Unless you have been sleeping on a pile of stolen gold deep inside a dwarf's cave, it is unlikely you will be unfamiliar with the major release of the week, Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, part one of the trilogy and all that entails in your cultural life for the next half decade. The marketing push behind the technology has been a relentless disaster, and every day Jackson must get down on his bleeding knees to thank God for Martin Freeman. Just as the very wonderful Office and Sherlock star got us through that misguided Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, so will he get us, and Jackson, through this.
Elsewhere, the week offers the usual curate's omelette you find surrounding a projected box-office behemoth. Old people are well served by a couple of period tributes. In Stand Up Guys, Al Pacino and Christopher Walken are apparently in some weird Mamet-inflected tribute to the Burt Lancaster/Kirk Douglas vehicle Tough Guys from 1986. Following closely behind Scarlett Johansson's Janet Leigh, Sienna Miller is effortlessly glacial as the second contemporary analog of a Hitchcock blonde, Tippi Hedren to Toby Jones's Hitch in The Girl.
Guys trying to show their dates how sensitive they are will suffer through Save the Date, a quirky indie comedy about quirky indie romance seemingly shot exclusively in rooms with inadequate light sources. Alternatively, there's the heartstring-targeting Any Day Now, starring Alan Cummings in a Sonny Bono wig as one-half of a '70s gay couple struggling to adopt the Down syndrome boy seemingly abandoned in their apartment block. Finally, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, the genuinely uplifting doc of the week, is the tale of a genius guitarist struck down by Lou Gehrig's disease who nevertheless refused to stop making music. Seems that with the right attitude you can do whatever you want in this life, even when you can't, at least according to this trailer.