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Friday movie roundup: Into the 'Hobbit' hole

Published December 14, 2012 11:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Where will you be this weekend, gentle moviegoer? Odds are, you'll be on the road through Middle-Earth.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" returns Peter Jackson — as well as cast members Ian McKellan and (briefly) Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Christopher Lee — back to the land of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. This film, the first in a planned trilogy, starts young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) on a journey with a troupe of 13 dwarves to steal gold from the dragon Smaug. The walk is fraught with goblins, trolls, orcs and other challenges — including a certain creature named Gollum (performed again by Andy Serkis) in possession of a particular ring. The storyline is padded a bit with background information, but the action sequences are thrilling.

The best movie of the week is over at the Tower: "Holy Motors," a surreal drama from director Leos Carax that follows a man (Denis Lavant) taking on various disguises and personae in a series of heartbreakingly dramatic situations. It's a trippy head-scratcher, but fascinating throughout.

"Hitchcock" is a frisky and enjoyable movie for movie-lovers, with Anthony Hopkins having a ball as the legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchock trying to reinvent himself by making "Psycho." The behind-the-scenes information is delightful, as is his tender relationship with his wife Alma (Helen Mirren).

Lastly, "The Flat" is an intriguing documentary in which Israeli filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger uncovers some secrets about his German-born Jewish grandparents — and their friendship with a one-time Nazi journalist. The movie raises interesting questions about history, and what memories people choose to forget.