The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 26, 2012

At The Movies: A great weekend at local theaters

This weekend looks like a busy one at area theaters. The Campus Theatre in Lewisburg will show “A Separation,” a drama about the dissolution of a marriage set in contemporary Iran that won the Oscar this year for best foreign picture, tonight and then feature “Friends With Kids,” a comedy starring John Hamm, Kristen Wiig and Jennifer Westfeldt, starting Friday.

Films opening Friday at the Cinema Center in Hummels Wharf are “The Five-Year Engagement,” “The Raven,” “Safe” and “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.” They will join the already popular “Think Like a Man,” “The Hunger Games” and “Chimpanzee.”

“The Five-Year Engagement” is a romantic comedy starring Jason Segel, who is known for his work with Judd Apatow, and Emily Blunt, whom I first noticed in “The Jane Austen Book Club,” but who also has starred in a ton of films, including “The Devil Wears Prada.”

“The Raven” stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe in a mystery-thriller. Maybe it will do for Poe what I hope Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies have done for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing, that is, remind people that there are a lot of good books out there and that they should be read, and often.

“Safe” is an action-crime-thriller starring Jason Statham. In it, he battles the Russian mob, Triads and corrupt cops to save a girl with amazing mathematical abilities.

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” is an animated film from England with the Pirate Captain being voiced by Hugh Grant. The captain is after a prize – to be named pirate of the year.

“The Hobbit,” Part 1

I just learned that Peter Jackson previewed 10 minutes of footage from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” on Tuesday at the CinemaCon convention for theater owners in Las Vegas. What I wouldn’t give to have seen that.

I am devoted to his “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (I saw them close to a combined 40 times in the theater when they were released. They’re fine to watch at home, but nothing compares to the big screen. I went over and over and over ...)

Anyway, I can’t wait until December to see British actor Martin Freeman debut as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Orlando Bloom reprise their roles as Gandalf, Gollum and Legolas, respectively.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is the first chapter in Jackson’s two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic. The two films were shot simultaneously in 3-D with the second one, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” due in theaters in December 2013.

Now that’s something to look forward to.

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