In Theaters This Weekend: March 23, 2012

There isn't a huge variety of films being released for the average fan this weekend, but that shouldn't stop attendance numbers any. While "The Hunger Games" in the only wide-release opening this weekend, ticket sales are already at record numbers, and this looks to be the first real fanboy (or girl) movie of the year.

As I stated, "The Hunger Games" opens wide this weekend, and it's been at high anticipation levels for quite some time now. Many are saying this is the series to replace franchises such as Twilight and Harry Potter, but from what I've seen and heard, I think this will be a whole new monster.

While some of the writers on this site are big Harry Potter fans, I myself have never really gotten into the series. Many people tell me that because I haven't read the books I can't fully appreciate the stories. And that's probably true, but hey, I'm here for the movies; if they're not working by themselves, that's their problem, not mine. And as for Twilight, do I even need to waste words here? While, as with these other titles, I haven't read any of the books in the Hunger Games series, I'm still slightly excited for this film and am expecting really good quality. As we discussed on this past week's episode of the Slackers Selection CinemaCast, honestly, most of my hype for this film is peripheral. For someone who's completely unfamiliar with the books, the trailers don't give nearly enough of an idea for what to expect. So while I've followed news on the film, and have heard wonderful things all along the way, without everyone else's hype, I wouldn't think much of this film.

But the hype levels are high all around, so I'm going to try and feed off of that and see what happens. I'm excited for the summer-blockbuster feel at the theater again - lines out the door and around the building. Theaters full to capacity. Insane fanboys who go crazy for the material. This is my sanctuary. While I might not be one of those people for this movie, I'm definitely going to go and try to be a part of it this weekend. It should be fun, and truly, I have heard really great things about the film. Even if you're unfamiliar with the content, it should be worth a watch.

Outside of that chaos though, there are a couple other films officially releasing, but as was with last week's "Jeff Who Lives at Home" and "Casa de Mi Padre", these too will be of limited release and probably not show up anywhere near most of you.

The first, "The Raid: Redemption", is something to keep an eye on. This film is brought to us by the country of Indonesia. It's obviously a foreign language film (you'll have to deal with subtitles, but grow up, they're fine), but the action is supposedly completely violent and over-the-top. I'm not very familiar with this film other than that I've heard the title floating around for a while as something noteworthy. We probably won't see this one until it shows up VOD or at movie rental stores, but I know I'll be keeping an eye on it.

And the other film I posted above is the new romance drama starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston, "The Deep Blue Sea" - not to be confused with "Deep Blue Sea", though I'd probably take that film over this new one. Hiddleston we all know from last year's "Thor", or more interestingly, can see in this summer's "The Avengers", as Loki. I don't have many thoughts or cares for this film, as it will probably be pretty slow and boring. The quality should be good because of all parties involved, but I don't expect that to make me care about the content any more. If you're into British love stories and betrayal, maybe this is the film for you. For me, it is not.

That's what we're looking at this weekend though. Most of us I expect will be checking out "The Hunger Games"; I'm excited to start hearing your feedback on it!