranks. Some of the women in his life include Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci.

Apparently the film looks classy but rushes its plot and features a vague performance from Pattinson. 28% Fresh.


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