Monday, December 17 2012, 02:16 PM MST
Box Office: Recommended Films Dec 14-20, 2012
Recommended films showing in Salt Lake City for the week of December 14 – December 20, 2012
1. Lincoln (PG-13)
2. Argo (R)
3. Silver Linings Playbook (R)
4. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey (PG-13)
5. Skyfall (PG-13)
1. Frankenweenie (PG)
2. Life of Pi (PG)
3. Rise of the Guardians (PG)
4. Wreck-It Ralph (PG)
5. ParaNorman (PG)
1. Argo (R)
2. Holy Motors (NR)
3. The Sessions (R)
4. Hitchcock (PG-13)
5. Anna Karenina (R)
The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • Peter Jackson
Starring • Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Fans of the extended editions of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.
Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) sets out on an adventure with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a group of Dwarves intending to reclaim their homeland and riches from the dragon Smaug.
Nearly a decade after the release of “The Return of the King” director Peter Jackson returns to J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings to explore Bilbo Baggins’ part of the story. The film feels and looks very much like Jackson’s pervious Tolkien films. Jackson even squeezes in a few unexpected “old friends” to further tie the film into the events of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. For some the story is going to feel a little bloated. For “The Lord of the Rings” films Jackson released extended version of each of the films that included an additional 20 or so minutes that were omitted from the original theatrical versions. “The Unexpected Journey” feels like it has been edited to flow more like the extended versions. I happen to prefer the extended versions, but those looking for a more streamlined take on the story will find parts of the film’s first hour to be somewhat tedious. It’s still a worthy journey and one I highly recommend taking.
“The Unexpected Journey” is being shown in a variety of formats including the traditional 24 frames per second and the new format of 48 frames per second. Reaction to the 48 frames per second has been split. Having watched the film twice in 3D and 48 frames per second I’ve concluded that I love the way that it takes away the flicker effect that has plagued some 3D releases. It does however reveal the limitations of the CG effects. There are times when the film looks phenomenal and times when it doesn’t look quite right. Having not seen the film at the 24 frame rate I’m not sure if this is because of the new technology.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director • Sacha Gervasi
Starring • Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson
Rated • PG-13
Recommended to • Cinema fanatics looking for a glimpse into the life of Alfred Hitchcock and the making of his film “Psycho.”
“Hitchcock” stars Anthony Hopkins as famed director Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma Reville. The film focuses on their effort to get “Psycho” made and explores the complexities of their relationship in the process.
“Hitchcock” is a good film with nice performances. It’s an interesting story that manages to fit in more suspense and tension than you’d expect. In many ways it unfolds like a classic Hitchcock film. However, unlike Daniel Day Lewis in “Lincoln,” I never had to remind myself that I was watching a performance, rather than a documentary. Hopkins does a fine job as Hitchcock, but it doesn’t feel entirely authentic.
4 out of 5 Stars
Director • Leos Carax
Starring • Denis Lavant, Edith Scob and Kylie Minogue
Rated • NR
Recommended to • Those looking for walk on the weird, wild and wonderful side of experimental French cinema.
Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) is a man who plays numerous roles on any given day. At one moment he is an old woman begging for change, moments later he’s a thug, a disgruntled father a lunatic and a brokenhearted lover.
Leos Carax’s experimental film is a series of vignettes tied together by Lavant’s tremendous performance. He moves from one role to the next with amazing ease, bringing a remarkable amount of depth (and occasional mania) to each character. It’d fairly absurd, but not without social commentary and precise artistry.